March 11, 2020

Instagram marketing for ecommerce: the essential guide

Instagram is a visual social media platform with over 1 billion active users and has become the new digital home for emerging and established brands. Let’s take a deep dive into how you can build a brand-first strategy on Instagram — growing brand awareness, boosting conversions, and increasing product sales

Instagram is doubling-down in the land of ecommerce with the release of shoppable organic posts and Stories, causing emerging and established businesses alike to perk their ears.

And it’s not just businesses who are benefiting from Instagram’s ever-narrowing divide between business and personal — their 1 billion monthly users are also taking notice. According to Instagram, over 80% of users follow at least one business, and 60% of users discover new products on the platform.

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the growing opportunity for brands and ecommerce store owners on Instagram, and with over 25 million registered Instagram Business accounts, this pudding is a popular one.

When we look into the future of ecommerce, we see that the winning hand for businesses competing against small and large competitors will not be millions of dollars in ads or even influencer marketing, but a unique, mission-oriented brand. And, as the ‘gram places itself squarely in the future of ecommerce, the same rules apply.

In this article, we share tips for how you can build a brand-first strategy on Instagram starting with the simple stuff:

  1. Creating and optimizing a business profile
  2. Identifying your target audience
  3. Curating your content

From there, we’ll move to the more complex, conversion-focused process of connecting your product catalog and tagging your products in organic posts and Stories.

Follow this brand-first formula on Instagram and you’ll be on your way to growing brand awareness, boosting conversions, and increasing product sales — all under the helm of your unique brand.

Creating an Instagram Business profile  

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to create an Instagram Business profile. Besides establishing a legitimacy and presence around your business, an Instagram Business profile gives you access to:

  1. Audience insights
  2. A contact button on your profile
  3. Products tags in your posts and Stories (Instagram Shopping)

Follow this simple guide to create your Instagram Business profile — we’ll wait here.  

Optimizing your Instagram Business account

Now that you’ve created your Instagram Business account, you’ll want to optimize your profile. And this is an important step, because, if you play your cards right, this will be many user’s — and potential customer’s — first impression of your brand.

Here are a few easy, high-impact actions you can take to optimize your Instagram Business profile:

1. Use a high-quality, branded profile picture

Your profile picture should visually represent your brand. For most brands, your logo is the best choice for this prime piece of profile real estate. No matter what image you choose, make sure to use the same, high-quality profile picture across all your social media profiles to increase both your brand presence and recognizability.

2. Write a bio that represents your brand

Despite only offering 150 characters, your Instagram bio doesn’t have to be your elevator pitch. In fact, telling your audience what your brand stands for may resonate more and set you apart from your competitors.

Everlane’s bio, for example, focuses on the core value of its business: “Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radically transparent.”