Increasingly Instagram is becoming a product discovery platform, perfect for eCommerce brands. In fact, Instagram is prioritising Shoppable features with a stack of new platform tools allowing retailers to leverage, promote and sell their products within the Instagram ecosystem. And even before users are ready to tap ‘Buy Now’, Instagram is one of the best social platforms for brand building and driving awareness (which is essential to pushing shoppers along the purchase journey). From partnering with strategic influencers to organically growing an engaged Instagram following, Instagram offers powerful opportunities to reach new customers in a cost-effective way. Plus, Instagram’s paid campaigns allow you to target your ideal customers and serve low-cost ads to them to inspire product discovery, interest and conversion at-scale. In this guide, we’ll walk you through why Instagram is the ultimate platform launching a new product, how to nail your launch and marketing strategy and stacks of best practice tips to turn your Instagram profile into a revenue driving machine. Why Instagram is the perfect platform for marketing a new product No matter what new product you’re launching, Instagram is the social media platform of choice to help your latest release reach the right customers. In fact, 81% of Instagram users are scrolling through the platform with this goal in mind: to research and discover new products to purchase. Instagram allows you to leverage paid and organic content marketing to reach, engage and convert your ideal customers. And, unlike most social media platforms, you can tap into the power of influencer marketing as a revenue-driving tool, too. Plus, you don’t need to go on the ‘hard sell’ to boost conversions. In fact, Instagram is the ideal platform for community building and boosting brand awareness (the essential foundation to inspire conversion), with 2 in 3 people saying the social network has helped to foster interactions with brands. Still not convinced? Let’s walk you through three key reasons why Instagram is the ultimate platform for marketing your new product: Instagram offers cost-effective advertising opportunities: did you know the average cost-per-click (CPC) of an Instagram ad is as little as $0.50? And it’s dropping, with recent reports showing that the CPC of Instagram Feed ads has lowered ~20% YoY and on Instagram Stories by ~15% YoY. That means you can make your marketing budget work harder for you and generate stronger results, without sinking thousands of dollars on digital advertising. Instagram offers purpose-built eCommerce features: there’s a reason why a whopping 130 million Instagram users tap on shoppable posts each month on the platform. Rather than sending users off to a brand’s website, Instagram’s shopping features allows users to go from product discovery to purchase in just a few taps (all without leaving the Instagram app, too). Instagram allows brands to tap into influencer marketing: want to boost your new product’s awareness and inspire high-intent audiences to convert? By crafting an Instagram influencer strategy, you can align your brand with high-profile influencers to craft content that helps your brand and product reach new pools of potential customers (for a fraction of the cost of digital advertising). When it comes to launching a new product, gaining exposure and reaching the right kind of users is what will drive strong sales from day one. By tapping into the power of Instagram marketing, you can get your product in front of high-intent customers, boost the reach of your brand and inspire strong conversion rates, all within the Instagram platform. How to launch and market a new product on Instagram So, you’re ready to use Instagram to launch and market your new product, now what? The key to maximising your Instagram marketing efforts when launching a new product is to understand how to leverage the platform’s features to hit your business goals. By learning what tools and features you have up your sleeve, you can craft a launch and marketing strategy that will turn your Instagram profile into a revenue generating machine. Not sure where to start? Keep reading to discover our six expert tips for maximising exposure, engagement and, most importantly, sales of your new product on Instagram. Tip 1. Design a pre-launch strategy that fosters an engaged Instagram community Think about all the work that was involved in designing and crafting your latest product. From briefing suppliers to finalising packaging, there’s stacks of steps required in getting your product from idea to execution. And the same goes for your Instagram launch strategy. Because here’s the thing: the more planning you put into your Instagram launch strategy, the better chance you’ll have of a successful launch. The key objective of your product launch strategy on Instagram needs to be this: building an engaged follower base who are primed and ready to buy your new product. Wondering how to organically grow your Instagram following ahead of your product launch? Here are our top tips for getting the right users to join your community on Instagram: Optimise your Instagram Business Account for discoverability: did you know that two-thirds of all profile visits to Instagram Business accounts come from users that aren’t following that brand? That means having your profile optimised to reach your ideal customers will help you to organically grow your following ahead of your product launch. In practical terms, that means: Crafting a username (your ‘@’ handle) that captures your brand, is simple and memorable, easy to search and contains keywords that your customers are searching for on Instagram. Use your brand’s logo as your Instagram profile image to build recognition of your brand at every touch point. Leverage your Instagram Bio to spell out who you are, what you do, and who you serve, while also peppering this copy with strategic keywords related to your product offering. Craft a hashtag strategy: the stats reveal that Instagram posts will over 11 hashtags per post receive more engagement than other content on Instagram. So, a great way to build your follower base is to do your research and find high-value hashtags related to your brand, your industry and the product you’re launching. By peppering a handful of tailored hashtags into your posts you’ll improve the searchability and discoverability of your content on Instagram. Be proactive about community engagement: don’t wait for users to find your Instagram profile, go out and proactively engage with new pools of relevant Instagram users on a regular basis. By dedicating a few hours a week to commenting, liking and messaging potential customers on Instagram, you’ll build meaningful relationships with these users (even before they follow your brand on Instagram). Leverage Instagram platform features to boost your organic reach: one of the best ways to get your content onto Instagram’s Explore feed is this: design high-quality Reels. These punchy, edited 15-second videos are offering brands tremendously organic reach opportunities (in fact, there’s an entire tab on the Instagram app dedicated to showing audiences new, engaging Reels from brands they don’t already follow). So, make sure to prioritise this content format during the pre-launch stage of your campaign to get more eyeballs on your Instagram content. With your Instagram follower base growing, it’s time to turn your attention to the next step in your pre-launch strategy: your social media content calendar. Ideally, you should be sharing content with your audience about your next product launch 60 to 90 days prior to launch. Why? Because that gives you a strong runway to connect with your followers, highlight the problems they’re facing, and prime them for the solution you’ve created: your new product. That means during the pre-launch stage, you need to design a content calendar that spells out what Instagram activity you’ll be sharing over the next few months. This calendar needs to explain: How many posts you’ll be sharing each week The key objective and goal of each post What asset (image, video, GIF etc.) you’ll use to share each post What caption you’ll use to accompany each post What time of day it will be posted to reach your target audience when they’re online By planning your entire Instagram launch content in advance you’ll be able to strategically move your audience from awareness to conversion in 60 to 90 days ahead of launch. Plus, you’ll be able to ensure you’re posting consistently right through to launch day and building anticipation for your product along the way. Tip 2. Partner with Instagram influencers to build buzz about your product Did you know that one in two daily Instagram users have purchased a product because an influencer recommended it? Clearly, there’s stacks of conversion opportunities by aligning your brand (and new product) with the right kind of influencers. But to get the best results from an influencer partnership, you need to assess which kind of influencers are the right fit for your product launch campaign. This means clarifying: Who do you want to target? If you’re looking for a highly specific pool of customers, you’ll need to handpick micro-influencers (under 2,000 followers) who are specialised in the right industries. However, if you’re looking to attract a broad pool of customers, larger big ticket influencers with over 100,000 followers can be your best bet. What kind of partnership are you looking for? If you’re looking for content creation, make sure to select influencers with a strong portfolio of work that suits your brand’s aesthetic. However, if you’re merely looking for a shout out on their Instagram Stories, having strong content production skills will be less of a priority. How much are you willing to spend? Recent research into the cost of influencer marketing reveals that cost is really dependent on the size of each influencer’s network. For example, the average price of a sponsored post with an influencer with less than 1,000 followers was US$83, while for an influencer with over 100,000 followers the average price spikes to USS$763. Once you’ve clarified which type of influencer is right for your campaign, it’s time to bring your influencer partnership to life. In general terms, that involves: Sending sneak peeks of your upcoming product to a handful of targeted influencers for use in sponsored posts or partner Instagram content (such as Feed posts, Reels, IGTVs or Instagram Stories). Setting guidelines with your chosen influencer that spell out what kind of content you need them to create, how many posts they’ll need to share, what key messages to include, any campaign or brand hashtags they need to use, and deadlines for publishing content. Creating a content approval process to ensure you can review each post and provide feedback before the influencer hits publish. This will safeguard the reputation of your brand and ensure your new product is promoted in-line with the rest of your campaign content. Establishing agreed resharing rights of this influencer content to ensure you can cross promote these posts and pieces of content to your own Instagram channel. Ultimately a successful influencer partnership can be a powerful tool to help boost the buzz about your upcoming product launch with a wide net of new customers. However, you need to be selective about who you work with and how you manage this partnership to ensure you get the maximum exposure for your investment. Tip 3. Build anticipation using Instagram’s platform features and tools Ahead of your product launch, it’s your job to get your Instagram followers excited for launch day. Luckily, Instagram offers stacks of platform features that allow you to build hype and anticipation for your product release. And here’s why it matters: creating a buzz about your product strikes an emotive reaction from your audience. The most invested they are in your launch, the more likely they are to convert when sales open. Some of the best content features to help build anticipation for your product launch include: Instagram Stories: these pieces of ephemeral content allow you to build interest and anticipation for your product with interactive tools such as Countdown Stickers, Polls, Question Stickers and more. Instagram Live broadcast: generate hype for your upcoming launch by hosting a live sneak peek broadcast that gives your followers a first, exclusive look at your product. Giveaways and contests: Instagram is the perfect platform to run a pre-launch giveaway to drive audience growth and engagement ahead of your official launch (and get your followers primed and ready to buy when the product goes on sale, too). Tip 4. Run Instagram ads to reach new, high-intent demographics While organic Instagram activity is essential to launch a new product on Instagram, it’s also important to amplify your efforts with paid Instagram ads. And here’s why: 50% of Instagram users are more interested in a brand when they see ads from them on Instagram. What makes Instagram ads so useful when launching new products is their ability to give you total control of who sees your content. Unlike organic posts, paid posts allow you to target specific audience demographics and guarantee your posts reach them (without relying on the organic Instagram algorithm). And when we talk about targeting, Instagram ads allow you to get granular about who your content reaches. That means you can serve your ads to different users based on: Their location (either by city, state or country) Demographics (such as age and gender) Interests (such as app usage and what accounts they follow) Behaviours on and off Instagram So, how can you maximise the impact of yoru paid activity on Instagram? Here are our top tips for leverage Instagram ads to launch your new product: Set the right ad objective: if you’re in the pre-launch stage of your campaign, it’s worth focusing your ads on the goal of audience growth and engagement. However, once your product goes on sale, make sure to switch your ad objective to sales and conversions. Test multiple ads at once: avoid pouring your entire budget into one ad and spread your campaign budget across a number of different ads to see what images, videos and captions deliver the best results for your campaign. Add a strong and clear call-to-action: the best ads offer prescriptive call-to-actions that motivate users to take action (whether that’s following a brand or buying their latest product release). Tip 5. Leverage Instagram’s Shopping Features With 130 million users tapping on Instagram shopping posts each month, it’s a no-brainer to leverage Instagram’s shopping features when launching and marketing a new product. Essentially, Instagram’s Shopping features allow brands to turn their Instagram profile into an eCommerce store. With in-app product search and discovery features, you can streamline the path to purchase and boost conversions for your latest product release too. So, let’s walk you through the key Instagram Shopping features you need to tap into when launching a product on the platform: Product Tags: these shoppable tags allow brands to turn photos, videos and stories into shoppable posts. Once a user taps on this tag, they’ll be taken to a new page that reveals an in-depth product description, price, additional imagery and even related items from your Instagram Shop. Shop Tab: allow new users to discover your latest product by scoring a feature on Instagram’s curated Shop tab. This changes based on user behaviour and can help your new product reach valuable new customers. Explore page features: did you know your shoppable posts can also be featured on Instagram’s Explore page? With 200 million accounts scrolling through this feed each day, getting your shoppable posts featured here means your new product can be seen by users who aren’t even following your brand. Save for later: even if users are ready to shop your new product immediately, they can easily tap ‘Save’ to bookmark this product and add it to their personalised Saved collections to revisit and shop at a later date. In-app shopping: while Instagram’s first fully native checkout experience is still rolling out globally, this powerful eCommerce feature will allow brands to sell their products natively within the Instagram platform. When launching and marketing a new product, this is an important tool that can make it easier to convert Instagram users and move them from product discovery to checkout in a few taps. With 50% of users making a purchase after seeing a product on Instagram Stories alone, it’s clear that Instagram is the platform of choice for brands looking to drive sales for a new product launch. Tip 6. Tap into user-generated content Once your new product goes on sale, how do you encourage shoppers to share their experience online? With Instagram, you can inspire, curate and reshare powerful user generated content (UGC) with ease to boost conversions. The key to encouraging purchasers to create and share UGC is to incentivise them to post about their experience with your brand on Instagram. In practical terms, that means: Creating a brand or product hashtag and promoting this on your physical product or packaging (with a strong call to action to inspire them to snap their experience online). Running competitions or offers prizes to incentivise UGC sharing from past customers (whether that’s choosing a monthly winner to score an exclusive prize or discount code). Regularly checking and reviewing your product hashtag on Instagram to curate the best UGC and use these pieces of content to promote your new product on Instagram. As far as social proof goes, UGC is one of the most effective ways to build trust with potential customers on Instagram and generate interest around your new product. By resharing content from real customers, you’ll allow your shoppers to advocate for your new product in their own words and boost the chance of conversions from Instagram too. So there you have it. When it comes to launching and marketing a new product, Instagram is the ultimate social media platform to generate powerful, cost-effective results. With an engaged following, a 90-day launch strategy and Instagram best practice in mind, you’ll be able to reach valuable new customers and drive them from product discovery to purchase in just a few taps. Want to give your launch an unfair advantage? There’s nothing worse than putting something new and awesome into the world and see it fall flat. So if you want to launch with a bang and soar, try Sked Social free for 7-days. You’ll get a content calendar, product tagging, UGC sourcing, a link in bio, hashtag analytics, and find when your audience is engaging with your posts. Try it for yourself for free now.