Selling on Instagram is no longer a guessing game. Now, with the introduction of new functionality, Instagram is a direct selling avenue for ecommerce brands.
Thanks to Instagram’s continued growth, ecommerce shopping and advertising opportunities on the social media platform are skyrocketing.
- As of June 2018, Instagram grew to reach 1 billion monthly active users.
- By 2020, ad revenues on Instagram are projected to nearly triple, reaching $4.65 billion.
- 72 percent of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram.
Are you ready to start selling on Instagram? Leverage these six powerful Instagram shopping tips for ecommerce marketing success in 2020…
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile Page
When it comes to using links on Instagram, you have one shot to make a first impression – and your bio is the only hyperlink opportunity on your brand’s profile page.
Links in Instagram photos and videos are not hyperlinked, and users must have at least 10,000 followers to include links in Instagram stories.
This means your profile page is prime real estate, and you must optimize it to work in your favor. To do so, use your bio section to add a captivating call-to-action which drives users to a shoppable landing page.
Make your CTA and link stand out by utilizing actionable language and relevant emojis similar to this example from Trade Coffee.
Image credit: Trade Coffee.
To better track and measure your Instagram selling results, launch an Instagram-specific landing page as part of your ecommerce strategy. For instance, if you were to click on the link Trade Coffee used in their profile, you’d be directed to their landing page for the Black Friday sale.
Image credit: Trade Coffee.
Rather than linking to your website’s homepage, exclusive landing pages allow customers to instantly shop right from the Instagram link. This tactic also enables marketers to directly track the success of an Instagram shopping campaign.
Keep in mind, since Instagram is a mobile platform, your landing pages must also be mobile-friendly and adapt to your customers’ phones or tablets.
2. Sell with Instagram Stories Ads
Another avenue for selling on Instagram is via Instagram Stories. Ads in this continuous stream of vertical content serve as breaks between organically posted content from brands and users alike. Due to the nature of this content, Delmondo reported the average Instagram Stories ad completion rate for brands was 72 percent during the first five months of 2018.
Image credit: Delmondo
However, if you’d rather promote your products organically through Instagram Stories, there are several ways to do so. You can:
- Provide details about a product launch through vertical videos or graphics.
- Use Instagram Live to offer a “backstage” or “behind the scenes” look at new products or promotions.
- Interact with customers through Instagram Stories polls, GIFs, questions, location tags, and hashtags.
Get creative and use Instagram Stories to your advantage. Plus, if you have more than 10,000 followers, you can link your Instagram Stories to a designated landing page and drive sales directly from your content.
Another paid Instagram marketing technique you can try out is influencer marketing also know as shoutouts. Here’s a great guide on how to get started with free Instagram shoutouts.
3. Use Instagram’s Shoppable Posts to Sell Directly in Posts
For a while, the only way to sell products on Instagram was through the link in your profile. As of March 2018, shoppable Instagram now allows users to click on products displayed in a photo or story. Once a user clicks on a product, they are directed to a page with descriptive product copy and a call-to-action (CTA). This CTA sends shoppers immediately to the respective product’s page on your website.
This immediate mobile shopping tactic has led to more than 90 million users tapping on images and stories to identify product tags in shopping posts every month since its launch.
Image credit: Neil Patel.
While this functionality has been available for a little while, it is still an exclusive feature that should be utilized. To obtain access to shoppable Instagram posts, accounts must complete an application.
To apply, your Instagram account must:
- Be an established Instagram Business Account.
- Have an associated Facebook Business page.
- Own a shoppable catalog on Facebook that is supported by an optimized product feed.
- Sell physical goods, not services or digital products.
Defshop, a German streetwear ecommerce business, was one of the first companies to receive access to shoppable Instagram posts.
As a result of their efforts and the new functionality, Defshop enjoyed:
- 56 percent more website visitors.
- A 64 percent increase in sales.
- A 13 percent higher conversion rate.
The key to success with Instagram’s shoppable posts is high-quality imagery, direct CTAs, and a consistent brand voice and style.
4. Preview Upcoming Products
Want to create buzz around a brand new product launch? Instagram may be your answer.
Since you have to create product photos and copy for your ecommerce store anyway, why not take advantage of having this content readily available and share it with your Instagram followers? Loyal fans will appreciate having an exclusive sneak peek at new products and kick-start conversations about the launch.
If you’d like, run a sale exclusively for your Instagram followers. Along with photos and video of the new product, add a unique promo code to your post or story copy. Only engaged Instagram followers will have access to the sale, further cementing their loyalty to your ecommerce brand.
Remember to use top quality images and content surrounding your new product. Instagram shoppers won’t interact with lackluster product content.
5. Use High-Quality Product Shots and Develop a Signature Style
Although 77 percent of shoppers would rather see customer photos than professional photos when making a purchasing decision, this doesn’t negate the need for high-quality product shots.
Image credit: Yopto.
This means brands selling on Instagram need to partner with influencers who understand your need for captivating, high-quality image content. After all, 65 percent of top-performing brand posts contain products.
In addition, as you take these photos, use your creativity to develop a distinct style. This style should be consistent throughout your Instagram marketing and selling efforts. Do your best to reflect the personality of your brand through this style, whether that be through different filters, graphics, or colors.
6. Run Contests and Promote your Profile on Your Website
Instagram contests have the ability to reach and engage potential customers while highlighting your latest products. Whether you just started a new blog, run an ecommerce business, develop digital products and online courses, or simply want to promote your Instagram profile on your website, you need to unify your messaging.
Ecommerce companies run everything from a simple giveaway to contests requiring followers to use a hashtag or submit user generated content. No matter what type of contest you choose to pursue, always highlight your products, follow all of Instagram’s rules, and work on using Instagram to build your email list.
You can increase your contest reach and participation by promoting your Instagram profile on your website. The mix of professional photography and user-generated content will entice website visitors to join in on the action.
Increase Ecommerce Sales by Selling on Instagram
From shoppable posts to Instagram Stories ads, ecommerce brands have more opportunities to monetize Instagram than ever before. Have you had success with the new Instagram shopping features? Comment below with your top tactic or tip.
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