E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing industries that exploit all advantages of the digital world. Social media play a major role in this field, helping online retailers to generate fresh leads and improve sales results in a long-term perspective.
With more than 1 billion users, Instagram is certainly among the most important e-commerce sales tools. How come? Well, it turns out that over 70% of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram at least once.
This obviously proves Instagram has become a regular purchasing platform that digital sellers can utilize to grow revenue. Our article will present you three highly practical ways to use this social platform to boost your e-commerce sales. Let’s take a closer look!
Features That Make Instagram a Credible Online Sales Channel
A study reveals that 65% of top-performing Instagram posts feature products. It clearly shows the business potential of this social media, but where does it derive its power from? What makes Instagram so effective? Here is the list of the basic features that make this platform a credible online sales channel:
- Quality Product Images: Instagram encourages users to publish high-quality content that looks beautiful and attractive. This is particularly important for product-oriented companies because they can present their commodities easily.
- Mobile access: A large portion of e-commerce is not going mobile. This matches perfectly with Instagram because the vast majority of followers are checking out new posts on their smartphones.
- Global audience: Instagram enables digital sellers to reach the global audience almost instantly, which makes it easy to expand the reach and raise brand awareness worldwide.
- Cost efficiency: Another feature that makes Instagram such a profitable sales tool is its cost efficiency. It gives businesses the chance to reach maximum revenue with minimum investments.
3 Steps to the Perfect E-Commerce Instagram Strategy
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of Instagram-based commerce, it is time to focus on how to design the perfect sales strategy. It’s a complex and time-consuming process, but in the end, it all comes down to the three major steps. We will discuss each one here:
Make a Plan
Before you begin publishing Instagram posts and getting creative about the future content, you need to make a comprehensive plan of activities.
Bruce Kitchens, a social media manager at UK CareersBooster, says the preparation phase is critical to the success of the online sales strategy: “You must learn everything there is to know about Instagram as the social media and about your average customers. The more you know about it, the higher the odds of crafting a great content.”
Audience analysis is the first item on your to-do list. You need to understand how your prospects think, how they behave online, and what they want to see. Try to find out the following information:
- Demographic traits such as the average age, gender, and location
- Academic and professional background
- Average monthly income
- Lifestyle, personal values, and ambitions
All those information will help you to create quality content that really has the potential to inspire the audience and convince them to take the desired action. At the same time, it serves as the preparation phase that allows you to set tangible Instagram e-commerce goals.
After all, the entire strategy is supposed to generate new leads and boost conversions, so you must measure the results to assess the performance of your Instagram account. Planning will eventually help you to determine the pros and cons of your strategy, giving you the chance to set things right or eliminate features that proved to be inefficient.
Publish Great Content
Now that you know everything about the audience, the calendar of publishing, and the strategy in general, you can completely focus on content creation. As we already mentioned, images and video quality is essential because it’s the only way to increase your follower base.
But the process is not that simple. You can’t just publish pushy posts that scream “our product is the best.” On the contrary, the goal is to design engaging content your audience really likes. In other words, your posts should be promotional and funny, educational, or entertaining at the same time.
One way to achieve this level of content quality is by posting “behind the scenes” images or videos to your Instagram account. This is a good way to reveal the human side of your business and let the audience see how it feels to work in your company. It creates a stronger relationship between the brand and its followers, giving them enough time to prepare for the final step (which is the actual purchase).
Another way to keep users interested is by organizing contests. Namely, a lot of Instagram users follow brands because they want to get free coupons, discounts, or giveaways, so you should seize the opportunity to hook the audience relatively cheaply.
Furthermore, contests represent a nice way to promote user-generated content. People who show the highest level of creativity will receive the prize and also the public acknowledgment, which is not a less valuable reward in the digital world.
Additionally, Instagram influencers can help you to improve online reputation and win over extra leads along the way. Even though they gather a relatively small fan base, micro-influencers are particularly important here because their followers are more willing to take action and buy products based on Instagram recommendations.
There are many more ways to hook the prospects and lead them to the next stage of the sales funnel. It depends mostly on your inspiration and creativity, so don’t forget to brainstorm ideas that fit the style and vision of your brand.
The last way to boost your e-commerce business via Instagram is a direct promotion. Sharing targeted ads and shoppable posts, you can invite people to take the desired action and conduct the purchase eventually.
Targeted advertising includes formats such as images, carousels, videos, stories, and slideshow ads. Matching content with the landing page, you can seamlessly invite followers to “Shop Now” and drive sales targeting users by personal preferences, location, age, gender, or any other relevant trait.
Shoppable Instagram posts represent the platform novelty which gives you the opportunity to tag specific products and let users buy them directly from your organic posts. Tagging products are as simple as tagging real users, while brand followers immediately get to see the name and the price of the item you are selling.
It’s the most effortless and actionable way to engage the audience and increase the number of purchases on Instagram directly, so make sure to exploit the new solution and turn your leads the full-time buyers.
Instagram is one of the most popular and most potent social networks business-wise. E-commerce businesses all over the world use this platform as the means to grow revenue and it definitely proves to be a highly productive sales driver.
In this post, we explained to you three practical ways to craft an Instagram-based online commerce strategy. Did you already try some of these tactics? Do you have other effective Instagram sales tips to share with our readers? If yes, let us know in comments and we will be there to discuss it!