How to Boost eCommerce Sales with Instagram: The Complete Guide for Online Sellers
Running a small business and want to use Instagram to promote your brand? Excellent choice! No one denies the importance of using social media for small businesses, especially Instagram, which has developed as one of the leading eCommerce platforms over the last few years.
Businesses pursue different goals on Instagram, from increasing their brand awareness to boosting their sales. No matter what your marketing goals are, Instagram can help you achieve them all if you know how to use it in the best way.
In this article, I will show you the best tips and tricks on Instagram to boost your sales and achieve other goals along the way. So, let’s check them out!
10 Instagram Hacks to Increase eCommerce Sales
You can promote your small business on Instagram in many different ways. Below, I’ll talk about the most effective tips to use on Instagram, specifically if you want to increase sales. Here they are:
1- Optimize Your Profile
First thing first! Everyone checks out your profile when they visit your page, right? Then it’s essential to make sure everything is perfect on your bio. You should pay extra attention to these parts of your profile:
As you may know, Instagram only allows you to add one clickable link to your bio. So, you might want to type in your website address here or add social media links to the Instagram bio. This way, you can lead your customers to another channel, where you actually sell products and have more control.
Just remember to add a sweet CTA to your bio to draw more attention:
Credit: Instagram – Rachael Academy
1.2- Use Keywords in Your Username and Display Name
A great hack to increase your sales is to add some keywords to your username and display name so that people find you more easily using the Instagram search engine.
Make sure you include one main keyword that directly relates to your niche in your username or display name, and use other related words in your bio.
Here is an example of The 5th Watches, a company that makes limited edition watches. See how they use the most important keywords related to their business in their profile:
Credit: Instagram – The 5th Watches
2- Turn Your Page into an Online Shop
More than one year ago, Instagram launched Instagram shopping, a feature that enables eCommerce businesses to sell physical goods on Instagram. Since then, many Instagrammers use this feature to navigate through thousands of items to buy and pay for them right in the app.
The Instagram shop is becoming extremely popular among users as a shopping platform — especially millennials. In fact, after seeing a product or service on Instagram, 79% searched for more information, 37% visited the retail store, and 46% made a purchase.
Credit: Instagram – Winky Lux
Also, it’s worth mentioning that 42% of U.S. women on Instagram say that they do shopping as a hobby!
So, set up your Instagram shop and use it as a new sales channel.
The only problem with the Instagram shop is that you cannot sell any services. However, it allows you to connect with some of the websites that users can book services. If you are using one of these websites, you can add a CTA button to your profile.
Currently, you can connect your Instagram to these websites:
3- Do Some Email Marketing
Email marketing on Instagram is one of the best tactics that eCommerce businesses can use. Emails have the highest ROI rate compared to other marketing methods.
The good thing about email addresses that you receive from your followers on Instagram is that as these people already showed interest in your business by following you on the app, they are more engaged and interested in your brand. As a result, you’ll have a stronger email list.
4- Embrace Micro-Influencer Marketing
Here’s one sad truth: people don’t trust brands as much as they use to. Based on a survey carried out by InfluencerDB, 81% of participants said when buying a product, they prefer recommendations from a friend over ads from brands.
So, is advertising dead on social media? Not at all!
As a brand on Instagram, you need to find a way to play that friend role for your audiences. One of the great ways to achieve this is by working with micro-influencers.
In case you don’t know, micro-influencers are popular accounts of Instagram with about 10K to 100K followers. These people can help you to boost your sales and give you access to more potential customers.
What makes micro-influencers a trend for small business marketing campaigns is the fact that they:
- Have outstanding engagement rates on Instagram
- Are available for every niche
- Charge you less than other influencers
Credit: Instagram – Zoli Couture
Working with micro-influencers is so effective that even big brands run this type of campaign.
Credit: Instagram – Mercer7 Official
5- Use User-Generated Content
Remember I told you in the last part that people hardly listen to brands these days? One of the best things you can do to gain their trust is to share the success stories of your customers. Thanks to Instagram, finding UGC (user-generated content) has never been easier.
Some of the brands curate their feed only with UGCs. GoPro, Forever21, and Starbucks are some of the most successful ones.
Credit: Instagram – Forever21
You can ask your followers to upload their photos while using your products or services and then use it on your feed or story.
6- Video Is Your Best Friend
There’s something magical about the video that makes it one of the best types of content to increase eCommerce sales. Did you know videos produce twice the engagement as photos on Instagram (Adweek)?
So, hold your followers’ attention by updating short but engaging videos on your feed, story, or reels. Also, the extended versions of videos on Instagram, Live and IGTV, are perfect when you want to explain about a product, service, or show behind the scenes in your company. Glossier did this with one of their products.
7- Take Hashtags and Geotags Seriously
Although many Instagrammers say hashtags are not that useful to increase post engagement, they are still an important feature of Instagram. Hashtags might not bring you lots of likes or comments, but they can expose your page to a broader audience and increase your brand awareness.
For example, see this post insight:
Credit: Instagram – Vocab Rainbow
As you can see, 69% of reach comes from the accounts that weren’t following this page but saw the post from its hashtags.
That’s why you should never give up on Instagram hashtags! Some people say only use five hashtags; others say use all the thirty tags available. The thing is, it might be different for each account. So, learn how to use them by trial and error to become a hashtag master.
Another essential type of tag that you shouldn’t forget using is Geotags. Geotags or even location-based hashtags are great for finding local audiences. So, make sure you add your location tag and use 2-3 hashtags with your city or neighborhood name on it.
8- Run Giveaways
If you want to make your followers excited, running a giveaway is the best way. After all, everyone loves to get free stuff!
You can either do it yourself or hire influencers to promote your giveaway on their posts. Make sure you set simple rules such as “like this post,” “tag three of your friends,” or “share this post” to maximize the engagement.
Credit: Instagram – Causebox
By running giveaways once in a while, you can reach new followers who can turn to potential customers.
9- Publish Content That Your Followers Like
One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make on Instagram is that they publish irrelevant content or posts that people aren’t interested in. All of your marketing efforts on Instagram should be aligned with the marketing goals you’ve set in the beginning and your audience’s tastes.
If your goal is to increase sales, you can’t just upload a photo of your product and force people to buy it. This method is just not working anymore because Instagrammers don’t like to be sold to.
It’s not that difficult to get to know the type of content that your followers like the most. Your Instagram posts should reflect your brand’s core values and tell your products’ benefits for your audience in a natural way.
Credit: Instagram – Innocent Drinks
Another way to make your bond stronger with your audience is to show your support when it comes to social issues:
Credit: Instagram – Innocent Drinks
10- Consider Instagram Ads
Instagram ads are perfect for those small businesses that want to promote their Instagram page quickly. The good thing about Instagram ads is that your advertised picture or video will be shown (almost) precisely to your customer persona. This way, you can be sure that the right people hear your message.
Use Instagram insights or another Instagram analyzer tool to make sure you choose the right options for your ad setting.
Credit: Instagram – ARKK Copenhagen
Although Instagram ads have many benefits, they have some drawbacks too. First of all, they have become more expensive over the years, and secondly, more people tend to block ads on social media. So, you might want to try Instagram ads for a short time first to see how it goes, and then decide whether you want to continue using it or not.
Instagram can be a fantastic tool for your business if your goal is to boost sales online. If you do your best in Instagram marketing, it can actually turn to one of your main selling channels. So, don’t underestimate Instagram power and use the tips that I mentioned in this post to have a higher chance of success.