Instagram is on fire not just for its users, but also for brands on the platform. Many brands are using Instagram as a way to both connect with customers and sell more product.

However, Instagram can be a tough nut to crack. You have to have the perfect combination of style, service and product to get the most out of this social network. That’s why it’s important to not only create Instagrammable moments for your customers, but also to capitalize on those moments for conversion. Learn how to surprise and delight customers so they feel compelled to gush about your brand on “Insta.”

Benefits of Instagram for Retail Sales

If your brand isn’t on Instagram, it should be. Sixty percent of all Instagram users access the social network to connect with brands. Whether you sell direct to consumers or a wholesaler, Instagram is a great way to increase sales for your brand. Brands can benefit from an Instagram strategy in the following ways.

  • Brand Awareness: Awareness is the first hurdle you must overcome to sell your product. It’s hard to quantify awareness, but it’s necessary to gain customers’ trust. Instagram sharing helps you quickly connect with a large consumer base to drive awareness. Best of all, Instagrammers share this content with their networks, which their fellow users tend to trust more than branded content.
  • Immediate Purchases: Instagram’s Checkout option allows users to make purchase directly within the app. You don’t have to worry about users coming back to your site later or abandoning their cart. This new Instagram feature helps you offer followers an immediate purchase option.
  • Advocacy: When executed with finesse, Instagrammable moments compel your customers to share their experience online. They get to have an enjoyable experience, share that experience with their network, and boost your brand in the process. Customers are so thrilled about the experience that they don’t even realize they’re acting as your brand advocate! Advocacy is powerful. When combined with word-of-mouth marketing, it’s capable of lifting sales with little investment on your part.

Turn ‘Instagrammable’ Moments Into Sales

Want to see a return on your Instagram marketing efforts? Follow these three tips to boost sales with Instagrammable moments:

1. Dedicate your budget appropriately.

It takes a budget to build Instagram-worthy experiences. Where are you dedicating your resources? Instead of buying Facebook Ads, dedicate a budget to Instagrammable moments. Focus on the experience and design of your moment for ultimate shareability. If you’re ever in a pinch, Pinterest has plenty of affordable hacks to build an Instagram-ready space.

2. Embrace experiences.

The best Instagrammable moments are experiences. While it’s great to set up a photo booth at an event or retail location, that doesn’t say much about your brand. Instead, embrace experiences that tell the story of your brand. Stories are how your customers remember information. If you can cleverly refer to your merchandise during this storytelling experience, it encourages sales in a genuine, organic way.

Create an immersive experience for shoppers. Pop-ups are a great way to build buzz around a retail brand. For example, Target hosts its “Back to College” events across the country. During these events, Target buses in college freshmen to their local Target store for a party, complete with a DJ and prizes.

Lean Cuisine’s body-positive #WeighThis campaign invited women in Grand Central Station to weigh themselves on Lean Cuisine’s scales. Instead of weight, the scales would display the women’s accomplishments, showing that weight isn’t worthiness. Both of these experiences connected with the brand’s product and story.

Connect your brand to an experience that will get customers talking on Instagram.

3. Don’t forget the design.

Of course, when you do plan your event or experience, good design doesn’t hurt. Actually, design is a huge part of what makes some posts Instagram-worthy and why others flop.

Try integrating these features into your experience to be more Instagram-friendly:

  • Signs: Create a clever hashtag for your event. Don’t forget to include signs that invite your customers to chat about your brand on Instagram.
  • Backdrops: Don’t shy away from color. Embrace funky, eye-catching palettes that will attract Instagrammers. Clever backdrops invite your customers to take photos and share with their networks.
  • Unusual touches: Truly Instagrammable moments are unexpected. For example, the Museum of Ice Cream beckons Instagrammers to its pop-up events with life-sized candy, ball pits, slides, and other unusual touches. Think outside the box to add features that are unique, quirky and interactive.

The Bottom Line

You put a lot of work into your brand. Move more product by creating unforgettable, Instagram-worthy moments. Turn fun customer moments into sales for a true win-win.

Nichole Evans is director of channel management at ChicExecs, a woman-founded and owned public relations and branding agency with a retail focus. Whether it was selling homemade friendship bracelets or bait to local fisherman on the dock of the bay, Nichole has always had the entrepreneur spirit! In 2007, she founded PurseHook, LLC and eventually FUMI, Inc with her family. They built a successful women’s accessory company through years of hard work and determination. As a founding partner and vice president, Nichole was key in all product development, including product design and patent work, financial matters, and marketing. Nichole did live on-air sales several times for QVC, and was integral for all worldwide sales for Fortune 500 partner stores such as Target, Dillard’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more.