Kendra Beckley is an editor and business development manager for PhD Kingdom and Assignment Writing Services, assisting companies moving to new markets and building long-term relationships with clients. She also writes articles on various topics at Nextcoursework.com, amongst others.
Not long after its release, Instagram took social media by storm. Instagram is now moving to become as powerful a name in e-commerce as Facebook and YouTube, but not through traditional methods. This is Instagram Live Shopping, a new and innovative form of marketing first made popular in China that has become a worldwide sensation.
But how does Instagram Live Shopping work, who can use it, and what can it mean for your business?
What is Instagram Live Shopping?
A recent extension of the existing Instagram Checkout, Live Shopping, allows consumers to view a product accompanied by a video and purchase them with ease from the same screen.
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During an endorsement stream, the product appears at the bottom-left of the screen.
Here, viewers can see the product name and price summary, along with the “Add to Bag” button in the bottom-right using Instagram Checkout, informing the consumer about the product and what they can expect to invest on purchase.
With in-app purchases made available by Instagram Checkout, the transition from watching a Livestream or demonstration to purchase is seamlessly intuitive, fast, and perfect for Instagram users. Their experience is smooth and unobtrusive; simply add payment details, and you can return to a stream immediately.
Content creators can showcase endorsements, small businesses can extend their reach, and the larger, more established companies and corporations can support a creator’s growth through opportunities to earn revenue when going Live.
More potential consumers can be reached, informed, and marketed to with little extra effort by the marketer. With creators advertising products relevant to their lifestyle and hobbies, it guarantees an appropriate target audience is reached and drives sales beyond traditional static advertisements.
Who Can Use Instagram Live Shopping?
The feature is one of Instagram’s newest, having been introduced in August. Live Shopping is the newest and most innovative form of product marketing. It allows creators and businesses with an Instagram Business Account to tag an item from their product catalog to on-screen when going live.
This can provide immediate feedback from consumers, an ability to demonstrate the use of a product, the opportunity to interact with potential consumers directly, and answer their questions regarding your product in detail and encourages the formation of a rapport between creators and consumers never before encouraged by social media.
Instagram Live Shopping is perfectly suited for any style influencer, beauty and skincare blogger or fashion blogger, lifestyle coach, or hobbyist; if a product is appropriately tailored to a creator’s interests, their followers will also be interested. All that’s required is an Instagram Business Account, though it currently remains open only to account holders in the United States. It likely won’t be long before Instagram Live Shopping is available elsewhere, though, so read on to prepare for its release.
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Source: Instagram Official Website
Setting Up Instagram Live Shopping
Once you have an Instagram Business Account, you’ll need to set up a catalog. More than one catalog can be produced, but only one catalog can be used per stream.
The items you want to showcase in a given stream should be listed within a single catalog, and up to thirty can be added, but choose your products wisely; once you go live, catalogs cannot be edited.
- Click the camera icon at the top of the screen.
- At the bottom of the screen, choose the “Live” option.
- From here, choose “shopping.”
- Pick the products you want to feature from your collection.
- Finally, click “Go Live.”
Products can be individually pinned to the screen at separate times, allowing for a targeted and more informative demonstration of each product encourages consumer interaction and allows potential customers to feel confident in their purchase.
Compared to static marketplaces and the Instagram Shop, Instagram Live Shopping can boost sales in the present and future purchases through trust between a creator and their subscribers.
Image Source: Instagram Official Website
The Key Features of Instagram Live Shopping
The potential reach for Instagram Live Shopping to grow your brand is enhanced by numerous features you can utilize.
These features aim to bring your products to a wider audience, encourage growth and brand recognition and boost revenue achieved through Instagram Live Shopping and the Instagram Shop.
Below are a few of the key features to expand your consumer base, all included within Instagram Live Shopping.
Stream alongside other broadcasters, expanding your reach to neighboring consumer bases to build new and exciting collaboration projects with other content creators or small businesses of similar interest.
Collaboration projects not only expose your brand to a wider audience, the vibrant dynamic of several content creators building hype for not only their products, but those of fellow content creators can be contagious. Together, you’ll drive sales to heights neither of you could achieve alone.
Source: Instagram Official Website
Customizing your streams with stickers, emojis, and filters pasted directly onto the video feed. Use Instagram’s preset overlays, or create and upload customized stickers and emojis that tie in and promote your brand, adding additional layers of clean, organized professionalism to your Instagram Live Shopping experience.
Make use of still images and video footage as you stream. Create slideshows of your products in use, of prior videos and tutorials you’ve created using your products, and set them to play as you talk.
Bring previously flat, emotionless imagery to live with your voice, describe your use of the products and describe how they feel, smell or look in greater detail. Check out this guide for more on how to do this.
Source: Business of Fashion
Respond to questions and queries in real-time with access to your Instagram Live comment feed displayed over the Instagram Live Shopping broadcast. Interact with your consumers, answer in real-time and in your own voice rather than text. Building a relationship with potential buyers is as important as showcasing the product; you’ll build trust in your product and your image, which encourages sales to direct viewers and those they recommend products to.
The Potential of Instagram Live Shopping
Going live is a surefire way to garner attention, but there are other things you can do to boost interest, promote interaction with your viewers and drive sales.
Instagram Live Shopping isn’t like traditional advertising like pre-recorded presentations of live telemarketing; it introduces new layers of intimacy into marketing and consumerism you can make efficient use of with ease.
Promote your stream and products beforehand using Instagram posts and other social media sites, informing as many of your followers as possible when you intend to go live and what you intend to showcase. Building prior interest and releasing tweets, Facebook updates, or Instagram stories not only guarantees higher audience attendance on your stream but can also lead to new followers and potential consumers through post sharing and word-of-mouth.
Tease a big reveal across your social media platforms. Save new product lines, new colors or scents, and entirely new endorsements for an Instagram Livestream, but make sure to post small, partial images, vague hashtags, and your own excitement to explore something new alongside a date and time for the stream.
By keeping consumers in the dark about potential details, you’re encouraging more to attend out of curiosity and thanks to your own excitement, resulting in larger audiences and a potential for more sales.
Include featured tutorials in slideshows or conduct a live demonstration on-stream, describing the product as you showcase it to your followers. Potential customers intimidated by a new or complicated product can be put at ease knowing they have a tutorial to follow. It will show how easy and effective the product is to use, will reassure consumers the product is of good quality, and encourage sales.
Alternatively, host spontaneous streams for new products you can’t wait to share with your followers. Perhaps one of the most refreshing components of Instagram Live Shopping is how alive and animated it is, how unfiltered and real.
Maximize this by hosting unadvertised streams promoting a sale on certain products before posting about it on other social media platforms, leaving time for those who joined your stream to purchase first. This adds a sense of importance to be your follower, especially for those who join unexpected Livestreams.
Collaborate with other broadcasters using the multiple broadcaster function mentioned before, working not only to explore the details of your products but also to keep the stream interesting. Ask questions you feel your own consumers would ask, or convene with another content creator first and establish a script you’d both like to follow that highlights areas of uncertainty in your products you think your followers aren’t bold enough to ask.
Include variety in your streams, may that be a weekly collaboration with a different content creator, streams and events that aren’t based around sales, Q&A sessions designed to delve into your own life rather than details of what you’re selling, etc. Take the time to get to know your followers and let them get to know you; a certain level of familiarity can lead to brand loyalty, shared credentials, and more sales in the future.
Make The Most Of Live Shopping: Top 3 Tips For Success
Keep it relevant: Don’t go live simply because you feel like you should. Providing frequent live streams that are not relevant to your brand or oversaturating your followers with unrelated content will bore them, leading to lost followers. Inconsistency in your marketing and product goals could also damage your brand’s reputation, substantially reducing your consumer base. Keep your content on-brand but varied to maintain interest, perhaps offering more tutorials if the Q&A’s are getting stale until your next product is released.
Work with the right influencers: It’s easy to assume a user with more followers will be more beneficial to your brand, but product representatives should be chosen with caution. It is more important to choose an influencer with an interest and passion in your brand, knowledge of your industry, and a desire to drive not just sales but a positive brand identity over another who has more followers but is unsuited. For example, don’t choose a male influencer to sponsor a line of feminine beauty products unless he’s an expert at make-up and interested in advancing your relationship beyond getting a commission.
Don’t be afraid to switch up the formula: Becoming stale and predictable is the easiest way to lose followers and stifle interest in new products. If every stream you host is another sales pitch, you may find previously enthused consumers quickly lose interest, stop attending streams and choose not to continue to follow your content. Make use of all of Instagram Live Shopping’s abilities; showcase your brands alongside other creators, live stream a relevant part of your life that doesn’t involve marketing, update your story and other social media often handles and throw in a spontaneous personal Q&A or product feedback session.
Consumer interaction and collaborations are easy, effective, and fun ways to drive sales, build a rapport with your client base and make new connections on Instagram Live Shopping.
Final Thoughts: Instagram Live Shopping
Advertising continues to evolve, and Instagram Live Shopping has accepted the challenge of keeping up with consumer demand, allowing an interactive and more personal approach to sales to become second nature. The platform is quick and easy to use, designed to encourage consumer-creator familiarity, brand loyalty, and a sense of trust still advertisements could never facilitate.
From developing a brand identity to projecting your individual personality on your brand, it’s now easier than ever to put yourself into your products and sell with passion using Instagram Live Shopping. Allowing personability, instant access to feedback on products, and a sales platform unlike any other, Instagram Live Shopping is the future of marketing on mobile apps and desktops alike.
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