As an eCommerce brand, generating sales on a consistent basis can be difficult with so much competition in the digital space. With eCommerce sites ranging between 12 million to 24 million in the world, it's hard to stand out.
However, there are a variety of social media platforms that give eCommerce brands the opportunity to increase their revenue through marketing.
The social media platform that stands out amongst others, and provides eCommerce brands with unique leverage, is Instagram. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is now one of the top social networks.
Brands have leveraged Instagram to grow and expand their businesses. In fact, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. Therefore, Instagram can help eCommerce businesses boost their sales, increase conversions, and improve brand awareness with its marketing features and wide outreach.
So how can Instagram help eCommerce brands boost their sales?
Here are the top seven ways to boost your eCommerce sales using Instagram.
1. Animate Your Pictures Using Pixaloop
The quality of your visuals can make or break your brand presence on Instagram.
Therefore, it's important that you make sure your product images wow your audiences and grab their attention in order to make them take action.
There are different applications that you can use to make your images visually appealing – one such application is Pixaloop. It is an app that animates your photos to give them a dynamic effect and make them ten times more engaging.
Pixaloop has different features you can play around with to make your images amazing. You can:
- Animate sections of your images
- Add animated objects to your images
- Add 3D motions
- Add unique overlays
- Add unique and fun effects
For example, the image above was edited in Pixaloop, so instead of just a static figure standing, Pixaloop added fun effects to the outfit for it to disperse in motion.
This is obviously more visually appealing compared to just a regular image.
The other image shows a figure dipping his finger in the ocean, Pixaloop animated the ocean to give it a dynamic effect.
All these Pixaloop features give life to your images and make them interactive.
And as an eCommerce brand, you will post a lot of images to showcase your products and its features. Since Pixaloop can turn images into eye-catching animations, it can help demonstrate your product's unique selling point.
Therefore, using Pixaloop will boost the prospects of selling your products because of its effects on your product images.
2. Use Product Tags in your Product Images
Due to the increase in popularity of brand sales, Instagram rolled out a shopping feature where consumers can now buy products directly from the app.
The image above shows how the shopping feature displays shoppable products on Instagram.
This is gold for eCommerce brands because it has made conversions from Instagram easier than ever.
The Instagram shopping feature showcases images with their product tags to provide additional information to consumers.
Once you include product tags, a little shopping bag icon will appear on the image in the lower-left corner.
So, when people tap on the image, the product details like name and price will be revealed.
Instagram is no longer just a marketing hub, but a shopping arena too. It is reported that 130 million people tap to reveal product tags in shopping posts each month.
Furthermore, Instagram shoppers have the option to buy directly and checkout on Instagram too.
There's also a save for later option that keeps you on the radar of your potential customers.
How To Add Product Tags To Images
To add product tags to your images, you must get approval from Instagram by meeting their requirements to enable the shopping feature.
Additionally, you will create a product catalog on your Facebook business account by following these steps:
Step #1: Visit www.facebook.com/products.
Step #2: Select Create catalog.
Step #3: Then pick your inventory type.
Step #4: Select eCommerce (products), then choose how you want to add items to your catalog:
- Select upload product info to add items yourself.
- Select connect eCommerce platform if you host your products on an eCommerce platform.
Step #5: Select the Business Manager account your catalog belongs to. Note that you must be an admin of the Business Manager account to select it.
Step #6: Enter a name for your catalog.
Step#7: Select Create and now you have created a new catalog. And you can start adding items in several ways.
How to Turn On Instagram Shopping
Once you are approved, you should turn on shopping in the Instagram app.
Step #1: Select your product photo and add a caption, effects, and filters.
Step #2: Tap the products in the photo that you want to tag.
Step #3: Enter the names of the products you want to tag; they must correspond to the names in your product catalog. Then select them as they appear in the search box. You can tag up to five products per post and 20 products per multi-image post in both new and existing posts from your Instagram professional account.
Step #4: Tap Done.
Step #5: Tap Share.
To preview posts or save a draft of a post, click preview tagged products or save draft.
Additionally, all the products your account has tagged will appear on your profile under the Shopping tab.
3. Leverage Influencer Marketing
The idea of influencer marketing has blown up Instagram in recent years and has become increasingly popular ever since due to its massive success.
According to surveyed marketers, 89% indicated that Instagram was the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.
People trust other people over brands, and that's why influencer marketing is successful.
So how can you use influencer marketing to boost your sales?
Firstly, you need to select an influencer in your niche that will carry out the promotion. You can do this by using an Influencer marketing platform like Upfluence or Social Bakers.
These platforms will help you connect with the right influencers successfully.
Secondly, after selecting the influencer, you can employ any of the following strategies to boost your eCommerce sales.
Collaborate with your influencer to review your products and recommend it to their followers by telling them why your products are amazing.
This is a great strategy that has proven successful over and over because people trust an influencer's thoughts over a brand's traditional ad.
Here's an example: Olaz Nederland, a skincare brand, partnered with the influencer Angodiva, who's familiar with reviewing skincare products to her followers, to promote their new SPF cream product.
You can see from her caption how she detailed her need for the cream, and how useful the Olaz product has been in helping her achieve her desired look.
This is more relatable to consumers in comparison to brand promotions.
Instagram Account Takeover
This is an interesting trend that has gained traction over time. The idea is to let an Influencer take over your Instagram account and post on your behalf over a limited period.
This brings fresh content and attention to your brand
During the takeover, Harry Pope gave photography tips and shared features of a camera from Canon Australia he used to take the shots posted on the Instagram page.
This is brilliant in many ways because the followers were getting educated on the features of Canon Australia cameras and how it should be used, plus photography tips.
This is going to prompt their audiences to grab this certain Canon camera on their next purchase.
Contests and Giveaways
Partner with an influencer to promote your organized contests in order to boost exposure to products and generate leads.
Katie mentioned how she was gifted this bag on her birthday from Will Bees Bespoke and how her followers can be gifted with any of their bags worth $325.
This created an emotional connection with her followers, which will have been difficult to achieve by a brand.
The giveaway will also expose Katie Woods followers to the brand's variety of bag products.
Here are some best practices to follow in Influencer marketing:
- Partner with influencers that have your target audience. That way, you are reaching the right people.
- Comply with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
- Don't micromanage the influencer – give them the space to bring their creativity on the table.
4. Employ the Use of UGC
User-generated content, or UGC, is one of the most effective and convincing forms of content that will undoubtedly drive your customers to take action.
A report revealed that posts containing or featuring UGC have a 4.5% higher conversion rate than non-UGC posts.
Many big brands have leveraged UGC to fuel their marketing campaigns, as more than 86% of companies today use UGC as part of their marketing strategy.
UGC serves as social proof and demonstrates that your products are worth the cash if people are posting it on their feeds.
The same study revealed that a staggering 93% of customers believe UGC is very helpful when making a purchasing decision.
Furthermore, UGC builds trust between you and your target audience, and it also creates an engaged community.
However, UGC doesn't just appear randomly, like lightning. You have to drive its creation through certain strategies such as:
- Starting hashtag trends
- Partnering with influencers
People love it when they are tagged by a brand, and it motivates them to become repeat customers, boosting your sales your sales in the process.
For example, Wayfair, an online furniture company, ran a creative UGC campaign that prompted their customers to display the setup of their purchases at home. They used the hashtag #WayfairAtHome to generate and accumulate content.
The campaign was brilliant, as Wayfair reposts the UGC which serves as inspiration for aspiring buyers to purchase items a customer has already used in their homes.
This puts Wayfair products in action. The campaign was very successful, as it generated over 50,000 posts.
5. Run Contests and Giveaways
Instagram is very popular for giveaways, as it is a famous method of increasing brand awareness amongst users.
In fact, Instagram accounts that hold contests grow their followers 70% faster on average than accounts that don’t.
Everyone loves giveaways and will jump into it the moment the opportunity for it arises.
Therefore, run contests to treat your followers and give exposure to your products.
Additionally, you can give discounts on your products or a free product for purchases during a limited period.
Not only will this boost your sales, because giveaways catch on Instagram like wildfire, but it also increases your brand awareness which expands your reach.
Firstly, make sure you adhere to Instagram's promotion guidelines to not get penalized.
Secondly, provide all of the complete details of the giveaway and make it clear and simple to enter. Include details like:
- The rules
- Eligibility requirements
- The reward or prize
- The deadline
- Date of announcement
Here are contest and giveaway ideas you can run on Instagram:
- Like, Follow, Comment, and Tag: This is the most popular type of contest that brands use on Instagram. You can ask for all the four requirements, or you can limit it to just three or two depending on your preferences.
- Photo Caption Contest: This involves telling your followers to write a befitting caption for an image and the best caption wins a prize.
- Trivia Contest: This is a great way to familiarize your audience with your brand. It involves asking your followers questions related to your brand and rewarding the trivia winners.
- Challenge Contest: This is a tad bit similar to the trivia contest. However, this time instead of asking questions, you provide a task for your followers to complete. And the first person to get it wins.
Here's an example from Diaper-EEZ:
Diaper-EEZ, a cloth diaper company, organized a contest that involved their audience to take many actions that will grant their brand maximum benefits.
People are to like, follow, post a cloth diaper success story, and tag friends as an extra entry.
Asking their followers to share their stories is a great way to engage with their community.
Another example is from Lightsdotcom, a home lightning decor brand. They ran a giveaway to promote their new products.
They even gave their audiences the option to pick their preferred choice out of the three products they are launching.
People are to follow, tag (each tag = 1 entry), and comment on their preferred prize.
This is brilliant because they are raising awareness of their products to boost sales.
6. Stay Consistent Through Automation
Instagram algorithms have changed tremendously to the point that only a few posts are shown to users.
The best way to lose relevance and familiarity with your audience is to post sparsely.
There's too much competition for you to slack with your content strategy. An increase in sales comes from engagement; without adequate and regular content, engagement is impossible.
Here's how to automate and schedule your posts on Instagram with Planoly.
Step #1: Link your Instagram account to Planoly.
Step #2: After providing the necessary details, begin to add your selected image or video. You can add one or multiple posts.
Step #3: Upload as a single post or carousel.
I selected five images and I have the option to upload as five single posts or as a carousel.
I uploaded five single posts. Note that this is not posting straight to Instagram – this is just my media on Planoly to schedule for future use.
All selected media will go under unscheduled posts.
Step #4: Select media to schedule for auto-post.
The auto-post feature is automatically on. Turn on schedule and a calendar will pop up for you to fix the date and time.
After choosing the date and time, go ahead and click save. The post will now appear under scheduled posts that will go live independently.
And voila! You can save time and stay consistent with no extra effort.
This way, you can stay ahead and be consistent with your Instagram marketing strategy.
7. Utilize Instagram Stories
Instagram “Stories” is the most active and effective feature on Instagram with over 500 million users every day.
People engage and interact more with brands through stories in comparison to Instagram feeds, as one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.
Also, 60% of businesses on Instagram Stories use an interactive element every month.
Instagram Stories have lots of interactive elements that eCommerce brands can utilize to gaining insights from their followers, engage with them, and drive conversions.
Get active in your Instagram Stories by using its variety of features. Let’s go through some of the most popular ones.
You can create polls to interact with your followers and initiate conversations with them. This will build engagement and give you insights that will help you make better decisions.
Add stickers to your promotions to make it fun and engaging.
Use text overlays to highlight your message or call to action.
Add Instagram music to your stories to spice it up and make it more exciting.
Creating quizzes is a simple, but fun way to engage with your followers.
Use swipe up links to drive traffic to your site.
Going on Instagram Live connects you with your audience on an authentic level. You can chat up with your followers or show them new updates.
Also, you can take them behind the scenes or share event moments, introduce them to your employees, and more.
It's reported that 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
Therefore, make your stories fun, engaging, and interactive as much as possible to drive conversions.
Instagram is a great social media platform for eCommerce brands to boost their sales when used right. Get to action by implementing the strategies mentioned in this post to get results.
Let's recap the seven ways to boost your eCommerce sales:
You can begin with making your product images visually appealing by using an app like Pixaloop. Then, include product tags on your images to showcase product details.
Additionally, you should leverage Influencer marketing to promote your products to a larger audience.
Also, employ the use of UGC to engage with your community and run giveaways to encourage repeat purchases.
Finally, cap all that effort with consistency by automating your posts.