How to Use Instagram Advertising and Influencers to Boost Ecommerce Sales

Birbahadur Singh Kathayat

Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an entrepreneur, internet marketer, and co-founder of Lbswebsoft, a digital marketing company. He has 12 years of digital marketing experience and helps some of the biggest companies build their brands and keep their reputation while increasing sales in the process. He is a writer and author on Social Media Week, Semrush, e27, and other publications.

Influencer marketing is expected to cross the $13.8 billion mark in 2021.

In an era dominated by social networks, influencer marketing has a major role to play in the success of ecommerce businesses. About 56% of the US and UK businesses work with Instagram influencers to market their products and services in a more engaging and result-bound manner.

Why Instagram?

More than 1 billion people use Instagram every month, and 30 minutes is the average time users spend on this social network daily. Moreover, 130 million users tap on shopping-related posts every month. Furthermore, 88% of its users are located outside the US.

With that said, it makes perfect sense for any marketer in the world to leverage this highly active marketplace for branding, selling, and customer service.

If you are an ecommerce business, there is no better place than Instagram to showcase your products, convince your audience, generate, engage, and convert.

Key Benefits of Advertising on Instagram

Increased Brand Awareness – By using Instagram ads, you can tell your audience the right information about your brand more effectively without having to follow old-school branding techniques.

Measure Your Success – With traditional advertising, there was no method to track the performance of your ad campaigns. How many people came to your website or purchased your offer was incalculable. With Instagram advertising, you can track it all, apart from a few other important metrics such as the age group, location, gender, and preferences of your audience. 

Targeting – Instagram allows ad creators to target their exact audience. Meaning, you can fine-tune targeting to show your ads to people who fit into your buyer persona. What’s the point of showing your ads to people who are not interested and increasing your ad delivery cost?

You can improve your ad targeting based on behavior, likes, dislikes, age, location, and several other factors.

Re-targeting – If an ad performed brilliantly, you can retarget the same ad to the same or a separate audience. You can target the audience of your competitors as well. 

Above all, working with Instagram ads is super easy. It does not require special skills to create, set up, and win with your Instagram ads. 

Plus, you can tie up with Instagram influencers to make your Instagram ads work even better.

Advertising with Influencers on Instagram

Advertising your brand through influencer marketing offers a great yield on Instagram. Businesses earn $5.22 for every $1 they spend on average.

The environment on Instagram is quite favorable for influencers and advertising. That’s the reason why 96% of all marketing campaigns involved Instagram influencers in 2020. 89% of marketers consider Instagram as the most impactful social network, in terms of influencer marketing.

Instagram for Ecommerce Business

People use the platform to find and research products and brands, and 84% of users claim that they find new products on Instagram. 

Influencers have dedicated followers who have a strong trust in-between. So, when an influencer recommends your product to his/her followers, the outcome (which is measured in increased clicks and conversion) is quite high.

Finding Influencers for Your Ecommerce Business

In a competitive market, it is inevitable for ecommerce businesses to establish tie-ups with influencers for their new-age marketing and advertising campaigns. They act and recommend your brand as an expert to their followers. 

But that does not mean you can contact and should hire just any influencer.

Here are some of the tried and true tips for finding influencers for your Instagram ad strategy. 

  1. Identify and hire influencers in your niche

This is the first step to make your Instagram influencer marketing strategy work. Research and find more information about influencers working in your industry or with your competitors.

Search for the best Instagram influencers for your business with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery.

You might need some influence marketing tools to do it systematically. Using these tools, you can find top influencers in your industry, apart from giving you insights into their previous content.

Researching will also involve understanding the preferences of their audience. 

  1. Engage with influencers

Once you have found potential partners for your Instagram influencer program, it is time to put their details on your database. At the same time, you will need to follow and engage with them.

A useful tip here is to follow them everywhere you can, on as many platforms as possible. Share, like, and comment on their posts. This helps them recognize you and this is when the seed called trust-building starts to grow.

When you share their post don’t forget to tag or mention them. This will also help gain their attention and trust.

It all starts with a genuine inbox message or email. So, make your first text attention-worthy!

  1. Remember they are your collaborators – not your workers

The tone you connect with them should be polite and professional. They are not your friends or employees. So, don’t be too friendly or too bossy.

Tell them why you are contacting them and why you think they would make a good ambassador or influencer for your ecommerce products.

You can also look into your existing customers; they too can be potential influencers for your ecommerce business. Even though they are not celebrities, working with them provides better value to your brand. Apart from giving your brand an improved authenticity, micro-influencer campaigns bring you more traffic and engagement and help build loyalty and trust easily.

So, you can consider encouraging your customers to become successful Instagram influencers for your ecommerce. This could help start their journey as an influencer and kick start your Instagram influencer marketing and ad strategy.

Features You and Your Influencer Can Work Together on for Instagram Advertising

Instagram Stories 

Timeline updates are the most preferred way of advertising on Instagram for as many as 78% of marketers, despite the fact that Instagram Stories are 73% more effective than any other type of influencer marketing platform.

So, how powerful are the Stories feature on Instagram? About 500 million people watch/use stories on Instagram every single day.

You can leverage polls, host Q&A sessions, and allow influencers and celebrities to take over your brand’s Instagram. You could also showcase your latest products and upcoming events via Instagram Stories. If you are organizing an event, then also you can use Instagram Stories (Live) to cover the entire event.

Photo/Video Ads

You can collaborate with your influencers on the content, have them share the picture through their profile with a mention about your brand and brand-related hashtags.

Discuss the content of creatives thoroughly. Decide on whether the creative would be an infographic, a picture of an influencer with your product, or a how-to graphic with a detailed caption below the post. This should ideally take two to three rounds of brainstorming before the ad creative is live.

When it comes to video ads, out of all ads currently running on Instagram, 1 in 4 is a video. You too can include videos in your Instagram ad strategy. They effectively appeal to the audience in the first place and offer better engagement.

Videos bring your ad to life. You can use videos for posts as well as stories to get traction. 

Sponsored Posts/Ads 

You must have seen a tag called Sponsored below some posts on your Instagram feed — that’s an ad. It looks quite like an ordinary post, but has the potential to influence and encourage the audience to take action, such as “Buy now”, “Sign up”, or “Learn more”.

The best part of this type of influencer marketing ad campaign is that you can target your specific audience. Meaning, it will be shown to the audience that meets the definition of your ideal customers.

Review the quality and tone of your ad copy before it is published. This is the way to ensure that your ad meets your quality standards and appeals to your audience well. 

Most importantly, your sponsored posts should be placed in a way that they are hard to miss. Again, make sure that the language the influencer is speaking or writing is simple and effective; it should not confuse the audience. So, no industry jargon here!

To add more appeal to your ad creatives, you can consider using other ad designing tools as well.

Product Reviews  

You can have an influencer review your products via an Instagram Live session, a timeline video that takes the user to IGTV, or an image with your product and their review in the caption.

Posts like these generate engagement and clicks and with that the possibility of conversion as well.

The reviews should always be honest. There should be no false acclamations in products reviews done by influencers. Nano and micro-influencers can be the best influencers for such campaigns. 

You can work with them to create ad content that aims to resolve the problems of other users. Ads like these produce the highest attention and engagement.

You can even offer incentives for each review posted, whether positive or negative.

How to Use Instagram for Ecommerce Business - Product Reviews

And if there is a negative review: they are like an eye-opener for ecommerce businesses. You should be able to fix the issues caused to the user at the earliest possible. You can motivate your prospects with such moves alongside winning loyal customers too.

Bottom Line  

When you plan a brand-new or the very first Instagram influencer marketing strategy, make sure that whatever you’d do you’d never spam or indulge in malpractices. Never broadcast wrong, misleading information with an aim to encourage a quick and massive boost to your traffic and engagement. 

Find the best social media influencers in any niche with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery.

Initially, you’d be happy with the results. But soon, it will load your Instagram and other social and online profiles with negative comments.

Learn from the stats and insights of your Instagram influencer marketing campaigns. Some ad content might not work for your brand as per your expectation. Don’t hesitate to alter or improvise them for performance.

While getting started with your influencer strategy, it would be wise to work with three to five influencers. This will help you get traction and identify the most yielding influencer for your brand.

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