Instagram and Pinterest are fantastic platforms for increasing your social reach.
For getting customers? Not so much.
Or at least that’s what you think.
Truth is, both Instagram and Pinterest work exceptionally well for turning visitors into customers. The only difference is that unlike Facebook, you have to create dedicated campaigns that tap into the needs and desires of users from these platforms.
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how you can turn your Instagram and Pinterest followers into real, paying customers.
How to get more customers from Instagram
In other words: Instagram is an internet giant and with the right Instagram tools and tactics you can get serious traffic and conversions.
But while getting followers on Instagram is relatively easy, turning followers into customers can be painstakingly hard.
To help you out, I put together a list of tactics you can use on your Instagram account to get more customers:
Direct followers to an Instagram-specific landing page
If you’re sending your Instagram followers to your homepage, you’re missing out on a massive source of customers.
Your homepage, after all, is designed for people visiting your site through search or direct type-ins. When you direct Instagram users to this homepage, you break their context with what they were looking at earlier.
The solution: create Instagram-specific landing pages.
This page has the same products as ASOS’ Instagram feed, except they’re shown on models here:
ASOS even tells users that they can find the product in their profile link in Instagram updates:
This way, a user who sees a product from ASOS on his feed and clicks through the profile link will find the exact product on the site.
Win-win for everyone involved.
Create event-specific landing pages for Instagram users
No matter what industry you work in, there are likely several days or events you can piggyback on to capture more customers.
National Geographic, for example, recently created an Instagram-specific landing page to celebrate World Ocean Day. It added a link to this landing page in its Instagram profile (with 52.3M followers):
This landing page curates pictures from NatGeo photographers on Instagram.
Three things are worth noting here:
- The landing page has a “sticky” banner directing visitors to NatGeo’s magazine subscription page.
- The page promotes the branded hashtag #NatGeoOceansDay.
- Instead of simply adding pictures, the page uses Instagram embeds, directing attention to the photographers (who’ll then reshare the page with their followers).
This is a powerful method to get more customers by aligning yourself with a popular event and curating content related to it, while also selling your product.
Promote a secondary account to convert customers
FrankBody sells a caffeine based skincare treatment that promises spectacular results in just a single use.
It also has an interesting – and effective – Instagram strategy.
The first channel is largely dedicated towards building a brand. While you’ll see some updates about the effects of FrankBody’s treatment, it’s mostly brand-focused pictures along with interviews/features with influencers.
Even the hashtag it promotes on this account is brand-focused – #letsbefrank:
In contrast, the @frankfeedback channel is dedicated to collecting before/after images from the treatment.
The hashtag here focuses more on the results from FrankBody – #thefrankeffect.
Essentially, FrankBody uses the first channel to build a brand around the FrankBody scrub (which helps it charge a higher price than competitors). To actually convince people that its scrub works, it uses the second channel – @frankfeedback.
This segregated customer acquisition process is more effective than simply sharing updates on the main FrankBody channel.
Channel followers to a better storytelling platform
Sometimes, an image or 15 seconds of video isn’t enough to tell your story.
In such cases, you need to send your followers to a more persuasive storytelling platform.
This is what meditation app HeadSpace does with its Instagram followers. Instead of sending them straight to a download page, it sends them to a YouTube video.
This video tells viewers the story of ultra marathon runner Rich Roll and how meditation helps him stay focused and run better.
There is also a button you can click here to download the HeadSpace app.
This tactic is particularly effective when you have highly persuasive storytelling assets that don’t quite fit in the Instagram format.
Of course, you can always create snippets of your video/long-form content and share it on Instagram. HeadSpace, for instance, created a short snippet from its Rich Roll visitors and asked followers to watch the whole video from the bio link.
Direct followers straight to high converting offers
Instead of driving followers to a general product page, try sending them straight to the ordering page for your highest converting offers.
Bloom & Wild, a unique UK-based flower delivery service that delivers bouquets through letterboxes is a great example of this.
It sends its followers to a custom landing page with its best-selling “limited edition” bouquets.
This page shows a curated selection of Bloom & Wild’s best-selling bouquets:
When a customer lands on this page, the first product is already pre-selected for her. The customer can then place an order simply by filling in her details without leaving the page.
(Also note the smart use of upsells on the order form).
That takes care of Instagram. But how do brands promote themselves on Pinterest?
Let’s take a look.
How to convert Pinterest followers into customers
Pinterest hasn’t been quite as prominent in the media lately – chalk that up to the company’s attempts to grow its revenue – but it continues to rack up users. As per a September 2015 report, it had 100M active users and counting. 85% of this userbase is female, older and richer than other social networks.
For many businesses, Pinterest remains a way to simply curate products and promote blog posts.
A few businesses, however, are using Pinterest in innovative ways to convert customers. Here’s what you can learn from them:
Curate top products for a theme
Pinterest works best when you use it as a curation tool. That’s what the platform’s users have come to expect from brands and it fits Pinterest’s visual format perfectly.
The standard method to use Pinterest is to pin individual products from a store. One alternative, however, is to funnel visitors from a pin to a curated selection of products organized around a theme.
Here’s a great example from Etsy. Instead of sending customers to individual products, it uses the pin as a visual placeholder for a theme – bracelets for couples.
This pin leads to a landing page with a curated selection of products from different sellers. Here, you can buy or favorite the product.
Create Pinterest boards for a product theme or type
Besides curating products on your own site (as seen above), you can also use Pinterest boards to curate new products belonging to a specific category or theme.
Nordstrom, for example, has two types of boards – general boards that curate images from Nordstrom and elsewhere, and category/theme specific boards that only include products from Nordstrom.
On the latter type of boards, Nordstrom curates products from its own catalog. All links point to the actual product page.
This way, Nordstrom makes its Pinterest followers’ buying decisions easier by helping them discover products they’ll love. Since each board is organized around a theme or product type (“Spring fashion”, “Shoes”, etc.), people can follow only specific boards to find products they want.
Use Pinterest in conjunction with Instagram
Sometimes, it helps to break up the product discovery process into two-steps.
Case in point: Poshmark.
This fashion store for women promotes the #PostStyle hashtag in its bio. But more interestingly, its profile link has a dedicated landing page…
…that leads to a Pinterest board dedicated to its Instagram followers:
If you click on any of the products, the popup gives you a closer view and includes a Visit button that takes you directly to the product page on Poshmark’s official website:
This essentially means that customers go from Instagram -> Pinterest -> Poshmark.
While it sounds counterintuitive, this strategy works for two reasons:
- It helps Poshmark separate its product curation and brand building. It can use Instagram to show brand-focused images, while Pinterest is only for curating products.
- Pinterest gives customers more interaction options. Users can only like or comment an Instagram post, but on Pinterest, they can zoom in and collect it on their own boards.
It helps that Poshmark’s Pinterest audience is closely aligned with its Instagram audience.
On a slightly related note, LeadPages.net increased newsletter subscriptions by 60 percent after changing from a one-step opt-in form to two-step opt-in form. There is a good chance that adding an extra step might help filter out less motivated customers for Poshmark and push up the conversion rate.
Over to you
Instagram and Pinterest can be tough nuts to crack, but with some innovative landing pages and cross-promotion, you can easily turn your followers into paying customers, not just more likes.
A few things you should take away from this post:
- Create Instagram-specific landing pages whenever possible.
- Take advantage of cross-promotion across different accounts and social platforms to tell your story better.
- Use Pinterest as a curation tool to help customers discover products they want.
Which of these Pinterest and Instagram tactics have you used in your own business? Let us know in the comments below!