The Power of Instagram’s New Ecommerce Functionality & UGC

Every day more than 70 Billion photos are shared on Instagram. These photos help to share the stories of both brands and consumers. In 2013, Instagram first recognized the monetary potential of a simple brand photo; as a result, they began to offer ways for advertisers to reach over 300 million monthly users. In 2015, Instagram once again improved its eCommerce functionality by revitalizing the way that marketers can tell beautiful stories to their intended audiences.

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Instagram Introduces Carousel Ads

The new Instagram Carousel Ads are designed to engage with an active and youthful audience. They allow people to swipe left to see additional images and a link to the brand’s website of choice. In light of the release, Instagram announced that its “carousel ads bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones.” 

Combining Carousel Ads With the Power of User-Generated Content (UGC)

Instagram’s carousel ads have multiple benefits that can be further enhanced when brands add in the power of UGC. Benefits include:

  • Immediately bring active users to a brand website and its product detail pages.
  • Multi-page ads more readily engage with the intended audience.
  • Brand strengths are showcased in a meaningful way.
  • Multiple features can be shown at once to a “listening” audience.
  • Carousel ads only target people who are interested in seeing more.

Through Instagram’s new functionality, customers are now driven from their feeds, to the product page with a single click. Once the customers are at the final point of purchase, the item can be validated with images of their peers wearing or using the product, as opposed to the initial branded content.

UGC product validation leads to:

  • Increased sales with higher order values
  • Improved referrals.
  • Gained customer trust and brand loyalty.
  • Improved ROI.
  • More brand ambassadors.

To further reinforce UGC success, StoryBox performs A/B tests. Content that is published on each social network is examined for effectiveness, resulting in the unveiling of the most powerful content. We also help to determine how much content is being shared on each social network via a designated hashtag. Through these efforts, brands can better optimize social media marketing efforts.

How a Branded Hashtag Drives UGC?

The importance of a brand specific hashtag cannot be understated in the scheme of a strong social media strategy. The unique hashtag will help you to gain additional brand recognition, which can be leveraged to improve sales. Adding submission incentives is another way that you can encourage users to share their content on Instagram—and in a very targeted manner. Contests, giveaways, or special customer-recognition programs are a few expanded tactics that help improve user-engagement levels even further. These call for the creation of unique campaign/contest hashtags, which are a powerful tool to measure effectiveness. Throughout all of this, the “#brandname” tag will undoubtedly still exist, but showing focus is what sets brands apart.


In short, the power of user generated content combined with the innovative Instagram carousel ads can help you to drive more interested viewers to your product detail pages. With an increased level of customer awareness comes heightened levels of customer engagement, as well as increased referrals and improved sales.

Ready to give user generated content a try? Schedule a free demo!


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Topics: Trends, User Generated Content, eCommerce