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How to create Shopify Instagram ads that drive sales

There’s no doubt that Shopify is one of the best platforms to host your online store. It’s easy to use and provides a convenient shopping experience for your customers. But you can’t stop at setting up your Shopify Store, you need social media channels like Instagram to succeed. 

With over one billion users, promoting your Shopify store on Instagram can quickly grow your audience tenfold in no time. With a creative eye, strategic targeting, and engaging posts, you can drive sales directly to your Shopify store. 

We’ll show you how. 

Why Instagram? 

If the huge user base isn’t enough to convince you, there are many more reasons why businesses choose Instagram as their main marketing channel. Here are just a few of the highlights of the popular social media app: 

  • Instagram ranks #4 among apps with the most users. The Facebook-owned app has been consistently growing by 100 million users every month since 2014. 
  • 81% of users use Instagram to search for products. That’s a huge chunk of people looking to shop for your products! The social media giant says that users visit at least one business profile a day. 
  • Create a virtual storefront with Instagram Shopping. Instagram Shopping makes it easier for your customers to browse your products in one place.
  • Over 130 million users tap on Instagram Shopping posts every month.
  • On Instagram, around 1.16 billion people can be reached through ads.
  • A third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses. Plus, there are 500 million active Instagram Stories users every day. 
  • Instagram Stories by businesses have an 86% completion rate. For comparison, the average view rate on YouTube is only 31.9%.
  • 50% of Instagram users visit a website to purchase a product after seeing it on Stories. Instagram Stories don’t just get you views, but conversions as well!  

How to Begin

Promoting your Shopify store on Instagram is not as simple as boosting an organic post. You will need to set up a Facebook Business Manager account and a Facebook Channel through Shopify. Setting up a Facebook Channel will allow you to upload and sync your product catalog from your store straight to your linked social media accounts. 

Take note that you cannot use Instagram Shopping’s feature if you’re not on a business account. Your Instagram account must be linked to a Facebook page that contains your product listings, and it’s best to have it verified to gain competitive advantage. 

As long as Instagram Shopping is available in your region, you can go straight to the business tab and sign up for the service. 

Creating Ads that Drive Sales 

Now that the holiday season has come to a close, it’s important to look back on the efforts businesses have taken to stand out from their competitors. 

More than just ramping up on campaigns and posting ads on different platforms, it’s important to learn how you can create social ads that garner attention and encourage shoppers to buy from your brand versus other businesses. 

Make it interactive 

The beauty of Instagram as an advertising platform is that you don’t just sell to your customers—the best businesses turn it into a conversation. 

(Image source: Instagram Business)

Interactive Instagram Stories ads are a game changer. They add a whole new dimension to your campaigns, encouraging your audience to engage with your brand longer than they would after being served a regular ad. More than the engagement, using interactive ads also gives you more insight into your audience. 

Nine out of ten businesses that used the polling stickers on their ads have increased video views by three seconds. For the ad above, Dunkin’ drove a 20% lower cost-per-view compared to past campaigns. 

You can use the interactive sticker to tease a product launch or sale. Make your customers guess what items are being released or what’s going on sale. This way, you can also gauge your audience’s interests. 

To make your visuals pop, use photo and video editing apps like Instasize that allow you to add unique filters and effects that are on-brand in just a few taps. 

Use Instagram Shopping product tags

Instagram Shopping has made it possible to create a shoppable feed. Now, you don’t have to waste your caption space on pricing and product descriptions—all your customers have to do is tap on the photo or video to learn more. 

Adding product tags to your ads leads customers directly to your product page where they can get more details and product information. They can then proceed to purchase the product through your Shopify store by clicking “View on Website.”

(Image Source: Food52)

Using product tags on your ads creates a more seamless shopping experience. Instead of automatically being redirected to your Shopify Store, customers have the option to learn more about your product without having to leave the Instagram app. 

One factor that may prevent Instagram users from clicking ads is the fact that they don’t want to be redirected to another website automatically. Product tags are a simple solution to that barrier.

Another more obvious value of using product tags is that your audience will know that you’re selling them something. Instagram users likely follow hundreds of accounts, and your ad can easily get lost or be mistaken as just any other lifestyle post. 

Product tags are a subtle and easy way to announce that you’re a business. 

You can add product tags to Instagram Stories, photos, videos, and carousel ads. You’re allowed up to five tags per single-image post, 20 tags for multi-image posts, and up to 30 products in video posts. 

Create a themed catalog

Old-school department store catalogs bring back nostalgic memories. Recreate that experience using carousel ads. Take themed product shots of your best-sellers for the month, and spread them across up to 10 photos.

(Image Source: Amen)

Sometimes a single piece of content isn’t enough to tell your story, videos are always a more engaging way to get your message across. 

(Image Source: daisy_jewellery)

To promote its products as gifts for the holiday season, jewelry retailer Daisy Jewellery tapped model and YouTube personality, Estee Lalonde, to curate themed Christmas gift guides. The brand had a fun way of categorizing its catalogs such as “For Your Guy Friend” and “The Mother-in-Law.”

Each item mentioned on your video can be tagged so that your audience can easily purchase after watching. Don’t forget to include a CTA at the end of your video to remind customers to take action and head over to your Shopify Store.

Pro-tip: People on social media have a short attention span—make sure the cover photo you use for your video is eye-catching so that your audience is enticed to watch. 

Partner with an influencer

Fifty-five percent of shoppers have made a purchase after seeing a product worn by an influencer. If you want your ads to convert, influencers are one of your best bets. 

Partnering with influencers is especially important for brand new businesses that need exposure. A quick mention by a trusted influencer will not only increase your Instagram followers but also visits to your Shopify Store.

As an option, you can create affiliate links for partner influencers. Assigning them unique links for posting will incentivize them to post about your brand more and invite their followers to buy from your store.

(Image Source: thenaughtyfork)

Sam Schnur of @thenaughtyfork is a go-to choice for food brands. Make sure to partner with an influencer whose persona and overall content style matches that of your brand. 

In addition to boosting photos of the influencer with a product on your page, it’s important to have them post on their personal pages for their followers to see. This exposes your product to a wider audience who are already interested in your niche. 

Run Instagram-exclusive promotions

Promos and discounts are an easy way to attract customers to your website. But taking it a step further and making an Instagram-only promo will give your audience a sense of urgency and make them feel special. 

Add text to your photos or videos to announce your Instagram-exclusive promotion and to make your ads stand out. With great visuals, the worst case is that more people will get curious about your brand and follow you for updates. 

It may be a good idea to collect email addresses from your followers in order for them to receive the actual discount. The reason? Not only will you have a way to connect with them directly, but you can also use email marketing software to automate the entire follow-up process and create other offers over time.

Use Deliverr’s Fast Tags

Another way to stand out from the competitions and drive sales via Instagram ads is to use Deliverr’s Fast Tags. According to a recent study, 68% of consumers said fast shipping would lead them to place an online order. 

With Deliverr’s Fast Tags on Instagram Ads, your brand can display 1-2 day delivery badging (reflecting real-time inventory positioning) across Instagram ad properties to drive impressions. Once these ads are live, you’re able to redirect traffic from these ads to your Shopify site, displaying mirrored fast shipping badges to convert users (Merchants who enable Shopify Fast Tags on their product listings see a 34% increase in sales, on average). Deliverr will then fulfill the item to your customer within the promised delivery date. 

You can learn more about Deliverr Fast Tags on Instagram ads here.

Before You Go

Keep in mind that while ads will get you the numbers, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore organic strategies. Make sure to complement your ads with relevant content for your followers. 

The natural journey before anyone becomes a customer is to look at your profile to do some research, sodon’t take your account for granted. Add keywords on your bio that apply to your niche or product category to help you appear on search. 

With these tips in hand, you’re all set to create your first Instagram ad! Don’t forget that the secret to succeeding is persistence. Running a successful ad on Instagram is usually met with trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get it right.

Margareta Anthemis is a freelance writer and web designer for hire with specialization in digital marketing, branding and general marketing tips. She works closely with B2B and B2C companies providing useful and engaging content that converts viewers into customers. Contact Margareta by visiting her website at Need A Design Maam for more information on her services.

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