started as a simple photo-sharing platform among friends and families. In recent years, however, it has become one of the most popular marketing destinations for brands and businesses. Businesses use Instagram to present their brand story, launch products, show-case marketing materials, engage with fans, and even conduct customer feedback. It is widely used by almost every e-commerce business, including sellers of fashion clothing, accessories, sporting goods, cosmetics, pet clothing, and many more.
On Instagram, visual expression is king – you are limited to only images or videos. This type of content turned out to be superior at driving attention and improving content engagement and fits well with the trend of media consumption: in the age of information explosion, most people now prefer consuming visual information quickly than taking the time to read a long post of textual content. In short, a good picture of the product or a great brand image is more effective at catching people’s attention and attract potential customers.
Instagram is also actively transforming itself not only as a marketing destination but as a shopping destination. In recent years, Facebook has gradually rolled out more shopping capabilities on Facebook and Instagram, and now it is possible to open a store directly through Instagram. This means customers can soon browse products and make purchases all within the Instagram app.
Instagram Shopping offers an exciting potential of the future, and this is certainly an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. In this post, we will share 4 basic tips on how to get started with using Instagram to grow your business. Whether you just started the store or want to see how Instagram can help you increase sales, we believe those tips can be useful for you.
1. Experiment with different Instagram features
Instagram offers multiple features for various use cases, such as Instagram Stories, Live Video, Photos, and Videos Sharing, Close Friends, and Instagram Shopping functions. Obviously, start with the basics of posting photos to your account and build up a steady base. Then we encourage you to experiment with more creative features like Story and Live Video and see if they are effective in your marketing objective. These features tend to require more creative input so it may not be easy to start out, but we believe this is an opportunity on its own. By experimenting with different features, and the way you use them, you will find out a particular way, specific to your store and brand that has the most impact on your business.
2. Make good use of hashtags
On Instagram, every post can be analyzed through the insights report checking the proportion of each hashtag in advertising impressions. Generally, hashtag helps increase the reach with potential customers; therefore, it is not always necessary to use too many #hashtags. The more important thing is choosing the hashtags that are most suitable for the products to attract customers who are relevant and who would naturally be more interested in purchasing your products and interacting with your brand. To find out which hashtags are appropriate and has a good enough reach, you can look up through Keyword Tool.
3. Invest time in engaging visual content
Nearly 100 million photos are posted on Instagram every day. Therefore, how to make your photos or videos stand out is the million-dollar question all marketers are thinking about. It’s fair to say that most people are attracted by content with a sense of creative design, and the more unique and interesting it is, the more attention you will get. We want to share some useful tools that can aid your designing process:
- Post layout tool: 9Cut and PicSlit
9Cut and PicSlit provide the function of splitting a photo by breaking into several high-resolution square ones, showing it as one big photo and also support sharing to Instagram directly. You can easily create great brand images with perfect layout and impress your Instagram visitors.
- Graphic design editor: Canva
Canva is a versatile editing app that makes graphic design and video editing simple and fun! It not only offers many professionally designed templates for use but also has a wide range of editing capabilities to create high-quality posters, presentations, social media posts, and even advertising designs.
- Instagram Stories video editor: InShot
InShot is a powerful video editor with features like cutting, trimming, combining video clips, splitting a long video into short video clips, keeping the original video with no crop against the vertical aspect ratio of Instagram Stories, and adding text, music or video effects as you want!
- Vertical video editor (accord with Instagram Stories & IGTV): Vyoo
Vyoo is an easy-to-use video editor that allows users to create videos from its large collection of designer templates. Since it has the appropriate canvas size of each popular social platform, you can simply make a great vertical video for Instagram Stories and IGTV!
4. Encourage users to tag your brand or product
Many brands will encourage customers to upload product-related photos or videos to Instagram and use @ to tag their brand name for further interaction after buying. Not only is this a great way to increase social proof of your brand, but it can also expand the reach of your brand on Instagram, which leads to free traffic and potential viralability. It also allows you to engage with every customer who tags your brand and create a sense of “human touch” in the customer experience. You can encourage the behavior by providing potential coupons or discounts but overall, this is a very cost-effective way to improve your brand recognition.
At the beginning of operating an e-commerce business, there are many things to consider, ranging from sourcing products, setting up the entire operation, and building out a presence on social media. We know how tough it is. And we hope the four tips in this article can inspire you with more ideas to grow your business.
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