We are used to thinking of our online user journey as part of a wider sales funnel, with users entering at one end and loyal customers, or members, being created at the other. There are a few additional stages with varying entry and exit points, but in layman’s terms that is your basic modern sales funnel.

Getting users and potential members engaging with your brand and, eventually, website is a key driver to how many members you end up with. The quality of your marketing has a direct impact on the number, and quality, of these members so investing intelligently is an important focus when thinking about improvements to your sales process.

Instagram in this case is an incredibly useful tool. Not only is it a great way for you to expand visibility for your brand but investing in community growth increases engagement with key existing members as well as driving potential ones to your website.

In this sense Instagram can be the perfect tool for improving your modern sales funnel across the board; from growing Awareness in your brand to helping with Consideration and eventual Purchase, before instilling Loyalty and Advocacy in your members.

The multifaceted nature of Instagram means users can enter your sales funnel at a variety of stages whether they are a complete newbie, or partially qualified.

With this in mind, Instagram Shopping offers interesting potential to organisations looking to sell directly to their existing followings and expand the reach of their online shops. The shopping features on Instagram aren’t limited to just products, and selling memberships directly opens up a host of possibilities in terms of content and driving traffic to your site.

Your store front itself can also be used to promote your overall membership - displaying products and offers only available to members will encourage non-members to consider signing up to a membership. The ability to tag membership options into posts, reels and stories presents a fantastic opportunity to display the benefits of joining in addition to providing more immediate touch points for these potential members.

There is no time like the present and offering a direct CTA (call-to-action) is a great way to get someone over the line.

It also offers new content options whereby posts can be directed at a specific user-type depending on how far along the sales funnel they appear, including tagging specific products and membership types. The same is true of existing members, where renewing a membership can be triggered through posts promoting all the exciting upcoming events or even throwbacks to last season’s experiences!

Products and membership itself can, and should, be used to engage potential members by offering a glimpse of what is on offer to them should they join. This reach can be increased further using and exploring relevant hashtags and even Instagram Ads to retarget audiences outside your current organic reach, such those users who have prior interaction with your brand, either on Instagram or your website.

These audiences are likely to be of high quality as they will have some prior knowledge of your organisation and Instagram’s tracking capabilities mean you will be able to specifically see how, and even why these users decided to engage with you. This is a crucial element of continually optimising your sales funnel and website user journey ensuring that your product and membership pages, as well as your checkout facilities, are working hard for you.

Each phase of the sales funnel can be complimented by Instagram and the shopping features on offer, utilising them to not only widen your shop’s reach but grow your overall membership and renewals is a quick, simple and cheap method of using your existing channels of communication as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Turning users into potential members and eventually loyal advocates for your brand is something that only the visual engagement of Instagram offers, and for organisations looking to grow their membership should be a core element of any digital strategy.

You can explore how to get Instagram working for your organisation by getting in touch with our digital experts by dropping us an email at [email protected]!