The ‘Value Proposition’ on Instagram: What It Is and How to Use It
There's an old saying that goes "you don’t sell hats, you sell warm heads". Meaning in sales, you don't sell the product, but the result. This is one of the most useful sayings in the general sales world and can be applied to your business across the board.
What does it mean? It means that you are not selling the materials themselves, but rather the way those materials make your customers feel and the way they improve their lives.
This is what makes any business, whether it be services or products, tick. The most successful companies are the ones that truly understand this and meet their customers where they are at.
This principle can be applied to your value ladder, sales pitch, branding, social media content, and more. There is no platform better suited to this kind of marketing than Instagram. And we will tell you why...
How it Works
The reason for this is that it’s much easier to communicate a value proposition – or to ‘sell the dream’ as it were – when using images.
And to use an example of Instagram, we can turn to fitness brands. Fitness brands make money from selling products like clothing, supplements, or training tools. And the way they work, is by using images of people with six packs running on the beach with attractive members of the opposite sex.
The viewer will then see those images and they will feel a sense of longing – they will wish that they could be that healthy, attractive, and happy. And in doing so, they will be moved to A) follow the brand for more inspiration and B) buy the product.
This is an over simplification, but it’s exactly what makes Instagram and your value proposition a match. Incorporating a visual to not just what you are selling, but also the feeling of the results - is what makes Instagram sales so appealing.
How to Use This Strategy
Define Your Value
So how do you use this strategy yourself? The key is to understand first and foremost what your unique value proposition is.
What are you selling?
How do you want to make people feel?
Even if your business is a relatively straightforward and corporate one, there is still that value proposition. For instance, if you sell life insurance, then you are really selling peace of mind for men and women in families.
If you sell EPOS (electronic point of sale) systems, then you are selling the dream of having a restaurant, hotel, or similar and it running smoothly at that.
Take a moment and define your own unique value proposition. Now, what visuals can you think of that represent the physical result and the emotional result of your product?
Define Your Audience
The next step is to identify your target audience – your buyer persona – and to understand what they want and who they are. Speak to their deepest desires and you will be able to sell anything.
In sales trainings across the globe, the "pen method" is used to practice this principle. In this idea, the pen is sold by
Highlighting the emotional value of the product
Convincing the customer that they need the product
And then focusing on how the pen can benefit the customer
This is why buyer persona is crucial! Sales does not have to be cringe, but it does have to solve a specific problem for a specific person. Once you find that gap, you can sell the "pen" all day long.
"Sales does not have to be cringe, but it does have to solve a specific problem for a specific person"
Taking it a step further, you then want to connect the buyer persona to your Instagram content. Are they they buyer that would like to see real world examples of your product? Client testimonials? Education videos?
Make sure that your posts work within that context and framework. That means that you should be taking photos that perfectly illustrate the point you’re trying to make and your captions perfectly describe the solution and the sale.
Get to know your unique value proposition. Once you find this, including the results you provide and the specific buyer persona, implementing a sales plan on social becomes much easier.
And remember, Selling on social is not something to be afraid of. It isn't just expected, but welcomed by the right customers. Your customers are out there just waiting for YOU.