If you want to launch a product on Instagram, there are quite a few ways to do it. Not only that, but it’s a great tool for introducing any product to the world.
According to eMarketer, 11% of Instagram users use Instagram to shop for products. Instagram’s own user survey tells us that about 81% of users research products on Instagram. That means you want to make sure that Instagram users are finding the best information about your new product.
Here are some options for you to consider. You can pick and choose the ones you like and even combine which ones might work best for your business.
Option #1: Use Influencers
Instagram is the platform best known for its influencers. You’ll want to identify influencers with audiences that match your ideal audience.
Here are some things you’ll want to vet these influencers on:
- Location – Is your product only available in certain areas? Make sure your influencer’s audience fits that area as well.
- Professionalism – Some brands can afford to be silly or even crass but make sure your business’s version of professionalism matches the level of professionalism from this influencer.
- Previous collaborations – Have they worked with your competitors before? Sometimes that means an influencer won’t work with you. Make sure you know their background
- Aesthetic – Influencers put in a lot of work to have their feed look a certain way. Make sure your product fits in with their style.
- Reach – The number of followers an influencer has doesn’t necessarily mean they are reaching that many people. Reach depends on a lot of factors and a good influencer will know how to reach more people.
- Engagement – If someone has a small audience but their posts get lots of positive comments, that means their followers are engaged. That’s a valuable tool, especially when you’re hoping for conversions.
Free Product vs. Paid Collaboration
When thinking about working with Influencers, you should think about what type of collaboration you’re open to. Are you hoping to send them a free product in exchange for talking about that product? For some big influencers, they get tons of free products and this won’t make a dent. For small influencers, free products will be a great deal. Just keep in mind that the influencer isn’t required to say nice things about your product just because they got it for free.
Paid collaborations are more of a contract. Depending on how much you pay, you can have control of the copy of the post itself and the general idea of the photo that’s posted. It gives more control but is obviously not as organic or trustworthy.
Option #2: Build Anticipation
Figure out your launch date and work to build up anticipation around that. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Share an Instagram story with a countdown to the launch
- Go live behind the scenes making the product
- Go live when the countdown is ending
- Share stories showing the product in use
- Share posts to preview the product
- Create an IGTV video to promote the product
There are plenty of options to try here. The Instagram countdown is one of the best. It allows people viewing your story to save that countdown so they can be reminded when something goes live.
Keep in mind, all these building anticipation tactics can be used by influencers as well to promote your product.
Option #3: User Generated Content (UGC)
User generated content is some of the best content you can come by. People trust what they hear from someone else, that’s why influencers work so well. However, there are other people on social media who are not influencers who will still share information about your product.
This might be more of an after launch opportunity. Create a hashtag that goes with your new product, encourage people to use that hashtag, and then monitor what is being posted. If someone posts a great photo, ask them if they’d be okay with you using it and giving them photo credit.
It’s a quick way to get a free testimonial and more content for your own feed.
If you want more UGC before the launch, consider sending free products to fans. If someone has tagged your company before or comments frequently (in a positive manner) on your post, they’d probably be so excited to receive your product before the launch. They’ll create some UGC for you that you can then share. It’s similar to working with influencers but this time it’s not about that person’s reach, engagement, etc. It’s just about the testimonial that comes from it.
Option #4: Close Friends List
Do you remember the days of the MySpace top 8? Well, Instagram has brought it back with the close friends list. This list isn’t visible to others but you can use it to engage with your top fans.
Like we mentioned with the UGC, there might be some people who are constantly tagging your company or commenting on posts. You know that they’re big fans. You can provide some tailored content to this group.
Once they’re added to your close friends list, you can provide exclusive content through stories or messages.
Here are some ideas for using your close friends list:
- Tell your close friends about the new product first
- Provide an exclusive coupon code
- Share behind the scenes stories related to your new product
- Encourage them to share the product with an appropriate hashtag when they purchase
- If possible, allow them to buy the product first
The close friends list is all about exclusivity and feeling special. This group will have special access and that will encourage them to create more UGC about your brand.
Option #5: Advertisements
It may seem obvious, but if you have a new product you probably want to put some advertising money behind it.
You can advertise to your current audience, an email list, or to people who visited your website (so long as you have the Facebook pixel install). All of these options will work well for a product launch because these are people who have shown some interest in your company before and might want to know about this new product.
If you feel the product is something so new that you’ll need to reach a new audience, take some time to think about your targeting. You might want to go into Facebook Insights and play around with the options. If you have a decent amount of money for this, you might even try Facebook Experiments.
Option #6: Go Live
We mentioned this before, but you just can’t beat going live. A live stream is a great way to notify your whole audience of something.
You can use it to show a behind-the-scenes of a product being made or partner with an influencer to show ways the product can be used.
Since live streams show up so prominently on Instagram, it’s a good idea to do one. If you need tips on how to go live confidently, check out our blog.
Launching a Product on Instagram
There are a lot of different avenues that you can take. The key thing with all of these is to make a plan. Decide what you’re doing when. If you need help planning out the different elements, we use project management software called Asana to keep our team on track.