With over 2 billion daily active users (and growing) Facebook is the social media “gorilla” that no business can afford to ignore. But what fewer business owners and marketing managers know is that its younger rival Instagram recently surpassed 1 billion daily active users. Every day, 500 million of those use the photo-sharing platform. Oh, and it’s owned by Facebook.
Many savvy judges are tipping Instagram to eventually surpass its larger stablemate as the dominant social media platform. For businesses, Instagram lends itself to ecommerce marketing and the best ecommerce solutions in a way that Facebook does not. One of the ways that it does this is through in-app shopping advertising for online stores.
Instagram is a visual-first format. That means that, unlike Facebook, videos and photographs, not text, are prioritised as the main communication method between users. Instagram accounts that are run by businesses with physical products for sale are easy to convert into mobile shopfronts. That’s exactly what Instagram shopping advertising delivers.
The posting of a photo remains the same as ever. But similar to tagging friends or family who appear in your uploads, Instagram shopping advertising allows you to tag your products. You can also include additional information in your tags. That means that when a potential customer comes across your post and single taps the photo, tags will appear around the objects that you’ve selected. These tags might include the product name, description, and a price.
A further click on a tag might lead the user to a more detailed product description or your website page where an item can be added to an online cart via a “shop now” or “visit our website” prompt.
Insta-Shopping Benefits for Your Business
Sit on any form of public transport, and you’ll quickly get a real-life use case about why using Instagram is such a valuable part of ecommerce marketing strategy mix. It’s typically the first app that gets opened as users unlock their phones. Research from various sources, including Facebook, backs this up, showing that the Instagram audience is more engaged than the audiences of other apps.
It is also a more pleasant online environment than other forums and social media, and is “visual first”. That means that it lends itself to creativity, beauty, expression, and inspiration. To use an offline analogy, Instagram is the glossy, top tier magazine like Vogue, while Facebook and other social media are more like the daily newspaper – better suited for text and news than creativity and inspiration.
Qualifying For Instagram Shopping
There is a list of requirements that your business must first meet before you can launch your Instagram shopping posts into your feed. First of all, you need to sell physical goods that are legally available in your jurisdiction. Uncontroversial items like clothing and furniture are usually fine, but Instagram is such a wide marketing channel that any items that infringe the copyright of large brands will quickly be picked up and flagged.
Firearms, animals, counterfeits, replicas, and items that infringe the legal rights held by others (including companies) will quickly lead to an account suspension.
Facebook Shopping Catalogue
Since Facebook has been around for longer, it makes sense that its “back end” infrastructure is further along than Instagram’s. That means to upload Instagram shopping posts with your products, you first need to spend some time filling in the Facebook catalogue notes for those items. This is basically the data that sits in the background that allows the information in your tags to be populated when it’s requested. Once you’ve done that you can link your business Instagram account to your Facebook product catalogue by hitting the “connect your Instagram business profiles” button.
Instagram will then need to approve your request for a catalogue to be created – this can take up to a week. You can tag up to five products per single image, though depending on the image, two or three tags is usually the optimal amount.
To get a comprehensive overview of the ecommerce marketing options most appropriate to your business, and to help set your ecommerce marketing strategy, the help of an experienced, professional consultant can be worth its weight in gold. Swoop Digital has been a leading agency in the field of Australian digital marketing for many years. For an obligation-free discussion about the needs of your organisation, we invite you to get in contact today.