Arguably the most popular “new” Social Media platform on the block, Instagram has powerful implications for marketers who use the platform to their advantage.
If you are selling a product online, especially if it is a lifestyle product, then Instagram has the potential to be your new best friend in marketing. Find out how to effectively sell through Instagram in five easy steps.
Create a (unified) signature look
Your Instagram account must stand out from the crowd, but it must also reflect the same look and feel that you have on your website and all of your other social media accounts. Images should speak to your target market from the first moment. Let them see your products being used, looking beautiful and creating atmosphere.
One good hack is to always use the same filter on all of your images, and use settings and backdrops that work well across your entire range.
Just make sure that the same look and feel is carried through to your website.
If a potential customer clicks through from your Instagram account to your website they should feel like they are still in the same store, talking to the same people.
If they arrive on your website and it is completely different to your Instagram they will question the consistency of your quality and possibly even wonder if they have accidentally stumbled onto a spam website.
Once you have identified the aesthetic you want for your website and your Instagram, stick to it. Consistency is very important to building trust in new shoppers.
Make sure you open an Instagram business account, and not just a regular account, as this will offer you additional tools and insights which are designed to help you. Take time to look through all of the tools at your disposal and find out what each one does, and how it can help you sell.
Show off your products and don't be afraid to sell
Make it clear that you are selling a product. It’s okay, many people enjoy finding new inspiration on Instagram, especially for fashion and décor items. Include a very clear call to action in your posts so that the audience knows they can purchase what they are seeing, and exactly what they have to do to be able to do that.
Part of selling a product is showing it off from every angle.
Make use of Instagram’s layout tool and the multiple image tool to clearly show off your products from every angle. Make sure you zoom in on key features. Often, it’s the small things like beautiful stitching or a feature button or special detail that pushes the audience from viewing to buying.
The Instagram layout app makes it easy to combine many different angles and closeups in one single image.
The multiple image option allows you to load more than one image into a scrollable post. Just make sure you have your images set up so that the most eye catching image display’s first.
A great idea is to have close-ups of garments as well as modelled images, where they are being worn by a model either in a studio or in lifestyle settings. Just remember that lifestyle needs to be consistent, so if you aren’t going to be able to use the same level of lighting and styling in all of your upcoming photos, rather stick to something which is simple and easy to reproduce.
Write a sale driving product description
It’s important that your product description is very clear, but also very compelling. Encourage the viewer to take action and tell them exactly what action they should take. For example, if you are running an ad, tell them to click the button, or swipe. If they need to follow a URL, tell them that. If they need to find a link on your profile page, tell them where they will find it.
Then make sure you make use of hashtags to make your products searchable. You can use your company name, the product descriptors or the product name as hashtags.
These hashtags make it easy for your audience to find your product regardless of whether they are looking for you or just for a category that you stock.
Three to five hashtags per product is about the acceptable limit. More than that and your product images will look like spam.
Creating hashtags for your products also makes it easier for other users to share their experiences with your product, show it off and let the world know how happy they are with their purchase. This is powerful peer to peer marketing which makes use of User Generated Content (UGC) to act as a testimonial or reference in your favour.
Make buying easy
Now that you have attracted the attention of your buying audience, what are you going to do with it?
You need to make sure that in those precious moments that you have their full attention, purchasing from you is as easy and seamless as possible.
Start by using Instagram sales tools to add a shoppable link to your bio, and your stories. This is preferable to adding a regular link in your bio, although a bitly link is a fine place to start. If you are in any doubt, speak to your web development team. They should be able to advise you about the best tools to use in conjunction with your Ecommerce website and the platform it’s built on.
These tools allow each “story” you post to be shoppable.
Then another clever way to make sure you make the user experience as comfortable as possible is to create a dedicated landing page on your Ecommerce store for each story that you post (Even if these are temporary pages which you change every week or two).
This puts everything the viewer saw in your story in one place, easy to find and easy to add to their cart, without having to search through your website for the individual items after landing on a home page.
Make use of paid advertising
Unless you are a Kardashian, you are not going to have an overnight following of thousands. So, make use of the tools that you have – namely paid advertising.
The easiest way to manage your Instagram paid ads is through your business Facebook account.
What you will need to do is link the two. So, once you have your Facebook and your Instagram business accounts set up (with the same name and handle) you will go into your Facebook business settings and connect your Instagram account.
From here you can manage all of your ads and boosted posts through Facebook’s ad manager, by targeting where your ads should appear. This also allows you to choose your audience’s demographics so that you are spending your advertising budget to put your ads in front of the right people. There is no point paying money to advertise to the wrong target market in Instagram!
To wrap up
Instagram has the power to get your products in front of a lot of people who will love them, and you can use that power to sell to both new and existing markets. Just take the time to get your products online and make sure you have your landing pages optimized for closing the sale!