CASE STUDY: How to Create an Instagram Shop in 5 Easy Steps

Instagram is often overlooked by many for promoting their products and services, especially by agents of influence and small business owners. However, there’s a way to garner much needed attention, but more importantly sales by using it in a very specific way.

Facebook is great for driving traffic from pictures by inserting a direct url, however the problem with Instagram is that they’ve banned you from putting links to webpages in the photo descriptions. You can only have one link under your profile description – that’s it. To combat this, companies are getting creative by finding a hack.

For example, Ikea recently created a website and shopping platform within Instagram simply by using it in a different way.

When introducing their new line, PS 2014, Ikea’s Russian branch came up with the clever idea of giving each product category an image on the “home page.”  The categories act like mini brochures, showing images of the product range. The beauty is that every item in each category has its own Instagram page which gives more information on each product with a direct link to buy in the profile description of that page.

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This inspired me to create my own shopfront to drive traffic to my book Click, The New Science of Influence. So, over the coming month’s I’ll update you on the progress of this, what went wrong, what I learnt and how you can apply it in your own business.

Plus, to give you a head start before your competitors jump in the game, here’s a step-by-step run down of how to set-up your own shop on Instagram to sell you products and services direct.

The way this works is….


STEP#1: Create a Brand Page

Create a brand page that expresses your brand as a whole. For example, if you think about Virgin, it has a distinct personality for the overarching company, and that is reflected in each of the companies under that name.  When you think of Virgin, you think of Branson and his charismatic personality. You think of fun, innovation and non-conformity.  The word that I see most often used in connection with the Virgin brand is “edgy” meaning “out there”, and cutting edge.

Virgin is a music label, an airline, an electricity supplier and much more. In theory none of these services is alike, yet the brand personality ties them all together. You know that if you are dealing with a company bearing the Virgin name, it will be a specific sort of experience – youthful, quirky and clever. The branding follows through down to the kinds of images Virgin adds to its Instagram account.

You can do the same thing with your products and services.

In this case, I have my main Instagram account at

This is the account in which my focus is to drive traffic and build engagement, too. Unlike Facebook where engagement is down, posts that I have uploaded here are resulting in a staggering number of likes, comments and media enquiries, even on direct promotional posts, like the following example.

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Step #2: Create a Secondary Product / Service Instagram Account

The next critical step is to create a secondary account that only focuses purely on one product / service, like the one in this example for my bestselling book, CLICK.

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The objective of this page isn’t to garner followers. It’s to provide branding around a very specific product / service and get them to click on the link in the URL, hence you’ll notice the profile description has a distinct call to action in it on the one that I’ve set-up.

GET YOUR COPY OF CLICK! Click here to watch the video trailer for Ben Angel’s bestselling book, CLICK – The New Science of Influence & to grab your copy on Amazon today! 

You’ll also notice that there isn’t a huge number of posts here. I only include posts that are directly related to the book. The posts are to be kept to a limited number, simply because this account’s objective is to drive direct sales and get people over to the landing page that features a video.

The profile picture features the book itself. This is a direct call to action.

Step #3: Drive traffic to your secondary account from your brand account

To do this, you need to ensure you’re regularly sharing content from your main brand account that is directly relevant to your product / service page. Tag your secondary product or service account, like you would an actual person in the description i.e. @click_the_new_science to once more drive traffic to your secondary account.

By adding the tag, you make it easy for your readers to find the page you want them to go to. It’s a simple matter of tapping on the tag and they are taken straight to whatever it is you want them to see. Don’t leave it to guesswork. Use tags and drive them to the right place.

(Please also note, you can only tag your other page using your mobile device at this stage and not the desktop version of Instagram.)

For example:

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Step #4: Add “Tap The Picture” to Each Related Post Picture

You must treat your prospects like children to ensure traffic is always driven through to a final sale by telling them what to do.  Simply add the phrasing “Tap the picture” on each post you put up that’s related to the particular product or service you want to drive sales to. For example, this has a quote and the call to action on it.

how to set-up an instagram shop, how to sell on instagram

When an individual taps on the picture on a mobile device, it comes up with a direct link to the secondary account which will take them straight through to the product or service you want them to see.


Step #5: Drive traffic by Using #Hashtags & Linking The Media in The First Comment

A hashtag uses the ‘#’ symbol in front of a word or phrase. It works like a category label to help you search for them. For example, if you use the hashtag #firsttag (don’t leave spaces between your words) on your relevant images, whenever you or someone else wants to see what’s in the series, they can simply search the tag.

It’s important to choose the right hashtag and I always recommend checking before you use it just in case someone else is using it, too. Your hashtag will become part of your branding so you want it to be unique.

Choose a hashtag that is the name of your product or service. You will see that I have used #click_the_new_science as one of my tags. Anyone who searches that tag will easily find all the images related to my product. It also allows me to search the tags so I can monitor what is being said about my brand and my services.

It’s important that you remember to link to the media in your first comment to help attract media attention. Only do it on posts that they may be interested in, or you’ll just annoy them and have them switch off from your content.

Here’s an example.

See how I’ve tagged Forbes and Fast Company in the first comment below my post?  I would not tag them in my general images. When I am promoting my book, which lies within their range of interests, it makes sense to bring it to their attention.


What’s your homework for the week? 

Now, whilst this secondary account is still in its infancy and has resulted in immediate sales, they have been far from overwhelming. However, like any social media marketing campaign, persistence is king. There has been an immediate boost in enquiries, engagement, new leads to the website and media enquiries by doing this one simple step.

The key difference here is that where Facebook’s engagement has severely dropped, Instagram’s is up, but more importantly it’s up around direct promotions! Now, to any entrepreneur or marketer, that’s music to our ears.

To get started do the following;

Give it ago and post your own results here. Let’s learn from one another.

Secondly, as always, if you would like to how to add more power to your marketing efforts, click here now to take a look at my 30 Day Business Turnaround Program. Instagram is one of many tools available to you.  Let me show you which tools will work best for you and how to make the most of them too.

Have a question? Post it below. I try to reply to everyone personally.

Until next time.

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