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A More Effective Strategy to Selling on Instagram

By Shane Barker on May 10, 2017

Instagram now has 600 million monthly active users, making it one of the most popular social networking channels. Effectively using Instagram can help you promote your e-commerce business and drive sales. In fact, the platform is highly recommended, because it is considered to have the highest engagement rate among all social media platforms and is worthy of an investment.

But the hard part is turning that high engagement rate into actual sales. How will you turn your followers into paying customers? With the recent introduction of Instagram Shoppingand Stories ads, retailers can now overcome some of the biggest challenges in marketing on Instagram. Here are three ways to increase your e-commerce sales using Instagram:

1. Leverage your ads using ‘Stories’

You may already be driving conversions from your own followers on Instagram, but what if you could expand your reach to an audience who has never heard of you before? By running targeted ads on Instagram, you can reach a segment of consumers that’s highly likely to engage with your content. And by designing eye-catching ads, you can highlight the best features of your product.

Display your ads to users who share similar characteristics, as they will be your best customers. Try including a “Shop Now” feature in the ads so users can directly land on your site and make a purchase. This simplifies the purchase process, and improves your ability to drive conversions.

Online fashion retailer Storets ran an Instagram advertising campaign that resulted in a fourfold increase in sales.

You can now also run ads through Instagram Stories to target relevant people. This can be a great way to engage your target audience on a real-time basis.

Airbnb was able to increase its advert recall to double digits as a result of a test campaign run through Instagram Stories. Other businesses have also experienced success with Stories ads.

In your Stories ads, you can add “See More” links at the bottom, which were introduced for verified accounts in November 2016. These links will help your audience find more about the product you’re advertising.

2. Share user-generated content

Sharing user-generated content on Instagram has a number of positive effects. First of all, it gives your brand a more approachable and human image. When you share content created by your customers, you make them feel special and will likely increase their loyalty toward your brand.

User-generated content also acts as social proof, which can help you win the trust of potential customers.

Encourage customers to use a unique hashtag to tag their Instagram photos. By sharing photos featuring your brand, you gain more visibility within their follower base.

You can also collect those customer submissions and share them on your own Instagram account. When potential customers see those photos, it helps establish the idea that your customers are very satisfied with your product. It also provides a context for your products and may entice customers to make a purchase.

3. Start using Instagram Shopping

One of the best Instagram updates for retailers is the introduction of Instagram Shopping, through which you can add links and product info in your photos. Your audience can buy the products by tapping on these links. This reduces the amount of work shoppers have to do to buy your products.

For each post, there’s a “Tap to View” icon under the photo. When users tap on this, they’ll be able to view the tags for the photo. And when they select one tag, they’ll get a detailed view of the product, which will also contain a “Shop Now” link. This link will then take them to the product page, through which they can complete their purchase.

Warby Parker, J.Crew, and Kate Spade New York have tested Instagram Shopping. They found it to be immensely helpful for providing a seamless shopping experience to their customers.

Another retailer that tested the feature, Lulus, found that almost 33 percent of people who used the “Tap to View” feature on its posts ended up visiting its site through “Shop Now.”

These are three of the most effective ways to increase e-commerce sales using Instagram. In addition to these, there are other tactics, such as posting eye-catching photos and using relevant and popular hashtags. Try using the three tips outlined here for a massive boost in your e-commerce sales.