Instagram is the single most impactful move you can make right now to boost your ecommerce sales. Instagram has become a game-changer for businesses. A major part of Instagram’s dynamism is that it’s completely powered by word-of-mouth marketing. Scrolling through your Instagram feed transports you to a visually visceral view of the products, places, and experiences your social circle shares and recommends. Brands understand that being featured on this feed is the holy grail of word-of-mouth marketing, and they’re quickly looking for as many ways as possible to monetize this.
Studies show Instagram produces some of the most engaged and qualified traffic of all social channels. With 75% of online businesses taking part, to miss out on Instagram is to miss out on a serious business sale. Fortunately, creating a dynamic Instagram storefront that will take your online sales to the next level is easier than you might think. This post will give you a top-to-bottom approach for getting started and upping your Instagram game. Instagram isn’t the first platform you probably think of when it comes to social selling.
Facebook is the obvious number one, maybe Pinterest, and Twitter if you’re generating leads through direct product or sales announcements. But Instagram? It doesn’t even let you hyperlink in descriptions. Actually, it is starting to gain a pretty solid lead for sales these days. The fact that it is a visual site already makes it prime for marketing. Now it can act as a kind of social portal to your storefront. You just have to know how to properly utilize it. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of actual tools out there to help you do it. But the ones that are at your disposal are good enough to really make up for that.
To make the most of the interactions with customers on Instagram, your images and descriptions need to stand out and purchasing needs to be as easy as possible. Instagram clearly isn’t set up for e-commerce transactions. Yet in spite of this, did you know there are many businesses and individuals who are successfully selling directly from the platform?
Instagram has a growing audience, and thanks to Instagram Ads, it’s easier to connect with that audience than ever. Gaining followers and increasing engagement has taken up most of the focus on Instagram, as it gives brands the opportunity to share images of their products and cultivate brand loyalty and interest among followers. In fact, Instagram only gives you one place for a link on the entire platform, and it’s the link in your profile’s biography. This takes away the option to put links with correlating images, making it significantly harder to sell on Instagram than any other platform.
This is partly because, until recently, there wasn’t any way to actually sell from Instagram. Because of this, users would have to see the product in an image, get off Instagram, find your site, and locate the specific product. For sites with a long list of products, this can be a time consuming and frustrating process most users won’t go through, losing you a lot of potential sales. However, now the sales have been immensely increased through Instagram recently. Here are some ways by which you can sell better:
Advertise With Instagram Sales App
Some smart apps have synced with Instagram to make selling easier for brands of all sizes. You can sync up your inventory directly so that it updates in your Instagram account and acts as a catalog for your followers. Shopseen is an easy to use application that turns your account into a digital storefront. Just link the two, and once it is confirmed you can upload images into Instagram. From there you can add in descriptions and prices. Payments can be made using credit cards on a secure server the customer follows through your profile link.
The will and interest are there – it’s up to you to let your customers shop online on Instagram with ease. The easiest way to sell through Instagram is to set up a shoppable Instagram gallery, which is a parallel site you link to in your Instagram bio. This link will take customers to an augmented version of your Instagram storefront, which contains dynamic clickable images that lead to different product pages where they can make a purchase. Users follow brands to look at products, whether they be cameras or computers. So add product shots to your Instagram content calendar to give users what they want and to kindly remind them that you are a business who has stuff for sale.
Develop “Your” Look
Before you start posting, think about how you want to position your products on your page. The right product placement is key to driving Instagram sales and engagement. Identify the aesthetic you want for your page and stick to it. Once you have your product shots, use Instagram‘s internal filters or an app to make your photos visually sharper and clearer. Remember that you want to showcase the true product to your customers, so sometimes no filter works best in social selling.
If you want to show one product in a variety of ways, try the Instagram Layout app. The app makes it easy to combine multiple images into a single image. Even more than boosting direct sales, your Instagram gallery is a great way to build up brand awareness and tell the story of your products. Sprinkled in with shots of their products are images that tell the story of their customers – who are they? Where do they hang out? What do they eat? What do they do? The combination paints a picture of what your store and products are about and enables shoppers to easily identify with the customer and place themselves in that world.
Don’t forget, detail is everything. There are many subtle ways to portray your brand through storytelling images, from product positioning to lighting. Be sure to choose your theme and apply it across all photos, using cohesive filters, subjects, and contexts to create a true shop environment on your Instagram. Instagram curation is like designing any shop front – all elements should work together to draw your customer in.
Give The Descriptions An Extra Touch
The only place where you can hyperlink to your own asset is your Instagram description and quite unbelievably, there are services that monetize that field to the fullest. Soldsie creates a custom site that looks exactly the same as your Instagram account to avoid customers’ confusion and increase conversions. The app adds that shoppable link to your Instagram bio. While it’s important to be clear about what you’re selling, you also need to attract the attention and interest of likely customers with your descriptions. One way to do that is to add a few relevant emojis. They help break up the copy and work well with an emoji-obsessed demographic. Using emojis help in giving more detail to your products and how to purchase them. And they also help viewers understand what scents are in each perfume.
Be Visible With #Hashtags
Hashtags have a lot to do with how your products get discovered on Instagram. You can use Instagram‘s Search and Explore feature to view the top hashtags for your demographic and vertical, and then use three to five of them in your social selling campaigns. Find relevant hashtags using Search and Explore on Instagram. Don’t forget to create and use your own branded hashtag, too. Do a daily search for that hashtag to see who‘s using it, and consider regramming the best photos or videos from fans on your own marketing platforms. Use the Regram app to easily feature your customers‘ photos on your Instagram feed.
Post pictures of clothes, jewelry or other accessories using the proper hashtag. Post an image of your goods with a full description (size, fabric, price, shipping info, etc.), and use it along with any other relevant hashtags. Regardless of whether you use Instagram Ads to sell on the platform, these selling tools can still offer a lot of value and potential increases in sales and traffic—particularly the tools that create virtual storefronts via a link on your profile’s bio page. Ultimately, selling in as many places and ways as possible can only result in more sales, not less. Just don’t take the lazy way out and expect to sell based on buying Instagram followers.
Collaborate With Influencers
Customers rely on word of mouth and how their friends purchase. Therefore, seeing a friend post about a brand on Instagram would increase their chances of checking the brand out. Imagine what you can do with this power of peer influence if you can get an Instagram user with thousands or even millions of followers on your side! More importantly, when you work with the right influencer, you reach tons of potential customers who are in your target audience and interested in exactly the types of products and experiences you offer. When you reach out to influencers, it’s important to let them choose the products they want to try, so their feedback is the most authentic and excited.
You can expand brand awareness and increase sales by partnering with Instagram influencers to reach an audience that‘s specifically targeted to your products and services. Simplify the process of connecting your brand and influencers with a tool like Captiv8. From search, discovery and workflow management, you can solidify the relationship right in the marketplace. Figure out the best product placement that’s in line with the influencer’s authentic voice and the trending hashtags and copy that will gain the most engagement.
Whether you’re a small or large business, there are many ways to work with Instagram influencers. Instagram influencer marketing is becoming a key factor in social selling, and the high brand recognition rates prove that.
Feature Customer Photos For Engagement
You can take one step further on your Instagram by integrating customer photos and 5-star reviews into authentic Instagram ads that speak to your customers on that social, peer-to-peer level. Unlike flashy, branded promotional ads, this one uses only to send a message straight from a happy customer to a prospective one. This ad flows well in a customer’s Instagram feed while using the data-backed marketing strategy of social proof.
Customers are more likely to interact with a brand’s Instagram account than Facebook. And with tools like Ads for Instagram, creating an ad like this is simple and quick, and comes with robust, trackable customer behavior data. One of the best ways to tell your brand’s story is through customer photos. The value of customer photos is that they tap into a phenomenon called social proof, which describes the way humans respond positively to what others enjoy, and avoid what others dislike. It’s real and normal so it blends right into a customer’s Instagram feed. Branded, professional photos feel like advertisements that customers easily swipe past without a second thought. Customer photos are much more eye-catching.
Authentic photos from customers affect their purchasing decisions more than professional photos from stores do. Prospective buyers can identify with the customer in the photo, placing themselves in their shoes and imagining themselves holding the cute phone case in their own hands.Featuring customer photos has the added benefit of building up the customer loyalty, showing them that you noticed their passion for your products and are using your Instagram to spotlight them.
Put Your Storefront Link In Bio
Some software allows for users to purchase an item just by commenting on the post the product is featured in. Soldsie is a great example of the comment buying selling tools. With this tool, you upload images of products through the Soldsie dashboard (which needs to be installed), turning the images into shoppable Instagram posts. Users can purchase directly from these posts by commenting “sold” on it, along with other necessary choice information (i.e. “sold, XS red”).
Putting your storefront link in the bio is the most effective type of selling software tools available for Instagram. It works by turning the sole link available on the platform into a clickable storefront; users are taken directly to this virtual storefront with all your products, and can purchase from it. Though your individual posts don’t feature these links, you can encourage users to visit the link in your profile to access the products. Like2Buy is a tool for this purpose; it allows you to associate multiple products within a single image, as well as using UGC content in your virtual, sellable gallery.