June 3, 2020
It is a well-known fact that the ultimate goal of every business is to grow by increasing its sales. One clear-cut way to achieve this is by gaining new customers or amassing repeat purchases from existing ones.
However, getting more sales is not as straightforward as it seems. Today’s customers are actively seeking more information about products and services before making a purchase. According to a report by eMarketer, about 36% percent of social media users turn to various platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to research a company and its offerings before making a purchase.
Aside from conducting their own research, users also actively follow the social media accounts of businesses to learn about their products. This means that they are ready to purchase something through the accounts of businesses.
This new trend is a clear indicator that more and more people are doing their online shopping in-app. For business owners, it is important to treat social shopping as the new norm when it comes to commerce.
Also known as social commerce, social shopping is a new e-commerce method that involves the use of apps to buy products or engage services. Businesses that are successfully utilizing social shopping are able to do so by making use of certain social media tools such as product tags, action buttons on posts such as “Shop now” and shoppable stickers.
Aside from these, since social commerce happens within social media platforms, a user’s network of friends or contacts is also involved in the shopping experience.
According to a report by Socialnomics, about 87% of shoppers cited social media as the driving force behind their purchasing decisions.
Out of all the different social media platforms currently available, Instagram has emerged as the most popular app among marketers and business owners. This is mainly due to the growth they have experienced while using the platform.
The growth and success that business owners experience on Instagram can be attributed to the platform’s growing popularity among users.
Studies have shown that about 62% of social media users become interested in a product or a brand after they see a post about it on Instagram Stories, which is a feature of the platform that shows videos and photos in a slideshow format.
In addition, an average of 130 million Instagram users tap on a shopping post made by marketers and business owners every month. This can translate to a high percentage of sales for successful brands.
Aside from what users and marketers can do with the platform, Instagram itself boosted its own social commerce capabilities by introducing a dedicated feature for online shopping back in 2016, known as Instagram Business.
With the various opportunities that Instagram can offer, it would be a huge waste not to use it for your own business. So, if you’re ready to jumpstart your Instagram game, check out these four effective ways on how you can take advantage of this social media app to increase your sales and grow your business.
1. Sell Solutions
In addition to increasing brand awareness and visibility, another factor that will determine the success of your business is the type of product that you will offer. Although it would be tempting to sell any kind of product that’s trending right now, the ones that sell well are those that solve problems that existing and potential customers have.
Educate Your Followers
The content of your Instagram account will play a crucial role in selling products that can solve problems. Through your posts, you can highlight in detail how your product can address the concerns that your followers have. Once you are able to show this, you’ll be able to gain the trust of potential customers by addressing their pain points.
You can show how your product can address your customers’ issues by making use of Instagram Stories. That way, you’ll be able to answer most if not all of their answers regarding your product before they ask you directly.
Aside from Stories, you can also make use of IGTV to increase awareness about your product through video reviews, unboxing segments, tutorials and expert tips.
Lifestyle Photos Instead Of Ads
Although ads play a huge role in driving sales, most social media users no longer trust them since they can be a bit annoying and intrusive. One way brands are able to successfully advertise their products to followers without blatantly advertising them is through the use of lifestyle photos.
As its name suggests, lifestyle photos are images that focus on customers using your product. Usually, the context of these types of photos provide a glimpse of the ideal lifestyle that your customers have. Aside from putting your product within a realistic setting, lifestyle photos also appeal to the type of audience or customer base that you’re targeting since the images they present appeal to their interests.
2. Leveraging Social Proof
Your business’ social proof reflects your presence and influence among your followers. When it comes to social commerce, having a positive and stable social proof can build up the trust between your brand and customers, which can translate into more sales.
One way to boost social proof is by highlighting and sharing actual reviews made by customers about your product. Aside from providing information from an actual customer’s point of view, reviews also allow your followers to learn what other people think about your product and brand.
You can feature the feedback provided by your customers as Instagram posts. You can also highlight your customers’ actual experiences with your product through Instagram’s various features such as Stories and IGTV.
Post User-Generated Content
Similar to sharing reviews, you can also post the content shared by actual customers through your Instagram page. You can do so by encouraging customers to use a specific hashtag related to your company when posting about your product. That way, you’ll be able to monitor their posts and share them through your own page.
Some companies do this by sharing the photo uploaded by the customer while using or wearing their products. They also include a brief bio about the customer that features his or her experience with the product.
Sharing user-generated content lets your followers know that other people trust your brand. It also leads to higher engagement with followers.
3. Spread The Word About Your Product
Posting regularly and sharing content through your Instagram page are straightforward ways to increase awareness about your product. But, aside from these, there are also alternative methods that can instantly boost your online visibility.
Giving away free stuff is always a welcomed treat among customers. Sponsoring a giveaway is as simple as hosting a contest that’s focused on increasing the visibility of your Instagram page.
Sponsoring a giveaway is a quick way to increase your page’s engagement with a lot of users. Aside from gaining more followers, this method will also boost your brand’s chances of landing more sales through new customers.
Run Instagram Ads
Although we mentioned earlier that a number of users don’t rely on ads, running sponsored ads is still one of the most efficient ways to reach your target audience. For one, you can tweak the parameters of your ads so you can reach the type of customers that you want to attract.
One of the goals of running ads is to get users to swipe up on Instagram Stories ads in order to inform them more about your offering. Aside from having a clear call-to-action, you also need to use a striking product image to capture the users’ attention.
Of course, there’s no clear-cut formula on how to create a successful ad campaign on Instagram. You will have to play around with the different ad types and formats that Instagram has to offer in order to find the one that works best for you.
4. Improve Your Customer Experience
As you’re working on increasing your reach and visibility on Instagram, don’t forget to improve your page’s interface in order to boost customer experience. Doing so can ensure that your customers will have a smooth experience as they navigate through your page to make a purchase.
Optimise Your Account For eCommerce
Since Instagram has already embraced social shopping, it has unveiled various features that can help optimize your account for eCommerce. Through these features, visitors of your page will be able to easily learn about your offerings and complete their purchases in-app.
Below are some of the features you can tweak to optimize your account:
Provide Excellent Customer Support
Part of boosting customer experience is providing excellent customer service. In most cases, customers share their concerns about their orders through post comments or direct messages to a company’s social media page. Addressing their concerns is very important when it comes to maintaining the trust of customers.
Although some concerns can be addressed through the same page, you might need to answer the queries of users in a more private setting. You can do so by providing them with an email address or a link to a help page that’s dedicated to answering customer concerns.
Reward Loyal Customers
Running a successful business isn’t only about gaining new customers. It also involves acquiring repeat purchases from existing customers. Promos such as giving special discounts and other offerings for returning customers is one effective way of ensuring repeat purchases.
Aside from getting more sales, rewarding customers can also boost their loyalty to your brand. Valuing your customers will encourage them to do business with you again and recommend your brand to other people.
Instagram has evolved over the years. It is no longer a simple photo-sharing app used by friends. As discussed in this article, this social media platform has changed into a multi-feature online tool that’s sitting at the forefront of social commerce.
Digital Marketer Bee is a Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency in Albury-Wodonga founded by queen bee, Bee Cuevas. The hive that will work on your digital marketing have extensive experience in branding, design, development, and advertising to get you that buzzing success.