With over half a billion users, Instagram holds massive opportunities for online stores looking to showcase their products, engage with their customers, and reach new audiences. But creating an Instagram ecommerce marketing strategy can be challenging, even for the most experienced marketers.
To help you navigate the world of Instagram ecommerce marketing, we put together a quick guide with GoSpaces that covers all the basics; including what content performs best, how to grow your business with Instagram influencers, and how to get the most from Instagram Ads. Let’s dive in!
What’s Different About Instagram?
One of the most important things to keep in mind while building your Instagram ecommerce marketing strategy is that no two social networking sites are the same — and that users’ interests and expectations vary sharply depending on the platform they’re using.
If you want to build an Instagram ecommerce marketing strategy that really resonates with your target audience, you first have to build a solid understanding of what kind of content performs best. Here are some key steps to help you grow your Instagram audience and get your products in front of the right people.
1. Take Engaging, High Quality Photos
Since Instagram is a visual platform, your feed needs to feature beautiful, high quality photos that really catch your audience’s eye!
A large part of this involves figuring out what kind of imagery resonates with your audience. This requires a bit of research. Try finding some popular hashtags in your industry using Instagram’s search function or the under-utilized “suggested” feature, and scroll through your competitors’ feeds to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Regardless of what type of online store you operate, it’s important to remember that your Instagram feed should feature a healthy mix of promotional product shots and lifestyle imagery. For example, if your ecommerce store sells sunglasses, your feed should include beautiful photos of your products, as well as images of popular vacation spots and other slices of summer fun. The more variety, the better. Just make sure that all of your photos link back to your brand’s core identity!
Before and after photo by @joordanrenee
Finally, a great photo isn’t complete without some quick edits to really make it pop. Here are some handy Instagram apps and tools to give your images the finishing touches they deserve:
VSCO: This popular photo editing app comes loaded with a powerful set of templates and editing tools, along with an extensive library of free and for-purchase filters.
Snapseed: Snapseed is a great photo editing tool that lets you fine-tune your photos to really bring out the details in each shot.
Boomerang: Boomerang is a fun, little app designed by the Instagram team. It lets you take quick 1-second long GIFs that really stand out.
To learn more about creating high-quality images for Instagram, check out How to Take Gorgeous Instagram Photos with Your Phone.
2. Find Influencers in Your Niche
Instagram recently updated its algorithm to give priority to posts with higher engagement, meaning that the amount of social influence an account wields is more important than ever! Couple that with the fact that 92% of consumers rely on referrals from people they know when making a product decision, and you have the recipe for a powerful marketing tool: Instagram influencer marketing.
Customers trust and respect the opinions of influencers in their niche, so leveraging the power of those influencers is a key part of building a successful Instagram ecommerce marketing strategy for your brand.
Much like uncovering the best types of photos for your business, finding the perfect Instagram influencers can be a research-intensive process. The best way to go about it by immersing yourself in your niche to find the users that your customers turn to for recommendations. You can also use tools like Whalar Labs, Hashtagpaid, and Dovetale to connect with the top influencers in your industry.
Not only is Instagram influencer marketing a great way to win over the hearts and minds of your current customers, but it’s also a great way to reach new audiences and reach out to them through a trusted authority.
3. Repurpose User-Generated Content (UGC)
Looking for new content to post? Your customers can be your greatest resources.
It’s always a good idea to encourage your customers to share photos of their experiences with your products on Instagram. Why? Well, it’s a great way to engage with your audience, plus it creates a steady stream of ready-to-post content for your account.
It also help build trust. According to a recent study, Millennials trust and remembers user generated content 50% more than any other type of media. So it should definitely play a prominent role in your Instagram ecommerce marketing.
One of the best ways to collect user-generated content is by creating a unique hashtag for your brand and encouraging your followers to users it when they post photos of your products. Whenever a follower posts with your branded hashtag, their photo will automatically be categorized and collected on a hashtag page. This quick little hack will make it easy for you to collect some uber valuable user generated content.
Reposting your customers’ photos to your Instagram feed along with a shoutout to the original poster not only gives your customers a chance to see how your products look in real life, but it also encourages your other followers to post photos in the hopes of getting a shoutout of their own! Learn more: How to Curate a Stunning Instagram Feed with User Generated Content
4. Use Instagram Ads & Business Tools
Instagram recently unrolled a set of handy business tools that make it easy for you to build sophisticated marketing campaigns for your online store.
With Instagram Ads, you can create highly targeted ad campaigns that blend seamlessly with the content that users are used to seeing on Instagram. These ads come in three formats:
Photo Ads: This format is the most similar to typical Instagram posts, featuring a single photo and a prominent CTA.
Video Ads: Video ads give you the flexibility of telling more complex stories with your content, while also operating in a more visually-engaging and eye-catching format.
Carousel Ads: Carousel ads are similar to their Facebook counterparts, featuring a set of photos that users can swipe through to see multiple product offerings or tell a story one step at a time.
Instagram ads can also be optimized for a wide range of goals, depending on your business needs and the aim of your campaigns, including clicks to website and website conversions.
If you’d like to start with instagram ads please checkout our Instagram business marketing guide, which covers everything you need to get started with your first campaign.
Instagram’s mobile ad revenues are projected to hit $2.81 billion by 2017, which is super impressive considering the social platform only opened up advertising to all brands late last year. The power of advertising on Instagram is undeniable, making it an obvious choice for online stores hoping to reach new audiences and build a loyal following.
Get Started on Your Instagram Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Instagram is an amazing platform filled with opportunities to grow your business and build a dedicated army of followers. With these four tips inside your toolkit, you should be ready to totally kill it with your Instagram ecommerce marketing! Thanks to our friends at GoSpaces, the easiest way to create an online store, for all their tips.
Ready to start marketing your online store on Instagram? Schedule Instagram posts and manage all of your UGC with a free Later account!