With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram is a great place to find potential customers. In fact, more than 25 million businesses from across the world use Instagram to drive traffic and sales.
This is great news for ecommerce businesses, considering that 60% of Instagram users say they have discovered products through the platform and have been more open to purchasing them.
With such an opportunity, it’s important to take Instagram marketing seriously.
You might already be using Instagram to grow your followers. In order to generate optimal results, it needs to be done right.
Here are some strategies you can try to refine your Instagram marketing for ecommerce.
Remember that Instagram is a social network. The platform is not only for posting your offers. It provides an opportunity to engage with your audience with two-way communication.
Interacting with your followers helps to build trust, which can convert to future revenue.
One way to authentically communicate with your followers is by broadcasting live video with Instagram Live.
When you “go live”, your story gets prominently featured for your followers. You can use Instagram Live as an opportunity to promote products, educate your followers, or tell them your story to increase brand awareness.
An AMA (Ask me anything) session is one popular way to go live and attract an audience. It’s also common to do a live stream discussing industry news related to your niche.
You can even invite other brands or Instagram personalities to join in on your Instagram Live.
Inviting other brands and influencers to your live stream helps you to build engagement and expand your audience.
Influencer marketing has been a big thing on Instagram. When working with influencers, it’s important to find ones that match your brand. When done right, influencers can do the following:
When picking an influencer, don’t just look at their number of followers. You should also consider engagement such as a number of comments, quality of comment, and views per post.
See if they are actively posting Instagram stories. You want to make sure their audience is engaged and has real followers (compared to botted Instagram accounts).
Then, you need to ask yourself if their personality is in line with your brand.
If an IG account is following 3,000+ people but only has 340 followers with low engagement on their posts. It’s likely a botted account.
Lack of brand alignment can also lead to low ROI on your influencer marketing efforts.
For example, if your ecommerce store sells makeup products, consider an influencer who is a beauty tips expert. Their personality can highlight what your products do and provide customer recommendations that carry weight.
If you’re having trouble finding influencers in your niche, consider using tools like Kicksta to sort through and find the right ones.
Social media contests and giveaways can give your brand a boost in popularity. Who doesn’t love free gifts? Contests and giveaways are among the best ways to capture the attention of leads and move them down your sales funnel.
They provide the following benefits:
Make sure that what you are giving away is something your followers want.
Having well-designed, eye-catching visuals can also help your content stand out. Not a designer? You can use graphic design tools like Canva to easily create eye-popping visuals for your giveaway.
If people are using your products in the real world and posting it on Instagram, why not share their posts with your followers?
Sure, you can take staged photos of your product and post them yourself. These images often won’t carry as much weight as the social proof provided by user-generated content (UGC).
By posting UGC, you are showing that your product or service solves people’s problems.
Sustainability brand MOOP uses UGC to show off their products.
If you want to find out who is talking about your ecommerce store or its products, try using tools Websta to find their content. Just search your store’s name, product or any personalized hashtag to find the relevant posts.
One of the benefits of being on Instagram is to show people you are an active brand that’s open to communicating with its audience.
Posting on a regular basis keeps your audience thinking about you and your products. According to a Union Metrics study, major brands post on average 1.5 times per day.
A good benchmark is to aim to post at least one to three times per day. This level of engagement can help you build and sustain long-term relationships.
What’s most important is – actually sticking to a regular posting schedule. If you stop posting entirely, your profile’s growth will flatten and likely lose followers overtime.
Here’s an example of a popular Instagram TV show’s daily follower count after they stopped posting new content.
To keep you on track, use tools like Sprout Social to plan, create, schedule and organize your content to make posting easier.
The tool also provides insights on which type of posts resonate well with your audience to maximize engagement.
Combine this with Pexels to find pre-made content that you can post for free to help keep your regular posting consistency.
Sharing non-product related content is a great way to get attention for your brand without coming off too sales-y.
These posts are also most likely to appeal to your followers. By sharing product-agnostic content that is relatable, you can draw attention to your brand without being aggressive.
Use the Repost app to find and share interesting content for your Instagram pages. It’s an easy-to-use app that you can download from the iOS or Android app store.
Plus, Repost gives the creators credit, so you won’t be accused of scraping their content. This even opens a window of possibility as the original creator might even check out your page and reshare some of your content in the future.
Instagram marketing is one of the most effective B2C marketing strategies today.
As an ecommerce store owner, you can refine your Instagram marketing by going live to gain trust, leveraging user-generated content, and posting regularly to increase engagement.
You can also host contests and giveaways, leverage influencers and share product-agnostic content to draw attention to your brand.
Which strategies will you try next?
Martin Ochwat is a digital marketing and ecommerce expert. Martin enjoys helping people in all aspects of online marketing and is working on a new zero plastic waste startup, MOOP. He can be found on Twitter @mpochwat.