It's really hard to get people to make a cold transition from instagram to your website.
But fear not, the story doesn’t need to end there!
Instagram has some “Hidden” features that seem pretty trivial until you recognise how you might be able to use them as marketing tools - tools to deepen your relationship with your audience, tools to facilitate greater communication, and tools turn a cold contact into a warm and ready-to-buy contact.
STORIES AND STICKERS
Believe it or not stories are immensely powerful for a number of reasons, so let's dive right in.
When you make an instagram story you can add stickers to it. Sounds a little trivial right? These stickers can actually get really powerful, so let’s have a look.
The countdown - Releasing a series of paintings and want your audience to be reminded? Do you have a sale for a special item that you don’t want anyone to miss? Or are you doing something live and want to make sure that everyone in the whole world can get the timing right, and get a notification the very second that its planned to start? This is the sticker for you.
You post a time the count down timer will end and everyone who sees it has the opportunity to be reminded when it hits zero. Even when the app is shut down, those who opted in to be reminded will get a hit on their phone, and a reminder that your event has begun. That's powerful!
2. Questions - When you post a story you can put a question sticker in that enables the audience to respond in the sticker. You then can see the audiences responses and continue on conversations with them. This one is about ease of communication. These people probably won't email you. Definitely wouldn't respond openly on a post for everyone to see… but will happily communicate via Questions. Why is that important? Let your imagination soar. Ask for things!! Here are a few things I have used this for.
“I am releasing a new series of paintings, sign up here to be notified half an hour before they release to the public”.
I received almost 30 email addresses. They would not have gone to my website to sign up.
“I have an idea for a painting I want to make, ___ is the main idea, does anyone want to purchase it so that I can go ahead and create it”.
I had almost 10 inquiries overall and ended up with 3 commissions within 2 hours. Commissions of my own painting ideas by the way… game changer!
The examples are endless, but this is an almost frictionless non-committal way for people to communicate with you, and you to start testing ideas to see what sticks.
Use Instagram Live.
Again, use your imagination, the possibilities for its use are endless.
It doesn’t need to be daunting and it doesn’t need to be long, but instagram live is the best way to cut through the algorithm and get to your audience IMMEDIATELY! Instagram loves it and will reward it above almost all else.
Use a countdown sticker to tell your audience when you will begin so they can opt in to be reminded when you are on. That will almost double your turn out in my experience.
Then do whatever you are going to do! But make it known at the beginning. “Hey, today we are going to talk about x, then y, and finish with z”. Because everyone who watches after your livestream wants a reason to keep watching, so give it to them. Here's some things I’ve used it for that have been effective:
Live plein air.
And having “invested” in the creation, they are now invested in the sale ;).
“Hey guys, here is a preview of some of the things we do in my patreon campaign”...”If you are interested in doing this more often/ in a more complete form then head over to patreon”.
This works. This works well. This works very well. There has hardly been a single time that I have tried this and not acquired a patron. So how about that?
“Let me tell you the story of this painting…”
You want a chance to make your audience feel something? Invite them into the story, become the Yoda to their Luke skywalker and walk them through the emotional content of your work. Make them feel something strong, and then allow them to take those emotions home with them.
All in all, you might have a hard time with direct sales, because going off Instagram is clunky and full of friction. But there are a lot of powerful tools within instagram to grow you relationship with your audience to a point where they can overcome the friction of leaving instagram… I would love to hear your experiences, and know what you have found!