The role of Instagram & influencers in the purchasing journey

A powerful duo to help brands drive purchases.

As smart phone penetration in Australia tips 89% and social media usage continues to grow, the way people purchase products has changed forever. People are not only buying online more than ever before, but are also using their phones and social media platforms as part of the validation process.

Both Instagram and influencers play an integral part of the purchasing journey for brands. As found in the Social Soup Instagram Study, Instagram is being used as a platform to research and purchase products, and Influencers are inspiring almost 1 in 3 of those purchases.

Instagram provides a highly visual and convenient platform that facilitates the discovery of new products. It showcases how products are being used by others through fresh content that is constantly evolving. It can help people uncover trends in categories they are interested in, and once they find a product that sparks an emotional response in them, they are able to search through relevant comments and hashtags to help validate a potential purchase. In addition, with shoppable Instagram posts on the rise, the platform provides a centralised hub where the customer stays within the platform right through to purchase, helping to optimise the customer experience.

There are now 9 million monthly active Instagram users in Australia. Typically, Instagram users access the platform 33 times a week, and spend an average of 13 minutes per usage occasion. This equates to a total of over 7 hours a week of dedicated screen time on Instagram.

Influencers are known for their authenticity and ability to connect with their niche audiences, and therefore can provide a trusted voice direct to the customer. Instagram users are looking to Influencers they follow to provide them with recommendations and help them in the discovery process. Influencers are able to showcase products on behalf of brands, and can craft messages that are relatable and relevant to their audience, ultimately helping drive conversion.

Brands will benefit from aligning themselves with Influencers who match their values, fit their brand, and who are able to produce content that is relevant to their desired target audience. Together, the Instagram platform and Influencers can help brands to build emotional connections with their audience, offer value through well crafted messages, enable the validation process and optimise the customer journey.

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