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Blog Post | May 10, 2022

Turn Likes into $$$ with a Shoppable Instagram Experience

Instagram is more than just a channel for promoting your brands and products: the platform has come into its own as a marketplace, thanks to shoppable posts. We cover the essentials for integrated marketers, including hashtag strategy, why video is your friend and how to leverage Instagram Guides.

Topics: Social Media

What can't social media do? Platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, once dismissed as being “kid stuff,” have come into their own, and shrewd integrated marketers have embraced social media's potential for branding, recruiting and customer service, to name just a few benefits.

Each platform has its own distinct appeal, capabilities and user behaviors, but when it comes to shopping, one platform rises above the rest: Instagram. When it comes to influencing purchases, 72% of social media users say they decided to purchase something after seeing it on Instagram. And of the platform's 1 billion monthly users, 11% of them make purchases directly from the site via shoppable posts. Do the math, and it's easy to see why it makes sense for many businesses to start selling on the platform.

Setting up Instagram shopping isn't hard—you just need a business account and a website that houses all your products. However, using the platform to its fullest potential takes a little work. Here are a few tips for getting started and leveraging Instagram's unique benefits.

Harness the power of video
Video is Instagram's predominant medium: users favor it, and marketers love it because video is 12 times more engaging than other forms of content. Whether it's in-feed video, Stories, Reels, or IGTV, you get the opportunity to put your full creativity on display. Consider how this ultra-effective, shoppable Gap post uses a no-frills video but still makes it feel like a commercial. Over its 19-day flight, the post had a 73% higher clickthrough rate than previous posts.

Package complementary products in a single post
It's the ultimate upsell. You'll be able to showcase how your products can be used together to complement one another, which is especially useful for clothing, housewares, food and personal goods. For example, look at this beautiful post from Cost Plus that features an array of items together.

Drop exclusive offers, promotions, and products
One way to make shopping on Instagram feel special is by providing an experience that shoppers can only get there.

Keep it real(ly authentic)
Whether you're using Stories, IGTV or static posts in your feed, all your content should feel native to the platform—that is, it shouldn't look like a catalog! Instagram users crave authenticity and realness, so your content should feel organic, genuine and not overly polished. Your shoppable content should seamlessly fit with everything else on your feed in terms of tone and look.

Be strategic with hashtags
What SEO is to your web content, hashtags are to your shoppable Instagram posts. Similar to developing a keyword strategy, it's best to use a mix of popular, generic tags (e.g., #shopping, #independentretailer, #design), as well as specific and “ownable” terms. The right hashtags can also help you encourage and find user-generated content, which you may then be able to leverage, even off the platform.

Don't forget the basics!
Instagram is a visual medium, so your visuals need to pop! Nothing takes the place of high-quality, professional photography and video optimized for the platform.

We're experts who can help you bring it all together, and much more, including creating bios for your social media platforms and designing attractive, branded product packaging to show off your wares.

And, of course, you still need a beautiful, well-functioning website to bring shoppers back to, and we can help you create and launch (or upgrade and optimize) that too. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.