Instagram, with its 500 million daily active users, is one of the best marketing channels around today. Unlike the parent company, Facebook, Instagram doesn't allow direct links to shopping sites. That gives brands the ability to connect with millions of potential customers, but only a limited way to actually get these customers to a shopping page.
Selling on Instagram is not impossible, however. Many businesses thrive because of Instagram, largely because these brands have mastered the art of driving conversions through the platform. It’s not impossible, and your brand can do it too. Here are some pragmatic suggestions for increasing the sales of your products using Instagram: Deploy the hashtags
Hashtags are inexorably linked with Instagram. Every Insta-user knows what they are, but does your brand know exactly how to use hashtags
Hashtags should be descriptive and indicative of what your post is about. A common mistake many brands make on Instagram is using trending hashtags. Sure, trending hashtags get a lot of attention, but only if it’s actually relevant to the post.
Using a hot hashtag would not necessarily lead to more customer traffic from Instagram. Don’t flood your posts with hashtags either. Brands should first research these properly and use the most significant hashtags that best reflect the idea behind the post.
Also, never place hashtags in front of a post description. Add it to the end. The most important information in the post will be relayed in the description, so don’t let a hashtag get in the way. Tag locations
Instagram posts with locations can get as much as 80% more engagement on the platform, according to a 2014 study
. Brands can use location stickers on Instagram Stories to increase the chance of showing up on searches. Essentially, tagging a location is a proven method to become visible to a target customer base that is highly likely to make a purchase.
There are other perks of using location stickers on Instagram. The platform has a curated section of posts for each location. If your post is tagged with, say, London, then it would appear on the all stories page for the city. That naturally means more visibility for your post. Sell directly from the comments section
Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in posts or comments, but don’t let that handicap your potential to make a sale. Brands can be innovative about how to direct potential customers from the comments section to a product page. Take Gigi’s Boutique for example:
When users comment on a post from Gigi’s, the brand replies with “sold” and the hashtag #commenttoorder. Nothing is directly linked from Instagram, but the customer can get in touch with the brand to place an order.
Replying to customer comments and accepting inquiries from Instagram posts can lead to product sales. Let customers know that they can do more than look at nice pictures of products. Increase engagement to get customers actually interested in making a purchase. Use influencers
Influencer marketing is a major force of its own on Instagram. For every dollar a brand spends on an influencer on Instagram, there’s a return
averaging as much as $6.50. Savvy brands know how to harness the power of influencer marketing and drive sales.
In simple terms, an influencer is a person with a considerable following on Instagram. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity. This could even apply to an average person with a devoted following. Influencer marketing means paying these individuals to promote your product on their feed and pitch it to their followers.
Influencer marketing is distinct from a direct marketing campaign. The influencers don’t act like they’re in TV or billboard ads mindlessly repeating slogans. Rather, the influencers post pictures of themselves consuming the product. One famous example is Kylie Jenner, who often uploads pictures of herself using various makeup brands, effectively making these brands visible and desirable to millions of dedicated Kylie fans.
Influencer marketing generates enormous ROI and is more effective than conventional ads posted on the platform. Don’t miss out on this opportunity and find influencers who appeal to your brand’s target audience. Try “shopping on Instagram”
Shopping on Instagram is a brand new feature
the company is rolling out on a limited basis. The feature gives businesses an “immersive storefront” on the site, where potential customers can check out products with just a tap. It allows businesses to post a picture and tag up to five products with pricing details.
Business profiles get a “shop” button with the shopping feature, which is a game changer. Brands can also post links on the tapped photos that take customers directly to a shopping page. Unfortunately, this feature is currently available only for approved businesses.
Until shopping on Instagram becomes widely available, stick to the above suggestions on how to get Insta followers to pay for your products.