8 Tips to Start Selling on Instagram

You’ve seen the number of businesses flocking to Instagram to reach the more than 1 billion people using the platform monthly — and you’re intrigued by the results. So you sign up your shop on Instagram, develop a memorable user name and start watching your follower count and revenue grow.

If only it were that easy.

Thanks to its image- and video-heavy focus, Instagram is a selling platform unlike any other, with selling rules that are just as unique. You need to understand exactly how to leverage the platform if you want to harness its selling power and drive results. Unfortunately, many merchants aren’t sure where to begin.

With 75% of the platform’s users taking such actions as visiting websites and purchasing products after seeing an Instagram post, it’s important to start somewhere.

Follow these eight tips to start selling on Instagram, and you’ll be #IncreasingRevenue in no time:

  1. Fine-tune your product shots.
  2. Leverage social proof.
  3. Offer a deal.
  4. Develop a brand look.
  5. Consider advertising.
  6. Don’t neglect the caption.
  7. Create stories.
  8. Use hashtags to increase visibility.

Let’s explore these tips further. 

1. Fine-Tune Your Product Shots

Sure, social media is frequently used to share personal details, but increasingly, users are turning to social media channels to look for and research products. And that’s where high-quality photographs and quick videos can be useful: to show browsers and buyers that you have the products they want.

2. Leverage Social Proof

Instagram is home to endless pieces of user-generated content, so why not use it to give your product sales a boost? If you happen across a well-crafted shot featuring one of your company’s items, consider asking if you can use it in a post of your own. It helps give browsers unfamiliar with your brand the confidence they need to make — and love — their first purchase.

3. Offer a Deal

Many users are on Instagram to look at picture-perfect photos, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to pitch a can’t-miss deal to them. If you wait to offer a discount until the caption, you risk being a victim of the scroll. Consider including sale, discount and bonus details right on the image itself or in the closed captioning of the video. Then use the post caption to elaborate on the deal.

4. Develop a Brand Look

Many companies are easily identifiable by their logo — so why not create an Instagram feed that’s just as recognizable? Before you start randomly posting to encourage engagement, think about the aesthetic you want to create, and then stay with it. Ensure you’re using clearly recognizable photos and consider using a complementary color palette and post template to make your feed immediately identifiable. 

5. Consider Advertising

Ads are now available on Instagram, so what are you waiting for? You’ve probably noticed an ample number of sponsored posts currently in your newsfeed, so take a minute to check them out. Are they getting likes and comments? Do you see any commonalities among the posts with the most engagements? Look for ways you can replicate their success.

6. Don’t Neglect the Caption

When the image is front and center, you might think you don’t need to pay much attention to the caption. But in reality, that’s exactly what can make or break the entire post. A bland post can cause a user to keep scrolling, while a captivating post with a direct call to action can encourage a browser to further engage with your brand. And who doesn’t want that?

Another way to increase engagement on posts is to include relevant emojis. Not only do these graphics serve to break up chunks of text, but they can also help capture the reader’s eye and attention. 

7. Create Stories

With Instagram stories increasing in popularity — 500 million accounts use the stories feature daily — merchants are smart to take advantage of it. Not only are users looking at stories, but they’re also looking at businesses’ stories. In fact, a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses.

Stories will let you connect with customers in a more personal manner, and they’re extremely effective at promoting offers and highlighting new products. You can post a photo, a video, boomerang, and go live, all on your story. Verified accounts and accounts with more than 10,000 followers can even add links to their stories, making it even easier for customers to snag must-have items.

8. Use Hashtags to Increase Visibility

While hashtags may often seem random and made up , they’re actually integral in selling on Instagram and helping users discover your business and your products. Do some strategic research before picking your hashtag, starting with Instagram’s Search and Explore feature. See what hashtags resonate for your demographics, and select a handful to start using.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, too. Develop your company’s own branded hashtags and start using them in your posts. Keep an eye out for who starts using it, and even regram the best from your loyal following.

As more and more consumers turn to Instagram to research brands and make purchases, e-commerce merchants need to be ready to take advantage of this new marketing channel and to start selling on Instagram. But Instagram isn’t the only e-commerce trend today’s online retailers need to be aware of.

Download our free e-book, “The E-Commerce Technology Trends That Will Shape 2019,” and learn the biggest e-commerce technology trends for 2019 and how to leverage these technologies to create memorable customer experiences. If you have any questions about these trends or want to know how to protect your business against the increasing risk of card-not-present fraud, just contact us. We’re ready to help.

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