Instagram has virtually become an unstoppable force in social media. It is on a roll with one billion-plus monthly active users and the highest engagement rate among all the social media and is also opening up its so far restrictive policies for e-commerce. Shoppable posts permit brands to tag products featured in a post and users can add them to the shopping cart within Instagram in just three clicks and not have to go to the business website like before. Instagram also introduced Shoppable Stories Stickers that enabled followers to buy products from within Stories without leaving the app. According to https://www.theverge.com, Instagram is not too far away from launching a shopping app, IG Shopping. The question that begs to be asked is what all these developments mean for small e-commerce businesses.
How Important Is Instagram for Small Online Businesses?
It is very evident that Instagram has begun the process of monetizing its reach and follower base with tools that will make seamless e-commerce possible for users directly from their feeds. Those businesses who have already built up a vibrant presence on Instagram will get a head start on the competition. If you can quickly adapt to the changing demands for feed optimization of shoppable media and realign your e-commerce strategy, you will be better poised for long-term success.
What Is the Benefit of Shoppable Media?
For many years, until very recently, Instagram allowed only one URL to be incorporated in the bio section making it very difficult for online retailers to drive traffic to their websites. Shoppable media is a radical transformation of that scenario as it makes it possible for users to click on any post in their feed and initiates a purchase process from within Instagram itself with a few clicks.
What Should Small Businesses Do To Create a Brand on Instagram?
The first thing is to identify your target audience and then post very high quality and engaging content to hook them. Make sure that your photo captions are truly exceptional and personalized to your real Instagram followers. To make sure that your posts can be discovered easily, use a carefully researched mix of popular, branded, and trending hashtags. Make a set of popular hashtags that your target audience uses daily and use them on every photo that you post to promote engagement. Also, make it a point to make your posts distinctive by dressing them up in your brand colors or by including your logo.
Is It Likely That Instagram Will Become a Monster Marketing Machine?
The popularity of Instagram is primarily due to the appeal it has with its followers who depend on it for both information and entertainment. Even as Instagram prepares to monetize its assets, it is important for users not lose sight of the fact they need to stay relevant as well as entertain their followers with high-quality content to sustain the engagement level.
Regardless of what Instagram does to open up to businesses, the key to success for small online businesses is to keep posting high-quality content that followers will find useful, relevant, or entertaining so that they remain engaged. Originality and creativity of approach will be essential to cut through the clutter and make e-commerce successful.