Instagram has rapidly risen in popularity as a platform for commercial sales. More than 14% of all U.S. retail sales were made online in the second quarter of 2022, a share that had grown by more than 100% since 2014.
Many companies wrongly believe that having a website is necessary to start selling online; however, it is increasingly simple to set up shop on various social media sites. Instagram provides businesses with a complete e-commerce growth solution by letting them sell products directly to customers through their profiles. This direct sales platform simplifies the steps involved in selling to a customer.
There has never been a better time to begin selling on Instagram if you want to see success. You can benefit from using Instagram as a sales channel because the service caters to businesses of all sizes.
The Demand for Instagram Shopping
Making money through online product sales is no longer essential. Thanks to the proliferation of social commerce platforms, there has never been a better time to start an online store or promote an existing one. Instagram, which now has over 700 million users, is rapidly becoming the dominant social platform for online shopping. About 80% of Instagram users follow a business, and 60% say they find new products to try on the platform. As a result, more and more companies are starting to market and sell their wares on social media.
Instagram's design prioritises user interaction, which is why it's such a good platform for marketing. It allows you to network by sharing content and tagging others in posts, gaining exposure for your posts, and having private conversations via replies and direct messages. It's as if direct sales were expertly blended with mass media marketing. Thanks to in-built shopping features such as product tags, clickable links, shoppable stickers, and collaboration ads, your target audience can access your items more conveniently.
Top 10 easy ways for selling on Instagram
Learning how to sell on Instagram may appear complicated, but you can rest assured it's not. Follow this guide to start making money with your Instagram store:
1. Optimize Your Instagram Account for In-App Shopping
You may already know how to tag people in Instagram photos and videos. The good news is that you may now tag items in your Instagram business postings. Each tag informs visitors about the product's name and price. Ensure hitting the tag takes customers directly to your Instagram store to facilitate in-app purchases.
You can also use shoppable posts, but there will still be some conversion friction when using them because the customer still needs to visit your website to complete the purchase. Instagram Checkout streamlines the buying process by allowing users to make payments without leaving the app.
2. Add Product Photos and Catalogues
Due to the visual nature of Instagram, you should have high-quality images of your products if you want to attract more customers. Make it easy for your followers to learn more about or purchase items featured in your Instagram Stories, Reels, or posts by using Shopping Tags. Instagram merchants that take advantage of the feature's restricted Checkout may also tag items in posts and profiles. (Advertising with Shopping Tags is possible, too!)
3. Write Interesting Descriptions for Your Products
An Instagram post is only as good as its descriptions or captions. The descriptions you use for your content should have the same tone and style. Descriptions that are both informative and engaging will encourage your target audience to click on your post.
Asking a question and inviting followers to tag a friend in the replies is an easy approach to increase interaction with your Instagram posts. You can experiment with various post styles within the 2200 character restriction, such as writing a quick, snappy description for a photo or a lengthy, in-depth topic analysis.
4. Cause Buzz Around Products You Sell
Many businesses fail because they fail to generate excitement about an upcoming product launch when selling on Instagram. Making a behind-the-scenes film is a great approach to get people talking about your new product. You may also utilize Facebook Live video or Instagram's IGTV function to show your devoted audience how your team works behind the scenes. These exclusive, behind-the-scenes clips are great material to distribute before a product launch.
For example, BaliBody creates a buzz around its product with the sentence "Sold Out in USA" and follows with the description:
Using social media to generate suspense about your product before its release is another effective strategy. It's a foolproof strategy for getting people pumped up about your business. You may also use LinkedIn and Facebook advertisements to build brand awareness and interest in your product and attract potential customers. You need to publish an advertisement for your goods and request that interested parties fill out a short form in exchange for a reward. The information provided may be anything from trial versions to launch news.
5. Make Good Use of Instagram Stories
The number of people using Instagram Stories daily has surpassed 500 million, making it more popular than Snapchat by twice as much. It's thus not surprising that companies keep coming up with innovative uses for this function to boost revenue.
Instagram Stories is a great way for brands to connect with their customers more regularly and individually. Many companies now use Instagram Stories to document the usage of their goods, announce sales, and introduce new products to the market. Adding links to Instagram Stories became available to anyone with 10,000 or more followers in 2017. It was fantastic news for retail companies and publications. This popular Instagram technique is sure to boost your business in many ways.
6. Organise Relevant Instagram Story Highlights
How successful have your product-focused tales been? Don't let them vanish into thin air; add them to your Story Highlights. Customers will appreciate it if you make it easy for them to access product-related tales by assigning them to a dedicated Highlight. You can make different highlights for various product categories, price points, etc.
7. Send Your Products for Influencer Endorsements
Ninety percent of marketers say influencer marketing works. It's a great method to give your items more credibility. It helps if the person recommending the product is already well-liked by the target demographic. If you don't have the funds to collaborate with a major influencer, think about collaborating with a micro-influencer instead. These influencers typically have between one thousand and one hundred thousand active followers. Currently, 75% of marketers use micro and nano influencers in their campaigns. Finding the right influencers for your company is as crucial as finding the right customers.
For instance, PetLab Co.’s CEO and co-founder Chris Masanto says, “When we decided to leverage influencer endorsements for PetLab, we didn’t just send our products to the biggest names out there. We sought genuine pet lovers who resonated with our brand’s ethos. This wasn’t about quick virality; it was about building trust. We collaborated with influencers who genuinely believed in our products, and this authenticity shone through in every post and story they shared. The result? Not only did our social media engagement soar, but we also saw a significant uptick in sales and brand loyalty. It’s not just about getting your product out there; it’s about finding the right voices that align with your brand’s heart and soul.”
8. Sponsor Giveaways with Products
Successfully promoting an Instagram giveaway may do wonders for your online store's exposure and revenue. However, you'll need more than a social media post and an item for a successful sponsor giveaway. Too often, shop owners squander time and products on Instagram giveaways because of poor planning and execution.
Remember that Instagram giveaways are time-limited campaigns in which you provide a product or service to a winner (or winners) meeting certain requirements. Your sponsor giveaway should spark interest and be relevant to your target audience.
9. Run Instagram Ads
Paid advertisements on Instagram can be your fast track to more sales if you worry that your organic traffic isn't enough or want to increase caution. The best part is that you can start small if you don't want to risk draining your savings account to get your business off the ground. The placement and duration of your ad's run are also up to you.
Yet, it would help if you exercise caution. Ensure your marketing plan is solid before you commit financial resources to Instagram ads: Do you seek to raise recognition of your brand and expand its reach on the web? Or do you want to increase your existing fan base? Instagram's diverse advertising options include photos, videos, stories, carousels, and more. Pick the option that will serve you the best in the long run.
10. Share Time-Limited Discounts
Creating a sense of urgency in your marketing is as simple as giving your target audience a deadline. Time-sensitive discounts are a fantastic tool for doing this. Consider that 88% of shoppers check for coupons when researching products online. But if they are endless with no expiration date, customers won't feel any need to buy right now.
Then, the following occurs: They leave the site intending to return later and use the coupon but forget about it. Reality is a hindrance. Limiting the time a customer has to take advantage of a promotional offer (such as free shipping, a discount code, or a limited edition product) is a common marketing tactic that may help alleviate this issue. To track the effectiveness of your campaign, make good use of social media dashboards as you can see all valuable data and insights in one place.
Determining the best strategies for selling on Instagram and growing your brand will take trial and error. If you stick to these nine guidelines, you won't have to guess as much, and the process will go much more smoothly. While it may appear difficult to understand how to sell on Instagram initially, it's rather simple. After you've mastered it, you'll be able to quickly and easily attract many new potential clients.