8 Instagram eCommerce Marketing Tips You Must Know
Instagram has over 500 billion users worldwide, using the platform every day, including eCommerce businesses. Imagine acquiring even 1% of that number and converting them into paying customers.
83% of users say that they discover new products or services on Instagram, making it the perfect place to display and market your brand.
As an eCommerce store, if you plan the right Instagram marketing strategy, you could make some good revenue online, and we’ll show you how. In this article, we’ll talk about the top Instagram eCommerce marketing tips that can make your Instagram account a highly profitable sales machine. Let’s begin!
Create the perfect business account
Before your audience looks at your products or the content you create, they will form an impression about you through your profile’s outlook. It’s the face of your brand and represents what you do and what kind of content or products they can expect from you.
A few elements of your profile contribute significantly to the overall look and feel of your profile. Here are the ones you must pay attention to:
Most eCommerce businesses set up their Instagram profile picture with a business logo, while others may club their products and put up a collage picture. Ideally, you should put up your logo with a clean background. This will reflect your brand’s personality, and so shouldn’t clutter the visitor’s opinion about your brand.
A smart tactic many businesses play is tweaking their profile picture based on a recent event, like women’s day or coronavirus. This makes the brand more human and relatable.
Right after your username, the headline is displayed, which usually tells the name of your brand. A pro tip here would be to add your main target keyword in the headline for easy visibility and searchability. This will allow your potential customers to find you easily on the platform, thus bringing more traffic to your page.
Your bio is one of the most critical aspects of your profile because it tells the user what you do and how you can help them. It has a 150-character limit, so you need to be straightforward and brief here. A pro tip would be to use fewer words to create powerful lines that can communicate the message while reflecting the brand’s vision.
As a general rule of thumb, the last line of your bio should be a Call-To-Action (CTA) which can direct your audience to your website or landing page so they can buy your products.
Many eCommerce businesses fail to leverage this significant sales-booster on Instagram. You can customize the URL you insert in your bio to redirect your audience to an off-platform link. You can shorten this URL with a tool like Bitly, through which you can also track the number of visitors and your potential buyer’s behavior.
As it’s useful to understand if your CTA is working, how many people are clicking on the link, and if you need to optimize it further for more clicks.
Your profile is the biggest asset, and if you use it to impress your visitors, there’s no doubt that you can make Instagram one of your biggest sources of leads and sales.
Create helpful posts to nurture your followers
Instagram is not a platform where you can convert followers into customers through eCommerce promotion tactics. Before you can lead them into making a sale, you need to nurture them. Providing value through educational content is the best way to do it.
Maybelline, for example, creates and posts makeup tutorials to help its audience with the most common problems.
Create meaningful content which adds value to your audience. It should entertain, motivate or solve their problems. Once you do this, they will start looking up to you as an authority in the niche which eventually leads to the sale.
Here are some best practices to do this:
- Use all the Instagram features from feed posts to reels and live sessions to provide educational content to your audience. Sephora uses all the features including filters and reels.
- Engage with them on a one-on-basis by showing up on video and connecting with them to build trust.
- Give as much free value as you can before you extend the offer.
- Make sure your message is crystal clear and is related to your main offering.
Providing free value through educational content is imperative. They will buy from you only when they know you’re the right solution to their problem, and that comes through trust-building. In between, you can also publish promotional posts and videos that position your product as a solution.
Bare Anatomy creates educational content about hair, and skin but also publishes posts promoting their own products.
Try and publish helpful content 80% of the time and promotional content 20% of the time. Yes, you’ll need to publish a lot of content to get more promotional messages across. You should create all these posts in advance in bulk and schedule them with Instagram scheduling software.
Go heavy on stories
Stories are one of the best ways to talk about your product, interact with your audience, answer their questions about your product and show how it can help them in real-time.
If you have over 10,000 followers, you can use a swipe up link to redirect your audience directly to the shopping page. However, if you’ve not reached that mark yet, there are other ways to sell in stories as well:
- Talk about your offer and products frequently
- Encourage questions about your product
- Show behind-the-scenes and actual functioning of your products to build trust
- Invite experts to talk on your profile and endorse your products
- Redirect your audience to the link in bio through a verbal CTA in the stories
Stories offer bite-sized content, but it’s a great place to sell because your audience can directly message you and seek more information (if you use the questions sticker). It also helps build a stronger bond with your audience.
Write persuasive captions with a strong CTA
Building trust through educational content is one thing, but framing it persuasively is another. If you just publish helpful content, it will help nurture your audience, yes. But, if you also combine persuasive techniques to convince the customer that your product is the best fit for them, it might lead to a sale.
Copywriting is the art of creating persuasive copy for your products and captions, which compels the user to swipe the card. Using this in captions can be paramount for your Instagram profile and result in sales. A few best practices for this:
- Use a benefit-driven approach to highlight the USP
- Talk less about your product features and more about their importance to the consumer
- Use social proof and statistics to make your captions more powerful
- Use persuasion techniques like Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) in your captions
Persuasive copywriting is wordplay. Its only aim is to get the user to read the next line until they reach the CTA and purchase. And captions are the perfect place to do that.
Run ads and work with influencers
Organic methods work great on Instagram. However, a little paid advertising doesn’t hurt. Let’s understand it this way. Instagram is a free platform where businesses sell their products and engage with their customers without any spending. Now, imagine if you start giving money to Instagram through paid promotions. Wouldn’t it push your profile further and result in more sales?
Mixing organic and paid marketing is a recipe for Instagram success.
If you use the right tactics and strategy, it can blow up your sales pipeline.
Here are some ways you can spend money and boost your reach on Instagram:
- Run targeted campaigns after understanding your audience.
- Partner up with influencers to reach your potential audience through an authoritative figure in the industry. You can partner with them on a barter deal or a paid promotion where they can endorse your products to their audience.
- Create affiliate partners. These micro-influencers or bloggers promote your product, and in return, get a commission on the conversions made through their custom link.
- Apart from targeted ads, run retargeting campaigns to send warm traffic to the shopping link.
There are various ways to promote your product on Instagram. Running paid campaigns and entering influencer marketing campaigns are the most profitable ones if you have the right strategy for your brand.
Plan contests and giveaways
The more the number of people that visit your Instagram profile, the more likely they are to convert. For this, you need to increase your profile engagement and get more people to visit it.
One of the best ways is to run contests and giveaways. You can give a product for free as part of a giveaway or contest. The number of conversions you get by providing a couple of products for free will surpass the initial cost and by a good amount.
Here are some tips for running contests and giveaways on Instagram:
- Offer your lower-priced products in the giveaway.
- Lay out clear guidelines to enter the contest that’s beneficial for you. For example, ask your audience to follow your page, share the post as a story, and tag four friends to be eligible for the entry.
- Partner up with an influencer to increase the reach of the giveaway.
- Host these regularly to drive traffic to your page and bag conversions.
- Grow your email list. Contests are a great way to get hundreds of subscribers in a short span.
Use insights to improve your strategy
Every marketing strategy needs data to back up the results, and Instagram marketing is no exception. If you blindly keep executing your good ol’ strategy month after month, you may end up focusing and wasting your resources in the wrong direction.
Tracking insights and analyzing data is important to see if your efforts are yielding the desired results. It’s also helpful to devise an even better strategy that can 2x or even 5x your conversions.
Instagram offers an insight dashboard in-app that can help you cover the basic metrics and understand where you need to work on more. It’ll show you these insights:
- Account reach
- Follower count
- Profile visits and CTA clicks
- Top performing posts, stories and IGTV videoss
- Audience demographics and best posting time
Using these analytics, you can tweak your existing strategy and optimize it for greater conversions. Analyze what worked for you, which post got you more website clicks, and what kind of content brings a good impact. Try to replicate all of this in your next strategy to maximize your results and double your conversions.
Instagram doesn’t require a massive budget because it’s free to operate and use. Yes, you might need a small budget for running paid campaigns, but even without it, you can see a significant impact through organic marketing.
It’s one of the best platforms to sell your products, engage with your audience, and build relationships with them. Use these 7 tips as a checklist to optimize your Instagram eCommerce marketing strategy, and power up your sales engine.
Rachel Bowland is the content manager at Social Marketing Writing and Creatiwitt. She likes to write about marketing and design.