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Instagram Strategies For eCommerce Brands: 8 Tried & Tested Examples – Keyhole


Instagram marketing has become an essential part of every business’s social media toolkit, especially for eCommerce brands. 

What’s more, Instagram reports that more than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business page daily, and 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram. Over 1 billion users are checking Instagram every single month and 81% of these users leverage Instagram for product research. These statistics show that Instagram marketing becomes impossible to ignore. 

In this article, you’ll learn 8 eCommerce Instagram strategies along with examples for inspiration. Let’s dive in. 

#1. Tell your stories

Instagram Stories are not just fun to create, they are essential for growing your brand’s engagement, driving awareness, and even sales. Interestingly, 62% of Instagrammers become more interested in a product or brand after seeing it in their stories. The ability to start conversations, humanize your brand and gather feedback makes Stories popular and powerful for eCommerce brands. 

Here are some Instagram Story tips if you’re looking to get started. 

  • How-to’s and tutorials – The sequential format of Instagram Stories makes them perfect for step-by-step and how-to style tutorials. From makeup tutorials to recipes and beyond, bite-sized educational content is a great alternative to sharing blog posts or traditional long-form videos. 
  • Collect feedback with polls and quizzes – If you’re looking to carry on conversations or pick your followers’ brains with playful questions, Stories are a fun way to do so in a seamless way. Features like polls and quizzes engage your followers and drive more audience interactions. 
  • Post teasers of upcoming products – Use Stories to give a teaser about the product launch you’ve lined up. Or maybe you’re excited about the new collaboration. Countdowns and stickers are awesome for creating anticipation. 
  • Promote time-sensitive deals and offers – Similar to offline stores, Stories can be used for limited-time deals or simply to highlight an ongoing sale. 
  • Post more videos – Videos are the de facto mode of content consumption. Video editing tools like InVideo help you create visually appealing videos that can be repurposed not only for Instagram but for all other social media platforms. 
  • Add highlights – Those circles below Instagram profiles are a great place to put your best content that the audience can access easily. 

Freddy’s Steakburgers have dedicated highlights about newly opened locations, DIY recipes, customers, and so on. 

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#2. Use hashtags

The benefits of using hashtags on Instagram include increased exposure and discovery, content research, competitor analysis, and more engagement. If you’re not using hashtags for Instagram eCommerce marketing, you’re missing out. 

The rule is simple. You can add up to 30 hashtags, however, within the caption, 1-3 hashtags are recommended. In the first comment, up to 30 hashtags are acceptable. 

Here are the different types of hashtags your eCommerce brand can leverage: 

  • Branded and product – Customized hashtags are used to identify your brand and you can add them on every brand post and in your bio. 
  • General – These hashtags can be used by nearly any brand and are based on trivial things your users are sharing. 
  • Seasonal – They have a broader reach but for a limited time. For example, every year in December, Starbucks launches #RedCupContest and asks its fans to submit their coolest photos with their coffees. To date, more than 36,000 photos of red cups have been posted on Instagram.
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  • Campaign specific – They are specific to marketing campaigns. That said, campaign hashtags don’t always need to be tied to a product or sale. 
  • Themed – Have you ever seen a post about national food day? Although arbitrary, they’re fun for audiences to participate in. Join in when a day comes by that matches your business. 

Hashtag research by Keyhole’s Instagram analytics tool will help you build a mix of hashtags you’d want to target. Instead of using the same mix for every post, keep in mind the hashtag’s intent. 

#3. Video marketing

Instagram themselves said that it’s no longer a photo-sharing app. IGTV is now rebranded as Instagram Video. It consolidates all video formats in a single feed (except Reels) and video content will be prioritized moving forward. 

The fact that consumers today are binge-watchers makes brands prioritize video in their content strategy. When it comes to videos in Instagram marketing, eCommerce brands are spoiled for choices. And the best part is Instagram videos do not require massive budgets or fancy equipment. All you need is a smartphone. 

Here are some ideas to create long-form Instagram videos: 

  • A video series – A popular Instagram strategy for eCommerce and B2C brands is using long-form content to publish a series of videos around a specific theme. You can go in-depth with your content strategy. A great way to keep your audience coming back for more. 
  • In-depth tutorials – Instagram allows you to share detailed videos where you can show your audience how to use your products. These tutorials allow users to build on their skills or give them creative ideas to use your product. 
  • Behind the scenes – In addition to a sneak peek, give your audience a look into what goes behind the scenes with longer videos. Show them how you make your products, where and how your employees work and more. This is a great way to humanize your brand, maintain transparency and build trust with your consumers.
  • Live stream an event – Instagram video enables virtual attendance for seminars, conventions and events. Live streaming is a great option to engage those who couldn’t attend your event physically.

Fashion brand Stella McCartney’s Instagram account used live streaming to showcase highlights from its 2022 summer fashion show. 

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  • Publish interviews – An excellent addition to your video marketing strategy, interviews can be used to invite experts and have them share intriguing insights. Alternatively, people relevant to your industry could answer pressing questions from your audience. 

Regardless of the video content, you’re planning to create, ensure that it fits into your content calendar. 

#4. Run contests

Instagram contests are a stellar way to generate engagement, grow your following, collect user-generated content and boost sales. 

Here’s how you can set up an Instagram contest: 

  • Post a visually compelling photo and announce the giveaway. 
  • Explain the rules and guidelines in the post description. 
  • Pick a prize related to your brand. 
  • Promote your contest via Instagram stories and cross-promote on other social media platforms. 
  • Ask the participants to like, follow, share and repost your post on their timelines with specific hashtags. 
  • When announcing the winner, tag, post a story, or livestream the process to generate buzz among your audience. You could also give all participants a discount coupon for your products, so they feel compensated. 

After your contest ends, check your metrics to see how the contest performed against your initial goals. If the giveaway was a success, consider adding regular contests to your eCommerce Instagram strategy. Additionally, you can use a Leadpages alternative as a landing page builder to create landing pages for Instagram that can be added in your Instagram bio. 

#5. Influencer marketing

Instagram influencer marketing is only rising and changing the way consumers shop. Unsurprisingly, massive results are obtained with influencer marketing. 

According to recent research, 93% of marketers attributed Instagram to be the most important channel for influencer marketing. 

The different types of influencer marketing campaigns that can be a part of your eCommerce Instagram strategy include: 

  • Giveaways 
  • Instagram takeover 
  • Sponsored content 
  • Brand ambassadors 
  • Unboxing/reviews 
  • Affiliate marketing 

Makeup brand Glossier has created an engaged community of fans and consumers on Instagram. One of their most famous campaigns on Instagram is “Every woman is an influencer.” 

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They’ve combined lesser-known influencers with user-generated content for authenticity for organic peer-to-peer discovery. 

#6. Instagram shopping

In 2022, Instagram shopping and live commerce are predicted to be amongst the top eCommerce marketing trends. Considering how shopping increased by 43% in the past year, Covid-19 only hastened this trend. That said, even before the pandemic social media sites, including Instagram, were investing in eCommerce features. 

Drop is another feature recently launched by Instagram. It allows businesses to build hype for their new product launches by giving the upcoming products their own space in the app. 

What is notable is the fact that Instagrammers actively use the app to shop. Nearly 50% of people surveyed by Instagram said they use it to shop weekly. On the same lines, Instagram is constantly adding new features to ensure that shopping remains popular. 

As a part of your eCommerce marketing strategy, you can use Instagram Shops to enable influencers to boost sales further. They can make the content that features products shoppable. This eliminates the need for users to go to an external website. Shorten their journey to minimize opportunities wherein they leave the funnel. 

#7. The rise of Click-to Messenger (or CTM) ads

These ads are set up in Facebook Ads Manager, to send shoppers into Messenger (or Direct Message) instead of to a landing page. 

CTM ads are a great way for your eCommerce brand to add an extra touch of interactivity with your business and convert the ad into an active experience instead of a passive one. 

CTM ad strategies 

One of the easiest ways to use a click-to-Messenger ad is to promote a sale by adding a discount coupon. The trick here is to not give away the discount code in the ad, rather ask viewers to DM your business to know more. 

Then, potential customers can be automatically sent the discount code. A customer relationship manager such as EngageBay CRM to segment users by adding the “discount” keyword trigger to your ad.

The benefit of this CTM ad strategy is – you collect contact information and increase qualified leads. 

Some of the CTM ad campaign examples are: 

  • Tell us why you want to win – Ask people why they should win the giveaway mentioned in your ad. Don’t forget to continue the conversation, since these are people interested in your brand. Make the most of this direct sales channel, says Shoppop
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  • ​​Leave a review and we’ll send a $5 gift card – The strongest proof for your business is authentic user-generated reviews. Ask customers to leave a review in your Instagram Inbox. To make it worth their time, you could give them e-gifts that can be redeemed in the form of experiences, merchandise or coupons. 
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  • Say yes for a discount coupon – Fairly easy, your ad copy can be as simple as asking for a “Yes” in your DM’s in exchange for a discount coupon. Use this opportunity to ask for the user’s email address to send the discount coupon. You can also recommend some additional products from your brand. 
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Use Instagram click-to-messenger ad examples to: 

  • Connect, convert and engage 
  • Upsell and cross-sell your branded products 
  • Build a relationship with your audience 
  • For lead generation and nurturing

#8. Instagram analytics

Instagram analytics track and show engagement analytics that empowers you to improve your eCommerce Instagram strategy. You can access important user engagement data for your business page. Along with knowing the number of likes you received, it is equally important to understand your audience. That’s where Insights come to your aid. It tells you what type of content they prefer, accounts reached, accounts engaged, and so on. 

You’re more likely to hit your goals when your assumptions are validated with cold, hard facts. 

Keyhole’s Instagram analytics tool allows you to track your campaigns and influencer impact. Using Keyhole, you can collect all the metrics your business requires, such as engagement, reach, impressions, and data related to Stories, to calculate your impact. 

Using the account tracking feature, you can compare your Instagram influencer’s metrics. Capture and analyze data such as each influencer’s follower insights, engagement rates, and so on. 

Keyhole’s advanced hashtag analytics can be used to track hashtags on Instagram, to understand who’s joining the conversation and what they’re saying. 

Instagram Stories analytics shows how many people viewed, skipped, or exited your Stories. 

You can analyze this data to determine what’s working for your audience and improve your eCommerce Instagram marketing strategy.

Engagement is the key to your business’s eCommerce Instagram strategy 

For eCommerce businesses, Instagram marketing is a must-use strategy. Explore different features, post varying content types regularly and engage with your audience. Lastly, use Keyhole Instagram analytics to measure the impact of your eCommerce Instagram strategy. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly the results start pouring. 

About the author Priyanka Desai is the founder of iScribblers, a content writing and link-building platform for companies looking to scale their content writing activities.



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