More retailers are recognizing the value of having an established Instagram presence, and consumers are increasingly turning to the platform to interact with brands. Instagram has become a hub of advertising and sales.
You too can monetize your Instagram feed and sell products directly from your profile. With very little setup, you can have a thriving eCommerce business that makes the most of social media retail.
Whether you want to use Instagram as part of a larger eCommerce strategy or have it as your main point of sale, we’ve got some tips to help you get started.
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There’s a good chance you already have a personal Instagram account. If you are serious about selling on the platform, you’re going to need to get an Instagram Business account.
These are special accounts that give you access to features not available to regular users, but which are essential if you want to run a successful business.
These features include:
You can either create a new profile as a business profile or convert your existing one in your Options settings.
When many retailers start exploring how to sell on Instagram, one of the most commonly overlooked factors is the findability and attractiveness of their profiles.
As well as securing the perfect account name (it should be unique, identical or close to your brand name, short, and memorable), you should make sure that your profile looks professional and appealing.
Your customization options are more limited than on your own website, but to make it your own, you can:
A great way of reaching new customers that is entirely free is by learning how to use hashtags properly. While you may think that sticking loads of hashtags into a caption makes you more findable, too many can look spammy and turn off potential customers.
To get found in the right way, remember these hashtag golden rules:
Featuring your products in your content on your Instagram feed is a great way of showing potential customers what they look like and how they work. However, savvy retailers know that it’s even more effective to feature shopping posts.
Tagging your products directly in Instagram posts not only gives you the opportunity to display costs and product specifications, but it’s also a chance to link visitors to your online store where you can make a sale.
Regular Instagram posts don’t let you place external links, which is exactly why shopping posts are such an advantage for businesses.
Be sure to show your products in an attractive setting, provide all the information customers will need in the caption, and tag shopping posts with relevant hashtags that make them easy to find.
Instagram is fundamentally a visual platform, meaning that your products are only going to stand out if you ensure that they look their best in the photos which you post.
With the widespread availability of easy-to-use photography equipment and editing tools, there’s really no excuse for businesses of any size to be posting unattractive product images to Instagram.
Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you still must make an effort.
We have an entire article explaining how to take professional product photos, but for a quick summary, here are the key points to bear in mind:
Ok, so images are key on Instagram, but you’re going to miss out on customers if you lose sight of the importance of written content to your marketing performance on the platform.
While it’s true most users will just scroll through images, if something catches their eye, they’ll want to read your captions to find out more about the products you have on offer. This is your opportunity to sell.
To write compelling Instagram captions, you should keep the following in mind:
Gaining attention organically through hashtags and shoppable posts will only get you so far in the competitive arena that is Instagram. If you want the right customers to find you, you’ll need to consider investing in paid advertising on the platform.
Instagram has a bunch of different ways you can display ads, including:
Utilizing your access to Instagram Ads, you should create ad content that is sure to appeal to your target demographic, and use the platform’s helpful targeting options to ensure the right people see it.
The reach of your ads will be influenced by your targeting options, size of your demographic, and your budget.
One tip for first-timers is to simply promote a post you’ve noticed has been performing well on your profile. Promoting a post simply shares the content in the feeds of users who don’t follow you.
Paid advertising on Instagram is a tried and trusted method of increasing your reach and developing a new customer base. However, it’s not the only approach to promotion you can take on the platform.
You should consider developing your own marketing opportunities not reliant on Instagram’s ad network.
Here are two of the most effective ways you might do this.
Building a following of your own can take a lot of effort on Instagram. Influencer marketing allows you to piggyback on the following of other popular accounts to get your products and message in front of a larger audience.
Far from being simply a buzzword, influencer marketing is effective if you want to:
Influencers are paid cheerleaders for your brand. They give your products a face, and leverage the trust their followers have in them to sell your products.
The type of content an influencer creates for you, the reach that content will have, and the amount you need to pay them will differ depending on the size of their following.
Regardless of that, you should ensure influencers you work with:
While Instagram is one of the most popular hubs for influencer marketing, it’s far from being the only way to get your brand seen on the platforms.
With an Instagram business account, you can promote your products and brand using promoted posts, photo ads, video ads, ads in explore, and more.
Using these marketing options within Instagram, you’re able to specifically target your preferred demographics, and get great insights into how your ads perform.
Creating a sense of urgency or exclusivity is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book, and can even be applied to selling on Instagram.
It’s quick and simple to run a promotion through your Instagram account. These could be:
You can put info about your promotion in the caption of a post, in a story, a video, or in your profile bio.
Strictly speaking, you don’t need a website to sell on Instagram.
The only requirements to sell on Instagram is that you have a Facebook business page, an Instagram Business profile, and sell primarily physical goods.
That said, there are some big advantages to having a website to back up your IG profile:
With platforms like Zyro, you can build a website and launch your online store in a matter of minutes, all for an astonishingly low monthly fee. Don’t let time or money get in the way of launching an excellent website.
There’s no minimum requirement for followers for you to be able to sell on Instagram. You can set up a business profile, add product listings, and serve ads, all without having a single follower to your name.
However, it is still advisable that you try and grow your follower base, since there are certain perks to having more followers:
Once your Instagram eCommerce operation is up and running, there isn’t time to rest on your success. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, and other retailers are always circling trying to steal your next sale.
However well your posts, ads, and other marketing efforts are working, there are always improvements to be made.
Use Instagram Insights and any other analytics tools you have to see what works, who your customer base is, and what you can do to best appeal to them.
Replicate successful strategies in future content and marketing, and stop doing anything that is ineffective.
Should you choose to set up a Zyro website to sell on Instagram offers you a number of advantages.
A website can act as a hub for your brand’s online activities. Although most Instagram users will only interact with your Instagram Business profile, a separate website offers an extra level of credibility to your website.
Zyro eCommerce comes with all the tools you need to sell on Instagram. You’re able to tag your product listings directly in your posts, and invite users to visit the product page on your website to shop.
Your eCommerce package from Zyro also provides you with powerful integrations that help you advertise via Instagram and other channels. Create ads, reach the right audience, and tailor communications to their preferences.
As well as being empowered to sell via Instagram, your Zyro eCommerce website helps your sell on other platforms like Facebook and Amazon. Increase your reach, find new customers, and maximize your sales.
Selling on multiple platforms can be challenging. With Zyro your inventory is synced across all platforms, and orders, shipping, and customer communication is handled from a single, central dashboard.
Love selling on Instagram because everything’s mobile? You’ll love the iOS and Android interface you get to use as part of your Zyro eCommerce plan. Manage everything to do with your store, right from your smartphone.