• Zen Marketing

Two-Step Guide to Generating Revenue on Instagram

If you’re like a lot of small business owners, then you need to advertise to keep new business coming in the door. However, the landscape is changing, customers are looking online to find products and services and if you’ve never tried advertising online before, then it may seem overwhelming. And if you have tried to run ads online, then you already know that it’s not something you want to do through trial and error.

That’s why we've developed this guide for getting results from Instagram.

You can skip the long learning curve, skip the trial and error and hopefully skip over all the frustrating mistakes that most beginner small business owners make when they try to run ads online.

So let’s get started…

Why Instagram? Let’s look at some statistics.

There are around half a Billion (yes that’s billion with a B) daily active users on this platform. Many of whom are qualified eager customers in your local area, interested in buying goods and services (possibly your goods and services)

Studies have shown around 80% of Instagram accounts follow a business, with stories being one of the best ways to reach these audiences having a 7-8% reach rate.

So, how do you get your message in front of these people?

If you’ve never done this before, you need to know there are several possible ways to approach using Instagram. However, following a planned systematic approach will help you post the right content at the right time. When you are looking to grow your brand organically, 80% of your content should be useful and entertaining, with 20% being selling or product promotion. That’s 1 in 5 posts.

Here’s what to do…

Step 1: Organic Posting.

This means growing your account through creating content that attracts people without paid ads.

To do this, you must first decide how many times a week you want to post. Try and aim for 1 to 3 posts per day. Then make yourself a calendar in a spreadsheet with the following post types.

  1. Promotional posts: These are your 1 in 5’s that make an offer to your customers.

  2. Demonstrate Expertise: These posts show your customers you’re an expert by providing valuable information about your product or service. This might be a tutorial, or an FAQ format.

  3. Engagement post: Get to know your customers and encourage them to interact with your account by asking engaging questions. This could be in the form of a poll, or putting up an “ask me anything about (insert your field of expertise)" in your story.

  4. Demonstrate Results: Show your customers you’re good at what you do without bragging and share actual results and testimonials. For example if you’re a real estate agent- show your latest sold property and testimonials, if you’re a PT show your client’s weight loss, if you make cakes- show a great cake you just made.

  5. Promote others: Show a team member, or another business you work with and talk them up. Promoting others helps build good will, and shows you’re not a selfish a^&hole.

Step 2: Paid Ads.

As you’ve probably guessed, this involves paying... for ads.

This second step can be a little tricky, which is why we've broken it up into a few smaller steps.

But before we get into these smaller steps, let us toss a word of warning your way. It’s very easy to flush a LOT of money down the toilet with paid ads, so you need to pay attention, test and assess your ads to make sure they are performing the way they should be.

With that warning out of the way, here’s how to complete this step:

Start with a powerful offer - paid ads are all about the offer and, without something irresistible, people will keep scrolling. Now, you might be concerned that you are giving away too much in the beginning, but you need to take into account the value of a customer.

For example, if you do carpet cleaning and you give clients a 50% off a 3-rooms deal when you run ads, you might think “Hey, that’s going to hurt, my break-even is at 20% off when I do 3 rooms”. This is true on the first deal, but provided you do a good job, that customer will continue to use you to clean their carpets for years.

You might even pick up a real estate agent that is looking at testing out a new carpet cleaning company. This could mean hundreds of jobs over a number of years.

The point is, when you are going to run ads, don’t work out your offer based on the first sale, work it out on 18-24 months' worth of business.

The next thing you need to do is create compelling advertising copy. There should be a call out, an intro, a body and a call to action. Let’s use carpet cleaning again for a simple example.

The call out gets your customer's attention: “Hey [Suburb] - are your carpets looking tired and dirty? We can help”.

Intro: “My name is [Your Name], I’m the owner of Xpress Carpet Cleaning and I’m doing something CRAZY this month”.

Body: “This year has been tough on a lot of people, and most of us have been stuck at home, leading to more wear and tear on our carpets. That’s why, for October only, I’m helping out customers in [Suburb] with a very special offer: 3 rooms cleaned for 50% off".

Call to action: “This offer is only available until the end of October, so claim yours now by swiping up and filling in your details”.

This is a very simple example, but you can see it introduces the business and the offer, gets the attention of people in the target area and asks them to perform an action to claim the offer. It also creates urgency by stating the offer is only available for a limited time.

Following a structure like this will bring in the leads of people who want to buy from your business. There are hundreds of books written about copywriting and advertising, so if you want to learn more you only need to look online. But to get started straight away, follow the formula we outlined above to create a great offer.

Once you’ve got your offer and your copy, you'll need to target people in your area. You do this through Facebook’s ad manager. Simply select the area you want to target, the age bracket and demographic of people who might be interested in your service - so, if you do carpets, you could get away with everyone over 25 in your area.

TIP: Facebook’s algorithm, if you let it, will actually help with targeting people after you get a few leads, you just need to let it run for a while.

Running ads is a lot less work than creating content, but it does involve an investment. So, when looking at both, you need to work out your own hourly rate to see which of the two gets you a better result (and thus warrants more time spent working on it). However, over time, it is best to do a mixture of the two.

Over time and with practice you should be able to get very good, low-cost leads coming in from Instagram ads – you just need to complete the process step-by-step using the tips above. But, before you jump in, just make sure you take the time to plan things out. For ideas on offers, check out what your competitors are doing and check out sites like Groupon.

That was a lot to take in but it's safe to say that you now know how to get clients from Instagram. The next thing you need to do is take action, because the sooner you do, the sooner you can make more money!

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