March 17, 2014

Instagram can be used for a lot of things - sharing your lunch with friends, showing off your latest outfit, or showcasing the awesome scenery of your latest adventures. But Instagram can also be a great tool for marketing and growing your business. One question I often get is how people can sell their products using Instagram.

In this post I want to answer that question for you. I'm going to give you my best tips for using Instagram to sell your products!

Showcase your products

I want to clarify something here. There's a difference between sharing your products and showcasing your products. Sharing your products is when you take a photo of your product on a shelf, in a box, or in another boring environment. Showcasing your product is when you take a photo of your product in use, in a unique setting, or showing examples of how it can be used.

If your product is jewelry, don't share a photo of your necklace on a table. Instead, share a photo of it paired with a seasonal shirt and maybe even paired with a ring you have available. If you own a restaurant, don't just share a photo of a meal sitting on a counter. Instead, share a photo of that plate on a nicely set table, with candles and a glass of wine. Create an atmosphere around your product.

Utilizing user generated content (UGC) is another great way to showcase your products. If your customers and fans are sharing images of your products in use, reshare these (with proper attribution) to your gallery! This not only highlights your products, but it draws in your audience, further developing those relationships.

There are countless ways in which you can showcase your products. These images create a more emotional connection with your audience. These will show your audience how they can really use your products and invite them to really want to purchase the products.

Overlay price or details

If you really want to get the attention of your audience and show that an item is available for sale, use a third party app (or other design tool) to overlay the pricing information or other details over the image. If you have a product on sale, consider imposing a red banner with the sale price, draped over a corner of the image. This way, even if your audience doesn't read your caption, they know this item is for sale and how much it is.

Some businesses prefer not to show the price because it may deter some users. Instead of putting the price on the image, use phrase like "available now" or "limited time only" or "new arrivals". Utilize good marketing phrases to invite customers to come check out your site.

Write a good description

The description of your product image will depend on the product, your brand, your voice, and your goals. You may want to use a story to explain the image and product. Or you may want to tell your audience how long the product is available. You might want to give a detailed description of the product. You can also include the price, limited availability, or options available. Whatever it is you choose to share, utilize the caption to create a good description that will entice your customers to buy. Make sure that you tell your audience how to find the product! Provide the url for your website in the description (but realize it's not a clickable hyperlink) and/or direct them to click on the link in your bio.

Utilize the hyperlink in your bio

The only place, currently, where you can place a hyperlink on Instagram is your bio. If you are going to use Instagram to sell your products, you need to make sure that the link in your bio goes to the right place. Your link could go to your home page, your products page, or to a specific landing page. It depends on how frequently you plan to promote your products on Instagram and how you have your website organized. Just make sure that if people click on the link in your bio after seeing a product on Instagram, that they can easily find the product on your site.

 

It's important to remember that Instagram is NOT a place to only sell your products. Just like any other social media site, you should be sharing a variety of posts and be engaging with your audience. If you are going to use Instagram to sell your products, make sure that these posts are interspersed between a number of other posts. Your gallery should not look like a working catalog with every post labeled for sale.

I'd love to hear from you. Have you ever used Instagram to sell your products? What methods have you used? Let us know in the comments below.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Great article Jenn. What do you think of using Instagram Videos as an additional way to show your products and drive traffic?

    1. I love that idea, Antonio. Finding fun ways to showcase your products or services is always beneficial.

  2. Hi Jenn,

    When I access to your instagram profile, I could see you photo. When I access mine without log in, I can’t see my photos.

    Is there any place I can share default sharing to public? Or is there anything wrong with my profile?
    Here is mine http://instagram.com/khmerbird

    1. Hi Santel. Your account is set to private. Therefore, all your posts are blocked from anyone who you haven’t approved to follow you. Users have to request to follow you and you have to grant them permission. In contrast, my profile is set to public so that anyone and everyone can see all of my posts and anyone can follow me.
      If you would like to change your settings, log on from your mobile device and click “Edit Your Profile” (under your numbers of posts and followers). Scroll down and deselect “Posts are Private”. This will change your profile to public so that others can view your posts.

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