How to Use Instagram for Maximum Impact in Ecommerce Marketing
The fact that Instagram does not offer any special features that businesses can take advantage of has not prevented countless businesses, big and small, from pushing their products and services on one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. The attraction of the 500 million plus customers, out of which, a good 60% of whom are aged between 18 and 34, is too big for businesses, especially those operating in the lifestyle sector, to ignore. According to a research study, over 93% of all the premium brands have a presence on Instagram. That notwithstanding the benefits of an Instagram presence is not limited to big brands only; most of the relatively smaller e-commerce businesses too can benefit by it. Some good examples of business promotion on Instagram:
Integrate Instagram with Your Ecommerce Website
Baublebar, an online retailer of jewelry conducted a marketing campaign on Instagram by including on the site’s homepage a widget that could be used by customers to display photos of them wearing the brand. Upon the users clicking on any of the pictures, a pop-up window would appear that showcased the jewelry and provided a link to the site’s product page. If you do not think that you are up to the job of creating a custom widget like Baublebar, you can very easily take recourse to third-party tools that will allow you to embed into your site Instagram photos with a widget creator completely free of charge. One such free tool, Websta also enables users to group images in a way very similar to Pinterest and is thus extremely convenient for arranging products as per category.
Use Instagram to Transact
Because Instagram does not permit its users to embed hyperlinks with the images posted it can be very difficult to facilitate users to go to the product pages on the relevant e-commerce site. However, there are a number of app developers who have made things easy by making it possible for Instagram to facilitate sales. Using an app provider like Soldsie, Prep Obsessed, an online retailer of accessories sells by asking users to use the Instagram comments section to leave behind a comment with the word “Sold” and mentioning the product details. Soldsie would generate an invoice and send it to the customer by email, which could be then used to complete the transaction. Nasty Gal, another fashion retailer includes shortened links in the descriptions for users to copy and paste into a browser. This really means that when you are determined you can still use Instagram for e-commerce.
Conduct a Contest
Conducting contests are among the most popular and effective ways of engaging customers. Asking followers to post photographs on a particular subject or even suggest captions for a particular photograph and then rewarding a few followers with a freebie can be a lot of fun that also generates great word of mouth publicity. Done properly, it can also result in a large accretion of Instagram followers.
Showcase Customers with Products
One of the best ways of drawing attention to products, especially in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle sector, is to post pictures of actual customers using and enjoying the products. Warby Parker, a spectacle retailer used the technique to great effect; for example, it posted a photograph of a customer packing for a vacation abroad; one can see a Warby Parker pair of glasses in the stuff quite easily.
An extension of this technique when you do not have customers sharing pictures is to shoot lifestyle photographs using good amateur or even professional photographers. Many leading brands employ this technique as it is a very good way of demonstrating to the product’s target audience the ways the products can be used in a real-life situation.
Since Instagram does not provide in inbuilt capabilities for supporting e-commerce, users will just have to be a little creative about the techniques they going to use to promote sales. It has been very ably demonstrated by a number of online retailers that with a little bit of effort it is not too difficult to boost sales through Instagram.