How to Build a Sales Funnel for Instagram

Instagram is the second most popular social media site in the world, after Facebook. A recent survey of Instagram users’ statistics shows it’s expected to hit 1.4 billion by the end of 2024. For a business owner, this is a big market of users waiting to be converted into customers. 

While Instagram was initially created for social connection, in recent years it has become a platform for businesses to advertise and sell their products. It even has built-in features for this purpose. However, the process of converting users to customers is not a walk in the park. By building a sales funnel, businesses can streamline this process, making it more effective and impactful. 

In this article, you will learn how to create a sales funnel for Instagram. With the information shared, you will be able to understand the different phases of the funnel, and what actions will drive users toward making a purchase. In the end, you will have no problem converting ordinary leads into loyal customers.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What is a Sales Funnel? 

A sales funnel is a marketing concept that outlines the journey of a customer. It shows the steps customers usually follow before they make a purchase. Depending on what the focus of the business is, the sales funnel may change, adapting to the business’s unique needs. 

This process of buying a product is not always straightforward. It does not always start at the check-out line. Usually, a customer sees a product that catches their attention, browses a bit, leaves, and returns another day to make inquiries before they eventually decide to complete their purchase.

Just as with a physical funnel, the widest section at the top of the sales funnel represents the initial stage where potential customers enter. Here, they learn about the product and demonstrate their curiosity. As the funnel narrows, the number of potential customers decreases until we reach the bottom. At the bottom, fewer potential customers remain but at this stage, they already understand the product and become true customers once they have made their purchase.

As a business owner on Instagram, knowing what happens in the different stages of the sales funnel is important. It will show you where to pay attention to and when. It will also teach you what strategies to use depending on what you’re trying to achieve, and how to truly connect with customers. 

The Five Stages of the Instagram Sales Funnel

1. Awareness

The Awareness stage is where potential customers first come into contact with your brand or business. It’s like attending a party and wanting to make a memorable first impression on the people you meet. As a business owner, you want to get the attention of users and have them engage with your page!

On Instagram, where visual content reigns supreme, you can induce awareness by creating great visual content and posting regularly on your page. You can also run paid ads that put your products on the feeds and stories of people. Ads help you to tailor your message to the right audience, and Instagram has great ad targeting features such as location, interests, and demographics that can help you reach more potential customers. At the end of each post, don’t forget to put call-to-action statements and links to lead them back to your page, or website. 

Ultimately, the awareness stage is the foundation for building a relationship with your audience. By taking advantage of  Instagram’s vast reach and engagement potential, you can lay the groundwork for further interaction, and pull potential customers deeper into the sales funnel. 

The awareness stage of the Instagram Sales Funnel

2. Interest

In the interest stage, your main focus is deepening engagement and cultivating curiosity in the potential customers who now know about your product. If your Instagram was a museum, this is where people see a painting and take a step closer to observe it. On Instagram, you can tell when people are interested in your products because they will actively visit your page, engage with your content, and click the links you have provided.

To effectively capture the interest of your audience, you must offer something of genuine value. Again, you can do this with content. Create content showing your product’s unique features and benefits, and provide valuable resources like How-Tos or Case Studies that would educate your audience. By offering content that resonates with your audience’s interests and addresses their needs, you establish yourself as a credible source of information and expertise within your niche. 

Another great way of building interest is by encouraging interaction and dialogue with your audience. With interactive posts, like quizzes, polls, etc., captions that have questions in them, and posts with CTAs, you can encourage users to leave comments, ask questions, and share their thoughts and experiences on the topic within your niche.

The interest stage is a great opportunity to deepen your connection with your audience and move them closer to making a purchase decision. By consistently delivering valuable content, offering great incentives, and having meaningful interactions, you can nurture the interest of your audience and guide them further along the customer journey.

The interest stage of the Instagram Sales Funnel

3. Desire (or consideration)

During the desire or consideration stage, your customers start considering buying your products. Like tourists asking questions about roadside jewelry or art, your audience would want to know more. As a business owner, your focus shifts to nurturing the interest they have shown and encouraging them to make a purchase decision. This phase is very important, as potential customers are actively evaluating whether or not they should buy your products, and considering the pros and cons. Anything that goes wrong at this stage can end the funnel for a customer. 

A great way to cultivate desire is to post content that shows the unique value you have to offer. Highlighting key features, benefits, and testimonials can help reinforce the relevance of your products and services.

Beyond content, ensure that the process of making inquiries or exploring your products via dms, or your website is intuitive, user-friendly, and frictionless. Have direct channels that promptly address any questions or concerns they may have. If DMs are not effective, you can open an email or a designated support channel for that purpose. 

In summary, the consideration stage is the moment in the customer journey where individuals weigh their options and plan towards making a purchase. Providing content, testimonials, and great customer support will help you move them to the next stage: action. 

The consideration stage of the Instagram sales funnel

4. Action

All the previous stages in the sales funnel lead to the action stage. This moment represents the realization of all the effort you have invested in building awareness, nurturing interest, and encouraging consideration. Here, the potential customer has been fully satisfied and decides to take the desired action, whether this is making a purchase, subscribing to your services, or engaging with what you have to offer.

To facilitate this process, ensure that your website or platform is easy to navigate, transactions are seamless, and multiple payment options are available based on customer preferences. As stated in the consideration stage, having exceptional customer support is so important. Be available to address any last-minute questions, concerns, or technical issues that may arise during the purchase process. 

By providing a seamless purchasing experience and great support you can successfully drive conversions and lay the foundation for a long-term customer relationship.

The action stage of the Instagram sales funnel

5. Loyalty

The loyalty stage is the end of a successful customer journey. In this stage, customers have not only bought your products more than once but also feel comfortable telling others about them. They become ambassadors, promoting your products or services within their social circles.

Building this kind of loyalty in others is possible when you consistently deliver great service. You want to ensure that your customers remain confident in your services, so they can tell others about it. You can also nurture loyalty by actively engaging with customers. Listen to their feedback and suggestions, and incorporate their input into your business strategies. This will make them feel valued and will reinforce their connection to your brand. 

Also, you may want to go a step further by offering exclusive perks, discounts, and loyalty points that show your appreciation for their support. Airlines do this with their Miles Programmes. Encourage your customers to share their positive experiences, with friends, family, and followers. This could become testimonials and user-generated content for you to post on your page, thereby painting your business in a more authentic light. 

In essence, the loyalty stage is the point where individuals evolve from passive consumers to passionate advocates. By delivering consistent value, fostering genuine connection, and offering great incentives, you will be able to cultivate a loyal customer base that will drive repeat business and fuel the sustainable growth and success of your business.

The loyalty stage of the Instagram sales Funnel

How To Create A Sales Funnel for Instagram

Creating a sales funnel on Instagram involves all the steps of the sales funnel we listed above: creating awareness, building interest, making people consider your value offerings, and converting them from potential customers into paying ones. However, there is a lot more to consider when building a sales funnel for Instagram. 

Below, we will be sharing everything you need to know about how to build a solid sales funnel that would convert on the platform. Grab a notebook and pen, let’s begin:

1. Define your objective

The first step when building a sales funnel is to determine what its primary goal will be. Is it to increase brand awareness? Drive sales for your business? Increase website traffic? Test a product? Generate leads that would later be converted into customers? Whatever the reason may be, defining the objective of your funnel would make it easier for your strategies to take shape. 

Take some time to think about what your business needs. Once you’ve established your overarching business goals, narrow down your focus to define specific objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, your sales funnel objective might be to convert your Instagram followers into paying customers.

When you have narrowed these down, set SMART goals for more clarity. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. A SMART goal for Instagram may be to achieve a 35% increase in online sales from Instagram within the next three months.

Here are a few other examples: 

  1. Achieve 1000 clicks on the link in the Instagram bio within one month.
  2. Generate 500,000 naira in revenue from Instagram sales within the next quarter.
  3. Improve Instagram engagement by 25% to drive more traffic to the sales funnel and increase the number of conversions.
  4. Secure partnerships with five influencers to promote our products, resulting in a 30% increase in reach within the next three months. 

2. Know your audience 

To cater to people, and successfully guide them through the sales funnel, it is important to know who they are. Understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, pain points, and behaviors on Instagram. 

There are several ways to know your audience. You may choose a trial-and-error method, wherein each interaction shapes how you present your services online. Or, you can look into past purchasers to see what features they all seem to share in common, and what products of yours appear to be most popular among them. This would give you clues into who your product caters to, and what ways you can tailor your approach to effectively engage and convert your audience on Instagram.

READ: How to Identify Your Target Audience as a Digital Creator

3. Create compelling content

Because Instagram is a content-driven app, you must be prepared to create content that caters to each stage of the sales funnel. 

In the awareness stage, you can create eye-catching content to grab attention. This could be captivating images or engaging videos with attention-grabbing captions. The focus at this stage is not on getting people to buy products, so the content does not have to be preachy or guide them toward an action. It can simply showcase your products and services in creative ways. 

Content in the interest stage must give the customers a better understanding of who you are and what you have to offer. Here, it is important to share valuable and relevant content that educates or entertains your audience. This could include tips, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content, etc.

Users in the consideration stage would appreciate seeing what they are about to purchase in action. At this stage, content that showcases your products or services and how to use them is very valuable. Use carousel posts, product demos, testimonials, or reviews to persuade potential customers to take the next step in the funnel. 

Finally, to encourage customers to get to the decision stage you must optimize Instagram to encourage customers to do so. Provide clear calls-to-action (CTAs) guiding users to take the next step, such as visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. Luckily, there are several features allowed on the platform that encourage users to make the decisive step. 

4. Optimize your Instagram bio

Yes, your Instagram bio says a lot about who you are and what you have to offer. It can also influence the ability of people to find your profile on the app. So having a bio that is concise, compelling, and includes a clear CTA directing visitors to your sales funnel’s entry point (such as a link to your website or a landing page) is a good idea.

Consider the following bios: 

A picture of optimized bios

5. Utilize Instagram features

Instagram has a wide range of features that you can take advantage of as a business owner. In addition to the ones you may already be familiar with, like reels, Instagram Lives, and Stories, below we will look at some features that you probably haven’t used yet:

1. The professional dashboard

This tool helps creators and businesses track their performance, and get access to tools and resources in one place. With this feature, you can see how well each post did in terms of likes, comments, reach, etc, and you can also track your account’s performance over a period of time. You can easily access the dashboard on your profile, once you connect your Instagram account to Facebook.

2. Collaboration posts

This new Instagram feature released in 2023 allows users on different accounts to post the same piece of content together. This means that a collab post or reel will show up on the profiles of all the parties tagged, thereby increasing the potential reach and engagement of each piece of content. 

This is especially useful for businesses with founders that have good online presence. You can leverage your personal page to boost that of your business. 

Collaboration posts
3. Story stickers

Instagram offers interactive stickers that you can add to your Stories. As a business, these stickers will help you make your stories more engaging. Aside from the stickers available, you also have access to stickers like Music, Quizzes, Countdown, Questions, Emoji Sliders, Customizable links, Polls, Hashtags, and Mentions. All these stickers perform functions that make it easier to interact with your audience. 

4. Tagged products

On Instagram, you’re now able to tag products on your photos as a business. For example, if you are selling a book that someone in a photo is reading, you can tag the book so that when users see the post, they can click on the book, get directed to the product page, and purchase it. This feature is available on stories, too! 

Tagged products features on Instagram
5. Guides

Guides are a compilation of posts, places, and products, that gives you the option of adding additional descriptions for each item. For a business, this is a great way for you to connect with your audience and explain what you have to offer. 

6. Story highlights

While Instagram stories expire after 24 hours, with story highlights you can have them on your page permanently. This is especially useful for communicating necessary information with the people who visit your page. Highlights can be labelled in an orderly manner and updated whenever you have new information to share.

6. Engage with your audience

Beyond creating compelling content and taking advantage of Instagram’s features, a sales funnel is oiled by constant engagement with your audience. Take the time to respond to comments and direct messages from people who see your page. If you don’t have enough time, you can employ someone to promptly respond to people who make inquiries. You can also engage with your audience through content that is interactive and user-generated. This will help you build trust and will pull people into whatever the next stage of the funnel they find themselves in.

7. Implement tracking and analytics

It’s not enough to have objectives for your sales funnel. You also need to pointers that show whether or not you are meeting those objectives. As a business, you should select key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the objectives of your sales funnel. These could be as simple as likes and comments, conversion rate, shares, click-through rate (CTR), engagement rate, follower growth, and revenue generated from Instagram.

Using Instagram insights, the professional dashboard, as well as third-party analytics tools, you can track the performance of your Instagram content and identify areas for improvement. If a post on fashion does well, for instance, you might want to consider making more posts about fashion to see if it would resonate with your audience. 

Insights and analytics

8. Monitor and adjust your Sales Funnel

Instagram is constantly being modified by its creators. New features are introduced from time to time, and sometimes old features get phased out. For example, Instagram prioritized photo and video content till 2020 when Reels were introduced. For a business owner, this means you should look into what features are being prioritized and switch things up if necessary  Regularly monitor your sales funnel’s performance, identify any challenges or areas of improvement, and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Review and refine your sales funnel objectives based on performance data and feedback. By so doing, you will be able to maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram sales funnel over time. In turn, this will help you to drive conversions and grow your business.

What’s Next?

Now that you know how to create a sales funnel for Instagram, the type of content to post at each phase of the funnel and the Instagram features at your disposal, it’s time to put everything you’ve learned into action! Remember that good things take time, so your funnel might need some adjustments here and there before it becomes effective. Be patient, post quality, valuable content, and be present to support the needs of your audience. 

If you still need help, we have a few other resources below that will give you an extra boost of support. 

  1. Sales Funnel Checklist: Everything You Need For an Efficient Sales Funnel
  2. 5 Tips for Growing Your Online Business on Instagram
  3. How to Position Your Business on Instagram To Attract Sales
  4. How to Easily Drive Traffic to Your Sales Funnel
  5. Creating an Automated Sales Funnel to Boost Sales of Your Digital Product