5 Must Know Instagram Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

by Michael Ewing


January 20, 2014 at 8:00 AM

instagram-logoInstagram is free, easy to use and it’s grown to 150 million users in just three years for a reason – nothing has greater marketing impact than visuals. Are you taking full advantage of Instagram ecommerce marketing to build your online business?

What’s visual about your products or company? Think color and movement. If that hot new dress for spring comes in 14 colors, how can you show that, tantalizingly? Making products real can be a tough challenge for online businesses, because customers can’t see, touch and smell products first-hand. But visuals can deliver those sensual experiences, too.

Instagram ecommerce marketing lets you harness that power with photos or mini-videos. And if you think Instagram’s 15-second video limit sounds super-short, think again. You can make a huge impact in 15 seconds -- with or without sound.

So how can you use Instagram ecommerce marketing most strategically?

1. Use it to sell.

Announce a new product, the start of your annual sale or big company news. Like Twitter, Instagram posts are short and (hopefully) sweet. So break down your sales message into single “talking points” and deliver them in a series. Teasers can count down the days or hours, or reveal product features one tidbit at a time, building  anticipation and keeping people engaged.

If you also have a brick-and-mortar location, use geotags and promote in-store sales, too.

2. Use it to engage.

Hold a contest where followers submit photos showing:

  • How they use your products.
  • Where they use your products.
  • Themselves as they receive your shipment.

Aside from engaging your audience, photos of real people interacting with your products provide subliminal testimonials.

What’s going on behind the scenes? Your production department, the company cat, goofing off around the office or pictures from a community event you’re sponsoring all support Instagram ecommerce marketing by humanizing your company.

Create a hashtag for your brand, to promote your presence on Instagram and to easily collect photos and videos to share via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and on your website.

3. Use it to learn.

Ask questions (and answer them). Create a collage of three or four product ideas and ask your audience to vote on them.

Ask followers for non-product photos – their vacation, their kids or pets. Learning more about what makes them tick can drive future content and other marketing ideas.

Use a promo code, so you can track results.

4. Use it to generate new content.

Behind every picture there’s probably a story that would make a great blog article, case study or tip sheet. Story-telling and user-generated content keep your marketing fresh and interesting.

5. Make it exclusive, with Instagram Direct.

Now you can send a private message to just one or up to 15 of your followers. Niche targeting lets you:

  • Reward your most loyal customers.
  • Target product-specific customers.
  • Upsell customers to buy more, or more often.
  • Create focus groups.

Instagram ecommerce marketing – are you in the picture? 

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