Social marketing is an integral component of any business operation in today’s times. Selling on Instagram is a hot favorite among producers and sellers to propagate their products and services and it is indeed showing results by driving sales.
With the right technique in place, selling on Instagram will become even easier for companies and entrepreneurs to sell their products. There’s a catch though. The social media giant does not want its users to get blown out by an overdose of eCommerce, especially when the users are looking for authentic connection and stories.
Why Selling on Instagram scores over other platforms for social media marketing?
The good news for businesses is that apart from the human connect and stories, Instagram users also come to the platform to shop and engage with brands. At least one business is followed by more than 80% of all Instagram accounts. The other statistics that make Instagram so critical for a social media marketer is the average eCommerce order on the platform priced at $65, which is significantly higher than on other social media channels.
However, with 2 million advertisers on Instagram, it is indeed tough to draw eyeballs of the right audience. But with the right balance, breaking through the noise with authentic content can move the revenue.
Here are a few tips to sell on Instagram without diminishing the love for your brand.
- Be a Storyteller with User-Generated Content (What is User Generated Content)
- Get Authentic, Get Visual
- Adopt best practices for visuals
- Use the same voice and style on social media as your brand uses elsewhere
- Be consistent in Brand Communication
- Use social proof aka UGC to power Instagram posts
- Use Hashtags, Hyperlinks, and Product labels
1. Be a Storyteller with UGC
Every marketing plan has an inbuilt story, and all that you need is to be able to spell it out to your audience. Give these stories a human touch, make them feel and sound genuine and give your users a quick picture of how the brand is important for them. As for selling your product on social media, what would work best are stories that depict how your brand is used in the real world by real people. And that’s where UGC (User Generated Content) comes in. It is your most critical component in influencing people’s trust, because it tells real, relatable stories.
What made this campaign buzz?
For instance, with the Instagram Stories feature, you can share photos and videos in a slideshow format. You can do this on an everyday basis and even though the stories disappear after 24 hours, those who have watched it, have been impacted in some way or the other.
Most brands have mastered the art of storytelling—and selling products—through the tools that Instagram provides. And what better place to engage users than on a platform, which has 500 million daily users consuming these stories? What’s even more encouraging is that sharing stories in this format gets a higher than average engagement rate as compared to other formats.
2. Get Authentic, Get Visual
Even as branded content with its perfect photography and carefully produced videos has its own place on Instagram, the users tend to favour content that seems less like advertising and more like real life. Once again videos and pictures from your brands and followers (in other words, UGC) can work fantastically to appeal to the audience’s need for more reality and less marketing.
Some backstage pictures of how the business progresses at your workplace can give them a sneak peek into the world of your company and employees. DIY videos and photos from regular people, who are using your product in new ways, can also be a huge draw for Instagram users.
If there’s visual content from influencers or motivational messages, it can work well to spike and consolidate interest in your brand.
3. Adopt Best Practices for Visuals
When you produce and upload your own photographs of your products, keep in mind the best practices for visuals on Instagram. This will help your images perform better.
- a) Images ought to have a background, some texture, a single dominant color, and should favor lighter colors over darker ones.
- b) Keep images sharp, focused and centered. Portrait images work better vis-a-vis landscape ones as they allow more viewable space within the Instagram feed.
- c) The recommended size is 1080 pixels wide and up to 1350 pixels tall.
4. Use the same voice and style on social media as your brand uses elsewhere
Instagram is the ideal platform to engage with your audience in the same tone and sound with which it interacts with the rest of the world. The tone may be inspirational, informational or funny, and you can use it to enhance your brand identity on Instagram in a holistic and creative way.
5. Be consistent in your brand communication
The fact that you are being consistent in your brand communication, be it on social media or other traditional forms of media, solidifies the connect that people have with your story and product. It would be helpful to note that Instagram algorithm favours brands that post at least once a day. In that light, having a set of design templates can regularize the process of posting on a daily basis.
You may even have a certain rule book in place to decide the colour code or borders or the kind of images that should go up. Another option could be to have a set of captions on the brand, which your social marketers can employ to make your brand come alive each day.
6. Use Social Proof aka User Generated Content to Power Instagram posts
There may be a lot of UGC for your brand already out there on social media but this kind of social proof needs to be curated and managed. You can imagine how powerful UGC is with 93% of consumers reporting that they consult UGC while making purchase decisions. The social proof by happy, satisfied customers has to be employed across all channels – websites, landing pages and social media.
You will need to have a unique strategy for using UGC on each social media channel as each platform has its own unique requirements for selling. On Instagram, there are paid ads that appear in a user’s stories or newsfeed.
Alternatively, you can use organic posts with product tag, or paid ads that appear within a user’s stories or newsfeed.
Instagram Checkout, now in beta, has the option of users making a purchase without leaving the platform. This means that brands will not be able to take users back to their sites and will have lesser control over the buyer journey. So it becomes all the more critical to include photos and videos within the Instagram Checkout, so that the social proof is able to impact the user at a point when it’s most crucial.
7. Use Hashtags, Hyperlinks and Product “Labels”
Your social campaigns will not work optimally if your followers are clueless on your flash sale or social media contest. Your Instagram post may just mean no more than a picture or video streaming by. This is where applying tags and links thoughtfully can significantly enhance user engagement
Tags and links put content into categories and make it easy for people to discover stories they are looking for. This can often bring in new audiences as well. Apart from a few hashtags in your brand’s voice and style, you can also include a mix of high and low volume tags. The high volume ones will make you benefit from the volume impact and the low volume ones will ensure that your post will most likely be seen by low-volume, high intent crowd, while the latter.
Hyperlinks and product tagging are crucial for converting an image to a sale. You must take care to display a URL to a website or landing page in the space where Instagram allows a tappable, external link in the bio.
Create product “labels” within Instagram.
- a) Use Product Stickers within your post or story
Clicking on the sticker will take your users to a corresponding page or a landing page on your domain
- b) Use product tags
This will help users see a “tap to view products” button that reveals product details. Clicking on a product name will take them to a product page and they can click further onto your landing page from there.
Selling on Instagram gives you the advantage of targeted e-commerce and authentic storytelling. Your biggest plus point is your customers’ presence, customers who harbor a passion for your product. Businesses of all sizes can connect with the right audience and drive sale by using the right techniques to reap the benefit of selling on social media.