Why YOU Should Instagram for Your Shopify Business
If you have a Shopify store and you’re selling your own products or you are dropshipping, you cannot ignore Instagram. Let me repeat that, you cannot take Instagram off the table when it comes to marketing your Shopify-based business.
If you did that, you will be missing out. In fact, it may even mean the early death of your Shopify business. I don’t mean to scare you but given the tremendous amount of branding and marketing power Instagram brings to the table, it would be completely foolish to overlook it.
Here are the reasons why you should make Instagram one of the marketing cornerstones of your Shopify business’ overall promotion strategy:
Instagram’s Photo Orientation Highlights Your Products’ Appeal
Instagram is an online platform that enables users to share photos and videos. Its very graphic orientation gives you tremendous opportunities in highlighting your products’ appeal.
You can take many photos from many different angles, you can take different shots of the same product in different settings and circumstances.
When you do this, you’re not wasting your time. When you do this, you get many bites at the apple. Each photo can highlight the distinct appeal or value proposition of your product. People can see what your product would look like in different settings. People can imagine themselves using your product under different circumstances.
Instead of people seeing your product once and making an instant mental judgment on whether they like your product or not, when you show different photos of your product, you get many chances at convincing prospective customers.
Guide Your Potential Customers through KLT Process
To persuade anybody to buy a product or solution, you have to walk them through the KLT process. KLT stands for Know, Like and Trust. People must feel that you know what you’re talking about. People must be assured that you know enough about their problems for them to take you seriously.
Once you overcome this hurdle, you must then get people to like you. It’s one thing for people to understand that you know what you’re talking about, but you’re not going to close a sale if they don’t like you.
You may be credible in a certain subject matter, but if people aren’t convinced that your solution is likeable enough or is strong enough, they’re not going to whip out their wallets and enter their credit card information in an online form. You’re not going to close that sale.
You have to get people to like you. This is an important step in online sales conversion and the art of persuasion.
Instagram enables you to get prospective customers to like you because you get many shots at posting photo after photo of your product line. You get to tell them, in visual form, why they should like your solution.
They can see the product disassembled. They can see the product being used in a specific context or they can see people just like them using your product. Whether it’s through social proof or through context, you are able to give people a tremendous opportunity (and many opportunities of that) to like your particular solution.
If you keep this up enough times, people would start to trust your brand. How come? Well, given the many steps in the online persuasion process, chances are, your competitors would only be able to register at the “know” level.
They may have placed an ad on Facebook and people would click that and they see that there is some sort of content. Maybe they are convinced that the person is credible, but that’s pretty much how far your competition would get.
On the other hand, if people follow you in Instagram and they keep seeing your pictures and your photos show your products presented in many different ways, people can start to like you. Each photo highlights a specific appeal or a unique value proposition of your product. This familiarity puts you head and shoulders above your competition.
And the best part to this is that your use of hashtags attract people to you. They’re actively interested in a specific product or category. You answer that with content that walks them through the KLT process.
Use Hashtags to Find Consumers Actively Interested in Your Product or Category
This process also works the other way around in Instagram. By searching for your products’ hashtags on Instagram, you will be able to quickly find your competitors. Looking at your competitors’ accounts, you can see the people who actively follow them or like their content. Once you find these people, you can follow them.
This is a seriously powerful marketing opportunity on Instagram. Why? Your brand and all the things that it stands for is actively seeking out like a laser beam people who have already publicly expressed interest in the type or category of your product.
When they see that your brand has followed them, many would follow back. After some time, you unfollow them. And if you continue to share quality content, they would not unfollow you.
At the end of this process, you have a nice, long list of followers who are interested in your specific product type and category. You have yourself a “pure” list of people who are interested in what you have to offer. This enables you to build a community around your products.
Instagram Enables You to Use Community Marketing for Your Shopify Store’s Products
Now that you have a pure list of people interested in what you have to offer, you can run special promotions. This means you can give them special discounts on the stuff you’re selling off your Shopify store.
You can also run shout contests. In other words, you tell these people that they will get some sort of premium for giving a shout-out for your Instagram account. Don’t underestimate this.
When people open Instagram accounts and they post content, they start developing a following of their own. There are other accounts that like their content. They have credibility and authority with these people.
Now, what do you think happens when you run a promo where you incentivize your followers to do shouts on their accounts? That’s right, they draw interested people to your brand’s profile. This can boost the amount of targeted followers you have.
Instagram Enables You to Easily Reach Out to Influencers Who are Interested in Your Product Type or Category
By doing hashtag searches on Instagram, you would be able to isolate accounts of people and companies who may not be your competitors, but are devoted to your product type or category. You can create alliances with them. How? You can do shout exchanges.
In exchange for them doing shout-outs for your brand, you would do shout-outs for their brand. This produces a win-win situation. Some of our existing followers would then also become their followers, and vice versa.
You can also pay for shout-outs. Some Instagram personalities will not do free shout-outs. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask them, it doesn’t matter how nicely to ask, they’re just not going to do it for free, so you’re going to pay for the shout-out.
The good news is, if you target the right influencers and their following is “pure enough” in terms of interests, you might get a nice surge in Instagram users following your account. This is usually a pure list of people which may lead to conversions later on.
Another way you can play this game is to pay for actual photo ads. Since you’ve identified Instagram users who have a following that has a targeted interest in your product category, you can pay these accounts to post your photo ads. The photo ad would say, “40% Off” and have your domain name.
Alternatively, the photo can show a discount code along with your handle. Whatever the case may be, they end up on your profile page or they end up on your Shopify store. These people would redeem a discount or claim some sort of premium.
Why Does Influencer Outreach Work?
Well, it really all boils down to credibility and leverage. These influence leaders have put in the time to attract a “pure” niche following. These people take them seriously. These people give them the benefit of the doubt. When they promote you, their followers are more likely to click on your profile link and check out what you have to offer.
Instagram Also Helps You Reduce Influencer Marketing Cost
Since Instagram makes it fairly easy to find influential people and people in your niche, you can run tests that would enable you to market more efficiently on that platform. You can approach a lot of influencers and offer them a low amount of cash. Many are desperate to earn from their Instagram accounts, so don’t be surprised if you find a lot of takers.
You run ads through their accounts by paying them to post those ads. This would tell you certain important pieces of information. First, you will be able to detect the best time to post ads. These are the blocks of time in a 24-hour period where your Shopify store converts the most Instagram traffic into buyers.
Also, you are able to figure out which of the many influencers you paid a small amount of money to actually produce the most sales. Now, you have to be creative in tracking this. You can’t just give them one link or one domain. You probably would have to have many different redirect domains people can copy and paste, or you have to use some sort of tracking mechanism.
Whatever the case may be, you would be able to quickly identify the best converting influencer. Once you are able to do this, then you can easily scale it up.
Now that you know when to post or when your influencers should post and which influencer delivers the most bang for your buck, you can scale things up. You can pay that person more to post more ads and fine tune from there.
The Bottom Line
Make no mistake about it, Instagram can help you create a solid and high converting brand for your Shopify store. It has the features and tools you need to take your Shopify store sales to a whole new level. The key is to go about doing this in a systematic and methodical way.