Instagram is evolving the way we do online shopping, one sticker at a time.
In the past few years, Instagram seems to be shifting all their focus towards businesses and influencers, by giving them all the tools necessary to drive traffic and boost sales.
In the midst of July 2018, Instagram announced a new, much-awaited feature, which allows brands and Influencers to place tags into their story with direct links to products in their online store. This new sticker can be placed on both pictures and videos and shows the products description, price, as well as, a direct link to the brand’s website – meaning, you can finish a purchase, all within the Instagram app.
The sticker tag comes in a few variants, so you can combine them and really spice up your story. The 4 types of shopping tags include a simple shopping bag, a text version in rainbow and grey, as well as, a translucent version (much like the location tag).
Increased Direct and Indirect Product Traffic
Direct shopping tags are nothing new to Instagram, they were first introduced to the platform in November 2016, but until now, they were only available for regular posts. This meant that your target audience had to stumble upon your tagged campaign product photo in their feed, in order for them to see or buy your product.
With the integration of shopping tags to the Instagram Story, the chances of your direct and indirect traffic seeing your product have drastically increased – especially, if you take strategic hashtags into consideration. This has opened new doors and given even more power the Influencers as a whole. Making product placement even more natural than ever before.
Stories were first introduced to Instagram in August 2016 and they’ve come a long way. The statistics show that Instagram has a whopping 800 million active users, 300 million of which use the Story feature, daily. As Instagram put it, they are turning “discovery into action”.
Instagram was asked whether they will be charging businesses and Influencers for every sale completed with the new Instagram Story Tag. To that question, Instagram replied “Instagram does not charge businesses for shopping capabilities.” meaning that this form of advertisement has 100% ROI. Crazy! This has the potential to increase the already leading $6.5 for $1 ROI for Influencer Marketing to an even higher statistic.
Available for all business accounts
When the Story Product Tag feature first launched, it was only available for the bigger brands.
But Instagram announced that will be making this feature available for all business accounts, which already have shopping enabled on Instagram. This levels the playing field between micro-influencers and macro-influencers since only business accounts with 10,000 followers are able to attach links to their story. Micro-Influencers with only a few thousand followers can now work around and loophole this barrier with the tag.
Features like this are driving more and more businesses to start using Instagram as their main source of a public outlet, giving Influencers an even more valuable place in the business world.
How to Use the New Story Product Tagging System?
The use of this system is quite straightforward; it’s the setup which takes up most of the time and hard work. Here’s what you’re going to want to do:
- You will need to open a Facebook Catalog with all the products you want to sell – To do this, go to your Business Manager account that runs your Instagram profile. Then just follow these steps:
- Open Business Manager Settings
- Click on People and Assets
- Click on the Catalog option on the left side menu
- Press the ‘+ Add’ button
Note: After you’ve completed this step, you’ll need to wait for Facebook to approve your catalogue and give you permissions to use product placement on Instagram – this can take between a few hours or even a few days.
- Connect Your Product Catalog to Instagram
- Open Instagram Setting
- Tap on the Products tab
- Select the Product Catalog you want to use
- Tagging Products in Your Story
- Create a new story as you would normally (you can use either a picture or a video)
- Open the stickers tab (with all your music, sliders, polls, gifs…)
- Find the Shopping Tag Sticker
- Drag it to the designated stop on the image/video
- Tap it and select a product from your Catalog
Easy, wasn’t it? Once you’ve been approved and you’ve connected your Catalog to your Instagram account, you can start tagging products left and right – to your heart’s content!
What does this mean for Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
Seeing how this new feature will be available to all account, this might have made a big dent in how we do Influencer Marketing. It is well known that ‘smaller’ micro-influencers get better engagement than the million followers all-stars. This is due to the fact that they have smaller numbers to satisfy and can focus on their audience’s needs more easily.
So if before micro-influencers were not your top pick due to their limitations with link sharing and product placement, that is a worry from the past. They too are now able to put a picture in some stunning stilettos and tag the brand’s product in their story. And since they get higher quantity and better quality engagement than macro-influencers, they might start winning over the hearts of the bigger brands.
But sadly it is too early since the release of this feature to really see any major differences, keep tuned to our Blog for future updates following the progression of this handy tool.