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Instagram is one of the fastest-growing – if not the fastest-growing – social media platforms out there. Since its launch, its user base skyrocketed to 1 billion. Also, Instagram has won the battle for engagement – the platform generates 4x more interactions compared to Facebook. These statistics indicate why so many businesses are keen to jump on the Instagram marketing bandwagon. But let’s get one thing straight: getting Instagram marketing right is no simple task. You must learn the ins and outs of the platform to run campaigns that bring in conversions. The good news? This guide will take you through the moving parts of Instagram marketing in an actionable, clear-cut way.
Let’s start from the basics.
What Is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram Marketing Definition
Instagram marketing is a type of social media marketing in which marketers use the Instagram platform to promote their business. If “promote their business” sounds broad, that’s because it is: Instagram marketing can involve a number of different strategies and tactics, used to accomplish all kinds of goals a business might have.
When looking at various ways to use Instagram for marketing, you can split the activity into two main categories:
Paid tactics like advertising and influencer marketing
Unpaid tactics like creating organic content, such as posts, Instagram Stories, and comments, as well as engaging with other users’ content
Typical business goals might include selling your products or services, getting more followers and engagement, building relationships with potential customers and other brands, and generally boosting a brand’s reputation.
A little later, we’ll get into the specifics of how to set goals, and how to use certain tactics to accomplish them.
Marketing on Instagram: The Importance of the Algorithm
You may have heard the term “algorithm,” which is a widely misunderstood term. You don’t need to be a master of the Instagram algorithm, but a basic understanding of it can help achieve your goals faster and with fewer headaches.
While some marketers feel that the Instagram algorithm is their arch enemy, it’s actually a friend. That’s because its ultimate goal – like every other online algorithm – is to deliver relevant, entertaining, and engaging content to each user.
Algorithms do this by carefully studying their users’ activities and behaviors, then using this data to make informed guesses on what those users will want to see in the future. If your content happens to pass the “test,” you’re teed up for success.
We could go on for hours about the Instagram algorithm, but the main takeaway is that you should always, always focus on creating quality content that really provides a benefit for your audience.
No spammy posts or comments, and no content just for the sake of creating something. Be thoughtful and strategic, while constantly asking what your audience wants and how you can serve them through your efforts.
What You Need to Start Marketing on Instagram
Before you dive into Instagram marketing, make sure you have a proper business profile – not just a regular personal profile. This way, you can reap the benefits of Instagram business marketing features and Instagram Insights, which we’ll discuss later in this post. Plus, it’s more credible in the eyes of your audience.
Let’s take a look at how to create a business profile and some best practices that can turn a good profile into an awesome one.
How to Create an Instagram Business Profile
To create an Instagram business profile, you’ll need two things:
An Instagram account, which can be your existing personal profile or a new one you’ve created just for this purpose. We recommend creating a new handle with your company’s name for brand recognition.
A Facebook business page for your company. Instagram requires this for verification purposes, so go ahead and make one first. Here’s a step-by-step guide to create your Facebook business page.
Without further ado, here’s an overview of how to make an Instagram business profile:
On your smartphone, log in to Instagram with your company handle.
Tap the circular icon in the bottom right corner. The screen will expand to show another menu. Tap “Settings” in the bottom right corner.
On the Settings page, scroll down until you find “Switch to Business Profile.”
Instagram will then ask you to connect the account to your Facebook business page and edit your business’s public contact info: email address, phone number, and location. This will be public on your profile, so avoid adding private info.
And voilà. You’re ready to use Instagram for marketing your business.
How to Market on Instagram: Creating Your Strategy
Just like any other type of strategy, your Instagram marketing strategy will work best if you have a clear goal, choose individual tactics that will gradually build toward that goal, and keep track of your progress along the way so you can tweak where needed.
And that’s exactly what we’ll discuss now.
Identify Goals and Objectives
Your goals and objectives are the pillars of your marketing plan. We like to follow the SMART acronym for goal setting:
Specific: Give exact numbers and milestones instead of a vague goal.
Measurable: Choose goals that are trackable and measurable with analytics and insights.
Attainable: Be realistic. A million followers in a week is prooooobably not going to happen. (Unless you’re an egg.)
Relevant: Stay aligned with your industry, business, and outlook.
Time-bound: Give yourself a timeframe to accomplish the goal.
So instead of saying, “I want more followers,” try something like, “My goal is to gain 500 authentic followers in three months.”
Instead of, “I want more sales,” try, “My goal is to earn $1,000 in revenue from Instagram Ads sales this month.”
And instead of, “I want a more engaged following,” try, “My goal is to grow my engagement rate by 1 percent in six months.” (Check out this article to learn how to calculate and grow your engagement rate.)
Once you set a goal, it’s time to flesh out your Instagram content strategy.
Build Your Instagram Content Strategy
As we discussed earlier, you have several posting options for building your Instagram content strategy. Choosing the right ones depends largely on knowing your audience.
Ask yourself: What are the key demographics of my audience? What do they like to do, see, and experience? What entices and entertains them? How do brands generate trust and motivate them to make a purchase?
You probably won’t know all these answers right away, which is perfectly normal. It’s a learning process that you’ll get the hang of as you go. But you’ll find that as you get a laser-focused understanding of your audience and what makes them tick, your Instagram marketing strategy will perform better and better.
Here are some pointers for building a strong Instagram content strategy:
Make sure every post is aligned with your branding and aesthetic.
Keep a consistent “vibe.” For example, if your brand is high-fashion, ensure that all of your images are high-quality, conjuring feelings of elegance and sophistication. If your brand is quirky or funny, Instagram is a great place to let your true colors shine.
Shoe company Allbirds knows that their audience loves animals and memes, so they incorporate these regularly into their content strategy.
Like this post, which shows a photo of some lambs wearing sweaters, with a caption that reads: “When the whole squad has their fall fashion looks down.” Cute.
Get valuable intel from your friends and enemies.
If you’re just starting out, it can be a huge help to peep at what other companies are up to. Check out top-performing posts from similar brands, your biggest competitors, leaders in specific niches, and the most broadly popular accounts on the platform.
Doing this competitive research will tip you off when it comes to important trends, best practices, and little-known tricks and Instagram hacks to take you to the next level.
Create a social media content calendar to stay on track.
Create a social media content calendar so that you can always stay on top of your Instagram content strategy, ensuring that it’s cohesive and consistent.
To start, write out all of your posts for the next month, scheduling at least three posts per week. If you’re looking for inspiration or having trouble filling in all the spots, take advantage of free Instagram templates that follow common post styles and popular posts from other brands.
If you have a few bucks to spare, you can buy full packs that feature several templates with consistent visual themes, like this 48-template Instagram Commerce Pack from Tugcu Design Co.
If you really want to stay on top of things, you can use a tool like Later or Buffer to schedule automatic publishing for your posts. We’ll cover some of these apps a bit later, but in the meantime, here’s a handy guide for scheduling Instagram posts.
Use Instagram Insights to track your performance.
Instagram Insights is a free tool that’s available for everyone with a business profile. It gives you a valuable look at key performance metrics of your account, like how much attention your posts are getting and how engaged users are.
You can also see demographic info on your followers, giving you better intel on finding your target audience on Instagram. While this built-in analytics tool isn’t mind-blowingly comprehensive, it’s a fantastic tool for starters.
The Most Powerful Instagram Features for Businesses
Instagram has plenty of cool features that help connect users and enrich relationships. Even if you’re not a religious Instagram user, you’re probably familiar with the most popular ones.
Let’s look at a few features that can help boost your Instagram marketing strategy.
It seems that hashtags are virtually everywhere on the internet these days. When applied to your marketing strategy, Instagram hashtags are a clear signal to users that your posts are relevant to what they’re looking for.
In fact, many users look for content based on hashtags alone. So if your posts are related to a trending topic, be sure to include the associated hashtag. This can help you get in front of the eyes of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.
You can search directly in the Instagram search bar to find trending hashtags and scope out content that others are posting.
Other cool tools like Keyword Tool will generate hashtags for you based on your keywords. Many of these tools offer some free results, but require a paid upgrade for more extensive lists.
It’s also a smart idea to create a branded hashtag and use it frequently. This hashtag might include your company’s name or the name of a particular campaign, event, or promotion.
As of January 2019, more than 500 million people use Instagram Stories. The psychology makes sense: they’re a more exciting and ephemeral way to share with your followers, since they can only be 15 seconds long, they disappear after 24 hours, and they aren’t listed on your main profile or feed.
Stories are a worthy addition to your Instagram marketing strategy, as they give you an opportunity to touch on things that are more timely or in-depth, or don’t quite warrant a standard post.
Here are a few ideas for how you can use Instagram Stories:
Answer popular questions within your company’s niche or about your company specifically
Show “behind-the-scenes” content to give your audience a peek at how you do your thing
Promote your content, like a new blog, ebook, or infographic
Have a “takeover” where one of your employees (or an influencer) posts their own content for a day
Poll your audience on a popular topic or ask them for feedback about your company
Host a contest or giveaway in which you ask users to create a post a story that tags your account or includes a branded hashtag
Men’s clothing brand Chubbies has a creative “Welcome Back from the Weekender” series every Monday, which features a compilation of stories that act as a fun news-style show.
Be sure you mind your Instagram Story dimensions so your images and videos don’t look wonky to your viewers.
Just as the name suggests, Instagram Live is a feature that allows you to engage your audience in a real time “live broadcast” format. This is an especially helpful feature for if you’re attending an event or discussing anything timely or urgent.
The cool thing about Instagram Live is that your story will show up first in your followers’ Story feed, and they’ll also get a notification that it’s happening when they open the app. But with great power comes great responsibility: don’t use this feature unless you have some truly good content to share, or you might push users away for wasting their time.
While each Story can only be 15 seconds long, IGTV was made especially for long-form videos. These can be 10 minutes, or up to an hour for accounts with more followers. You can think of it as Instagram’s take on YouTube.
IGTV allows users to search for videos that pique their interest, and also makes recommendations based on their past behavior and activity. This helps make sure that audiences are connected with content they’ll like.
If you’re just starting out, IGTV may not necessarily suit your needs or goals. But if you’re a media company, or otherwise produce long videos, it can be a useful tool for getting your message across and engaging your audience.
How to Market with Instagram: 5 Strategies to Adopt
There are several marketing strategies for Instagram that work even if you’re starting from scratch. Here are some of the proven methods you can implement right now to grow your Instagram presence.
1. Host a Giveaway with Another Business
Partnering with another business to host a contest or giveaway can work wonders for your brand.
Low-sugar chocolate brand Truth Bar, for example, partnered with sugar-free Belgian chocolate brand SkinnyMe Chocolate to host a giveaway that generated solid engagement.
The idea here is that if both of you have similar customer profiles, you’ll both gain high-quality followers. Request that everybody who enters the competition ‘likes’ the post and does some secondary action, like a tag or a follow.
2. Repost Other Companies’ Content
If you’re looking to gain a huge following on Instagram, consider sharing other brands’ content on your account.
This is both a smart and a natural way to get more exposure for your business. When you tag another business in your post and promote their content, they’re likely to reciprocate.
In some cases, they’ll follow you back and promote your business as well. And just as crucial, their followers are likely to take notice of your profile.
You can do this manually or use an app like Repost for Instagram for the purpose.
We suggest you go for the app because it lets you quickly select the accounts you’d like to repost. Plus, it automatically tags the original profile, giving it the credit for the content.
3. Give and Receive Instagram Shoutouts
Another version of the reposting strategy involves shoutouts.
This is where you ask another business in your industry if they would like to post your content, and in return you post theirs. The cool part of it is that you can give and receive shoutouts in various ways.
Digital cameras brand Canon, for instance, allows photographers who own a Canon camera to give it a shoutout using the hashtag #MyCanonStory in the description of their post.
Canon regularly returns the favor by sharing some of the most enticing work from those photographers. Here is an example:
This is a brilliant Instagram marketing strategy that benefits both the brand and its partners, who experience a significant uptick in their following and credibility.
You can learn more about shoutouts in our ultimate guide to Instagram shoutouts. All it takes is finding the right partners who’re open to offering a mutual value exchange.
4. Let an Influencer Takeover
Next on our list of Instagram marketing tips is influencer takeovers. This is where you connect your business with an influential person who’s prominent within your industry.
For example, if you’re in the business of selling athleisure, you might collaborate with an athlete or fitness model.
This will expose your company to the influencer’s followers as they announce the Instagram takeover in the days leading up to it.
You can find relevant businesses and individuals to partner with by signing up to influencer marketing platforms. These are online tools that automate the discovery, vetting, and reporting processes, enabling you to focus more on developing influencer relationships and planning memorable takeovers.
5. Write Captions That Move Your Audience
Many people scroll through their Instagram feed when they’re bored or trudging through a mundane daily routine. You can attract and get this audience to follow you by creating intriguing Instagram captions.
The goal is to convey the story or feeling behind your video or image.
If the video or image is about a product, the caption is your canvas to fill in a quick description of your item. Explain why people should care, and don’t forget to include a few emojis.
In general, posts with strong captions can help shape your company’s personality and story. The key is to craft a copy that encourages engagement and makes people realize they need what you’re offering.
These four Instagram marketing ideas offer a simple and effective way to strengthen your brand image. That said, it can take some time for results to come in if you’re starting from scratch. That’s because no one knows who you are yet, which makes it hard to get initial traction.
But don’t let that deter you. To hit the ground running, check out our recommended strategies on how to gain followers on Instagram. Who knows, you might get 10,000 followers in as little as six months.
The Best Instagram Marketing Apps for 2021
Instagram itself offers tons of useful tools and filters, but sometimes you need a little extra push to set yourself apart from other businesses in a crowded feed.
Fortunately, there are plenty of Instagram apps available to help you do just that.
The best Instagram marketing apps will make your posts memorable, distinguishable, and share-worthy. While you might not be able to entice all 1 billion users, you should be able to attract the attention of those that matter most to your business.
Whether you’re looking to create better images, schedule posts in advance, or delete inactive followers, we’ve rounded up the essential apps that every business should add to their Instagram marketing toolbox.Note: Most of the Instagram apps in the list below are available for both iOS and Android devices.
Photo Editing Apps
There are dozens of flavors of photo editor apps to help you perfect your images. Some of our favorites include:
Snapseed (iOS and Android)
Snapseed’s brush tool enables you to adjust for saturation, color temperature, and exposure, which is ideal for situations where you don’t want to auto-enhance every detail in your image.
VSCO (iOS and Android)
VSCO is popular for its movie-like filters and editing features that often beat Instagram’s in-app offerings in terms of creativity. You can use it to adjust contrast, enhance skin color, darken edges, and more.
Afterlight 2 (iOS)
With this app, you can add text and special typography to your photos. This is an opportunity for you to do something like create hype for a product or promote a sale.
You can also download Instagram video editor apps to edit your clips. Thanks to features like clip trimming and noise reduction, you can create good-looking videos without hiring a pro.
Once you figure out the best time to post on Instagram, you can use scheduling apps to create and push more content to your audience. Here are our picks:
Later (iOS and Android)
Later is extremely simple to use. You just have to upload a media item from your phone’s library into Later’s dashboard, and the scheduler will pop up. You can also write a caption, tag the location where the image or video was captured, and tag profiles of other users to increase your content’s discoverability.
Hootsuite (iOS and Android)
Hootsuite’s “Compose” window lets you decide whether you want to post content now, save it as a draft, schedule it manually, or queue it for later. Other Hootsuite features allow you to measure content performance, follower growth, and more.
If you want to get more followers on Instagram, you have to publish content that stands out. That’s where content apps come in. Our favorites include:
This is one of the best Instagram Story apps out there. You can use it to apply a variety of stylish filters, colors, textures, and templates to your Stories. Most of these are trendy and creative, often inspired by cinematic photography.
Layout (iOS and Android)
Layout is a super-smooth, feature-rich image mixer that instantly lays out up to nine images in several combinations to create a collage. You can select photos from your camera roll or capture them with the built-in image booth as you go.
GoPro’s Splice comes with simple-yet-powerful editing features. You can use it to combine your favorite images and videos into one cohesive media clip, and then use the integrated music library and transition effects to create a masterpiece.
It’s worth experimenting with these apps and using Instagram Insights to monitor how they’re impacting your marketing strategy. Use the ones that have made a positive impact in conjunction with other mobile marketing apps to grow your business. With all the incredible apps available in the market, you’re sure to land some good combinations.
Making Money with Instagram Marketing
If you love being active on Instagram and have a decent number of engaged followers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make money on Instagram.
While top influencers make millions per post, even those with a following between 1,000 and 10,000 have the potential to turn Instagram into a healthy source of income.
To help get you started, check out these three ideas to start making money with Instagram marketing.
1. Sell Your Own Products
You can start making money by selling any digital or physical product that you manufacture yourself or buy from suppliers.
Physical products require keeping some inventory, meaning you’d need to spend some money to rent a place where you can keep the items. However, not everyone has the startup capital or funds to rent storage space.
The good news is that you can always sell dropshipped products. This technique lets you sell on Instagram without ever holding any inventory.
Once you’ve made a sale the supplier will ship the ordered goods from their facility, straight to the customer’s home. You’ll never need to worry about shipping, storing, or packaging your products.
2. Sign Up For an Affiliate Program
Alternatively, you can sell other people’s products as an affiliate and receive a cut. There are many people and companies that make money from Instagram like this. Make sure to use relevant hashtags on all affiliate posts to reach more audiences who might be interested in taking up your offer.
Affiliates earn their bounty via a promo code or a trackable link (most Instagrammers put it in their bio) to ensure any clicks are converted to sales. You can use these eye-catching post ideas to ensure your content draws people in to check out your affiliate product or service.
Find an affiliate program that pays the commission you want, and is related to the niche of your business in some way. For example, if you’re a veterinarian by profession, you may sign up for an affiliate program promoting a certain pet food brand or supplement.
The best way to do this is to search for your niche or profession on Google, along with the keyword “affiliate programs.” A veterinarian can search for “pet affiliate programs” or “dog food affiliate programs,” for instance.
3. Become an Influencer
With an influencer status, you can start pitching brands to promote their products and services in your posts.
Companies tend to partner with influencers to create sponsored content that helps spread the word about their offerings. Common types of content include an Instagram story or Instagram post that will include an explanation of the business or its products.
So, once you have increased your follower count above a thousand and have a good engagement rate, start your influencer outreach. The easiest way to do this is to send direct messages to brands you think are relevant to your business. If you’ve seen them collaborate with other influencers of your level, they’re likely to be open to hearing what you have to offer.
Top influencers make hundreds to thousands of dollars per sponsored story or post. If you create one piece of sponsored content per day, you can potentially make thousands of dollars per month.
With all of the new features and opportunities available on Instagram (and more to come), the platform is becoming one of the more popular channels for people and companies to make some cash.
Don’t let a small follower count discourage you from selling what you have to offer.
As long as you’re selling high-quality products, signing up for the right affiliate programs, and collaborating with relevant businesses, you’re on the right path to earning money via Instagram marketing.
Or, if you’re looking for tips that will help you create additional streams of potential revenue, check out our detailed guide on how to make money on Instagram.
Instagram Campaign Examples for Inspiration
To get your creative juices flowing, let’s look at a few common examples of Instagram marketing.
1. Fitbit’s bonus Spotify playlists
FitBit does a great job of promoting their product while giving their followers a “bonus” in the form of a Spotify playlist to listen to during their workout. The post features a fun visual of a FitBit displaying Spotify playlists..
2. Audible Canada’s influencer shoutout
When you can find the right influencers to match your brand, it can give you a serious boost in followers, sales, and overall brand recognition. The key here is that it’s imperative to find the right influencers.
In this example, Audible’s Canada division partnered with tech influencer @thetrendytechie. In her typical post style, she explains what she’s listening to and why she likes using Audible.
She sealed the deal with a relevant hashtag, #yougottahearthis, which makes the post searchable to Instagram users looking for a convenient way to keep and hear audiobooks.
3. DeLallo Foods and Room & Board’s Cross-Promotion
Another best Instagram marketing tactic is partnering with other brands to cross-promote contests and giveaways.
In this example, recipe curator @thefeedfeed partnered with DeLallo Foods and furniture company Room & Board to host a contest with prizes from each of the three brands.
As an added bonus, the image used to promote the contest is an actual entry – a gorgeous and mouth-watering appetizer spread from one of TheFeedFeed’s existing followers.
Harness the Power of Instagram Marketing
Instagram is an absolute powerhouse in the social media world. For brands, there’s a virtually infinite amount of untapped potential to get attention, stimulate engagement, build strong relationships, and cruise past those annual financial goals.
While it can seem like a vast and intimidating world of its own, new companies have nothing to worry about – as long as they’re constantly watching, listening, and learning as they go. If you start your Instagram marketing strategy with a growth mindset, you’ll find that it gets easier and more lucrative as you go. It also gets pretty fun, if you play your cards right.
We live in a world of commoditized customer service and lightning-fast brand interactions.
This can be a curse, but also a blessing — you’d be surprised how much impact something as simple as a “thank you for your order” note can have.
Because even this small token of appreciation shows your customers that you care about them as an individual. That you care about their business and how satisfied they are after shopping with you.
I recently received a handwritten thank you note from Fleet Feet after buying a new pair of running shoes.
When I opened the box to unwrap my fresh new kicks, I was surprised and delighted to find that someone on the team went the extra mile:
This is just one example of an effective “thank you for shopping with us” note.
In this article, we’re going to look at several different examples, tips, and templates that you can start using today — no matter your resources, budget, or communication channels with customers.
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Why Should I Write a “Thank You for Your Order” Note?
Are you unsure if the benefits of a thank you note will actually outweigh the effort needed to send them? Let’s look at the top reasons to start, and how they might positively impact your business.
Higher Customer Engagement
Acclaimed author and businessman Seth Godin once famously said: “It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.” This concept applies here too.
When you give a little extra to your customers, you’ll get more from them in return. They’ll want to voluntarily engage with your business, which often results in more sales and more loyal customers.
This brings me to my next point…
You’ve probably heard the statistic that it takes anywhere from five to 25 times more money to gain new customers than to keep existing ones.
In our competitive world, customer loyalty and customer retention are critical for your company’s long-term health. If you’re in a constant state of churn, where you’re losing customers and working hard to get new ones, you’ll find yourself spending a whole lot of money with less financial returns.
This can also damage your reputation, or at least cause you to lose out on important opportunities to get word-of-mouth customers.
More Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Happy customers share their experiences. They write positive reviews, post about them on social media, and tell their family and friends.
According to one study, 86% of participants said that family and friends impact their purchase decisions more than any other source.
Word-of-mouth is an incredibly powerful marketing tool because it builds on the trust and confidence of our peers and loved ones. (And on the flip side of that, negative word-of-mouth can be a disaster for companies too!)
1. Greet Them By Name
Presumably, you have their first name from their order. Use it in your note to add a touch of personalization.
For bonus points, use a friendly or informal greeting to break through the transactional nature. You can try something like:
“Hi there Jane!”
Or even something more quirky, like “To the one-and-only Jane”
If it suits your brand, remember to have a little fun with it. Your customers will notice.
2. Add a Human Touch
Building off the first point, try to avoid sounding like a computer or a stuffy customer service script.
Use conversational language. Ask yourself: how would you thank a colleague, peer, friend, or family member?
As much as we talk about a “thank you for your purchase” message, get more creative than simply writing “thank you for your purchase.” Try something like:
We’re so glad to call you a customer.
It means the world to us that you’ve chosen us.
Thanks so much for choosing us.
When you can show them there are actual humans behind the curtain, you’ll help to develop a deeper and more personal connection.
3. Handwrite It
There’s nothing like getting a handwritten letter. It immediately pops out and signifies that someone took the time to write it just for you.
Even if you use a message template for all your thank you notes, handwriting them will add a level of personalization that you just can’t beat with a printed message.
And if you’re worried about your handwriting: don’t be! In the “bigger picture,” your handwriting doesn’t matter as much as the sentiment behind writing a note. Your customer will appreciate it just as much.
4. Don’t Get Promotional
Now is not the time to sell! You’ve already accomplished that, remember?
If you use a thank you purchase note as an opportunity to mention a new product or sale, you’ll likely cheapen the authenticity and integrity of the note in the first place.
Your customer might feel like your carefully planned note is more of a mass sales brochure than an attempt to make a real, personal connection.
5. Keep it Short
Generally speaking, your thank you purchase note shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences. If you write a novella, you’re increasing the chances of losing the customer’s interest or lessening the impact of your note.
Stick to the basics: express your gratitude (with the addition of a couple of personal customer details), then you and your customer can both be on your merry way.
6. Sign off With a Real Person’s Name
Another human touch that you can add to your note is to sign it as a real person on your team. This can come straight from the founder or CEO, or it can be from a customer service rep at your company.
If you’d rather not use this approach, you can stick with signing off as a team. Here are some examples of how you can wrap up your note (using made-up names and businesses):
Best wishes, Jennifer from JoJo Jewelers
See you soon, The JoJo Jewelers team
Take care, Your friends at JoJo Jewelers
7. Step Up Your Game With Personalized Stationery
Your thank you note will be powerful even if you send it on blank paper or cardstock, but you can add an extra punch by including a custom card with your branding on it.
Going back to the “thank you for your purchase” message I received from Fleet Feet, you’ll find that the other side of the card showed the company’s logo branding.
This can be a nice reinforcement for your brand, showing consistency in how your company presents itself to customers.
8. Send an Occasional Freebie
Reward your most loyal customers with a free gift every now and then. This can come in many forms, like a $10 discount on their next purchase, a gift card for something else, or a small item shipped to them with the letter.
This item can be something from your store, or something they’re likely to enjoy based on what they’ve bought from you.
For example, if your brand sells makeup products, send your customer a free lip gloss. If you sell clothing, send them a free t-shirt.
You can even send something smaller, like how this sock company included a bag of Skittles with a customer’s order.
You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money on these gifts, but thoughtfulness will go a long way.
“Thank You for Your Purchase” Examples
One of the best ways to learn is to see others in action. Let’s look at some “thank you for shopping with us” note examples that got the job done right.
The Word-of-Mouth Encourager Note
This note from a company called Stride is a great example of the human touch. It starts with “Howdy,” and goes on to say nice things like “You = Awesome” — complete with a smiley face.
It’s also a good example of how you can straddle the line of being promotional. As you can see, they didn’t try to sell anything, but they offered a discount code to share with their friends. It’s an offer that promotes word-of-mouth marketing, but with no pressure and no strings attached.
The Printed-But-Personal Note
Don’t have the time, resources, or desire to handwrite your “thank you for shopping” note? Here’s a great example of a note that’s printed, but still manages to establish a more personal connection with the customer.
The business owner DeAnna wrote: “Thank you for the confidence you have placed in my small business and for allowing me to do what I love.”
It shows a special vulnerability from DeAnna. She took a risk to sell her products and owning her own business simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of her customers.
This makes the customer feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, while feeling more connected to DeAnna as a person, not just a business.
The Short-and-Sweet Note
This example is from a wine company. As you can see, they have a professionally printed piece of stationery that says thank you and includes a short story about the company.
But they didn’t stop there. They also included another card, this time with a handwritten note from someone at the company.
This note was short, sweet, and to the point, and I’m sure it made Carol feel special!
“Thank You for Your Purchase” Template
Want some inspiration for your own thank you notes? Here are some templates you can customize. Just replace the text in brackets with your own information.
Post-Purchase Thank You Note Template
Hey there [Adila],
Thank you so much for supporting our business. I hope you love your shiny new [pair of yoga pants]. Shoot us a note and let us know what you think! And of course, reach out if you need anything.
[Sade from HappyPants]
Loyal Customer Thank You Note Template
To [Valentino], the best customer there is —
It’s amazing that you’ve been by our side for the past [3 years]. Customers like you are truly the backbone of our business, and we’re delighted that you still come to us for your [pet supplies]. So I just wanted to say thank you!
Here’s to many more years,
[The team at HappyPetz]
Fun Thank You Note Template
Hey hey [Miss Janelle],
You’re the coolest person we know. And we really mean that.
You had a million other [cookware companies] to choose from, but you chose us. That makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. And we’ll never forget that.
Thanks for rocking!
[Your pals at HappyChef]
Business-to-Business Thank You Note Template
It’s been great getting to know you and your team over at [AliTech].
I’m excited about our new partnership and to see how we can both grow together! Looking forward to our first seminar in October. Until then, let me know if you need anything. You can reach me at [123-456-7890].
[Zhao, Macro Byte]
Mastering the Thank You Note to Buyers
Sending a thank you note to your customers might seem insignificant, but it can have an impressive impact on your business.
It can strengthen the relationship you have with your current customers while opening the doors to bring in new customers more swiftly and seamlessly.
And the best part is: there are plenty of ways to approach it. No matter your budget, time, or resources, you can send a note that truly makes your customers feel special and appreciated.
A little bit goes a long way!
Summary: Tips to Write a Thank You For Order Note
Greet customers by name
Add a human touch
Handwrite the note
Don’t get promotional
Keep it short
Sign off with your real name
Include a custom card
Send an occasional freebie
Want to Learn More?
Influencer marketing is hands down one of the best marketing strategies you can use today. In fact, many experts will tell you that it’s the single-best method of marketing.
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has become an immense and essential part of the marketing landscape. Anymore, it’s difficult to find brands that aren’t using it. It’s a powerful marketing approach that allows you to reach your target audience in a uniquely authentic way.
Influencer marketing often sounds too good to be true, but the numbers don’t lie – on average, for every $1 businesses spend on influencer marketing, they make $18.
You’ve probably heard a lot about influencer marketing from the countless articles and videos on the subject. But there’s a lot of conflicting advice and misinformation out there.
So, we wanted to make one huge guide that would answer all of the questions you might have about influencer marketing.
Without further ado, here is our ultimate guide to getting started with influencer marketing.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.
Get Started Free
What Is Influencer Marketing?
New to influencer marketing? Confused as to exactly what it entails? You’re not alone.
While the term is tossed around a lot, it’s not always clear what it means, so here’s a closer look at what influencer marketing is and what it looks like.
Influencer Marketing Definition
Influencer marketing happens when a social media influencer works with a brand to promote its products. The influencer typically makes brand mentions and endorsements to help improve brand recognition. In return, the brand compensates them with cash or with free products or rewards. That’s a simple influencer marketing definition, but it needs a lot of unpacking. First off…
A social media influencer is a person who has gained credibility in a certain niche. There are strains of influencer marketing including YouTube influencer marketing, Instagram influencer marketing, and other social media platforms. The term “influencer” is shorthand for social media influencer.
Social media influencers have devoted followings – people who value their opinions and tastes or who enjoy watching their lifestyle. As such, they affect what their followers buy and can directly influence their followers’ purchasing decisions, hence the term influencer marketing.
Since influencer marketing is directly tied to social media, it’s often referred to as social influencer marketing or social media influencer marketing.
What Does a Social Media Influencer Do?
A social media influencer causes their followers to make specific buying decisions based on their authority and reputation. Followers consider them to be a close friend than a paid endorser or advertiser, which simplifies the task of promoting a product or brand.
Social media influencers leverage their online presence on different platforms to partner with brands they endorse and create content that changes people’s perceptions of those businesses.
The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Today, influencer marketing is a method of choice for top-tier brands around the world, but it wasn’t always this way. For a while, it was considered to be nothing more than a passing fad.
However, over the last several years, it’s absolutely exploded in popularity.
Influencer marketing first gained serious traction when social media began to replace traditional media outlets. People weren’t just following celebrities anymore – they were following non-celebrity social media users who had enjoyable content.
Over time, some of these users gained sizable followings, and while they didn’t have the same amount of reach that celebrities did, they had a considerable amount of influence.
Social influencer marketing became a sought-after occupation in its own right, giving rise to well-curated Instagram feeds and picture-perfect Instagram Stories.
Mostly younger-generation individuals with a penchant for internet fame were learning how to become a social media influencer, how to grow a following, and how to join the coveted list of brand influencers selling their service to businesses.
Today, these social media influencers often have as much influence and reach as many celebrities do (and sometimes even more). In many ways, influencers are the new celebrities. Influencers are highly trusted by their followers, and there are tons of influencer marketing statistics that back this up.
In one survey, 49 percent of customers said they relied on influencers for product recommendations.
In another, 74 percent of people said they relied on social media to make purchasing decisions.
And these people usually follow through with influencer recommendations; a survey by Fullscreen and Shareablee found that 42 percent of people who saw influencer advertising ended up trying a product or service recommended by those influencers.
As social media has become increasingly important to everyday life, influencers have grown in importance. A typical social media user consumes a large amount of influencer content; they might see several influencers’ posts throughout the day. That’s a big reason why influencer marketing has become many marketers’ go-to method.
Another appealing benefit is traffic. If you leverage influencer marketing, you’ll get engagement on your own Instagram page, which will allow you to monetize your Instagram page more easily. It’s truly a win-win.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Let’s understand influencer marketing with the help of examples.
When it comes to this marketing strategy , Instagram is arguably the best platform to use as an example because right now, Instagram is used by virtually every influencer in the world. Instagram influencers are everywhere, and it’s easy to see their influence in action.
Here are a couple examples of Instagram influencers:
That’s Matt King, an Instagram influencer with more than 1.3 million followers. He’ll often work with brands to create sponsored ad posts, which are marked with the hashtag #ad.
Here’s another example of an Instagram influencer in a different niche:
This page is run by food influencer Jeanine Donofrio, better known to her followers as Love and Lemons. She regularly partners with brands to feature foods, recipes, or food-related services.
Types of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can be done in all kinds of ways. At its core, it’s about getting an influencer to share your product or service with their audience, but there are many ways to go about making that happen.
Here are five common influencer marketing methods:
This is one of the most common methods of influencer marketing that you’ll see. Sponsored content is simply a social media post that contains an advertisement for a product or service.
Think of it as a celebrity endorsement for the digital age, a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques. The content is shared on the influencer’s social media accounts, and there’s usually a call-to-action that invites followers to purchase the product.
The two above posts (from Matt King and Jeanine Donofrio) are prime examples of sponsored content. Most often, influencers will post about how they’ve been using the product or service in question. This kind of personal anecdote works well because it provides credibility and creates trust between the influencer and their audience.
Another form of sponsored content that’s becoming more popular is the Instagram shoutout. While this is often a one-off strategy, it can draw lots of attention to your brand, and shoutouts are a breeze to arrange with influencers.
2. Discounts/affiliate links
Everyone loves discounts, and influencer-specific discounts can be powerful. These discounts are tracked using affiliate or referral links.
If a brand doesn’t offer a discount, they’ll still use referral links to track and analyze the campaign. Discounts are almost always combined with sponsored content.
3. Contests and giveaways
Everyone loves to get free stuff. This is especially true for the audiences of influencers. Why? Because the influencer will only offer products that their followers are highly interested in.
Usually, influencer contests and giveaways draw lots of attention and can reach thousands of people.
4. Publishing influencer content on your channels
Most influencer marketing consists of influencers showcasing products on their channels, but this technique flips that approach on its head.
Instead, the influencer appears on your channels, which often drives tons of social media traffic your way. This can take the form of a single post or a “takeover,” in which the influencer has access to a brand’s social media channels, usually for a day.
5. Brand ambassadorship
If an influencer is a fantastic fit for your brand, you might consider making them a brand ambassador.
A brand ambassador is an influencer who works with your brand for an extended period of time. This has many advantages because it’s a form of long-term influencer marketing, unlike the shorter-term strategies on this list.
There are many other influencer marketing methods, but these are five of the most common. Most brands will employ more than one of these tactics when working with an influencer.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
Influencer marketing can do a lot for your brand. Since influencer marketing breaks many of the barriers that were previously impenetrable, it can help you accomplish some incredible goals.
Of course, when it comes down to it, the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing is to drive more sales. But that’s not the only thing it can do for you.
Let’s take a look at the benefits that influencer marketing can provide for your brand.
1. Increased sales
Again, this is the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing, but to understand exactly how effective it is, it’s helpful to look at influencer marketing statistics.
Remember that businesses earn about $18 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
And for many brands, that number is far, far higher.
The exact figure will depend on how much influencer marketing you invest in and how successful each particular campaign is, but it’s clear that the ROI is sky high. (More on that later.)
2. Social proof
No matter what type of business you are, you absolutely need to gain social proof.
As humans, we want to fit in, and that means we often go with the crowd. In other words, we have an innate need to be socially accepted.
By extension, when we see something that other people are interested in, we’re automatically interested in it, too. That’s the essence of social proof.
This is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing.
Influencers are able to magnify the effect of social proof. Just as you’d trust the opinion of a friend over that of a stranger, followers will trust influencers’ opinions more than most other people.
This is arguably the most potent form of social proof, and it’s been proven to work with nearly any product in any niche.
Perhaps surprisingly, influencers can have lots of social proof without having a huge audience. Smaller influencers, known as micro-influencers and nano-influencers, often have high levels of social proof even though they don’t have millions of followers.
Put simply, whenever you use influencer marketing, you’re gaining social proof for your brand.
3. Direct connection to your audience
In order to sell your products on Instagram, you need to get your message in front of your target audience, and that hasn’t always been easy.
Influencer marketing practically solves this problem by allowing you to place your message right in front of your customers on a platform that they use every day.
Influencer marketing is also much better than regular social media advertising because the people who follow influencers in your niche are the same people you’re trying to target.
Even better, since influencer marketing is super organic, it doesn’t feel like marketing, which means people will be more receptive than usual to your brand.
What could be better than getting your products in front of your specific target audience with a glowing recommendation from an influencer? That’s what influencer marketing has to offer you.
The Importance of Online Influencers
Influencers play a pivotal role in today’s marketing ecosystem.
Influencer marketing is so effective because it’s a combination of old and new marketing methods. What influencers have essentially done is taken the celebrity endorsement and updated it for the present day.
However, many influencers aren’t super famous. They’re everyday people with large online followings, and this is one of the biggest reasons why influencers are so important.
People love influencers because they’re not celebrities who are out of reach. Influencers are relatable people with relatable lives.
As we saw before, many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That phenomenon is unique to influencer marketing.
And the cherry on top is that influencers get personal with their followers. Many influencers engage their followers in comments and even in their content.
This one-on-one interaction creates a positive, long-term rapport between influencers and their followers. As a result, followers trust influencers more over time.
The bottom line: Influencers fill an important space by bridging the gap between celebrities and everyday people. That’s why so many brands are investing in influencer marketing more and more.
The Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
At this point, you know how integral influencer marketing is, and you know that it has a lot of benefits.
Now it’s time to dig deeper into the specifics and take a look at exactly how effective influencer marketing can be.
To understand the effectiveness of influencer marketing, we can compare it to other types of marketing.
Many people wonder about influencer marketing versus content marketing versus user-generated content. How does influencer marketing stack up to these other tried-and-true strategies?
You might be surprised to find out that influencer marketing can be more effective than other types of marketing.
But what does that mean for other types of marketing? Let’s take a deep dive and find out.
Influencer Marketing vs. Content Marketing
Content marketing is still the top method of choice for many brands and for good reason. It’s a proven method with a great track record.
First off, it’s worth noting that both influencer marketing and content marketing can be insanely effective and should both be part of your marketing mix.
That’s largely because these two types of marketing benefit your brand in very different areas.
Influencer marketing raises brand awareness and generates social proof while content marketing builds authority and adds value.
However, if you really want to get the most out of both of these two very different types of marketing, you need to balance them.
Some brands are reporting that influencer content is performing better than in-house content. In one survey from influencer marketing company Linqia, 51 percent of respondents said that their influencer content outperformed their own brand-created content.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that marketers are eliminating content marketing from their strategies. It just means that they’re spending more on influencer marketing. Statistics reveal that 93% of marketers use influencer marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.
There’s a lot of synergy between influencer marketing and content marketing, and this combination will only get stronger as influencer marketing becomes more widespread.
Marketers may not be slashing their content marketing budgets to focus on influencer marketing, but it’s clear that companies’ budgets for influencer marketing are steadily increasing.
Influencer Marketing vs. User-Generated Content
As we’ve seen, one of the big benefits of influencer marketing is that you can have an everyday person representing your brand. In this way, it’s similar to user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) has seen increasing levels of use in recent years. On average, 90% of people find UCG helpful when making a purchase decision.
For a while, this trustworthiness was pretty unique to UGC. There weren’t many other channels where customers and their peers were able to create and distribute content.
Influencer marketing changed all that by offering something potentially better than UGC.
Since influencers are so relatable and trustworthy, customers’ attitudes toward influencer content are similar to their views of UGC.
The key difference is that while UGC can build trust, influencer-created content builds trust and spreads the word. Usually, user-generated content won’t have large reach unless you share it on one or more of your channels.
Influencer content also has the potential to be trusted more than user-generated content. Remember that many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That trust means that people are more likely to take stock in an influencer’s opinion over a random person’s review or testimonial.
At the same time, UGC is absolutely free and still contributes to your credibility. If you don’t have any user content at all, your prospective customers could be scared off.
Ultimately, customers are going to look for both influencer content and UGC when researching products and making purchasing decisions.
Influencer-created content won’t completely replace UGC, so don’t write it off. Just like the question of influencer marketing versus content marketing, the answer is balance.
Influencer Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
It might seem strange to compare influencer marketing to social media marketing. After all, isn’t influencer marketing just a form of social media marketing?
In a way, yes, but influencer marketing has grown so much that it can be considered an independent form of marketing.
While both types of marketing happen on social media, they have very different approaches and results.
With a branded social media marketing campaign, you control everything. All of the messages you send out are crafted in your brand’s voice.
But with influencer marketing, the content is in the hands of the influencers you’re working with. They’ll bring their unique voices, approaches, and perspectives to the table, and while you’ll lose some control, you’ll gain attention and likely make some sales.
Influencers also have a lot to offer that you can’t get with traditional social media marketing.
For one, you get your brand exposed to audiences who already trust what influencers have to say. Often, these will be completely new audiences who may have never even heard of your brand before.
Overall, social media marketing is still effective, but it can’t replace influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, you can easily generate buzz, increase credibility, and hopefully gain new brand advocates and customers.
The Parallels With Word of Mouth Marketing
One of the biggest reasons why influencer marketing is so effective is because it’s very similar in nature to word of mouth marketing.
And here’s the thing – word of mouth is the most-effective marketing strategy of all time.
Gartner’s 2018 small business survey confirmed this, identifying word of mouth as the most-effective channel.
Word of mouth marketing strategies have been a part of every successful campaign ever, whether it was planned or just happened spontaneously. These strategies can take many forms, ranging from publicity stunts to giveaways.
Some well-known word of mouth marketing examples include Sephora giving customers birthday freebies and Wendy’s hilarious Twitter antics.
Influencer marketing shares many traits with word of mouth marketing. At the most basic level, a recommendation from an influencer is word of mouth (even though it’s sponsored).
Of course, influencer recommendations also cause word of mouth. Once followers are exposed to a product, they’ll usually talk about it amongst themselves. They may even buy the product and tell their network about it, creating another iteration of word of mouth.
Even better, the chances for this ripple effect to happen increase every time you partner with an influencer.
Influencer marketing has taken word of mouth marketing and increased its impact exponentially. As a result, organic word of mouth can happen at a much faster rate, drawing more people to your brand.
Influencer Marketing Examples
Since influencer marketing has become so popular, there’s a wealth of positive case studies to draw from. Here’s a handy list of influencer marketing examples for each major social media platform.
Sperry is best known for its iconic boat shoes, but part of the reason it’s so well known is due to Instagram influencer marketing.
Sperry was an early adopter of influencer marketing, and the brand grew quickly because of it. It would repost users’ pictures to its account, a practice it still uses today.
Sperry also embraced the idea of featuring micro-influencers and nano-influencers (which we’ll take a look at in the next section).
Take a look at this post from Sperry’s Instagram:
This photo was taken by mid-tier influencer Cody Andrew, who currently has 370,000 followers.
Even though it didn’t feature a big-name influencer, this post was able to garner over a thousand likes in just a couple of days.
Of course, this is just one example in Sperry’s long history of influencer marketing, but posts exactly like these are what catapulted Sperry into online fame.
2. Daniel Wellington
When the topic of great Instagram marketing comes up, you’ll almost always see Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington mentioned.
That’s for good reason – the brand has exploded in the last few years thanks to its insanely effective Instagram marketing.
The company was also one of the first to adopt influencer marketing. It worked with a variety of influencers of all sizes to create brand awareness and build buzz for its watches.
The brand has partnered with huge influencers like Kylie Jenner, who represented the brand in several posts that gained millions of likes.
Daniel Wellington also regularly works with smaller influencers in all kinds of niches. The brand uses the #DWPickoftheDay hashtag to find great pictures to repost, and often these pictures will come from users with a very small following.
This #DWPickoftheDay comes from a user with just 2,195 followers:
This approach of casting the brand’s nets wide has worked like a charm. Daniel Wellington now has 4.9 million Instagram followers, and just four years after the $15,000 startup began its life, it was bringing in $220 million in revenue.
Zara has developed a reputation for its low-key marketing strategies. A lot of that reputation comes from the fact its advertising is subtle and clever instead of bold and in your face.
Working with influencers is a key part of Zara’s marketing approach.
The company even created a second account called Living Zara that is solely for collaborations. Every week, the account is taken over by a different influencer.
Like Daniel Wellington, Zara has created a massive audience thanks to this Instagram marketing strategy. The main Zara account has more than 37 million followers, and the Living Zara account has nearly 100k.
And the company is seeing rapid and continuous growth thanks to its online presence. For the 2018 financial year, Zara reported earnings of €3.44 billion (about $3.8 billion).
4. Karolis Rimkus
You might not know Karolis, but he’s a prolific entrepreneur and digital nomad who successfully used Instagram to build a business from the ground up.
Karolis used Instagram influencer marketing to kickstart a dropshipping side hustle that allowed him to break free from his 9-to-5 job.
It was his micro-influencer strategy that helped him kickstart his sales. “At first, I did a lot of influencer outreach. I would offer micro-influencers, people with like 8,000 followers, an item they could make a giveaway with, or just send them a few free items in exchange for mentions. It worked, and then I was growing and making sales,” he says.
Then once his profile had grown to more than 15,000 followers, he flipped the traditional influencer marketing strategy on it’s head. He started to offer his page as a place for micro-influencers to promote themselves. They’d buy a product from his store, snap a photo, and he’d post it on his account, helping to promote the influencer and his store at the same time.
After working with a series of influencers in his niche, he saw his sales increase and increase, and in just 10 months, Karolis had made $14,960.
5. Best Fiends
Best Fiends is a free mobile game that became popular after some viral influencer marketing campaigns.
The company reached out to Laura Clery, a Facebook influencer who had almost 3 million followers at the time, to promote the game. Laura is well known for her comedy videos, and she was a natural fit for Best Fiends.
Laura held a popular livestream in which she showed how to play the game, but she put her own twist on it. She did the livestream in character as Pamela Pupkin, one of her crazy alter egos.
The result was a huge success. The livestream received more than 468k views as well as thousands of likes and comments and hundreds of shares. It’s a great example of just how effective Facebook influencer marketing can be.
6. Loeffler Randall
This Facebook influencer marketing campaign from footwear and accessory company Loeffler Randall caught our attention in the past, and it warrants a mention here as well.
The brand developed its LR Ambassadors program to work with influencers, and it’s been a hit.
Facebook influencers used the hashtag #LRAmbassador to signify their connection to the Loeffler Randall brand.
This influencer marketing campaign worked so well because Loeffler Randall knew its audience well and chose the best influencers to work with.
And like many of the companies we’ve looked at, Loeffler Randall worked with all sizes of influencers.
SeatGeek has made a name for itself in the last few years thanks to its use of smart influencer marketing.
The ticket platform partners with YouTube influencers who each have unique discount codes that are specific to their audiences.
For example, the brand recently worked with Cody Ko, a YouTube influencer who makes comedy and commentary videos. He currently has 4.08 million subscribers and counting, and he receives millions of views on each video.
This strategy keeps paying off for SeatGeek, which has earned many new customers thanks to its influencers.
Audible is another brand that has gained a lot of attention due to its YouTube influencer marketing strategy.
The company sought out some of YouTube’s biggest influencers to create unique and engaging ads.
One memorable ad came from Jack Douglass, better known as Jacksfilms, in which he created funny acronyms for the word “Audible.”
The partnerships were incredibly successful for Audible. Its brand name is now known to millions of YouTube users, and its audience continues to grow as it keeps expanding its influencer network.
How to Do Influencer Marketing for Your Business
So, now that you know all about influencer marketing and its benefits, one important question remains: How do you use influencer marketing successfully in your business?
Surprisingly, the process can be broken down into six simple steps.
1. Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms
Before you go on the hunt for the right social media influencers to rep your brand, you need to choose the right social media platforms for your brand.
It might be the case that not every social media platform will suit your brand. On the other hand, you might find that you can establish a good online presence on all of the major platforms.
But how do you decide?
It helps to understand each platform and the types of people that use them.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Instagram is best for sharing photo or video content that’s bite-sized and meant to catch the eye. If you’re selling a product (as opposed to a service), Instagram is almost definitely one platform you’ll want to be on. Most Instagram users are ages 18-34.
YouTube is obviously best for video content, but whereas Instagram only allows up to a minute of video, YouTube allows for videos of any length, giving you more options. YouTube’s demographics are surprisingly varied – while it’s most popular with 18-24 year olds, YouTube has a 51 percent penetration rate among people 75 and older.
Facebook allows for a mix of text, photo, and video content. It’s also loved by marketers for its popular Facebook Live option that allows you to livestream anytime and anywhere. Facebook’s demographic skews a little older, between 25 and 34.
TikTok is the rising star among social media platforms. The app gives influencers the opportunity to express themselves in a very creative way. It’s especially useful for brands looking to reach a younger audience. 62 percent of TikTok users are aged between 10 and 29.
There are many other social media platforms, but typically, these three are where you’ll find most influencer marketing. In order to find the right influencers, you first have to find the right platforms, so don’t overlook this step.
2. Creating Brand Guidelines
While influencers should always be given creative freedom to represent your brand, it’s a good idea to create some general brand guidelines for your influencers to follow.
These guidelines will outline the kind of content that you want to be associated with your brand. You’re basically making a style guide for your brand.
Mainly, you want to make sure that influencers are representing your brand’s values and communicating in a way that’s consistent with your brand voice.
Alienware’s brand guidelines offer an excellent example. The brand has built its reputation on the high-end gaming computers it offers, and its guidelines are written to maintain that brand. The emphasis on performance-driven, innovative technology is clear.
The guidelines also go into extensive detail on the brand’s design philosophy. While most brands don’t need to spend 12 pages on design guidelines, this shows Alienware’s commitment to consistent branding, and that’s definitely something to consider when making your own guidelines.
When you’re developing your guidelines, keep in mind that you also have to follow guidelines. The FTC has endorsement guidelines that every brand must follow to properly disclose advertisements and sponsored relationships.
3. How to Find Influencers
After you’ve settled on platforms and created brand guidelines, you can finally set out to find influencers. You may be wondering how to find influencers on Facebook, how to find influencers on Instagram, or just how to get influencers period!
However, one of the first considerations should be the level of influencer you want to work with.
The term “influencer” is a broad term that can be broken down into several categories. There are five main levels of influencer:
Mega-influencers are the big fish. They have more than a million followers and drive huge levels of engagement on everything they post.
Macro-influencers have slightly smaller audiences, typically 500k and up. Despite not having the same reach as mega-influencers, macro-influencers are usually in high demand.
Mid-tier influencers comprise a wide category – a mid-tier influencer can have anywhere from 50k to 500k followers.
Micro-influencers have audiences of 10k-50k people.
Finally, nano-influencers are at the bottom of the food chain with 1k-10k followers. Some nano-influencers may have only a few-hundred followers.
If your instinct is to reach out to the mega and macro-influencers, don’t act so fast.
At first glance, it does seem like the bigger the influencer, the bigger the potential for success. But that’s surprisingly not always the case.
While mega- and macro-influencers certainly have a large reach and lots of engagement, they don’t always have the largest impact.
In fact, micro-influencer marketing campaigns drive 60 percent higher engagement rates than celebrity endorsement campaigns.
Since smaller influencers are able to develop a stronger connection with their audience, they can have much higher engagement rates than even mega-influencers.
On top of that, more brands are working with nano-influencers. Nanos play an important role – they’re the most relatable of all of the influencers.
So, when these smaller influencers advocate products, their followers don’t feel sold to, an emotion that often arises when big influencers create disingenuous advertisements.
Ideally, you should reach out to influencers at all of these levels. This is the kind of approach that made brands like Daniel Wellington so successful, and it’s super easy to replicate.
Now, it’s time to find specific influencers on each platform.
Many people wonder how to find Instagram influencers or how to find Facebook influencers in an effective way. Surprisingly, the process is pretty simple.
For the most part, all you need to do is simply search for influencers in your niche by looking at hashtags and searching with keywords.
This will give you some of the big names in your industry, which in turn will give you a good idea of who you might want to work with.
But if you want to take a deeper dive, you can use a few handy tools.
First, you can use BuzzSumo to find people who are sharing popular content. Conveniently, you can filter out any results that aren’t influencers.
If you want to get stats on certain influencers, you can use HypeAuditor. This tool will give you a closer look at a follower’s profile, and it can even show you if they have any fake followers or engagements.
When looking at influencers, remember to consider what kind of influencer they are. When you start, it may be more effective to work with micro-influencers, as they’re more likely to say yes.
If you can find a micro-influencer to work with who’s a great fit for your brand, it can lead to great things. Micro-influencer marketing and nano-influencer marketing are both super powerful, so don’t pass them by.
4. Reaching Out to Influencers
This is another easy step. Often, influencers can be contacted through direct message.
But before you go messaging them, take a look at their bio section. They may have a specific email for marketing inquiries.
To maximize your productivity, you can make an outreach template, but be sure to add a little bit of personality before you hit send.
How to Work with Influencers: 4 Quick Ideas
Now that you have found some influencers that you want to partner with, it’s time to set up your influencer marketing campaign.
Below are a few ideas for an influencer campaign that will be engaging and memorable:
1. Run a Giveaway
If your company is introducing a new product and offering a free sample as a giveaway, getting an influencer to promote the offer is a great way to increase the exposure of that product.
To get started, you can hire social media influencers to run a giveaway campaign on different platforms. Make sure to work with someone who’s aware of FTC’s rules.
2. Go Behind-The-Scenes
Ask your influencer to share behind-the-scenes footage of how things work in your business.
For example, if you’re a fast-growing fashion brand that sells clothes online, get your influencer to broadcast your brainstorming or product design session for a day.
3. Get Featured in Roundups
Influencers may also be willing to do roundups featuring your product or service. Encourage them to feature your main offering behind complementary items (rather than competitors).
For instance, if you’re in the business of selling paint, the influencer can create a roundup of home renovation items that includes one recommendation for paint, one for vinyl, one for wall art, and so on.
4. Host a Live Takeover
You can invite influencers to engage with your existing audience in real time through a live takeover.
Using Instagram Live or another similar feature, the influencer can take over your brand’s account to create exclusivity and share his/own opinions with your audience. You can also allow people to ask questions or interact with influencers through comments.
The influencer could use the opportunity to hype a new product you’re about to launch, promote an upcoming sale, or talk about your business in general.
There are many influencer marketing tools that will allow you to track each campaign and measure its effectiveness.The best ones are:
1. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a widely used tool that helps you monitor your influencer marketing campaigns by tracking hashtags and allowing your team to collaborate without any hitches.
Thisis another popular platform that lets you grab useful analytics and track what people are saying about your campaigns. You can also use other functions — such as social media scheduling — to improve your brand’s reach.
If you want to use a tool that’s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.
If you want to use a tool that’s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing might be the marketing method of choice right now, but what does the future hold for it?
While social media influencer marketing is extremely popular, it’s still a very new method of marketing. It’s grown over the last several years and is still growing. Brands are developing new ways of working with influencers, and influencer marketing as a whole is still being analyzed and refined.
To get a robust understanding of the future of influencer marketing, it helps to look at influencer marketing statistics that record how young people are interacting with and relating to influencers.
According to Think With Google, six in ten YouTube users would take advice on what to purchase from their favorite creators, and four in ten millennial YouTube users say that their favorite creator understands them more than their friends do.
And those statistics are just for YouTube. The statistics for Instagram are even more revealing.
Out of all the major social media platforms, Instagram has one of the youngest audiences. More than half of Instagram users are under 34 years old, with 31 percent falling in the 18-24 age range. Why does this matter? Because as Forbes revealed, millennials are the age group that is most likely to trust recommendations from people they know or opinions posted online.
With the right audience fit and effective formats, Instagram is hands down the most-powerful channel for influencer marketing.
By far, the most-effective formats for influencer marketing are Instagram posts and stories. The average engagement rate on Instagram is 2.21 percent.
It’s easy to see why most brands are spending more on Instagram than on any other social media channel. Along with YouTube, Instagram is playing a pivotal role in the success of influencer marketing, and the two platforms will continue to see more influencer marketing in the future.
In addition, influencer marketing will likely flourish on new and upcoming social media channels.
TikTok is one such platform that’s seeing lots of influencer marketing success. It’s relatively new to the scene, but it’s estimated to have more than 500 million users, which makes it bigger than Twitter and Pinterest.
While the specifics of the future of influencer marketing are unknown, one thing’s for sure: Influencer marketing will only continue to grow. It’s a brand-new form of marketing that shows no signs of stopping, and it’s well worth your consideration.
Influencer Marketing – Massive Potential for Business Growth
It’s obvious that influencer marketing is much more than a trend. It’s a new way of marketing that is transforming how people interact with brands.
Influencer marketing is becoming more vital to the marketing landscape. Consequently, the potential for business growth is getting larger and larger.
The case studies and statistics we’ve looked at paint a very vivid picture: Influencer marketing is extremely effective, and it’s here to stay.
So, give it a try, and see what it can do for your brand. If you take the right approach and follow this guide, don’t be surprised if you start getting hundreds or even thousands of new customers and, of course, sales.
Not sure how to use Instagram for business? Well, it’s time that someone teaches you the best ways to use the app for your professional venture.
Why Instagram? Because the platform offers tons of ways for ecommerce merchants to find and connect with potential customers. And with a suite of targeting and advertising options, you can choose exactly which of those billion users you want to get in front of.
Interested in using Instagram for your small business? We’ll tackle everything you need to get started below.
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What is Instagram and How is It Used?
Let’s first go over Instagram for beginners: It’s a visually focused social media network and app that allows users and brands to share photo and video content with their followers. It started out as simply a photo-sharing app, and has since evolved into a multimedia platform with paid advertisements, Stories self-destructing messages, and live broadcasts through IGTV.
It’s a great place for brands to connect with consumers, leveraging a platform with 1.074 million users across the globe.
The demographics of Instagram are interesting too. It’s almost evenly split among male and female users, though the audience is mostly between 25 and 34 years old. If this is a group you’re looking to reach, Instagram is one channel to do it with.
How to Download Instagram
To download the Instagram app, go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store (depending on your device’s operating system). You can download the app for free. When you open it for the first time, you’ll be prompted to create a new account.
Types of Instagram Posts
If you’re keen to promote your business on Instagram, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the type of content you can post. There are several kinds of Instagram posts you can throw into your content mix:
Organic: These can be photos, videos, or galleries of visuals. This shows in your followers’ feeds, on any hashtags you include in the copy, and potentially in the Explore section (Instagram controls this).
Stories: 500 million Instagram accounts use Stories every day, and one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from brands, not people.
Influencer posts: Though it seems consumers have caught on to influencers’ ways, influencer marketing is still very much a plausible tactic. These posts are either shared on influencers’ feeds or your brand’s (or both), enabling you to reach a new audience and add credibility in the form of social proof.
IGTV: IGTV is one of the newer features for Instagram. This is used for long-form video content — you can broadcast live and the video will live on your profile after the live event has ended.
Ads: One billion is a big number, and chances are, not everyone who’s on Instagram is going to be a target customer. When you use Instagram ads, you can set parameters for who is shown your ads, making sure they fit your ideal profile.
How to Create an Instagram Business Account?
If you want to know how to use Instagram marketing for your business, creating a company account is a practical first step. Here are the steps to turn your regular account into corporate Instagram account:
Instagram Profile Tutorial for Business
Go to your Instagram profile and tap the menu at the top right corner.
Choose “Settings” and see if you can switch to a professional account from this menu. If you can’t, tap Account > Business.
Sync your Facebook business and Instagram accounts if you need to by following the instructions on the screen.
Pick a business category and enter contact details.
Add more details about your business in the given fields, then tap Done.
Congrats! You’ve created an Instagram business page. Now spend some time optimizing it so that it attracts your target audience towards your business.
How to Optimize Your Instagram Business Account
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
There are several ways to market your business on Instagram, including promoting via your Instagram bio. Your bio is a bit of text where you share a bit about your brand, who is behind the account, and what to expect from following your account.
You’ll also see your brand’s description, profile photo (use your company logo to build brand recognition), and link (don’t forget to add tracking parameters) in your Instagram bio.
It’s also a good idea to reiterate some of your unique selling points in your bio to encourage trust and drive conversions. And if you operate at a brick-and-mortar location, remember to include the address so shoppers can easily find you.
Take a peak at high-end jewelry brand Claurete’s Instagram bio, for example:
Your profile link is super important. Unlike social media channels, Instagram isn’t link-friendly. They only allow one in your bio. You can’t have links from individual photos (paid is a different story).
You can update your bio link as often as you want. It should go to your website, a landing page, product page, or somewhere else on your site. If you’re linking to a specific page about a sale, for example, post a photo related to the sale and update your bio link. It’s a common practice for brands on Instagram.
Launch an Instagram Shop
If you’re selling online, you can also launch your Instagram with a store. Your Instagram Shop is another ecommerce channel where customers can purchase your product from within the Instagram interface. This makes it easier to get them to convert, as they don’t have to go through the process of leaving the app, visiting your site, and going through the purchase process.
Here’s an example of an Instagram Shop from MVMT watches:
What to Post on Instagram: Creating Your Content Strategy
Instagram is all about branding. It’s important to develop a cohesive feed of product photos, lifestyle imagery, user-generated content (UGC), Instagram shoutouts, and other visuals that bring your brand persona to life. If you’re selling sunglasses, post photos of people on sunny beach holidays wearing your products or place a pair amidst other outfits and accessories fit for adventures your audience might want to go on.
Before we get too into the weeds, the best way to kick off any marketing effort for your business is with a goal-driven, strategy-first approach. Your Instagram strategy should define:
Your Instagram goals (make sure these support overarching marketing and business goals)
Specific KPIs you’ll look at to determine performance
Who you’re targeting on Instagram
What content you’re going to post on Instagram
Who’s managing the account and creating the content for Instagram
Over time, you’ll learn a lot, especially how to choose content to post on Instagram to help you meet your goals. Ask yourself, “why do people use Instagram?” and why they follow brands, and then develop a strategy centered around your audience (instead of your sales goals).
How to Get Followers for Your Instagram Business Page
As you grow your feed, always keep the primary goal in mind: building a following to help generate more sales. This often requires a long-term, strategic approach.
One way to grow your following beyond creating engaging content is by following other accounts with audiences that might also be interested in your brand. The best method to find Instagrams to follow is in the ‘Discover’ section of the app. Other Instagram businesses to follow could include brands similar or complementary to yours.
Sticking with our sunglasses example, you might want to grow your network by following beach clothing brands or influencers who might wear sunglasses like yours. Being strategic about who you follow is also one of the best ways to siphon followers from your competitors by going to their accounts and adding some of their followers.
Build relationships with your audience by giving a follow back to the accounts that follow you. Remember, just a follow isn’t enough. Be sure to like and comment on other profiles, too. Engagement is as important, if not more, than the initial act of following.
Results won’t come overnight! Be patient and keep combing Instagram for the right accounts to feed your network on the site, and over time you will begin to see results.
When and How Often to Post on Instagram
As mentioned above, in comparison to other marketing channels like Facebook, knowing how often to post on Instagram takes on its own unique strategy.
Posting at least once a day is a good benchmark, but anything ranging from 4–5 a week or even a couple of posts a day is acceptable. The main thing? Keep it consistent and focused on high-quality content.
Note that data suggests there isn’t really any limit in how often to post on Instagram, so it’s best to test and see what works for you. A solid place to start is to post once or twice a day and adjust from there.
So when is the best time to post on Instagram? This really depends on a few key factors: where you’re located, where your audience is located, and what your audience’s Instagram habits are. A good rule of thumb is to post during lunch (between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and in the evening (between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.) The best days? Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Sunday is generally the worst day to post.
Post Photos and Videos
You need to consider how your photos (or video) are going to look. What are you capturing in the frame? How will it appear on a mobile device? Will it showcase the product details that you want front-and-center? Does it match your brand aesthetic? Remember, you’re curating an entire feed, so it’s important that visuals are cohesive.
For instance, if you’re only selling t-shirts, it’s going to be inconsistent for you to share a photo of coats, shoes, or accessories. You can also specifically exclude items that you know don’t make sense for your account. If you look at American Giant’s Instagram posts, you can see the synergy between them all:
Pick a Color Palette and Font
Having a color palette can help you create the synergy we’re talking about. This doesn’t mean you can only post content that’s completely approved colors. But everything should match a similar aesthetic and be complementary of one another, rather than a hapless hodge podge of posts.
Instagram has built-in filters that you can use to adjust the look and feel of your posts. This includes sepia, black-and-white, and several other effects. Generally speaking, it’s best to apply filters outside of the app in your own photo-editing software, so that you can apply this to visual assets when not posting to Instagram too.
You should also pick a font to use for your posts. This includes font type, style, and point size. It’s most likely going to be the same font on your website, to create synergy among different channels for increased brand recognition.
Your visual content is only half of it. Each post gets room for an Instagram caption too. You get up to 2,200 characters (or approximately 330 words) to play with. You want to get creative here, too.
Captions should be easy to read and on-brand. If your brand uses humor, be funny in your captions. If you’re a luxury brand, sophistication is key. Don’t be afraid to experiment with emojis either. These can be playful and conversational, perfect for social media.
Just like with your visuals, captions also need to be on-brand and consistent. While your tone might change, it’s important that you remain true to your overarching brand voice. Consistency is crucial in today’s omnichannel world.
The last thing on the list is hashtags. Consistently including hashtags in the description or comments section of your posts is a key strategy for boosting the engagement on your account. As users click a given hashtag, they head to an entirely different feed with every post that includes that hashtag. This means that your posts become discoverable to new audiences who may not already interact with your account.
To determine which hashtags to use, check your competitors, influencers in your niche, and the hashtags your followers use.
Toysmith includes hashtags on their posts:
Run Paid Ads on Instagram
In addition to growing your following organically, you can also create paid ads on Instagram. The ads will appear in your targeted audience’s newsfeed just as pictures and videos of the accounts they follow do. Choose a single photo or video to highlight a specific product or promote a collection with a gallery. You can also promote ads in Instagram Stories.
All you need to get started with creating your paid ads on Instagram is a Facebook Ads account to add the channel from your Business Manager page. From here, things operate on the same system as Facebook ads.
Tracking Your Progress on Instagram
As with anything in marketing, it’s absolutely essential to track your progress over time and make adjustments to improve performance.
Some KPIs to think about on Instagram include:
Followers: total, growth, etc.
Engagement: likes, comments, reposts, views, etc.
Visibility: impressions, reach, etc.
Conversions: clickthroughs, referral traffic, sales, etc.
Knowing the proportion of people who view your profile in comparison to the number of followers you get can also be beneficial in determining whether or not you need to up your engagement in order to make more followers out of the people who are only viewing your profile.
Summary: How to Start a Business on Instagram in 2021
Now you have the building blocks for deciding how to use Instagram for business. Be patient and give yourself the time you need to turn your account into a revenue-driving machine.
Start by setting up your account with your username handle, profile photo, Instagram bio, and link with tracking parameters.
Create a content strategy to help inform your Instagram content calendar, publishing cadence, hashtags, and targeting.
Remember to follow and engage with other accounts, especially in the beginning.
Build a following organically and then experiment with targeted Instagram ads to reach your intended audience.
Don’t forget to track your performance over time. Optimization is key to making sure you’re generating the most ROI for your efforts.
If you have any comments, questions, or experiences using Instagram for your dropshipping business, feel free to share in the comments section below!
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As an ecommerce entrepreneur doing SEO, you may have already optimized various aspects of your online store, like your product descriptions or images. However, your work is incomplete until you nail the meta description of your web pages.
Meta descriptions are crucial for on-page SEO, so it’s important to optimize them for both readers and search engines. Below, we explain how meta descriptions work, and provide a guide to writing meta descriptions that’ll help your online store succeed.
At the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with all the SEO knowledge you need to create your own compelling meta descriptions.
Let’s get started.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a snippet of text that summarizes a page’s content in up to 160 characters. You’ll likely have seen meta descriptions before when you’ve used a search engine like Google.
Whenever you enter a search query into Google, you’ll be presented with a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). On this SERP you’ll find various results that are related to your search query. Below, we’ve placed an image which shows an excerpt from a SERP for ‘Oberlo’.
Here, you’ll find that there are two main features to note. First is the blue text that you see in the image above, which is known as the ‘Title Tag’. The function of the Title Tag is to show the title of the page. Below this you’ll find the meta description, which has a simple function — to draw visitors from the search engines to click on your link.
How Long Should a Meta Description Be?
The ideal meta description length is 155-160 characters. Although there’s no penalty for going above 160 characters, search engines typically limit snippets to the mentioned character range. You can use a tool like www.charactercountonline.com to keep a count of your meta description characters.
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As a store owner, you’ll want to do everything in your power to get your products into the view of potential customers. Meta descriptions help you to raise your clickthrough rate from three main sources — search engine results, social media shares, and social bookmarks. In all three of these sources, a meta description can provide more information about the page, and help you to secure the attention of a reader.
Although search engines have confirmed that they don’t use meta descriptions in the ranking algorithm directly, Google does use a page’s CTR (Click Through Rate) to assess how well your webpage fits the search query. As meta descriptions really help you to increase the CTR of your web page, they’re a great way to increase your Google ranking.
When you have a higher ranking on Google, you’ll be getting more visitors. More visitors to your store means more potential customers, which means you’ve also got a higher chance of making sales. After all, there are over one billion monthly active users on Google!
Now that we’ve covered the function of a meta description, it’s time that we explained how to write a meta description that’ll boost the traffic that your online store receives.
It’s important to note that there are some differences between meta descriptions for a home page, and for product pages. We’ve created a simple guide to creating meta descriptions for both home pages and product pages below:
Creating a Homepage Meta Description
When you’re writing a meta description for your homepage, you’ll need to convey the overall message of your business in just 160 characters. This is certainly a difficult task, even if you are an experienced writer.
As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to maintain simple meta descriptions, whilst coming up with a compelling reason to click on the page. When your potential customers are using Google, they won’t even realise why they’ve made a decision — they’ll simply see your compelling meta description copy and then click on the link.
Here’s a great example for a homepage meta description:
Gymshark has created a meta description which sums up their brand’s vision in just 15 words. It’s short, snappy, and relevant to their audience.
If, like Gymshark, you can summarize your brand in less than 160 characters, you can also use a CTA (Call To Action). Gymshark uses ‘Shop Gymshark now’ as a direct command to the audience, which will entice traffic to their store.
Plus, the brand uses aspirational language like ‘be a visionary’ to communicate directly with potential customers.
Creating a Product Page Meta Description
Optimizing product page meta description is slightly different from creating a home page meta description.
Instead of conveying your brand’s vision in just 160 characters, you’ll need to alert potential customers about the benefits that they’ll receive if they click on your product page.
It’s a great idea to include the unique selling points of your product in the meta description, as this is most likely to draw in potential customers.
Here’s a great example of a product page meta description below:
Here you can see a great meta description for Myprotein’s protein bar product page. Immediately you’ll see the product, and the keyword, has been mentioned — this is great for SEO purposes. Straight after this you’ll find the benefit that you’ll get if you choose these protein bars. They’re described as a ‘convenient nutritional snack’ which is exactly what somebody searching for protein bars is looking for.
You’ll also find at the end of their meta description they have written ‘an unrivaled range of bars, cookies and …’, as the list is incomplete, potential customers are likely to visit the page to find out the missing information.
Whether you’re writing a meta description for your store’s home page, or a best-selling product page, you’ll be able to use these examples as inspiration.
If you’re running your store with Shopify, you can adjust your meta descriptions from your Shopify settings. You can access this from your Sales Channel, clicking on Pages, and then using ‘Edit Website SEO’.
Important note: If you haven’t yet created meta descriptions for your web pages, don’t worry — Google automatically creates one for each page.
Meta descriptions that have been curated by Google’s algorithm will simply display text that is already on your page. Whilst using these automatically generated meta descriptions is sufficient, it’s your job as an ecommerce entrepreneur to make sure that your store stands out from the crowd. Create your own meta descriptions and you’ll be able to increase your CTR and further optimize that page for a specific keyword.
Meta Description Preview Tools
A meta description preview tool enables you to view what your link will look like on a SERP before you publish the page. If you’re looking to bolster your webpage’s SEO, these tools are essential. Here are a few free meta description preview tools which you can use to perfect your website meta description.
Portent has created a simple meta description preview tool which you can easily use to practice and perfect your page’s meta descriptions. When you use this tool, you’ll need to enter the title tag, meta description, URL, and any keywords that you’re looking to optimize. Once you’ve provided this information, you’ll be given a view of how the page looks on a SERP.
ToTheWeb’s meta description preview tool has two functions, both of which are fantastic for an ecommerce entrepreneur. The first function allows you to enter your page’s URL and you’ll then be provided with an outlook of how the page appears on a SERP. The second function of the tool is a meta description editor — you can use this to edit and optimize your page’s meta description. Once you’ve landed on a killer meta description, you can update your page and reap the benefits.
When you’re optimizing an onlines store for search engines, it’s critical that you take into account mobile audiences. It’s estimated that around 69% of all internet users use mobile for product research, and that figure is only going to go up in the future.
It’s a great idea to bare this in mind when you’re creating meta descriptions for your pages. We recommend that you use Yoast when creating your meta descriptions — they have incorporated buttons on their tool which allow you to switch between mobile and desktop meta descriptions.
When you’re creating meta descriptions for a mobile audience try to ensure that your title tags are kept within 40-60 characters, and that your meta descriptions are less than 90 characters long. The reason for this is that there are fewer characters displayed on a mobile SERP, as the screen sizes are also smaller.
6 Tips for Optimizing Your Meta Description and CTR
Now you’re ready to start creating your own meta descriptions — congratulations!
It doesn’t matter if you’re already a skilled SEO writer, or if it’s your first time optimizing a web page, you’ll learn the best writing techniques as you’re creating your own meta descriptions. Just before you dive into meta descriptions yourself, we’ve created a list of 6 tips that’ll help you to optimize your meta descriptions, and increase the CTR for your store:
1. Answer the User’s Question
People use search engines like Google to find answers. It doesn’t matter if the question that they’re asking is ‘is Berlin hot in Summer?”, or “how to become rich with dropshipping?” — if you can answer the user’s question in your meta descriptions, you’ll be able to entice intrigued readers to click on your content.
2. Ensure Your Meta Descriptions Are Relevant
When you’re writing a meta description, it’s imperative that the copy is relevant to not only the Title Tag, but that it’s also relevant to the search term that user is interested in. If you’re selling sunglasses and your meta description includes information about handbags, your audience will be confused and unlikely to click on your page.
3. Drive Home Your Message
60 characters really isn’t a lot to work with when you’re writing a meta description. Once you’ve decided on the messaging that you want to use, try to include it as much as you can in the character limit. Every word should be there for a reason, and that reason should be to improve your CTR.
4. Create Enticing Meta Tag Copy
Studies show that 8 out of 10 users will click on your page if you have a compelling copy. Take advantage of this information and create the best page titles that you can — it’ll really help your store to generate and secure traffic.
5. Take Advantage of CTAs
It’s a great idea to include a CTA (Call To Action) in your meta description. A CTA like ‘buy now’ is a direct command that may inspire your users to take action and purchase a product from your store.
6. Use the Active Voice
It’s always best to use the active voice when you’re writing your meta descriptions. Instead of using language like, “All the best styles are found here”, use “Find all the best styles”. This presents a command to potential customers, instead of a suggestion.
Now you’re ready to write great meta descriptions for your online store! You’ll be able to use the tips and tricks mentioned in this article to start generating even more organic traffic to your ecommerce store today.
In summary, here are all the steps to writing good meta descriptions:
Answer questions through your description
Ensure your he meta description copy is relevant to search intent
Make full use of meta description length
Use enticing copy for your meta description tag
Take advantage of call-to-actions
Write in an active voice
If you have any more questions about meta descriptions, or ecommerce businesses in general, let us know in the comments section below — we’re happy to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
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Your product page is one of the most important pages on your website. So it’s only natural that you’d want to create a great product page.Good product pages help convert browsers into buyers. Also, they help give your customers the information they need to make an informed purchase.
There are many ways to build ecommerce product pages. In this article, we’ll share some best practices for product page design that you can use to improve your own pages .
You’ll also see examples of different product pages so you can better understand what works well and what doesn’t.Let’s jump in.
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Product Page Design: 8 Tips for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs
Your product pages can make or break your ecommerce business. So it’s crucial to design them well. Below are all the elements you need to include in your product pages design to make them more inviting for online shoppers.
The Perfect Product Description
According to Nielsen Norman Group, the most effective product descriptions are scannable, concise, and objective. This type of content was shown to improve usability by 124%.
To create scannable content, you should include short bullet points in your product descriptions for easy reading. Concise content is 1-4 sentences describing the product. Objective content describes the product honestly rather than exaggerating benefits.
In the example below, there’s too much unnecessary information. Also, as colors and sizes run out of inventory, you’d have to keep manually changing the product descriptions for all products accordingly.
In the next example, there are three sentences. The first sentence describes the product in a neutral way using some of the bullet points supplied by Oberlo. Feminine replaced the ‘Gender: Women’ point. Next, two sentences were written to describe outfit pairings. This allows the potential customer to envision an outfit for the blouse they’re looking at.
Like the second example, you can choose to remove several bullet points if they seem redundant. Also, if you want to create a consistent brand you might choose to organize all product page bullet points in the same way. In fashion, you might always have the fabric first and so forth.
The Perfect Product Images
The best product pages feature high quality images showcasing the products in all their glory. You should never compromise on image quality as it can have a negative impact on your sales. If a picture is low quality or doesn’t represent the product well, consumers aren’t going to move forward with the purchase.
People want a clear idea of what the product might look like in real life. Learning product photography can help you capture images that shoppers envision their appearance.
You should also note that some product sourcing platforms allow you to import product images. For example, you can import item images from Oberlo to use on your product pages. Once imported, make sure to remove logos from product images in PhotoShop. If your product was shot on a grey background, remove the background to make it white. Try to create a consistent look for the products on your website.
Next, consider including 360-degree images in your product page designs to enhance the visitor experience. Customers enjoy being able to see all angles of a product. For example, knowing what the front and back of a top looks like helps customers see what they’re buying.
It’s also great to allow customers to add their own product images in the review section. It allows everyone to see what they’ll get without the glitz and glam of professional photography.
Also, if you sell fashion items such as dresses or shirts, don’t forget to import a size chart image. This allows customers to see measurements and sizes to help them decide on which is the best fit. If you’re sourcing from Asia and selling in the US, use our guide to convert Asian sizes to US sizes.
In addition, having a product image zoom feature allows customers to get a better view of your product image. It allows your customers to look at a product’s fine details.
Lastly, having a product video can increase conversion rates. According to Kissmetrics, site visitors are 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a video on a website.
A Sense of Urgency
According to Conversion XL, you can increase sales by as much as 332% by creating scarcity and a sense of urgency. You can also increase your conversion rate by doing this.
Urgency helps turn the casual browser into a buyer, fast. When your customers browse your store, a great product will seduce the browser. However, having a sale countdown timer can help encourage the browser to buy right now.
Using countdown timer apps like Hurrify can help create a sense of urgency. You can write your own text or choose from a list of examples. Having text that indicates limited quantities can help create scarcity which may help drive sales. However, you can choose to test various different texts to see which increases conversions the most.
Your customer should be able to know how to use your website even if they don’t understand the language. There’s a general product page layout that your online store should integrate. Don’t use funky, impractical layouts as it can confuse customers or frustrate them. Keep it simple.
Most of the time, the product image is on the left. The product copy is on the right with the Add to Cart button close by and prominent. Make sure your ‘Add to Cart’ button can be clearly seen.
When choosing a theme for your store, you should make sure it looks similar to other popular websites in your niche. While many will say ‘stand out from the competition,’ this is generally bad advice when it comes to product page layouts.
The free Minimal Theme on the Shopify Theme Store is a good example of a product page layout that’s not only familiar to most customers, but also includes other essentials of product page design. Shopify also has many free themes with intuitive layouts that can help enhance the look of your product pages.
Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing buttons are great for promoting your product page, especially when you have a popular product. Unfortunately, they can also have a negative effect on your conversions. Doing A/B testing on your store will help you determine whether or not social sharing will work for you.
According to VWO, an ecommerce business split tested social sharing buttons and found an 11.9% increase in call-to-action click throughs when removed. They outlined that the social sharing buttons likely don’t convert well when you have no shares on them.
In a test by Kuno Creative, when social sharing had over 500 conversions they had a conversion rate of 9% instead of 2%.
Thus, if you’re a new store, it might be a good idea to remove social sharing buttons. Consider adding them back to your store once you’ve built an audience and send large amounts of traffic to product pages. You can also test to see if having the icons without specific numbers mentioned works well for your store.
Mentioning or having an icon indicating ‘free shipping on orders over $75’ or ‘free shipping within the US’ helps customers get a snapshot of shipping information.
By having this succinct information on the product page, you prevent the customer from moving off the page to read your shipping information, as the essential point is clarified on the page itself.
Highlighting the requirements of free shipping allows your customer to add more products to their cart if they choose to.
Having customer reviews on your product page is essential. If you’re driving traffic to a product page, the reviews on your store can give browsers the extra push towards closing that sale without you doing much work.
According to eMarketer, customer reviews are 12x more trusted than manufacturer descriptions. Thus, having customer reviews can always help boost your sales and convert the customer if they’re generally positive.
You can use an app like Product Reviews Addon to automatically contact customers after their purchase for reviews. This will allow you to grow your reviews quickly and with minimal work.
While you might want to a/b test whether this will help with conversions, having recommended products encourage customers to stay on your site a little longer.
Oftentimes, you’ll have models wearing more than just the top you’re selling. If you sell the matching skirt or the earrings the model is wearing, having it in your recommended products will help customers complete their look.
When it comes to recommended products, avoid having products that look too identical. This can cause a customer to become confused and may result in fewer sales. This is because more choices requires more thinking.
For example, you can still cross-sell an item with a similar type of product such as a blouse. However, the blouses need to look different enough from one another to help encourage the sale. Recommending a skirt as a cross-sell that complements that specific blouse can also work really well. It also simplifies the decision as you’re creating an outfit for your customer.
How to Build a Product Page with Shopify
You don’t need to know code to create product pages for your website. With Shopify, you can build pages that have a balance of both good aesthetics and functionality. To customize product pages in Shopify, take the following the steps:
Go to your Shopify admin.
Choose ‘Online Store’ > ‘Themes’
Click ‘Customize’ and then wait for Shopify to take you to Theme editing.
Pick ‘Product Pages’ from the drop-down menu.
Start customizing your product page layout.
Best Product Page Examples + What Makes Them Great
Why we love it: This product page is very intuitive and clean. The product images are high res and there are different angles so a customer can make an informed decision. It also showcases which sizes they have right off the bat in their ‘Size’ section. The ‘Add to Bag’ is a vibrant blue which pops well against their crisp white background.They showcase free shipping and free returns icons directly on their product page for easy access. Their product description is short and to the point with 3 bullet points and one sentence describing the product. It also features a recommended products section with a mix of products that look quite different from the one showcased to prevent customer confusion. Lastly, there’s a reviews section with customer feedback.
Why we love it: There are several product images showing different angles. There are also images showing a person using the product. The ‘Add to Bag’ pops against the white background and suits the company branding. Shipping and return information is listed on the product page. The social sharing buttons don’t mention how many people have used it which is great if they have low shares. The product description is succinct and there are many bullet points used for easy reading. They also have a selection of recommended products, though a few seem too similar and may cause confusion.
Why we love it: The product image pops against a plain white background. The image is unique and has an uncommon style which makes it attention grabbing. The black ‘Add to Bag’ pops against the crisp white background. The social sharing buttons are visible but not the focus, they also don’t detail any specific numbers. The copy is relatively short with bullet points available. There are also reviews available on the page. The recommended images would’ve worked best if there weren’t as many with the similar style photography. However, the one on the far right pops well against the similar styles of the other products.
Why we love it: The Disney Store’s product page is clean. It features shipping information in the header. There are different angles shown for the product. There’s a review section. The product copy is short, it also features bullet points below the product image. The ‘Add to Bag’ contrasts against the white background while staying consistent with the product branding. However, a different color may convert better. Delivery information is also available within the product page. The similar products features a similar style of products but with different characters which would pop to someone familiar with the Disney brand.
Why we love it: The product page features a very large zoom feature that allows customers to see the fine details of the product image. There are also several pictures showcasing different angles. The recommended products below feature different styles and colors to avoid confusing the customer with their choice. A size chart is available on the product page. Shipping information is also made clear. The product description is short and features two bullet points. The social sharing icons are small, those not distracting the customer. They also don’t detail how many shares there are. The ‘Add to Bag’ button is small but it’s all black color contrasts well against the white background.
Ready to Make High-Converting Product Pages?
Effective product pages instantly convey the value of your items. They tell potential customers what the product feels like, which gives them confidence to move ahead with the purchase.
So if you haven’t given much attention to your product page designs, now is the time to do so. With some changes, you can significantly improve the conversions they bring. Follow the advice in this article to ensure your product pages answer people’s questions and get them ready to check out.
Summary: Product Page Design Best Practices for 2021
Include an epic product description
Post the perfect product images
Add a sense of urgency
Ensure the layout is intuitive
Test social sharing buttons
Include shipping information
Feature customer reviews
Include recommended products
Want to Learn More?
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!
An integral part of creating your online store is sourcing high-quality images which are related to your ecommerce business. If you don’t currently have the resources to source your own images, then you’ll need to rely on stock images to build brand authority and showcase professionalism.
We’ve created this article to highlight the best stock photo sites which you can use to source royalty free images for your ecommerce store. We’ve also included free image sites on our list to make life easier if you’re starting your ecommerce store on a budget.
What is a Stock Image Website?
Stock images are photos that are already captured, edited, and available for use. There are two types of stock images: photos that require you to pay a licensing fee and images that are free to use (aka. royalty free images).
The majority of images which you can source from stock image websites are royalty free, which means that you can use them anywhere without having to credit anybody. When you use stock images, you can also edit them to your liking and even distribute them in marketing campaigns — they’re perfect for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
When you’re searching for stock images, you’ll need to choose between two different options; free stock image websites and premium stock image websites. Both premium and free stock image websites have advantages and disadvantages which you’ll need to take into consideration when you’re sourcing images for your business.
We’ve highlighted the key points to consider when you’re choosing which option is the best fit for your brand.
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Best Free Stock Photo Sites
If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur who is running your online store with a relatively low budget, then it’s critical that you avoid unnecessary expenses. If you’re faced with the choice between spending some of your budget on stock images or growing your business with marketing campaigns, you’ll need to prioritize the latter.
Free stock photo sites offer a wide range of images and graphics which you can use without any charge– they’re invaluable for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are working with a tight budget. They don’t have a colossal library of images, like premium stock image websites do, but you’ll certainly be able to find high-quality, copyright free images which fit your ecommerce store’s design.
We’ve listed the top 6 free stock photo sites for ecommerce entrepreneurs below:
Shopify Burst is a free stock image website that is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs. The website is clean, with a modern design, making it easy to find free high resolution images.
Shopify Burst’s best feature for ecommerce entrepreneurs is their ‘Business Ideas’ section. In this section, you’ll be able to view categories of images which are dedicated towards specific types of ecommerce stores, like yoga products, or enamel pins.
This free stock image website will give you plenty of choices for images related to your niche and even give you ideas for new products.
Pexels offers a wealth of stock photos for free. These cover a wide spectrum of topics, so you’re sure to find something suitable for your business..
Pexels’ search function is what really makes it stand out from the crowd– it’s simple to use and has multiple useful parameters, which make it one of the easiest stock photography websites to use.
Pexels’ library of images contains plenty of aesthetically pleasing images, most of which are stunning landscape photos, so they could be ideal for the backdrop of your ecommerce store.
Unsplash is another essential free stock image site for ecommerce entrepreneurs. The site is constantly updating its database, adding 10 royalty-free photographs every 10 days.
The images which you can find on the site are of the highest-quality and would fit into any part of an ecommerce store, or any marketing campaigns which you create.
The downside to Unsplash is that their search function is relatively limited, meaning that it can be difficult at times to find what you’re searching for.
If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur with a strong eye for design, then you’ll find that StockSnap.io is one of the best free stock image sites on our list.
StockSnap.io’s content library includes an extensive bank of photos which cover most aspects of design. We recommend this free stock image website specifically for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are selling clothes, as it features lots of aspirational images which will attest to your target audience.
You’ll also find free stock images for commercial use on StockSnap.
Gratisography is a free stock image website which was created by Ryan McGuire, an artist and designer.
This free stock image site has plenty of royalty-free images which were all taken by Ryan, so the images are truly unique. You can use the content from this website to make your online store stand out from the crowd.
Ecommerce entrepreneurs can also use Gratisography to find free stock images for commercial use.
Launched in 2013 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek, Picjumbo offers a vast range of copyright-free images for personal and commercial use.
What’s unique about this free stock photo site is that it displays the images as collections. This is when you can see the same image from different angles and pick the best shot for your project.
There are several collections to view, and Picjumbo daily adds new photos in a wide variety of categories. Rest assured, you’ll have plenty of high-quality images to choose from.
Premium Stock Image Websites
Premium stock image websites generally offer images which are of a higher quality than those which you can find on a free stock image website.
However, these higher quality images come at a price. If you find an image which you’d like to source on a premium stock image website, then you’ll need to purchase the image, or the license for the image, for a substantial amount of money.
As these images cost money, they’re much more exclusive, which means that you’ll be able to make your ecommerce store stand out from the crowd.
Here’s an overview of the best premium stock image websites which you can use to source images from:
EyeEm is a unique premium stock photography website– they’ve built a strong community around people buying and selling photographs. On the EyeEm marketplace you’ll find photographs which have been uploaded by other users.
If you find an image which you’re interested in using, then you can easily buy the full rights, which means you now own the image. Once you’re in possession of the rights, you can use the images for your ecommerce business however you want.
This premium stock image website excels because it was founded by entrepreneurs who are passionate about design and is fueled by a community of like-minded people working together.
Shutterstock is one of the most successful premium stock image websites. Their image library boasts millions of royalty free stock photos, illustrations, and graphics. They’re constantly working to ensure that their library is filled with the highest quality content possible.
Every day, Shutterstock adds ten thousand new high-resolution images, which means that you’ll be spoilt for choice if you use this platform. Shutterstock’s images can be expensive if you purchase them individually, but they’re more affordable if you purchase any of their bundles.
Shutterstock’s built-in photo editing tool is what makes this premium stock image website stand out from the crowd. You can purchase an image, edit, and resize the image all without leaving their website– it’s perfect for ecommerce entrepreneurs who aren’t proficient with photo editing.
iStockPhoto is one of the longest running premium stock image sites. It was originally founded in 1999 and has been at the forefront of design ever since.
iStockPhoto has an intuitive search function which enables users to find images quickly and easily. Even if you aren’t technically proficient, you’ll be able to access iStockPhoto’s wealth of images, graphics, video, and audio.
This stock image website’s pricing plan is amongst the most expensive on this list, but you’ll be paying for high-quality images which you can use for your store. They also have a unique reverse search function, which enables you to check if any of the images you’re interested in have been used by other ecommerce businesses.
Adobe Stock (formerly Fotolia) has one of the largest libraries of content out of the premium stock image websites on our list. You’ll find millions of royalty-free images which you can gain access to for a relatively cheap price. The website has an intuitive design which is easy to navigate around.
Adobe Stock has also incorporated a ‘collections’ system into their website, which is great for ecommerce entrepreneurs. The collections which are available are named core, infinite, and instant. Their core and infinite collections include images which are tailored to desktop use, whereas their instant collection features images which are tailored to mobile users.
This is a great feature for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are optimizing their store for mobile.
BigStockPhoto provides users with an easy and enjoyable experience when they’re browsing the website.
There are simple drop down menus and clearly defined categories which allow you to find the images you’re looking for.
Although these premium stock images are on the more expensive side, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth in high-quality visual content.
Summary: The 11 Best Websites to Source Stock Images in 2021
Now you know various different stock image websites, it’s time to nail the design of your ecommerce store. Remember, you aren’t limited to using just one of these stock images platforms, you should take advantage of all of them.
In summary, here are the 11 best stock image websites to use in 2021:
If you have any questions related to stock image websites, or designing your store in general, let us know in the comments section– we’re happy to help!
Want to Learn More?
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!
So, you’ve finally launched your dropshipping web store. Or are about to. Either way, your priority is to get actual visitors, so you could convert them into customers. In this post, we’re going over tips on free traffic sources and marketing your store.Start with making sure your website is user-friendly:Work on attractive website design. If your store is built on WordPress, there are tons of themes to chose from. Check if the fonts and colors are readable, images are HQ, and the layout is not distorted.Make the navigation easy. Use keywords and tags, a faultless website search, and a detailed filter system. Implement multi-language and multi-currency support. Don’t make any under construction pages visible for visitors, but make pages like FAQ, or Contacts easily accessible from any page.Use a product description that sells for each item. Adress your target audience, describe, how the product’s benefit can improve their lives. Write broad descriptions but focus on the facts, not just metaphors. The best thing would be hiring a copywriter who will also provide grammatically correct texts.Eliminate technical errors. Make sure there are no broken or inactive links, and that all the scripts work properly.These are just the essentials you should start with. As mentioned above, WordPress will be one of the best types of CMS to build a dropshipping store on. It is much less pricey than, say, Shopify and it yields great results, especially if you work with AliExpress. You can also get a custom online store from professional developers for a one-time fee — and then focus primarily on bringing free traffic to it. There are several ways to do that:SEO-ing your online store blog. This is especially great for niche stores. Let’s say your primarily dropshipping niche is bed linen & home decor. You add a blog to your site, regularly updated with useful posts like “Top 10 comforters,” or “Guide to choosing the right curtains.” Each article is written with the help of an SEO specialist, using the keywords that will bring the interested customers via Google and other search engines.YouTube for your store. Use the videos for product advertising, video reviews, tutorials, guides, and all sorts of promo. Don’t forget to link your online store in the description box under each video and in your channel’s info.Instagram for your store. The official account for your store can represent your brand via targeted ads: it’s a great way to find the audience interested in your niche. Nowadays Instagram has numerous great features for visual promo — from photos & videos to stories, highlights, and the TikTok-like Reels. Make sure your store is linked in your bio.Target advertising on Facebook. A powerful tool that makes the FB algorithm works in your favor. It’s important, however, to find a competent target specialist who will make your ads not only reachable but presentable and appealing.To be sure the visitors who end up on your site don’t leave empty-handed, you need to keep the brand moving. A dropshipping plugin for AliExpress WooCommerce stores will make that job easier. If you’re already using another dropshipping software, you can easily migrate your store and rip the benefits. This Ali2Woo plugin automates and synchronizes all the crucial processes, so neither you nor your customers are left unsatisfied.