In the era of online shopping, the website is the flagship of your brand. Just as the window of a store in the shopping mall should be designed in an appealing way to give people an impulse to go inside, the same should be the case with the website. There are numerous ways to present yourself as a brand in an authentic, tangible, and therefore appealing way to potential visitors.
The best way to radiate visual authenticity and proximity to customers is to integrate visual content from your community directly on the brand website. Instagram is well suited for generating and curating Social Content, because the social network is designed for sharing visuals. Around 95 million new photos are uploaded on Instagram every day.
Social Content from Instagram is ideally suited to integrate it on your brand’s website or online store in various forms. In this blogpost, you’ll learn how to embed Social Content from Instagram technically and in terms of design. At the end, you’ll get a few general tips so you don’t make any avoidable mistakes during the integration.
Creative ways to embed visual Social Content
Visual Social Content means online shop inspiration for many users.There are different layouts in which social content can be displayed on your site. Streams that allow you to embed Instagram content on your website can be divided into three different types. Teasers, galleries and product streams.
Teasers are usually embedded on the home page of an online store and give a taste to give a little taste of the products that are available for purchase in the store. Our customer ehrlich textil uses this form of integration:
2. Gallery (aka. Social Wall)
The gallery, or social wall, is a full-page photo gallery that provides a versatile and detailed overview. fafe collection uses this embedding form to show potential customers endless inspiration. In addition to this Instagram content integration from fafe collection, you can find more social galleries in our Top 10 Social Walls of Inspiration blog post.
The product stream is embedded on the product detail page (PDP) and presents visuals of a specific product. Our client Eddie Bauer uses product streams to focus on the versatility of their products:
Why product page images are important? We’ll give you 5 good reasons in our blog post on the subject.
Technical ways to embed visual Social Content
There are several technical ways to embed Instagram content on your website. In the following, we will take a closer look at three of them:
Embed individual posts via embedded code
With an embed code, i.e. an embed link in HTML form, Instagram feeds can be embedded on a website. To get the link, open the desired post and click on the three small dots in the upper right corner. Then click on “Embed” and then on “Copy embed code”. To embed Instagram on your website, you need to recreate the HTML element on the page, just paste the copied code into the appropriate window.
Advantages and disadvantages of embedded codes
With embedded codes, individual posts can be quickly and easily integrated on the website, which makes it suitable if you want to embed a few Instagram visuals, which are supposed to stay there for a longer period of time. Because there is no automation, it requires a high manual maintenance of the content, if you want to update it in a regular rhythm. Thus, the integration of extensive galleries via embedded code means high effort. Furthermore, the content is not directly owned, but only mirrored from Instagram. This means that if the respective post is deleted on Instagram or set to private, it is no longer displayed in the embedded section on your website.
Insert entire feeds via plug-ins
Via various plug-ins, an Instagram feed widget can be inserted, for example, on a WordPress website. For this, the plug-in “Instagram Feed” has to be installed in the WordPress backend. Then the plug-in needs to be activated. After that, WordPress needs to be linked to the corresponding Instagram account under the menu item “Instagram Feed”. After successfully logging into the Instagram account, the plug-in needs to be authorized. This gives it permission to access the Instagram posts and the website is then allowed to display the posts. In the backend, the shortcode [instagram-feed] can now be inserted at the location where the Instagram feed is to be displayed on the website.
Advantages and disadvantages of plug-ins
Through plug-ins, an Instagram feed can be implemented easily, and the content on display gets refreshed automatically. However, this variant can only display Instagram visuals from one single feed. It is therefore not suitable if you want to embed community content from different sources (e.g. direct submissions by mail). In addition, you can’t set individual filters to select specific posts for your streams. Product streams are therefore not possible. The visual is also not stored with this integration. If the post is deleted on Instagram, the visual can no longer be displayed on the website.
Embed Instagram feed via squarelovin
The use of a User Generated Content management tool helps to display posts from different Instagram users in an automated and filtered manner. Thus, it is perfectly suited for integrating UGC (User Generated Content) on your website. Using a management tool makes embedding Instagram content even easier to handle.
It supports you in choosing which UGC-pieces you want to display, how and where, helps you to request usage rights and ensures the automated integration of numerous visuals with one simple piece of code. The visuals can also be saved within the tool, so that permanent access to the individual content pieces is guaranteed. In addition, if you have any questions or challenges, there is always personal support available to help you get the most out of your Social Content.
Using our UGC Management Tool, you can embed Instagram content on your website in no time. Simply connect your brand’s Instagram business account with your squarelovin account. Based on specific brand accounts or hashtags, you can filter and determine which Instagram content is displayed in the stream on your website. You can also add multiple content sources and embed them.
With the ability to create product links or defined category tags and assign them to the visuals, you can easily select the images that you want to be displayed in a product stream or product worlds. The integration of the Instagram stream on your website or in the online store is possible via the embedding of a code provided by us, which you can simply integrate via copy/paste on your website. The embedding code is valid for all common store systems and already contains your desired layout format of the stream, that can be adapted later on without having to change the code again.
Barriers when embedding visual Social Content
Obtain usage rights beforehand
If you embed Instagram content on a website, you need to keep the following in mind: Brands are not allowed to use content from customers (UGC) without asking permission first, because that would be illegal. To be on the safe side of the law when integrating User Generated Content, brands must obtain usage rights for each content piece individually.
These rights can only be granted through the explicit consent of the person who posted the visual. For example, the use of a campaign or sweepstakes hashtag alone is not sufficient here. If you get the permission, you can leverage the content across all channels, whether it’s on the website, newsletter, or social media. If you want to learn more about image rights, check out our Rights Management Guide.
Mention the origin of the content
Honor the work and effort of the people who created the Social Content by mentioning who created and posted the content. Appreciation in the sense of @mentions and external links to the respective social media profiles ensure stronger and long-term brand loyalty. Customers feel seen both for themselves and the effort they put into their visual content production, and you don’t create the impression that you’re taking credit for others.
Deposit external links correctly
If you place links to individual posts from Instagram users in your online store, you should make sure that these external links are always automatically opened in a new tab. Otherwise, users will return to Instagram, leave your store, and maybe even cancel their purchase. Further it is quite likely that customers who came to your site looking for inspiration, will continue browsing on the social media platform instead, once they’ve been redirected. In the worst case, they will become aware of direct competition through sponsored ads and make a purchase there.
Besides decreasing conversions, an Instagram integration with direct redirection to the platform negatively influences the Google ranking. (aka. SEO) of your website. The order in which the search engine displays results is also influenced by how long visitors stay on a website and how much they interact there. If customers are redirected externally after only one click, this has a negative effect on both of these values. To learn more about the relationship between UGC and SEO, check out our whitepaper Support your SEO with UGC.
Visual Instagram content of your brand, created by your customers, is authentic, versatile and personal. In this way, they create a good base for brand loyalty. Accordingly, it’s worth integrating it into your marketing so that these attributes spill over into your brand image. Put your customers in the spotlight: Start integrating the Instagram feed on your website to show your website visitors the value you place on your community. For more inspiration on how to Make the most of Social Content, check out our blog.