Social media is a valuable resource for e-commerce businesses. Social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can now be used alongside a traditional website to share information, showcase products and services, give business updates, and more.
These platforms allow e-commerce businesses of all industries and size the online space they need to reach a wider audience.
Instagram has steadily grown into a popular social media that lends itself perfectly to information regarding new products and services being offered by e-commerce businesses. With just a photo and a few clicks of a button, businesses can highlight their latest product offerings, post sale and price information, and share their products with a nearly unlimited, global audience.
As easy as this sounds, there are best practices to harness the power of Instagram and work it into a powerful e-commerce business plan seamlessly. Here are a few tips and tricks for how to sell on Instagram without paid ads.
Instagram and Advertising
Anyone who has scrolled around the internet recently will notice the overwhelming presence of ads dominating the headers, sidebars, and footers of websites. Sponsored ads appear frequently, and some require a moment of hasty clicking in order to find the little elusive ‘x’ that will allow you to regain the content you were actually looking for.
Many websites gain the majority of their revenue from paid ads, and Instagram is no different. However, most e-commerce businesses don’t have the time or the money to invest in paid ad space. Artists, entertainers, and small e-commerce businesses that are growing their reach may have a hard time accessing the money needed to pay for ads.
But here's what they don't want you to know:
You don't have to use paid ads to be successful as a business on instagram.
It's true. There are plenty of ways to sell products and services on Instagram without paying for an ad.
How to Sell on Instagram
First, begin by creating an Instagram business profile, which can be connected to a business’s website or other social media accounts, such as Facebook. Business profiles can be used on Instagram to increase a company’s reach and highlight their products.
The shopping feature is a handy tool businesses can use to engage more Instagram users from around the world. Users can click on a post and follow a link that allows them to purchase the item from the post through Instagram, instead of being routed to another website.
While you can’t post a link in the description of a picture, you can encourage people to click on a link in your bio. Bio links can be to your website or any other page you want to drive traffic towards.
A business manager can be in charge of what products to feature and be part of the design process for getting the best photo for the message they want to send.
Instagram posts are easy to make - all you have to do is take a photo, upload it, and tag products you want to feature. This will appear on your page’s Instagram feed where your followers and others can see it. This makes it easier to sell your products.
Posts by an Instagram influencer can be highly profitable for e-commerce businesses. Influencer marketing is a way to harness the following of certain individuals by having them highlight a product or service of yours. Your business is then put right in front of the eyes of people who will have the opportunity to visit your page, follow you, or choose to shop through your products on Instagram.
Regular posts can be mixed in with product pages and shopping posts. You can also use Instagram to curate an email list for new products, discount codes, and convey other important information about your business for your customers.
Do not forget to include a Call to Action (CTA) in your posts. eCommerce businesses on Instagram can use CTAs in any Instagram photo they post. CTAs can help:
- Boost customer engagement
- Increase click-through rates
- Make your business shoppable
- Drive customers to your website and other social media pages
- And more!
Stories are a widely popular feature that are similar to social media platforms like SnapChat. Stories disappear after 24 hours, leaving a great opportunity for businesses to post content like:
- Sneak peeks
- Product reveals
- Behind the scenes
- Making of
Stories can also include other spur of the moment, fun content that won’t be permanently featured on your main Instagram page. Make sure to have a consistent, recognizable look throughout your stories. There are plenty of places to download free, beautiful templates for Instagram stories like the one below from Pixelify.
Once you have new customers from Instagram, the next challenge is getting them to keep returning to your e-commerce store. Cabrella has a full, no-fluff guide to keeping your customers with actionable tips and strategies. Click the button below to start reading!