Do you ever get the urge to buy something while scrolling through your Instagram feed? I know I do! As a marketer, you put time into crafting a brand identity and creating images that make fans like me want to open our wallets, but Instagram makes it hard to actually BUY those products and services. Below you’ll find three ways you can take your Instagram account from a gallery of pretty pictures to a money maker.
Add a link to your profile
If someone were to analyze the text from all of the brands on Instagram, they’d probably find that the most common phrase across accounts is “See link in bio.” Instagram doesn’t allow folks to add links directly in posts, but they do allow a single link in your profile. Because of this, every time an external link is necessary, the link must be posted to the profile. Running a landing page contest? “See link in bio.” New product release? “See link in bio.” Have a sale on your website? “See link in bio.”
However, what if you want to reference multiple links all at the same time? That’s where things get a bit tricky. Marketers have gotten creative over the years and often link to landing pages that allow for multiple links. After someone clicks an Instagram bio link, a landing page appears. Sometimes these landing pages feature just a few button links to choose from, other times they are a reflection of the Instagram profile.
If the landing page is a reflection of the Instagram profile, visitors click the image for the post they were just viewing to go to the URL associated with that post. Oftentimes, these links go directly to specific pages on the business’s website. It’s a great way to send customers to specific product pages. Not sure how this might look? Our Instagram Interactive Gallery template is a great example of this type of landing page.
ShortStack’s Instagram Interactive GalleryView and Create Your Own
Use the Swipe Up functionality in Stories
Instagram Stories are very popular, and, I’d say, a bit addictive. I don’t know about you, but I certainly find myself going down the Stories rabbit hole from time to time. To get in front of ‘Grammers on a Stories binge, Instagram offers some profiles the option to add a “Swipe Up” link. This gives content creators the opportunity to send people to their website in order to make purchases or link elsewhere.
The “Swipe Up” function allows viewers to swipe the screen vertically to be directed to the URL indicated in the Story. However, there is a catch. The Swipe Up feature is only available to Instagram accounts that have at least 10,000 followers. This certainly gives these larger accounts an advantage and acts as an incentive for smaller Instagram accounts to grow their audiences.
As of June 29, 2021, Instagram is running a test to allow everyone to access the Swipe Up feature.
Create an Instagram Shop
In May 2020, Instagram introduced Shops. Instagram Shops give businesses the opportunity to let customers make purchases without leaving Instagram.
To set up a shop, business owners must first verify that they are eligible according to Instagram’s criteria, which requires that they own a website domain from which they intend to sell their products. After that, they must set up an Instagram Business account and link it to a Facebook profile. Then, business owners can create their product catalog and turn on shopping.
Once the logistics are out of the way, the fun can begin! With shopping on, a VIEW SHOP button is added to your profile. But that’s not even the most exciting part. What’s REALLY cool about Instagram shops is the ability to, as Instagram says, “make content actionable.”
What does “make content actionable” even mean? In the Instagram Shops world, it means you can add product tags to posts and Shop stickers to Stories. The ability to tag products in a post is amazing, as it allows marketers to leverage the Instagram images of the wares their teams work so hard to create.
Instead of simply hoping someone spends the time to find the product on your website, they can click the product in your post and be redirected to it in your Shop. The same goes for the Shop sticker for Stories. With the sticker, marketers can link to specific products or their store in general. Let the sales floodgates open.
Some businesses might hesitate to use Shops because they don’t want to maintain a separate listing of all their products. Furthermore, the requirement to use Checkout for Instagram might make others balk. However, the release of Shops definitely helps marketers monetize their brands on Instagram and see a greater possibility for ROI.
These ideas for making an Instagram profile shoppable should help any brand find the right option for seeing a real ROI for their Instagram investment. For more Instagram tips and inspiration, check out our social media blog posts, including the post 5 Smart Ways to Start Selling Products on Instagram.