6 Ways to Use Instagram Direct for eCommerce Marketing

instagram direct

In the coming year, eCommerce marketing will be evolving from simple product promotion to creating personalized relationships between consumers and marketers. Customers actually want more than just an efficient transaction and there’s always a better way to sell to them, too.

Facebook’s photo sharing application Instagram launched direct messaging, popularly known as Snapchat Killer. It’s a new way to share your product photos and videos with your customers. Instagram Direct is built to feel natural to the Instagram experience. Merchants can now drive personal messages containing photos and 15-second videos similar to twitter’s direct message functionality. These messages can be shared with individuals or groups of up to 15 people and can attract users who are more apt to use apps.

The app has evolved as a means of visual communication allowing online retailers to express detailed information about their products and services. You can directly advertise your brand using Instagram Direct to engage with your existing fans. You can also use this new feature for solving customer service issues and brand reputation management.

How Do You Use Instagram Direct?

  • First, take a photograph and/or record a video. Add optional effects, filters and captions if you like.
  • Next, tap on an option called “direct” on the screen.
  • Tap the names of the followers you wish to send the video and/or photo.
  • Lastly, tap on “send.”

Use Instagram Direct for eCommerce Marketing

Hold a Contest

Post a product photo with instructions stating that the first 10 people to comment on the photo will receive a direct message from you with detailed information on how to enter a secret contest. You can also ask each of the 10 people to submit a photo of themselves using the product to win prizes. Then post the best photos to different social channels for added content.

Promote New Products

Nothing can beat the way of direct messaging to let select groups of followers know about a new product. You can send a private message containing a photo of a newly launched product through Instagram Direct (but cannot share them on social network sites). This encourages investigation and sparks word of mouth. Be sure to also include a link.

Feature Sales and Coupons

Reward your top followers with exclusive sales promo codes and coupons. These are the people who comment, like and share your content frequently. A good idea is to send the photo to selected followers with a coupon code letting them know that they are your loyal fans.

Hold a Q&A Group Chat

Instagram Direct enables online merchants to interact with their followers by supporting a chat function. In addition to threaded conversations, you can also host question answer sessions to learn about your followers and educate them as well. This is a great way for qualitative market research.

Target Followers Via Their Demographics

Through direct message you can send special photos and videos to your followers based on their locations or demographics. This is important because you can ask for their feedback to be used as brand research.

For instance, you can ask your California based customers about your latest products and services. Instagram is more popular among teens and millennials as they are the most active mobile users and more likely to share their lives online. Therefore, Instagram is considered an attractive channel to target this group of people.

Behind the Scenes Stories

This strategy serves as a way to humanize your business and deepen your relationship with your customers. The images and videos can include customers using your products or something like happy moments in their lives.

Instagram Direct messages can help you to search for customers who are a fit for your brand and reach out to them directly.

Image: Instagram

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William Johnson William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media - web design. He is currently an Editor at Big Eye Deers and he is obsessed with the latest trends in ecommerce, SEO and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, Small Business Trends and SocialMediaToday.

25 Reactions
  1. I love Instagram Direct because I am able to share images to the people who are closed to me. If I don’t want other people to view these images, I can use this. But then, if this will be used for marketing, there is a fine line between marketing and spamming people.

  2. Instagram Direct could work for eCommerce to get more exposure. Some users follow so many people that they might miss your post, and with DM they will definitely see your photo. Hopefully Instagram will expand the number of people you can include in one message.
    Holding a contest is a great idea

    • Hi Tamar,

      Thanks for the reply. Yes Instagram helps in reaching your product to a selected group of your target consumers and makes sure they do not miss out any important update relate to your product

  3. I definitely have to figure out how to use Instagram Mari Smith. Thank you for all the great information you share.

  4. Wow! Excellent article!

    I have a new exhaustive eBook coming out on Virus and Malware Removal. I have been wondering how in the world I could utilize Instagram and Kim Garst pointed me to her Twitter #instgramtips and I found your site.:)

    Do you have any specific ideas about info products and Instagram? I really like the idea about giveaways and coupons.

    Thanks again!

  5. Great post William. I really like Instagram direct very much as it allows to share all my business and personal photos as well as videos with my known peoples. It’s a great application for improving the brand awareness around the whole world.

  6. Hi William,

    I’ll start with disclosure and share that I’m part of the team at Treepodia.com – We’re the leading provider of automated video solutions for ecommerce (our clients include Walmart, Cnet, Lenovo, etc.)

    I must admit that my initial reaction to your post was slightly skeptic – I’m used to measuring views in 10’s of K, so it was hard for me to see the value of pushing a message to such a small number of consumers, BUT once I read your ideas regarding competitions etc. my perception changed – that type of idea looks like something that absolutely has value!

    Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking out for more from you : )
    Mike Darnell

  7. Social media websites has a huge impact on eCommerce for the past year. That’s why it’s a high priority for marketing professionals, where most of their prospects can easily be found. Instagram is a good strategy, following facebook and twitter. You just need to pick the best approach for users, a one liner that surely get their attention.

  8. Great article, but I’m not really sure how it’s possible to target followers based on location. If you could lend any advice on that, it would be appreciated!

  9. One more point to add is customer product testimonials. Ask customers to take selfies along with the product and push it to your timeline. This would surely trickle the word of mouth for the product and your store !

  10. Excellent post William. Thanks!

  11. Great article, but I’m not really sure how it’s possible to target followers based on location. If you could lend any advice on that good