How to Use Instagram Shopping to Drive Product Sales

How to Use Instagram Shopping to Drive Product Sales

Have you used shops on Instagram? With over a billion active users and growing, Instagram may already be one of your favorite places to promote your e-commerce store. However, lots of opportunities exist for marketing on the channel, so it can be a great place to build a follower base and get the word out about your products and brand.

What if you could take passive interaction to the next level and actually buy and sell directly from the platform? That’s possible with Instagram shopping. This can be enticing for Instagram users and e-commerce shops who want to keep their interaction, from discovery to sale, right there on Instagram itself.

What Is an Instagram Shop?

Instagram shops are an option for Instagram account holders who have e-commerce brands to sell directly from the Instagram platform.

They provide a way for Instagram users to interact and shop with brands they love, find new brands they might like, and purchase through the Instagram app.

An Instagram shop exists like a mini e-commerce store, within Instagram, as an extension of your brand’s page. As a brand owner, you can build collections that are customizable and reflective of your style and perspective.

Shops can choose to allow purchasing directly from the app, using Facebook Pay, or they use their Instagram shop to point to an off-site e-commerce store. Either way, they can build a more interactive shopping experience for their users.

How Does Instagram Shopping Work?

Instagram Shopping is a pretty simple process for Instagram users. The whole idea of this feature is to make things more enticing, so users spend more time on the app, checking out the shops they love, as well as discovering new brands.

To find shops you want to explore or buy from, go to the little shopping icon that looks like a shopping bag on the app:

From there, you will see shops from brands you already follow, as well as some that are recommended based on your interactions on Instagram. You can also check out “Editor’s Picks” to see different categories, such as Gift Guides, and to explore collections and other recommendations.

If you click “Browse Shops,” you’ll see a listing of brands you already follow who have shops on Instagram. This can be a great place to start when you’re exploring because you probably already have an interest in the products and may have even purchased from them in the past.

Once you click on a shop, you’ll see the products and collections they have available.

From there, you can learn more or choose to buy, just like you would at an e-commerce site.

How to Set Up an Instagram Shop

To set up a shop on Instagram for your brand, you must have an Instagram Business account, and you must be eligible. According to Instagram, eligibility includes but is not limited to:

  • Operating in a supported market (dependent on your location)
  • Having an e-commerce website from which you sell products

Remember, an Instagram shop is an extension of your e-commerce store, not necessarily a replacement for it.

You will then have to connect your Facebook account. More later on how those two are connected and why it matters for your Instagram Shopping account.

You then follow the steps to set up your account, load your product images, and “turn on shopping.”

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you go through those technical steps:

  • Use high-quality, editorial images for your products and collections: Think of your Instagram shop as a type of interactive catalog. Be selective about the images you are using for your products. Make sure they stand out and show lots of detail.
  • Have all your product information on hand: Again, thinking about this as a catalog, you will need to enter all the descriptive information about each product, including prices, colors, sizes, flavors, types, etc. You’ll also need information about shipping and other details. Keep it all at the ready before you dive in.
  • Get ready to tag: After getting your Instagram shop set up, the last step Instagram recommends is to start tagging. When you upload an image, select “Tag Products” and type in the name of the product you want to tag to that post. You will be able to do this in Instagram Stories as well.

Benefits of Having an Instagram Shop

Why would brand managers want to take the time to set up shops on Instagram? First, let’s look at some numbers. According to Instagram, 60% of people interviewed said they discover new products on the app. Facebook says 70% of people referred to as shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram to shop, and 36% of all Instagram users consider shopping to be a hobby of theirs.

The best reason to set up shops on Instagram is to tap into that enthusiasm. Think of Instagram Shopping as the trendiest mall from back in the day, with eager buyers walking around and window shopping. You want to be there with your brand too, right?

Here are some more benefits of having a shop on Instagram:

  • It’s free: Yes, you can set up your Instagram shop for free. The only fees associated would be a selling fee when customers place an order and the fee for any ads you use to promote your products or shop.
  • It’s another online storefront: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, they say, and that applies to online shopping too. If a hiccup occurs with one platform, you’re already set up somewhere else.
  • It’s a mobile catalog: Instagram has designed these shops to be very clean and scannable. They are easy to peruse and to get an overall idea of a brand’s look, as well as to dig in and learn more about the products. For this reason, you can think of shops on Instagram as a kind of mobile catalog. You may even find yourself sending people there to get a feel for what you sell, just because it’s so easy to scroll through.
  • It’s a way to build your following: As we talked about earlier, people are going on Instagram looking to shop. Setting up your shop there is a prime way to draw buyers who are ready to make a purchase, as well as to build a following for your Instagram account (which probably supports your overall social media marketing strategy).

Instagram Shopping vs. Facebook Shops

You may be wondering how shops on Instagram compare with shops on Facebook. While they are different platforms, they are both under the Facebook umbrella.

Remember that corporate Facebook owns Instagram, which means Facebook powers Instagram Shopping. To set up your Instagram shop, you will need to link to your Facebook account, and, as mentioned, payment is processed through Facebook Pay.

Should you set up an Instagram shop and a Facebook shop? Here are a couple of considerations to help you decide:

  • Link easily: Because you need Facebook to launch the Instagram shop, it may be worth having products on both platforms. You can use the same products and collections on each if that makes sense for your target market and brand.
  • Consider demographics: Your target market may spend more time on Instagram than on Facebook. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure you set up an Instagram shop. If your target market straddles both the demographics of Facebook and Instagram, you may want to set up a shop on each.

Submitting and Receiving Payment for Instagram Shopping Products

How do you go about actually buying and selling with Instagram Shopping? A big part of this question is how money is exchanged.

Remember you can choose to have your products point to your e-commerce site. Buyers will then be directed to your website, in a browser within the Instagram app, rather than processing the purchase through the Instagram platform.

However, if you want to save buyers that step, you can set up payment options to allow the transaction through Instagram. When you set up your shop, you’ll need to link to Facebook Pay. We noted above the relationship between Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Pay is how you receive payments for purchases made.

When you purchase something from shops on Instagram, you’ll need to submit your credit card, debit card, or PayPal information to use Facebook Pay to finalize the transaction.

How to Promote Your Instagram Shop

Once you have an Instagram shop up and running, you’ll want to find ways to promote it and draw potential customers to your new location. Here are some tips for achieving that:

  • Launch timely collections: When you create collections or groupings of products to showcase in your shop, think about the browsing buyers first and what they are searching for right now. Instagram recommends thinking about seasons, holidays, or pop culture moments to create collections that connect with and attract buyers.
  • Make it easy for shoppers: When you create posts and stories, make sure to choose the “Tag Product” option to link directly to your shop products. Also, Facebook recommends adding calls-to-action in your captions to remind buyers of what to do. Another recommendation is to update your bio with shopping information.
  • Invest in ads: Want to reach even more people with your Instagram shop? You could consider launching an ad on Instagram with clickable tags that draw people to your shop.

Alternatives to Instagram Shopping

There could be a few reasons why a shop on Instagram is not the right platform for your brand, or maybe you want to explore other shop options to find a better fit. Some of those reasons may be:

  • It’s not the right demographic: Yes, Instagram is wildly popular, but not everyone is shopping there. If the target market of your brand is not tech-savvy, doesn’t tend to use Instagram, or prefers not to shop on new platforms, you may not want to set up an Instagram shop.
  • There aren’t enough products: Shops on Instagram showcase collections of products well, allowing brands to launch or promote groups of products. If you are only selling one item, it may not be worth your time to set up a shop. However, even one product, if photographed and promoted well, could be popular there.
  • They aren’t physical products: You do need to sell a physical product. Digital products or services are not sellable with the app.
  • It’s not in the right location: As mentioned earlier, you do need to operate in a location where Instagram Shopping is available. If you don’t, you’ll need to find an alternative.

In these cases, or if you’re just looking for more customization or wider tools, you may want to choose an alternative to Instagram Shopping. Examples may include:

  • Like2Buy: With Like2Buy, you can build shoppable solutions, as well as create other calls-to-action, such as requesting email addresses of potential customers.
  • Yotpo: In addition to several e-commerce marketing tools, Yotpo offers an Instagram integration tool.
  • FourSixty: Advertising a design-centric aesthetic, FourSixty provides Instagram marketing tools, including shoppable galleries and scheduling.

Conclusion

Shops on Instagram allow you to interact with your followers (and new buyers!), in a seamless way. You can create collections just in time for a season or holiday and promote your products to an audience that is eager to buy.

This feature allows brand owners to sell on Instagram dynamically. While it may not be the only solution you need, it can be a great addition to your Instagram sales strategy.

Will you be shopping and selling directly on the Instagram app? Or do you prefer a more traditional e-commerce platform?

4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

Out of all of the major social networks, Instagram has remained one of the most closed.

  • It doesn’t let you put links in your captions.
  • It hasn’t added as many other functions, though we do now have Instagram Stories. 
  • For a long time, it didn’t allow third-party apps to post to the platform.

That last point was especially tricky for digital marketers.

The benefits that services like Hootsuite and Buffer brought to managing other social networks didn’t carry over to Instagram.

You couldn’t plan your content ahead of time and publish it automatically like you could on Twitter or Facebook. That means when you wanted to post something to Instagram, you had to be there to push the Share button.

Luckily, Instagram changed that in 2018 by allowing businesses to schedule their posts on Instagram via an API. 

That makes it easier than ever to take advantage of Instagram’s high engagement rates

Having an Instagram community is part of a crucial strategy of social proof, something you can leverage to increase your conversions.

This means you might be ready to explore scheduling apps that let you organize, upload, and preview your Instagram posts.

To help you succeed on Instagram, I’m going to show you how to use four different tools to automate your Instagram content scheduling.

Let’s get started.

4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

One of the best ways to engage your Instagram audience is to post engaging content on a regular basis. These tools make that much easier — you can schedule posts, so they go live when your audience is most active. 

#1. Later for Instagram Scheduling

The first app I’m going to show you is called Later. It’s a social media scheduling tool that works with Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

The best part about Later is that it’s free for up to 30 scheduled posts per month. If you’re posting once a day, this is really good news.

But you will need a premium plan if you’re going to use video, so keep that in mind.

As a tool, Later has two primary benefits.

The first benefit is that it lets you preview your posts so you can see what they will look like as part of the bigger picture — your entire Instagram account.

This is very helpful for marketers who want to have a harmonious Instagram page.

The second benefit is that you can synchronize your images directly from services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

That means skipping the pesky step of saving your images to your camera roll on your iPhone before posting through to Instagram.

Let me show you how it works.

You need to create an account to get started. Once you’ve entered your Instagram information and chosen a name and timezone, you arrive at the main dashboard.

It looks like this:

To be able to schedule posts on Later, you need to download and sign in to the Later mobile app.

Once your mobile app is connected, your dashboard looks like this.

To get started using Later, you need to add media. You can either drag images to the media library or connect to Google Drive or Dropbox.

Later is great because it lets you organize a lot of content quickly in two different ways.

First, you can select the option to see only the content you haven’t posted or content that you’ve starred.

The more in-depth option is to add labels to your images, which you can then filter to only see certain types of images.

To add a label, click on the image.

Then create your label.

Now you can go back and filter your images.

If you don’t have a lot of images in your media library, it probably isn’t worth your time to go through and label them.

But if you have thousands of images, taking some time to organize them can save you a lot of scrolling over the long run.

There are a couple of different ways you can create a post in Later.

The first is by clicking directly on the image itself.

The post creation window posts up. You can edit your crop and add a caption for the post.

Then, at the bottom of the window, you select the date and time you want.

The scheduled post is now on your calendar.

You could also just drag and drop the content from the media library into the calendar at the slot for the time and date you want.

When you do this, it automatically opens the pop up to write in the caption. The date and time are already added to the bottom.

When it comes time to post your content, they will automatically post your content.

#2. Agorapulse for Instagram Scheduling

Agorapulse promises to centralize your social planning in one place. There’s an option with a free trial to see if it’s right for you.

Like Later, it provides scheduling for the major social networks. I’m going to focus on the Instagram scheduling for this article.

To get started, click on the “Start my free trial” button at the top.

There is a caveat, however. You have to connect with your Facebook account. You cannot just create an account with your email address.

Then there are a couple of different authentication steps before Agorapulse asks you which accounts and pages you want to connect with. You can skip the Facebook and Twitter step and just do the Instagram account.

When you get logged in, the first screen you see is your inbox. Your inbox is a collection of all the comments from your Instagram posts.

This is a great way to be able to engage with people who have engaged with you. For a community manager, this is especially convenient.

What we’re concerned about for this article is publishing, so click on the Publishing tab.

The Publishing tab gives you a calendar view showing when you’ve already posted. For days in the future, you have the option to click on the calendar date to schedule a post.

You can also click on the Schedule Post button on the menu on the right.

The pop-up box allows you to create your post. You can upload media directly through this box.

Once you’ve uploaded your media, you will get the prompt to download and install the Agorapulse mobile app, which works more or less exactly like the Later app I showed you above.

A cool feature of Agorapulse is the Instagram view, which gives you a preview of what your post is going to look like directly in the post creation pop up.

Once you’ve installed the app, you can add your post to your queue.

Another cool feature is the time slots option for your queues.

You know how you can see your Insights in Instagram?

If you scroll down, you can see when your audience is most active for each day of the week.

Then, in Agorapulse, you can set up a default time slot for each day of the week. That way, when you add your posts to your queue, it’s automatically assigned to the best time for that day.

Agorapulse is also advanced when it comes to reporting and identifying your top followers. You can see who interacts with you the most in a glance and who your most influential followers are.

#3. Autogrammer for Instagram Scheduling

Another platform that promises to centralize your social networks’ scheduling is Autogrammer, which offers a free seven-day trial.

It’s much faster to get started with Autogrammer than Agorapulse. Once you’re in, you can add your social network accounts from the menu on the right or from the green button in the middle.

To add an account, type in the details in the pop-up.

When your Instagram account is connected, you will see the prompt to add a post.

Just like with the other services I’ve outlined, you can upload an image directly, add a caption, select a time, and add multiple social networks if you want to publish to Instagram and Facebook at the same time.

The post comes up in your queue.

The interface is designed to be as simple as possible, but you can still access things like the calendar view by clicking on the Scheduled Posts option at the top.

Like the other services, you can add a new post directly from the calendar view by clicking on each date’s little plus button.

Finally, there’s a Bulk Upload option if you want to add multiple media files at one time.

#4. Sprout Social for Instagram Scheduling

For a more robust option in terms of functionality, Sprout Social could be a way for you to go.

Like the other platforms, there is a free trial to get you started. It lets you evaluate if the interface and functionalities are what you’re looking for.

The free trial is super important for Sprout since the plans can get really pricey. It’s positioned more as an enterprise service.

You might want to take that into account before you get hooked.

I want to point out that if you’re just starting out, there’s a standard service that runs $59 per month instead of the basic plan that starts at $99 per month.

You can find that option hidden below the other major plans.

You can start your free trial with any of the options.

After entering your email address, you can link your social accounts.

The more expensive plans let you add more social profiles. The standard plan lets you add five.

The next screen in the setup window. It will ask a little more about your business since Sprout catered more towards business and enterprise clients.

Since we’re concerned with scheduling on Instagram, click on the Publish & Schedule option.

You will still have access to the other features of the platform, but Sprout will immediately orient you towards the publishing features and a video explaining how to publish and schedule. That’s a nice touch.

To create a post on Sprout, you are always only one click away with the green Compose button on the top right. The pop-in window resembles the other services I’ve already shown you.

The publishing tab shows a calendar view that lines up your scheduled posts. You can adjust the date range on the right to see more or less time.

When it comes to Instagram scheduling, the mechanism is similar to the other services I already described. You download the app and connect your Instagram. 

Then, you have to follow the steps to go through and share the content on Instagram via the Instagram app.

Sprout goes further than the other platforms I’ve outlined in both its project management capabilities and its focus on helping you grow your accounts.

Take, for example, the tasks tab.

As people interact with your Instagram account, you can manage your messages in the messages tab. By adding a task to a message, such as reply or contact this person, your task will show up in the tasks tab.

This is helpful when working in teams where a community manager can centralize the responses that are needed by going through and assigning who needs to do what.

You can also label someone as a potential lead, and make sure to follow up with them in a way that’s more sales-oriented than a simple response to a comment on an Instagram post.

The other cool feature on Sprout is the Discovery tab. The Discovery feature lets you created customized searches around hashtags to find people to interact with.

You can also use a geo-filter to narrow your search to a specific geographic area.

If you click on Suggestions on the menu on the left side of the screen, you will be able to find more people to follow who either follow you or who have interacted with you.

This is especially helpful if you’re managing a big community and you want to go through and find new, key people who are closer to helping you boost your business since they already know you.

Conclusion

Instagram finally allows automatically publishing on their account — at least if you have a business profile. 

Now it is easier than ever to schedule Instagram posts at the best times during the day and week to reach the maximum number of your followers.

To properly execute your Instagram strategy, use an Instagram scheduling tool, and make sure you avoid common mistakes.

Each platform offers different benefits, and above all, different interfaces.

Some interfaces will naturally be more comfortable for you. The only way to know is to test.

Once you find the right one, it will go a long way towards helping you execute a successful Instagram strategy.

What apps do you use to schedule posts on Instagram?

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Whether you use it to supplement your existing inbound marketing efforts or it makes up your entire strategy, you’ve probably used social media to meet your marketing objectives.

There are various social media platforms to choose from, and each comes with a user base that brings different advertising potential. Even though there are so many platforms, HubSpot marketing experts Kelly Hendrickson and Andrew Delaney don’t think that you should be using all of them.

Featured Resource: Digital Advertising Training Course

Hendrickson says, “When it comes to choosing which social platforms to invest in, there’s often not a one-size-fits-all answer.” This is because, based on your business’s buyer personas and marketing goals, certain channels will help your advertisements gain more traction, while others may not be as impactful.

This post covers six different social media platforms to give you an understanding of when you should and shouldn’t elect to use them in your social media advertising strategy.

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Which social networks should you advertise on?

When deciding which social networks to use, Delaney says, “It’s difficult to recommend one platform or another for social advertising.” It’s best to take a holistic view of your needs, what the platform has to offer and go from there.

That being said, some social networks are better equipped for meeting overall marketing needs than others, and we’ll discuss those below.

Facebook

Facebook has around 1.82 billion daily active users and is one of the most popular social media platforms. It is also the leading marketing platform worldwide, with 91% of B2B and 96% of B2C marketers using it for advertising and marketing.  

Given this, Hendrickson says, “For better or for worse, every business needs a Facebook advertising presence.” The platform has the most powerful tools for optimizing and targeting, enabling marketers to create a true buyer’s journey within the platform. Hendrickson adds, “It’s also a lot of bang for your buck,” meaning that conversion rates on the platform are high (4.7%, to be exact).

facebook advertising

Whether you’re a software company or a clothing business, you’ll likely find success on Facebook, especially if you use their ad management tool and create a Facebook marketing strategy that carefully considers your target audiences.

You can think of it like this: 15% of Facebook users use the platform to find and shop for products. Suppose you’re an eCommerce business that has targeted the right audiences for your advertisements. In that case, the networks’ high conversion rates say that your target market, who are already using the platform to shop, are likely to make purchases based on your ads.

Should you choose to use Facebook, you can use automation software, like Perfect Audience, to ensure that you’re continuously nurturing leads and targeting the most qualified customers. Perfect Audience helps you generate lists of users on Facebook that are most likely to become customers and re-targets them for continuous influence.

If you’re a HubSpot user, the tool integrates with Marketing Hub, and you can analyze campaign success and track conversions. Once you understand who your most qualified customers are, Perfect Audience helps you continuously re-target those customers to maximize your influence. The image below displays a summary of a campaign analysis on the Perfect Audience platform.

perfect audience hubspot integration campaign analysis demo

When shouldn’t you advertise on Facebook?

Despite being useful for most businesses, there are still times where advertising on the platform is not as beneficial.

For example, if you don’t have a deep understanding of who your target audience is, it might be best to place Facebook on the back burner until you can gain a thorough understanding of who they are. While ad targeting on Facebook is specific, and the algorithm learns from your leads over time, the process begins with a pre-existing list of groups to target.

Instagram

Instagram is a visual social media platform, favoring high-quality images and video content. The network has around 500 million daily active users, and 62.7% of its global audience are between 18-34 years old. In terms of user activity, 70% of shopping enthusiasts report using the app for product discovery.

Considering those facts, Instagram can be very profitable for B2C businesses (82% of B2C marketers are already using it), especially those that use high-quality photos and visuals to attract leads and drive conversions. Instagram has recently re-designed their mobile application to be more shopping focused than ever before, making it easier to advertise and sell products without needing customers to navigate to a website storefront.  

In addition, Instagram is beneficial for eCommerce businesses as a means of customer service. Rather than having users email questions or call customer service, you can ask followers to directly message you with questions, comment on your posts, and you can even post instructional videos explaining how your products work.

So, in sum, if you’re an eCommerce business that can produce high-quality visual content to attract and engage leads, Instagram is worth considering.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Instagram?

Unlike Facebook, Instagram really only caters to B2C businesses. If you’re a more corporate business not focused on individual consumer purchases, you’ll likely have some trouble marketing on Instagram and cultivating engagement.

However, using Instagram and not producing the high-quality content that the app requires won’t aid in your marketing efforts. Users on the app expect high-quality content, so having these visuals is crucial, regardless of your business type. If you don’t have the time or the means, turning to a different platform will likely bring more success as you dedicate time to learn about Instagram and create high-quality visual content for future use.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging social media platform, with 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users. It’s popular in 20 different countries, and its users send out around 500 million tweets per day.  It’s also popular with businesses, as 59% of B2B marketers and 53% of B2C marketers use the platform to meet their marketing goals.

Like Facebook, the possibilities for exposure on the app are incredibly high because of user count. Hendrickson says that, because of this, “Twitter is great to build awareness for your brand and reputation as a thought leader.”

social network advertising

Some of Twitter’s main features, like hashtags, make it easy to reach a wide variety of audiences without having to target them specifically (plus, hashtags don’t come with a price tag). It’s worth noting that tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement.

In addition to organic advertising, Twitter also has targeted marketing options that allow you to promote content to your key audiences.

In short, there are a variety of businesses that can advertise on Twitter. Smaller companies that may not have a large advertising budget can use free targeting with business-related hashtags. So can larger B2B enterprise businesses (as HubSpot does) that use paid advertising. Twitter can also be beneficial for any business with a significant understanding of their customer base, as ad targeting allows you to select relevant categories and demographic groups that may become qualified leads after seeing your campaigns.

However, Twitter is not the platform that will bring in a significant amount of site traffic conversions.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Twitter?

Hendrickson says, “Looking for site traffic? Twitter is probably not your friend. It’s tough to ask that audience to click and leave the platform.” If your overall marketing goal is to drive conversions to generate site traffic, it’s best to look elsewhere for those metrics.

Even though there are ways to target specific groups through hashtags without spending money, there is only so much you can do organically on Twitter to generate consistent engagement without consistent virality. If you’re a smaller business with a limited budget, relying on hashtags and mentions to advertise your business will make it challenging to hold out against larger, established businesses on the platform.

It may be best to then choose a platform that speaks more to your needs and use Twitter as a supplementary marketing channel.

Which social networks shouldn’t you advertise on?

All of the above platforms work for specific advertising needs. However, marketers with different goals can still develop a presence on the app and build their strategy until they need those marketing objectives. Delaney says, “Your success on different social media platforms can vary depending on your goal or objective, as well as your industry and where your target audience spends your time.”

social media channels to advertise on

There are other social media platforms whose audience and target demographics are so specific that it will be challenging to find success without meeting their niche requirements, like LinkedIn and TikTok.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that you should never consider these platforms. Instead, their user base is so niched that businesses who don’t have an explicit need for what the platform has to offer likely can’t make use of it.

Below, we’ll go over these two platforms, what they can be used for, and give marketers an idea of when they may be able to make use of these platforms in the future.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a unique social media platform, catered entirely towards businesses and working professionals. Although its user base is extremely specific, LinkedIn has powerful, targeted ad capabilities that can help marketers reach over 690 million users.

The costs of running LinkedIn ad campaigns are relatively high. Still, the audiences you’ll reach are higher-quality than other sites because leads are much more qualified than other social media channels. Your ads will always be seen by business-minded individuals targeted based on relevant demographic information like job title, claimed industry, and working location.

In addition to its higher costs, LinkedIn doesn’t have high click-through rates (the average is .45% lower than Facebook).

Because of its exclusivity, eCommerce businesses and B2C businesses will likely have little success in their LinkedIn marketing efforts, as platform users don’t browse with the intent of making purchases as they would on Instagram or Facebook, and even less than they would on Twitter.

Having said that, B2B businesses that use the platform may have something to gain.  

When should you advertise on LinkedIn?

82% of B2B marketers report using LinkedIn as a means of networking and making professional connections. Whether you’re hoping to raise brand awareness, get event registrations, advertise job opportunities, or recruit new employees, LinkedIn’s ad manager will help you designate target audiences and draw in the leads you need.  

If you’re looking to advertise a new job opportunity, use LinkedIn. If you’re hoping to network and grow connections in your field, use LinkedIn. If you’re a recruiter, use LinkedIn. The cost of advertising on the platform pays off for those who use it because, as mentioned above, the leads are significantly more qualified than they would be if you were to advertise a job on Facebook.

If you choose to incorporate LinkedIn into your B2B marketing strategy, using a platform like RollWorks can help you track campaign success and understand if the platform is worthwhile for your marketing strategy. RollWorks will give you campaign metrics in the form of activity graphs that provide overviews of conversions, cost per click (CPC), and return on investment (ROI).

RollWorks can be integrated with HubSpot, allowing you to get an overview of your campaign success across all platforms.

Nevertheless, B2C businesses do have opportunities to use LinkedIn for a variety of different scenarios besides engagement and conversions. For example, if you’re a B2C company looking to open a new storefront in an entirely different city, using LinkedIn to advertise job postings can be beneficial. The ad targeting will help you segment relevant audiences in that location and recruit professionals best suited for those positions.

TikTok

TikTok is a relatively new advertising platform for marketers to use. The company recently launched TikTok For Business, where marketers can learn about TikTok advertising and create ads that are best suited for the app.

The social media network has recently taken off and is available in 155 different countries, with over 600 million active monthly users. These users spend more time on the app than any other social media site, having an average session time of 10.85 minutes. Given this, the advertising potential on TikTok is high, especially when it comes to awareness and engagement.

TikTok, like over visual platforms, favors high-quality videos, but the preferred type of video content is different, which makes it more difficult to find success. This is because TikTok is popular among Generation Z, and most of its users are between the ages of 10 and 19. While the app can give you exposure to a younger audience than most other social media apps, this demographic is very specific in the types of content they enjoy. They shy away from ‘sales-to-drive’ leads promotions and prefer informal behind the scenes content ads.

They like to see a more human side of your business, like who creates the products you produce and what day-to-day looks like for your business employees. If your business is not prepared to meet these needs, it will be hard to benefit from the high engagement rates that TikTok has to offer. However, there is always room for growth and businesses to devise a marketing plan that favors TikTok preferences.

When should you use TikTok?

Businesses that will find the most success on the app are ready to, or already, create and post behind the scenes, organic content on their account. If you’re a clothing company, this could look like a behind the scenes video of a photoshoot for your new clothing line.

If your brand or business is B2B focused and typically creates sales-driven formal content, utilizing the platform would require a significant amount of focus diverted to a TikTok marketing strategy to make the content it prefers. Henrickson says, “When it comes to newer or more experimental channels like TikTok, they’re worth trying if you have the resources. Beating the competition to a platform and succeeding is great, but if your other tried and true channels suffer because of it, it probably isn’t the right move for your brand in the long run.”

advertising on social media platforms

That being said, if your business is looking to branch out and produce content to display a new, human side of your company, TikTok is a great place to start, especially since engagement rates are higher than Instagram and Twitter across all follower levels. Using the platform can help you diversify your content types and share a creative side of your business.

Additionally, TikTok does favor influencer marketing and influencer content. If your business already uses this type of advertising, using TikTok as a place to post this content is worth considering.

Making Your Final Decision

Choosing the platform you’ll use to execute your marketing strategy depends on your overall business goals and business type. If you’re consumer-purchase focused, you want to use a platform that will entice your audience to purchase your products, like high-quality Instagram photos. If you’re a recruiting company, you want professionals to know that you’re serious about your efforts and not running a scam, like LinkedIn job postings.

Delaney says, “I’m usually in favor of testing out various types of creative content across different objectives and audiences on multiple platforms, iterating on those results, and comparing over time.” You may find that a platform you initially thought was best doesn’t draw in the results you were hoping for.

If you analyze your campaign metrics and pay attention to the campaigns you run, you’ll get the information you need to make educated decisions about your marketing efforts. You can determine which platform offers the best results for your business and use that to inform future media placements.

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