We live in a digital world that’s rapidly evolving.
People don’t just shop on Google and Amazon anymore. Your customers are searching for you on their favorite social channels too.
One environment that’s particularly appealing from a commerce perspective is Instagram. Not only does this channel benefit from a massive following and a tremendous amount of engagement, but it’s great for showing off products too, thanks to its visual nature.
Here’s your quick guide to selling on Instagram in 2020.
Why Use Instagram for Selling in 2020?
In today’s competitive landscape, retailers and brands need to expand into as many relevant channels as possible if they want to connect with their customers. However, not all platforms are as successful as others when it comes to driving positive results.
Facebook, the parent company that owns Instagram, says that 130 million people explore shopping posts on Instagram every month. Instagram provides an audience of users keen to learn about the products they might love. What’s more, according to a 2019 survey:
- 81% say they research products or services on Instagram
- 83% of users say Instagram is helpful for discovering new products
- 80% choose to buy an item or a product with Instagram’s help
- 79% of users searched for more information after seeing an Instagram ad
- 46% made a purchase online or offline after seeing an Instagram ad
Quick Steps to Start Selling on Instagram
Now you know why selling on Instagram is worth your while, it’s time to start creating a strategy.
There’s no one-size-fits-all path to success here, but there are a few steps that anyone can benefit from as they begin to sell on Instagram.
Step 1: Convert to a Business Account
Things like Instagram Creator accounts can make it tougher to decide what kind of profile you should have on Instagram. However, the best option is still a Business account. Instagram business accounts give you excellent access to insights and analytics that can guide your campaigns.
At the same time, with a Business account, you can experiment with Instagram Shopping features, add an Instagram contact button to your page, and schedule appointments with customers.
Instagram Business accounts give you full access to the tools you need to start making a profit with your social media presence.
Don’t forget to link your Instagram page to a Facebook business page too. This will give you access to extra essential features and tools, like Facebook and Instagram Ads Manager.
Step 2: Provide Product Information in Stories and Posts
Based on the research we mentioned above, around 79% of Instagram users that encounter a product on Instagram want to learn more about it. This could mean that you’re more likely to close a sale if you provide plenty of insights on your Instagram profile.
Instagram Stories and post Captions are a great place to highlight crucial information about your products. With Stories, you have a range of ways to reveal new details, like using video to talk about your product with a quick 10-second segment. Altenratively, you can repost user-generated content like reviews to deliver more information.
Another great option is to include a swipe up link or directions to your link in bio if you have more than 10,000 followers. Don’t forget to deck out your Instagram captions too.
A good caption shows the key benefits and features of your products and might even deliver handy pricing information to encourage a purchase.
Remember, captions need to be descriptive but straight forward. Ensure that you focus on the benefits your items will bring to your customers.
Step 3: Include the Right Links
As mentioned above, links are crucial for guiding people back to your store. Instagram doesn’t allow links in your post captions. However, you can add a swipe up link if you have enough followers. This is a great choice for people who use stories regularly.
If you haven’t hit 10,000 followers yet, you can include a link in your Instagram bio. Since one link might not be enough to showcase everything you have to offer, you might want to think about using a tool like Linkin.bio instead.
Tools like this allow users to link to multiple pages at once, including a range of shoppable item pages.
If you just want to include a single link on your Instagram Bio, it’s often a good idea to focus on one product at a time – the item that’s trending most in your store. Change your link to reflect changes in customer preference, new releases, and sales.
Step 4: Try Shoppable Posts and Stickers
One of the easiest ways to sell through Instagram is to experiment with shoppable posts and stickers. These features are now available globally so that you can add shoppable components to almost any posts. All you need to do is make sure that you:
- Are located in a participating country
- Have a business account on Instagram
- Are on the latest version of Instagram’s app
- Sell physical items that comply with the commerce and merchant agreement policies Instagram has.
- Connect your business account to a Facebook catalog. You’ll need to manage your catalog on your business page through Facebook.
Remember to activate the Shop tab on your Instagram profile too. If you create more than 9 shoppable posts on your profile, this will group all of your posts into a place that’s easier to find for your customers.
Step 5: Start Running Ads
It’s not enough to just post the right shoppable or advertorial content on Instagram. You also need to ensure that you’re attracting the right people to your profile. Although it’s tempting to try and generate massive amounts of revenue from Instagram without spending a penny – this strategy won’t work for most people.
The good news is that you don’t need a massive Instagram budget to start paying for revenue-generating ads. If you execute your campaigns properly and make sure that you’re targeting the right people, you’ll be much more likely to generate results without spending too much.
To boost your chances of a successful store, avoid hitting the Promote button inside the Instagram app. You’ll need to make sure that you take full advantage of the custom audiences that are available through Facebook’s ad manager.
Creating and running your ads through Facebook ensures that you have access to all of Facebook’s sophisticated targeting options. You can also explore the brand awareness and brand reach campaign types, which boosts your chances of reaching the right people without spending a fortune.
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Step 6: Optimize your Posts
Finally, there’s another way you can invest in your sales strategy on Instagram without spending a fortune – and that’s by optimizing your posts. There are tons of ways to make your posts more appealing – particularly the shoppable posts that showcase your products.
For instance, you can find micro-influencers for your target audience and send them a free version of your item. Turn the photo they take into a shoppable post and tag the influencer in it. Giving your product the influencer stamp of approval is a great way to drive more sales.
Another way to optimize your post is to add the right tags and hashtags. Add a location tag so you can appeal to your local community and showcase your regional pride. Location tags also make it easier for customers to find you in specific areas.
Adding a selection of niche, custom, and trending hashtags to your posts will make your content more searchable when you’re trying to find the right audience. Remember, if you do use hashtags and keywords in your campaigns, don’t over-do it. Your content needs to feel natural on your customer’s Instagram feed.
Time to Start Selling on Instagram
Instagram is one of the best places to gain attention, spread brand awareness, and unlock revenue opportunities online. Your Instagram customers spend a lot of time actively looking for new products, services, and brands online. Plus, Instagram users are up to 25% more likely to be in the top income quartile, too – making them a valuable set of fans.
Of course, there’s more to successfully selling through Instagram than designing a few shoppable posts. If you want to reap the rewards that Instagram has to offer, you need to design a strategy that works for your target market.
Experiment with different kinds of content, work on optimizing your campaigns, and constantly learn from the feedback that you get from your customers. Your Instagram business account will give you the analytics you need to make better decisions going forward.