Use Instagram Features to drive traffic to your eCommerce Store

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Driving traffic from Instagram over to your eCommerce store is an art form. So, set up your easel and we'll show you the techniques to make Instagram work in your favour to boost sales.

We’ve quite a bit to pack into this article, so let’s get started!

Instagram captions

Writing a winning caption to accompany your post achieves more likes, comments and shares. Instagram’s algorithm bumps you up Instagramers’ feeds when these metrics increase. Look to your competitors, as well as businesses with strong Instagram accounts for inspiration. Extrapolate what you can do to set yourself apart.

Try not to go flooding your captions with hashtags, we tell you why here. Instead, plan your hashtags strategically, using those that enhance brand awareness and discoverability. As you know, emojis, mentions and CTA’s are all good marketing practices and help develop a brand personality.

Shoppable Instagram posts

The rollout of the Instagram Shopping feature was big news back in March 2018. It’s a tool to use to your advantage as it removed the hoops that you needed to jump through to capture sales from Instagram. It streamlined the buyer’s journey and when businesses were previously limited to a SINGLE LINK in their bio, this was a massive step forward.

Now, Instagrammers can purchase from you without leaving the app. And, rather than yapping about how to create a stunning shoppable experience, I’ll let the posts do the talking…

Shoppable stores feature now available through Shopify!

October 2017 saw Shopify launch an Instagram sales channel, where approved Shopify stores could link products in their posts directly to their channel. This month Shopify added the option to add stickers to your Instagram stories. This tool is a fun and interactive way to showcase your products and capture leads.

Instagram Stories

You’d be mad to neglect Instagram Stories, what with its 250 million amassed daily viewers. You have the opportunity to create some deliciously exclusive content for your community. Think sneaky previews into your next flash sale or showing off new stock. These Stories are only live for 24 hours, but you can also make use of the Stories Archive if you need an extended visibility period.

What you need for an Instagram Stories campaign is a consistent schedule. If you begin by posting ten articles per day, your audience will expect the same level of content. So, it’s best to create a manageable level of content and scale from there.

For example, Reformation displays images of their customers wearing products. You can see below how enticing it is for Instagrammers to swipe up and buy.

Another company that knows how to rock Insta Stories is Indigo Luna. Here they update followers on upcoming clothings lines and infuse the story with their ethical ethos:

Also, make use of the hashtag and location stickers to improve discoverability. These added features have made a world of difference for businesses. Before, merchants could only share stories with their followers. Now that your stories are searchable by both hashtag and location it’s become a great way to boost brand awareness.

Swipe up in Instagram Stories

Instagram Story purchases are just so easy for your customers. Here is the mecca for impulse buys. Simply swipe up and purchase. The link button isn’t super obvious though, so it’s a good idea to entice your customer by entering a caption that gives a strong suggestion on why they should swipe up.

If you have an Instagram business profile, you’ll also have access to Instagram Stories Analytics which gives you the knowledge of why your campaign performed the way it did.


Use apps for Instagram Stories

Edit videos: InShot

Simple, easy-to-use and innovative. This app is a force to be reckoned with and comes with a full arsenal of filters, emojis but also video capabilities. You can also manage your video content here whether it’s trimming, editing, merging or adjusting video speed. You can even add voiceovers and mp3 files! In essence, InShot is an allrounder for your Instagram photography and videography management.

Image templates: Unfold

Unfold intuitively curates your Instagram Stories. The app works in your favour by arranging content so that it stands out from the crowd; the goal for most businesses on Instagram. It’s been rocketing up the app charts since January 2018, and for good reason. If you’re looking for high-end content curation, you now know where you need to go!

Create longer videos: Storeo

Storeo is a neat idea. It’s also a solution to a problem you didn’t think was fixable. Basically, the app lengthens your Instagram Stories by 15 seconds. It does this by uploading fifteen one second video, but the viewers see one continuous shot. We approve!

Instagram Stories Highlights

Instagram Stories Highlights are curated clips that you select and arrange. Unlike regular Stories, they live permanently on your profile until you delete them. Sostrene Greene, a Danish design store, includes DIY highlights which provide valuable content to their online community.

Carefully arranged categories make it easier for visitors of your profile to navigate your brand and find content that interests them. Also, consider whether you might like to showcase what goes on behind the scenes of running your business. This footage creates a bond between a brand and its customers. A few examples include:

  • a chat with one of your designer, or other creative individual, about what you’re currently working on;
  • reveal a new product line;
  • introduce an upcoming brand influencer/ ambassador to your followers;
  • behind the scenes footage (it’s good to capture your team’s camaraderie for the purpose endearment and likeability);
  • showcase your store’s involvement in environmental or social campaigns.

Here’s your chance to shine a light on your store’s USPs. Dazzle them, people!

You can even use this feature to post job openings. You’ll have a better chance of finding creatives by going down this less-than-traditional recruitment route!

Paid partnership feature for influencers

Instagram rolled out a paid partnership programme in 2017 due to the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) increased measures to crack down on violations of its Endorsement Guides.

What this means for an eCommerce merchant is that your influencers can tag you in their sponsored Instagram Stories. This programme delivers greater transparency to your sponsored content and provides more indepth performance analyses of your Instagram campaigns.

Partnership analytics is another useful feature of this program. It can often be difficult to gauge how “influential” an influencer actually is in a marketing campaign, so the fact that Instagram now provides metrics for this is super handy! These include reach, taps forward and back, replies and exits.

Remember though that the responsibility for adhering to the FTC guidelines lies with the influencer and the business and not with the platform!

Instagram Live

Instagram Live is one of those marketing tools that is daunting at first, but once you bite the bullet, you’ll be glad you started. There are no retakes with this feature, so it adds spontaneity and tangibility to your brand.

You can select who can view your stories and moderate comments, which puts you in control of the footage. Instagram Live is particularly effective for product demos and Q&A’s. You can use it as an opportunity to encourage people off the indecision fence and to commit to a purchase.

We recommend using Instagram Stories to give people a heads up that you’re going live a few hours beforehand. You can also provide hints about which topic you’ll be discussing. With enough engagement, you can end up on the Search and Explore page which opens your brand up to a considerably expanded audience.

Instagram Ads

Instagram now provides five different formats for an ad campaign: photos, videos, carousels, Story ads, and carousel Story ads. Whichever combination you wish to go, it’s best to set out an objective, target audience, budget and schedule for the campaign before beginning the creative process.

It’s best to switch up your ad every week or two, to prevent it from becoming stale. After that, it’s all about tracking performance.

Creating an emphasis on the links between Instagram marketing output and the eventual results strengthens your brand’s long-term marketing trajectory. Prepare to perform A/B testing to find what works for your store.

In the past few years, Instagram has added quite a few bells and whistles. It’s not easy for marketers to keep up with the changes especially with other platforms that need manning! We provide expert consultations that you kickstart by contacting us here. And there’s also our blog, where we give you the freshest news on everything you need to promote your Shopify store.