Instagram is its own universe when it comes to how to sell products on Instagram and how to make money from your followers both on and off of the platform.
As you’ll see in this article, Instagram isn’t shy at all about its members making money on their platform. In fact, Instagram encourages it, and 81% of consumers say Instagram helps them to research products in order to make buying decisions.
So, there isn’t much of a debate whether or not you should try to make money selling on Instagram. Instead, it’s how to sell products on Instagram that marketers and businesses need to be concerned with — and that’s what you’re about to learn.
Now, you’ve probably heard of models or celebrities landing massive endorsement deals and earning millions of dollars, simply for including product placement or mentions in their Instagram posts.
And sure, it must be nice earning millions for wearing designer clothes or posting pictures of yourself drinking the latest bourgeois iced coffee. Nonetheless, that’s clearly not a viable business plan for the average business.
So, what about the rest of us? What’s our formula for how to sell products on Instagram in 2021?
Well, there are a number of tried and true ways to market and sell your products and services on Instagram, absolutely. Plus, there are a few brand new ways to make money on Instagram.
Furthermore, Instagram has proven an incredibly powerful sales driver for businesses that have mastered the Instagram arts. The potential for getting thousands or even millions of eyes on your content is there. More than 1 billion people are now using Instagram on a regular basis!
Let’s get straight to it! Or, as Rod Tidwell once famously said to Jerry McGuire…
How To Sell on Instagram in 2021
Instagram actually has tips of their own for how to sell products on the platform. This should get your attention because some of the following strategies and tips on how to sell products on Instagram come straight from the source. It’s a safe bet to say by following what makes Instagram happy, you are likely to trigger the Instagram algorithm by making “it” happy.
However, there are some things that Instagram (understandably) doesn’t want you to know — such as how to drive traffic away from Instagram and to your own website’s landing pages in order to capitalize on your Instagram engagement.
So, in addition to building upon Instagram’s own stellar recommendations on how to sell products on Instagram, the majority of what you’re about to learn are the tips and tricks that influencers and marketers like our own CEO, Larry Kim, have adopted and fine-tuned in order to evolve alongside Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm.
Lastly, before we get started with our first rock-solid strategy to selling on Instagram, I want to highlight a theme you’ll see throughout this article. And that’s the importance of finding ways to include multiple, clear calls to action (CTAs) on Instagram.
There are many more ways than you think to add links to Instagram. I know that because and a handful of ways to add links to Instagram are brand spanking new — which yes, you’re about to learn for yourself. Congratulations! 🎉
Successfully driving traffic to your own site is critical if you want your company to make money selling on Instagram. What good is increasing Instagram engagement metrics if you aren’t able to capitalize on it?
Don’t settle for one clickable link in your Instagram bio to drive traffic to your landing pages. Instead, include CTAs and links in all possible Instagram content by following these 6 highly lucrative strategies for how to sell products on Instagram!
- Take control of your Instagram DMs with instant replies and direct message management tools.
- How to sell products on Instagram using Shoppable Posts, Shoppable Feeds, and Instagram ads.
- Create Instagram Story Highlights to sell more on Instagram.
- Partner with Instagram influencers in your target market for selling on Instagram.
- How to capitalize on Instagram engagement tactics to sell more products.
- Five quick tips from Instagram on “How to Sell Products on Instagram”.
#1. How to sell products on Instagram with DMs (Direct Messages)
A major challenge for Instagram for business users has been managing the Instagram inbox and your direct messages (DMs).
MobileMonkey now allows you to take control over Instagram’s (somewhat ancient) DM inbox with multiple features and use cases, such as:
- Instantly reply to all Instagram DMs with auto-reply tools, keyword triggers, and the ability to answer FAQs (frequently asked questions).
- Create a custom welcome message for everyone sending you an Instagram DM for the first time.
- Generate leads and gather valuable feedback and data with forms for email.
- Opt-in tools to build your contact lists and follow up with engagers via email, SMS, and Messenger.
- Build a menu-based chatbot, such as in the video below, where users can pick and choose what they’d like to learn about your product or service.
Here’s an example of the MobileMonkey Instagram Welcome Message in action:
With the Instagram Page Welcomer tool from MobileMonkey, it’s incredibly easy to nurture people down your funnel and ultimately capture email addresses and other important contact information.
Test it out for yourself on the MobileMonkey Instagram page by clicking the Message button, then say ”Hello” (must be done on a mobile device).
And to take full control of your Instagram DMs, use MobileMonkey’s OmniChatⓇ inbox in order to manage Instagram direct messages from your desktop!
For the first time ever, use 100% Instagram-approved instant engagement and customer support chat tools to answer more complicated questions, build data-rich user profiles, and alert live chat agents with notifications of hot leads.
#2. How to Sell Products on Instagram with Shoppable Posts, Shopping Feeds, and Ads
I’m sure everyone reading this article knows that Instagram is a Facebook-owned company. And if you know your stuff when it comes to Facebook ads and Facebook marketing, you’re also well aware that Facebook is a “pay-to-play” environment for business.
Here’s the good news: Selling on Instagram doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many of the strategies and tips in this article cash in on organic engagement.
However, the not so good news is that Instagram’s own lucrative tools to selling on the platform are also of the pay-to-play variety.
No that we’ve clarified the pros and cons of Instagram’s own shopping tools for business, let’s get started with how to setup Instagram Shopping.
First, in order to get started, you’ll need to apply nd find out whether or not your business is eligible to use Instagram Shopping.
How to Make Money with Instagram Shoppable Posts
Instagram Shoppable posts are an attractive opportunity for any business looking to sell products online. Shoppable posts are easy to get started with, and they’re effective — an ideal combination for those seeking how to sell products on Instagram.
So what are Instagram Shoppable Posts?
Until recently, the only way to connect your Instagram followers with your products was through the link in your bio, or links in Instagram Stories. Shoppable Posts provide a seamless experience for people to shop products directly from your posts on Instagram.
Thanks to this feature, consumers browsing Instagram can complete a full buyer journey from discovery to purchase without leaving the app.
Shoppable Posts have been a welcomed change as most marketers are used to Instagram’s lack of links.
Most Instagram business accounts only have one link in their bio, which makes it difficult to get clicks to drive traffic to your website. With the addition of shoppable Instagram posts, qualified accounts have the luxury of adding multiple links to a single image that leads followers and fans back to their websites, or purchasing directly on Instagram.
Three quick tips to get started with Instagram Shopping
Once you’ve been approved to start using Instagram Shopping, help people buy your products by adding product tags to your photos or videos in your feed and Stories.
This makes it possible for people to view the name of the product and the price of the item when they tap on the product.
Then, here are three quick and easy tips to help you hit the ground running:
- Make an impression: By tagging more than one product in a post displaying multiple attention-grabbing products.
- Test out different post formats: Start tagging everything from photos and videos in a carousel format to Instagram Stories using product Stickers. Once you find the format that performs best with your product and audience, start pumping out the images and slap price tags on it all!
- Make sure each tag touches the correct product: Accurate tagging helps make it clear for shoppers so they know exactly what product the tag is referring to. Plus the number of returns and abandoned shopping carts at checkout due to inaccurate tagging can be disastrous.
Learn more here: What marketers need to know about Shops for Facebook and Instagram.
#3. Create Instagram Story Highlights for Different Products
Instagram Stories have by far been the most popular native Instagram tool for both consumers and businesses alike. In fact, of Instagram’s 1 billion users, 500 million accounts use Instagram tools, such as Stories, every day.
And even though Stories disappear after 24 hours, you can still highlight specific Stories that showcase certain products on your profile. If you’re not already familiar with Instagram Story Highlights, here’s an example from one of our favorite marketing tools, SEMrush:
Speaking of Instagram Stories and how to sell products on Instagram, one of many brand new Instagram Tools that truly deserve to be “highlighted” is called the Instagram Story Mentions tool by MobileMonkey.
MobileMonkey’s Instagram Story Mentions tool allows you to do two things:
- When someone mentions you or your brand in their Instagram Story, MobileMonkey will start a chat conversation by instantly replying with a chatbot dialogue. This can be used to both thank everyone who mentions your business on Instagram, as well as to sell your product via Instagram.
- In the chatbot dialogue that’s instantly triggered when your brand is mentioned, you can add a link to a landing page of your choice. Essentially, this is a brand new way to add a link to Instagram Stories!
Here’s an example of the Instagram Story Mentions tool in action where I share an Instagram Story that mentions MobileMonkey.
About mid-way into the looping video below, you’ll see that immediately after I share my Instagram Story, a notification drops down from the top of the screen (next to the yellow arrow).
It’s a message from MobileMonkey that says “Awesome! 🙌”.
Then, after I click on the notification, I’m taken to a chatbot dialogue in Messenger for Instagram, where I’m invited to learn more about MobileMonkey.
Pretty cool, right?
Learn how to get started with MobileMonkey instant-reply tools, such as Instagram Story Mentions, here: MobileMonkey Instagram Tools
#4. Pay Influencers to Sell Your Product for You on Instagram
Paying an influencer to sell your product for you can be a very rewarding experience. If you find the right influencer for your product or service, it’s kind of like paying to skip the line at Disneyland. No need to wait for your marketing to come full circle. Instead, just go straight to the front and cash in.
Influencer marketing on Instagram meets the true definition of a phenomenon. I highly doubt the founders of Instagram ever imagined the power that some folks would have by utilizing their platform.
You’re probably wondering, “How much do influencers charge?”
While it used to be that rising social stars would partner with brands in exchange for free products, prominent Instagram influencers can now cost upwards of $1,000 per 100,000 followers per single Instagram post — not including additional rates for takeovers, Instagram Stories, Reels, IGTV videos, blog posts, and more.
However, on average, 66% of businesses reported they pay under $250 per post, while 27% pay between $250-$1,000.
Here are some general guidelines to follow regarding Instagram influencer pricing:
Instagram influencer rates vary depending on their number of followers and their average engagement rate per post. In other words, you need to do a little research on how many people will see an influencer’s post and then determine just how good they are at actually influencing their audience’s decisions.
But there’s more to it than that. Many micro-influencers have fake followings and you need to be wary of who really is and who is not an actual Instagram influencer. So, before you get started hiring the first influencer you find, do the following:
- Check influencers Instagram engagement and reach: Ideally, you’ll want to see a minimum engagement rate of 2-3% on an influencer’s posts. 4-6% is considered excellent; 10+% is considered “viral.”
- Determine the quality of an influencer’s followers: Be sure that the Influencer you’re considering has an audience that matches your own. Look for the intersection where your two audiences overlap. Perhaps you share common hashtags or location tags.
- Review an influencer’s content: Take a look at what content your influencer is publishing across all their channels to best understand their niche. Just because their content is beautiful doesn’t mean they’ll garner the kind of performance you’re looking for.
For more on how to create an instagram influencer marketing strategy, check out our “Ultimate Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing“!
#5. How to sell products on Instagram: Encourage interaction in order to build confidence
Instagram is all about organic growth via genuine user engagement with your brand. Here are a few tips on how to get both high-quality and well above average engagement on Instagram:
Instagram is an important part of a smart content marketing strategy for any business today, big or small. Developing systems and processes for more impactful posting are going to be critical as Instagram moves further into algorithmically selecting which content its users will see, rather than displaying content chronologically.
Use Story Stickers to increase engagement on Instagram. For example, you can use the Question Sticker to open things up to questions on your products.
Furthermore, use Comment Autoresponders from MobileMonkey to encourage engagement on your posts. Comment Autoresponders can be added to any post and are triggered with a keyword.
Think of this as a new way to gate your content when you share it on Instagram. The way to do this correctly is to include a call to action in your caption. Adding a call-to-action that prompts people to act in your captions is super effective.
In the example above, in the caption, we specify that if you want to read the article, simply reply with the magic keyword “INSTATOOLS”. Look at all the comments pouring in on the post!
The great thing about MobileMonkey’s Comment Auto-Responder tool is not only can you send traffic to your website, but since you’re encouraging more people to comment, the visibility of your posts also increase dramatically because of all the engagement!
If you really wanted to, you could truly gate the content and ask for an email address or their phone number to trigger an automated email or SMS text message follow-up.
That’s engagement, visibility, lead generation, and list building all wrapped up into one killer tool for digital marketers and Instagram influencers!
Engagement is the name of the game on Instagram. To become a master, check out our own 15 secrets on how to increase engagment on Instagram in 2021!
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#6. Quick Tips from Instagram on “How To Sell Products on Instagram”
Quick Tip #1: Build a habit of posting about your products to sell more on Instagram
One of Instagram’s own tips on how to sell is interesting because not all social media platforms are rewarding when you overly promote your own products or services. On Twitter, for example, it’s been known amongst marketers that the balance between sharing others’ content and sharing your own content is heavily weighted towards sharing the content of others.
Instagram recommends creating posts about your product at a regular cadence. They even go into greater detail and say you should choose a particular day of the week, so your community members build a habit of looking at your products regularly.
Therefore, it’s up to us marketers to test which day of the week, and at what time, our audience is at its most engaged.
Use this guide on the best Instagram marketing tools to find Instagram content schedulers to efficiently manage both the testing and scheduling process of your Instagram Content.
Quick Tip #2: Use “Behind-The-Scenes” content to reveal the process behind creating your products
Tip #2 from Instagram highlights something many marketers familiar with Instagram already know. Instagram is a place where people go to gain exclusive information and access to their favorite people and brands.
Give your audience what they want by taking your community behind-the-scenes using Instagram Stories to see the hard work that goes into making your product or service!
Quick Tip #3: How to sell products on Instagram: Show all variations of your products
Remember that Instagram is a visual platform, and that just like walking down the aisle at an American grocery store, you want to display all of your product options.
So don’t hold back! Instead, showcase everything so your customers can have a selection of different colors, sizes, and types of material to choose from.
Quick Tip #4: How to sell products on Instagram: Share photos & videos your customers have posted with your products
This tip just happens to be another good reason to utilize Instagram Story Mentions and other Instagram auto-reply tools from MobileMonkey. And remember, these are Instagram’s own recommendations on how to sell products on Instagram, so enough with the badgering of truly shameless plugs. 😉
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s why using MobileMonkey’s auto-reply tools word great to facilitate Instagram’s 5th tip for how to sell products on their platform.
When customers tag your product in photos and videos, Instagram recommends that you ask their permission to share it on your Business Account.
Well, using the Instagram Story Mentions tool, you can do that — instantly!
Learn more about MobileMonkey instant messages for Instagram.
Quick Tip #5: Create tutorials on the different ways people can use your product to sell more on Instagram
Another use case for Instagram Stories! Stories are great for both creating and sharing step-by-step guides, such as tutorials on the different ways people can use your product.
If Stories aren’t getting the job done, share longer videos on IGTV instead.
Learn more about how to increase engagement on Instagram through Stories.
How to Sell Products on Instagram in 2021: Important Next Steps
Adding Messenger to Instagram will create a 3.3 billion user network. Between Facebook Messenger users and Instagram Messenger users, that’s roughly 43% of the world’s population on one chat platform.
Here’s how to get started with 100% Instagram-approved tools in the MobileMonkey Instagram Bot:
✅ Step 1: Claim your Free Forever MobileMonkey account.
(Already have an account? You’re golden, move to Step 2)
✅ Step 2: Get on the list for the Instagram messaging tools beta.
➕ Use partner code UNICORN to jump to the head of the list!
- Create your first chatbot today after you sign-up for MobileMonkey.
- Talk and learn about chatbots with other enthusiasts. Join MobileMonkey Island, our Facebook group of 40K marketers and entrepreneurs who are ready to support you.
- Advance your marketing performance with Chatbot University, a free chatbot tutorial and training area for chat marketers.