Instagram is without a doubt the best visual marketing platform available. No other platform allows you to directly connect with your customers and potential customers to share your story and images in a unique way.
If you're not using Instagram marketing for your Shopify store, you're missing out on potential sales. Well, most people already know Instagram is good for driving sales. But do you know how to use it to drive qualified sales? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Instagram eCommerce strategies to increase revenue and customer loyalty.
Why should you market on Instagram?
- Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users.
- In the U.S alone, Instagram has over 140 million users.
- Globally, Instagram is the second most accessed network behind Facebook.
- Instagram users browse for an average of 53 minutes per day.
- About 59% of the platform’s active users visit the site daily, and spend at least 7 hours per week browsing content and interacting with friends and brands.
- It’s mobile-first – mobile traffic accounts for the majority of all traffic on Instagram and is only growing as more people use their phones to browse the internet instead of their computers.
- Instagram doesn’t just promote visibility, but engagement as well.
Yes, Instagram is one of the best places to promote your products and get sales.
But if you're new to Instagram as a marketing channel, it can be daunting to figure out how to use them effectively. In this article, we’ll deep-dive into how to set up Instagram ad campaigns, what types of ads are available along with organic Instagram marketing.
Paid ads Instagram marketing guide for Shopify
How do Instagram ads work?
Instagram ads are one of the most powerful tools for digital marketers and businesses.
Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, Instagram ads are powered by Facebook’s ad platform. This means that you can use the same targeting options and types of ads as you would on Facebook.
There are two options to create Instagram ads -
Turn any post into an ad with Promote
Instagram Promote is very similar to Facebook’s Boost button. You just have to enter the URL link for when users click your ad, define your target audience, and your budget for the ads.
Use Facebook Ads Manager
Or you can create campaigns with Facebook Ads Manager, which is an all-in-one tool for launching ads across Meta platforms.
Types of Instagram ads
Instagram ads are designed to clearly communicate your message while still maintaining the aesthetic of the platform. You can also create different types of ad campaigns that promote various products or services within your business -
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- Collection ads
- Stories ads
- Reels ads
Paid ads Instagram marketing tips
Here are 4 tips to help you reap the best results from your paid ads on Instagram -
1. Use advanced targeting techniques
In Instagram's Business Manager, you can target users based on their interests and demographics which allows for more precise targeting than any other social network or advertising platform. This is especially important when creating remarketing campaigns because you can ensure that your ads only show up for people who have already shown interest in your product or service.
For example, if someone visited your website but didn't buy anything, they could still see an ad with a discount offer on Instagram later that day or week.
2. Test different ad formats
One of the best ways to figure out what works best is by testing different ad formats. The best way to do this is through a campaign that uses both video and photo ads. You might find that one format works better than the other with your audience.
You can also test different types of copy, like using a call-to-action button or asking people to comment on their favorite product in exchange for a discount code.
3. Optimize your budget
Optimizing your budget is the most important part of the entire process. The more you spend, the more exposure and reach you'll get. But, we all know that's not always possible. If you have a limited budget, then it's best to optimize for the audience size and reach rather than spending every penny on advertising.
You need to make sure that each dollar you spend on ads is well spent.
4. Try Instagram automation
Instagram ads have been around since 2016, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One way to increase conversions is through automation.
Automating your Instagram ads is a great way to save time while still getting the most bang for your buck. Automation can help you post at optimal times, target the right audiences and measure key metrics so you know what's working and what isn't.
These tools can help you -
- Schedule posts
- Boost posts that already exist on your profile
- Find new hashtags to use in your posts
If you're not using an automated platform, then consider some of the best Shopify Instagram apps like Buffer or Insightera (both free) to schedule posts in bulk without having to log into each account individually. Or, you can use an automated scheduler like Tailwind if you're already using their services for other social media management tasks.
Organic Instagram marketing guide for Shopify
What is organic Instagram marketing?
Organic Instagram marketing is a type of social media marketing that doesn't involve spending money on ads. It's a way to grow your following organically, meaning you get more followers by creating content people want to see, and then sharing it with the world.
Organic marketing works on the principle of providing something of value to the customer in order to encourage them to take action. The value may be tangible or intangible, but it has to be something that gives genuine satisfaction and pleasure to the buyer. When you provide value, your customers will trust you more and feel closer to you.
Yes, organic growth is a slow process, but it's sustainable and a powerful way to reach your target audience, grow your brand, and build a loyal customer base.
However, if you're not using the right strategies, your posts can become lost in a sea of content.
Organic Instagram marketing tips
Here are 4 tips to help you gain more visibility and grow your organic Instagram following -
1. Optimize your Instagram profile and bio for improved search visibility
The first step in organic Instagram marketing is to have a well-optimized profile. To optimize your Instagram business account, you will have to clarify and leverage your SEO keywords on Instagram, followed by strategically injecting these keywords into your profile.
Instagram has a search feature that allows users to find accounts they want to follow based on their interests. To do this, Instagram uses hashtags as keywords, so it's important that you use relevant hashtags in your bio and posts. This will increase the likelihood of new people finding your account when they search for related topics.
And thus, ensure that your profile includes relevant keywords and clear bio text. As a business account, ensure your bio includes your business name, website URL, phone number, and location as well.
You can also use hashtags in your username, and account name along with the bio to help people easily discover you and find out more about what you do. In addition, include other relevant keywords such as types of products or services offered, industry terms, or geographic locations where you operate.
For example, if you own a clothing store, use hashtags like #fashion, #style, and #shopping in your bio and posts so people searching for clothes can easily find you on Instagram.
Ideally, when selecting your Instagram hashtags, it’s best to incorporate a mix of short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords.
- Short-tail keywords make use of broad terms, usually containing one or two words. These keywords let you expand the reach of your Instagram profile to a much wider audience.
- Long-tail keywords make use of specific, targeted phrases, usually containing three or more words. These keywords let you reach more specific, high-intent audiences with a greater chance of a conversion.
2. Craft a brand-building content strategy on Instagram
Now that we've ensured that your Instagram profile is easily discoverable, it’s time to show users why they should follow and support you. This means you need to have a solid Instagram strategy in place.
Identify your organic Instagram goals and objectives
Before you start posting on Instagram, take some time to think about what you want to accomplish with your account. Is there a particular audience you want to reach? Do you want to generate leads? Maybe you just want to build awareness for your brand or product. Whatever your goal is, make sure that every post aligns with your objectives.
The key, however, is to be specific about what numbers you’re trying to hit. So, don’t just define your goals as - “Want to increase follower count”. Instead, aim at something specific like - Increasing the follower base by 5% in the next 3 months. This gives you a clear objective to craft your content on Instagram.
Design tailored content pillars
The next step is designing tailored content pillars based on your company's goals and objectives.
Your pillars should be specific enough that they can guide everything from what types of photos you share to how often you post them and even where those posts appear within your own Instagram feed.
For example, if one pillar is increasing sales leads from Instagram, another could be driving traffic back to your website, and yet another could be increasing brand awareness among influencers and potential customers.
An actionable organic Instagram strategy uses a mix of multiple content pillars to ensure your brand’s Instagram content is varied, engaged, frequent, and dynamic.
Prepare a content calendar
A content calendar is essentially a list of all the posts you want to publish on Instagram over the course of a month or more. This helps you organize your social media strategy and keep track of your progress.
Your Instagram content calendar should ideally include -
- Posting frequency
- Content pillars
- Design assets
To draft your content calendars, you can use a simple Google Sheets/Excel spreadsheet, Trello, Notion, or Hootsuite.
3. Develop a tailored Instagram hashtag strategy
Hashtags are one of the most important components of creating an effective Instagram marketing strategy. They allow users to find content that interests them by searching through hashtags or browsing popular tags in their feed.
The best way to use hashtags on your posts is by creating a tailored hashtag strategy that matches your brand’s goals and audience demographics.
In the early days of Instagram, hashtags were a good-to-have, no-brainer addition to your posts. Anyone could use any hashtag they wanted and it didn't matter how many times other people used it.
Today, that's no longer the case. Hashtag stuffing will only drive low-value users to your content.
Here are some tips for creating an effective Instagram hashtag strategy -
Focus on quality over quantity
While you may have heard that you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, it's better to focus on one or two powerful hashtags that relate directly to your post content than try to cram in more than a few generic ones. With that said, a regular Instagram post with 11 hashtags is a good number to start with.
Use relevant hashtags in your bio
When setting up your Instagram profile, include keywords that describe your brand or products in both the bio section and as tags within the description field.
Add relevant hashtags throughout all your posts and stories
Use hashtags sparingly within each post and story so they don't look spammy but still allow users who search for those terms to find them easily if they're interested in seeing more of your work or interacting with you directly on the platform
Here’s a quick look at the 9 types of hashtags defined by Instagram -
- Hashtags indicating your product or service, like #sweater or #coffeeshop.
- Hashtags indicating your niche in your industry, like #weddingphotographer or #travelphotographer.
- Hashtags for Instagram communities in your industry, like #bakersofinstagram or #foodiesofinstagram.
- Hashtags for special events or seasons, like #whiteday or #nationaldonutday.
- Hashtags using location, like #pastrynyc, #madeinToronto, or #sydneysweets.
- Daily hashtags, like #mondaymotivation, #tuesdaytip, or #wellnesswednesday.
- Hashtags with phrases relevant to what you do, like #becreative or #bakerylove.
- Hashtags with acronyms, like #qotd (quote of the day) or #ootd (outfit of the day).
- Hashtags with emojis, like #shoes👟 or #🌞.
4. Run strategic hard-to-miss growth campaigns on Instagram
Organic growth campaigns are a great way to accelerate your brand’s growth rate. This type of campaign focuses on getting new users to follow your brand on Instagram and continue to remain invested, as opposed to promoting a specific post or product.
The key is to incentivize new users to engage with and follow your brand on Instagram. Here are some ways how you can easily do it -
Run a competition
Running a competition is a great way to engage with your audience and generate interest in your brand or product. You can even run a competition on Facebook and Instagram at the same time if you want to reach more people. Offer irresistible prizes to incentivize entrants like discount codes, for instance. Also, ensure that a condition of entry is to follow your brand on Instagram.
Host a giveaway
If you want to grow your followers quickly and engage with them at the same time, hosting giveaways is an excellent strategy. As long as there is something they want to win (and most people do), they will enter the giveaway just for fun or because they really want what's being offered (not always both!).
The reality is that Instagram is a social media platform that millions of people are using. If you want to be successful with Shopify, you will want to put in the effort to master the social media channel so you can reach all these potential new customers.
Instagram for Shopify stores is a place where you can build community, and drive traffic and revenue.
Instagram is particularly powerful because it can be used to tell a visual story that highlights your business's unique personality. You can use photos and videos to show customers behind-the-scenes access, share testimonials from happy customers, or simply showcase your product in action.
The key is to use Instagram as a platform for storytelling. The more authentic you can be about your business and who you are as a person, the better your content will resonate with your followers and their friends on the platform.
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