It is no news that Instagram is the best social media platform to sell online! Several million-dollar businesses use Instagram as their main source of leads and sales.
According to a recent stat, 44% of buyers use Instagram to shop weekly, and 60% discover new products on Instagram.
So, it is high time you stopped treating your Instagram account as just a business profile; turn it into a freaking sales machine.
Want to know how? Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is an Instagram Sales Funnel?
An Instagram sales funnel a fancy name used to refer to an organised system to convert your Instagram followers to customers; a pre-designed system that directs their journey from prospect to customer.
A sales funnel’s goal is to create a pre-designed customer journey and gather resources to assist your customers at any stage of the purchasing process.
Your sales should assist your prospect in evaluating how your product can benefit them.
If your prospect is comparing your product/solution to a competitor’s own, you want to be there to help your prospect make the best decision (and the best decision doesn’t necessarily mean your product).
Now you must be wondering how this can be done when you don’t even know where your prospect is or when they need help deciding on your product.
This is where a sales funnel comes in.
Because you won’t always be online to assist them at every stage they are, you need a sales funnel (read: system) that can do the job for you automatically.
There is no exact way to go about building a sales funnel. Also, there are several tools that you can use to build yours.
This article will shine a light on how to build a typical Instagram sales funnel but it is up to you to decide the way you want to go about it.
How to Set Up an Instagram Sales Funnel (Step by Step guide)
When building an Instagram sales funnel, start with the end in mind as that is the best way to view your sales funnel.
A typical funnel has three stages: top of the funnel > middle of the funnel > bottom of the funnel.
Neglect these terms as they are just fancy marketing terms to explain the stages visitors go through to become a customer.
Let’s get into building an actual funnel for your Instagram business account.
Bottom of the Instagram Sales Funnel
If we start with the end in mind, then we should start from the bottom of the funnel.
This is the last stage of the funnel, and it is where your lead decides whether to buy from you or not. It is the decisive stage.
At the bottom of the funnel is where you offer things like discounts, demos, and free trials to convince your prospect to make that move.
But before anything, you need to get the backend of your business set up.
Here is how.
#1 Build Essential Pages
To set up the bottom of the funnel for your Instagram business account, the most important thing is to build the essential pages where you’ll send visitors from Instagram.
The essential pages a sales funnel must have include:
- Landing page/sales page
- Order page
- Upsells and Orderbump page
- Check out page
- Thank you page
The landing page is the main page where you direct Instagram visitors. You can have as many landing pages as possible for a single product to see which works better.
You can create a separate landing page for the different audience persona or create individual landing pages for the A/B split-test.
There are benefits attached to creating multiple landing pages for your product.
The upsell and order bump page is usually where you try to increase the average order value of your prospects to sell them more expensive products.
According to Upselling statistics, 10% to 30% of eCommerce revenue is generated through upsells.
This is why even the big dogs like Amazon don’t play with upsells. For every product you add to your cart, you’ll find Amazon recommendations to complement it.
The Order page and Check out page also need to be fully set up before you start driving people to your funnel.
Make it easy for your prospects to purchase your products and services.
Below is a typical checkout page.
Finally, the Thank you page is an additional page to set up in your funnel. It is a page where you thank your customers for buying from you and maybe give them a gift.
Using a funnel builder, you should already have a template library to select from.
But if you would like to outsource your sales funnel process to a funnel strategist, we recommend The Sales Funnel Strategist; they help digital product creators set up their funnels.
#2 Build a Middle Page
“Middle page” is not a thing. A middle page is a page that Instagram visitors visit before getting to the landing or sales page.
Instagram only allows one link in your Instagram profile. So to make the most of the opportunity, businesses link to a page containing links to essential pages they want Instagram visitors to see.
Instagram account owners’ famous software is an Instagram link-in bio tool. These link-in bio tools allow you to insert several links on a page and put a link to the page on your Instagram.
Here is an example of what such a page looks like:
The above page is built with Linktree, and it allows you to link to your offers or pages.
For instance, if you run a beauty spa, you can link to a landing page where you offer a lead magnet related to your audience.
Your lead magnet can be a free guide on how to take care of the skin. For example, it could be to sign up for your weekly newsletter, a free automated webinar, etc.
#3 Optimize your Bio
Optimised to optimise your profile to improve your conversion rate at the bottom of the funnel.
Write a concise bio, add your link, and create a couple of highlights that cover what your business is about. That is it!
#4 Set up Instagram Shopping (In-app purchases)
Instagram shopping is a commerce feature that allows you to create a digital storefront on Instagram.
The storefront gives your prospects the online shopping experience without leaving Instagram.
If your account is located in a country approved by Facebook commerce, you can allow prospects to make purchases and complete their transaction on Instagram.
Given that the primary goal of a sales funnel is to simplify the purchasing process for prospects, Instagram shopping is an essential feature that helps achieve that.
You can let your prospects complete the purchase on your website while you use the Instagram shopping feature to display the details of the products.
Another excellent feature is that Instagram allows you to tag listed products within your posts.
Once prospects click on the product, it directs them to your Instagram shop to continue the journey. Interesting, right?
#5 Messenger Automation (Optional)
Building a chatbot for your Instagram business account shouldn’t be optional. But it still depends on the size of your business account and the number of enquiries you get.
A chatbot can help you engage everyone that reaches out to you even before you are chanced to reply.
Since we are speaking about a sales funnel here (read: automation), we can’t ignore chatbots and the good it does for our entire business system.
If you are running Instagram ads to your funnel, then you need to set up your chatbot to help manage the influx of messages and engagement ads come with.
Want to know which Chatbot we recommend? Then check out ManyChats.
#6 Email Automation
You don’t yet have a sales funnel if there is no automation. An important engine in a sales funnel is email automation.
At every stage of the funnel, the goal is to take the relationship beyond just followers but to have them on your email list where you can follow up on them.
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to email automation. Email automation is an entire funnel on its own.
But for this article, I’ll cover the essential things you need to set up.
The first is the welcome email series. In fact, nearly all email automation software provides welcome email templates.
The welcome email can be pre-written and automated so that whenever people sign up for your lead magnet or offer, they get the welcome series.
After the welcome series, other email campaigns can follow. You can engage your prospects and warm them up with a newsletter that interests them.
Email tools like Benchmark offer improved features for newsletters.
Bottom of the Funnel Content
Now that we are done setting up the prerequisites for an Instagram sales funnel let’s talk briefly about the content to publish to target the bottom of the funnel.
Bottom of the funnel content includes
Discounts and Limited Offers
Discounts and timed offers are perfect ways to get prospects to take action on your offer.
How many times have you bought a product because of the available discount? A few times, I guess.
Well, that is the magic of discounts. It gives prospects the motivation needed to take action.
Demos and Free Trials
I am very aware that not all products support demos and free trials – mostly just digital products.
So this is for you if you have a digital product or know how to integrate this into your funnel.
Demos are a good way to get prospects more interested in your product and service. A demo draws them into your court and increases their chances of becoming paying customers.
Not only that, demos and free trials help you filter out uninterested prospects. Anyone who takes up your free trials and demos offer is interested in your product.
You want to provide more assistance to them to help them move from just free trials to paying customers.
Share Video Testimonials
A video testimonial can be classified as both middle and bottom of the funnel content.
It is mostly MOFU (middle of the funnel) as it helps you convince your clients during the consideration stage.
But at the same time, a well-shot video testimonial can skyrocket your conversion rate when added on the sales page and also thank you page so as to come up before the upsell.
Middle of the Instagram Sales Funnel
Now we have a page where we can direct Instagram followers and expect it to convert them to leads and customers.
Getting your followers or prospects to see the link and click is the job of the middle of the funnel.
The middle of the funnel is where you create content to generate leads and push your prospects to continue into the bottom of the funnel.
This stage aims to take your prospects from the awareness stage to the solution-seeking stage.
Now, the prospect is aware of the problem and are now hunting for solutions.
All you want is to call their attention, letting them know you can solve that problem.
How do we do this?
Posting case studies is a perfect way to show that you can help them solve their problems.
Case studies show how someone who was previously in their shoe could solve the problem.
I know you might probably be thinking – a case study on Instagram, how?
Here is how.
You can pull off a value-rich case study using Instagram carousels.
There is no rule that you need to write thousands of words to make your case study unforgettable.
Ten slides are more than enough to create a case study.
Give examples of Instagram entrepreneurs that create case studies using carousels.
This is to solidify awareness and pitch solutions. As its name implies, these are posts that provide solutions to the problem.
Let’s assume I am in the skincare niche, and I sell products to remove skin diseases like eczema.
My solution-oriented Instagram post will look like this:
- How to Use Olive Oil to Remove Skin Rashes
- Natural Solutions to Eczema
So these posts will provide solutions while making people trust you and want to go for your product.
Even though you provide natural solutions, your visitors will trust you more to buy from you.
Giveaways and Challenge
Giveaways are also another type of content to create in the middle of the funnel. For example, you can run a giveaway for followers to engage your brand hashtags.
This will boost your prospects’ desire to own your product, but it’ll also increase the brand’s overall awareness.
Using the previous example, I can run giveaway challenges of my products in exchange for contestants to tag their friends, like, comment, and follow the account.
A well-put and managed giveaway can turn your business around for good. However, it requires having some budget to run effectively.
The more enticing your giveaway is, the more people that’ll engage with it and the more viral it will go.
So a viral giveaway depends on your budget, the niche, and the content.
Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel is known for one thing; awareness. Therefore, the main goal of the top of the funnel is to generate attention.
It is the first stage of the funnel and the most crucial stage as it determines the output.
The more awareness you generate for your business at the top of the funnel, the more leads and customers you can get.
Every strategy you can think of to create awareness for your business fit under the top of the funnel.
Just about anything.
This is why the top of the funnel requires creativity to execute.
Speaking of awareness means several things to different businesses, but they are all literally the same.
- Getting more people to visit your website
- More mentions of your business on the internet.
- Increase in followers across channels
- More inquiries about your business
- Educating more people about what your business do
So how do we achieve this?
There are several ways to create awareness on Instagram. In fact, of all three stages of the funnel, Instagram helps more with the top of the funnel than the rest.
Instagram is known for viral content and organic reach when creating unique content.
Let’s discuss a few ways this can be done.
Instagram reels allow you to create short and entertaining videos that get added to the reels feed.
Reels have the potential of going viral faster than your regular Instagram posts, and this makes them a weapon for awareness.
With reels, you can grow your followers and brand awareness while educating potential customers in a fun way.
As a business owner, you need to be creative to make fun content that connects with your audience.
I say creative because not all products or problems will be fun to talk about or create content on. But it is necessary to do the hard work of constructing your message in a fun way.
Want some examples? Continue reading!
IGTV (Instagram Video)
In 2021, Instagram revealed it was getting rid of IGTV, but instead, they renamed it Instagram Video.
Instagram TV allows you to create longer videos compared to Reels. In addition, IGT will enables you to create content in a video format.
As we know, videos convert better than written content. And it even does better than simple graphics. So with Instagram Video, you can talk to your prospects better and gain their trust faster.
Compared to Reels, Instagram Videos have lesser reach especially when you are just starting, but it is still worth mentioning.
Problem-Oriented Content – Instagram Posts and Videos
We talked about solution-oriented content in the middle of the funnel. Now, let’s talk about problem-oriented content and how it differs from others.
So what is problem-oriented content?
In this case, problem-oriented content refers to content that helps an affected group of people identify a problem and uncover problems they never considered as one.
Why do we do this?
It is simply because not every one of your prospects is aware they have a problem or see it as a problem.
It is your job to educate them about the problem and why they should care and seek a solution.
So when they are aware and seeking solutions, your solution-oriented posts will come in handy in the middle of the funnel.
Do you now see how these all tie together?
Here are some examples of problem-oriented content you can create regarding eczema.
- What is Eczema?
- Why does my skin feel dry and red?
- Why is my moisturiser drying my skin?
I stuck with the eczema example to show how I would create problem-oriented and solution-oriented posts and show you their differences through examples.
You might be wondering how I came up with these examples and how you can do it too?
Well, I came up with these suggestions through Google.
By searching for “What is Eczema”, I selected some of the “People also ask” questions that I consider a fit.
You can also employ that technique when looking for ideas for your problem-oriented content.
But here is a rule of thumb to stick to:
Prospects that are not aware of the problem will use and only understand vague and layman descriptions and content.
Go back and see some of my examples and see how I used dry and red skin to attract prospects who have the symptoms of eczema but don’t know what is called or whether to worry.
An unaware prospect will not say migraine but will say consistent headaches.
A lame man will not say SOP (standard operational procedure) but will say process or system.
A business owner might not say wrong ad targeting problems but poor ad ROI.
Here is the thing, many of your prospects might not know the problem you solve as a problem, so you have to educate them about it.
Collaboration with Micro-Influencers
Another promotion idea to execute at the top of the funnel is a collaboration with other micro-influencers.
Thexcitingng thing about this is that you do not need a large budget to collaborate with micro-influencers.
Many of them are more than willing to make a post about your product in exchange for a copy of the product.
Speaking of micro-influencers, these are Instagram influencers with followers less than 100k.
These influencers tend to generate better ROI than those with a substantial following size.
Micro-influencers command tremendous respect from their fans and have built a strong cult with their followers by engaging with them consistently.
Definitely, not all micro influences have done a great job at engagement; you’ll have to sieve through it to find those that are a fit for your brand.
Some tactics and tools to help you with finding micro-influencers include:
- Work with an Agency – You save time working with agencies but will need to spend more money on an agency to help manage your influencer marketing campaign.
- Hire a VA or Instagram Marketer – Freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have made it possible to outsource any of your tasks to someone from anywhere. In addition, you can consider hiring a VA to do the manual work of finding micro-influencers in a specific niche.
- Use a Software – The best and obvious option is to use an Instagram influencer tool that has a list of influencers and allows you to filter the list to find your target influencers.
Giveaways and Challenges
Another way to drive awareness is to host giveaways and challenges. We have already discussed this as a middle-of-the-funnel strategy.
Now, as a top-of-the-funnel strategy, giveaways and challenges have the potential to drive massive awareness.
It is best done by collaborating with other influencers in your space to help you share and repost on their account.
Setting up an Instagram sales funnel doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important part is to set up the essential pages and automation for your funnel.
Once that is all set, the rest is all about creating content for the various stages of the funnels.
If done well, you might have just unlocked a million-dollar machine for your business.