In today’s challenging economic climate, having an alternative marketplace in which to promote and sell your products can be a real bonus. If you are a retailer, eBay and Amazon are obvious choices. However, social media sites also offer great opportunities. Instagram is one of the leading platforms that consumers use to discover new brands and make purchases and, in this post, we’ll explain how to use it to drive new sales.
Use the bio section to sell your brand
The consumers that tend to use Instagram will choose brands that they identify with and with which they have shared values. The bio section of your Instagram business account is important because it is here that you can promote your brand in a way that sells your identity and values. Much like a mix of your website’s home and about us pages, it is often the way customers get that all-important first impression of your brand. Done well, it can help you grow an audience of loyal followers and customers.
An effective bio section should include a striking profile image that epitomises your brand and which stays in the mind, together with engaging text that makes it clear what your company sells and what makes it unique.
For generating sales, the bio is also the place to include a link to your website. To make the most of it, ideally, you should send users to a specially created landing page just for Instagrammers. You should also use the bio section to place your branded hashtags as these are useful for the sharing of user-generated content.
Make the most of your visuals
Instagram is predominantly a site for sharing photographs and videos. While these are naturally engaging media in themselves, there are so many for users to see, yours will only be effective if they are instantly attention-grabbing. Your visuals, therefore, need to be considered, creative and designed to attract the eye of those you are targeting.
You don’t need a professional photographer to create the images, as most people have everything they need on their smartphones. What’s more important is how you set up what’s in front of the camera to make it appealing. Make sure you track engagement of each post as this will help you to understand what type of images work best with your chosen audience.
Take advantage of Instagram Shopping and Instagram Checkout
Instagram Shopping is one of the platform’s most useful features as it enables users to view products, product descriptions and prices. A ‘View on Website’ link then sends them to your website’s product page where they can buy the item directly from you. Users can find your products as you can tag them in your posts. Clicking on the tag will take them to your product image, description, pricing and website link.
Instagram Checkout is a relatively new service. Similar to Instagram Shopping, the principal difference is that rather than being sent to your website to undertake the checkout process, customers can buy directly from within the app itself.
To use Instagram Shopping or Instagram Checkout, you will need to meet several criteria to get approval. These include only selling physical products and having a linked Facebook product catalogue.
Advertising on Instagram
Much like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads are a highly effective way to precisely target posts at specific groups, enabling you to increase the exposure of your products exactly where you need it. You have control over your budget, the length of campaigns and your audience.
Instagram Ads are very easy to set up. Simply click ‘Promote’ on the post you want to advertise and then select the audience, the amount you want to spend and the campaign length. Finally, choose where you want users who click on your promoted posts to be sent, e.g. your website, profile or direct messages. Once you confirm your choices, the promotion will begin. Instagram even provides performance statistics so you can keep track of how well the ad is doing.
Instagram Story is an alternative advertising method you can use on the platform. Essentially, you pay to have a video or image placed at the top of users’ feeds for 24 hours. This prime position is designed to give your post maximum exposure to your target audience and, hopefully, lead to increased engagement and sales. Of course, the post has to attract attention if the strategy is going to be effective, so it may be wise to choose a post that has already proved to be engaging.
Instagram offers an additional platform for brands to advertise and sell their products to targeted groups of users. If the audience you want to attract is made up of those who use the platform, then Instagram is a sales opportunity you should seriously consider.
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