5 ephemeral content features to boost sales on Instagram

Posted by Hugh Beaulac on 9 Aug, 2018
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Instagram is an ideal platform for quick, clever content to turn your followers into customers.


Vying for attention, brands bombard potential customers with promotional information via ads, messages, phone calls, emails, and social media channels. Modern customers feel overwhelmed by the amount of branded information they receive daily. And if you want to stand out from your competitors and convince your customers to buy your product, you need to sound less salesy. Being authentic is a must these days.

So, wouldn't it be great if you could affect the buying decisions process in a genuine way?

First of all, you need to reach your potential customers where they hang out. With 1 billion active users, Instagram is a perfect place to spread the word about your product.

But wait – there's more: 400 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily, to post content that disappears after 24 hours.

In fact, you can turn Instagram followers into customers with ephemeral content.

Ephemeral content is a buzzworthy trend; content that lasts a short time before disappearing. For a variety of reasons, users love sharing short-lived content, and what’s more, Instagram Stories has also helped to increase the amount of time people spend on the platform to an average of 28 minutes a day.

Stories allows you to deliver your brand message without clogging up the main feed with promotional content.

So, what ephemeral content features can you try to boost sales on Instagram?

1. Add clickable links

Instagram has rolled out a feature that allows users with 10k+ following to add clickable links. Adding links is your chance to show your followers a bit more. It's a great way to get more website traffic without overwhelming users.

For example, Converse shares images of its Chuck Taylor shoes with a call to action to visit the website to shop. Once you swipe 'See More', you enter the website to see the variety of available shoes with prices.


Image source: Instagram

For marketers, it's a great chance to convince potential customers to make spontaneous purchase decisions. Since customers can buy an item with just a few clicks, it makes the process easier, and so they’re more likely to complete the purchase.

Bonus tip: if you haven't reached 10k following and you can’t add clickable links, don't worry - try collaborating with influencers who may post your link. Establishing relationships with opinion leaders with a good following is a great way to boost traffic and also to enter an established community.

2. Share feed posts

The days when you could share regular posts on Instagram and expect your followers to see them are long gone. Instagram’s algorithm isn’t static, so you need to find a way to cross-promote your regular posts.

Actually, there’s a great solution already - content feature allows brands to reshare their feed posts to Instagram Stories.

World famous coffee chain Starbucks is highly popular among coffee lovers, who love taking photos of their favorite cups of coffee. For the brand, it means a great number of UGC posts - and it's well known that user-generated content helps to promote your product. So, Starbucks encourages fans to share more photos by posting a selection of them in Stories.


Image source: Instagram

Let's be honest: we all want to feel important, and so we feel valued when our favorite brand tags us. Sharing UGC in Instagram Stories encourages fans to produce more content and helps convince other people that your product is popular and worth a try.

Bonus tip: if you use shoppable posts to sell stuff on Instagram, reshare these posts to Stories so more followers see them. Today’s customers value their time, and tagging your product with a description and price helps them make quick purchase decisions. One of the top social media selling tips is to simplify the purchase process. The easier you make it, the more likely your followers are to complete their purchases.

3. Conduct surveys and use question stickers

It's no secret: if you want to improve the quality of your product, ask your customers for feedback. And believe it or not, you can increase customer satisfaction with Instagram polls. In Instagram Stories, you can add poll stickers to invite followers to choose between two options, question stickers to encourage Instagrammers to ask you about your product, or rate stickers to let users rate your product.

Here's a case study by Coffee'n'Clothes. Through their Instagram Stories, users are able to rate items.

Coffee n clothes

Image source: Instagram

Customers want to feel brands are listening to them, so they love sharing their thoughts and ideas about products and services. If you want to understand what people think about your product, share it in an Instagram story and then you can have a conversation with your followers.

Bonus tip: make sure you reply to all questions. Sometimes you may want to take the conversation offline and contact the person directly to respond to their comments.

4. Use IGTV

Video content is huge. By 2021 Cisco estimates video traffic will make up 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.

Video content is highly popular among users so posting videos is a must for brands. Instagram has jumped onto the growing trend with their new Instagram TV (IGTV) which launched earlier this year. It allows users to upload vertical videos up to 60 minutes in length. It’s perfect for mobile and quick viewing on the go.

World renowned fashion brand Dior uploads their shows to IGTV, allowing all their followers to access, not just the select invitees.

Image source: Instagram

Obviously, you can stream your show to bring authenticity, but not everyone can watch live, so IGTV provides a way to reach a wider audience and give something extra to your followers.

Bonus tip: there are many ways to make use of IGTV in your Instagram marketing strategy. One of the best strategies is to upload tutorials and how-to videos to tell your followers more about your products. This helps your authority and expertise and provides useful content. And to attract more potential customers, invite brand ambassadors and advocates as it always adds authenticity.

5. Run Instagram Stories Ads

If you want to attract new followers, you have to be prepared to spend some of your budget on ads. Running ads on Instagram gives you an opportunity to tell your potential clients about your product and Instagram Stories ads provide further options.

Pela Case used used Instagram Stories ads to promote their eco-friendly phone cases.  Their aim was to catch people’s attention by combining their product with a compelling narrative about its eco-friendliness.

Pela Case

Image source: Instagram

Adding a clickable link, interested users were able to read more about the promotion and take various actions.

Bonus tip: when you post Instagram Stories, add shoppable tags to provide your visitors with additional information about the product, such as description and price. Running Instagram Stories ads, tag products to allow Instagrammers to learn more about the promoted product.

It's your turn!

Although ephemeral content has a short lifespan, it's an effective and actionable strategy which allows marketers to grab potential customers' attention. People are more likely to take an action after watching Instagram Stories partly through fear of missing out, and if it’s made quick and easy. So promoting your product with the help of ephemeral content can help boost sales.

So, are you ready to make use of ephemeral content features and start selling more?

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