Since Instagram is one of the top marketing platforms, it makes sense that brands are heading there to sell their products. This is compounded by the addition of shoppable posts, which we will discuss in this guide. By the end, you should know how they work and how to make the most of them as part of a marketing strategy.
For a long time, brands posted pictures of their products and services on Instagram. However, the only real option for a CTA was a link to their Instagram bio. After noticing the limitations, Instagram announced the addition of shoppable posts, which allowed accounts to effectively become a storefront. With this change, brands could add information and product tags to any given image. Users could click through to a product web page without even leaving the Instagram page.
As a user, you can tell which posts have a shoppable tag by the small shopping bag icon that appears in the top right-hand corner of an image. Instagram marketing has become easier than ever for clothing brands. If a user likes what they see in an image, they click the product tag and are taken through to the relevant page within seconds.
With shoppable posts, brands create an enhanced shopping experience, while users gain a streamlined buying experience. Brands are finding it easier to get clicks, and users can make a purchase without the hassle of getting to a mobile website. Everything they need is available in one click. They can view price information, a link to the product page and more.
No business has an endless marketing budget, and sometimes it’s difficult to decide where to invest your money. If you’re currently considering Instagram’s shoppable posts feature, we’ll explain why the addition is a safe bet.
Firstly, we recommend shoppable posts to all eCommerce services who sell their products online and have an audience on Instagram. If you don’t sell online already, or if your target market isn’t available on Instagram, there’s no point wasting this investment—you might as well spend on platforms where your target market is accessible.
If you’ve ticked these first two boxes, the next consideration is your Instagram marketing approach. Getting started with shoppable posts is a logical next step if you’ve been pushing for sales but have not seen conversion results. With this feature, you can send people to your website and product pages from a single post. As we’ve discovered, this streamlines the buying journey and makes it easier for people to spend their money with us.
Another bonus to this new era of Instagram marketing is the “shop” feed available on your profile. Whenever you upload a shoppable post, it’s added to your “Shop” tab, which opens the door to even more opportunities. Let’s say that a user likes one of your posts and they decide to click to your profile. By clicking this tab, they see ALL of your shoppable posts and everything you have to offer. This is perfect for those who sell online. Even if the user doesn’t decide to purchase the item they first saw, they could fill an online basket after seeing your other products.
Ultimately, all of these features are about making it easier for the consumer to buy from you. This should always be encouraged, right? Consumers can buy from you without ever leaving Instagram; this sort of accessibility will lead to a good reputation, positive customer reviews and word of mouth marketing (albeit a digital form). For customers, even keeping track of purchases is simple because there are notifications for shipment, ordering and delivery.
Instagram shoppable posts have tremendous value, as long as your target market is available on the platform and it fits with your overall marketing strategy.
You like the sound of shoppable posts. So how do you get started?
If you haven’t already, the first thing you’ll need to do is upgrade your normal account to a Business account. Through this simple change, you’ll open yourself up to shoppable posts, ads, promoted posts, Instagram Insights and a host of other features.
To get started, open your Business page on Facebook and connect it to your Instagram account in Settings. Log into Instagram to sync the two, and you’ll have your Instagram Business account.
Now that you have the right account, you now need to develop your product catalog. Head over to your Facebook Settings, Edit Page and click on Templates. Here, you’ll find the Shopping Facebook page template, which is where you’ll start to add products to the Shop section.
The process is simple, and the on-screen instructions are easy to follow. For example, you’ll be asked to add a price, write a description, upload images and provide a URL to the product page on your website.
With every product added, you’ll reach the dreaded approval stage. Don’t worry, most accounts are approved without an issue. While some take a matter of hours, others can go on for a couple of days, so be patient. If you’re trying to manage several catalogs across various businesses, we highly recommend using Facebook Business Manager so that you have everything in one place. You can also develop a product catalog through BigCommerce and Shopify.
Now that your Facebook and Instagram profiles are linked, you should get a notification from Instagram when the approval stage is completed. Go back to the Settings, choose Business Settings, and then Shopping. On this page, you should see the catalog from Facebook. After clicking Done, you can tag products in your shoppable posts. While this does require a time investment, shoppable posts have the potential to generate significant sales, so it’s worth the effort.
While Instagram carries out a decent portion of the workload, your success with this feature will depend on your own effort. With this in mind, we want to finish up with some useful tips.
Selling on Instagram is a great opportunity, so it’s important to get it right. People usually don’t tap on Instagram with the intention to spend money. Therefore, we recommend being as natural as possible with shoppable posts. If possible, go for user-generated content. Mashable once stated that user-generated content is trusted 50% more than any other form of media. Can you get pictures of genuine consumers using your products and then add a product tag from there? Instagram users don’t want to feel as though they’re being advertised to.
With Instagram, the secret to success is exposure. With several shopping tags in a post, users can scroll through products quickly and decide whether or not the brand is for them. Test carousel posts against one-photo posts to assess which performs better. Hashtags, too, will generate more exposure.
As well as user-generated content, it’s no secret that influencers are trusted individuals who bring in sales. Especially when the influencer operates in your niche, they have a ready-made audience for your products. With the right partnership, you can help influencers to grow as much as they help you, making for a profitable relationship.
After posting nine shoppable posts, the shop tab will be open on your profile, creating the potential to generate more sales by maintaining all shoppable posts in one place. We recommend activating this as soon as possible, as this will help keep future posts fresh for your growing Instagram audience!
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