Why eCommerce Business Should Consider Instagram as A Sales Channel
Instagram drives sales. Every eCommerce business should be using Instagram as a core sales channel for easier assist driven conversions, find out why.
10 years ago, the world woke up to the advent of Instagram. Since then, this social media network has grown to become a cultural touchpoint for millions of users and an effective platform to connect with family and friends. And since Instagram is one of the most heavily trafficked social media platforms, businesses are scrambling to get coders for rent who can create peripheral platforms that interface with the platform for purposes of connecting with customers and building revenue.
Better yet, by generating customer’s insights, enterprises are also able to conduct marketing on Instagram, consequently stimulating demand for their products and services through targeted offerings.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how Instagram has influenced contemporary marketing practices and why e-commerce businesses should embrace Instagram marketing.
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing entails brands using their Instagram accounts to connect with their existing and potential customers. Over the past few years, Instagram Marketing has gained massive popularity with businesses using the platform to engage with customers, showcase their products, cultures, and even recruit new employees.
According to a report by Sprout Social, an estimated 89% of marketers indicated that they use Instagram for their marketing efforts, with 83% of all the surveyed consumers indicating they used the platform.
Along with the growing user base, Instagram’s revenue has also continued to grow over the years. In the third quarter of 2019, for instance, Instagram’s parent company Facebook generated $17.65 billion in total revenues, a majority of which came from advertising. In terms of growth, industry analysts forecast that Instagram will contribute up to 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue in 2020 and beyond.
With Instagram offering businesses all these inviting prospects, what are the benefits of Instagram Marketing?
Benefits of Using Instagram as a Sales Channel
Wide Customer Reach
Incorporating Instagram on your website gives you a wide footprint, connecting you with your customers across multiple channels. For example, displaying your Instagram account photos on your website gives customers browsing on your site gives them an opportunity to follow you on Instagram.
Higher Customer Engagement Rate
Compared to other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is largely a Millenial’s platform. According to a report by Statista, more than half of all the Instagram users are in their mid-thirties. And with the average Instagram user spending 53 minutes per day on the app, it is a highly engaging platform, especially for enterprises looking to target a younger demographic.
In terms of consumer shopping behavior impact, Instagram has done an incredible job. According to a survey conducted by X-Cart, 51% of respondents reported that Instagram highly influenced their purchasing decisions.
Figure 1: Source: Sprout Social
A different report by Retail Drive indicates that 72% of Instagram users have made beauty, fashion, or style-related purchases based on their Instagram interactions.
Easy to Target Your Customers with Advanced Targeting Options
Many businesses are constantly facing the problem of trying to figure out their core demographics or where they shop. And for Instagram, e-commerce businesses have to chalk it up to Millennials and Gen-Z.
Instagram comes with a wide array of filters, insights, and targeting features that allow you to better understand and reach your audience. Armed with this automated targeting info, you are able to get a head start in creating content that resonates with your audience.
Boosts Your Marketing Efforts with User-Generated Content
As a startup with limited resources and constrained user-generated content marketing strategy, Instagram is an effective way to grow sales and relevant traffic. By nature, Instagram photos are user-generated content as people are regularly creating and sharing their images.
Instead of investing in your own images, you can use their photos- with their permission of course- for your own marketing. With this free content, your customers also get to make them feel like a part of your brand, which is a good strategy for future engagements.
Blindly investing resources in an Instagram marketing campaign that won’t perform is counterproductive. Luckily, Instagram’sUGC campaigns give you advance feedback on the performance of your content before you start wasting valuable website real estate or shell out funds for Instagram ads.
Rather than guessing what will work or not, you are able to use all the photos that your customers liked most.
How to Boost Sales with Instagram
With over a billion million monthly users, Instagram is a marketing paradise for businesses. But how do you find ways to interact with this large community, earn personally invested followers, and even convince them to buy your products/services?
Here are five easy and effective ways to boost your sales on Instagram:
Create an Optimized Instagram Business Account
If you’re going to be advertising your products/services Instagram, the first step should be to create a separate account from your personal one. This is because marketing is 100% audience-oriented and not about updating your customers about a recent trip to the Bahamas with your significant other. Such personal stories aren’t relevant to your customers and they will not get you sales.
In fact, as a general rule of thumb, “you” should rarely or completely stay off your brand’s IG page. Instead, you should optimize the account by including your business’s Bio Link to boost website traffic.
Grow a Real and Engaged Tribe
With all the buzz surrounding Instagram marketing, you can easily get carried away by the fanfare and forget about the basics. When looking to boost sales on Instagram, being real and authentic is key. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs choose to engage in uncanny tendencies such as buying followers, pumping out mediocre content, and spamming followers via direct messages in a bid to increase “followers.”
The only problem with this is that if they don’t know who you are and what you do, chances are that they wouldn’t be interested in buying from you.
Instead of employing all these low-brow tactics to grow your Instagram footprint and influence, you should endeavor to build a real and engaged audience with active presence and smart automation.
Use Creative, Compelling, and Professional Images
Product photos have always been the holy grail of online shopping, and Instagram elevates this power to the next level. According to a report by Business2Community, online customers can only retain 20% of what they see online. However, once such info is paired with visual elements, the information rate climbs to 65%. Better yet, 67% of customers indicate that clear and detailed images tend to carry more weight compared to product info or customer ratings.
As a business, bombarding your customers on Instagram with countless product photos and descriptions won’t just cut it. And Instagram being a social market place, users won’t simply bite your straight sales pitches.
To overcome this challenge, you need to share unique, attention-grabbing, and full of personality images. Flaunting your goods while showing off your brand’s aesthetics adds variety to your marketing strategy and sounds less salesy.
Using the relevant hashtags on Instagram can help boost your sales and attract even more customers. The right hashtags combination not only helps your target customers to easily find you but also increases your brand’s awareness.
With that said, concocting the right combo of effective hashtags isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need to extensively research to ensure that you come up with a balanced combination of unique and relevant hashtags to incorporate in your Instagram posts.
Lastly, experimenting with different hashtag combinations will help you discern the ones that work best for you and those that don’t. And if you are partnering with influencers, you need to request them to deploy the same mix of optimized hashtags.
Make Exclusive Offers to Followers
Another great way to boost sales on Instagram is to stoke your followers with special offers, bonuses, and insider announcements. Periodically offering your customers special deals and making exclusive announcements is a great strategy to keep them coming back again and again.
Instagram’s nature of being visually appealing makes it the perfect platform for e-commerce businesses to reach out to potential customers. Additionally, the platform also helps you create your own narrative by telling your own brand’s story from your own perspective.
With that said, Instagram Marketing ultimately boils down to how effective you are in turning Instagram followers into loyal customers. And for this, you need to know your audience, and only then can you create relatable and visually appealing marketing content that will speak directly to your potential customers.