Instagram - A Guide For Ecommerce

Instagram has grown from strength to strength in recent years and is quickly becoming the most engaging and interactive social platform. 68% of users engage with brands and businesses on Instagram which highlights the growing importance to incorporate the platform into your digital marketing strategy.

ECOMMERCE FEATURES

The introduction of shoppable posts and the ‘check-out’ has revolutionised the way businesses can use Instagram to convert engagement into sales through ecommerce. These features have enabled companies to tag their products on their Insta-feed so that the customer can add the product to their basket on the business’ website.

The new ‘check-out’ feature, which rolled out in March this year, will mean that consumers will now be able to make purchases without leaving the app! This has revolutionised the customer’s journey, creating a seamless transition from discovery to purchase and ultimately increasing the likelihood of a sale.

However, before rushing to overload your feeds with product tags, it is important to nail the basics first to ensure you make the most out of Instagram as a marketing platform.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Firstly, it is imperative to establish what content your audience want to see and ensure that it is targeted to the correct audience. This will result in relevant content being fed to consumers who will relate to your brand and therefore be more likely to engage with it.

Illustrated people watching a presentation

Photo Credit: Oliver Tacke

WHAT POSTS DO CUSTOMERS WANT TO SEE?

Let’s start with what customers don’t want to see; a business using Instagram solely for selling products. Your Instagram feed should look much like that of one of your customers and feature a wide range of images – not just products. Despite using the social platform to promote your products; you’re also telling your brands story.

Consequently, a mixture of aspirational, user-generated, direct product, candid product and entertaining content should be used. Aspirational images will link the product to a situation which reflects the customers lifestyle or goals, suggesting that this can be achieved if they purchase your product. Including user-generated content encourages customers to interact and engage with your business by creating an approachable brand image.

Alternating between these image categories will prevent your business from appearing overly sales-focused and give you a higher chance of retaining your followers. Don’t be afraid to get creative as this will capture the attention of potential customers.

ENGAGEMENT

As a social platform, it is imperative to interact with your followers by responding to their comments. Having hundreds of followers won’t benefit you unless they’re engaging with your content and they won’t engage if they don’t feel like they’re being recognised. The more engaged followers you have, the higher chance that engagement will translate to sales for your business.

HASHTAGS

Hashtags are commonly used throughout Instagram. When used effectively, they can increase the reach of your content and the chance of being discovered by your target audience.

There are two types of hashtags to include: community and branded. Community hashtags are about a certain topic, such as #fitness, and help to access new users. Branded hashtags are chosen and used by your business, they could include your companies name. They help build a community around your brand and encourage conversation between customers.

hashtag sign on pink background

SHOPPABLE POSTS

Integrate shoppable photos throughout your feed so customers can click on the tags and view your products. This will ensure that the customer’s journey from discovery to purchase is kept as short as possible. Utilising the new check-out feature will reduce this time further as it allows customers to buy products without leaving the app. Currently, this feature has only been rolled out to 23 global brands such as Adidas, MAC and Dior.

Instagram’s recent change in becoming more consumer-focused has created more opportunity for businesses. To exploit this opportunity, companies should aim to tackle the basics first to reach the correct target audience. Reaching the correct people who are interested and engaged with your brand could help translate that engagement into profit through ecommerce.

At Ducard, we are experts in social media, content and SEO and can help improve your marketing campaign and Google rankings over several months. For more information on the services we provide, get in touch with us today.

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