According to a current survey more than 83% of all Instagram users surveyed have already discovered a new product or service on the social media platform. From this figure, it is clear that the platform is no longer solely for personal use. The global media channel allows brands to showcase their products and increase brand awareness. 80% of users surveyed even reported making a purchase after seeing a product or service on an Instagram post. Therefore, for e-commerce sellers, the key is to leverage this consumer potential with the right Instagram online marketing strategy. We have summarized the best hacks and strategies below.
4 Ways to Increase E-commerce Sales Using Instagram Online Marketing:
1 - Switch to the business account
For those who want to generate more sales through Instagram, turning their personal account into a business profile is the first step. This feature allows sellers to have a professional Instagram presence, retrieve contact information from Facebook, and generate Instagram shopping links. In addition, the business account can be used to view analytics and retrieve the number of impressions and clicks on a weekly basis for optimization purposes.
In order to convert the Instagram profile into a business account, the profile simply has to be connected to the own business Facebook page (if no Facebook page exists yet, it has to be created before the first step). In the Instagram account settings, the option "convert to business profile" can then be selected.
2 - – Hashtag research to increase sales
If you have a direct marketing goal in mind, it's usually not enough to just post good pictures on Instagram. By posting alone, the images can only reach a very limited number of the potential target audience. Therefore, it is recommended to support each post with relevant hashtags. Using hashtags, the Instagram algorithm can catalog the different types of images as well as products and play them out to the relevant target audience who follow certain hashtags or are interested in the topics of the hashtag. The use of relevant hashtags can also help the visibility of the seller's profile on other social platforms. For example, if a Seller shares Instagram content to Facebook, the hashtags set will automatically be published there as well. This improves the chances that the content will be found by users searching for these hashtags via Facebook's graphical search.
However, those who resort to a marketing strategy using hashtags should note that the use of unsuitable or too many hashtags can have a negative impact on the strategy. For an analysis of relevant hashtags, a variety of analysis tools can be used (e.g., "hashtags"): quintly or Brandwatch), an analysis of successful competitor hashtags can also help identify relevant hashtags.
3 - – Use Instagram Advertising
Another recommended Instagram online marketing strategy is the use of the Instagram advertising option. Instagram advertising can be used to improve website conversion rates and increase brand visibility. While a link can only be included within normal Instagram posts if the account is verified or has more than 100,000 followers, a user can be taken directly to the product page within an ad using the "Shop Now" button. Also within Instagram Stories, the setting of a link is only possible from a follower count of 10,000. Using Instagram Story Ads, which are displayed to users between the Stories of their subscribed profiles, e-commerce sellers can also include direct links to products below the threshold of 10,000 followers.
4 - – Share user-generated content and drive engagement
In order to increase engagement within the established community, user-generated and personalized content can be used. The emotional connection of the potential buyer to the product or the brand is important to strengthen the engagement. In addition to "behind the scenes" images, exclusive videos and photos from live events or sharing user-generated content can be an effective strategy to create this emotion. Since high user engagement in the form of comments, saves, likes, shares or participation in Instagram polls or the question tool are important for the reach of the post, special content formats, questions within feed posts or engagement-boosting discussion prompts in Stories (e.g. the poll tool or question tool in Stories) should be used to encourage the community to engage. If users can identify with the brand through regular interaction and the content is also regularly played out to the user due to high engagement, the necessary basis is laid to convert the user to a buyer.
Optimize website mobile-first to turn Instagram traffic into sales
Once brand awareness has been increased through Instagram online marketing strategies and engagement has increased, the user-friendliness of the website should be examined in order to convert traffic into sales. For one, the website should be mobile-first optimized (since Instagram traffic mainly comes from smartphones) as well as reduce the number of clicks (funnel steps) for the buyer to purchase and provide assistance at the necessary funnel points (e.g.: Link to FAQs, detailed product descriptions, possibility to contact customer support via chat). This facilitates the purchase decision and minimizes the bounce rate. In addition, trust elements (such as certificates, a comprehensive list of payment methods, explicit references to free shipping or return shipping, extended right of withdrawal) should be integrated on the website.
If you want to tap into the huge consumer potential on Instagram, it is advisable to resort to a variety of Instagram online marketing strategies. The strategies and hacks mentioned above offer various possibilities to sustainably increase your e-commerce sales.