Thriving in the print on demand scene entails creating not just visually pleasing designs but also coming up with clever strategies to market them. And as more and more people turn to social media for discovery, establishing your brand’s presence by using tools like Instagram and Instagram Shopping is now a must.
The good news is, this social media site is no longer solely for sharing selfies and artsy food shots. Thanks to its ever-growing features, Instagram has become a powerful tool not just for spreading brand awareness but also for driving traffic and sales. And in this article, we’ll dive deep into how you can use it to give your customers a great shopping experience!
Why Sell on Instagram?
If you’re still a bit iffy about using Instagram Shopping, let’s take a quick look at some reasons why you should start:
You Can Reach Over a Billion Users
As of February of this year, it is estimated that avertisers on the platform can possibly reach a total of 1.31 billion IG users. Of course, if you’re a small business or just starting out, this number seems pretty unattainable. Nonetheless, with the thousands or even millions of active users on the platform who may be part of your target market, it’s definitely worth giving Instagram a shot.
Instagram Shopping is FREE (or Very Cheap) To Get Started
Creating a business account on IG is completely free. And if you can grow your following organically, it can be the most cost-effective platform you can use to boost not just brand awareness but also sales.
Of course, there’s also the option to use paid ads but we’ll get to that later.
It’s All About Aesthetic
We all know that IG is a visually driven platform. Thus, it’s the perfect social media site for print on demand businesses who rely on ~aesthetics~ or eye-catching designs to sell their products.
This is especially true for businesses in the apparel, home decor, and art markets. If your target audience is composed of art-savvy millennials or Gen Zers, then you’ll definitely find success selling on IG.
Get to Know Instagram Shopping
Let’s get to know Instagram Shopping and how you can use it for your business.
In a nutshell, Instagram Shopping consists of different features that allow your followers to easily purchase the products they see on your posts and IG Stories without leaving the app. With this, users can get a better idea of what they’re buying, learn more about the product, and see related items from your store—all in one place!
What’s in It for You and Your Shoppers
What exactly do you get out of using IG Shopping for your business? Let’s take a look:
Your Very Own IG Shop
Instagram Shopping lets you integrate your product catalog from your store’s website to the app. Once you’ve set up your IG Shop, there will be a tab on your Instagram page that your followers can access to view all the products you sell with their prices and other relevant information.
With Product Tags, your viewers can click on the items they see in your posts and view product details without leaving Instagram. All they need to do is tap on the tag and a pop-up window will appear with the product name, price, and description.
That’s right! Your followers can also check out and purchase your items without having to visit your website or transferring to a selling platform like Etsy. The Instagram Checkout feature lets them complete their transaction on the app using their credit cards or online payment methods like PayPal.
How It Works
Not all accounts can simply start using these features right away. Here’s a quick overview of how you can get started with Instagram Shopping:
- Make sure you’re using a business profile.
- Have a product catalog. This can be through an eCommerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Wix. You can also check out this list for other platforms you can use.
- Be an eligible seller. This means that your business should comply with the platform’s policies and that you pass the merchant review process.
Once your account meets all the requirements, you can start setting up your IG Shop and adding products from your online store’s catalog. For a more detailed, step-by-step guide, you can check out this post from Meta.
Who Can Use It
While Instagram Shopping is available in more than 40 countries like Canada, Australia, Japan, and France, some features like Instagram Checkout can only be used in the US.
Furthermore, not all businesses are able to sell on the platform yet. Because as mentioned, there are certain standards and policies that businesses need to comply with before they can start using Instagram Shopping. But as long as your store can meet these requirements, you should be able to start using the platform without any worries!
Setting up your own IG Shop is completely free. However, Instagram will be deducting 5% for every successful sale made on the platform as their processing fee.
Other Instagram Features You Can Maximize for Your Store
Aside from Instagram Shopping, there are these classic features that you can use to market your products and services:
Instagram Stories are a perfect way to show your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business or give them a quick update on what’s new. You can also use them to promote your products in a more creative and interactive way. For example, you can use the Polls or Questions sticker to gauge interest in a new product or the Shop Now sticker to direct your viewers to your IG Shop.
If you’re feeling a little bit extra, you can also create your own IG Filters! This is a great way to add a touch of personality to your brand and make your posts more fun and engaging. Plus, it can help drive more user-generated content as your followers start sharing photos and videos using your filters.
Instagram Boosted & Carousel Ads
Of course, you can always boost your typical IG posts to reach a wider audience. But if you’re looking for a more creative way to advertise your products, you can also use Instagram’s Carousel Ads. This format lets you include up to 10 images or videos in a single ad, which is perfect if you want to showcase different products or you’re launching a new collection.
Boosting your posts and carousel ads on IG can cost anywhere from $0.50 to $1 for every click.
Live-selling and giveaways are becoming more and more popular nowadays. And with IG Live, you can easily connect with your audience in real-time! You can use this feature to do a quick product demonstration, answer questions, or even host a contest. Just make sure that you announce your IG Live sessions in advance so your followers can tune in.
Cross-posting With Facebook
One of the things that make IG and Facebook perfect for marketing small businesses is that you can easily cross-post content between the two platforms. This means that you can post your IG Stories on Facebook or share your FB posts on Instagram without having to create separate content for each platform.
To start cross-posting, simply link your IG account to your FB Page. Then, go to your FB Page’s settings and turn on the option to “Share Instagram Stories to Facebook.” Once you’ve done that, you should see the option to share your stories on both platforms whenever you post something new on the gram.
Tips for Selling on Instagram
By now, you probably have a bunch of ideas on how you can use Instagram to sell your products. But before you start posting away, here are a few quick tips to ensure that you’re making the most out of the platform:
Establish Your Brand’s Identity
Just like our own IG accounts, your store’s IG page should have its personality. After all, customers are more likely to remember and engage with a brand that they can easily connect with.
So take some time to figure out what kind of voice and aesthetic you want your page to have. Doing so will make it easier for you to come up with content ideas that align with your brand and resonate with your target audience.
Know Your Followers
The platform has its own analytics and insights tool that can help you track your page’s performance. But more importantly, it can also show you valuable information about your followers, such as their demographics and interests.
This data can be extremely helpful in figuring out what kind of content to post and what products to promote. Hence, be sure to monitor this from time to time so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Use Effective Hashtags
If you want to expand your reach organically, then you need to be strategic with your hashtags. Look for popular, relevant hashtags that you can use to get your posts in front of more people. You can also create your own branded hashtag to help promote user-generated content.
Make Your Posts Engaging
Don’t just post pictures of your products and call it a day. Instead, take the time to produce high-quality, engaging content that will encourage your followers to take action. Remember, the goal is to get people interested in your products, not just scrolling through their feeds.
You can also post content that isn’t directly promoting your items but is still related to your industry. For example, if you’re selling school essentials like clothing and canvas tote bags to college students, you can create outfit mood boards, back-to-school tips, or even monthly study playlists.
Engage With Your Followers
Apart from producing engaging content, make sure to actually engage with your followers. Whether it’s through replying to their comments, reposting their mentions of your page, or responding to their DMs, make them feel that they’re interacting with a real person and not just a faceless account.
Aesthetic Images are a Must
Because it’s Instagram, it’s only natural that you focus on your page’s visuals. Make sure that your photos are high quality and on-brand. You can also get creative with your posts and use Instagram’s various editing features to make your content stand out.
And if you really want to up your IG game, consider using professional photos or even videos. Hiring a photographer for a day or two can do wonders for your feed, and you can even use the content for other marketing materials like your website or social media ads.
For a low-budget start, use mockups from websites like Placeit!
Work With Influencers
Influencers dominate the gram, and working with them is a great way to get your products in front of a larger audience. But when choosing an influencer to work with, make sure that they align with your brand and that their followers are actually interested in your products.
You can also run influencer marketing campaigns, where you collaborate with multiple influencers to promote a specific product or collection. This is a great way to generate buzz and interest around your new collections!
Here’s to Your Instagram Shopping Success!
And that’s a wrap! With these tips and how-to’s, we hope you’re now feeling more confident and ready to take your Instagram shopping game up a notch. Remember, the key is to be strategic, creative, and above all, authentic.
Soon, you’ll surprise yourself with the number of new customers you’ve been able to reach and convert through your awesome IG page. So go out there and start ‘gramming!
For more online store and print-on-demand business tips and tricks, check out the Awkward Styles’ blog!
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