When Instagram first popped onto the scene back in 2010, it was just like any other social platform: filled with selfies, pets, and pictures of food.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Instagram’s transformation from a simple photo-sharing app to a full-on marketing channel is nearly complete.
Just look at some of the platform’s newest features! In the last year alone, Instagram has released dozens of new tools for businesses, including advanced analytics, shoppable Instagram posts, and new ways to drive traffic from Instagram Stories, and the new standalone video platform, IGTV.
Whether you work in eCommerce, education, or media and publishing, it pays to build a presence on Instagram. But if you really want to get ahead, you need to know the platform (and your audience) inside and out, including what kind of content resonates most, how to build an Instagram Stories strategy, and how to track your metrics and KPIs.
That’s where this guide comes in. In the next 16 chapters, we’ll walk you through:
But first, let’s take a look at why Instagram marketing is so effective for eCommerce businesses in particular.
We all know how great Instagram is for sharing photos and videos with our friends and family, but it’s also an incredible channel for eCommerce marketing. But why?
Well, an obvious reason is Instagram’s format. Because of this visual nature, Instagram holds massive opportunities for eCommerce businesses looking to showcase their products. Whether through regular photos, videos, or Instagram Stories, millions of businesses have learned that building a visual presence on Instagram can hugely compliment their eCommerce marketing.
There’s also the fact that Instagram users are more engaged than the average social media user. And while trends do seem to show that Instagram engagement is dropping (something we’ll be discussing in the next chapters), the platform is still producing higher engagement rates for businesses compared to both Twitter and Facebook.
But Instagram users are more than simply engaged -- they’re also commonly online shoppers. According to a recent study, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram, with the most popular categories being clothing, makeup, shoes, and jewelry.
This shopping mindset makes Instagram users the perfect audience because they’re high-intent and quick to convert.
Another reason Instagram is so great for eCommerce has to do with the platform itself. As we mentioned in the previous chapter, Instagram has recently introduced a ton of new business-facing tools -- and there’s definitely more to come! Whether through links in Instagram Stories or shoppable Instagram posts, soon enough many of our online shopping experiences will start (and end) on Instagram.
All of this said it would be a mistake to think that just because you don’t sell eCommerce products your business doesn’t belong on Instagram! Beyond its unique ability to move products, Instagram is also an incredible place for businesses to build brand awareness and connect with new audiences (and potential customers).
Of course, if you want to build an Instagram marketing strategy that really resonates with your target audience, you first need to understand how the Instagram algorithm works -- something we’ll be discussing next.