Picture this … you’re a new budding business owner with a Shopify store, Instagram account, and a line of products to die for. Your main social media strategy is to post luxurious photos of your products with captions like « Buy me! » And « Get them before they’re gone! ». This strategy is sure to attract customers … right?
Wrong! Shopify Instagram marketing is an art that many haven’t mastered yet.
Don’t worry, we’re not here to dunk on Shopify stores. Recent statistics show that the number of global consumers using Shopify merchants increased by 52% between 2019 and 2020. Obviously, the platform is doing wonders for many small business owners like you!
That said, marketing your store using Instagram is tricky and requires a bit of marketing wisdom. The good news is that 80% of Instagram users follow at least one professional account, while 72% say they have purchased a product discovered while browsing the platform. As the number of brands using Instagram grows, so does the number of businesses struggling to differentiate themselves and catch the wandering eyes of internet users.
Potential customers don’t want brands to flood them with commercial language. Instead, they want to develop a special affinity with brands through storytelling, two-way engagement techniques, and must-see offers that make them feel valued.
So how can you make it happen using a killer Shopify Instagram marketing strategy? We’ve come up with some great tips to help you generate those very important home sales.
1. Make the most of influencers
If you haven’t entered the world of influencer marketing yet, where have you been in the past five years? ! Influencers are a wonderfully cost effective way to build brand awareness, increase traffic to your ecommerce store, and ultimately increase profits through social media platforms. If you have a Shopify store and an Instagram account, investing in an influencer could help you increase traffic on both platforms.
Of course, you need to research influencers carefully before you partner with them. Each influencer has their own set of followers, not all of whom will be interested in your products and services. So how can you find the best influencer for your audience? Here are some good practices:
- Look for some well-known numbers: okay, so we don’t suggest that you reach out to the best dogs on Instagram (we dread thinking about how much a partnership with Kylie Jenner would cost). Your industry niche is likely to contain a few influencers that your target audience is familiar with. Contact them and discuss the options.
- Assess the value of influencers: You need to assess the value of individual influencers before you make a deal. Look for numbers with high quality content, a large number of subscribers, and high engagement rates.
- Learn about competitor strategies: Don’t forget to assess who is sharing content by and about your competitors. This could lead you to a valuable pool of effective influencers.
2. Use your Instagram feed to drive engagement, not sales
Social media users tend to avoid posts that are too sales-oriented. Rather than posting meaningless ads, we recommend that you build the trust of your subscribers through content that actually adds value to their daily lives.
Effective Instagram accounts sell a lifestyle rather than a product. You should of course incorporate images of your products in action. However, you don’t have to push them too hard. Think of photographs of influencers using your products, compelling infographics, images that depict the best features of your services, or humorous profiles of your team members. Remember to include professionally shot images that reflect your brand identity and effectively humanize your business operations.
Another way to boost organic engagement on your feed is to use popular hashtags. Did you know that social media posts containing hashtags to increase audience engagement by more than 12%? Best of all, it’s super easy to find and integrate the hashtags your followers use and key industry demographics.
All you need to do is put together a list of hashtags with high engagement rates and use them to promote your posts. Don’t go overboard, as your messages may be flagged as spam. Instead, sprinkle a few relevant hashtags on each post, and don’t forget to create different types of content with real value.
3. Don’t forget to use the Instagram Stories feature
Instagram Stories is one of the most popular features on the platform. For marketers, creating Stories is a lot like brushing your teeth in the morning – a simple step that could save you a lot of pain in the long run!
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, Stories allow businesses and regular Instagram users to share photos and videos in an edit format. The story content is differentiated from other posts by a thick border and the fact that it disappears 24 hours after posting. The ephemeral nature of Story content encourages users to continue engaging with your brand, especially if you’re used to producing humorous, interesting, or aesthetic content.
Still, are you feeling a little confused as to how to bust your stories? As usual, we have some practical tips to share:
- Use the product sticker feature: If your Shopify catalog is connected to your Instagram profile, you can tag products in your stories. When a user sees something that catches their eye, they can use the sticker to click directly on the relevant product page.
- Encourage users to visit your feed: Sharing content from your feed is a great way to drive traffic to your main feed and your brand’s bio.
- Use the countdown timer to launch exciting products: The Stories feature comes with a special countdown sticker that allows users to see the time remaining until an event. If you’re launching a new product or hosting an event, a countdown timer is a great way to generate buzz around your brand.
- Host live broadcasts and Q&A sessions: Live broadcasts have grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic (for reasons we don’t need to spell out), which means subscribers are ‘expect engaging product launches and live events. Why not invite a big name in the industry to chat with your Brand Ambassadors or host an interactive Q&A discussion?
4. Create a purchasable Instagram feed
One of the best things about Shopify stores is that business owners can link them to their Instagram accounts. This means that you can direct Instagram users directly to your Shopify product pages using tags.
But the best part? It is easy to do. First of all, you will need a Businesses Instagram account, a Facebook page and a Facebook Business Manager account.
Next, you’ll need to create a Facebook product catalog through your Shopify account. Once this catalog is operational, you can select Instagram as another sales channel for your store. This allows you to tag products when creating content.
When an Instagram user encounters a tag, they can click on it to view more images of products, prices, and other relevant information. The perfect combination if you hope to generate sales. Best of all, potential customers don’t even have to leave Instagram’s comfortable confines to browse your products!
It is also possible to add an Instagram feed to your Shopify website. If you have a relatively healthy customer base and are looking to boost your social media following, this one is a no-brainer.
5. Don’t forget your biography
Many of us are guilty of spending most of our energy putting together a fabulous feed while leaving our bio intact … so to help us out, there are plenty of bio features available on Instagram Business that could help you improve your marketing strategy!
First, you need to make sure that you’ve listed an up-to-date email address and phone number that customers can use if they want to get in touch. It’s also possible to add a link to your Shopify store to your bio – a free and deceptively easy way to drive traffic to your website.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can also add a lead capture form to your bio. A simple instruction like « Sign up for our newsletter and get 20% off your first order » could spark the interest of savvy shoppers while also building positive sentiment towards your brand.
Does Instagram still look a bit like the Enigma code? If you need help with your Shopify social media marketing, we’ve got you covered! Luckily, Neighborhood is here to help you create amazing content that will wow your customers. If you are wondering what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact us today!