There is no other social media platform that grew so rapidly in such a short period of time bringing together over 600 million users. Yet not every startup or entrepreneur uses this platform for marketing purposes to its full potential.
3 Ways the New Instagram Can Boost Your eCommerce Efforts Tim Beyers. Tim is a freelance business writer. He writes about the business of innovation, comics and genre entertainment on The Full Bleed. Promoting your own retail or ecommerce app is another way Instagram can help improve mobile sales. While buying products directly through Instagram might risk incentivising hit-and-run purchase, promoting your own app can convert introductions made on Instagram into long-term relationships, turning one-time buyers into frequent shoppers.
With its recent features, such as carousel posts available to everybody and Instagram Stories, marketers are creating great content and getting great results. With over 400 Million people using Instagram worldwide on a daily basis, 70 percent of Instagrammers follow a business profile on Instagram. Taking under consideration that: over 150 Million Instagrammers use stories every day, over 500K advertisers use Instagram stories to drive business results and 75 percent of Instagram users take action inspired by a post, I do not know why you haven’t recorded your first Boomerang video yet.
With this post we will give you a couple of tips on how to use Instagram to boost your marketing efforts and making the most of the platform. Keep on reading!
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Affect
Set up a business profile
If you haven’t switched to a business profile on Instagram, do it now. All business profiles are granted access to Instagram analytics, can post to Facebook Business Page, and based on the contact information you included, can show easy access buttons for telephone, e-mail and directions to your store on your profile. This mean you can monitor how effective Instagram is in your content marketing strategy and if it is bringing you the results you anticipated. In addition, while business profile is not a requirement for creating Instagram ads via Facebook Ad Manager, having one gives the people you advertise to an opportunity to find out more about you without leaving the platform – Facebook adverts for brands, which do not have a profile on Instagram, do not have a clickable username leading to a profile page, which sometimes discourages users from seeking out information on the brand.
Advertise on Instagram
Instagram helps over 8 Million businesses reach their corporate goals. There are over 1 Million active advertisers each month, resulting in 80% increase in followers on Instagram for advertising accounts. Creating an ad on Instagram is very straightforward, fast, and easily done in just four clicks. And if your brand is targeting millennial consumer segment, then Instagram is the way to go. A study conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that 18-29 years old represent the highest demographic of Instagram, accounting for 59%.
Source: Based on data from Pew Research Center, 2017
- Photo ads
Tell your brand story with beautiful, high resolution photos in square or landscape format. You do not even need a professional camera and equipment for quality pictures – all you need is your smartphone and a good light, the rest can be done with Instagram’s additional apps such as Layout and Boomerang – these features offer possibilities to post pictures and videos in different formats and try out something new every time.
For example, Storets is a Korean online fashion company that attracted new customers through Instagram and Facebook photo ads promoting its unique fashionable designs. The company aimed its marketing efforts towards women aged between 20-34 worldwide. The campaign successfully achieved 48% increase in unique visitors, and increase sales by 4x as compared to their previous campaigns.
- Carousel ads
This feature can combine up to add 10 photos and videos in just one post, allowing you to tell a story in a compelling way. Carousel ads enables the audience to view ads and swipe left to see more images, click on the link to a website for further information or a Shop now button that directly drives users from Instagram to your app or landing page. This creative feature lets you share your business experience from behind the scenes to a step by step tutorials showcasinng your product or service.
- Video Ads
Using Instagram videos to display your products, ideas, and services is a great way to combine the power of sight, sound, and motion.Make sure you optimise the ad for muted viewing – add subtitles or text, which will encourage your audience to tap on the ad and listen to it.
Diplom-Is is a Norwegian ice-cream company that used Instagram video ads to launch its six new flavours targeted at millennials. This well-recognized, yet a small-business company in Norway, reached out to six influencers and entertainers for the ad campaign. The influencers posted live videos on Instagram during the making of ads, which created a buzz even before the campaign officially rolled out. The series of Instagram video ads increased the brand awareness by 53%, ad recall by 34%, and generated 634,000 video views.
- Dynamic Ads
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Work
Instagram recently launched dynamic ads which enables brands to market their products to the audience, who have browsed your website or mobile app. In other words, custom audiences. Several e-commerce and retailer businesses have used them to increase conversion rate and lower their cost per acquisition across each device.
MeUndies, an underwear and loungewear brand, had success in increasing sales of its product line during Black Friday and Cyber Monday by using dynamic ads to retarget audience that had visited their website but not purchased. This resulted in 5x return on ad spend, 25% decrease in cost per purchase on Instagram, and 30% decrease in cost per add-to-cart action on Instagram.
Stream live videos and tell stories
Another excellent feature on Instagram, which you can use to connect with your audience, is Instagram Stories. Stories is an ephemeral video function, meaning that once you post the story it will disappear after 24 hours. In addition to that there is Instagram Live streaming option, great for showing how to videos, Q&A or just for checking in with your audience.
Why you should be exploring Insta Stories? Because this year video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic (Source). What moreover, Instagram Stories give you the rare opportunity to share valuable content with your audience, run short promotions, publish content, which otherwise does not fit with your account’s style and show the backstage of your start up.
Market Land revealed that “15 to 25 percent of the people who see a link in an Instagram Story are swiping on it, according to a handful of brands and publishers that have been experimenting with the feature.”
The head of Digital Marketing of Mulberry said:
“We’ve been early adopters of Instagram Stories and were impressed by the reach and engagement. Our recent campaigns which included a stories link, received 5x more clicks to site and engagement when compared to the average seen across our other social channels”
UGC aka turning your audience into brand advocates
In the past brand advocacy could not be measured as easily as it is today. By encouraging users to tag you and hashtag their photos of you/your product with a dedicated hashtag, you create plenty of free PR, which can be recycled to leverage your reputation even further. Ever heard of UGC, which stands for user generated content? You can both appreciate your faithful followers by featuring them on your accounts and also show other viewers that your brand is worth trusting and values its customers. With 88% of people trusting online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts (BrightLocal), an Instagram post is nothing else but a visual representation of somebody endorsing your brand.
Ask your customers to use your branded hashtag to easily find them and make sure your username is easily connected with your brand. You can also feature a fan of the month, repost users’ photos or create a graphic with your customer’s testimonial.
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According to Statistica, the number of worldwide users on social media is projected to hit a whopping 3.02 billion active users per month by 2021. That's one-third of the world’s entire population! So, it’s obvious that social media, more and more, is engaging the majority of the world's citizenry.
Related: The 4 Essentials to Building Your Brand on Social Media
That means if you own a business and you’re not focused on building a strong brand presence on social media this year, your customers already are or soon will be choosing your competitors.
That fact is intriguing to me, as a modern-day business owner. I've never questioned the value of having a social media presence, but I wanted to dive deeper into that realm to see what other views entrepreneurs might voice about the evolution of social media.
Along the way, I found that the problem most brands face with social media isn’t whether or not to take advantage of it, but how to take advantage of it. I’ve certainly fallen into the “information overload” trap myself. I too have become overwhelmed with the plethora of tips, tricks, secrets and strategies being preached left and right.
With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and other platforms -- plus videos, blogs, etc. -- as options for online marketing these days, an obvious observation is that brands are struggling to identify the most profitable social media strategy to use for their business. So, I singled out several eminently successful entrepreneurs to talk to about their recommendations for effective online marketing.
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Make
Here are the five strategies they suggested for using social media to fuel business growth this year:
1. Use social media to drive traffic to your ecommerce stores.
In a phone interview, Cody Neer, the CEO of several multimillion dollar ecommerce brands, highlighted how powerful social media can be for ecommerce entrepreneurs like himself. “We use social media to drive traffic to over 300 of our ecommerce stores,' he told me. And most of his success has come, he said, from funneling his brands' social media followers to those brands' stores through paid Facebook advertising.
'Our brands are expected to cross $60 million in sales by the end of 2019 [with] much of that success thanks to social media,' Neer told me.
Takeaway: If you too have an ecommerce business, scale your business quickly by using targeted Facebook advertising to drive more traffic to your store. With over 1.4 billion active Facebook users every day, the problem isn’t whether or not your customers are scrolling. They are, but that doesn’t mean they'll find your Facebook page or convert to paying customers. You have to market to them in a way that makes them want to buy, and that’s achieved by targeting the right kind of people with the right kind of offer.
2. Use plenty of videos on social media to keep your audience engaged and growing.
Open your favorite social media platform; you’ll notice your feed is replete with video content instead of text and images. In fact, algorithms have changed, evolving to prefer video content over other content formats. And that's something the leading brands have noticed: A whopping 86 percent of businesses already use video on their website, and 77 percent use video on social media, according to Vidyard statistics.
Related: 7 Creative Ways to Boost Your Social Media Strategy
As Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to multimillion-dollar businesses, told Entrepreneur, “Follow one simple formula for social media success: live a fascinating, authentic, adventurous life and share it through vlogging [video blogging].' Added Lopez: 'I’ve made more money with my iPhone than most people have made in their lives with high-tech equipment.”
Takeaway: There are dozens of ways you can use videos to keep your audience engaged and growing. Consider sharing an authentic behind-the-scenes look at your life. Document your company’s next product launch. Show your followers what it’s like to work for your company, etc. The bottom line: If you’re not using videos on social media, your customers are becoming unengaged -- fast.
3. Build brand awareness by using targeted influencers on social media to market your products for you.
Josh Forti, social media influencer marketing expert, explained to me by phone how he’s used social media to organically grow over five million followers online for both his clients and himself.“I’ve primarily used social media to build online audiences that serve as assets to brands,' Forti said. 'If you can get your product or service publicly vouched [for] by a trusted authority in your niche, your sales can skyrocket overnight.”
What he was talking about, of course, was the growing use of influencer marketing: One study showed that 22 percent of marketers surveyed already considered influencer marketing the most cost-effective way of obtaining new customers.
Takeaway:Partnering with influencers on social media can be one of the most profitable decisions you make for your business this year. Influencers are now widely considered more relatable than celebrities. That's why consumers turn to their favorite models and gurus for advice on what to buy.
4. Provide massive amounts of value before asking for anything in return.
Never forget that customers hate being 'sold' to, but love to buy. One surefire way to have your customers line up to do that is to provide a massive amount of free value before asking for a sale. Arguably the leading expert of the value-first concept is Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, in which he explained how to provide free valuable content to your audience on social media to build trust and entice visitors to buy.
Takeaway: This concept is even more critical today, when customers are being bombarded with ads on their social feeds. If you want to build engaged brand followers on social media who love you and love buying from you, provide content that solves their problems and shows that you care about them before asking for a sale. You’ll quickly build a pool of loyal fans who buy from you over and over again.
5. Use social media to tell your brand story and successfully differentiate yourself from the competition.
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Fail
Everyone -- including your customers -- loves a good story. Lauren Gordon, storytelling and content marketing specialist, explained to me in an interview that she uses social media to strategically differentiate herself from competition. “Don’t ever forget that every single human being makes decisions based on emotion and justifies with logic,' Gordon said.
'This means, if you want your brand to stand the test of time, you need to be telling your brand’s story across social media to differentiate yourself from competitors, build deep connections and trust with customers and earn your customers’ loyalty.”
Whether yours is a personal brand or a company brand, you can use any social media platform to tell your brand’s story, and quickly differentiate yourself from the competition. No matter how many social media transformations we see in the next decade, we humans are going to be drawn to the same fundamental things. This means customers being drawn to stories they can relate to and brands they can deeply connect with.
Takeaway: In this context, brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.
So, those are these entrepreneurs' five best social media strategies. Whether you use one or all five, growing your business using social media has never been easier than it is today.
Related: 5 Tactics To Build Your Social Media Following
Assess your company’s current problems, and find out how you can fill the gaps. What's key to using social media to drive sales is the willingness to experiment until you find what works best for your brand.