Want more sales from Instagram? Wondering about better ways to use product tags?
In this article, you’ll discover 15 ways businesses can use Instagram product tags to drive sales. You’ll also see examples of brands doing it right.
What Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Product Tags
Since their initial launch in 2016, Instagram product tags have evolved dramatically. Instagram Shops rolled out in 2020, letting businesses use product tags to drive traffic to their in-app storefronts. And since 2019, creators have been able to add other businesses' product tags to their own content.
For example, the @viskicraft Instagram post below includes a product tag that users can tap to buy the item directly. Users can also tap the View Shop button below the post to browse the business' full Instagram shop.
In March 2022, Instagram announced another product tag expansion. When this new rollout finishes, any Instagram user will be able to add product tags to their content. That means your product tags have the potential to get a lot more traction as long as you encourage people to use them. From customers to influencers to brand partners, there are tons of ways you can make these shoppable product tags work for your business.
This expanded product tag functionality is slated to roll out in the U.S. during Q2 2022. That means you have some time to finish setting up your shop, fine-tune your strategy, and decide on the right access level. In the mobile app settings, you can determine whether Instagram users can tag your products.
If you're setting up your business' first Instagram shop or looking for new ways to leverage product tags, here are 15 ideas for using this feature including ways to maximize value from third-party content.
#1: Launch a New Product
Planning to expand your product lineup? Publishing Instagram feed posts is a great way to improve awareness. By adding product tags, you can do more than just introduce your newest offering and generate interest. You can prompt customers to tap and shop, too.
The @botanicalbright feed post below keeps its new product announcement simple, using the caption to state that it's “just arrived.” The tagged product takes up most of the visual field, making it easy for customers to know exactly what to do next: tap and shop.
How can you get Instagram users involved in your new product launches? Keep the excitement going by encouraging them to snap a photo and tag your product as soon as they receive it.
#2: Promote Instagram Checkout-Ready Products
When you set up an Instagram shop, you have the option to point people to your website to buy or you can enable Instagram checkout. If you enable the latter option, customers can complete their purchase without leaving the app.
For example, the @simplehuman Instagram post below features a product with Instagram checkout enabled. The multicolored arrows in the product tag signal Instagram checkout compatibility and draw extra attention to the tag at the same time.
If your business doesn't already use Instagram checkout, it may be worth considering a switch. With this feature enabled, you can make it easier for people to buy—whether your business, your customers, or your favorite influencers tag your products.
#3: Build an Instagram Carousel
Why stop with one product when you can share several in a single post? You can add more than one product tag to a single image, but when you want to make a single product the star of the image, Instagram carousels are a better bet. With Instagram carousels, you can showcase multiple products and add separate tags to each card.
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The @nomad Instagram carousel below includes two cards, each of which has a single shoppable product. The monochromatic color scheme highlights the contrast between the two products and helps customers consider which would fit better in their own space.
#4: Tag a Product in the Caption
Instagram product tags only display for a few seconds before disappearing and allowing users to consume the content without visual distractions. But the shopping icon and the View Shop banner always display on Instagram content with product tags.
Thanks to the banner's bright colors, it's easy to spot when a feed post includes product tags. But you can draw more attention to shoppable products by adding a tag in the caption. These text-based tags are hyperlinked and take customers right to your Instagram shop.
The @homedeco feed post below has a product tag in the image and caption. The shopping bag icon in the text makes the text tag more visible, giving followers an added opportunity to shop the brand's products.
#5: Show a Product That's on Sale
Having a sale or offering a limited-time discount? With Instagram shops, it's easy to promote products when they're on sale. Product tags update dynamically and state “On Sale” anytime you lower the price. If your customers were waiting for the right moment to shop, a sale tag makes a great incentive.
For example, the @uncommongoods Instagram post below shows a tagged product that's on sale. Other branded content with the same product tag features the same “On Sale” messaging. If customers or influencers were to tag the same product in their own content, it would also feature the “On Sale” tag.
#6: Run an Instagram Giveaway
Want to grow your audience and engage your customers? An Instagram giveaway is a fun way to get people to interact with your content and express interest in your products. A co-branded giveaway gives you even more opportunities to expand your audience, as any businesses you partner with can share the giveaway to their own Instagram following.
For example, the @ftlofshop Instagram post below features a co-branded giveaway. The post uses product tags to make the designer's earrings easy to shop, and the caption tags the fellow business participating in the giveaway.
With expanded product tags now available, businesses can get even more traction from product tags. In your giveaway posts, you can tag all shoppable products, whether they're linked to your own or another business' Instagram shop.
#7: Reveal How You Make a Product
Behind-the-scenes content can be incredibly compelling for current and potential customers. Showing people how you make or package products can help them understand your process and give them a new appreciation for your hard work.
The @ofthebirds video below shows the designer cutting fabric to make dresses. Even though the footage is sped up, the video makes it clear how much work goes into the process. Viewers intrigued by the process, fabric, or design can tap to shop the multiple styles of the dress that are tagged in the video.
#8: Explain How to Use a Product
Want to help your customers get more use out of your products? If everything you sell is relatively complex, tutorials are great for clarifying the steps and helping customers get started.
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But how-to content for easy-to-use products can work just as well. By detailing the short series of steps customers should take to enjoy your product, they can envision themselves using it and get inspired to shop.
The @valleycruisepress Instagram reel below features a super-simple tutorial on how to use a throw blanket. Text overlays clarify each step of the process, which concludes with “Get cozy.” People inspired by the reel can tap the “View Product” tag to shop the featured throw blanket or browse other items in the shop.
#9: Pull Together an Entire Outfit
If your products tend to work better together, don't hesitate to tag more than one item in a post or reel. That way, customers can shop the whole set of products or pull together an entire outfit in seconds, as in the example below from @jcrewmens. With Instagram's new product tag options, you can even add complementary items from other businesses to the mix.
#10: Help Followers Style a Product
No matter how excited customers are about your product, they may not feel compelled to buy if they don't understand how to incorporate it into their daily lives. A short-form styling video can inspire customers to buy, especially for clothing and design brands.
For example, the @idaandmoon Instagram reel below shows people how to wear the designer's bag and how to adjust it to fit perfectly. In just 15 seconds, the reel shows multiple versions of the bag paired with various outfits, giving viewers tons of styling ideas. When customers tap the product tag, they can buy the bag and browse other items from the designer's shop.
#11: Spotlight a Brand Partner
Does your business partner with other companies to create irresistible products? From reels to feed posts, Instagram content supports both product tags and account mentions, meaning you can add both at the same time to give credit where it's due.
For example, @thesill Instagram post below features a flower bouquet kit produced in partnership with @yourpoppyflowers. The post features a shoppable product tag and the caption mentions @yourpoppyflowers.
The @breadsrsly feed post below features a bread loaf made using @justdatesyrup ingredients. In addition to the @breadsrsly product tag, the post tags @justdatesyrup to highlight the partnership.
Using the newly expanded product tag functionality, businesses can take this approach a step further. In addition to tagging a supplier, you can tag their product, allowing you to deepen your relationship with a preferred brand partner.
#12: Highlight a Customer Review
Sharing customer reviews can be incredibly effective for a couple of reasons. Consumers tend to place high levels of trust in reviews and use them to make purchasing decisions. That means a great review could win you more customers.
Descriptive reviews take this concept a step further. These reviews can give potential customers new ideas for using your products, which can help them decide to make a purchase. Since you can add product tags to reviews, they make shopping seamless.
For example, the @eugeniakids Instagram post below shares a glowing review. The reviewer explains why they made the purchase, giving prospective customers a reason to purchase their own. Because the brand has added a product tag to the review, customers can tap and shop.
The @maikagoods feed post below takes a slightly different approach, adding the review to the caption rather than the creative. In the image, this business highlights the product described in the review and adds shoppable tags for several versions.
To take advantage of Instagram's expanded product tags, consider asking happy customers to tag your products in their reviews. You'll be able to find their reviews much easier, and other customers will have a much smoother time shopping.
#13: Reshare User-Generated Content
Similar to glowing reviews, great user-generated content (UGC) may also convert new customers. In fact, because of its authentic nature, UGC can be even more effective at winning customers than branded content. When you share UGC to your Instagram profile, you can tag products to help customers locate the same items easily.
For example, the @wandpdesign Instagram post below features UGC by @elle_1210 that shows one of the brand's products in action.
With the new product tag functionality, finding UGC on Instagram is likely to become much easier. You'll receive a notification every time someone tags your product so you can identify content quickly and contact the original creator for permission to share.
#14: Mention an Influencer
If your business works with influencers or partners with creators, their content may drive a lot of awareness and interest. Adding product tags to creator content makes it as easy as possible for people to purchase influencer-endorsed items, which can be a great way to increase conversions and drive revenue.
For example, the @danielwellington Instagram post below shares a post by creator @kiddin__. The jewelry brand's caption highlights the featured item and the product tag streamlines shopping.
When your business partners with influencers, you can put the expanded product tags to work. Consider asking influencers to tag your products in the content they post to their own profiles. That way, they can introduce your business and endorse your products to their audiences.
#15: Use Instagram's Collaboration Tools
With Instagram's collaboration options, you can give your shoppable products an even bigger boost. Because collaboration posts appear in both accounts' feeds, your content can generate more impressions and inspire both accounts' followers to shop.
For example, the @traderjoeslist Instagram post below features a collaboration with @patthespatula. The post uses shoppable tags to promote products available in @patthespatula's Instagram shop.
With Instagram's new product tag expansion, businesses have a much wider range of options for leveraging this tool. Use these ideas to get more value from product tags on everything from owned to third-party content.
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- Build an organic Instagram marketing strategy from scratch.
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