Social media is a great marketing tool for any e-commerce business, and this very much includes Instagram and its live video platform. Your business might already be posting photos and images on the platform, but you may well be neglecting video. The good news is that this is an undersaturated marketplace for brands, and there are opportunities to boost your sales here.

Instagram live - Young man creating a live video.
Image via Instagram Brand.

How to use Instagram Live to increase your e-commerce sales

In this article, we take a look at how your business can make the best possible use of Instagram Live to increase conversions.

Focus on the story (and not on your business)

One of the most common mistakes made by businesses trying to use Instagram Live is that they focus far too much on themselves. A huge number of novice Instagrammers will rely on a familiar structure that talks about the business, what it does, how it is different, and why a customer should choose it over its many competitors.

Users don’t mind following brands, with statistics from Brandwatch showing that 50 per cent of Instagrammers will follow companies. But nevertheless, the fact is that customers generally (and casual Instagram browsers especially) do not care about your business. What they care about is what your products can do for them, and how it will affect their lives. Getting viewers interested in the story of the product is the best thing you can do, and it can help you to sell extremely effectively without you video ever sounding like a sales pitch (a huge no-no).

Instagram Live - Business profiel
Image via Instagram Brand.

Don’t rely on a script

If you are going to use Instagram Live it is essential that you don’t try to stick rigidly to any kind of script. Pre-scripted videos typically sound much more like an advert and won’t engage the audience at all. On Instagram Live it is important to come across as authentic and real – speaking freely will build a connection naturally with viewers.

Some presenters worry about making mistakes, but this is actually far less damaging than you think. Viewers will forgive slip-ups as you talk, just as they would in a conversation, but they will turn off if they feel like they’re watching something unnatural.

Of course, it is also important to avoid forgetting the points that you wanted to make. So it is fine to have a list of items that you want to talk about – but these should act as a reminder, never something that you need to read from for an extended period of time.

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Have a category set up for incoming traffic

Too many businesses using Instagram Live make the mistake of pushing traffic to a page on their website that isn’t exactly relevant to the topic. You need to ensure that any interested members of the audience can click through to the page that is going to the relevant page. This can maximise conversions and lead to more sales.

Take a look at how designer children’s clothing seller Childsplay uses brand pages such as Burberry and Gucci. When utilising platforms like Instagram Live, the company can create highly targeted videos and then send any interested customers to an ideal category page, rather than a general footwear page, or a product page that is actually too specific.

Instagram live - Feed
Image via Instagram Brand.

Get your points across quickly

With Instagram Live it is crucial to hook an audience very early on. If an audience is unimpressed by your video or isn’t given a reason to stick around, they will likely just move on to the next post in their feed – it is just the nature of the platform.

It is also a good idea to focus on shorter videos rather than longer-form content. Videos that are shorter than five minutes long tend to be more effective. It can be far better to publish a number of short videos instead of one long one.

…But don’t rush what you’re saying

Yes, it is important for videos to be short and easy to consume for your audience. But that doesn’t mean that you should rush through what you are saying. It is important that throughout the recording you should speak slowly, clearly, and simply. Try to keep your speech to simple and direct sentences – this is especially true if your business sells to countries where individuals don’t speak English as their first language.

Text: Annie Button

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