Where once upon a time, mobiles were used as research tools, they are increasingly being used to complete purchases. Thanks to the popularity of smartphones, Instagram has become a very effective selling channel. In fact, during the last quarter of 2017, 53% of online purchases were made using smartphones.
Every day, more than 500 million people are active on Instagram, and 60% of users say the photo-sharing platform is how they discover new products. It is believed that an engaged follower of your brand on Instagram is worth more than an engaged Facebook follower by about $10. So how do you bolster sales and streamline the path to purchase? Try our top three actions for growing your business on Instagram.
Use the feature shoppable Instagram posts
For the last few years, retailers have been at a loss for how to get users clicking through to buy their products since Instagram wouldn’t allow URLs aside from the one in your bio. To buy something they liked in a post, one had to recall the product name, exit the app to visit the store’s website, and manually search for what they want. That’s all changed, thanks to a new feature that renders Instagram posts shoppable.
How does it work? Once you’ve tagged a product correctly, with a single tap, users can head directly to the product page to complete their purchase. The result of the change is that your products will be more readily discoverable by audiences all over the world. With 500 million daily active users on the platform, that’s a lot of eyeballs. Check out some examples of how brands around the globe are using this feature.
Post engaging behind-the-scenes content with Instagram Stories
Stories bring your brand’s personality and creative spark to life. More than 200 million people use Instagram stories every day, and more than one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses. How does this content differ to regular image or video posts? Since many users follow up to hundreds of accounts, your posts can easily get lost in the crowd. However, when you post stories, the chances of your customers seeing them are much higher. Unlike the regular photo feed, users will see Instagram stories on their regular feed every day.
If you want to pique interest about a new product in development, an exciting collaboration, a new release that just dropped, or an upcoming event, Instagram Stories is a no-brainer. Users will appreciate being “in the know” about the latest and hottest products you’re offering, as well as gain a deeper understanding of all the work that goes into creating your products. When engaging customers in this way, consider leveraging the vertical video format to tell your story. For an intro, watch these brand stories that very purposefully use the vertical video format, leading the viewer’s eye both up and down, as per a smartphone’s dimensions, or splitting the screen into top and bottom.
A recent update has also made it easy to create Instagram Story ads. Basically, when you upload a photo or video within Instagram Feed aspect ratios, Instagram will automatically turn the ad into the full-screen format for Stories. If you’re looking to boost sales with Instagram Stories, Instasize has a great, hands-on guide you can here.
Don’t let user-generated content go to waste
It’s been revealed that shoppers trust each other more than they trust brands. And so when making a purchase decision, at least 77% of people prefer customer photos to professional ones. One of the best ways to capitalise on this word-of-mouth marketing is by developing a user-generated content campaign. To do so, encourage fans to upload photos of themselves using or wearing your products, adding your Instagram handle and campaign hashtag.
It’s possible you already have a wealth of customer photos on Instagram just waiting to be found. You have the right to re-gram these images, so long as you give credit to the poster. By highlighting customer photos, you’ll also communicate your loyalty to customers. In other words, you’ve noticed their passion for what you’re making, and you’re using your Instagram account to send a virtual high-five their way.