Image above from Djerf Avenue's Instagram pages.
Intsagram may have started as a photography app, but in recent years it has morphed into a direct-shopping channel. Some 70% of Instagram users now open the app to shop, according to Forrester research. We recently spoke with Magdalena Sadowska, the community manager at PhotoAiD, a photo-sharing app, about Instagram-based commerce. Below are excerpts of that conversation:
Marketing Daily: What prompts a user to shop from a brand on IG?
Magdalena Sadowska: There are mainly two factors: 1. The visuality of the product. Instagram as a platform allows you to target your ads very well, enabling you to reach a very specific group of potential customers. Seeing the same product once, twice, three times, but in an interesting way -- for example, through different formats and paths to reach (through influencers, ads, and your brand's content) -- a potential customer often turns into a buyer.
2. Product accessibility. With the ability to link and tag products or generally the whole "store" function, IG’s path to purchase is very short and intuitive. This ease definitely encourages action.
Marketing Daily: Which brands on IG are doing a good job?
Sadowska: When it comes to more niche ones, there's Djerf Avenue (fashion industry). For the bigger and more universal ones, Nike.
Marketing Daily: What makes them successful?
Sadowska: Both of them are creating a sense of community with their profiles. Their content is engaging and creative, yet keeping it very natural. Also, they are very consistent with their action, so it’s easy for an IG user to recognize the brand's values and message.
Marketing Daily: What are the most common avoidable mistakes that brands make on Instagram? What's an example of a brand that’s made these mistakes?
Sadowska: The most common mistakes are changing the tonality and vibe of the profile too often, not replying to comments and DMs. Also the opposite: never changing the strategy so it gets boring, and trying to engage with followers too much, which makes it seem fake.
It’s hard to point an example, as these are the things that you see on an ongoing basis, but one of the brands that used to do the things mentioned above is 4F.
Marketing Daily: What are the most common moves that brands can make to turn a follower into a buyer?
Sadowska: A great way to turn a follower into a buyer is by showing your products in use on your profile and campaigns with influencers. It gives the audience the feeling of needing the item, since they’ll want to use it in the same way.
Marketing Daily: Does IG work for big-ticket purchases like cars? Why or why not?
Sadowska: It works completely differently for luxury brands and big-ticket purchases like cars. It always increases the brand's visibility and recognition, but it doesn’t indicate sales here. In those cases, Instagram works pretty well as a brand's voice platform. People enjoy being close to their favorite brands and getting to know them.