With the explosion of e-commerce brands these days, it can often be difficult to differentiate your company from others. This is especially true when stores have similar product lines or appeal to a saturated niche. However, the rise of Shopify stores has made online sales easier than ever. So much so that promotion of each brand can be more difficult.
Luckily, there are ways that you can easily promote your Shopify store. One of the best ways is to leverage the power of Shopify through Instagram. Doing this combines two important technologies: the ultra-versatile shop format and a modern equivalent of Main Street. In other words, with these tools, you can reach customers where they hang out while providing a great purchasing experience.
Let’s talk about how.
Importance of promoting your Shopify store on Instagram
Instagram is a highly visual platform that allows you to showcase your products in a visually appealing way. For instance, you can take several photos of your latest product release and then make a Story about it. The multiple photos let people experience your product better than they would if there were only one or two pictures. Plus, you can leverage other tools like shoppable posts, which make purchases even easier.
Of course, anything you post also has significant distribution potential. Instagram has a large and engaged user base, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Even if only a tiny percentage of these users see your content, you can significantly boost sales. Reaching a wider audience helps you stand out from your competitors. Best of all, Instagram allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level, building trust and loyalty with your customers.
By using a variety of Shopify Instagram marketing strategies, such as influencer partnerships, product tagging, and ads, you can effectively promote your Shopify store on Instagram and increase sales. Not only does Instagram promotion work in the short term, but Instagram is a place where people share great finds. As you get tagged by users, their followers will have a chance to discover your products.
19 Best Ways to Promote Your Shopify Store on Instagram
Clearly, Instagram is an important way to promote your Shopify store. Not only is there a wide distribution of content on the platform, but almost every business from famous multinationals to your local mom-and-pop show off their products on Instagram. Just as there are many types of consumer products there’s also a significant variety of ways to do a Shopify Instagram promotion.
1. Use Calls-to-Action
Besides posting awesome photos or compelling stories, you should include a call to action with your captions. For instance, you can ask your followers to like your post, tag a friend, or comment to improve engagement. In response, more people will engage with your posts, not only because the content gets more visibility, but also because people they trust like the items.
Of course, increasing engagement isn’t the only goal of a call to action. Depending on the purpose behind your piece of content, you can encourage your followers to visit your website or make a purchase. Consider adding a coupon, at least occasionally.
Finally, use action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency. Generally, you don’t want people waiting until later before they take action, especially if the desired results are time sensitive. Try to think about it this way — you might offer a coupon code to boost sales in the short-term. While Coupons cost you money, they also won’t do any good unless people use them. So, in this example you’d make sure folks know when the coupon expires.
2. Post at the Right Time
Remember the old question about trees falling in the forest? The classic version wonders if trees make a sound if nobody is there to hear. Scientifically, we know that the falling tree will produce sound waves regardless of human presence, but that people may not notice the sound. Instagram posts are similar — you can create content all day, but if nobody views the content, then it won’t do you much good.
One of the easiest ways to ensure people don’t see your content, or at least not as often, is the post at the wrong time. Instagram constantly adds posts, and in turn these fill up your follower’s feed. Eventually, there might be too much content on their page for them to notice yours. Therefore, post when your followers are most active to increase visibility.
Naturally, you might think that posting at the right time is guesswork. However, you can use Instagram Insights to determine the best times to post. As your brand grows, you’ll likely find that your audience is more spread out geographically, necessitating an awareness of multiple time zones. Experiment with different posting schedules to find what works best for your audience.
3. Create Instagram Stories
One thing I love about Stories is that you can present multiple images in a way that makes sense. For instance, you can create a Story about your seasonal product offerings, or give people a behind the scenes look at company operations. You can also use Stories to discuss flash sales, new products, and other promotions. In this sense, a Shopify Instagram story gives you a lot of opportunity to introduce your company to potential customers.
Besides Determining the purpose of your Stories, here are some tips for success:
- Use Instagram Story templates to create visually appealing content. These templates have been developed over time and are highly effective.
- Direct your followers to your website with your Stories. For instance, you can add your address to photographs within the story.
- Include a Link In Your Profile. Many people will add a link to a landing page that lets people find the information they need. Or, send people directly to your home page.
- Use a call-to-action in your profile to encourage followers to click on the link.
- Update the link regularly to promote new products or sales. For customer, clicking through and not getting what you expected can be a frustrating experience. They may even give up.
4. Optimize Your Profile
Similarly, effective Shopify Instagram efforts require a good-quality profile. Profiles help your brand page get discovered more quickly. They also increase the likelihood that people will keep looking at what your brand has to offer.
To accomplish this goal, use a clear profile picture that represents your brand. Typically, this will be your shop logo because branding and recognition are very important. Similarly, you should write a compelling bio that tells followers what your brand is all about. Do you sell something unique? I’ll bet your potential customers would love to hear it!
Finally, include a link to your Shopify store in your bio. Typically, this is the only place where you can include a link, so you might direct people to a specialized landing page. Or, keep it simple and direct shoppers your homepage.
5. Use Hashtags
Use relevant hashtags to increase visibility and reach new followers. Dashboards are especially important on Instagram, because the algorithm uses them to categorize content and help people find what they want. Similarly, users type in Hashtags to look for content, just like keywords into a search engine.
With that said, your Hashtags should never be boring, and you must ensure that at least some of your tags are popular within your niche. Research popular hashtags in your niche and use them in your posts. This way, you’ll have maximum organic exposure when people search for content.
You should also create a branded hashtag for your business to encourage user-generated content. As your fans create content featuring your products, they will add those hashtags. Not only will that cause the content to appear on your brand profile, but it’ll also increase your brand exposure.
Further Reading: 8 Powerful Ways How to Use Instagram Hashtags for More Exposure
6. Write Catchy Product Descriptions:
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, a good Shopify Instagram profile should always talk a bit about each picture. In particular, use creative and descriptive product descriptions to make your products stand out. This way, you can better differentiate your items from a competitor’s product.
Highlight the unique features and benefits of your products. Certainly, having a pair of red socks is not the same as blue socks. However, in this case you want to also distinguish your Red Sox from the competitors Red Sox. And, you want to attract consumer attention. One of the best ways to do this is by choosing your words carefully.
Ultimately, you want to use storytelling to create an emotional connection with your audience. People prefer to purchase items from brands that they trust, and by building those connections you can increase sales.
7. Post Regularly
Post consistently to keep your followers engaged and interested in your brand. Ideally, you should post several times per week, which is much easier these days with modern content creation tools. However, if you only have time to post once or place a week, at least you are consistent. Better that than posting intermittently. Remember, part of the purpose of Shopify Instagram accounts is to keep your brand top of mind.
Of course, if you try to think up new content every day, or maybe even every week, it can be hard to stay on track. Use a content calendar to plan your posts in advance. This way, you only have to sit down every week or so and creative the next batch. Then, you can schedule the postings with any of several Instagram scheduling tools. Make sure that you mix up your content to keep it fresh and interesting.
8. Appeal to Customers’ Visual Sense
Arguably, the best thing about Instagram is its emphasis on visual content. While other platforms let you post pictures or even video, Instagram remains one of the best places to show off your still photography and editing skills. For this reason, it’s important to use high-quality images and videos to showcase your products and brand. Instagram users know the difference and will evaluate your company in part on post quality.
With that said, beautiful photos on Instagram are just the beginning. Your Shopify Instagram presence should use consistent branding and color schemes to create a cohesive look. This way, people will recognize your content or your profile right away.
You don’t even need fancy tools to create dynamic posts. Use Instagram’s editing tools to enhance your photos and videos. However, if you have a subscription to other applications like Canva already, you can also use it for Instagram pictures. Just make sure that your final product conforms to the guidelines.
Further Reading: 14 Instagram Apps to Create Perfect Business Instagram Graphics
9. Pick a Theme
Choose a consistent theme for your Instagram feed to create a cohesive and visually appealing brand image. Your theme will also help set the tone for customer expectations, both on your channel and with your products.
As you develop your account theme, use a color scheme or visual style that represents your brand. If your brand has quirky products or a Gothic vibe, for instance, then your entire account should reflect this. The same thing goes with a brand that’s artsy, preppy, or anything else.
Use Instagram’s grid layout to create a visually pleasing feed. You don’t want pictures and stories to be all jumbled up together where nobody can find anything. Besides, a disorganized does not look professional and makes people wonder how well you will handle orders.
10. Use Videos
While still photos are an excellent way to showcase your products, they aren’t perfect. Therefore, you should also use videos to showcase your products and brand in action. For instance, a company that makes women’s purses or travel bags can post a video where a model places things inside the bag until it’s full. This shows potential customers how large the bag is better than almost anything else.
Create short, engaging videos highlighting your products’ features and benefits. In addition to basic features like size, your Shopify Instagram account can showcase various uses for your products. This point is especially important with products that have multiple uses or that help solve specific problems. But even outside these categories, showcasing a product can help people see the possibilities.
Also, your video footage does not have to be posted as is. In fact, it’s often beneficial to add branding and make the video more attractive. Use Instagram’s video editing tools to add music, text, and other effects. This way, you’ll have compelling and professional content at a minimal cost.
11. Use User-Generated Content
While the content you produce is very important to the success of your Shopify store, as your business grows, it’s important to benefit from other voices. Specifically, sharing user-generated content helps to build trust and credibility with your followers. In fact, user-generated content (UGC) is one of the most powerful marketing methods out there.
To leverage the power of UGC, encourage your followers to share photos and videos of your products. You can do this in many different ways, such as by requesting those posts in shop packaging, sending samples to influencers (see my extensive writings on influencer marketing), or even encouraging the content in what you post.
Use a branded hashtag to make it easy to find user-generated content. Not only will a dedicated hashtag indicate to a user’s followers what company they’re talking about, but if you have access to social media dashboards, they’ll send you an alert every time that hashtag appears. And, of course, those items will show up in your account feed. From a consumer standpoint, hashtags are a major way to find things on Instagram, so this isn’t an opportunity you’ll want to pass up.
12. Offer Discounts and Use Promotional Codes
Discounts and coupons should be part of your Shopify Instagram Strategy, not just something you have on your website or use to blast the email marketing list. Instead, use discounts and promotional codes to incentivize followers to make a purchase. Often, a discount will convince your first-time customer to take the plunge.
Similarly, you can use Instagram’s shopping features to make it easy for followers to purchase products directly from your posts. Not only does this feature make buying easy, but it also encourages impulse purchases. When you combine it with a promo code, Instagram shopping is an especially powerful tool.
Once you set up the discounts, use a sense of urgency to encourage followers to take advantage of the discount. For example, you can make a coupon valid for only a few days and the sale for a limited time only. Major sales holidays like Black Friday and Memorial Day help underline this point — just look at the incredible deals you can get, often for just a day or two.
13. Use Themed Stories To Create a Narrative
Use Instagram Stories to create a narrative around your brand and products. For instance, you can create a story that describes why your products are extra special or how they address customer pain points. With a specialized product, these answers are frequently similar. Many “as seen on TV” products are marketed this way, except through infomercials and short spots. People can immediately see the item’s value and decide if it’s something they want.
Use a consistent theme or visual style to create a cohesive story. Generally, you’ll want to use a similar aesthetic as your photographs. Otherwise, you risk diluting your brand and undermining your Shopify Instagram efforts. For even better branding consistency, consider designing a campaign with both video and still images. You can post the stills on Instagram or incorporate them with other social networks like Facebook or Pinterest.
Finally, leverage Instagram Story templates to create visually appealing content. Often, a simple design is the best option for effective layouts and attention-grabbing content.
14. Create a Sense of Mystery With Teasers on Your IG Stories
Use Instagram Stories to create a sense of mystery and exclusivity around your brand and products. One of the biggest problems that brands, especially new ones, face is the idea that the products being offered are not unique. Or worse, that the items sold are just another inexpensive choice among many. Instagram stories are a great way to combat these misconceptions.
First, use teasers to build anticipation for new products or sales. The big brands do this all the time, and it’s very effective. Browse other Instagram profiles in your company’s niche, and you’ll get some ideas rather quickly. Make sure, however, that your content is always unique and reflects your brand.
15. Use Polls to Boost Your Audience Engagement
Here in America, we often have a love-hate relationship with polls. For instance, during a national election cycle, most of us screen our calls to avoid the political pollsters. At the same time, social media polls are often wildly popular. Why? Especially when a brand publishes the poll, it’s a great opportunity for consumers to make their voices heard. And for corporations, the results provide valuable insight into customer wants, needs, and pain points.
While most of us don’t think of Instagram as a source of market information, it’s actually a treasure trove. Use Instagram Stories polls to increase engagement and gather feedback from your followers. You will get valuable information, and the polls will increase your engagement rate and help boost your following.
One way to use polls is by asking for feedback on new products or promotions. Customers may tell you that they want more color options in their favorite T-shirt or that your collapsible water bowl doesn’t work well. This information will help you know your audience better and pivot product offerings that suit them better.
Guess what? The more people like your stuff, the more of it they’re likely to buy.
16. Collaborate with Influencers
Influencer marketing is a very powerful Shopify Instagram sales tool. That’s because ordinary Instagram users are more likely to trust an influencer and their judgment than any particular brand. The idea is that an influencer is lending their good judgment and credibility to a particular brand or product
To leverage the power of influencers, partner with them to promote your brand and products to their followers. Typically, you’ll offer some type of compensation. This can be a free product for testing and to keep, especially if the influencer still has a relatively small following. You can also compensate in cash through a lump sum payment or some form of incentive.
Choose influencers who align with your brand values and target audience. While it’s relatively easy to do this when you have a niche market, as you develop a larger product line, you will reach a wider audience. Ensure that the people you choose as influencers will appeal to your audience and be consistent with your values. It’s important to guess relatively well here: you don’t want another Dylan Mulvaney-style debacle.
As you engage with influencers, use Instagram’s influencer tagging feature to make it easy for followers to discover your brand. Better yet, it’s easy to use.
17. Add an Instagram Feed to Your Shopify Store
Add an Instagram feed to your Shopify store to showcase your brand and products. Not only will the Widget display your brand’s Instagram posts on the website, but it’ll also pick up user-generated content. This way, people can see the potential for your products while viewing your website and not just when they are on social media.
Similarly, use a Shopify app like Instafeed to create a shoppable Instagram feed. These tools week will get the orders into your Shopify store, letting you focus on fulfillment rather than monitoring inventory across multiple platforms.
It’s also possible to leverage the Instagram feed on your website to increase sales. Use Instagram’s product tagging feature to make it easy for followers to purchase products directly from your feed. That way, people don’t have to browse your website to find something they found on your feed.
Further Reading: How to Use Instagram for Business: 23 Actionable Strategies for 2024
18. Tag Products in Your Posts
Use Instagram product tagging to make it easy for followers to purchase products directly from your posts. Instagram shopping has excellent tools for you to place an order on the social platform. This is especially useful for the many customers who check their Instagram from a smartphone and suddenly don’t have to change apps to make a purchase.
Use a clear call-to-action to encourage followers to click on the product tag. People need to know that your post is shoppable. They are also a bit more likely to buy if you actively encourage them to do so. Ultimately, you can increase sales significantly if you leverage Instagram’s shopping features to create a seamless shopping experience.
19. Use Instagram Ads
Even with the best organic content and dynamic UGC, they only grow your audience and business so far. After all, like other social networks, Instagram is set up to encourage revenue-generating activities. Therefore, in addition to your content posting, use Instagram ads to reach a wider audience and promote your brand and products.
Instagram ads are easy to use, but to maximize ROI, you should have a clear, effective strategy. Once you’ve formed a basic strategy, use Instagram’s targeting features to reach your ideal audience. For instance, Instagram can serve your ads for ski equipment or surfboards to younger adults who express interest in those sports. You can also add detailed targeting criteria to control for average income and other user specifications.
Once you’ve determined who you want to see your ads, use a clear call to action to encourage followers to visit your website or make a purchase. You can also include links with your paid ads that tell who responds as people click through. Then, use those analytics results to improve your targeting and advertising strategy over time.
There is no question that Shopify Instagram efforts are worthwhile. Social media campaigns, in general, are very cost-effective ways to boost sales for almost any e-commerce company. However, Instagram is especially effective because of its unique features and wide reach. By leveraging these strategies and best practices, you can quickly embark on the road to success.