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Generate hype for your launch like “Supreme” with the new Instagram Drops feature

Michael Waters
May 5, 2022
Instagram is cashing in on the product drop model through its new feature, Drops. Here are some strategies to help brands utilize it effectively.

Drops: The New Instagram Shopping Feature

Instagram is offering brands a way to promote their new products ahead of release.

In May, Instagram created Drops, a tab that lets brands showcase their anticipated product catalog. Instagram users can browse the Drops page, and if they find an item they like, they can set up reminders for when it hits digital shelves.

Capitalizing on the Drop Model for E-commerce

The new tool is a way for Instagram to cash in on the fast-growing product drop model. Brands like Supreme have built up their reputation through limited-time drops, where demand intentionally outpaces supply.

The drop model is so successful that some shopping channels have dedicated themselves to hosting product drops. The livestream shopping channel NTWRK, for instance, turns product drops into TV events.

Instagram Drops tool is used by major eCommerce brands.

How to Successfully Sell Using Instagram Drops

Brands can take advantage of these tactics to help them successfully sell products and stand out:

Try a Limited-Edition Run

Instagram Drops offers a feature that lets followers know when a new product will be released, helping brands generate hype ahead of their planned marketing push.

Building hype lends itself exceptionally well to a limited-run drop, where followers feel a sense of urgency to place their orders. Converting followers into customers directly on Instagram is also easier than redirecting them to an external landing page.

Time the Drop for a Big Event

Having your drop coincide with a major event is eye-catching and can grab attention from both existing and potential customers.

In November, the brand EleVen by Venus Williams, a lifestyle brand, used Instagram Drops to debut four new tennis shirts and skirts for the release of the movie “King Richard,” a new film that follows the founder's life.

Use Video

Instagram allows people to put a mix of photos and videos into the product details page on each Drop. To keep it engaging, some brands—like NARS Cosmetics—have employees on camera talking through each product before the official release.

Rely on Reminders

Just as artists now encourage their followers to pre-save an album on Spotify before the official release, brands should inform their fans to set reminders for their product drops ahead of time.

Generating buzz early is important. Setting reminders through Instagram Drops ensures that each product pops up in their Instagram feeds when brands launch their product.

Example of "Set Reminder" tool for Instagram Drops.

Use an Original Hashtag for Your Product Launch

Encouraging your followers to use your original hashtag once your product drops, gives you the opportunity to capture customer engagement and share it on your Instagram business profile later on. This also makes it easier for people to find you while they're scrolling through the Explore Page.

Instagram Sales Tip: You can boost your marketing efforts by sharing high-quality user-generated content (UGC) from existing and new customers. It can build trust and provide social proof.

Promote Your Drop on Other Social Media Platforms

To use Drops and promote your upcoming products, you'll obviously need an Instagram business account. But to gain more attention, and brand awareness, you can also promote your drop on Facebook.

By connecting your Facebook business page to your Instagram profile, any Instagram posts promoting your drop will appear on your Facebook page too. Even your Instagram stories can be viewed by Facebook users.

Rally Some Instagram Influencers

Leveraging influencers as a part of your Instagram marketing strategy can aid in gaining traction on social media. Brands can benefit significantly by partnering with influencers whose Instagram followers align with their target audience.

In a study conducted by the Influencer Marketing Hub, it was found that brands were making $5.78 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. 

Example of how influencer marketing works with Instagram shopping.

Don’t Forget Compliance

When selling physical goods through your online store, make sure you comply with Instagram's merchant agreement and commerce policies.

Drops is not available to just any brand with an Instagram account. They have to be enrolled in Instagram Checkout, the company’s in-app payment system that allows users to place an order without leaving the Instagram app.

Detour: How to Set Up Instagram Shopping

Before brands can use Drops and put these strategies into practice, they'll need to have Instagram Shopping set up. Here's a quick step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

Just make sure you meet the following requirements:

Step 2: Convert Your Personal Account to a Business Account

After converting your account to a business account, input the necessary business information in your Instagram bio: your store hours, contact number, business address, a link to your website, and product pages.

Step 3: Connect to Your Facebook Page

Simply follow the steps written here to connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook page.

Step 4: Upload Your Product Catalog

There are two ways to connect your catalog to your account:

Step 5: Submit Your Account for Review

To submit your account for review, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your business’s profile
  2. Tap the three lines on the top right corner
  3. Select Settings
  4. Sign up for shopping
  5. Follow the steps shown

The reviews could take a few days.

Step 6: Activate Shopping

You can activate Shopping features once your account is approved. Simply click here and follow the mentioned steps.

Step 7: Tag Away

Since Shopping is enabled, you can now tag products in your posts on Feed, Stories, Reels, Carousel, and more. You can even tag them with product stickers and Shoppable Posts.

FYI: Shoppable Posts have clickable shopping bag icons that show your products' information and a View Products call-to-action (CTA). You can also create Shoppable Instagram ads.

Prepare Yourself for Customer Inquiries

Brands that want to shift more of their pre-release marketing to Instagram should make sure they have teams in place to handle the customer inquiries.

Customer inquiries about sizing, release dates, shipping times, and everything in between will inevitably come up in Instagram comments, Chatdesk Teams has the capability to handle them all.

Schedule a demo here to see how Chatdesk Teams can help entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even larger companies conduct product drops without any hiccups.

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