For years, millions of brands have flocked to Instagram to spread awareness to millennials, Gen Z, and members of other generations on the app.

And, at this point, Instagram marketing has proven to be a smart tactic. Currently, 90% of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus user base follows a Business page on the platform.

But, while Instagram has been a great place for brands to engage target audiences, it hasn’t always been easy for those companies to turn their followers into customers.

When the app launched, Instagram only allowed links in profile bios. Shortly after, the platform allowed users to place links in Stories — but only if they had a verified account or more than 10,000 followers. This meant that smaller or less-followed brands had to think strategically to get their Instagram audience to view product information, research the brand, and ultimately leave the Instagram app to buy products.

Things got easier for brands with the global launch of Instagram Shopping’s Shoppable posts in 2017. This was the first time standard feed-based posts or Story images could be linked to a brand’s Facebook product catalog. However, the feature still required Instagram users to leave the app to make a purchase.

But this summer, with the launch of Facebook Shops, Instagram Checkout, and Instagram Live Shopping, many of the friction points between discovering products on Instagram and buying them have been eliminated.

In this blog post, I’ll highlight the three free, new tools that brands can use to make sales directly from Instagram’s platform, as well as any brand requirements for using them.


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