4 Ways to Dominate at Instagram eCommerce Marketing | Yotpo

Last updated on December 18, 2023

Aimee Millwood
Director of Content at Yotpo
July 14th, 2016 | 4 minutes read

Why are so many businesses investing in a social media platform with no clear business marketing tools?

Table Of Contents

With 300 million users and no clearly defined way for businesses to stand out from the crowd, Instagram presents an interesting puzzle for eCommerce marketers.

The platform is clearly huge, and it continues expand rapidly, but there are no advertisements, little room for written content, and no specific business account differentiators beyond the possibility for a verified badge for your brand page.

This may explain why, in a recent study by Rival IQ, 38% of marketers declared that Instagram was not important and 20% named it only somewhat important.

Yet according to a Shopify study of the top eCommerce social channels, Instagram benefits for eCommerce are clear: the platform is among the top traffic and sales drivers, and it has the second highest average order value of all social channels. Storeowners can learn how to drive online sales using Instagram – it just takes a little savvy.

So what are these marketers missing out on and how can you utilize Instagram’s huge popularity to market your eCommerce business?

Maximizing Instagram’s potential requires understanding what sets it apart from other social media platforms, what kind of posts earn more engagements, and how to bring in outside solutions for selling products in a medium that has no eCommerce integration.

Here are a few Instagram marketing tips that will open up Instagram as a viable visual marketing tool with real results.

1. Know the value of Instagram for eCommerce marketing

Social media in general is great for growing eCommerce traffic and driving brand awareness. One of the reasons that Instagram is growing in popularity is because it doesn’t conform to original social media norms.

Today, Facebook and Twitter are considered “old” and Instagram is home to a younger audience with a different style of communicating. Instagram is pure visual, with most (or even all) text playing a supporting role in the form of hashtags.

The visual nature of Instagram causes an impact: our Instagram data shows that the Instagram engagement rate is higher than all other marketing channels, including other social media platforms, email and search traffic.

For this reason, it’s important to have many posts a day, evaluate how to advertise on Instagram, and implement many different kinds of images. Create a beautiful photograph, share pictures of how customers use your products, post a picture with a text overlay asking followers to use a certain hashtag, show off behind-the-scenes activity at your offices or factories, and so on.

You want to pop up in a user’s feed as much as possible because not all posts will capture everyone’s attention.

2. The more hashtags, the merrier (the data says)

With Instagram, you should never be afraid of the hashtag.

Successful Instagram posts are very hashtag-heavy. One Quicksprout study showed that posts that have 11 hashtags get nearly 80% interactions versus posts with 4 hashtags which get only 31%.

You are not supposed to be posting interesting or useful content in your description, you are corralling users who may be searching for your product or related topics.

3. Look to third-party applications for eCommerce integration

As we said before, there is no integrated eCommerce solution on Instagram available to all users.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t convert Instagram users into customers within the platform. There are a number of third-party applications that allow you to sell through Instagram.

Among them is Yotpo’s Shoppable Instagram which creates an Instagram shop version of your account so followers can easily reach featured products.

4. Use Instagram for user-generated content 

You should be utilizing Instagram as a source of user generated content across multiple platforms, but especially on your website.

Prominently displaying user-generated pictures that include your product builds customer confidence in your company for a new visitor – it’s instant visual proof that others use and like your products.

Besides sharing favorite user pictures from Instagram to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can integrate their Instagram pictures onto your website for a steady stream of fresh content.

Marketers who use tried-and-true social media strategies on Instagram are setting themselves up for disappointment. Just trying to get as many followers as possible will get you very little return.

In fact, it’s easy to employ all sorts of tricks to get more followers, you can even buy them, but fake followers won’t purchase your products. Your account will get the most exposure via engagements with trendsetters, accurate use of hashtags, and visually captivating content that connects with users. Instagram users want to feel like they are being told a story, not sold a product. Follow that principle and you’ll go far.