Instagram has become a powerhouse when it comes to digital marketing. In only a few years, it went from being an obscure art-based social media platform to one of the leading marketing hubs online, full of today’s leading brands, hot trends, and top influencers.
For Shopify store owners trying to build their brand and make a name for themselves in a particular niche, the following Instagram marketing tips might be of some use. Even if your business is already thriving based on your current marketing strategy, you may be surprised at just how useful this social media platform can be.
Why Instagram is Great For eCommerce
So what makes Instagram an effective platform for eCommerce? It’s worth mentioning at the start that Instagram has a massive active user base, something to the tune of 500 million.
That’s not 500 million accounts total, that’s 500 million active users on the platform. This should tell you a lot about the value of the platform without even needing to go any further. This is a massive figure that presents an incredible opportunity for store owners on Shopify that need an alternative way to sell their products or build a thriving community.
Although most social media platforms have their perks and work well for specific digital marketing purposes, there’s something about the Instagram formula that just took off. Highly visual, it’s a platform that is extremely formulaic. You simply log on and scroll through your feed. See something you like? You double-tap. See something you really like? You make a comment.
And on it goes. You can burn hours scrolling through an Instagram feed, and many users do. That’s exactly what makes it such a lucrative platform for digital marketing. When you combine the streamlined UX with high-quality images, you have the perfect recipe for social media success.
However, the genius of Instagram doesn’t stop there. The algorithm that is used on the platform is deceptively good, one of the best in the business. After using the platform for a few days, you will begin to get served a steady stream of content that appeals directly to you. This includes organic material as well as sponsored posts. This makes the platform all the more addicting, because at a certain point, the platform will only show you what you want to see.
You can see the benefit that this could have for Shopify merchants. All you need is an attractive product photo and the right hashtags and it’s off to the races. After you accrue some followers and appease the algorithm by remaining consistent, you will have a brand new and perfectly free channel with which to promote your products and grow your business.
Of course, if succeeding on Instagram was that easy, everyone would have a million followers. Like any social media platform, there is a learning curve to generating results, and this goes for organic posting as well as running advertising campaigns on the platform. The following tips will cover elements of both, because if you want to make the most of the platform you should be ready to utilize all of its features.
The most important thing to remember with your Instagram marketing strategy is to always respect your audience. This isn’t a platform for low-quality spam content and thin text. You need to invest a suitable amount of time developing a certain aesthetic for your Instagram feed, and making sure to frequently communicate with users that comment on your posts. Like most social networks, you get more value depending on what you put into it.
Notable Instagram Marketing Features
Before diving into the tips themselves, it’s worth calling out some of the key features of the platform so you can better understand how to use it as a marketing tool rather than just a “social media page.”
- Hashtags. These are what drives a large portion of Instagram’s algorithm. Users search for what they are looking for through hashtags, and it’s these tags that also play a role in how content is served in general across the platform. Sometimes, a hashtag can be used for the sole purpose of brand awareness. It may not even have a lot of search volume, but as you continue to use it, your diehard customers and fans will too. This is how you create viral content that sticks.
- Slideshows. You can post multiple images at once in a single post. This is useful for showing multiple angles of a product or explaining a subject in greater detail.
- Stories and Reels. Instagram also has a variety of engaging video tools to utilize for marketing purposes. While you are free to upload a video as an ordinary post, stories and reels offer an even greater degree of versatility. Stories, popularized through Snapchat, are quick and transient pieces of media content that can include filters, fancy graphics, text overlays, and more. A story can highlight one of your own posts, or even the content of another account.
- Your bio. One of the most important parts of any Instagram page is the bio. What’s great about Instagram is that the bio of an account is prominently displayed and is both rich and minimalistic at the same time. You can include a lot of information, hashtags, and even a direct link to your online store. Emojis are also a great way to customize your bio and help it stand out. This is an easy way to tell the story of your business in a short and succinct manner, that’s also relatable. You can also include your own branded hashtag here or ride a trend by including a popular tag in your niche that you are using on all of your feed posts. Many businesses also use this space to post their business address and phone number. Either way, a well-written bio can work wonders as a marketing tool.
Mastering these basic components can help you connect with your target audience and send more traffic to your Shopify website. Instagram users are looking for brand pages that have a professional feel that is also personable. They want a certain degree of relatability but also that stylistic flair that represents the Instagram vibe.
Tips For Marketing Your Shopify Store With Instagram
To promote your Instagram and get more followers, you need to get creative. The following tips may help you think outside the box a little in terms of how to get users to like, comment, and visit your store.
As far as social platforms go, Instagram might be one of the best from a sheer marketing perspective, but you wouldn’t know it without really digging into the platform and exploring its features.
Creating An Attractive Product Feed
It’s not enough to simply post random photos and videos. You want to create an attractive and harmonious feed that communicates your brand. Successful Instagram marketers know that to draw eyes to your page, you need to carefully curate your content and ensure it has a certain polish to it.
While you want to avoid looking stuffy or “plastic” in your approach, you should be mindful of the color tones you use, fonts that you include in your graphics, the quality of your images, and the mood you are expressing through your content, and so on. Out of the ordinary posts won’t resonate with your audience and could harm your efforts. You need to be selective with what you post, be mindful of the hashtags you use, and only like and comment on content that is related to your niche.
Communicating With Your Customers
As far as Instagram marketing tips go, this is a big one. Social media marketing isn’t a “set and forget” kind of thing. You have to be willing to dive into the trenches and talk to people. You want to actively engage with your followers.
This not only means attending to their concerns and support questions, but sharing anecdotes and joking with them as well. Never get too big to be human. Even if your Shopify store has seen wild success and you now have a dedicated marketing team at your disposal, you still need to come across as human. Users want to know they are talking with a real person behind the screen and not a robot.
This is especially true when you post on Instagram. This is a platform that often uses current trends, memes, and popular viral clips from platforms like TikTok. This is the kind of mentality you want to have when engaging on the platform. Your feed should look professional and aesthetic, and this is what you draw users in with. However, in the comment section you should always provide a personal touch and be willing to talk not as a brand, but as a person.
Telling a Story With Your Products
Another useful marketing tip for Instagram is the ability to tell stories. The slideshow feature or carousel images are perfect for leading the user on a journey and creating a conversation.
For instance, social media users love surprises. Slideshows offer a way to be create a very curated look for your feed while still being experimental with additional content that won’t show up when a user first looks at your page.
For instance, if you are a clothing brand, you can illustrate the story of someone’s day while wearing one of your items. Another way to use this feature is for bloopers and outtakes. The first image can be incredibly polished and have just the right look for your feed, while the others can include bad photo takes, joke posts, and additional content that helps flesh out the meaning behind the post and what it was like to create it. Users love this kind of content, because it makes everything more relatable and engaging.
Keep in mind, if you run Instagram ads you can use the slideshow feature here as well. It’s a whole lot easier to connect with potential customers if you can tell them a story rather than just shoving a product image in their face. While you are developing your social media marketing strategy, always think about how you can create a scene in the minds of your shoppers or provide visual information that draws the user in.
Take Advantage of Instagram Shopping
Recently released, Instagram has added a full suite of eCommerce features to its platform. This includes an in-app shopping cart and unique storefronts for brands. Verified accounts that belong to larger businesses can even toggle on a setting that allows shoppers to purchase items right on the app without even having to click on a link or visit the store itself.
Why is this beneficial for your Shopify store? Multichannel eCommerce is booming right now, you always want to see how you can expand your business to different markets, as this is how you reach more customers. It is also a powerful driver of brand authority, as it provides a higher degree of professionalism for your account.
Most importantly it’s simply convenient for your shoppers. This new Instagram Shopping feature lets you create a new storefront or collection feed that specifically highlights your products, which is an alternative to the traditional format of an Instagram feed. Rather than tell a story, this is where you can be free to directly promote your product as if you were adding it right to your Shopify website, as users will expect this and be comfortable with it.
Instagram shopping also includes product tagging, so users are now able to click on links embedded directly in photos highlighting your products. The link will take them directly to your storefront where they can shop for the item they saw in the picture. This is a level of marketing that few other platforms can match at the moment.
Sell More Products With Instagram
No matter what type of content you intend on creating for the platform, the bottom line is that you want to jump on this platform while the opportunity is there. eCommerce merchants are finding incredible success here, so take advantage of the Instagram marketing tips we provided and begin building your community.
Not exactly social media savvy and need a dedicated digital marketing agency to help you manage your Instagram and other social media pages? Genius eCommerce® can help you formulate a robust marketing strategy that takes advantage of all of the features Instagram has to offer, which can help you grow your customer base and even get you more traffic. Get in touch with our team today for more information on the Instagram marketing services that we provide.