Instagram is a crucial commercial channel for brands to occupy in 2019. It’s popular, diverse, and offers brands a variety of ways to interact with and sell to their customers.
One such feature that has recently been rolled out is shoppable video. While shoppable posts are nothing new and are something many brands are familiar with, shoppable video is quite different. As such, it requires a different tact.
Read on to discover how to use shoppable video to your advantage on Instagram.
What is shoppable video?
Late last year, Instagram announced it was rolling out a number of ecommerce features to support its existing ones.
Alongside product ads, shoppable posts and Stories, a range of new features was released, including saveable items, more intuitive business profiles, and shoppable videos.
Shoppable videos meant that users could now buy products from clips that appeared right in their feeds. It’s the latest development of a social ecommerce strategy from the platform that will surely prove a boon to brands in 2019.
Why does it matter for my brand?
Instagram is just one of many social platforms that offer ecommerce features for merchants and customers. Why is shoppable video important for merchants, and why should they care?
For a start, there’s the massive audience.
Instagram is one of the biggest social platforms out there today, boasting one billion monthly active users. Although it still lags behind Facebook, Instagram is still rapidly growing and shows no sign of slowing down.
And that user base is more than just millennials taking photos of their food. While 71% of Instagram’s users are under the age of 35, that still leaves a solid third of older Instagrammers. And with a billion monthly users, that’s a big third. It’s also nicely split by gender too, with a roughly 50/50 share of men and women on the platform.
Diversity and creativity
Instagram is a rich, fertile platform for ecommerce brands.
It’s highly visual, giving businesses a wide variety of features to grow their brand and drive engagement. From video clips and photo carousels to live video and Stories, there’s a diverse array of content for brands to employ.
Finally, Instagram is one of the most important parts of a multichannel strategy.
Consumers today are increasingly demanding a multichannel sales and marketing strategy from the brands they love. They want to be able to interact with and purchase from online stores in a range of places, from online marketplaces like Amazon to messaging apps.
And a good ecommerce store should sprawl a range of sales channels.
The Walmart marketplace is a good example of this. While Amazon and eBay are well-established marketplaces, Walmart’s offering is relatively new but ripe with opportunity. You can sell your products on a channel with a recognizable brand behind it and a huge consumer base – it provides easy access to a wide audience that any store can benefit from.
Ditto for Lyst, which sells over 4 million fashion products from a range of sellers. It’s an established channel with a massive audience. But rather than competing with it, style brands can piggyback off its popularity and drive their own sales too.
And Shopify Plus, for instance, is a multi-channel option that provides native selling on a variety of online spaces as standard — including Instagram. Like Walmart, it provides a seamless branded experience that sells where your customers are most active.
Consequently, Instagram is a crucial channel that every ecommerce business should embrace. Shoppable video is just the latest facet of that, and it’s one well worth pursuing in 2019.
How can I use it to my own advantage?
Shoppable video is a valuable commercial channel for brands. But how can you get the most out of it for your own needs?
Keep it concise and purposeful
Instagram is full of fresh, unique content that changes all the time. More than 40 billion photos have been shared to the platform since its inception, a number that will probably be out-of-date by the time you’ve finished reading this article.
As a result, user attention is a valuable and scarce commodity. If you want your brand and products seen, you need to get in quick and make the most of it.
Facebook recommends 15 seconds as the optimum video length. But don’t feel like you have to use all of this. Shorter videos can be just as effective – it all depends on the content.
The message here is to not go overboard. Be economical with your message and don’t include anything that doesn’t need to be there. Think of your video as an Arctic expedition – don’t pack anything you don’t need to, and everything you do pack should have a purpose.
Instagram is built on good creative content. The best content on the platform – the content that gets engagement – is unique, attractive, and original.
Your shoppable videos are no exception to this. Your content should fit seamlessly into the other creative photos and videos present on the platform — if it’s clearly an ad, your customers won’t linger.
The best way to do this is by making your videos high-quality, but also natural. Use set color palettes, filters, and video techniques that suit cinematic videos rather than simple product demonstrations — this guide is a good starting point.
For instance, rather than recording your video in a studio against a white backdrop, get outside and showcase your products in a natural setting. This makes it seem just like the other creative content on Instagram, increasing engagement as a result.
Tell a story
Instagram is arguably about the ego, a showcase of the self. Everyone on Instagram tells their own story on the platform every day, and your shoppable videos should do the same.
Don’t just show – tell.
Craft a story about your brand or your product, placing it in an organic context that your audience can relate to.
For instance, if you’re selling yoga pants, create a video in which the model performs a series of elaborate yoga poses. This piques the viewer’s attention, while the product is a subtle addition that catches the viewer’s eye.
This technique has the benefit of getting your products seen with an indirect, soft-sell approach. The hard sell doesn’t work with an ad-savvy social media audience, so it’s important to tread lightly.
Shoppable video is the latest in a long series of Instagram ecommerce features that every brand should get to grips with in 2019. Know the importance of Instagram and follow the tips above and create a stellar shoppable video that is seamless, eye-catching, and drives sales for your brand as a result.