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Are You Considering Using Instagram for eCommerce Marketing?

Instagram for eCommerce Marketing


With the fast-rising popularity of visual content, Instagram for eCommerce marketing seems to be the next big thing for online businesses. Instagram claims to have a community of 200 Million users and 55 million photos uploaded daily as of March 2014.

Leveraging the power of visual content, brands can communicate their message in a more precise way and create a lasting impression on their audience. Whether you want to promote a product or launch a tutorial to inform prospects about how to use it, Instagram will convey your message clearly.

According to a Forrester research study, Instagram has left other social networks behind in popularity in customer engagement, with posts on Instagram generating 120 times and 58 times more engagement than Twitter and Facebook, respectively. What’s more, brands can benefit from Instagram’s free advertising feature once they sign up. The sponsored post feature is an icing on the cake for brands looking to market their products and services on Instagram.


How Does the Paid Advertising Feature Work?

The sponsored posts, including videos and images, will pop up in the brand’s feed with the sponsored label on the top. There is a “More” button for users to either hide the ad or give feedback if they want to. Instagram for eCommerce marketing thus promises to be a potent tool to spread the word about your brand and increase ROI.


Pros of Using Instagram for eCommerce Marketing

Instagram has an ever-growing user base, with over 200 million active accounts. With Instagram now becoming a part of Facebook, it offers eCommerce businesses a wider platform to expand their audience. Incorporating the data shared by Facebook users, including age, gender, interests, preferences, and location into ads, Instagram can be used to better target potential customers.

Native Ads: With sponsored posts being native ads, they appear inline and look like a natural part of users feeds. Brands can leverage them to promote their business and make a lasting impression, without having to use irritating pop-ups or banner ads that frustrate users.

#Hashtags: Hashtags are words that start with “#” like “#WhiteChristmas2014” and are used as tags for searching. They are extremely popular across the social networking world. After all, these have made online search easier than ever. Including a hashtag on each post on Instagram will make it easily searchable across the entire network. Also, hashtags are searchable on Google+ and Twitter.


Cons of Using Instagram for eCommerce Marketing

While using Instagram for eCommerce marketing has its set of benefits, there are a few drawbacks to using sponsored posts.

No Hyperlinks: Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Instagram does not allow hyperlinks in its posts. This means you can share new products on Instagram, but cannot post links to the landing page. Though you can include a URL linking to your product in your Instagram Profile, it certainly breaks the flow when users have to navigate away from the photo in order to click on the url. It also means that you have to keep changing the URL in your profile page every time you change your targeted ads or ad campaigns.

Cost: The cost factor is still unclear as far as sponsored posts are concerned. It is estimated that you could incur a cost of $500,000 to $1 Million for a month-long buy run. It does sound expensive but it may seem worth it for some businesses. Ad Age reported that Instagram struck a year long deal with Omnicom worth up to $100 Million.

Disruption: No doubt, native ads aren’t as irritating as pop-ups, but these can put users off as they scroll through their feed and end up seeing a series of such ads. It is thus imperative for brands to determine how to add to the user experience while creating ads. Frequency of the ads would be key.


All in all, Instagram for eCommerce marketing seems like a great platform to showcase products and services and promote your brand, if you have the budget for it.


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