What to post on your Instagram if you’re a product-based business

What to post on your Instagram if you’re a product-based business

What to post on your Instagram if you’re a product-based business?

If you’re an ecommerce brand or an online boutique owner, I could bet $10 you are struggling to come up with ideas of what to post on your Instagram. I’d be willing to risk another $5 to bet that you’re not posting consistently as you run out of ideas and go through periods of ghosting social media altogether.

How do I know?

I work with dozens of business owners like this – hell, I’m one of those business owners too. We all know we should be marketing on social media regularly but who has the time for that? One thing I’ve found to be universally true for all my clients is that if it isn’t pre-planned, it’s not going to happen.

My process for creating social media content for my clients as well as my own brands is to plan is to batch-plan it. I’m not going to tell you how to plan a year’s worth of content in 3 hours because I don’t think it’s necessary and to be honest the very idea scares me. I plan Instagram content a month in advance using a 4×5 grid. Here’s what it looks like for my own ecommerce brand, Nola Plants:

instagram content planning process

I go into detail about my method for coming up with ideas and the types of content I plan in my free mini-course but the general rule is – Make sure every post provides value to your audience.

You can provide value in a few different ways, and I’m still experimenting with the most effective categories. The 4 that are more or less timeless are: aspirational, inspirational, educational and story.

Aspirational posts make your user feel like they want what you have or what your product can offer. Think glowing skin for a beauty brand, edgy look for a clothing brand etc etc.

Inspirational posts are pretty similar but they are meant to inspire your audience – make them feel something. On a most basic level these could be shareable quotes but also inspiring photos, videos etc.

Educational – this one is easy. You know your audience, you hear what questions they have around your niche and as the expert, you are perfectly positioned to give them the answers.

Story – this one is seeing a rise recently thanks to TikTok, which reminded us all how much humans are drawn to an interesting story. In many ways marketing is about telling good stories – whether that’s about you, your product, or something that you’re vaguely reminded of that has some kind of relevance to your niche.

I then fill out the columns making sure to come up with at least five ideas for each column. This leaves me with 20 posts, which is the perfect amount for a calendar month. I can, of course, come up with more and fill in all 30 days but it’s not necessary and coming up with 20 original ideas doesn’t feel as daunting.

If you’re still confused what exactly you should post, I’ve created this handy infographic for you with 20 post ideas ready for just about any ecommerce brand.

instagram posts for ecommerce brands

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The worst time of the year to launch an online store

The worst time of the year to launch an online store

The worst time of the year to launch an online store

worst time of they year to launch online store

I have been working on my new product launch for months. If you’ve ever launched a product-based business, you know.

There’s inventory to source

Product descriptions to write

Website to build

Photos to take

And a hundred other things before you feel vaguely like you have it all in place.

All of that takes ages.

 

Which means that, like in my case, your brand launch may be delayed by a week… or 4. And that it may fall on what is effectively The Worst Time Of The Year To Launch.

 

I’m talking of course of the Black Friday week. The hottest time of the entire year for online shopping, where almost everyone buys something they wouldn’t normally buy.

Why is this the worst time of the year to launch, if everyone is buying, then?

The reason why is simple, and a good lesson for anyone wanting to sell products online:

 

Don’t offer a discount to someone who doesn’t know you

If the person landing on your site never heard of you before, has no reason to trust you and can’t even be sure if they want your products to begin with, no amount of discount will convince them to buy.

The only thing it will do is permanently devalue your brand in their perception.

How you communicate with your audience must depend on where in their customer journey they are with you – or if you use marketing speak – where in the funnel they are.

If they are top of the funnel – they just don’t know you – your content needs to introduce your product and its benefits. It’s a good time to offer a free sample (or a lead magnet) so you can guide them down your funnel.

In the middle of the funnel – once they’ve joined your mailing list, followed you on Instagram or did something else to show they would like to hear from you again – you can hit them with more detailed and personalised information about how your product can change their life.

Only at the very bottom of the funnel, once the visitor already knows they want your stuff, but they may still hesitate a little because of price or risk, is it a good idea to offer a discount.

Reason number 2 why Black Friday (and probably all of November) is the worst week to launch is the general marketing noise around this time.

It’s enough that you open your mailbox in the days before Black Friday to convince you that this is the time when every newsletter list you’ve ever signed up for is sure to pop up inviting you to their sale.

And then, worst of all, is the advertising. There isn’t a more expensive time to try and promote your products on Google, Facebook or any other paid traffic platform. In fact, I would only recommend advertising on Facebook during this time to your retargeted traffic. Don’t even try to reach new audiences in November, it’s not worth it.

 

Yet, knowing all this, I’ve decided to launch my new brand this week anyway.

Why?

Because I bloody can’t wait and I want to share my new product with the world! And if you feel this way about your brand, the best moment to launch it is NOW.

I created this free Mini Course for product-based business owners to master creating engaging content for Instagram. Would you like to receive it?

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