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Social media marketing has grown tremendously in the recent years, and has proven to be a promising platform for advertising and marketing your brand. One of the relatively new social media platforms to invite brands and companies for marketing is Instagram.
Instagram is home to 1 billion monthly active users globally. This alone makes it a ground for marketing professionals to drive people to their websites and generate potential leads. There are common misconceptions that the application’s users might not be the appropriate audience for the business to target. Still, the app’s broad and extensive user base is enough to prove them wrong.
Instagram is an excellent lead hunting ground for eCommerce businesses due to the range of items you can advertise, like cosmetics, food items, toys, apparel, etc.
In this article we have discussed the major benefits of incorporating Instagram into your marketing channels and its best practices.
To help you understand why you should focus on Instagram Marketing, let us first start with its benefits.
Benefits of Instagram Marketing for your eCommerce Business
The eCommerce industry is home to millions of products and services. Countless platforms sell products, and it isn’t easy to drive consumers to your business. Instagram provides a way out for your platform to stand out and drives the appropriate audience to your website.
Here are some Instagram statistics to prove the same:
- Instagram has more than 1 billion Monthly Active Users (MAU). According to Statista, more than half of the global Instagram user population is younger than 34. The majority of eCommerce’s target audience lies in this age range making it more than convenient for advertising purposes.
- Demographically, the United States, India, and Brazil contribute to nearly 290 million users. Most eCommerce businesses have target audiences in these countries. It allows the businesses to ride on Instagram’s reach while using as few resources as possible.
- One of the leading KPI metrics for brand awareness is engagement, and Instagram takes the lead in social media engagement. The average image on Instagram gets 23% more engagement than Facebook, which has twice the MAUs. In simple words, this means your branded content will get more interactions than a Facebook ad, which is usually glossed over. The average time spent on Instagram is as high as 53 minutes, which is a strong indicator of engagement rates.
- Instagram features like stories, posts, and IGTV also help in promoting your brand image. Advertisements of your eCommerce business will generally show up when the app’s user is glossing over his feed or watching stories. One-third (33%) of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Although it might create nuance for a few users, having a well-designed product post can immediately catch their attention.
- Another powerful feature for eCommerce businesses is the Shopping feature (covered more in-depth later). It was a game-changer for many companies as it allows you to shop for products advertised without leaving the app. 130 million people tap to reveal Product Tags in Shopping posts each month. Currently, the checkout feature is limited to the United States, but business can directly market their items with the product tag, which instantly takes the user to your website.
- With 90% of the app’s users following a business account, most people do not mind the brand presence.
According to a survey conducted by Facebook:
- 78% say that they see brands on Instagram as popular
- 77% as creative
- 76% as entertaining,
- 72% as committed to building community.
The platform acts as an ideal way to create brand awareness and to form the discovery portion of the eCommerce sales funnel.83% percent of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform.
Now like with every other platform, there are some tried and tested practices that will help you gain more consumers for your product, as discussed in the next section.
Best Practices for Instagram Marketing for your eCommerce Business
The right type of content and posts to market your eCommerce products can be hard to come by. Moreover, there are several other factors that you should consider when maintaining a business profile on Instagram.
Here are some best practices that can get you a higher level of engagement and conversions:
Be creative with Instagram posts and stories:
Having a business profile on Instagram is not just about advertisements. More users will flock to your Instagram page if your posts and stories are creative and bring a certain flare. This also helps in promoting your business.
You could go with behind the scenes posts, or have quizzes on your stories, etc. Another way of having users check out your page is by starting creative trends that will engage the audience in taking part.
A good example of this is Magnolia, the company behind the TV show Upper Fixer. The company has developed a well recognized, aspirational brand around home remodelling and design, and their bakery.
On their Instagram account, you can find their behind the scenes clips, event highlights , design inspiration from some of the homes featured on the show, and also promos they’re having at their market (i.e.a discount on Jo’s favorite bag for her birthday.)
Besides this for increasing user generated content, Magnolia asks its audience for testimonials and post comments. They also use hashtags like #MagnoliaMarket and #Wacotown to increase engagement around a topic.
Track the right metrics using Instagram’s tools:
Through Instagram’s in-app tool called Insights, you can view detailed statistics like engagement data, clicks, impressions, and more. Another great feature of Insights is that you can get the demographics of your followers visiting your page, which is categorized into age, gender, location, etc.
Furthermore, you can get specific insights on posts for the week that show how many impressions you earned for that period and what your top posts were. This helps you develop marketing strategies in and out of Instagram and deliver the right content for your target audience.
Engage in #Hashtags:
Hashtags rose to popularity in Twitter, but due to Instagram’s more extensive user base, hashtags can play a pivotal role in your posts. Hashtags related to the product or business are mentioned in the caption, which makes it discoverable to everyone.
Hashtags can play two primary purposes for Instagram. Either you can use standard and related hashtags that make your product or post discoverable in those categories like #shoes, #sports, etc. or invent a hashtag to bring the community together. The latter is much more powerful as it helps you to gain the community’s attention and makes it a trend for many others to follow. If used right, hashtags can increase your engagement rates exponentially.
As mentioned earlier, Mongolia invents hashtags like #MagnoliaMarket and #Wacotown for boosting engagement.
Another good example of hashtag engagement is EcoTools. The company uses its name as a branded hashtag, and to encourage the use of it they have put the hashtag into their Instagram bio and paired it with a call to action. It’s on every brand post and many customers’ posts as well, totaling up to over 131k on that hashtag alone.
Use sponsored ads and product teasers:
The most common way to get your product out there is through sponsored ads and product teasers. Sponsored ads on Instagram are generally featured when the user is scrolling through their newsfeed. The ad can include links and product tags.
One smart way to advertise is through product teasers. Product teaser’s posts are a simple way to talk about your product and increase engagement without acting pushy. Announcing sales and discounts on your products will help the users get a taste of the product without you having to force them.
Keep in mind that there are many different forms of sponsored ads that you can post, such as:
Partner with social media influencers:
If you want to take your product or your page to the next level, partnering with an influencer is your best bet. Influencers have a wider reach and followers, which makes their posts hard to miss. Even if your page has a low follower count, you can effectively take advantage of the influencer’s followers and market your product. Finding the appropriate influencers is crucial when it comes to selling your product. Building a relationship with each influencer helps your eCommerce business build lasting brand awareness with newer audiences.
One good example of influencer marketing on Instagram is Zara partnering with influencer Teesh Rosa to promote their denim jackets and jeans with the hashtag #IAmDenim.
Zara’s post with Teesh Rosa had approximately 3,65,000 views and helped the brand reach a wider audience and become more accessible to the youth.
The statistics and the data alone show that you should adopt Instagram as one of your marketing channels.
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