The introduction of Shopping on Instagram in 2017 changed the way businesses use the popular social media platform to advertise and sell their products. Rather than having to rely on their followers to visit their website and manually look up the products they were interested in, they could now add clickable tags and take their customers directly to the product page on their official online store in a single tap.
Every month, more than 90 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts to learn more about the products shown in them. Users from more than 40 countries where the feature is available use it to shop for fashion apparel, jewelry, cosmetics, and makeup. With a few hundred thousand new active users per year, there are plenty of opportunities to sell your products on Instagram. To do that, you need to create original shopping posts that will engage your followers and showcase your products in an appealing way.
How to Make the Most Out of Shopping on Instagram
If you have a product that you want to sell, Shopping on Instagram allows you to turn your profile into a virtual storefront. Every story and every post you publish should showcase your product in the best way possible to entice your customers to click the “View on Website” link and buy the product in question.
Of course, your customers will want to know the details of the product, as well as its price. You should thus add shoppable tags to posts and stories that feature your product. Instagram currently allows you to tag up to five products per image and up to 20 per a carousel gallery. But to get your followers to click on the tags, you need to make your shopping posts original, captivating, and appealing to your audience.
Here are four tips that will help you create shopping posts that sell.
1. Tag Multiple Products in One Post
If you have two or more products to sell, it might be a good idea to showcase them in the same post. With multiple products included in a single post, you get multiple chances to capture the attention of potential customers.
Let’s say you want to include two products in one post – a handbag and a matching pair of shoes.
Some of your followers may not be on the lookout for new shoes, but they are interested in getting a new handbag. They will thus open your post to take a closer look at the handbag. When they tap on the tag, the image of the shoes will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, under the heading “Also Featured in This Post”.
This increases the visibility of each individual product and allows it to be seen by potential customers who may not have otherwise looked for it. In addition, if your customers like one of your products, they may also order the second one in one fell swoop, especially if the products match or are part of a set.
2. Use the Right Hashtags
Like all other posts on your Instagram page, your shopping posts should include relevant hashtags. This allows all Instagram users – not just your followers – to find your posts from the Explore page, thus also helping you reach new audiences. In addition, Instagram encourages users to follow hashtags, so by using popular hashtags, you are also ensuring that your products will be discovered by the right people.
To get the most out of using hashtags in your posts, you should make them product-specific. For example, if the shoes and the handbag from the previous tip both feature a leopard print, you should use the hashtag #leopardprint. On top of that, you should also describe both products that are showcased in the post with appropriate tags, e.g. #handbags and #womenshoes (or #highheelshoes if you want to be more specific). For maximum engagement, combine these with your brand-specific hashtags.
3. Maintain a Uniform Visual Style
If you’ve had your brand’s Instagram profile for a while now, chances are you have already developed a unique visual style. Because your shopping posts will be displayed on your profile page, they need to utilize the exact same style and formatting. You should thus use the same basic color scheme, filters, editing techniques, and fonts to make sure that your shopping posts fit in with your overall aesthetic.
People online tend to have an aversion to advertising, hence the widespread use of ad-blocking software. If your shopping posts stand out from your other posts in any way, many of your followers may not even bother opening them. Similarly, if they notice that you’re putting more time and effort into your shopping posts than the rest of your content, they may find that there’s no value in following your profile anymore. To avoid losing followers, make sure that all your posts have the same “feel”.
4. Use Stories to Show Your Product in Action
Instagram also allows you to add shoppable tags to your stories. However, rather than featuring a static photo of one or more of your products, you should use the Stories feature to show your products in action. Create short, dynamic, and fun videos to showcase what your product looks like in real life.
This is especially important for jewelry, apparel, and other products that can be styled or accessorized. By showcasing your product in different settings, styles, and situations, you are giving your followers an opportunity to see all the different ways to incorporate your product into their daily lives. You are thus giving them more reasons to tap on the shoppable tag and purchase the product.
A Final Thought
These shopping posts are an important part of your Instagram marketing strategy, so you need to ensure that they’re bringing in the conversion rates that you want to achieve. To do this, you need to monitor the performance of each post. Tap on View Insights to see how your audiences have engaged with each shopping post. You can also sort all your tagged posts to see which of them has performed the best.
Try to identify certain patterns in the way your target audience reacts to your shopping posts that could help inform your Instagram strategy. Analyze what type of content your viewers have responded to the best. Were they more interested in single-image or carousel-style posts? Did your product videos posted on Instagram Stories generate more views than the image-based posts on your profile?
Analyze all these insights and use them to improve your future shopping posts on Instagram.