Social media is one of the most powerful and easily accessible tools ecommerce businesses can leverage to drive sales. And whether you’re a fan, or not, of these marketing vehicles…in order to succeed in the ecommerce races, you have to not only test drive each social platform, but learn how to leverage them effectively to get results. It should come as no surprise that not every social platform will be a direct vehicle for sales for your blog, but Instagram promotion and retargeting is worth paying attention to and here’s why.
Each social platform has its own particularities and secrets worth uncovering for your business and Instagram is no different. Built as a highly visual and mobile platform, and with over a billion monthly users, it’s a staple in most consumers’ lives—and a hub where your blog can build community, efficiently drive new traffic to your site, and ultimately drive sales.
- Not convinced Instagram is right for your blog promotions?
- Don’t want to invest in Instagram paid advertising?
- Or maybe you see the value in the platform, but aren’t sure how to leverage content to drive sales?
Below we’ll dive into why you should be marketing on Instagram, best practices on how to structure your content ads to drive sales, and we’ll take a look at how Firefly Chocolate drove a 17x ROAS (return on ad spend) with content ads.
Why Should I Market On Instagram?
Organic growth is important on Instagram because of the level of visual appeal and brand identity it can bolster. In order to give your audience a preview of who you are and what you offer, you’ll need to grow your instagram community.
Instagram’s features for engaging your community include: instagram live, videos, hashtags, and Instagram shop. Keep in mind that Instagram is primarily image-based but the right kind of blog content can absolutely thrive here.
The trickiest part about using content in organic posting is that if you are not a “verified account” (blue checkmark), you are unable to link to posts in your stories or feed. It’s typically this main sticking point that pushes most folks to leverage content in paid promotions. More on that soon.
Even though linking to your site can be more tedious with organic posting, you don’t have to overcomplicate the process. I recommend posting imagery 1-3 times a week to help build brand consistency and to ensure you have a visual portfolio of your merchandise. Focus on sharing at least one blog post a week with a “link in bio” caption and update your bio with the specific link accordingly. Tools like linktr.ee are helpful for cataloging multiple links at once.
Is Content Promotion on Instagram Worth It? Why Pay to Play on Instagram?
Paid growth is a powerful tool that you can easily access through your existing Facebook ad account. You can select Instagram at the ad set level under placements. This makes advertisements simple, easy to track, and streamlines billing when run through Ads Manager. But why exactly is paid so powerful for content ads?
- Expand Your Reach: Instagram has a massive user pool that visits monthly—over 1 billion. More directly, 71% of Instagram’s users are under age 35. With ages 25-34 holding the largest segment of the user base. Additionally, users on average, spend a whopping 53 minutes a day on this platform scrolling and viewing stories.
- Dial In With Intuitive Placements: Content ads can appear in newsfeeds, stories, or the discovery section on the platform. Content ads on Instagram have grown to become competitive with Facebook averages, driving traffic at around $0.20 CPC (cost-per-click), and $3 CPL (cost-per-lead) when leading to gated content.
- Layer In Product Ads Within Your Blog: Still not convinced? Try layering on product ads within your blog content to effectively begin to connect commerce to your offer. Perfect for businesses with AOVs below $50 and more impulsive buys (food, fashion, healthy living). Matcha’s product listings tool allows Shopify stores to instantly embed product listings into their blog posts. You can use this tool with a free Matcha account.
How Does Blog Content on Instagram Drive Sales?
Now, the fun part—setting up content ads that convert to sales. As I’m sure you’re all too aware, there’s no magic “social” button to drive results. It typically takes a period of testing to determine what works for your business.
In order to succeed though, you must identify what content types, retargeting windows, and messaging converts for your audience. But luckily, we’ve done a lot of testing on this platform, so we can provide you with a roadmap that will help you bypass some pitfalls and know exactly what to look for.
How to Set Up Paid Content Promotion on Instagram
Here are the most important mechanics to keep in mind when setting up content ads on Instagram:
Prospecting + Leads 1,2,3
- Setup: Use Ads Manager and make sure to select Instagram only under placements at the ad set level to test Instagram by itself. (Automatic placements means your ads can serve anywhere across Facebook and Instagram).
- Audience: use a pixel purchase lookalike or past purchase data (age, gender, top locations) in order to target those who are most likely to buy.
- Optimization: Conversions → Subscribe (the pixel event tied to Matcha’s locked content forms)
- Measurement: Look for cost per subscribers under $3, conversion rates above 15% and cost-per-clicks below $0.50.
Retargeting on Instagram with Content
- Setup: Use Ads Manager and make sure to select Instagram only under placements at the ad set level.
- Retargeting Windows: Create an audience either based on Instgram traffic or sitewide traffic from the past 30 days (you may find that a wider or smaller window works better).
- Optimization: Conversions → Purchase
- Measurement: Focus on the following: cost per purchase, conversion rate (total purchases divided by total link clicks), ROAS.
Remember the roadmaps above are meant to be used as a guide. Every product is different and may require some refinements in order to drive the best results for your business. The most important levers to keep in mind are optimizations (make sure these are correct), that pixel tracking is in place (you want to be able to retarget all of your site traffic), and that the content is relevant to your audience.
Case Study: Here’s How Firefly Chocolate Drove 17x + ROAS With Instagram Content Ads
Content converts on Instagram and Firefly’s results prove just that. Here’s what you need to know about how they were able to master Instagram with their blog.
First, find content that speaks to your audience. For Firefly this is lifestyle content that focuses on mindfulness. Next, add product ads mid-way through your content and layer on a product collection at the bottom. With Matcha you can add products seamlessly to your Shopify blog posts.
Firefly has seen the most success with a 30 day Instagram Engagement audience. Here you want to look for a base of 1,000 tracked pixel visitors (Facebook and Instagram) to your site before you begin retargeting. You can find these figures within your Ads Manager under tools>pixels . Optimize for purchases if your product is under $50 and typically more impulsive buy. (*if your products fall on the pricier side of things, consider optimizing for product views or add to carts here. You may find you need a third touchpoint to convert to sales.)
You can start with as little as $5/day. For context, Firefly Chocolate leverages $10/day in order to drive a 17x ROAS.
Based on the advertising spend displayed above, Firefly Chocolate has driven over 18k just from retargeting site visitors with Matcha content over the past couple of months.
How to Promote a Blog Post on Instagram & Optimize for Sales
There are three main essentials needed to drive sales through Instagram promotion.
A great offer. More times than not this will be content related (not product related). Your ad needs to stand out and cut through the chaos, but more importantly you have to learn how to identify what your audience cares about. When you know how to connect with them, you’re one step closer to winning their business.
The right audience targeting. This will likely be prospecting a persona (based on demographic research or past purchase data) or a pixel lookalike audience that will turn into a 15 or 30 day retargeting pool.
Product Listings. Placing product in your content early on allows you to reach folks who are not yet in the buying stage. Here you may find that your audience is more interested in content consumption, but by lightly branding your content—and not directly selling to them—you create an opportunity for them to convert in the consideration or even purchase phase later on. Avoid the common pitfalls of paid product ads too early on or missed sales opportunities. Begin by placing product in content as you prospect in order to build that habit with your audience from the start.
Instagram’s buying features continue to advance, making it a sophisticated platform for ecommerce businesses looking to tap into a younger audience. Matcha makes mastering this platform easy with tools to help you conquer the three essentials above so you can increase your exposure with great content and increase your return with integrated product placements. From there, Matcha’s intuitive analytics dashboard will help you better understand what’s converting.
Determine if Instagram’s demographics are right for your business, and then give Instagram promotion a whirl and let us know how it goes!
Featured Image Courtesy of Canva.
About the Author
Jordan Dickenson is a Paid Media Specialist that has worked with hundreds of small businesses and spent millions of digital advertising dollars to help e-commence brands achieve meaningful results in the content marketing space. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn marketing channels, along with email sequences that take prospects to purchasers with content at the helm. If she’s not A/B testing variables or optimizing campaigns, you can find Jordan renovating her 1940’s cottage or running with her goldendoodle, George.