Platforms like Instagram are marketing machines. More than allowing businesses to generate interest and exposure, they help make sales directly. Today, we’re going to discuss the Instagram e-commerce space and how you can generate sales by leveraging it.
Before thinking about sales, ensure that your storefront is ready to go. To do this, you must sell physical products, comply with the commerce policies on Instagram, have a business account and connect this account to a Facebook business page. Once all that’s done, you’re ready to get started.
You can set up a shopping catalog on your Instagram account using one of two methods. First, you can do everything yourself using the Catalog Manager. If you’ve never sold on either platform, you’ll need to choose the ‘E-commerce Catalog’ option on Facebook and create your catalog.
Alternatively, you can work with a third party such as BigCommerce or Shopify. For those with little experience, this option because it’s quicker and easier. You can build a catalog on one these platforms and then sync it to both Facebook and Instagram.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to wait a few days for your account to go through the review process. As soon as everything is ready, Instagram will send a notification in the app. Then it’s time to sign up for Instagram Shopping! Go into Settings>Business>Shopping. Wait for one more round of screening for Instagram to approve your account.
If you’ve followed our advice above, you’re ready to get started. What are the basics of generating sales through Instagram?
With Shoppable posts, you can tag a product in your Stories. While you can only tag one per post, you can post as many Stories as you want. It’s a good idea to play around with customization features such as tag text and color before introducing certain products, new launches and special designs.
With posts, there are fewer restrictions and images/videos can have up to five different products tagged. With carousel or multi-image posts, there’s no reason why you can’t tag up to 20 different products. The bigger your following, the more people will see these tags. Over time, a good amount of viewers will click through. At this point, you should be seeing more sales.
In the past, we’ve seen businesses struggle with their landing page when using Instagram’s ecommerce feature. Most businesses are accustomed to landing pages for SEO and paid ads. On Instagram, remember that the vast majority of visitors will be using mobile. Therefore, you need to create a landing page that is tailored to the mobile experience.
Online businesses know the frustration of an abandoned shopping cart. On Instagram, something similar happens. A shopper with genuine interest can become dissuaded because the purchasing process is just too difficult.
We recommend assessing the user journey to review how customers move from your Instagram profile to checkout.
Now we have the foundations in place. Your catalog is connected, you’re able to tag products in posts, you have a tailored landing page for mobile users, and you’ve made it easy for customers to buy. All that’s left is to generate traffic and build interest around your profile and posts. How do you do this?
If you want to sell on Instagram, one of the best strategies is to get people talking about and posting your products. With the rise of Instagram, many businesses ask how they can encourage user-generated content. The simple answer? Ask them directly. Whenever you send a product to a customer, add a short note asking them to share a picture with it on Instagram.
To prevent coming off too strong, try something like this:
‘Thank you for choosing ____ ! We love to see our clothing in action. Why not post to Instagram and tag us in your post so that we can see?’
If you try this tactic and it isn’t working, you could even offer a reward for those who post to Instagram. The reason user-generated content is so effective is that consumers are tired of hearing brands shouting about their brand. It makes a significant difference when real people can share their own positive experience.
With any social media platform, interesting content boosts results. When people see high-quality content, they immediately regard the brand as a market leader. However, the problem for most businesses is finding the time and money to invest in content creation and other Instagram marketing tasks. Here’s where ‘batching’ comes in.
Essentially, this term means you can perform tasks in batches. When writing an article, for example, it’s always a slow start. Then, towards the end, the words come faster, and the article almost writes itself as you tell the story. Normally, the article is finished, and we move onto another task (with another slow start). Why keep going through these slow starts when we can batch tasks together and get into a rhythm? For instance, you can create a second and a third article after writing the first.
With a month’s worth of content completed in advance, you don’t have to worry about it again and can spend your time on other tasks. This could be responding to user comments and questions, engaging with your audience, creating Instagram ads, or another sales-generating tactic.
Remember, there are thousands of brands all vying for attention on Instagram. Therefore, results will only come when you build a bit of excitement. One of the best ways to achieve this is through a competition. The better the prize, the more interest you’ll gain.
According to one survey, as many as four in ten people follow at least one Instagram account because of a competition or giveaway. In the competition, make sure you ask people to follow your account. This is important because you want to target them with content later. For those who don’t win, they’ve hopefully fallen in love with your product (if this is the prize) and decide to buy it anyway.
Normally, it’s the companies that think outside the box which enjoy the best results on Instagram. Perhaps you could post a behind-the-scenes picture or video of your product being made or designed?c
We understand that it’s difficult to know what to post from a brand perspective, but the best advice we can offer is to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. Don’t think like a business; consider what you would want to see as a customer.
Next, take advantage of Instagram Checkout. At the moment, you’re relying on customers to click through to a product page and then purchase on your website. With Checkout, consumers who like the look of your products can purchase instantly without needing to leave the app. We mentioned earlier that you need to make it easy for Instagram users to buy, and we can’t think of a better way. Although Instagram takes a small percentage of the sale, these are still sales you otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Finally, you’re probably tired of hearing this but buy Instagram ads. It’s easy to target people on Instagram based on behaviors, interests and other demographics. Since Instagram is a new selling hub, it makes sense to spend on advertising to boost exposure and encourage customers through the funnel.
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