Instagram has risen to fame as an unmissable platform for brands. However, without a well-thought Instagram marketing funnel, your efforts, no matter how creative, won’t amount to many sales. 

So, if you’ve been anxiously tapping your foot wondering how come (and why?!) your following count and engagement rates don’t translate into sales for your business, this is the reason. 

No matter how well-intentioned your followers might be, if you don’t guide them, you’ll lose them. For your followers to reach the end screen of your “cart” page, you need to outline a clear path that naturally transforms them from mere bystanders to loyal customers. 

But no Instagram sale has been made in just one step, so we’re here to reveal several tactics on how to build your Instagram marketing funnel. And don’t be put off by the unfriendly ring the word “funnel” has to it. You’ll see that the process of creating one can be rather enjoyable. Ready? Let’s have some Instagram funnel fun!

What’s an Instagram marketing funnel?

Many business owners have only a vague idea about what an Instagram marketing funnel is. 

But, if you want results, “vague” won’t cut it. To build an Instagram funnel that serves you, having a clear picture of what a funnel is, how it works and why you need it is essential.

So here’s the deal: an Instagram marketing funnel is a planned set of steps that churns your followers and ultimately leads them to purchase your product or service. 

The “funnel” is by no means a new-entry concept in marketing. The idea that customers need to grow accustomed to a brand before purchasing is as old as commerce itself. However, the creative nature of Instagram was mistakenly understood by many as a reason to leave things “go with the flow”.

However, to convert, followers need to go through a series of brand exposures that gradually build trust. So how do you do it? You start with awareness.

The 4 Phases of Any Instagram Marketing Funnel

You’re probably already familiar with the reverse pyramid shape of an Instagram marketing funnel. 

Instagram marketing funnel by

At its base (or top in this case), it’s the awareness phase. This is the stage that most of your followers are already in. They heard about your business and know, with a certain degree of certainty, what it is that you do and offer.

The next phase of the funnel is the interest stage. Not all your followers have reached this point, and you’ll have to take out your best creative content to ignite their curiosity. It is in this phase that you need to ignite the right emotional triggers that make your product or service relevant to your followers. Because no matter how great your product is, if it doesn’t connect at a deeper level to your followers, it won’t pass.

Onwards, the decision phase is what will make or break a sale. And authority is what this phase is all about! You need to establish yourself as a leading yet likeable figure in your industry and educate people on your products. This way, your followers will be one step closer to buying into your offer.

And, finally, the phase you’ve been dying to get to from the start, the conversion, the big sale, the hurray-sealed-deal. This is pretty self-explanatory, so we’ll leave you to enjoy the victory. Oh, as long as you remember that getting to this point meant loads of work. 

Essential tactic to rock each of the 4 funnel stages

Stage 1: Get your brand out there

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect your Instagram profile to flourish overnight with conversions. Before you celebrate any type of victory, you need to spread the word about your business.

At this point, you need to focus on a single-minded message you want your followers to remember. What is it about your brand that makes it unique? How are your products or services different from those of your competitors? Note this message down and create a whole array of materials around it.

Then, spread it across Instagram! Create a consistent post calendar with quality pictures and videos, built on this concept. Devise a series of generic Instagram Stories meant to raise awareness. Find relevant hashtags to go with these to expand your reach even further. Reach out to influencers for collaborations, but make sure to brief them on what your core message is.

At this point, you need to leverage all the main features of Instagram to establish a presence for your brand. That means, of course, that you should pay close attention to your bio and include a relevant link – which will come into play in the next stages of your Instagram marketing funnel. 

Stage 2: Engagement goes a long way

Once your followers understand what your brand essence is about, it’s time to move them to the next stage. 

This is when you need to educate them  in an entertaining way  about your products or services. At the same time, you need to trigger that emotional connection by actively engaging your followers. 

If, until now, you prompted them with a generic, single-minded message, now it’s time to expand on your product’s features and benefits. To dive deeper into what your brand offers, you’ll once again use posts (carousels are great!) and stories, but in a different way. It’s time to raise the stakes and ask for active engagement. 

Story stickers such as “polls” or “quiz” are highly recommended at this stage. Also, reposting user-generated content will increase the snowball effect of engagement and lead to more engagement. And don’t you forget about Instagram Live, where you can connect at a deeper level with your audience.

Videos and IGTV are other excellent ways to create content that showcases in-depth descriptions of your products or services.

Stage 3: Give something to get something 

After going through stages 1 and 2, your followers will be quite familiar with your business, what it stands for and what it offers. But there is still one more vital thing you must convince them of: that your business is the one they should purchase from. 

And this is achieved through authority.

At this point in your Instagram marketing funnel, you need to produce relevant content that will place you as an expert in your niche.

For this, consider creating a series of “how-to” stories that offer expert tips related to a topic that connects to your products. Alternatively, produce a series of longer-form captions for your posts or promote blog articles you already produce on your Instagram profile. You can also include a link to your blog in your bio.

But that’s not all. There’s one more crucial step to this stage: building a subscribers list! While you’ll need to offer some of the valuable content, you create for free, save the best for those who are willing to give you their email address in return. Whether you create an e-book, a webinar, a masterclass or any other type of content that would attract your followers, place it behind a “subscriber’s only” digital wall. 

Stage 4:

The followers that get this far will not only be familiar with your brand and offer, but they’ll also consider it a respected authority in the field. They will also be in your subscribers’ list. 

For this reason, you’ll be able to reach them through Instagram, but also through targeted newsletters that can close the deal and make the sale. 

Build your own Instagram marketing funnel

Instagram marketing funnels don’t have to be crazy-complex to be efficient. But they do have to be well-thought. 

The above scheme gives you the basic knowledge on how to tackle your very own Instagram marketing funnel without using ads.

Since there are a dozen ways to mix and match Instagram’s features to reach a conversion, we’re curious to see how you put our advice into practice. Make sure to share your experiences in the comments section below. Let’s Preppr and funnel together!


Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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