Instagram’s growing popularity makes it the ideal social media platform for businesses. With the latest Shopping feature added to Instagram in February 2018, businesses can ensure higher conversions from their Instagram followers, get more Instagram likes, and experience growth. With more real Instagram followers, you can show off your brand to the right target audience and engage in meaningful interactions with them by tagging products that direct your Instagram followers to make a purchase.
The Checkout feature, added in 2019, makes it possible for users to buy directly on the platform. Sixty percent of users have been found to seek out and discover new products on Instagram, with 130 million people wanting to learn more about a product by tapping on a shopping post.
It’s worth utilizing Instagram Shopping for your business, and here’s everything you need to know to turn your Instagram followers into your customers.
What is Instagram Shopping?
Instagram Shopping allows users to directly shop for products they find on the platform through tagged post products, allowing you to gain exposure by offering an opportunity to showcase your products to 500 million daily users of the platform. There are different types of Shoppable posts your business can benefit from:
Instagram’s Shoppable feed posts allow you to tag up to five products in the photos to your store’s catalog.
With Instagram Shopping for carousel posts, 20 products can be tagged in your images, making it easier for you to showcase your entire product range. When posts on your feed are tagged with your product, they’ll appear on a separate shopping feed, and your Instagram followers can see all of your tagged products on it.
Tagged products in Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are hugely popular and allow you to link your online store for users to swipe up and shop from. You can even add product stickers to your Instagram Stories to promote shopping and allow your Instagram followers to see product details, even if you’ve got lesser than 10,000 followers.
Why use Instagram Shopping posts?
Experiencing business growth through the conversion of your Instagram followers to customers is just one of many benefits of Instagram Shopping. Other benefits include:
Making the shopping process easier for your Instagram followers
Once you’ve managed to grab the attention of users, you can also provide them with the information they need to make a purchase using Instagram Shopping. The “Checkout on Instagram” option allows users to shop directly on the platform.
Serving as a virtual shop front
Shopping posts on Instagram, whether on your feed or in your Stories, fit in perfectly well with your brand’s aesthetic, so the videos/images selected can maintain your editing style without compromising the brand personality.
Connecting with an engaged audience
When you use Instagram Shopping, you’re reaching out to your Instagram followers, which is an audience that’s already engaging with your brand and products/services. All your Instagram followers need to do is click on the shopping bag icon of the post to know more about the product.
Setting up Instagram Shopping for your business
Meet Instagram’s requirements
Instagram’s requirements for utilizing the platform for shopping make sure only authentic retailers and e-commerce businesses can make sales through Instagram.
Connect your business account with a Facebook catalog
There are two ways to do this:
- By adding a shop section to your Facebook page
- By using a product catalog on Business Manager
Instagram’s review of your account
When you’ve completed the first two steps, you need to sit back and wait for Instagram to review your account before you’re granted access to make use of its Shopping features.
Once you receive approval from Instagram to use its Shopping features, you can begin to use product tags in your stories and posts to engage your Instagram followers.
Product tags in posts
You can include product tags in your images (five items per image or 20 items for a carousel post), with the option “Tag Products” appearing below “Tag People” with shopping enabled. Items to be tagged will be pulled from the Facebook product catalog created, and when these posts are shared, a shopping bag icon will appear at the top on the right side so that your Instagram followers are notified.
Product stickers or swipe up links may be used in Stories to generate more sales. You can set up Stories using different types of stickers- shopping bag icon, translucent text, product name sticker in rainbow/grey color.
Shopping in the Explore tab
The Explore tab has over 200 million visitors daily, and in 2018, a separate topic channel was launched by Instagram for shopping, which is based on the shopping interests of users. Optimizing your content to appear on the Explore tab can boost sales greatly through brand exposure.
Boosting sales with Instagram Shopping
Tag images with multiple products
You can get better value for your photos if you tag an image/carousel with your products. By tagging multiple products in a particular post, you increase the likelihood of grabbing the attention of your Instagram followers. When multiple products are tagged, they also appear together on a product page, and clicking on a tagged item displays other tagged items as well under “Also Featured in This Post.” You should also make it a point to space out product tags on posts so that the information is clear when clicked. Remember, Instagram is largely used through mobile phones, and the screen space on mobile phones is much smaller, so for your Instagram followers to be able to read the tags, they need to be spaced out.
Tag the right products
Your posts should contain tags of items that are already in your Facebook product catalog. If your products have similar names, make sure to tag the right one in your posts so that you don’t make the user’s shopping experience difficult.
Use product photos/videos of high quality
Instagram, being a visual platform, necessitates that high-quality product photos /videos are uploaded to the platform to grab the attention of your Instagram followers. You cannot compromise on this aspect of your selling strategy.
Maintain a consistent shopping experience
Let the transition from an item click on your shoppable post to your product page be effortless. The products displayed in your posts and Stories must be true reflections of the item in terms of details like size, color, as well as functions displayed on product pages.
Promote on other platforms
By promoting your Instagram account and store on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you can increase your number of Instagram followers. You can even add pictures of your most shoppable posts in your newsletter, with a Call To Action encouraging shopping on your account. Running contests across social media platforms with the entry requiring people to follow your account is one way to gain more Instagram followers and encourage shopping.
Learn about how the Instagram algorithm works
With a thorough understanding of how the Instagram algorithm works, you can ensure that you’re keeping up with the latest changes so that your content can be discovered.
Make use of descriptive hashtags
Since it’s now possible to follow hashtags, making use of descriptive hashtags can increase your brand’s visibility and help you gain new Instagram followers. Be sure to research the hashtags being used by your competitors and other influencers so that your posts have a wider reach.
Showcase your products at work
It isn’t enough to just have a pretty picture of your product upon your platform. Make your posts dynamic by showcasing your products from interesting angles and depict them at work so that you can keep your Instagram followers engaged. While you’re at it, though, make sure your shopping posts don’t disrupt the overall aesthetic of your Instagram account. Ensure you’re still keeping them in line with your other posts by maintaining the same tone, filter, or editing style. Taking advantage of user-generated content in your shoppable posts are also a great way to let your customers speak for your brand.
Educate/entertain your Instagram followers
While you feed is generally reserved for showcasing your best content, making use of Stories on Instagram can help you add a more genuine, personal touch and communicate your brand’s personality. Don’t just pitch a robotic sales message; focus on how you can create a more personal connection with your audience by educating and entertaining them. With Stories offering a swipe up feature (if you have over 10k Instagram followers) as well as allowing for the addition of product stickers, you can help your audience make purchases more easily.
Use Instagram Analytics to track your Shopping Posts
It’s pointless to use Instagram Shopping without having a way to assess its impact on your business. You need to know if your Instagram marketing strategy is working as you wanted it to or not, which is where Instagram Analytics comes into the picture. Using Analytics, you can keep track of strategies that work so that you can use more of them, as opposed to ones that don’t. To track Analytics, you can make use of Instagram Insights for your Stories, as well as feed posts, to see the level of engagement generated. You can even make use of UTM trackable links to measure the amount of website traffic generated through Instagram shopping links by pairing it with Google Analytics.