Living in the digital age, when people use social media platforms to keep in touch with their friends and family, online shoppers use these networks to discover new products, do research, and buy them in-app.
Social selling is actually not a new concept. In the last decade, ecommerce businesses have been using Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to show off their products and encourage online shoppers to buy them on social media platforms.
However, the popularity of Instagram shopping is taking the world by storm. In fact, 53% of internet users are active on Instagram and the platform has over 1 billion users, so it's no wonder that ecommerce brands promote their products on Instagram for a chance to boost sales.
Why Does Instagram Help to Boost Sales?
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media networks with the most engaged user base. As a result, users spend a considerable amount of time on Instagram that affects consumer shopping behavior, too.
According to eMarketer, 73% of teens want to learn more about new products and promotions on Instagram:
But here are four more reasons why Instagram helps to boost sales:
- Online shoppers pay close attention to visual content: Most customers rely on product visuals when making a purchase decision. As a visual platform, Instagram is just a perfect place to show off products and spark interest in items.
- Customers stay in touch with brands on platforms they use often: Today, Instagram is one of the most preferred channels for brand communications and 90% users love interacting with brands in-app. This means your potential customers are ready to establish a connection with your business and buy from you on Instagram.
- People discover products on Instagram: For most customers, Instagram has become a storefront with a variety of products in one place. One research has shown that 83% of Instagrammers discover new products in-app and 80% of these users decide whether to buy a product or not.
- Instagram shopping is popular and easy: Since people research products in-app, the platform has introduced various business-specific features like product tags and in-app checkout that help to improve in-app shopping experience. As a result, selling on Instagram is easy.
Now that you know about the sales potential of Instagram, let's take a look at 7 Instagram marketing tactics that boost sales.
1. Turn Your Instagram Profile into a Storefront
Instagram offers various features that help customers discover product information and buy items in-app with ease: product tags, shopping stickers, clickable links, etc. As a result, followers and visitors get an opportunity to find more about interested products and therefore make the purchase on impulse.
In short, setting up an Instagram store is a great way to turn your profile into a storefront and showcase your products to interest your following. Here's how it looks like:
Here are several tips on how to turn your Instagram account into a storefront:
- Write a descriptive Instagram bio with a relevant business category
- Add a bio clickable link and contact buttons
- Use Instagram Story Highlights to navigate your visitors
- Create a beautiful and cohesive Instagram feed that meet your brand identity
- Include product tags, product information, and prices
2. Feature User-Generated Content for Higher Brand Trust
With a great variety of options on the market, customers do research to buy from reliable brands that can satisfy their needs. In fact, 80% of customers read online product reviews when shopping.
One of the best ways to ease the worried minds of potential customers and increase brand trust is to feature user-generated content where satisfied customers use your products in action.
User-generated content is extremely powerful as it hints at the quality of your products and therefore encourages social media followers to buy from you. For example, Lulus often uses UGC photos on its profile to show off the variety of products with customers' lifestyle photos.
During the discovery phase, when potential customers do research to find new products that can meet their needs and wants, seeing a variety of UGC photos serves as social proof and therefore motivates them to make a purchase.
3. Team Up With Niche Influencers
Word-of-mouth marketing has always been one of the most effective tactics. Today, more and more people seek out influencer recommendations before making a purchase, another great way to boost sales is to collaborate with Instagram influencers.
Since modern users follow opinion leaders and trust their recommendations as much as their real-world friends, influencer endorsements help to reach a wider audience who are more likely to become paying customers.
To raise brand awareness and get more customers, Videoleap teamed up with Kevin Parry, a video animator who made a funny and engaging April Fools prank video with the video editing tool. The influencer used Videoleap’s masking and layer-based editing features to create this video, and he even gave a short tutorial at the end, empowering viewers to make their own funny prank clips. As a result, his video post got 234k views and 160 comments. It's just another proof that video marketing is on its rise.
Working with Instagram influencers who meet your views and values, it's easy to spread the word about your product and cause a buzz around it as modern online shoppers pay close attention to their recommendations. For brands, this means higher brand trust and more sales without being too salesy.
4. Share Exclusive Offers and Discounts with Following
Most people seek out offers and discounts during the discover phase. As a result, it's more likely you know the importance of using promotions for more sales. It's in human nature to look for exclusive offers and discounts to get an opportunity to save money on buying items. Thus, online shoppers are looking for deals even if they choose to shop on Instagram.
When it comes to boosting sales on Instagram, this ecommerce technique is extremely effective, so brands create exclusive offers for their followers to make them feel special.
Check out how LC Waikiki Kenia did it in one post to increase following and improve the consumers' purchase intent:
5. Market Your Products with Instagram Stories or Reels
With a short attention span of 8 seconds, ephemeral content like Instagram Stories that disappears within 24 hours is gaining in popularity. Today, 500 million people create or watch Stories daily as they are afraid of missing out on something important.
What is more, short yet engaging videos like Instagram Reels are gaining in popularity among users.
For all brands and influencers, this means a perfect opportunity to market your products or services. Ecommerce businesses like ASOS uses this tactic often. Check it out:
To reach your potential customers and spark their interest in your product, analyze your following behavior on the platform to find the best time to post on Instagram. The more people are active on Instagram when your Story or Reel is posted, the more people you can reach. Over the long haul, this means more sales.
6. Give Away Your Brand Freebies
Practically every person knows that customers love free stuff. When potential customers get an opportunity to test your product for free, they are more likely to become paying customers.
Running an Instagram giveaway is one of the best ways to give away your brand freebies for two main reasons: it helps to increase user engagement rate and it causes a buzz around your brand products.
Here's an example of this strategy in action:
To give your giveaway participants a present of their choice, you can also give away gift certificates as gifts.
7. Run Instagram Ad Campaigns
Today, the decision-making process is difficult for most customers. It can take hours, days, or even weeks for potential customers to make a purchase after discovering a product on Instagram.
So, wouldn't it be great if you could turn leads into customers? Set up advanced Instagram ads to reach your potential customers based on their email addresses or phone numbers.
Not only do Instagram ads have business-specific features like clickable links and product tags, but paid ads also cut through the noise of content and reach more people, not just followers.
Case in point:
In honor of its new hair color mask, MoroccanOil ran an Instagram ad campaign to raise brand awareness and sales. It resulted in a 31-point lift in ad recall, a 3.5-point lift in purchase intent, and a 2.2X lift in website purchases.
Whether you're an Instagram influencer or a brand, another great tactic for Instagram ads is to wear your own merchandise in content to show your viewers the cool designs you offer and therefore spark interest in these products.
With the popularity of Instagram shopping, customers discover and buy products in-app. As a result, Instagram has great sales potential for businesses of all sizes and niches. However, the competition is getting higher, so it's also important to know Instagram marketing tactics that work best for your business to turn your followers into buyers and boost sales.