3 Tested Ways To Grow Your Store on Instagram

 

Whether you own an ecommerce site or you want to purchase it, growing your store is a proven way to increase revenue. With the growing number of ecommerce sites, it’s no wonder that 60% of business owners would spend their money on marketing and advertising.

 

Long gone are the days when using traditional advertising was enough to promote your business. Since 54% of users browse and hunt for new products on social media platforms, using social media marketing is a proven way for business owners to reach their target audience, establish a connection with potential customers, and increase sales. 

If you are going to start with one social media platform to grow your store, make it Instagram. In this blog post, discover why using Instagram is the right choice for growing your store and how to do it in 3 tested ways. 

 

Why Use Instagram for Growing your Store?

Instagram has huge potential for ecommerce business owners, and the numbers speak for themselves:

  • Your target audience is active here: The Instagram community has 1 billion active users and Instagram is predicted to reach 1.25 billion users by 2023.
  • People want to get in touch with brands: Instagram found that 90% of users follow at least one business on the platform, over 200 users check a business profile daily, and 2 in 3 of business profile visits come from non-followers.
  • Instagram shopping is getting more popular: 83% of Instagrammers discover products in-app and 130 million users tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month.

What is more, Instagram constantly rolls out business-specific features that help ecommerce brands build brand awareness, increase brand loyalty & trust, and boost ecommerce sales. 

Keep reading for the full breakdown!

 

Optimize for Instagram Shopping

Growing an ecommerce store is about increasing online sales. If you want to attract followers who can become your customers in the future, you need to provide excellent shopping experience, so optimizing your business account for Instagram shopping is a must. 

 

 

Create an Eye-Catching Instagram Feed

People have to know about your products to get interested in buying them, so using high-quality images of your products on Instagram is a must. According to Forbes, 65% of people are visual learners. When it comes to online shopping, people buy with their eyes, so the general appeal of your store matters a lot. 

If you want to grab the attention of your target audience and encourage people to discover your products on Instagram, it’s important to create an eye-catching Instagram feed that showcases your products. Why? Photos tell the story behind your brand and affect consumer behavior.

Here’s how Chantelle uses a mix of product photos and creative visuals to create a cohesive Instagram feed:

With choice overload, people have a great number of similar products. But if you want to be any different from other businesses on Instagram, create a cohesive Instagram feed that appeals to your target audience.

 

Showcase Your Products

If you can show off a full product range on Instagram, that’s great. It allows appealing to a wider variety of customers and therefore it helps to attract more consumers. 

From using professional product photos to publishing user-generated content, there are many creative ways to show off your products and entice your followers (or visitors) to learn more about your company. For example, Chantelle uploads lookbook pictures, writing in the caption about the featured collection:

If you want to ease the worried mind of your potential customers who are doubting whether your products can suit them, create short video posts that show off your products in action. Not only does video content keep your audience hooked and engaged, but it also allows you to showcase your product in action and therefore encourage followers to make the purchase decision faster.

 

Add Product Tags

As specified in one report, 84% of shoppers have made impulse purchases at least once in a lifetime, so impulse buying is a common behavior today. If you want to turn your followers into customers, it’s important to make the shopping process easier, so turn on Instagram shopping and add product tags. 

When you add product tags, a little shopping bag icon appears in the bottom-left corner. Tapping on it, followers can see products’ description and prices which helps them make the purchase decision faster. Chantelle knows the importance of product tags, so the company often shares shoppable posts:

If you use Instagram Stories for business, you can also add product stickers that allow your viewers to learn more about featured products without leaving the app. Since Instagram Stories grow 15x faster than feeds, it’s a great idea to turn your engaged followers into customers. 


Turn Your Followers into Brand Advocates

If your Instagram account attracts your target audience, that’s great! This means your followers are interested in your products and if you meet their expectations, they are more likely to be loyal to your brand. All in all, it’s a great opportunity to turn your followers into brand advocates and therefore spread the word about your store.

 

Publish User-Generated Content

Customers crave authenticity, so it’s no wonder that people trust user-generated content (UGC) more than branded or sponsored posts. What is more, 79% of people claim that UGC  impacts their purchasing decisions, so sharing images of your customers isn’t an option these days.

Not only does it help to increase sales, but it also allows you to establish strong customer relationships. Why? People want to be heard and valued, so when you share customers’ images on your profile, you put your clients first and show that you take care of them.

As you can see, user-generated content has many benefits, so it’s important to encourage your loyal customers to share their photos. For example, it’s a good idea to create a brand hashtag for UGC photos and promote it in your bio section, just like Zappos did it:

And here’s how customers use the brand hashtag and upload their images for a chance to get featured on the brand’s profile. The following post received 2,200+ likes. Not bad, huh?

 

The more customers share images of your product and tag your account, the more people you reach. Thus, sharing UGC photos is a great way to increase brand trust and reach more customers who don’t follow your account on Instagram.

 

Promote Your Referral Program

Practically every business aims at acquiring new customers. The most effective way to attract new clients fast is to rely on your loyal customers who are ready to tell their friends and family about your company.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the oldest advertising technique, but it’s an effective one. If you want to motivate your customers to spread the word about your product, it’s a good idea to set up a referral program and reward both your clients and new customers.

However, having a referral program means nothing unless your loyal customers know about it. Check out how Watch Gang uses Instagram to promote its referral program.

Share Customer Reviews

Did you know that 82% of people read online reviews before making the purchase decision? Modern people rely on other customers’ experiences, so they are not shy to share their thoughts on your product if it can help other people make the right choice.

And if you want to encourage your followers to share their positive reviews, it’s important to show them that you pay close attention to their thoughts. How? Share customer reviews on your profile!

Just take a look at Clek. The company uses Instagram Story Highlights to keep all media reviews and customer testimonials in one place. 

Since Highlight albums appear right below the bio section, it doesn’t take much time or effort for visitors and followers to tap on them and take a look at these reviews. What is more, sharing customer reviews via Instagram Stories helps to avoid clogging the main feed up with testimonials.

 

Spread the Word about Your Store 

Turning your customers into brand advocates can take time and effort. But if you want to get business results faster, you can invest your marketing budget into spreading the word about your store on Instagram. From running paid ads to organizing a giveaway with branded freebies, there are many ways (even cheap ones) to promote your store. 

 

Run Instagram Ad Campaigns

With over 2 million advertisers on Instagram, it’s no doubt that this platform has strong sales potential for business of all sizes and shapes. When it comes to growing an ecommerce store, business owners make the most out of paid ads, too. Here’s how Nick Eubanks, a partner in UnderFit, recommends using Instagram for growing an ecommerce business:

One of my favorite strategies for leveraging Instagram for ecommere is focusing Ad spend on the very bottoms of the funnel. Using SEO to acquire the highest volume, most competitive (and least qualified) clicks at the beginning of the buyer journey, and then using progressive remarketing on platforms like Instagram to warm up cookied visitors with middle of funnel, “reminder” creative until the ad frequency’s are over 7 (or sometimes 10+), before progressing the creative to a personalized offer. This strategy guarantees that you’re only spending money on the most qualified clicks.

Instagram ad campaigns give wonderful results. Let’s take a look at this example:

In honor of the launch of its Spring/Summer 2018 collection, the Indian lifestyle brand Nicobar ran an ad campaign that promoted its iconic best-selling dress. Just within two weeks of promotion, the campaign resulted in a 5X return on ad spend and a 40% lower cost per mille (CPM).

 

Sponsor a Giveaway

The idea of running giveaways on Instagram isn’t new. Giveaways increase organic reach, boost engagement, and allow you to understand your customers better. But if your goal is to attract more customers, it’s a good idea to team up with another brand and sponsor a giveaway. 

Big brands use this tactic to enter an already-established community of your target audience fast. Let’s take Fabletics and Milani Cosmetics, for example:

Promoting your giveaway is a lot of work. When you team up with collaborators, you double your reach by sharing it within two (or more) groups of followers at once. What is more, you can choose a gift card as the prize for the sponsored giveaway to attract participants who are genuinely interested in your products. Win-win!

 

Team Up with Niche Influencers

Modern customers are bombarded with brand content and paid ads, so it’s no wonder that they trust influencers more than brands. With the popularity of Instagram, the number of niche influencers has grown significantly, and many common people have become opinion leaders. 

Having a reputation for their expertise on a specific topic, influencers encourage their followers to buy products they promote. For business owners, this means an opportunity to promote their stores in an authentic way.

Case in point:

In honor of its new spring denim collection, MadeWell invited several ‘friends’ for a lookbook collaboration. After publishing photos on its website and social media accounts, influencers have started sharing photos of them on their profiles. Opinion leaders wrote short captions, tagged the MadeWell account, and added a brand hashtag. Simply put, it helped to spread the word about the company.

Here’s one example from Sam Talbot, a semi-finalist on Season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef:

Obviously, if you’re not one of the well-known fashion brands, it can be daunting to secure collaboration with popular influencers. However, you can still make the most out of influencer marketing as you can reach out to nano- or micro-influencers—opinion leaders with small but loyal followings. Since these people have in-person connections with the majority of their followers, they show higher engagement rates without charging much for the collaboration. 

 

Conclusion

At first glance, Instagram isn’t the most effective marketing tool for business owners who want to grow their stores. However, your target audience is active on Instagram and your potential customers want to get in touch with businesses on the platform, so it’s just the right network to promote your store and get wonderful business results. 

Moreover, Instagram has a variety of business-specific features that help to build brand awareness, increase brand trust, and boost ecommerce sales. Both big and small brands have realized the power of Instagram, so you can save the list of the above-mentioned tested ways to grow your store on the platform and bring your business to the next level. 

Hugh Beaulac is a content strategist and SMM manager behind MC2 website. With over 7 years of digital marketing experience, Hugh also helps small and mid-sized brands promote their products online and he lays a bet on Instagram marketing. Follow him on Twitter to learn more about Hugh.