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Published April 12th 2023

5 Ways You Can Leverage Instagram to Sell More Products

In this blog we’ll analyze the reasons why Instagram is such a powerful e-commerce tool, and explain the features you can use to boost your Instagram sales.

In addition to offering a way to connect with friends and family, Instagram is an incredibly effective channel for selling products. Businesses can leverage this social media platform to make the most of an extra sales channel.

In this blog, we’ll analyze why Instagram is such a powerful e-commerce tool and explain the features you can use to boost your Instagram sales.

Why is Instagram so effective for e-commerce?

Here are just some of the ways Instagram can help your e-commerce strategy.

It's a visual-based platform

First and foremost, Instagram is a visual platform. Businesses can present their products in many different formats, making them visually appealing to users scrolling through their feeds.

It taps into impulsive buying

Instagram's influence on impulse purchases makes it effective as an e-commerce channel. Thanks to Instagram’s algorithm, users are naturally exposed to content they’re interested in and rarely to ‘salesy’ content. Plus, it only takes a few clicks to navigate from an Instagram post to the purchase page of a product. And this brings us to the following point.

A robust set of e-commerce features

In 2020, Instagram introduced ‘Shops’ – a way for brands to showcase their product offering on Instagram. Brands can create a storefront directly on Instagram and fill it in with products from their catalog.

Brands can also ‘tag’ their products on their organic posts. This means that if users are looking at a post and want to know more about the featured items, they'll be shown the product's name and price immediately. This feature allows businesses to advertise products in a natural way.

How to get more e-commerce sales with Instagram

Now we’ve seen the different reasons why Instagram is a power force when it comes to selling products, let's dive into the best strategies you can use to get even more out of Instagram.

1. Set up an Instagram Shop

We’ve already mentioned that Shops are an incredibly useful tool. Let’s have a look at the best practices for creating a stellar shopping experience.

Firstly, make sure you have an Instagram Business account or a Creator account. If you don’t, it’s time for you to transition. Check you meet all of Meta’s commerce eligibility requirements and that your country is eligible for shopping on Instagram.

Next, create your Shop and connect it to Instagram and Facebook. Login to Commerce Manager and click on ‘Get Started with Shops.’ Choose where customers will buy your products – for example, your website. You can also set up the checkout directly on Instagram if your business is located in the US. Select your sales channels and choose your Instagram account to link to your Shop. If you have a Facebook page, you can also associate that with your Instagram Shop. On Instagram, select ‘Edit profile,’ go to ‘Public Business Information,’ and select ‘Page.’ Then choose your Facebook page.

Now, it's time to work on your Product Catalog. In Commerce Manager, click ‘Catalog’ and then ‘Add products.’ You can either do this manually, or integrate your catalog from a certified eCommerce platform like Shopify. Add your product image, its name, a description, and the price. You can even add an SKU in the content ID section. Add a website link to each of your products so users will be able to purchase them. You can add plenty of other options, such as tax category, the condition of the product, shipping options, and a return policy. Finally, click ‘Add product.’ Repeat this for each of the products you would like to feature in your catalog.

Now you’ll need your account to be reviewed by Meta. This can take up to 2 days, but sometimes it might be a bit longer. In your Instagram profile settings, click on ‘Sign up for Instagram Shopping’ and submit your account for review. If you wish to check the status of your application, you can go to settings and then to ‘Shopping.’

Once you're approved, it's time to activate Instagram Shopping! Now, you can connect your product catalog with your Instagram Shop. In your Instagram business profile, go to settings, tap ‘Business,’ and then ‘Shopping.’ Select the catalog you would like to connect with and click ‘Done.’

2. Use product tags

Now that you have an Instagram Shop set up, you need to drive users to visit it. And just like you can tag other accounts on Instagram, you can also tag products in your content.

When users tap on a post, they will see the tag for your item. If they click on the tag, they will be redirected to your Instagram Shop, and more specifically to that product page. So, let's get started promoting your products on Instagram.

You can tag your products using Brandwatch following these steps:

  • Login to Brandwatch and go to ‘Publish’
  • Open a published post or create a new one: Upload an image, write compelling copy, and add hashtags.
  • Select ‘Tag Products’, click on the image to choose where you want the tag to be, and finally, choose the product from your catalog.
  • Publish or schedule your post.

Note: Only clients with an Instagram Business account and an Instagram Shop will be able to tag products with Brandwatch on Instagram.

3. Drive traffic to your website using Link in Bio

Adding a link to your bio is an additional powerful sales tool to drive Instagram sales. This link is a clickable URL that you can insert on your Instagram account. This link redirects users to a custom immersive landing page, where brands can populate links to specific website pages – like content pages, product pages, and even Youtube videos.

At Brandwatch, we call this ‘Link in Bio*,’ which is a dynamic hub which can drive traffic from Instagram to your website.

Creating your Link in Bio landing page is easy in Brandwatch.

  • From Publish, click ‘Link in Bio’ in the menu on the left, then on ‘Create Page.’ This is where you'll be able to build the landing page for your link.
  • Give a name to your page, and if you want, select the Instagram channels you want to link to this specific landing page.
  • Now you need to work on your page and the different modules to include. For example, a popular choice is to add trackable links – such as to your blog posts or contacts page, etc. You can also customize the page with your logo and choose your brand colors.

Another effective strategy is to include an Instagram Content module featuring your latest Instagram posts. Each post will redirect to an external link, such as a product page on your website.

To select which Instagram posts you’ll want to feature in the Link in Bio landing page, you’ll need to create or edit an Instagram post in Publish. Then, in the Link in Bio section, add your intended URL.

Finally, remember to include your link in your Instagram bio. Remind users to visit the link in your posts and on your story.

4. Promote your products in organic posts, then boost reach with Instagram Ads

These different strategies all rely on one basic notion: you need to post product-related content on your Instagram feed. Only by doing this will you be able to tag products, redirect to your Shop, and direct users to your Instagram bio. 

When you’re planning your Instagram calendar, focus on a healthy balance between product-focused posts and other types of content.

Plus, the best practice is to measure the performance of your organic posts so that, when you notice certain content is performing well, you can put some budget behind it to promote it as an ad.

5. Utilize influencers

Last – but far from least – let’s consider partnerships with influencers.

Teaming up with content creators with followers who belong to your target audience is a great way to raise awareness about your product offering. Influencers can even tag your products in their posts, making it easy for a user to see the product, fall in love with it, and purchase it right away.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to break the bank to collaborate with influencers: working with micro influencers is a cheaper (and sometimes more effective) strategy.

In Brandwatch Influence, we offer a tool called ‘Discovery.’ This enables you to find the right influencers for your product campaigns. You can easily find influential micro-influencers you might not know about (yet), who can fit your targeting goals. We also offer a Shopify integration to help you measure the revenue coming from influencers.

*Link in Bio is currently available as an open beta for all clients in Brandwatch Publish.

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