Brands and retailers know the power of Instagram.

With the rise in popularity of the network, the demand for more advertising opportunities grows too. Data from DigiDay found Instagram ad spend has now eclipsed Facebook by as much as 23%, even though there are millions of more users on Facebook. The report also found both Instagram clicks (9%) and impressions (20%) outperformed Facebook.

And as brands find themselves spending more time on the network, it’s still challenging to know the exact Instagram sizes and ad dimensions for images and videos. Businesses are spending huge budgets on Instagram ads, so it might be worth your time to know what type of content will look the best.

We’re going to make it easy and break down all the Instagram sizes and ad formats by pixels, resolutions, aspect ratios and more to ensure you’re posting the highest quality content.

Jump ahead to any section to get the most up to date Instagram sizes for 2019:

Looking for all the Instagram sizes in one sortable place? Make a copy or bookmark our free up-to-date Google Doc that includes everything in this guide!

Role of visual content banner

Instagram Bio Images

Your bio is incredibly important on Instagram. This is how users link to your store or find more information about you.

That’s why we’re going to start things off with every Instagram size and dimension you’ll need to know in the bio section:

Instagram Profile Photo Size – Recommended 110 x 110 Pixels

With approximately 80% of Instagram users following at least one business account, it’s important to make sure your shoppers find and recognize your account. Whether customers search for you or see you on Instagram paid ads, your logo should be well positioned in the Instagram profile photo.

Instagram Profile Image Size

Instagram Profile Details:

  • Recommended Resolution: 110 x 110 pixels
  • Maximum Resolution: 180 x 180 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1 and square photo (shows as a circle)

Instagram Thumbnail Image Size – Displays at 161 x 161 Pixels

When viewing a profile either on desktop or mobile, thumbnail images appear. Whether the post is a video or image, Instagram creates a thumbnail image in your profile. There’s no way to change the dimensions or ratio on the thumbnail images.

Instagram Bio Thumbnail Image Size

Instagram Thumbnail Details:

  • Displayed: 161 x 161 pixels (thumbnail images)
  • Aspect Ratio: Appears as 1:1

Instagram Stories Thumbnail Image Size

On the other hand, Instagram recently added image thumbnails for Instagram Stories. This content does not disappear after 24 hours like regular Instagram Stories, but instead, work as a curated image to link to specific video categories in your profile.

Instagram Stories Thumbnail Image Size

Instagram Stories Thumbnail Details:

  • Displayed: Approximately 86 x 86 pixels
  • Images Rendered: 150 x 150 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: Appears as 1:1

Instagram Image Sizes

In this next section, we’ll cover the various Instagram sizes for published posts. This includes any non-ad image type you can publish to your feed.

Instagram Square Image Size – 1936 x 1936 Pixels

There are three different dimensions for Instagram photos once they are published: square, landscape and portrait. The first one we’ll cover is square, which as you probably guessed, appears as a square on a user’s feed.

Instagram Square Image Size

Instagram Square Image Details:

  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Max Resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 4:5 (for square, landscape and portrait)
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 1.91.1 (for square, landscape and portrait)
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Image Formats: JPG or PNG (for all image dimensions)
  • Max Image File Size: 30 MB (for all image dimensions)
  • Recommended File Size for PNG: Under 1 MB as larger may be pixelated (for all image dimensions)

Instagram Landscape (Horizontal) Image Size – 1200 x 628 Pixels

Often used for nature and outdoor images, the landscape option is another one of the publishable dimensions. Landscape appears with less image height in feeds, often allowing your caption to appear without scrolling further down.

Instagram Landscape Image Size

Instagram Landscape Image Details:

  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 315 pixels
  • Recommended Resolution: 1200 x 628 pixels (or a minimum width of 600)
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1.91:1

Instagram Portrait (Vertical) Image Size – 1080 x 1350 pixels

Known as the portrait dimension, this shows content vertically in a user’s feed. This is one of the more common sizes because you have to choose the other two, while this works as the preset within Instagram. Additionally, this image format often takes up the majority of the screen–sometimes causing users to scroll down to read captions.

Instagram Portrait Image Size

Instagram Portrait Image Details:

  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 750 pixels (or a minimum width of 600)
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 4:5

Instagram Stories Image Size – 1080 x 1920

With the addition of Instagram Stories, brands and retailers have another way to get content in front of users. The best part is this relatively new format works well for companies. In fact, a third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from business accounts.

Instagram Stories Image Size

Instagram Stories Image Details:

  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 16:9 to 4:5
  • Max Image File Size: 30 MB

Instagram Image Ads Sizes

You know it. Your shoppers know it too.

Instagram is a fast-growing ecommerce connection for businesses reaching their core audience. While this is just one of the benefits of Instagram, more brands look to Instagram ads to showcase their products.

Data shows that 72% of shoppers admit to purchasing a product they discovered on Instagram.  So make sure your ads are correctly sized and fitted for the visual app.

Instagram Square, Landscape & Portrait Ads Image Sizes

Businesses have the option to select square, landscape or portrait dimensions for Instagram ads. These ads are placed within users’ feeds, but there are some guidelines to know before you get started.

Instagram Square, Landscape and Portrait Image Ads Sizes

Instagram Ads Image Details:

  • Minimum Image Width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 4:5
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 1.91:1
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 1%
  • Max File Size: 30 MB
  • Image Formats: JPG or PNG
  • Max Caption Length: Under 125 characters (2 lines of text will display)
  • Max Text Length: 2200 characters
  • Max Number of Hashtags: 30

Instagram Stories Ads Image Sizes

Just like the square, landscape and portrait image dimensions, Instagram Stories also allows photo ads. However, the details are a bit different because the image takes up the entire screen of the mobile device. These images have their own specific guidelines to follow.

Instagram Stories Image Ad Size

Instagram Stories Ads Image Details:

  • Minimum Image Width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 16:9 to 4:5
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Max Image Ad Duration: 5 seconds (or until user swipes out)
  • Text to Image Ratio: 20% (more text may result limited delivery)
  • Recommended Limits: Leave roughly 250 pixels (14%) text- and logo-free at bottom and top of the image (i.e. if photo is 1080 x 1920 pixels, ensure text, CTAs and logos are within 1080 x 1420 pixels)

Instagram Carousel Ads Image Sizes

Instagram carousel ads allow users to scroll horizontally through additional images. This is ideal for brands promoting variants of the same product or a list of products that go well together. Carousel image ads can be square, landscape or portrait dimensions. They follow the same size guidelines as the non-ad formats, despite a few variations.

Instagram Carousel Image Ad Sizes

Instagram Carousel Ads Image Details:

  • Dimensions: Same as square, landscape and portrait
  • Aspect Ratio: Same as square, landscape and portrait
  • Image Formats: JPG or PNG
  • Ad Text Guidelines: Same as Image Ads
  • Max Number of Cards in Carousel Ads: 10 images

Instagram Video Sizes

Video content certainly appears to be one of the most valuable segments for brands and retailers. In fact, data from Tubular Insights found when consumers watch a branded social media video, 64% are more likely to make a purchase after viewing.

Statistics like this are the reason why so many businesses flock to Instagram. Video content is growing in popularity, but first–it’s time to learn the Instagram video specs:

Instagram Square, Landscape & Portrait Video Sizes

Much like the image dimensions, Instagram allows videos to follow the three main sizes we discussed earlier. Check out the specific guidelines before you upload your videos to the social media channel.

Instagram Square, Landscape and Portrait Video Sizes

Instagram Video Details:

  • Minimum Video Width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 4:5
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 1.91.1
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square), 1.91:1 (landscape), 4:5 (portrait)
  • Video Formats: MP4 or MOV recommended (full list here)
  • Max Video File Size: 4 GB
  • Video Length: 1 to 120 seconds

Instagram Stories Video Sizes

Instagram Stories gives users the chance to quickly scroll through content and eventually, a slew of ads. The quick moving Instagram Stories are a challenging format for some brands and retailers, but it’s critical to get the appropriate sizes and formats down, so your content meets the requirements and looks fresh.

Instagram Stories Video Size

Instagram Stories Video Details:

  • Minimum Image Width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 16:9 to 4:5
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Video Formats: MP4 or MOV recommended (full list here)
  • Max Video File Size: 4 GB

Instagram TV Video Sizes

One of the newest features to come to Instagram is IGTV or Instagram TV. Much like the explore option, this allows users to go through curated video content based on your interests to watch longer video content. Users can subscribe and get the video content as it’s uploaded.

Instagram TV Video Sizes

Instagram TV Video Details:

  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (no landscape)
  • Minimum Resolution: 720 pixels
  • Video Format: MP4
  • Video Duration: 15 seconds to 10 minutes (large or verified accounts have up to 60 minutes, but must upload videos via desktop)
  • Max Video File Size: 650 MB for up to 10 minutes and 3.6 GB for up to 60 minutes)
  • Frames Per Second: 30 FPS
  • Video Cover Photo Dimensions: 420 x 654 pixels
  • Video Cover Photo Aspect Ratio: 1:1.55

Instagram Video Ads Sizes

Instagram is an ecommerce opportunity for brands and retailers to get discovered. In fact, 60% of users discover new products on Instagram, which why you should be targeting your demographics here.

Instagram Square, Landscape & Portrait Video Ads Sizes

It should come to no surprise that Wordstream reported more than half of videos are watched on mobile devices. Luckily for advertisers, Instagram allows paid content to appear on all three video dimensions.

Instagram Square, Landscape and Portrait Video Ads Sizes

Instagram Video Ads Details:

  • Minimum Video Width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum Aspect Ratio: 4:5
  • Max Aspect Ratio: 1.91.1
  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square), 1.91:1 (landscape), 4:5 (portrait)
  • Video Formats: MP4 or MOV recommended (full list here)
  • Max Video File Size: 4 GB
  • Video Length: 1 to 120 seconds
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 1%
  • Max Caption Length: Under 125 characters (2 lines of text will display)
  • Max Text Length: 2200 characters
  • Text to Image Ratio: 20% (more text may result limited delivery)
  • Max Number of Hashtags: 30
  • Video Captions: Optional
  • Sound Required: No

Instagram Stories Ad Video Size

Instagram’s own data shows it currently has more than 2 million monthly advertisers, which makes the platform a must for brands and retailers. Additionally, half of businesses create at least one or more Instagram Stories a month. Get the right Stories video specs to publish clean and valuable content.

Instagram Stories Video Ad Sizes

Instagram Stories Ads Video Details:

  • Aspect Ratio: Same as non-ad Stories video
  • Video Formats: Same as non-ad Stories video
  • Max Video File Size: Same as non-ad Stories video
  • Max Video Ad Length: 15 seconds (then users can exit or select full duration)
  • Max Video Ad Duration: 60 seconds
  • Text to Image Ratio: 20% (more text may result limited delivery)
  • Ad Text Guidelines: Same as Stories Image Ads
  • Video Captions: Not available
  • Sound Required: No
  • URLs: Avoid URLs in ad text (not clickable)
  • Recommended Limits: Leave roughly 250 pixels (14%) text- and logo-free at bottom and top of the image (i.e. if photo is 1080 x 1920 pixels, ensure text, CTAs and logos are within 1080 x 1420 pixels)

Instagram Carousel Ad Video Sizes

Publishing more videos isn’t necessarily an overkill for customers. Invisia’s list of video statistics showed 90% of users say video plays an essential role in their path to purchase. That’s why Instagram provides carousel video ads, which shows your shoppers multiple videos in a single ad.

Instagram Carousel Video Ad Sizes

Instagram Carousel Ads Video Details:

  • Dimensions: Same as square, landscape and portrait videos
  • Aspect Ratio: Same as square, landscape and portrait videos
  • Video Formats: Same as square, landscape and portrait videos
  • Max Video File Size: 4 GB
  • Ad Text Guidelines: Same as Image Ad
  • Max Number of Cards in Carousel Ads: 10 videos
  • Max Video Duration: 120 seconds
  • Video Captions: Optional
  • Sound Required: No


To put this information together, we pulled the Instagram sizes from the following sources:

If you’re a business looking to connect Instagram to your product pages to take advantage of user-generated content, contact our team to learn more about the PowerReviews Visual and Social Suite!

Alex York

Alex York is the Content and SEO Marketing Manager at PowerReviews. Catch him hunting down the perfect gin cocktail in Chicago or endlessly scrolling through Netflix. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjyork.

Reality check: selling on social media isn’t taboo.

Although brands and retailers once tiptoed around sales messages directed toward their followers, today consumers embrace social commerce with open arms.


New data from Avionos shows more than half of all consumers have already made purchases directly from social media. Meanwhile, product-related posts represent the most popular type of social content in terms of shares and engagement.

Social commerce isn’t as simple as hitting your followers with offer after offer. In fact, some of the most effective ways to encourage your followers to buy is by going beyond social media itself.

Listen–brands and retailers don’t score sales via social media by accident. You need a strategy.

To better navigate the world of social media and ecommerce, we’ve put together a five step social commerce playbook for brands and retailers wanting to drive more sales to modern buyers:

1. Empower Your Customers to Be Your Best Billboards to Drive More Sales

If you want to convert more social followers, look no further than your own customers.

User-generated content in the form of customer photos represents some of your best marketing firepower. There’s a reason why brands are curating and publishing UGC like crazy right now.

PwC Online Media Used Purchase Inspiration

After all, PwC found social media to be the No. 1  channel for inspiring purchases from consumers.

From product recommendations to customer photos that pop up in people’s social feeds, enabling your audience to advertise on your own behalf is a game changer.

And encouraging customers to boost your products is easier than you might think. For starters, social-savvy consumers absolutely love to talk up their latest purchases and will oftentimes tag the brands they support.

product mentions on instagram example

Maybe they want a shout-out themselves. Perhaps they just want to show you a bit of love.

Regardless, what better way to show off your products than through satisfied customers in the real world? This sort of authentic marketing and advertising is night-and-day versus a lifeless product photo.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

But again, this sort of promotion doesn’t happen by accident.

Branded hashtags are a huge piece of any social commerce strategy. Hashtags do double-duty of allowing brands to track their social mentions and reach while also giving customers a point to promote their product photos.

Skechers style hashtag on instagram

For example, here’s how TopShop promotes its #topshopstyle tag in their Instagram bio (and note how it was featured in the photo above).

Topshop instagram bio

And by publishing user-generated content, you can promote your products directly without coming off like a salesperson. It never hurts to specifically ask for styles and looks for apparel brands.

Other industries can use the same strategy by implementing a branded hashtag to get people talking and more importantly, sharing content. This is this type of brand loyalty you want.

Overtonecolor product showcase

User-generated content is a cornerstone of social commerce. That said, curating and publishing means that brands need a streamlined way to discover customer photos and get permissions for them.

Thankfully, tools features from PowerReviews like the Visual and Social Suite help brands manage, collect and display social content from their customers. Our native collection tools are hands down the best in the industry because we believe in making it easy for customers to provide authentic content.

vans visual collection example on powerreviews

Want to see how our tools do the legwork on behalf of brands and retailers? Schedule a demo to see how PowerReviews empowers businesses by collecting more reviews and social content to increase buyer confidence.

2. Use Social Presence to Increase Your Conversions

Customer photos are a brilliant way to encourage social commerce and more engagement on your brand accounts organically.

However, your social content is also valuable for paid campaigns as well.

How so? Check out how REVOLVE saw an insane lift in ad engagement and conversions through running paid ads on Facebook centered around their social photos.

Revolve Social Commerce on Facebook

As noted, not all elements of social commerce are restricted to social media. For example, brands like Steve Madden use their Instagram content as part of their email marketing campaigns.

Given the effort it takes to both create and acquire social content, double-dipping it across multiple channels flat out makes sense. This ultimately allows you to squeeze even more of an ROI from your social marketing.

Steve Madden Example

But arguably the best place to leverage your social content is on site. Many brands feature look books, which pull from their Instagram feeds to bring their products to life.

Here’s a great example from Skechers promoting this content across their site.

Share Your Style With Skechers

This again speaks to the importance of curating social content and how doing so can result in more sales. Applying this content to your website and product pages is a surefire way to increase your customer engagement strategy and build a sense of trust among your shoppers.

3. Reach New Audiences Through Influencer Marketing

For the sake of social commerce, brands are upping their influencer marketing budgets in 2019.

How much so?

Businesses are growing their influencer budgets by a staggering 65% in 2019. That’s up from the 39% influencer budget businesses reported just in 2018.

influencer marketing spending for 2019 mediakix

Considering how both millennial and Gen Z customers are turned off by traditional marketing messages, this trend makes perfect sense. Brands need to achieve a certain sense of authenticity among their customers if they want to nurture them and earn their business.

Influencer marketing represents sort of a spin on user-generated content, encouraging paid relationships between brands and users with relevant audiences to those same brands.

These audiences might mirror your target customer demographics or allow you to tap into a totally new market. No matter what industry you’re in, brands are taking advantage of influencer relationships.

Although influencers are most often associated with the fashion space, just about any type of business can get in on board. Kitchen Aid frequently highlights its influencers on social media.

View this post on Instagram

Celebrity Chef @wyliedufresne left his mark at the 100 Year Celebration Event with his Mushroom Tart demo. Keep scrolling for the complete recipe.

A post shared by KitchenAid (@kitchenaidusa) on

Additionally, influencer marketing is fair game for brands and influencers of all sizes. Even household names like Levi, with millions of followers, regularly engage with smaller influencers.

This signals why micro-influencers are so valuable, given their highly engaged audiences and a sense of authenticity that comes with being “the little guy,” so to speak.

View this post on Instagram

Levi’s® are for every season. Happy first day of spring! #LiveInLevis 📷: @lifeeoflo

A post shared by Levi's (@levis) on

Of course, building these sorts of relationships takes a lot of research and vetting. That’s where PowerReviews again saves the day with its Influencer and Sampling Suite.

With access to a massive network of everyday influencers, brands and retailers are capable of engaging a slew of new audiences, while ramping up their user-generated content at the same time.

campaign progress influencer and sampling suite

Our product sampling offerings through BzzAgent allow businesses to generate reviews, visual content and new buyers with ease. This approach to influencer marketing is much less time-consuming and simpler for businesses to scale–versus reaching out to influencers one-by-one.

4. Adopt a Hybrid Social Commerce Strategy (Hint: Include Both Paid & Organic)

Let us say tell you this–there is no single “silver bullet” for social commerce.

Brands should be willing to experiment with different channels, including both paid and organic. Likewise, businesses have to understand their own strengths of each channel to make the most of their efforts.

We’ve talked quite a bit about Instagram and know it’s a hotbed for social selling between organic promotion, shoppable posts and influencer marketing. If nothing else, it’s a fantastic platform for keeping your followers up-to-date on your products.

View this post on Instagram

🚨 RESTOCK ALERT 🚨 Our must-have Supernova Celestial Skin Elixir is back in stock in-store only @ultabeauty! #FLOWERBeauty #WakeUpYourMakeup

A post shared by FLOWER Beauty (@flowerbeauty) on

However, it doesn’t have to be your only social network where you sell your products. Even though Facebook has seen a notably drastic fall in organic reach for brands, its ad platform remains unparalleled.

For brands looking to retarget site visitors or run offers for past customers, tools such as dynamic advertising and remarketing ads could be your bread and butter. It’s all about experimenting with what works with you–and obviously, your customers.

Truffle Facebook Ad Example

But don’t stop at Instagram and Facebook.

Pinterest has become a valuable–and oftentimes overlooked–avenue for both organic social commerce. The platform’s audience has a ton of buying power and is more than willing to spend.

According to Pinterest, 83% of weekly users have made a purchase based on pins from brands they follow. That’s a lot of buying and selling on the platform you might have been ignoring.

Lululemon Pinterest example

And although Twitter may not be known for its social selling power, it is an invaluable network for providing customer service and building relationships with customers. It’s so simple to go back-and-forth on Twitter.

You also have the chance to make meaningful touch points with followers along the way.

No matter social platforms are your go-to, your priority beyond social commerce should be listening to your customers. After all, not all of your social content is going to be purely promotion.

Simply having conversations with your customers can lead you to crucial insights for social selling.

And hey, that leads us to our last point!

5. Listen Carefully to Your Social Customers

Modern customers aren’t shy when it comes to sound off on social media.

Whether it’s a product that they’re in love with or something that disappointed them, brands should listen carefully to any and all customer feedback they receive.

This is especially true when it comes to products that customers might want to purchase in the future. Just a simple acknowledgement from Hot Topic, in this example on Twitter, can mean all the difference.

Listening to the wants and needs of your customers is a no-brainer, but is especially important in an era where consumer relationships are so transparent.

Valuable feedback from customers in any shape or form is another overlooked piece of social commerce. The ability to share the positive experiences of people who’ve purchased from you helps ease the minds of folks on the fence about doing the same.

Attention Brands: Listen to Customers on Your Retailer Sites

More often than not, brands are actually paying some attention to customers on social media and throughout their own websites. But what about retailer sites selling your products?

Say your brand is PING Golf, which sells an assortment of equipment and apparel across the web. And one of your biggest retailers, PGA Tour Superstore, sells your golf clubs.

ping PGA superstore product page

Luckily, the PGA Tour Superstore does a fantastic job of including questions and answers software, which provides answers to purchase-blocking questions by verified buyers or its own customer support team. But what if your buyers are still a little undecided?

That’s why we created Brand Engage, a platform for brands to connect to potential customers across their retailer sites on the PowerReviews Open Network. In this example, we can see the PGA Tour Superstore provides a great answer to consumer question.

Product Questions and Answers for PGA Tour Superstore But what if your brand could do this across more retailers?

Brands should address all forms of feedback and Brand Engage makes it easier.

Anything you can do to boost your brand reputation across product pages and social media is essential to effective social commerce.

q&a brand engage example on powerreviews

Want to learn more about Brand Engage? Join our network to connect to some of the leading global retailers in the PowerReviews Open Network! 

Is Your Brand on Board With Social Commerce?

Consumers today are more than happy to purchase products via social media. But as noted in this guide, you need a scalable strategy to make it happen.

Rather than settle with the occasional social sale, think about how you can take your follower count and translate them into consistent, loyal buyers. Translate your social presence into dollars and cents while building more meaningful connections with your customers along the way.

Have any recommendations to improve strategies? Hit us up on Twitter!

Brent Barnhart

Brent Barnhart is a professional writer and content critic. When he’s not battling the latest buzzwords, you can often find him strumming the nearest guitar. Feel free to bug him on Twitter or check out his website

We understand the importance of our customers’ thoughts and ideas, but what does your brand do to effectively build a customer journey map?

In today’s hyper-competitive landscape, it’s all about learning from our customer interactions before, during and after the sale. The problem is we often make erroneous assumptions that don’t align with our customer’s reality.

Additionally, it’s easy to fall behind on meeting our constantly growing customer expectations and meeting them with a great and ever-changing customer experience.

Your customer journey map describes your customer’s path from the moment your brand enters their awareness through the in-store experience, purchase and post sale. Creating a customer journey map gives you a high-level overview of all of the touchpoints between  brand and customer.

Customer journey maps increasingly appear in omni-channel initiatives to ensure the customer experience is consistent across all channels. Mapping out these journeys are invaluable to marketing and customer experience efforts.

But all too often, brands and retailers attempt to understand customers and don’t learn true and valuable frustrations. It’s easy to make assumptions that don’t align with our customers’ reality.

Instead, we have a lot of data about our customers’ experience, but have no way to put the insights into action.

Addressing the Long-Term Customer Journey Map Solution

Retail is relatively stable over the short-term. Brick and mortar stores and the majority of customers aren’t going to disappear in the next year or two. The National Retail Federation even expects a rise of 4.1% in holiday retail spend compared to the previous year’s 3.5% growth.  Over time, it will become apparent which brands and retailers decided to tackle the hard questions.

customer buying data from NRF example

To understand how we can drive brand innovation through the adoption of up-to-date best practices, let’s investigate the process of modern customer experience design, starting with the customer journey map.

Planning Out the Customer Journey Map

To make this easier, we made up a fictional 500-store business called David’s Doors–a retailer selling commercial and residential doors–to plan our customer journey map. Its typical customers are building owners and contractors and we know they sell doors in stores and BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store).

This company also sells hardware for doors and door installation services. David’s Doors average daily revenue per store is $5,000 and concerned with stagnating sales, they’ve recently commissioned an internal project team to create a customer experience report.

As part of this report, the project team generated a customer journey map:

customer buying data from NRF example

The customer journey map details the customer’s experience beginning with their brand awareness, through the purchase process and post-sale. During the discovery process, the project team generated a list of key questions regarding the current customer’s experience.

As a result of these inquiries, the project team generated a list of recommendations for best practices moving forward, based on the project team’s research into innovators within the industry and industry leaders.

Best Practices for Retail Brands

From a marketing and customer experience perspective, the shift occurring for retail is best described as a sliding scale between driving procedural efficiency and driving customer acquisition and retention. In the traditional retail paradigm, marketing and customer experience campaigns are implemented on a region-by-region and store-by-store basis.

Additionally, these campaigns are based on segmented lists and past data. In the new retail paradigm, marketing and customer experience are implemented on a customer-to-customer basis and based on individual customer data.

Modern marketing is agile and testing is done on shorter cycles with immediate feedback. Highly targeted messages are delivered to individual customers based on their personal data history and through their preferred mode of communication.

Modern customer experience delivers highly personalized experiences and gives the customer the power to define their shopping experience. With online retail trying to outpace brick-and-mortar and customers’ increasing expectation to define their personal shopping experience, brick-and-mortar retailers face increasing pressure to elevate their brand equity and become and remain their target market’s preferred retailer.

The challenge large retailers face is how they can implement this data and the data from their customer maps at scale while also planning to meet their customers’ future needs.

To tackle this challenge, your implementation must be tested thoroughly. The best ways to test your implementation are through customer surveys and mystery shopping programs. Together, they deliver the required data needed to identify problems and ensure that you have captured the customer journey map as your customer experiences it.

At the heart of every search, there’s an intent to learn.

For those in ecommerce, search is one of the most critical stages to attract and persuade shoppers. People do research to understand a product or its value, which is why so many marketers focus on improving SEO for ecommerce.

Did you know that 35% of consumers begin their purchasing journey on a search engine?

PowerReviews Customer Journey Graphic

The biggest problem is when consumers search online, they get a wide variety of results. And if your products aren’t showing in search, you lose out on discovery and site traffic.

If you want to rank your product pages online, there are specific ecommerce SEO tactics to learn. While the world of SEO can seem intimidating, don’t panic: we’re going to take you through some of the basics of how to get product pages into search engine results.

Here are the four main areas of focus we’ll cover in this guide:

  1. Content and Keywords
  2. Technical SEO Strategies
  3. How to Get Backlinks
  4. SEO Analytics Tools to Use

Click the jump links to move ahead to each area of focus.

We’ll divide our top nine tips to improve SEO for ecommerce within each section. By the end of this guide, you’ll know the steps to drive serious traffic to your product pages.

Let’s get started:

Optimize Your Product Pages & Content Marketing

Search engines care a lot about content. From the words you use in your product descriptions to the articles you post on your blog, content is one of the most important factors in SEO for ecommerce.

Here are three ways to optimize your content for success:

1. Do Your Keyword Research Right

Each and every page on your website must be optimized with appropriate keywords and phrases.

These keywords are words most associated with your content. Again, think of a search as an inquiry to do research. What do you provide them with your content in their research efforts?

Keywords also help the actual search engines understand your page and direct the traffic to appropriate users to find it. No matter how many pages you have on your website, each one needs to be optimized.

If this seems like a daunting task, prioritize your most important pages by traffic, new users or purchases. You’ll be surprised to find a lot of your best performing organic pages are likely already ranking for some keywords.

google search console example

This makes it even easier to open Google Search Console (which is an absolute must to connect to your ecommerce site), open performance and search your queries for the keywords most associated with your landing pages by clicks and impressions. You can filter pages to break down each page.

Get Help With the Right Tools

Another way to research keywords correctly is through a great and low-cost tool like KWFinder by Mangools. This tool gives you a list of similar keywords, showing you how difficult it is to rank for each one and how many searches this keyword gets per month.

keywordfinder SEO tool example

You’ll also see a list of the pages currently ranking on search engines with this keyword and how difficult it is to beat them. A good keyword for a product page should have:

  • Low difficulty rating
  • Consistent search trends
  • A few hundred searches per month (not too much to avoid getting lost in the noise)
  • Match your product’s intent and be relevant to your shoppers

To go further on the idea of your searchers’ intent, you need to think about exactly what shoppers are trying to learn with that keyword. Are they looking for articles and informational pages? Or are they looking for products to buy? Does it make sense for you to appear in the search engine results page (SERP)?

social media challenges search example

Say your potential readers search the common pain points of social media marketing, the keyword social media challenges doesn’t fit your audience’s intent. Do some research on the keywords you like before you target them and make sure you’re talking to the right audience.

2. Include Long-Tail Keywords Wherever Possible

Long-tail keywords are phrases with four or five words. These keywords are more specific and narrow searchers down to a very specific intent or inquiry. For ecommerce brands, this is critical toward your products.

Again, moving away for a simple–yet competitive keyword such as cat toys to the long-tail keyword remote control cat toys increases the specificity. This helps your shoppers find your products in the weeds of all the results pages.

remote control cat toys google search

Remember: each product page should target its own unique keyword for optimization. It’s important your keywords are as specific as possible to each individual product or have the appropriate canonical set up  to tell search engines what the original product should appear.

This is necessary ecommerce SEO tactics for brands who might sell very similar products, but need product pages for each variant.

Where to Insert Keywords on Product Pages

Now that you have your keyword, where should you put it? Start with your page title and headers where it makes sense.

This is where your keyword needs to stand out. However, don’t add too many of the same keyword in all your H1, H2 and H3 as it might appear as keyword stuffing.

Next, make sure to include the keyword in these key places:

  • The page’s URL: Does the exact keyword appear as close to the domain or subfolder as possible?
  • Image alt text: Image alt text is typically used for readers with visual impairments, but keywords here still help SEO.
  • Product description text: This should be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many leave out the keyword in product descriptions.
  • Metadata: Your meta title and meta description should both contain the keyword.

Remember: don’t stuff keywords where they don’t belong. Check out how Knix does this with their short but snappy product page copy.

knix product page example

All of the copy reads naturally and also tells a great story. This product page is written for buyers, not for search engine bots. And while you want to rank and use prevalent keywords, there’s a natural order toward using them.

knix product description text example

Make sure your product pages read the same.

3. Create a Fantastic Blog

Now more than ever, creating a blog full of interesting content is essential to get seen in search engines.

In fact, HubSpot has notoriously examined the data and found B2C companies posting blog articles more than 11 times per month get more than four times as many leads than companies posting four or less. Additionally, those who post more frequently were found to have almost triple the web traffic.

monthly blog traffic graphic

So, it’s time to create a blog for your ecommerce website. Write about issues that affect your customers, how to use your products or feature happy customers. Use some of these posts to link back to your product pages to drive more traffic.

Vinebox is a company that offers subscriptions for wine-lovers to taste new wines. Their blog is perfectly crafted to appeal to their audience and draw in new traffic.

vinebox blog outline example

Take Care of the Technical Side

Technical SEO may not be the fun part of SEO for ecommerce. Unfortunately, it’s absolutely necessary. Here are two things you need to be doing in order to ensure your ecommerce website is healthy and operational:

4. If You Haven’t Switched to HTTPs, Do It Right Now

Site security is extremely important and this especially true for ecommerce websites. In order for people to trust you (and for search engines to trust you), you need to be using an SSL certificate on your website.

That means in the URL, you’ll see, instead of An SSL certificate makes your website more secure, which is important since people will be entering payment information.

You can normally get an SSL certificate through your hosting provider, or through another certificate authority such as Let’s Encrypt.

5. Add Structured Data Markup to Your Product Pages

Structured data is the information you add to your website in a way that allows search engines to understand what your pages are all about. Essentially, your structured data works as a walkthrough for search engines to know what you’re doing.

And in turn, adding this code helps your products rank better since search engines know much more about your content. The problem is it will involve coding, so make sure you befriend your front-end developers.

This kind of structured data allows your product pages to show ratings, pricing and whether or not the product is in stock, all from the SERPs:

smartykat google search metadata

To take it even further, by partnering with a ratings and reviews provider like PowerReviews, we work specifically with Google to enter your product data appropriately to help appear in search. We understand how reviews and SEO work together by pulling more content from brands and retailers selling your products online.

visual and social suite SEO graphicBy using PowerReviews’ software, you limit the amount of Javascript with smarter script loads. This means you only use the code you need (or features you’re using), which reduces the risk of affecting your page load speeds with excess code.

Whether you’re working with PPC or search, your reviews content gets seen in search before shoppers even make it your product page.

Want more information on SEO for ecommerce benefits with a ratings and reviews provider? Contact our team today to schedule a demo!

Backlinks are links from other websites that point back to your pages. These are super important to search engines.

Not only are the essential to ecommerce pages, but they have a huge effect on whether or not your pages will be ranked. But how can you get backlinks to a product page? Here are two of the best ways:

6. Work With Influencers

By working with micro-influencers or everyday influencers, you create content. And when you start building all of this user-generated content, you also get the valuable backlinks from their blogs when they mention your brand.

While some influencers work solely on social media, many have thriving and authority-packed websites that can be goldmines for backlinks.

influencer and blogger instagram example

So, while working with influencers and doing product sampling, ask them to write a blog post about your product with a link back to your page. With a few of these valuable backlinks to your main products, you’ll have a good start toward healthy SEO for your ecommerce website.

7. Get Your Products on Resource Pages

People love to read listicles that cite the best products in a certain topic. How many articles do we see every day about the best acoustic guitars, the best waterproof smartphones or the best travel backpacks?

nomatic travel bookbag description

Another great way to build backlinks is to try and get your products on those kinds of resource pages.

First, find the right pages. By searching Best + [your product], you’ll find plenty of list articles to contact for a product feature. To make sure their backlinks will be valuable, run the site through an authority checker, like SiteProfiler.

site profiler search example

Metrics like Domain Authority and Trust Flow help you see if the website has enough SEO power to help you. Remember, getting links from lower domain authority ranking sites is good. However, getting links from pages that have higher domains than you is best.

Once you find the right pages, it’s time to contact the site owners.

This will take time and patience, and a lot of email power. Using a tool like Mailchimp, you can send out multiple emails faster, but remember to personalize each message.

It should look something like this:

product backlink draft

Obviously, not everyone will respond. But, if you send out enough of these emails, you’ll get some great new backlinks for your product pages and likely a lot more sales.

Use the Right Tools to Monitor Your Progress

If you really want to succeed at SEO, you’ll need to use the right tools to monitor your website’s situation. Here are two things you’ll need to be keeping track of:

8. Track Your Rank With an SEO Tool

There are plenty of SEO tools that give you information about SEO health, page rankings and much more.

If you’re looking for just the basics, though, try a tool like SERPWatcher.

serpwatcher SEO tool overview

This rank tracking tool has a lower price, and allows you to keep track of how your pages are ranking for different keywords without all the added frills. You’ll also be alerted to any important changes.

For a more complete SEO tool, try Ahrefs or SEMRush. These tools gives you a more detailed view of what’s going on with your website and they both allows you to track your competition.

By keeping track of your rank, you’ll understand why your pages are ranking for certain keywords and where you can make improvements. This is important for tracking changes you make, for better or for worse.

9. Monitor Website Traffic With Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics on your website is also a must if you want to understand your audience and customers. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are probably a SEO’s two best friends, so make sure you fully implement both if you haven’t already.

As for Google Analytics, view under the Acquisition tab to see an overview of your website traffic and how people are arriving to your website.

Google Analytics Acquisition Overview Example

This gives you a great idea of how many people are coming in from organic search. Use this section to watch how many conversions come from those who found you in the search engine results page versus social or paid traffic results.

Using Analytics, you’ll see whether or not your SEO efforts are working and find the areas where you need to improve.

Get a Handle on SEO for Ecommerce & Boost Your Product Page Traffic

If you want to get more traffic to your product pages, you need to pay attention to SEO. Once you get the technical things out of the way, you’ll need to create attractive content and develop solid backlinks. And of course, always keep an eye on how your changes affect the SEO of your website by using the right tools.

These SEO tips are the groundwork for healthy product pages. The rest is up to you: put these methods into practice and you’ll see just how valuable SEO can be for your business.

Amy Copadis

Amy Copadis is a writer and blogger covering various topics including digital marketing, travel, natural health and ecommerce.

Let’s start at the very beginning–Mystery Shopping 101.

If you’re hearing the term mystery shopping for the very first time in your life, you might picture a shadowy character darting around the aisles of a department store looking for a clue to some kind of important crime case.

Although a riveting idea, this is not mystery shopping. The mystery in this case doesn’t mean some type of unsolved problem, but rather the shopper themselves.

Mystery shopping, essentially, is just one of many ways a company typically involved in product-based commerce of some sort can get an idea for the kind of company they are from the customer’s perspective.

First, a dialog is established between the company interested in putting together a program and the mystery-shopping provider itself. After a plan is in place based on the goals of the client, a mystery shopper survey is constructed and given to experienced consumers who enter stores and evaluate the experience as a regular consumer.

The results are compiled, compared and then analyzed to create the starting point for an adjustment plan. Gathering data from this perspective gives companies a much more accurate picture of what’s working and what could use improvement.  When it comes to creating the best experience for customers, entering a store and interacting with both the products and the larger brand is critical.

Mystery Shopping 101: Why a Mystery Shopping Program?

A well-designed and executed mystery shopping program provides you with information a company representative could never gather themselves. It sheds light on what your business is to your customers in an unfiltered, (and most importantly) measurable way with the ultimate goal of adjustment to right any wrongs that surfaced during the assessment.

It’s very much a gift that keeps on giving. When designed correctly, mystery shopping will:

  • Increase sales and profitability via more engaged and comfortable customers
  • Provide a practical way to improve and optimize services
  • Motivate employees to better represent the brand and create an enjoyable atmosphere for customers
  • Generate enthusiasm among customers by meeting and then exceeding their expectations

Mystery shopping is all about valuable customer feedback. While email and in-store surveys on the backs of receipts can give your company a broad picture of customer satisfaction, mystery shopping goes further by providing unbiased information about the “feel” of your company at a deeper level.

Mystery Shopping 101: Where to Start

Once you’re on your way to creating a program for your own company, make sure you tailor the strategy to fit your company’s needs. However, you still still need a place to start.

Many professionals experienced in creating such programs agree it almost always begins with employee training. Don’t think for a second that a mystery shopping program lives on a colorful whiteboard on the wall of an executive boardroom.

Instead, success requires relationship building, idea implementation and investment plans that actually result in noticeable changes. In-store employees are the human link between your brand and your customers.

Have an effective team to represent your company through careful engagement, brand and product knowledge and effective communication skills. These are the foundation customer experience is built.

Companies whose employees provide consistent, complete and friendly service to customers of all kinds will find their brand growing in ways previously unachievable using other methods.

Find the Right Mystery Shopping Company & Get It Right the First Time

Of course, before you can start formulating the initial steps of a mystery shopping program, you need to find a provider who gives you what you need. Try to compare and contrast each provider based upon a standard set of questions so you narrow your list to the best mystery shopping company for you.

The following three questions are a great place to start:

  • How will this mystery shopping company conduct their program?
  • How will this mystery shopping company gather and analyze their data?
  • How will they present the data in a way that drives real results?

After fleshing out the broader aspects of a particular company, dive further to narrow your search. Start by comparing how their methodology relates to your specific objectives.

These questions can start along the lines of:

  • What will this program do for my business’ bottom line?
  • In what ways can you customize the program to align with my company specifically?

Mystery shopping is evolving quickly alongside constantly shifting trends in the retail world. As consumer expectations grow and shift to more complicated models through a number of new channels, accurately gauging the quality of customer experience is  a vital part of any company’s sustained success.

To learn about Journey IQ, contact our team today to get detailed information on our mystery shopping tools!

Endorsements from famous people don’t carry as much weight as they used to. We now live in an age where consumers value the opinions of real people over big-name celebrities or even influencers.

So, what does that mean for brand advocates?

As pointed out by Convince and Convert, 92% of consumers trust brand advocates while only 18% trust influencers.

And what does that data mean for your brand?

For starters, your customers want authentic interactions with your brand. One of the best ways to build trust in your brand is by involving people your target audience relates to.

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I love cooking so I thought I’d try HelloFresh since there was a discount code for two weeks. Yesterday’s dinner was AMAZING so hoping the pork meatball and feta spaghetti is also good 🤞🏻#HelloFresh #pasta #fresh #cooking #kitchen

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Brand advocacy allows you to increase word of mouth around your company in an authentic way. When implemented correctly, a brand advocacy strategy enables you to build trust and grow your audience.

In this post, we’ll tackle the ins and outs of establishing a brand advocacy program for your business. You’ll also discover the right methods for identifying brand advocates and how to enable them to spread the word about your products.

What Are Brand Advocates?

Brand advocates are typically existing customers or employees who spread positive word of mouth about your products. These individuals know, like and trust your brand and they’re happy to talk you up to their friends, family and followers–usually for free.

What’s the Difference Between Brand Advocates & Influencers?

The difference between brand advocates and influencers is while both “spread the word” about your brand, influencers typically work transactionally, while advocates work more like your employees or biggest fans.

  • Influencer marketing is highly transactional. You pay or sponsor influencers or micro-influencer to post content about your products and it works much like a celebrity endorsement, but at a smaller scale.
  • Brand advocacy is all about harnessing the goodwill of people who are already familiar with your brand. While advocates can certainly be incentivized through product samples or free giveaways, their main motivation isn’t the perks— it’s the fact they genuinely feel connected to your brand.

Another distinction? Influencers talk to their “audience,” while advocates share their thoughts with their network of friends and relatives.

Visual and social suite banner

How to Successfully Identify Your Brand Advocates

Now that you’re all caught up with what brand advocates are (and what they aren’t), it’s time to figure out how to identify the right ones to work with. Below are the steps you can take when finding brand advocates.

Understand Your Target Market

The first step to identifying brand advocates is to get clear on who you’re trying to reach. Who’s your target audience? What’s their age group? What do they value? Answering these questions will help you figure out the right advocates to approach.

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Now that I have shared my @jennycraigofficial journey (check out my latest favorites video on YouTube for more information!) – I can finally share how I’ve been using my @erincondren meal planner! . On the left, I change it from meals to fruits, veggies, and dairy, which are the items I purchase and add to the Jenny meals! I usually only fill this out a few days in advance and make choices based on what my Jenny meals are. (For example, if I have a sweet breakfast, I usually have cottage cheese.) . Then on the left, I mark the food I’ve prepped – either by cutting it up (fruits), cooking it (vegetables), or portioning it out (yogurt/cottage cheese)! . I repurposed the bottom for the Trader Joe’s list since it’s a lot shorter than it used to be! (Some of the TJ items are for Sam.) . . . . . . #healthychoices #mealprep #mealplanning #healthyeating #healthyliving #weightloss #eatbetter #mealpreparation #mealplan #weeklymenu #foodprepping #mealplans #mealprepsundays #foodprep #fooddiary #mealplanner #eatinghealthy #mealprepping #healthylife #nutrition #healthylifestyle #mealprepideas #menu #jennycraig #losingweight #weightlossjourney #planwithlaken #erincondren

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Let’s say that you’ve decided to market to moms in their 30s who want to stay fit and work on meal prepping. You can do research on that audience and determine the types of people that they follow and listen to.

From there, you’ll have a better idea of the types of advocates to engage.

Look for People Who Are Already Talking About Your Brand

Once you have a profile of the types of advocates that you want to work with, run a social media search for people who are already mentioning your brand in their content. Here are six easy ways to do this:

1. Turn to Your Brand Mentions

Search your social networks for people who mentioned your brand name. Note that these mentions don’t necessarily have to be “official” tags (i.e., with an “@” sign). In many cases, you’ll find the most authentic brand mentions in these untagged posts.

Keep an eye out specifically for people who are responding to questions from other users. For example, in the Twitter conversation below, we see an authentic exchange between moms talking about infant car seats:

Coscto Twitter mention example

These are the types of posts to keep an eye out for. You can use social media listening tools to find and track conversations like this going on about your brand.

2. Look for People Who’ve Tagged You in Their Photos

If you want your brand advocacy program to be more visual, go through your photo tags to identify people who are talking about your brand.

gopro instagram tagged content

Once you find individuals who fit your advocate profile, put them on a list of users to reach out to.

3. Dig Into Your Product Reviews

The best brand advocates are the ones who are already buying from you. It’s smart to go through your existing customer base to identify advocates you can work with.

One of the easiest way to find previous shoppers who love your products is to look for people who are already sharing positive customer feedback about your products. Go through your ratings and review content on your product pages and identify those who left positive reviews.

ratings and reviews moderation and observations example

See what customers are posting visual content, leaving multiple reviews and certain keywords that pertain to your products. For some brands, this sounds like a lot of manual work.

We get it.

However, we built Product Pulse specifically for this reason. PowerReviews provides brands and retailers with a sentiment analysis tool to easily dig through review content and find helpful insights.

Intelligence Suite Product Insights

Want to see it in action? Request a demo today!

4. Review Your Sales Reports

Try to go through your sales reports to see your most active customers. If someone is buying from you repeatedly, chances are they’re a fan of your brand and they’ll happily advocate for you.

This is also a great opportunity to help form your target audience for brand advocates. Sales data let’s you segment your audience, develop messages and find new consumer insights.

It’s about how you connect these insights to your advocacy program!

5. Consider Your Employees’ Communities

Your employees are excellent brand advocates.

Think about it: they work for you, so they know all about your products. And since your staff are already familiar with your story, brand guidelines and rules of conduct, getting them on board your brand advocacy program will be an easy process.

One example of a company that invests in employee brand advocacy is Macy’s. Last year, the retailer launched Macy’s Style Crew, a community of Macy’s employees who are actively posting beauty and fashion content featuring Macy’s products.

macys style crew example

Don’t be afraid to use the power of your employees’ communities, like on social media, to promote and communicate their love for your brand.

How to Enable Brand Advocates

Have you already identified people you want to work with? Great! The next step is to connect with brand advocates and encourage them to spread the word about your products to their network.

The following action steps can help you do that:

Be Authentic With Your Outreach

There are several ways to get in touch with brand advocates and the right approach depends on the channel they use. For some brand advocates—such as customers who’ve left reviews—email is the most efficient way to get in touch.

For others, social media comments or direct message are a better approach. Regardless of how you decide to get in touch with them, strive to be authentic and relatable with your approach.

Let your advocates know that you’re grateful for the business and the positive words they’re sharing. Specifically reference the products that they bought or the content they shared, so that they feel like you’re personally connecting with them.

The luggage brand Away, for example, sends personalized replies to customers who mention its brand on social media.

Away Twitter advocates example

Incentivize Them to Share

Offer up incentives such as discounts and rewards for people who share your products with their friends. To maximize efficiency, integrate this effort with your rewards or loyalty program, so members easily earn points for their referrals.

Buda Juice, a company that sells pressed juices, for instance, includes friend referrals and social sharing in its loyalty program. Members earn $50 points— equivalent to $5—for every friend they refer who makes a purchase. buda juice example

Another way to earn? Buda Juice gives customers 50 points for following the brand and sharing its content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Offer Free Samples

Another way to encourage advocates to spread the word about your products? Give them merchandise to talk about. Implement a product sampling program, in which you send free samples to select customers.

If you select the right brand advocates (i.e., highly engaged individuals who fit your target market), then chances are good that they’ll review your products.

Case in point: Vornado, a brand that sells fans, heaters, air purifiers and humidifiers, ran a product sampling initiative to garner reviews for its new products as well as specific items in its catalog.

Vornado product page with reviews

The program saw a whopping 97% response rate from advocates who wrote a review after receiving product samples. What’s more, the reviews collected from the initiative were 44% longer, indicating that the users who wrote them were highly engaged.

Build Relationships, Not Just Campaigns

Brand advocacy works best when you build relationships, as opposed to one-and-done campaigns. If you’re going to establish a brand advocacy program, you should commit to constantly engaging with your advocates.

You need to do the following, consistently:

  • Follow your top brand advocates on social media
  • Monitor your social feed for mentions and tags
  • Share and reply to the posts of brand advocates

The key is to routinely do these things. You want to be known as a brand who consistently connects with its customers and advocates. In doing so, you’ll not only encourage brand advocates to keep spreading the word about your products, but you’ll also attract new ones.

The apparel retailer Showpo is a great example of a brand that does an excellent job with brand advocates. Their customer engagement strategy is on point as they quickly and regularly promote their buyers.

showpo chat example

The Showpo regularly “likes” posts from its customers. Its team also makes an effort to send direct messages to those who mention the brand on social media.

Additionally, Showpo regularly reposts customer content featuring its products. This is a great way to keep customers engaged.

showpo instagram example

  • Pro tip: If you’re looking to actively share and repost the content of your followers, manage all your efforts through a visual marketing and social content platform that enables you to stay on top of communications (e.g., outreach messages, permission requests for reposting, etc.) from one place.

Doing so will make your advocacy efforts more efficient, and you’ll easily track your shares and reposts with ease.

Tap into the Power of Communities

You can further strengthen your relationships with advocates by building a community around your brand. Make people feel that they are part of a group of like-minded individuals.

Doing so reinforces the connection that your customers have with your brand — and with each other. This boosts loyalty and keeps you top of mind which, in turn, leads to more word of mouth and referrals.

The fitness brand Peleton is a master at community building. Peleton was one of the first brands to leverage Facebook groups.

Peleton Facebook Group Example

It created the Official Peleton Member Page, a place where customers can share stories, ask questions and stay up-to-date with company updates.

The effort proved to be successful. Peleton’s Facebook group has more than 164,000 members and sees 200+ posts per day. The initiative even led to spin-offs, including the Official Peloton Mom Group, Official Peloton Power Zone Pack and Official Peloton UK Member Group.

See if you can adopt a similar approach. If you have an active base of customers and advocates, create a community where they can meet like-minded people and build a stronger relationship with your brand.

Brand Advocacy Is a Must in Marketing

As more consumers crave authenticity in their social and brand interactions, traditional advertising and endorsements just won’t cut it anymore. You need to start enabling the most active members of your customer base to advocate for your brand.

Doing so will lead to higher brand awareness, favorable word of mouth—and ultimately—more sales.

Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B content for companies in the retail, technology and SMB space.