Instagram made headlines in 2018 when it reached a billion users, which is incredibly impressive for a mainly mobile application. Instagram’s usage shows no signs of slowing down, and the number of active users in the US is projected to reach 125.5 million by 2023. These projections are too promising for any digital marketer to ignore, and it is not hard to see why businesses are crowding on the platform.
However, most business owners who actively use Instagram are yet to fully tap into the power of selling on the platform. Therefore, we have laid down the fundamentals to help you kick start your selling journey on Instagram. In this post, you will find:
- Why you should sell your products and services on Instagram
- Instagram statistics for the savvy digital marketer
- A step by step guide to setting up Instagram shopping
- How to optimize your shoppable posts to drive sales
Why Sell on Instagram?
Instagram has grown from just a photo-sharing app to a business platform where 83% of users discover new goods and services.
Instagram’s users are enthusiastic about brand presence, and you can encourage your audience to share content related to your products. They are also impressively engaged, which means that your content has high chances of being liked and shared.
Besides, Instagram allows brands to be as creative as they like with their content. For example, if you stock apparel, you can create short tutorials and give your customers ideas on the different ways of wearing your products.
How to Start Selling Instagram
The following steps will get you started on Instagram selling:
Step 1: Switch to A Business Account
Instagram offers both personal and business accounts. With the latter having additional features like promotions and insights, it should be your go-to option for successful shopping. You can also post valuable information about your business, like your website, address, and contact information. You can change your personal profile to a business one with the simple steps below:
- Navigate to your profile’s upper right corner and tap on the three horizontal lines
- Tap Settings, and then Account. Choose Switch to Professional Account and navigate to Business
- Add business details like business category and address
- Click on Done to save the new profile
If you would like to link your Facebook page to Instagram Business, you can use the steps below:
- Select Edit Profile on Instagram
- Navigate to Page under your profile’s Public Business Information
- Select the Page to be linked to Instagram or Create a New Facebook Page
- Tap Done
Now that your business account is active, you can explore features like:
- Instagram insights – Instagram provides performance statistics and analytics for business profiles. You can see the age range, gender, and locations of your followers, as well as the days and periods when your audience is most active. You can use this information to identify the kind of content that your audience responds to.
- Contact button – Your business profile will have a contact button to help customers email or call you.
- Shoppable posts – Your followers can tap on your post or story to shop for your products. This feature is especially important as 75% of the users on Instagram take action after viewing a post.
Step 2: Create a Product Catalog on Facebook
Your business page will be powered by a product catalog, which you can either create through Facebook or an E-commerce platform. Use the steps below if you decide to use Facebook:
- Navigate to the Business Manage Account on Facebook
- Tap on the Catalog section, and choose your inventory type
- Add the products. You can add products manually if you don’t have too many products. Keep in mind that your profile requires at least nine products to qualify for Instagram product tagging. Facebook also allows users to upload catalogs using a data feed, Google Sheets, and Facebook Pixel.
If you already have a catalog on E-commerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, you can link it to Facebook.
Step 3: Get Your Account Reviewed
Your business account needs to be approved by Instagram before you can sell on the platform, and you should ensure that you live in a country that qualifies for Instagram shopping. Your profile should also be linked to a Facebook page to help you set up your product catalog. The review takes a few days, and you can check the status in the settings tab.
Step 4: Activate Shopping on Your Profile
Once your business profile has been approved, you can see a Shopping option under Settings and Business Account. Activate it, and you will be ready to start selling on the platform.
Step 5: Create a Shopping Post or Story
Tagging a product on business posts is as straightforward as tagging a person in a regular post. When uploading a post, you will see the “Tag Product” option, and you can enter the name of the product and select it in the search box. Tap “Done” and publish your post.
The shoppable post will appear as any other image on the Instagram page, but a user will see the tagged product when they tap on it. To make the deal better, you can add tags in existing posts on your profile.
You can also explore Instagram shopping stories, given that over 500 million Instagram users engage with stories daily. When uploading your story, navigate to the sticker on the upper-right corner, and opt for Product. You can then choose an item from your catalog and even customize the product sticker to blend with your story’s aesthetic.
Your shoppable posts will be marked by the shopping bag sticker in the upper-right corner. Your followers can also browse your Shop catalog directly from your profile.
Step 6: Optimize Your Shoppable Posts
It is not enough to share shoppable posts on Instagram as more and more users are seeking authentic brands with shared values. Try and feature shoppable posts as naturally as possible, and include surprising facts and insights.
Since Instagram is visually-heavy, there is much competition between brands in grabbing users’ attention. You can stand out by establishing a signature style that will make your business instantly recognizable.
Many brands embrace influencer marketing on Instagram, given that 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations. Collaborate with influencers in your line of business and watch your sales increase. Be inclusive in your stories and posts as well so that your potential customers can feel seen, heard, and valued.
Start Selling on Instagram
Instagram has made it easy for businesses to turn engagement into sales through shoppable posts. You will need to create a business page, upload a catalog, and tag shopping posts. However, your posts have to be authentic, which is where social marketing strategy becomes paramount. Need help getting Instagram Shopping actions set up?
We are a passionate digital marketing team that takes pride in helping clients unlock their full social media potential. If you have any questions concerning Instagram giveaways or growing your business via social media, don’t hesitate to contact us.