Instagram started life as a photo-sharing website, it now has an active user base of more than 1 billion people worldwide. From this business owners and marketers have attempted to market their products to customers throughout the world, it’s stated that 80% of Instagram’s total active user base follow at least one business account, which means there’s certainly a good opportunity for many companies.
From February 2018 companies can sell their products on Instagram through their Posts and Stories. By simply tagging products in your Instagram images, you can lead your Instagram followers to your product pages where they can purchase products from you.
To get started with Instagram shopping, the first thing you’ll need to do is to check that your country is currently eligible for the feature. If it isn’t, you’ll need to wait until the feature rolls out into more countries.
If your country is eligible, you’ll need to connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalogue. Once you have completed this, your Instagram account will be automatically reviewed for access to the shopping feature. If you are creating a new catalogue, your catalogue will first need to be approved before the account is automatically reviewed for shopping. Usually, the review process takes a few days, but sometimes they can take longer to review the account in more detail.
After your account has been approved you can then begin to add product tags or stickers on Instagram.
On Instagram posts, you can tag up to 5 products per single image or up to 20 products per multi-image post. Product tags in posts will show the name and price of your tagged products. You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile.
In Instagram Stories, you can create one product sticker per story. Product stickers show the product name, and you can edit sticker colour and text. You cannot edit Stories that have been published.
Of course, Instagram gives you plenty of insights with its shopping feature to see how well you’re performing. You can see engagement and tap through data on shopping posts and Stories. Tap View Insights on a shopping post or swipe up on shopping Stories in self-view to see Insights. You can also sort top shopping posts on various metrics through Insights on your business profile.
As the Instagram shopping experience is still developing, many companies will need to experiment and test their campaigns. As Instagram is a goldmine for companies and marketers, the competition can obviously be fierce, so you’ll need to be creative and watch your metrics and statistics to see how well you’re performing.
Of course, if you’re targeting a broad audience you may find it harder to tell what’s working for you, generally more niched campaigns work better for most people.
It can be a great idea to think about mixing the type of content you post, don’t always rely on standard product pictures than everyone uses. You need to get the attention of your audience and stand out from the crowd, this means you could take products from different angles, highlight the lifestyle aspect of your items and more. Online being bold and taking risks can generally help to increase awareness and engagement, and hopefully in the case of Instagram shopping increase sales too.
Just like normal ecommerce selling, you can also attempt to upsell using Instagram shopping. Let’s say you’re selling trousers, think about upselling t-shirts, shoes and so on. You can use model photos which display all these items, so your audience can purchase the entire look in one go – this obviously means you’ll increase your sales and profits too. All you need to do is simply tag them all in one post, it can’t be much easier than that!
Equally as well as using tags, don’t forget about the use of hashtags, these are extremely important for many social networking platforms and Instagram is no exception. Hashtags obviously help people find content they’re interested in, so use them to get more people looking at your products.
As you can see, the access to a potential market of over 1 billion people on a regular basis can be hard to ignore. Of course, just like all forms of marketing, you need to carefully plan your campaign from start to finish. For some it might be a good idea to use Instagram shopping during periods of high demand such as near Christmas. For other companies you may plan to use it during your quieter months of the year. Its up to you how you plan to use it your advantage, however, remember to always check your metrics and statistics on a daily basis if possible. You can then quickly see what is and isn’t working for your overall campaign and change or adapt if needed.