Now Instagram is the platform where brands of all sizes can easily connect with their customers. But creating an Instagram account isn’t enough. Every online store owner should be aware of what’s happening on this social media channel, and this year it’s all about engaging stories, reels, and shoppable posts.
So read on to learn a couple of well-tested tactics on how to convert your business Instagram account into a stable source of traffic and orders.
1. Start posting Instagram Stories regularly
Instagram Stories have over 300 million daily active users. It means that approximately 60% of Instagram’s 500 million daily active users are viewing or publishing content on Instagram Stories. Needless to say, not using this feature puts your business at a great disadvantage.
But apart from the numbers, why should you care about Instagram Stories? Well, they only appear for 24 hours. So if you have plenty of content to share, you don’t have to spam your Instagram feed. Just use Stories!
Let’s take a look at some of the features that can make your Instagram Stories more effective:
As we mentioned above, Instagram Stories vanish after 24 hours. But now you can save them to Highlights. This feature lets your followers rewatch your best Stories, and discover the ones they haven’t had a chance to see before they started following you.
It’s easy to send your customers directly to your shop – just add the link to your Instagram story. But remember that at the moment this feature is only available for accounts with 10,000+ followers, or accounts that are verified.
If you have a business account that’s connected to a Facebook catalog, you can also tag products by adding a product sticker to your Instagram Stories. This way your customers will have the option to see product info in-app and decide if they want to make a purchase.
Promoted Stories. Organic Instagram reach is slowly decreasing, so it can get tricky to maintain the same engagement without paid advertising. That’s why promoted stories can help you cut through the noise and get in touch with potential customers.
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL via stories?
√ Make them eye-catching.
Make your stories noticeable using Boomerangs, GIF stickers, or Face Filters. Simple behind-the-scenes photos of your business also work well, since they make you closer to your audience, and add that ever-important sense of trust.
√ Engage with your followers through Q&A and poll stickers, or emoji sliders.
Today like never before, customers want to be part of your brand. So let them contribute by submitting a question, voting, or expressing their emotions. This way customers are invested in your brand and are more likely to continue to shop in your store.
√ Add outbound links to your content.
Create an excellent post, add the link to your store, or to the product you’re telling about, choose the right target audience, and enjoy higher conversion rates.
2. Try to make more live videos
Live video streaming is on the rise, and according to multiple studies, its’ popularity will continue growing by the day. Live-streamed content is popular among people of all ages, and 63% of people between 18 and 34 are already watching this type of content regularly.
Live streaming is a great tool you can leverage to engage with your audience in real time. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to build a stronger connection with your customers by showing them the person behind your brand name.
If you’ve never hosted an Instagram live stream, here are a few ideas of what you can do during one:
√ give your customers a glimpse of exclusive brand events
√ do an interview with someone whose experience is valuable to the audience
√ Showyou or your customers unboxing the products
√ announce upcoming events and novelties in the assortment
√ give the link right to your store and encourage people to act immediately, so you’ll get more leads
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL via Live Videos?
The first step is to involve as many viewers as possible. Make an announcement in a post and/or story before streaming and explain what you’re going to do during the live video. This way more followers will be aware of the event beforehand, and when Instagram sends all your followers an automatic notification that your account is going live, they’ll know exactly what to expect in the video.
And don’t forget to prepare beforehand: plan the content you want to share and make sure your stream session is fun and engaging. Last but not least, don’t forget to test the video and audio quality before going live!
All these preparations show that you’re dedicated to your brand and your followers, who are more likely to become loyal buying customers.
3. Make your Instagram profile your second home page
More and more people use Instagram, not Google, to find more information about the brand they like, or are curious about. And this means that your Instagram account should be not only aesthetically pleasing but informative too.
For example, KakaClo’s Instagram feed has a recognizable branded style that immediately shows off its unique identity. It’s also very easy to contact the company – there is a direct link to the store in the link tree, as well as an option to email them. Moreover, in Highlights, you can see the best of their content.
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL via their Instagram profile?
√ Use your brand’s style to make the profile recognizable. If you don’t have an individual style yet, it’s time to create one
√ Write a bio that will help followers understand who you are and what you are doing
√ The bio is the only chance on Instagram to add a clickable link. So, don’t forget to add it
By creating a unified, sleek look on your Instagram account, you create a sense of a well-established, trustworthy brand, and anyone who browses your Instagram might be convinced to become part of what you represent by ordering one of your products.
4. Start using user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is the most significant source of content for many brands. Using UGC puts the customers in the center, and lets them tell your story. It also provides social proof and shows that you’re open to conversation with your audience. All these things make UGC
more trustworthy than branded advertising. And it’s free!
But the question is: how do you legally repost UGC on Instagram? You can follow Stitchfix’sexample:
When a customer tags one of Stitchfix’s products in their photo, the brand requests permission to repost that photo on Stitchfix’s Instagram account by leaving a comment under it. If a user agrees to have their photo reposted, they can reply to the comment with a unique confirmation hashtag. For Stitchfix it’s #yesstichfix.
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL via UGC?
Carefully follow your brand mentions on Instagram to find the best possible content you might use
Reach out to individuals who shared content related to your brand and ask for permission to repost their content on your account or website
5. Work with micro influencers
First, let’s define who a micro influencer is. It’s a brand advocate who has between 2,000 and 100,000 followers. Advertising on micro influencers’ accounts was a prevalent tendency in 2020, and it seems like it’s only going to grow.
But are micro-influencers the right choice for your brand? There are both pros and cons.
√ Compared to A-class opinion leaders, micro influencers have a closer bond with their followers. It’s quite simple – a smaller following allows them to interact with the audience, and respond to comments or direct messages more often.
√ Working with micro-influencers costs less.
√ Followers trust the opinion of a micro-influencer more than they would trust an ad.
√ It can take time to find the right micro-influencer.
√ To meet your campaign goals you might need to work with more than one micro-influencer at a time.
√ In that case, managing content and payment can take some time, since each influencer will have their own pricing scale and requirements.
√ It’s possible to buy followers, so you should make sure that the influencers you want to work with aren’t doing that. Here are some tips on how to find out whether an influencer’s followers are real.
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL with the help of micro influencers?
√ Find a micro influencer with an audience that is close to yours for the opportunity to sponsor their content.
√ Measure the success of your campaigns to determine if your chosen micro influencer strategy works. For example, provide the micro influencer with a discount promo code. If the results don’t satisfy you, try another micro influencer with a different audience.
Investing in partnerships with other content creators is worthwhile if these people are trusted and appreciated by their followers. Needless to say, an honest recommendation by these thought leaders can build awareness of your brand and what you produce.
6. Use shoppable posts and Stories
We already mentioned shoppable Stories, but did you know that earlier this year Instagram introduced Shoppable posts? Now all Instagram business account owners can mark up to five products per image, or up to twenty products per carousel, to display product names, short descriptions, and prices. If a user clicks on the product in the picture, they’re automatically directed to your shop for more details. The best parts? Setting up shop on Instagram takes only a few minutes!
What should e-commerce business owners do to really SELL via shoppable posts?
The main selling point is that Instagram followers don’t even have to leave the app to make a purchase, so this is the easiest and most direct way to sell on Instagram. Your task is to use everything the feature offers, so your followers would have as much information as possible:
Create an attractive product picture
Make a short product description that will fit the space
√ Set the price
√ Add the link
Tag your old posts as well.
This way, if someone looking through your account, they can buy the products seen in posts that were created before the shoppable feature went live. What’s more, creating more than9 shoppable posts will trigger a new “shop” tab in your account, where followers can see all your shoppable posts in one place.
Bonus: Other services that’ll make your Instagram account shoppable
Linkinbiocreates a landing page that looks like your Instagram feed, but the photos are clickable.
By clicking on the link in bio, you are taken to the landing page. On the landing page, you can tap on any picture with a product you like and buy it.
KakaClo is a wholesale platform for fashion business owners, providing not only in-stock apparel custom production and dropshipping service.
However, within the website, there’s also a great feature for Instagram commerce.
A resource pool of all fashion Instagram posts, looking into the latest trending styles for outfit inspo, sourcing products for selling ideas.
All in “Explore”.
The ShopifyShopping Feature
Recently Shopify announced its integration with Instagram, making any Instagram post shippable. The new Shopify Shopping Feature offers tagging the products that are in stock and, what is really cool, purchasing them within the app.
Foursixty turns Instagram content into shoppable galleries that you place on your website. The page looks exactly like the Instagram feed. The difference is if you tap on the photo you can see the tagged products that you may purchase.
Is your Instagram shoppable yet?
Instagram is perfect for e-commerce businesses, but you need to find out what works best for you. There is no “one size fits all” solution, so coming up with your own Instagram strategy requires some work.
That’s why testing and analyzing data is essential. Implement the techniques one by one, closely monitor the results, and keep only those features that perform best. Choose wisely, focusing on your target audience, and its’ interests and needs.