How to Sell on Instagram: You Better Be Using Instagram Stories

Snapchat is no longer the king of instant pictures and video.

That title now belongs to the absurdly hashtag friendly service Instagram (or, as the kids say these days, “Insta”).

And the incredible networking capability of Instagram has been a boon to business for a while. Those hashtags just have so much utility. But since Instagram added the truly instant capabilities of their Stories feature. It’s become the all-inclusive visual and social marketing tool of this half of the decade.

This is why we’re going to talk about how to sell on Instagram using their stories feature.

1. What’s The Difference?

You might be asking yourself, why Instagram over Snapchat? Really, they do the same thing now, right?

Yes, and no. First, Instagram now offers both a temporary and a permanent posting feature. Whereas Snapchat is entirely temporary. Nothing permanent about their posting feature.

And really, it’s all about the 300 million people who access Instagram daily. These people are the reason you want to know how to sell on Instagram rather than Snapchat.

Besides the massive networking support behind Instagram, you have an audience who is more discerning.

Remember when Instagram filters came about? You could make your photos look as hipster as you wanted them to be.

When you go to a service and spend time doctoring your photos, even if it’s selecting out of a dozen filters, you’re showing you care.

This is marketing gold. People are going to expect to be marketed to. They already market their own appearance to the world through Instagram, you’re just another marketer. You are welcome in their sphere.

Snapchat, on the other hand, is rough and personal and uncut. This is not the place for a polished marketing strategy.

2. How To Sell On Instagram

Special Offers

While you can’t directly link out of a picture or video in Stories, you can direct people to different parts of your Instagram page.

Exclusivity is something that some celebrities sell on services like Snapchat and Instagram. “If you follow us, you get something exclusive. Something nobody else has.”

Not only will you sell stuff through these “special offers,” but you will reinforce the habit of checking in on your Stories.

Another handy way of inserting special offers into your Stories are codes. You can set up special offer codes on your sales pages and have your customers get discounts.

But you want your customers on Instagram to feel like they are getting great exclusive deals. This is a chance for them to cash in. With you codes, you’ll drive traffic to your site and people will buy. That’s how to sell on Instagram.

Show The Process

Authenticity is the e-commerce and online marketing buzzword these days. It’s exactly what customers expect out of business. They are hard pressed to trust in businesses. They expect businesses to trick them.

But, with Instagram stories you can show them the inner workings of your business.

They expect businesses to trick them. But, with Instagram stories you can show them the inner workings of your business. Show them you are a person by posting polished, strategic insights into your everyday operations.

Do you want to know how to sell on Instagram authentically? Make the posts fun. Make them interesting. But, above all make them polished.

Your brand should show that real people are behind the products you are selling. Not robots.

Show What’s New

Businesses are ever changing. Smartphone companies seem to come out with five new options a year. It’s a rough world for the people who produce the stuff we buy. But the truth is, people are always looking for something new.

They want to see what’s next. Even TV shows have trailers now. That’s how much we crave the next “new thing.”

This is how to sell on Instagram keeping this in mind: Show them what’s upcoming. What are you working on? What are your thoughts?

Services like certain crowdfunding sites latch onto this idea and roll with it. They involve the backer in every step of the process. Now, you don’t have to go as in depth and personal as a Kickstarter campaign might.

But take some cues from that trend. Get people involved and show them what’s new.

The Takeover

A very special marketing tactic, the takeover is definitely how to sell on Instagram the right way.

This involves some special co-operation between you and somebody else in your niche.

The idea behind The Takeover is this: you have someone else take over your Instagram account for a day.

That’s it. But here’s the kick. It’s something new. Your users or customers have gotten used to you. But how about someone else for a change? Are you struggling with new content? This might be the best way to get it done.

But be careful with whom you exchange accounts. You want to maintain that polished marketing look. So, sit down ahead of time with the other person. Write out a plan of attack. And involve yourself every step of the way.

And do the same for them. You are going on the offensive here. You are targeting a whole new audience. Don’t flub just because it isn’t your account. Treat their account better than your own.

You won’t regret this. You will see your followers explode, possibly double over the course of your exchange. Not only will you gain followers, but you will see your own audience engage with fresh enthusiasm.

3. Do your Research

Want to know how to sell on Instagram. Do your research. Go check out other successful brands that have used Instagram to further their cause.

Organizations like NASA, GoPro, and Huffington Post have jumped into the Instagram craze and come out winning. Analyze their strategy. Find things you think work and find things you think don’t work.

Take on the things that work and disavow all else. This is the way to success on Instagram. This is how you win.

The Beef

Instagram is now your friend. You have the ideas, now go implement them.


Picture of Andrew Brockenbush

Andrew Brockenbush

CEO of Beefy Marketing & Host of the Business Growth Hacks Podcast