The days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing app are far behind us. The Instagram community has reached one billion monthly active users, 90% of whom follow at least one business on the platform and 83% of these people use Instagram for product discovery.
Simply put, Instagram has become a selling machine and the popularity of Instagram shopping is on its rise. From product tags to in-app checkout, Instagram constantly makes it easier for people to discover and buy products without leaving the platform. For ecommerce businesses of all sizes and shapes, this means great sales potential, so it’s no wonder that 25 million businesses and 2 million advertisers use this platform to boost ecommerce sales.
But here comes the ugly truth: Paid ads bombard people from all sides, so modern people don’t trust brand content.
The solution? Collaborate with Instagram influencers to boost ecommerce sales. According to one research, 86% of female consumers use social media for purchase advice, 49% of customers depend on influencer recommendations, and businesses earn $6.50 for each dollar spent on influencers.
In this article, you will find five actionable ways on how to team up with Instagram influencers and boost ecommerce sales.
Send products for the review:
To start selling on Instagram, you need to help your potential customers make sure your product fits their needs and wants. In the digital era, it doesn’t take much time or effort to understand what other customers think about your product as people are happy to share their reviews on the web.
In fact, one research shows that 91% of people regularly read online reviews and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. If you want to boost sales, you can team up with influencers who can use your product and share their thoughts on it, just like in the example below:
If you want to reach more potential customers who can be interested in buying your product, you can work with micro- or nano-influencers who are more likely to review your product in exchange for a brand freebie. Since you don’t have to spend influencer marketing budget, you can work with more opinion leaders which can help you generate more sales.
When choosing micro and nano influencers to work with, make sure you gather verified data about their followers and engagement levels. You should only work with influencers who have real followers and high levels of engagement to ensure you get a good ROI for your efforts.
If you want a more detailed guide on how to get influencer marketing right – you should check out this 48 page ebook.
It includes briefing templates, pricing guides, tips on how to measure ROI, and much more. The guide will help your ecommerce store build relationships with influencers and boost sales.
If you have a bigger budget, you can hire a fashion ecommerce agency to help you find influencers.
Feature influencers in your lookbook:
No matter what your product is, you need to have a variety of photos to show it off on social media. When it comes to creating lookbooks, more and more brands team up with influencers to build brand awareness and increase brand trust. Why? 80% of social media posts are dedicated to our views, beliefs, and feelings. In other words, people love talking about themselves, so when you feature influencers in your lookbook, you encourage them to share a series of imagery around your product on their Instagram profiles.
For example, Calvin Klein often invites today’s most influential voices to represent the brand’s new campaign. Unsurprisingly, celebrities share the results of their collaboration on Instagram profiles. Just check out how Kendall Jenner did it:
Jenner’s video post got over 5 million views. The more people know about your company and products, the more new customers you can acquire. Thus, it’s more likely that working with Kendall Jenner helps Calvin Klein generate more ecommerce sales. But if you’re not one of the world’s most popular fashion brands, it can be difficult to secure a collaboration opportunity with celebrities like Kendall Jenner who charges $1,266,000 per Instagram post, according to one report by HopperHQ.
However, you can still drive great results working with micro-influencers who have a small but loyal and engaged following. When you invite micro-influencers to be featured in your lookbook, you increase brand loyalty and trust as you help these opinion leaders get new photos and find new followers. Simply put, you establish a connection with niche opinion leaders who can become your brand ambassadors and help you generate ecommerce sales.
Promote a referral program:
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the oldest yet effective forms of marketing. This is why you should set up a referral program. Modern customers crave authenticity, so 92% of them believe brand recommendations from friends and family. If you want to turn your loyal customers into brand advocates who tell their followers about your brand, learn how to set up a referral program with ease.
Having a referral program is a perfect way to spread a word about your product and find Instagram influencers who are interested in your products. Why? When you promote a referral program, you help both loyal customers and potential consumers make the most out of buying your product.
Here’s how Instagram influencers share their referral codes and spread the word about their favorite brands and products:
Referral programs create social proof for potential customers as the majority of people share referral codes if they are satisfied with the quality of products. The more influencers promote your referral program, the more new customers you can acquire. In other words, you can boost ecommerce sales.
Offer an exclusive discount:
There’s no better way to grow an ecommerce store fast than share discounts. In fact, 56% of customers follow brands on social media to see promotions or coupons. If you want to boost ecommerce sales, you can find influencers who are interested in sharing your discounts.
Look: Practically every influencer aims at growing his or her following, so they seek out new creative ways to share useful content. When you offer them exclusive discounts, not only do you help these opinion leaders bring something valuable to their community, but you also give their followers a solid reason to make the purchase decision faster.
Want to know the best part? Exclusive discounts allow brands to track the ROI of their influencer marketing campaigns and see how many followers have used the discount. Here’s how fashion influencers share exclusive discounts in their Instagram posts:
If you want to go the extra mile, you can choose influencers with Instagram creator accounts as they can add product tags in posts. As specified in the guide on Instagram selling by Sellfy, using product tags is one of the most important steps to generate ecommerce sales as it gives your followers access to pricing and product details which means they can make the purchase decision without leaving the app. Moreover, sharing time-limited discounts encourages customers to buy products fast.
Sponsor a giveaway:
No matter how many followers influencers have, it’s more likely they want to attract new followers and increase user engagement to secure collaboration opportunities with more brands. Thus, influencers often organize giveaway to keep their followings hooked and engaged.
If you want to help an influencer attract more followers and promote your business, sponsor a giveaway. The more valuable prizes influencers offer, the more participants a giveaway can attract. And if you want to boost ecommerce sales, you can offer brand freebies or gift cards as you will make sure the participants are interested in your brand and products.
Whether you’re an ecommerce or local business, use gift certificate templates to create eye-catching gift cards that match your brand identity and style if you want to attract more potential customers. Giving away gift certificates, you make sure winners can get the prize of their choice. Here’s an example of giving away a gift card:
Since people love free stuff, influencer giveaways attract more people and get higher engagement rates. When you sponsor a giveaway, you get an opportunity to promote your product and give the winner a chance to use it and therefore become a loyal customer who can spread the word about your brand among his or her friends.
The bottom line:
Over the last few years, Instagram has become a great marketing tool that helps to promote your products and even sell them in-app. Since this platform is one of the fastest-growing with the most engaged user base, it’s no wonder that influencers are in love with Instagram. When done right, collaboration with Instagram influencers can help to boost ecommerce sales and therefore grow your revenue.
Have you ever worked with Instagram influencers to boost ecommerce sales? Which tactics have worked best for you? Tell us in the comment section below.
Val Razo is a freelance SMM consultant with 6+ years of experience who helpssmall and medium businesses. Val claims that Instagram has great sales potential, so she recommends both big and small brands to use this platform for business growth. Follow her on Twitter to stay tuned for more.