You’ve invested a lot into Instagram as a marketing channel. You’ve got the perfect shots. Eye-catching captions and descriptions. You’ve got followers finally engaging with your brand. Asking questions via Instagram Direct Messages.
You have an edge over competitors and built a messaging audience on Instagram with entry points.
So, now what? How do you monetize your Insta channel and turn followers into frequent buyers?
Turning all that Instagram attention into sales isn’t easy. Instagram Direct Message automation offers a solution. It’s how brands are now multiplying organic engagement and turning prospects into customers.
In this article, we’re breaking down 4 efficient strategies to help you monetize your messaging audience with Instagram DM automation.
How you can guide shoppers with conversational commerce chatbots.
How you can start a conversation from comments and Insta Story reactions.
How it’s possible to automate FAQs to accelerate sales.
How you can re-engage customers with recurring notifications.
And why combining live shopping events with automated marketing chatbots is your next big shot in your marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in.
Turn Followers Into Frequent Buyers with Instagram DM Automation
Instagram is where shoppers discover new products and make purchase decisions. In fact, 83% of prospects discover new products while 80% make purchase decisions on the channel.
Instagram has grown into a major eCommerce channel customers actively use for engaging with businesses. From asking their questions to engaging with influencers, reacting to stories from their favorite brands, or perusing Instagram Shops, there are many ways customers interact with brands on Instagram.
These days, customers want to feel their choices reflect their values. They buy from brands that align with their values, who support them in making the right choices. Messaging is the easiest way to learn more and build a direct relationship with a brand. That’s why sliding into customers’ DMs is your next big shot in monetizing your audience on Instagram.
Already, the Instagram DM inbox is often where customers will reach out to brands to ask questions – many of them pre-purchase queries.
But that’s just one example. Instagram unlocks many (still untapped) marketing use cases for brands. You can guide shoppers with automated conversational commerce chatbots, run live shopping events, trigger private conversations from story reactions, automate your FAQ, and the list goes on.
Now, let’s walk through each of these cases and let’s see how major brands, such as Deichmann, leverage marketing use cases via Instagram Direct Messages.
Guide Shoppers With Conversational Commerce Chatbots
Automated marketing chatbots can recommend products based on personal needs and preferences while delighting customers with a fun shopping experience. Besides guiding customers through the selling process, they also discover their purchasing behavior which can be later used for re-engagement.
You can use Instagram DM automation to set up chatbots and guide shoppers through the buyer journey by asking them what they’re interested in and helping them find the most relevant products.
It’s an excellent opportunity to convince customers to choose your brand over the competition by offering them in-depth information about your products. All in a private and safe way, via a one to one conversation.
Proactively engaging users through guided selling can multiply organic engagement, drive new customer acquisition, and create new opportunities for getting to know customers and their preferences. Using those preferences to personalize experiences ultimately boosts sales: a full 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
Guided shopping also solves a major headache for digital marketers working in eCommerce.
The “messy middle” of the digital purchase journey. As competition for attention is getting fiercer on Instagram, purchase decisions online have fragmented buyer journeys. In other words, it’s easy to lose customers to competitors during the buying process.
A guided shopping journey can accelerate consideration phases and also bring the journey into a single channel. Why? Because marketing chatbots can answer questions just at the right time, allowing you to capitalize on high intent moments. Here’s some advice on what to look for in a conversational commerce platform.
Start a Conversation from Comments and Instagram Story Reactions
Who doesn’t like free stuff? If there’s one efficient strategy to hype your audience, it’s a giveaway event. People will go wild for it. But as customers are now a lot more cautious about submitting their data, a traditional enter-to-win event might not bring you the same results as it did a few years ago.
But that’s what we love about digital marketing. You can always tweak your tactics to get better results. To mention one, Instagram Stories offers a unique use case to monetize your audience on Instagram while encouraging them to enter a giveaway event.
Running giveaways and personalized offers is a big focus area for social commerce, and messaging has a key role to play here. Brands are sharing stories and posts that say ‘Comment to learn more about our giveaway’ or ‘Message us to get your unique offer code,’ for example. They’re actually using Instagram DM automation as a tool to increase organic engagement on their posts, which not only boosts their visibility but also creates a direct-message connection each time.
It’s time for you to tap into the power of Instagram quick reactions. Ask your audience to react to your stories and offer them the opportunity to win a product in exchange. Sending an emoji reaction takes only a few seconds without having to submit any data. It’s an easy way for customers to engage with brands.
So what’s in it for you? You can trigger a one to one conversation in Instagram Messaging from every reaction. The moment prospects react, they are automatically directed into a private chat experience where you can collect their declared data and later re-engage them.
So far this strategy has been paying off for Deichmann.
Deichmann launched two reaction campaigns on Instagram Stories to direct prospects into a conversational commerce chat experience.
People who reacted to Deichmann’s Instagram story with a 👍 emoji had the chance to win a pair of sneakers while being automatically directed to a private conversation with the brand in Instagram Messaging. The second IG reaction case promoted Deichmann’s fashion show magazine with an exclusive offer sent to customers who reacted via chat.
Why was the use case successful?
Because Deichmann found a way to encourage their audience to take action and they triggered a one to one conversation in Instagram Messaging from every single reaction.
Automate Your FAQ to Accelerate Sales
As Instagram Shops expand, Direct Messages on Instagram are increasing as never before. As such, brands need to find new ways to tackle all messages and help customers get the information they need to feel confident making purchases.
Replying instantly to pre purchase questions significantly accelerates sales as people send these messages in their high intent moments. Still, the majority of Instagram messages sit in the inbox seen but answered, making prospects feel ghosted by the brand they consider buying from. No surprise they leave for the competition.
Think of each message from a customer as an opportunity for not just one-to-one engagement, but also relationship-building and sales. Automating responses to FAQs (many of which are pre purchase questions) allows you to instantly respond to inquiries, helping increase a customer’s likelihood of taking action.
The goal is to make the customer experience as frictionless as possible. If someone has a quick question — about, for example, a new product launch — and the answer helps them to make a quick decision, that’s a high-intent moment you should be capitalizing on.
You can also differentiate yourself by providing a good, fast response to the customer versus the customer writing and not getting an answer for three days. No business can afford that kind of delay in today’s world where a customer is gone and might not come back, because they found an answer somewhere else with another brand.
Re-engage Customers with Recurring Notifications
Once you have built your audience, it’s time to start nurturing them to build better customer relationships and eventually monetize them.
A powerful way to monetize an audience is by getting to know them and targeting them with topics that interest them. This is exactly what you can do with recurring notifications, a new Messenger and Instagram platform feature, released by Meta.
Recurring notifications allows businesses to send multiple messages after the 24 hour window, including promotional messages, in Messenger and Instagram, to a customer who has opted-in to receive them. This makes it easy for people to keep in touch with a business over a period of time and allows businesses to nurture customer relationships that increase sales.
According to Meta’s internal data, recurring notifications gets 50%* average opt-in rates to accelerate buying journeys and drive full funnel results.
Recurring notifications will allow you to acquire opted in prospects for promotional updates, new product announcements, appointment reminders, special discounts, loyalty program updates, and so on.
Besides building hype for upcoming product launches and sales, recurring notifications is also a great way to reward your most loyal buyers. You can, for example, offer them early access to promotions. Or you can send them a 20% special offer for signing up for your regular updates. Personalized offers are more likely to be redeemed and enable you to segment offers to generate more customer lifetime value.
Run Live Shopping Events
Millennials and Generation Z consumers can be engaged through authentic messaging, given that they’ve grown up with smartphones, texting, and messaging apps. Instagram has more than one billion monthly active users — over two thirds of which are aged 34 years and younger — and 90% of the people on Instagram follow a business.
Broadcasting live videos is nothing new to Instagram. It’s the way how the younger generations can be converted.
With live shopping, you can sell products directly from the platform, instantly interact with viewers, engage with prospects in real time and save your videos so customers can continue shopping even if they missed the live broadcast.
Live shopping events are a great strategy to multiply social engagement. Combined with recurring notifications, you can build hype around the event by sending regular updates while reaching out to an already engaged opted-in audience. Ultimately, you have a good chance of increasing the number of attendees and encouraging engagement, such as likes, shares, and comments.
It works like this: As soon as a customer leaves a comment during your live event, the brand automatically messages them — kicking off a journey that begins with explaining more about the products or sending the customer a personalized offer. Now that the brand has opened this DM channel with the customer, they can use it to funnel the customer into other commerce journeys that they have (or re-engage them later on).
On one hand, it gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship with customers. On the other hand, you’ll be able to collect declared data, which is data shared directly by prospects.
If you’ve invested a lot of resources and efforts into your Instagram channel, it’s time to monetize it and turn followers into buyers.
Instagram offers unique marketing use cases, enabling brands to multiply organic engagement and turn attention into sales.
You can provide customers with guided shopping experiences by setting up a conversational commerce chatbot on Instagram.
Or encourage prospects to comment or send a reaction to your IG stories and trigger a conversation from all reactions.
Automating your FAQ is another efficient way to monetize your messaging audience on Instagram. You can also differentiate yourself by providing a good, fast response to the customer versus the customer writing and not getting an answer for several days.
Finally, it’s time to explore live shopping events. With Instagram DM automation, you can direct each customer commenting on your event into a one to one conversation.
Eager to learn more? Explore your Instagram use case with a product specialist and discover the different marketing use cases Instagram Messaging unlocks with our customer success team.