It’s Not Easy to Sell Products on Instagram, But Here is How You Do It

When it comes to marketing a product on Instagram, there’s a lot people looking for Instagram marketing secrets or tips, but there’s really only one overarching Instagram strategy that I believe in. And that is the jab jab jab right hook philosophy: you give give give before you can get. Before you can ask anyone for anything, whether it’s business or a sale or whatever, you need to provide something first: you need to bring value.

Social media is an amazing place to do this because it provides so many opportunities for one on one interactions, and it is an essential tool in getting your brand’s value out there, whatever form it takes. Video Q&As, articles, how-to’s, you name it, social media has a way to make sure people see it.

Instagram, however, has a different context as a platform than most other social media for marketing your brand. With the way Instagram works, you might think that it is entirely a “jabbing” platform or that Instagram is a waste of time for direct response or user acquisition. You post photos, and then from there you can tag a location or add a caption. The capabilities of Instagram don’t go much farther beyond that. Compared to Facebook with dark posts and Twitter with retweeting, replying and lead generation cards, it can feel like Instagram is a bit of a dead end. Who am I reaching to? What potential customers or clients am I talking to? Instagram only very recently rolled out a public ad platform and it’s entry barrier is pretty high.

So, maybe Instagram is that place where you only jab and give value to your followers. This could be the case if you know a lot of your Instagram followers are also your Facebook fans or Twitter followers, where right hooks are a bit easier to throw. If you’re a sneaker brand on Instagram, you could use Instagram to put up those sweet pics of your kicks, that feel most native to Instagram.

But, there is a way to right hook on Instagram that many people don’t think about enough. The link in your Instagram profile. So many people use this space as a place to merely post their website address. But, what if you put up a post saying “New sneakers for sale, link in profile”. Now this is getting interesting. Now you have a way to directly link to a point of purchase. And if that photo of the sneakers is a super sweet photo, that could be enough to get someone to click.

This is the only way to drive people out of Instagram. Links are not allowed in captions and the only place a link can live is in that space under your bio.

I’ve used this tactic for the #AskGaryVee Show. I put up a 15 second clip from the most recent episode, and as the caption write “Link to new episode in bio!”. And it works. People click, my friend.

But of course, you have to evaluate what works best for your right hook. Like I said before, maybe Instagram is your jabbing platform. Maybe it’s selective right hooks. Maybe you create a deal for Instagram followers only. Test and learn. See what works. You never know what you might find out.


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