How to Sell on Instagram in 2021

There are more than one billion Instagram users in the world. 90% of them follow at least one business on Instagram. This alone makes it worthwhile to create a profile for your business with the Instagram app. But did you know that you can take your business a step further and start selling on Instagram?

To make your Instagram selling journey easy, we’ve prepared this detailed, step-by-step guide.

How to Set Up an Instagram Account for Your Store

Before we get into the how-tos of selling on Instagram, let’s start with some basics. Here we explain how to set up a profile for your business, and the ins and outs of using the platform to promote your store.

Write a clear bio

Before you create the first post on your new businesses’ Instagram account, make sure you’ve crafted an engaging bio. This is the first chance you have to connect with potential followers, so a little thought goes a long way.

Some recommendations when writing your Instagram bio:

  • Include your store name
  • Add a short description of the brand
  • Keep the length between 140-160 characters
  • Add a call-to-action button linking to an Instagram-specific landing page or your store (you need a business account to do this)
  • Highlight key information with emojis (phone number, email, etc.)
  • Add a branded #hashtag to curate images and videos

Prepare a content plan

Before you can sell on Instagram, you need to figure out what type of content you’re going to post. To do that, you need a content plan. This means pre-planned advertising through entertaining and informative content that you will post to your Instagram page.

A content plan is essential as it saves you time and helps ensure that your content meets your marketing goals.

Types of content to include in your plan:

  • Promotional: posts about new products, promotions, discounts, loyalty programs, and customer reviews
  • Educational: tips, life hacks, masterclasses, and advice for the use and care of your products
  • Informative: company news, achievements, and plans
  • Entertaining: fun facts, pop culture references, jokes, surveys, quizzes, and user-generated content.

Step up your photography

Instagram is an entirely visual medium, so there’s no better way to show off your merchandise than with some great photography. A user might follow an account simply because they appreciate its eye-catching Instagram grid posts.

You’re more likely to sell to followers who are subscribed to your account because they clearly have an appreciation for your posts in their feed. It’s much harder to sell products on Instagram to the users who are stumbling upon your account for the first time.

Write engaging captions

The secret to Instagram selling is having an engaged audience. The more followers interact with your posts, the more Instagram will promote your content to its users. Great captions generate comments, so never settle for boring copy.

Captions are limited to 2,200 characters and you can add up to 30 hashtags to each post. Keep in mind that the Instagram app crops text previews to the first two lines, so it’s vital that your copy is engaging from the first word.

Best practices for Instagram captions:

  • Format your captions to make your posts more readable. Use emojis and numbers to add bullet points and new paragraphs to your text. To add line spacing to your text, write your copy in the Notes app first and then paste it into your Instagram caption box.
  • Use action verbs like “tap,” “tell,” “use,” and “share”, to actively promote engagement.
  • Present a reader with the most important information first. Use titles to catch your followers’ attention right away.
  • Ask questions or start discussions with your audience to get them to play along with your content (remember, content interactions = engagement = sales!).
  • Use location tags and hashtags to generate more traffic to your page.

Organize your profile

The more active you are on Instagram, the harder it is for your followers to find the information they might need to buy your items. Help them find what they’re looking for with these tips:

  • Add short titles to your pictures. Ex: “Shipping”, “Giveaway”, “How to use X”.
  • Create a short hashtag for each type of post you regularly publish: from new arrivals, lifehacks, backstage, etc. For example, #storename_reviews or #storename_products.
  • Use the Highlights feature at the top of your page to share important information like shipping, prices, customer reviews, contacts, and special offers.

Start growing your audience

The great thing about Instagram is that you can grow your follower count without spending a dime! It’s all about directing traffic to your posts. Some easy ways to do this include:

  • adding keywords to your username and bio
  • using hashtags and geotags
  • participating in various challenges
  • commenting on popular profiles
  • throwing a contest or a giveaway
  • creating engaging posts that reach the Top posts section of the app.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore how to sell directly on Instagram.

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