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According to Instagram eCommerce statistics, there are 1 billion Instagram users who use the platform for a variety of reasons. The scope of users is large and versatile, and includes teenagers, older generations, everyday people and celebrities. But it’s also a great place for businesses.
Over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one Business Profile daily, and it’s easy to see why this platform is a great place for businesses. If you start your eCommerce store on Instagram, it might take some time for it to take off, but when it does, you will surely find success.
There are some proven Instagram tips for eCommerce you need to know and follow to achieve success. That is why we have prepared a guide for anyone who wants to start an eCommerce business on Instagram.
Create and optimise an Instagram account
When you open an Instagram account, you are presented with two options: personal and business. Since you are starting an eCommerce Instagram, you should choose the business option. A business profile will help your brand establish legitimacy, but it also comes with some useful features.
Those features include:
- Product tags in your posts and Instagram stories
- Audience insights
- A contact button on your profile with all of your contact information
Once you have opened your business account, it’s time to optimise it to fit the needs of eCommerce for Instagram. How you optimise your account is incredibly important, as it will determine the first impression your potential customers have of your brand.
All of the best Instagram eCommerce stores follow the same road to optimise their profiles. Here are all the steps you need to take.
Use a branded profile picture
The profile picture you use is the first thing people see when they visit your Instagram eCommerce store. Therefore, it should be a visual representation of your brand.
The best choice for a profile picture is your company’s logo. Still, no matter which picture you choose, it needs to be high-quality. Finally, make sure to use the same image on all your social media profiles.
Write the perfect bio
Keep in mind that your bio isn’t an elevator pitch. You only have 150 characters to present your company in the best possible light, it might seem like an impossible task, but all you have to do is use the right words.
Instead of focusing on what your company does, tell your audiences what your company stands for and what its core values are. Additionally, you can tell your followers what makes your brand different from your competitors.
Include a CTA in your bio
If you want to encourage your customers to reach out to your brand outside of Instagram, you need a compelling call to action (CTA) in your bio. Successful Instagram eCommerce brands always use CTAs to encourage their customers to visit their website or share their content.
CTA’s are different from one eCommerce Instagram account to another, and some even encourage their followers to post their own content.
Link to your store
Most likely, your Instagram account isn’t the only place you want your customers to visit. You probably have accounts on other social media, as well as an online store. Include your handles to other accounts and a link to your online store so you can track conversions from your Instagram page and drive more traffic to your website.
Add contact information
As a business, you always need to be available to your followers and customers. Luckily, business Instagram accounts allow you to add several options for customers who want to contact you. They can get in touch with you directly from your profile through the contact button, but you can also add your email, phone number, and address.
What to post
After you optimise your business profile to perfection, it’s time to start posting. While posting content on your eCommerce Instagram isn’t an exact science, there are still some tips on how to use Instagram for eCommerce.
Before you even start posting, there are a few steps you need to take first.
- Define your content strategy. The content you post is a direct extension of your brand, and it can leave a good or bad first impression on your customers. You need to create content that will draw people to your profile, but also incentivise them to stay.
- Know your audience. You can’t make a good first impression if you don’t know who you’re posing for. Define your target audience, what they care about, the kind of lifestyle they lead, and how they can benefit from your products.
- Concentrate on awareness and engagement. Brand awareness is measured by metrics such as post reach and follower growth rate.
On the other hand, engagement focuses on metrics such as amplification rate, which is measured by shares, and engagement rate represented by likes and comments. Your content strategy needs to focus on optimising both of these factors.
Once you do all of the necessary research, you can move on to posting. Remember, while you should focus on Instagram marketing for eCommerce, it isn’t all about blatantly promoting and advertising. You need to share content that will add value to your audiences while still promoting your products.
One of the biggest challenges businesses face when they post on Instagram is how to naturally fit into Instagram’s aesthetics. There are types of content that work well with Instagram while also being great for eCommerce business profiles.
You can post aspirational content that will promote your product without being a blatant advertisement. This type of content isn’t focused on selling a product, but instead a lifestyle and goals your target audiences crave. The goal here is to align your company’s mission with your target audience’s aspirations.
When you post aspirational content, you can include your product, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of the image. Instead, the product needs to be a part of a bigger picture that is presenting a perfect lifestyle your followers can have if they purchase your product.
A great Instagram marketing strategy for eCommerce is to use motivational content that will inspire your audience to act on your CTAs. An Instagram eCommerce example of a company that uses motivational content is Nike. They often post inspirational athletes and motivational quotes.
User-generated content is anything that was created and shared by your customers and it’s one of the best Instagram content ideas for eCommerce. This type of content is great because it gives you a way to engage with your users and it can also be used for marketing purposes.
If you share user-generated content, you also encourage other users to share their pictures and tag your business, which will increase brand engagement and awareness.
This type of content doesn’t associate with your products or company. It has a greater purpose: to contribute to the overall sentiment around your brand. This is usually lighthearted and relatable content that resonates with audiences, while also building brand awareness.
Although product-agnostic content doesn’t sell or even showcase your product, it’s always welcome in your audiences’ feeds, as it provides a nice break from promotional material.
How to post
Knowing what to post isn’t enough, so you need to apply another essential eCommerce strategy – how to post. You need to understand how Instagram works and use that algorithm for your benefit. The first thing you should do is plan a posting schedule and stick to it.
It will be very bad for business if you post only once a week or once a month. You need to appear on your follower’s feed regularly so they always have your brand in mind. But it’s important to establish the right amount of posts per day so you don’t clutter your followers’ feeds.
When you create a consistent posting schedule, you build a certain amount of expectation and anticipation for your followers. After you’ve established your brand, your audience will rely on your posts.
When you have determined your schedule, it’s time to create perfect Instagram posts.
Only post images with great design
If you want your brand to be taken seriously, you need to stay away from sloppy design. Every post you make needs to catch your followers’ attention and trigger certain emotions. And because Instagram relies on visuals, the design is an essential part of every post.
You should also take advantage of the many beautiful filters Instagram has to offer.
Use your description to the fullest
Your description is there to enhance the message that is already portrayed in your image. However, one of the best things you can do with your description is to include a CTA.
That CTA can ask your followers questions relating to the image and tag their friends so you can get more traffic. However, the most common CTA is sending people to the link in your bio, and this should always be your top priority.
Use hashtags, but only in the comments
If you want people to find you easily on Instagram, you need to use as many hashtags as possible. Hashtags and Instagram tags for eCommerce that are relevant to your niche are an essential part of eCommerce on Instagram.
If you put hashtags in the description, it will look too spammy. As we’ve already mentioned, descriptions should be reserved for CTAs and if you put too many hashtags, most people won’t pay attention to the CTA.
However, if you use hashtags in the comments, they will be hidden as soon as your followers start commenting on your posts.
Ask for an SFS from other accounts
If you need an occasional break from coming up with new and original content, you can give shout-outs to other pages and share their content. This will allow you to keep up with your posting schedule, and give you the opportunity to ask those accounts for a share for share (SFS).
This is another great opportunity for eCommerce Instagram marketing, as your content will be presented to a completely new audience.
Boosting sales and conversions
Before Instagram added the option to shop on their platform, businesses only used it for promotion. However, since this option now exists on Instagram, you can use the platform for more than just increasing brand engagement and awareness. Thanks to eCommerce on Instagram, you can boost sales and conversion rates.
You can add product tags to your Instagram posts and Stories and link them to product description pages. Then, add images and descriptions, but also prices and purchase links to simplify the Instagram shopping experience for your followers.
The first step you should take is to set up Shopping on Instagram:
- Sync your products with the Facebook Catalog Manager.
- Join your Facebook Catalog and your Instagram Business profile.
- Wait for your account to be reviewed and approved by Instagram.
As soon as your account gets approved, you will be able to add product tags to your posts. This is another simple process. You need to upload a post, click next, and select “Tag Products”.
When you select the products you want to tag, you can share your post. You can add one product tag to every Instagram story you share and create Instagram stories for your eCommerce needs.
The best thing about Instagram’s shoppable posts is that they give you the option of tagging multiple products in one image, which boosts your chances of making a sale. And once you’ve tagged products in 9 different posts, you will be able to activate a special “Shop” tab on your profile.
Connect with Influencers
Instagram influencers are people who have built a large and engaging following on Instagram and are using the platform to promote products and/or services. Since these people are idealised by their followers, it’s easy for them to promote and sell products on their Instagram pages.
If you want your eCommerce Instagram marketing plan to be successful, you need to take advantage of Influencer marketing. Influencers are a big part of Instagram marketing for eCommerce, and this platform ranks #1 for the most important and impactful channel.
Influencer marketing is important as it allows brands to advertise more genuinely. Instead of selling directly to your customers, you are building relationships with influencers who will sell those products for you.
In the early days of influencer marketing, an influencer would be happy to do a promotional post in exchange for a free product, but the times have changed since then. How much an influencer charges per post varies on several factors, but the average price is $10 for a post, per 1000 followers.
Find the right influencers
One of the biggest challenges of influencer marketing is finding the perfect influencers for your brand or product. Your main focus should be to find a person who is relevant to your brand and campaign, and popular among your target audience.
If you don’t have the budget to hire big-name Instagram influencers, you should look into micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have anywhere between 2,000 and 50,000 followers and their Instagram profiles are usually focused on one topic or niche.
Micro-influencers will help you reach a smaller, targeted audience, without breaking the bank.
Turn posts into ads
While it’s important to have a budget for influencers, you should also consider paid advertising on Instagram. Instagram ads for eCommerce used to be possible only with the “Promote” button. However, now that has changed and it’s become easier and more affordable to run ads on Instagram.
If you choose to advertise with the “Promote” button, you need to create an advertisement you believe will perform well from a click-through perspective. And while these ads may be successful, there is no guarantee for that.
Turn influencer posts into ads
Another useful tool that Instagram launched is the “Paid partnership” tool that gives businesses the opportunity to turn influencer posts into ads. This tool made it possible for influencers’ posts to be seen by a wider audience, not just their followers.
However, before a company can use an influencer’s post as an advertisement, they first need permission from that person.
Start using Instagram for eCommerce today
The revolution of eCommerce started in the late ’90s and the trend is here to stay. In fact, it’s only expanding, as we watch the world of eCommerce rise every day. If you learn how to use Instagram for eCommerce, you will see that eCommerce and Instagram work very well together.
Now that you’ve read about how to set up eCommerce on Instagram, you’re ready to start making money on the most popular social media network in the world.