If you’re looking to sell more online, don’t overlook Instagram shoppable posts.
This feature allows businesses to tag products (which are listed in their Instagram Shop catalog) directly in various Instagram posts, including feed posts, Instagram Stories, IGTV videos, Reels, Live streams and Instagram Guides. The product tags enable users to learn about product details, visit a brand’s website or even make a purchase directly within Instagram itself.
About 36 percent of B2B (business-to-business) decision-makers use Instagram to source new products and/or services, so the audience is there to engage with in this way.
Just make sure that your brand’s account is eligible for Instagram shoppable posts. Requirements include:
- Being located in one of these markets.
- Using an Instagram business or creator account.
- Selling physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
- Connecting your Instagram account to a Facebook Business Page.
Instagram shoppable posts streamline the customer journey by meeting them where they’re at (on Instagram), which increases your sales conversion rate. You have the opportunity to showcase sizing, fit or styling inspiration as a part of the post content. Of course, this feature also can make influencer marketing efforts even more effective as well.
In addition, brands that regularly share Instagram shoppable posts are more likely to get featured on the Instagram Shop discovery tab within the app.
While the benefits are definitely compelling, keep in mind that Instagram’s transaction fees currently stand at 5 percent per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. Selling directly via Instagram also means that all communications are handled by Instagram, so you won’t have valuable customer data, such as emails.
But if Instagram shoppable posts are still right for you, you can walk through these set-up steps, and the following are five ways to drive sales using this feature.
Show your products in action
Because Instagram shoppable posts can be everything from feed posts to Stories to Reels and more, the sky really is the limit here as far as how you can creatively show your product in action.
Shampoo, for example, can be tagged in a hairstyling tutorial. Cake mix can be tagged in a how-to baking video. Flip-flops can be tagged in a first-person tour of a remote, exotic beach.
Because of the mix of post formats available, be sure to experiment with your Instagram shoppable posts. You might find that Reels work better than Stories, or Stories better than feed posts. But you definitely won’t know until you try and monitor each post’s performance.
Think about how you can marry inspiration with shoppability in your content.
Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is unpaid or unsponsored social media posts that consumers share about a product or service.
Of course, the amount of user-generated content out there is almost limitless. Smartphone owners take an average of 150 new photos per month (or about five photos per day).
Because social media thrives on authenticity, UGC is a great way to connect with your audience and build brand loyalty. Marry that with Instagram shoppable posts, and you’re essentially leveraging the authenticity and credibility of UGC with the ability to purchase directly from your brand.
This could be as simple as a clothing brand adding product tags to user-submitted photos of customers wearing their clothes, creating a real-life product catalog.
Organize shoppable posts in an Instagram Guide
If you’re not yet familiar with Instagram Guides, you’re not alone. A newer feature, Instagram Guides are like a mini version of a blog on Instagram itself. They enable users to scroll through a curated flow of content with commentary — similar to a blog post.
When it comes to Instagram shoppable posts, this is a great way to organize your seasonal favorites, new releases, gift guides and more. Essentially, you can use Instagram Guides to curate content for your followers in a powerful way.
Influencers also can use Guides to curate a list of recommended products.
Offer exclusive promotions
No matter what medium you’re using (in this case, Instagram), you always want to make the audience on that platform feel special. What do users who follow your Instagram account get for doing so?
One easy answer is exclusive promotions, and this can extend to your Instagram shoppable posts. You can create urgency and build up your community all at the same time.
Just make sure that you’re using strong imagery and a clear call-to-action (CTA) to make the biggest impact.
Partner with an influencer
As previously mentioned, Instagram shoppable posts can make influencer marketing that much more effective since influencers can tag your products directly in their posts.
In order to do so, you can add partner influencers to your approved list of creators on Instagram. That influencer just has to have a business or creator account on the platform.
Keep in mind that this connective feature is only available for brands with Instagram Checkout (its direct-sales processing feature) enabled. Only U.S. brands can enable Instagram Checkout at this time.
Instagram is a powerful, visual-first social media platform. The ability to sell directly to customers through it should be explored by every business that sells online. If it’s right for your brand, don’t just dive in head first. Plan out a strategy, just as you would with any other feature on any other social media platform or digital marketing medium.
Just be aware of the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how to avoid them).