Selling products is no longer a business of just simple marketing tactics.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, there has been an exponential rise in ecommerce transactions, and an increasing amount of that business comes directly from social media marketing.

With its image focused strategy and ability to connect directly with consumers, Instagram is the place to sell products and to engage with your audience. But where do you start? Which features will help to gain an ROI? We’re diving into the latest strategies to help you launch your product.

The scoop on Instagram

· The Basics of Setting up Your Profile

· Images and Content Strategy

· The Best Features to Engage Your Audience

· Scheduling Tools to Organize Your Content

· Preparing Your Audience for Launch

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The Basics of Setting up Your Profile

You’ll first need to set up a profile on Instagram, choose your Instagram name, and make your profile public.

There are pros and cons to both business and creator accounts on Instagram. You can decide on setting up a business or creator account based on your need to schedule posts in advance, and your paid media goals.

Images and Content Strategy

Your first step is going to be to map out your content, images, and graphics for at least 2 months in advance. When consumers come to your Instagram page, you want to make sure that you have a brand story to tell them with use of pictures of your products, information about your store, and what value you are offering them. All of this is before you officially launch your product.

It’s important to note that authenticity is critical. Use of original images or videos will garner a greater engagement rate, rather than stock photos on this platform. The more humanized your brand is, the more active your audience will be with your page. Stick with images that tell your story and evoke a feeling for your followers. Ensure that they’re clear and accurately sized for Instagram.

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The Best Features to Engage Your Audience

Talking about features. Instagram has various ways to share content on the platform that can help to engage your audience.

Instagram’s top features include:

· In feed posts. Having regular posts in your feed will help to build up an image library for when followers visit your page. This helps to tell your brand story, and to give followers a place to go back to when they want to learn more about your store.

· Stories. The stories feature allows you to share multiple products or images in a short period of time, and for followers to shop your products directly with the swipe up feature. This is a great tool to engage with your followers daily, to announce product launches, and to make quick sales if you have constantly changing, or new products to share.

· Instagram TV (IGTV). If you want to have a live conversation with your audience, IGTV is another feature to explore. It gives you the ability to talk to your audience, get feedback, and share information about upcoming products in the pipeline. Your followers will get notified when you go live so they don’t miss out on the conversation.

· Reels. This is the newest feature to Instagram that has a lot of buzz right now. Created as a competitor to TikTok, the idea is to share short, humorous videos with your audience that will engage and inform.

Scheduling Tools to Organize Your Content

Scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or CoSchedule, are great options. All of these platforms have a content calendar which will allow you to schedule multiple posts, in various formats, far in advance to keep you organized.

Sprout SocialContent calendar, social listening, robust analytics, inbox, multiple profiles.$149/month
Hootsuite Content calendar, two profiles.FREE
CoScheduleContent calendar, WordPress integration, and various email service integrations.$29/month

Preparing Your Audience for Launch

Social is ready to go. Now what? Once you have your content completely done, it’s time to nurture that audience. Spend at least 4 weeks building your fan base and engaging them. Get them interested in you and what you have to offer.

Give them a chance to follow you, ask questions, and get to know you. This is the time to share your story and really build up your page. Share with your followers that you have a big announcement about your product launch and go live with it.

Create a countdown and give them access to view your product before it’s live. Allow them to direct message you and understand more about what you’re launching. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to launch!

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