How Retailers Can Use Instagram to Boost Visibility and Sales
As customer behavior continues to change, the best manners of reaching them change, too. You want to meet your customers where they are, and many spend their days scrolling through Instagram. In fact, Instagram revealed that on average, those under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on the app, while those age 25 and older spend more than 24 minutes a day. While Instagram for retailers isn’t the only social media tool available, it’s visual nature surely makes it the best option for catching eyes and boosting business.
Reduce Costs for Marketing and Advertising
Marketing and advertising costs aren’t cheap, especially through third-party agencies. Luckily, the investment for using Instagram for retailers is only your time. Instagram’s business profiles allow retailers to market and advertise themselves at no additional cost; easily post photos to your feed and your story to show off your brand. The only potential fee you’ll come across is for creating ads, which is 100% optional. What’s more, you can test new marketing methods risk-free, allowing you to put some of your marketing and advertising budget towards more important things.
Traditional retail advertisements can be too formal and usually feature a professional photoshoot complete with photographer fees, model feels, and more. Because of Instagram’s relaxed nature, you can curate your feed to be more casual. Snap photos and share right away instead of holding a full photoshoot weeks or months before your potential customers will see the pictures. The day a new product is available, upload a picture. If someone sees that they like, ROI can be realized that very day when they stop in to make a purchase.
Ensure Potential Customers can Discover You
Traditional advertising can limit the people who are going to see your products. Perhaps you have an ad on a country radio station. What about the people who enjoy rock or pop? Some methods of getting the word out inherently miss whole segments of your target audience. While not everyone uses Instagram, it is still that free option that will allow you to reach people you otherwise wouldn’t.
Potential customers are scrolling in waiting rooms, before bed, and while drinking their morning coffee. When they’ve already seen all their friends’ vacation photos and cute cat pictures, they might hit that “discover” button and look around at what their friends follow and what’s nearby. To become more discoverable, utilize geotags and hashtags. This will make you more visible for users who are searching for a specific location or exploring a specific hashtag. Meet people where they are and allow them to find you, follow you, and eventually become a brand new customer.
Increase Customer Engagement
If you put out that ad on a radio station, potential customers can’t ask questions or express their excitement. However, when they see one of your social posts that interests them, they can hit that like button and add a comment that might give you valuable feedback or allow you to begin a real conversation. Quickly respond to questions or resolve complaints with ease, either in the comments section or in your direct messages.
Perhaps you post a photo of an outfit for beach day. Someone comments wanting to know if it comes in their size, or if everything in the photo you posted is actually for sale in-store. This is a great opportunity to engage with your customers; the more conversations you have, the more true connections you’ll make — and hopefully the more loyal customers you’ll convert.
Additionally, you can use DMs or the comment section to manage expectations. If a potential customer falls in love with the outfit only to learn it’s sold out in their size, prepare them with that information and even offer an alternative that might better suit their needs. The digital world has allowed us all to get things done without having to be face-to-face, but there’s no substitute for actual human connection, even if it’s done through an iPhone.
Discover and Execute Beneficial Partnerships
Just as you can connect with customers, Instagram for retailers can help you connect with and execute partnerships, like those with influencers. If you’re a larger retailer with multiple locations, you can look to people who have larger followings to promote whatever you’re currently offering, either for a price or in exchange for free products.
If you’re a smaller, more local business, an “influencer” might not have 1 million followers, but they might have the exact 1,000 that match your ideal potential customer. Not only can they drive awareness of your business and traffic to your location, they can also help you grow your Instagram following so more people are seeing and interacting with every post that you upload.
Instagram for retailers is all about growth. Taking marketing and advertising into your own hands will enable you to grow your audience, grow your following, and eventually grow your sales, too. Instagram is not the limit, either; once you’ve mastered Instagram, you can take your brand onto other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok to expand your reach even further.
Interested in Instagram, but not for retail? Check out our Instagram for Restaurants blog!