Monetization is one of the biggest challenges for social media marketers. It's nice when a post about a business gets a lot of engagement, but the end goal is always to increase sales. Marketers often struggle with this process of turning buzz into buyers. Last week, Instagram announced some new features that will make it easier for businesses to sell products through the social media platform.

Earlier this year, Instagram launched a new system that would allow app users to buy products through the app. Instagram Checkouts was a massive step in the right direction in making it easier for brands to monetize their social media accounts. Now, Instagram is making it easier to tag products in posts that can be purchased through Instagram Checkouts.

For businesses that are a part of the trial for the new feature, they can tag products that are in shopping posts on Instagram. When someone clicks the image for more information about the items shown, they will get the option to purchase items they see through Instagram. Once the customer clicks, they are taken to a page within the app where they can customize the order (e.g., get the correct size) and then checkout.

Allowing customers to checkout from within the app eliminates one of the most significant barriers to monetizing a social media channel. People don't want to leave the app to visit another site. Keeping the checkout internal to Instagram removes that issue and makes it easier for people to seamlessly shop while enjoying Instagram.

Adding the ability to tag items in photos and link them to products for sale could be a valuable tool for brands and content creators involved with influencer marketing. By making it easier to shop for the items they see in an Instagram photo, companies can see higher returns on this marketing tactic.

Camila Coelho, an influencer on Instagram that is a part of the trial, explained the benefits of the new feature. Speaking of the new feature, Coelho stated, "What I share on Instagram is a window into what inspires me, especially when it comes to my personal style. I'm constantly posting photos and videos in my favorite fashion and beauty looks because I want to share what I love with my community. My followers are always asking in comments and DM's about what brands I'm wearing or where to buy certain pieces -shopping tags will make it so much easier to give my followers the information they're looking for with a single tap. The days of screenshotting, saving to your camera roll, and scavenger hunting to find my go-to products are gone!"

Currently, the Checkouts feature is only available to select retailers on Instagram who signed up for the beta. You have to be in the Checkouts beta to be considered for the trial of the new tagging feature.

This new feature from Instagram is still undergoing beta testing, but businesses can apply to be part of the trial. The initial test will include dozens of creators, including well-known brands like Vogue, GQ, Kylie Jenner, and Elle USA.

For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article on some of the other tests happening on Instagram, such as removing the like counter from posts to decrease competition for engagement.

Published on: May 6, 2019
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