Instagram revolutionized marketing in more ways than we can imagine.
The company started in 2010 and is the reason for the popularization of social media with an emphasis on photos and videos.
The platform has grown close to the hearts of over a billion people with the popularization of smartphones.
While most of us view Instagram as a fun platform to share personal media content.
It has been a strong base for digital marketing for several businesses across the globe.
The casual setting has a strong impact on users who feel the ease in connecting with brands and companies compared to traditional marketing methods.
This relationship has opened an immense number of revenue streams for the platform.
With several sectors working to utilize its outreach to their potential clients and customers.
E-commerce, a rapidly booming sector of its own, showing promising potential for growth by utilizing this incredible platform to get closer to its customers.
Here are a few ways in which the many features of the platform could build a thorough foundation for their sales.
Instagram’s primary source of revenue is advertising.
Traditional advertising methods such as print media content were strong and capable of reaching out to a significant quantum of customers.
But the advent of social media platforms completely changed the view of companies and how they advertise and do business.
Most companies have an online account and a social media page where they advertise their products and showcase the latest updates to their current and prospective customers.
It curbs down the need to work with a targeted customer base and plan high budgets.
Instead, it enables us to reach out to a larger segment of society through platforms that they use regularly.
Instagram, like many other social media platforms, started monetizing by showing advertisements in the middle of Instagram updates, on the users’ pages.
This kind of advertising exploded as they present attractive designs to customers that are not annoying or disturbing, like in the case of pop-ups or forced videos that they cannot skip.
Instagram has partnered with more than 1500+ companies around the globe and is hosting their advertised products on their platforms for more than a billion users to watch.
This method of advertising has seen companies like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba increase their number of sales dramatically, to the point that these companies now have dedicated teams to work on ads for specific social media platforms.
Machine Learning is directly affecting marketing through customization.
Personalizing the advertisement content revokes the true power of data that enables companies to approach customers with products they may like.
If you use Google, Facebook, Amazon, or practically any account, where you stay logged in or you have web browser cookies and cache enabled
(they help track what sites you’ve previously visited and store information to be loaded faster the next time you load the site),
you must have noticed that searching for an item on an eCommerce mobile app once can show you an advertisement for that item or similar items on your Facebook/social media pages.
Say that you look for an advertisement for a camera on Instagram and watch the whole video.
You will start seeing that or similar camera ads much more frequently unless you tell the platform that you specifically do not want such ads.
It is an effect of recommendation algorithms that utilize your search data or observe your interest towards a certain product to get you closer to products or services you may be looking for.
The amount of data generated by what we do is enormous, and all of this tracked to enhance their algorithms.
These algorithm triggered advertisements are beneficial since you can get better deals or find some items you didn’t before from companies you may not be aware of. It all boils down to the use cases.
E-commerce platforms can benefit by placing their products in these algorithms to establish a personal relationship with their client base through their purchase.
Interest history and offer them access to products, services, discounts, deals in segments of their interest.
The content and ads chosen for display in your account are very specific to what you may or may not like. And guess what this customization is based on? Your “likes”.
Each ad targets a user and it may be gender, demographic, jobs, interests, likes, dislikes specific. Content writing is very necessary while promoting a product.
There are various link building services that will help your page reach out to the audience of various demographics.
This level of customization was not possible with other forms of advertising and is pushing more and more e-commerce platforms to pour money into Instagram ad boosting or paying influencers in the platform to support their brand.
Sports equipment manufacturing companies like Nike and Puma work with professional athletes as their brand ambassadors to promote their products in forms of digital media.
Instagram natively supports e-commerce integrations now.
It enables sellers to ensure that the product they’re selling reaches the right audiences, engagements with customers remain focussed, different products can be shown.
If they choose to skip watching a previous one, and many other powerful features like price tags in images, catalogues, shopping cart, custom templates, etc.
The popular saying “A Picture Says a Thousand Words” is absolutely true in the case of e-commerce and social media integrations.
A well-edited or more realistically beautiful looking product will see more viewers and purchases.
A lot of sellers on Amazon and eBay started asking sellers to attach high resolution and better quality images to make it useful on social media platforms for advertising.
Ever wanted to buy a product on an e-commerce platform, but you stopped yourself because no reviews were present on that product? Instagram has the solution to that.
Instagram has a feature of directly integrating reviews/comments of the products in the comments section so that the users can get actual user feedback on the product and make a decision for themselves to purchase.
It is incredibly useful for certain products like electronics or cosmetics, where reviews can make a lot of difference in purchasing decisions.
Public product ratings showcased to the customers give them greater detail about the number of users who have purchased a product and have liked it.
Recommendations play an important role here too, as the companies can show the most relevant products which have been reviewed best by their existing customers or prompt new users to buy their newly released and unreviewed products.
Striking a Balance
While these efforts by Instagram are good for e-commerce sales, the future relationship between e-commerce platforms and the social media giant certainly requires changes to connect with their users better.
A lot of reports and posts from many users indicate that they do not like the number of ads they see while scrolling on the common social media platforms, and this has seen a mass migration of users to newer platforms.
Instagram must adopt a strategy that does not overexpose the users to ads in a bid to make more money. Instead, they can smartly place them where they can make the most of it.
Striking this balance will keep the platform relevant for e-commerce platforms to stay closer to their customer base.