We all know that the days of organic growth on Facebook or Instagram are gone. In order to get sales from Instagram, you’ll want to use a strategy (or several) to market your Shopify store on Instagram and actively drive traffic to your site.
However, with a little elbow grease (scrolling power? What’s the modern-day equivalent of elbow grease? Texting Thumb Butter?)
Anyways—elbow grease aside—there are so many ways that you can make your Instagram pull double-duty. Instead of just posting pictures, your Instagram should also be driving sales and engagement with your brand. Here’s how!
Nurture Your Leads By Marketing Your Shopify Store on Instagram
Selling on Instagram with Shopify shouldn’t be about selling at all. If your current strategy is just posting pictures of your products with a caption to “Buy This!” then you’re just shouting at your followers and you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
Instead, focus on providing entertainment value with your content and providing the information that your followers need in order to convert.
Which do you think would convert better?
Sharing a product image and copying and pasting your product description into your caption.
Showing your product in action with a model that looks like your target demographic, with a caption that authentically shares the best features of your product and how your followers can use it to solve a common problem.
There really is no contest, right? Clearly showing your products in action, taking the time to understand your target demographic, and solving their problems is the more enticing offer.
You should also be incorporating your brand’s message into your captions and posts so that potential customers can get to know your brand. Share some behind-the-scenes posts to share about your ethical business practices. You can share about your brand’s mission. You can share pictures of your team members to humanize the brand.
All of these posts will help nurture your leads by letting them get to know you before they convert.
Ritual helped their customers to understand the complex world of supplements by presenting it in a culturally relevant way.
They also helped people understand their packaging and reinforced their mission to be earth-friendly through their brand:
An amazing user-generated content strategy can also encourage users to interact with your brand and can help to nurture potential customers. Consider asking for customers to share on social media, then sharing this content to encourage others to share.
Market Your Shopify Store on Instagram with Comments & Replies
Your Instagram profile isn’t just a place to share, it’s a place to engage with potential customers. Every time someone comments on your posts, be sure to reply to their comment and direct them to your website whenever appropriate. Every question should be answered promptly so that you are removing the friction and allowing that customer to make an easy purchasing decision.
You can even help potential customers by offering them a discount code in your reply to their comment. That added incentive may help them convert even faster!
In-N-Out posted about their shoes on their Instagram and had an outpouring of comments and questions. Instead of just answering the questions, they dropped a link to their website so that interested followers knew where to go to score these sweet kicks:
Engage with Hashtags to Market Your Shopify Store on Instagram
Hashtags can be a great way to “find your tribe” on Instagram. Keep a running list of hashtags that are used by your followers, overlap with your store’s industry, or represent your brand well. You can follow these hashtags on Instagram by searching for them, then clicking the follow button. When you see a new post using this hashtag, you can comment on it to draw attention to your brand’s Instagram profile.
However, don’t use comments on hashtags to just promote your products. You will probably get flagged for spam if you do this often. Instead, engage with the people sharing on Instagram.
Compliment their Instagram post, and mention that you offer similar content to really start a relationship with these future customers. Instagrammers will be able to tell when you are spamming them with comments, so take the time to offer real comments that provide value to the conversation.
Market Your Shopify Store on Instagram with Influencers
Shopify and Instagram can work together through influencers. Influencers can share about your brand’s message and help to drive awareness and traffic to your online store. When you’re looking for some traffic to your website or to generate brand awareness, influencers can help by sharing your brand with their audience.
If you’re just starting out with your Shopify store, you may need to look for influencers using hashtags, geo-locations, or mentions. If you already have some sales and a few followers, then you can use the Shopify app Carro to find influencers that you can collaborate with. Carro can help you find influencers who already have a connection to your brand, so that you can reach out, message them, and collaborate.
These mentions can help you send new visitors to your site, and can help the influencer’s audience become familiar with your Shopify store. It can also help you grow your followers on Instagram, so that you can continue nurturing new leads.
Coastal Scents has done an amazing job generating buzz for their brand through their influencer team:
Nomad has also partnered successfully with a slew of influencers that have helped them get the word out about their products:
Market Your Shopify Store With Instagram Stories
If you thought marketing was only for the Instagram images on your feed, think again. Instagram Stories is one of the features on Instagram that users interact with the most.
Stories can help you drive traffic to your feed, or to your website (if you have 10,000+ followers and have swipe up links available to you).
Here are a few ways to get results from your Instagram Stories:
Use Stories to Announce New Content on Your Feed
The easiest way to get followers back to your feed, and potentially clicking on your bio link, is to share your feed content to your Stories. In just a few clicks, you can share your posts to your Stories and get even more eyes on your content.
Try to strike the right blend between sharing the content and enticing them to click through to your feed. A little mystery can get them to click through, but you should deliver amazing content once they are exploring your feed.
Both Eliqs and Rooted Shots use this strategy to share their new content with their followers:
Use Countdown Timer
The countdown sticker is available within Stories, so that you can countdown to a specific time. Announce a new launch, count the seconds until a product is back in stock, or create buzz around new content. These timers can be used to gain attention for future releases from your brand.
The best part is that users can click on the countdown timer and get a reminder when the time arrives. It’s just one more way to get traffic back to your brand.
Use Product Stickers
If you’ve synced your product catalog to Instagram (more on that later), then you can tag products in your Stories. It’s an easy and effective way to share about your products, while still sharing the lifestyle photos that your followers love.
How to Market Your Shopify Store Through Instagram Direct Messages
For most brands, direct messages are just a way to address customer service questions. However, they’re missing the best parts of direct messaging!
Your Shopify store can create a real connection with new followers through a welcome message. Whenever your brand gains a new follower, they’ll get a brief message thanking them for following, and even offering a coupon code off their first order.
A simple welcome message can prompt new followers to visit your store or even make their first purchase!
Host Giveaways to Promote Your Shopify Store On Instagram
Giveaways are a great way to get eyes on your brand quickly. Giveaways should have partners so that you can get additional reach and impressions. Consider partnering with influencers or other brands to help get your giveaways maximum results.
Partnering with another brand also allows you to include items in the giveaway that aren’t from your brand. At the end of the giveaway, you can also share the leads generated so that everyone involved can grow!
2 Common Types of Giveaways:
Follower-focused. These simple giveaways ask entrees to follow all the brands and influencers hosting the giveaway as part of their entry. You can quickly grow your following through these types of promotions.
Email-focused. Using a program like King Sumo Giveaways, you can direct your followers to the link in your bio, where they will fill out an entry form. With this type of giveaway, you’ll get more information about your entries, such as their email address. However, it is harder for your followers to enter, so you’ll want the prize to be extra enticing. This type of giveaway can also help you grow your Facebook page and other social profiles at the same time, since you can have them follow your Facebook page to gain additional entries.
Saola Shoes offered a whole prize package from different brands to grow their following:
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Use the Link in Your Instagram Bio to Market Your Shopify Store
With an Instagram Business Profile, you have some additional options for your bio, allowing you to specify a contact email and a phone number for your brand. You can also use your link to advertise your Shopify Store.
Your link doesn’t have to be to your Shopify homepage, though. Get creative about where you direct your followers so that you can unlock additional options for retargeting and reaching these potential customers.
For example, you can create an email capture form for the link in your bio, so that each new follower becomes another lead that you can market to with your emails.
Use your Bio to Direct Customers to Your Link
Within your Instagram Insights, you’ll be able to see how many people click through to your website. If you want to improve this number, you can use your bio to encourage clicks on your link.
If your link in bio sends them to a lead capture form, you can also give them instructions in your bio, such as saying “Sign up for emails to get 15% off your order.”
We (Carro) use emojis to direct visitors to our link so that they can check out our blog content.
Create a Shoppable Feed to Market Your Shopify Store on Instagram Posts
You can drive customers to your Shopify through Instagram product tagging. It requires some initial setup, but can get your followers interested in your products, and can send them to your site to purchase.
If you have an Instagram Business Account, then you’ll also have a Facebook page and a corresponding Business Manager. If all of your products are listed on Shopify, then you can use an app to help you create your product catalog on Facebook.
Once you’ve created your product catalog, you can use Instagram as another Sales Channel for your Shopify store. When you have a product catalog linked to your Instagram, you’ll be able to enable product tagging. Each time you post about a product on Instagram, you can tag the products so that your followers can click through to see the product images, pricing, and other information without leaving the Instagram platform.
You’ll have a shoppable Instagram that links your content to your products. From there, you can even put together Instagram ads to retarget the followers who showed interest in certain products!
AFRM has tagged their products in most of their Instagram so that their followers know the exact product that the model is wearing:
Create a Shoppable Instagram Feed on Your Website
If you are already taking the time to tag the products in your Instagram posts, then an Instagram feed app that integrates with your Shopify store can help you convert visitors to your site. Instagram apps for Shopify allow you to connect Shopify to Instagram so that your carefully curated feed can help you on your website as well.
Create Killer CTA Captions that Convert
Every one of your captions should help to build the relationship between your brand and your followers. Your captions should not only provide entertainment value, but should also have a call-to-action that provides clear instructions to your followers.
Your call-to-action, or CTA, should send traffic to your link in bio, or urge followers to click on the photo to view your tagged products.
An effective and simple CTA would be adding “click link in bio” to the end of your brand’s captions.
United by Blue directed their followers to the link in bio for more information about their BisonShield outerwear:
Treat Your Followers Well
After you’ve worked so hard to build your following, it can be easy to over-promote to them and burn your audience just as quickly as you built it. Instead, you should be treating your followers well so that they continue to engage with your brand.
Turn Your Instagram Close Friends List into an Exclusive Group
Instagram’s Close Friends List allows you to segment your following, so that your most engaged followers on social media are part of a closer, inner circle for your brand. When posting, you can offer exclusive deals and content to your close friends by changing the visibility of your content.
TwoJeys offered a sale exclusively to those who were most engaged with their brand:
Live Stream Q&As
There’s nothing like the human element to really get your followers engaged with your brand. A Live Q&A allows followers to ask questions and interact in real-time, while also putting a face to your brand’s message.
Your live streams are also a chance for you to show your products in action and get feedback. Remember, any engagement is good engagement, so take any criticisms and turn them around to make your brand better.
Live streams can also get you the data that you need to improve your brand. You can see immediately who is most engaged and where their mind gravitates to.
What features do they love the most? What colors should you be reordering? All of these pieces of data can be gleaned from the interactions during your live stream.
Promoting your Shopify store on Instagram doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to try out strategies until you see which works for your brand. Once you have a working model, then you can start to advertise your Shopify store on Instagram!