If you’re selling digital items on your eCommerce store, then you’re probably looking into ways to market your products. While newsletters, blog posts, and ads help, you might be overlooking one very powerful platform – Instagram.
Now, I’m not talking about simply posting images of your digital products in one-off Instagram posts. Although this method can get the message across, you can do so much more with a plugin like Spotlight PRO.
In this tutorial, we’ll be setting up a photography website using Elementor. We will then take a hands-on approach to promote Easy Digital Downloads products using Spotlight Instagram feeds in WordPress.
What does Spotlight PRO have to offer?
Spotlight PRO can be used in multiple ways but here are a few options when it comes to promoting your digital products:
- Create a Link-in-bio Instagram website.
- Create a testimonials feed with your clients’ posts for social proof.
- Display your Instagram feed anywhere on your website to funnel visitors to your downloads pages.
In this post, we will be tackling the last two options.
We will first see how to create a testimonials feed using the Spotlight PRO plugin. We will then go through the process of linking your Instagram posts to your EDD items using the Spotlight Elementor widget.
Here’s a short clip showing how a potential visitor to your site would experience the feeds.
Note: You do not need Elementor to replicate these feeds. You can follow along and repeat the steps within Spotlight PRO’s plugin interface. Then, embed your feeds using the dedicated shortcode, block, or widget anywhere on your website.
Setting Up Your Website and Products
For this tutorial, I’ve used Elementor Pro’s Photography Elementor Kit.
I then installed and activated Easy Digital Downloads and set up 4 products, each with a specific image:
- Photography 101 (An eBook)
- How To Take Great Landscape Photos (A video tutorial)
- Crashing Waves (A downloadable print)
- How To Take Good Portraits (A beginners course)
Note: To keep my branding consistent, I’ve also uploaded posts to my Instagram account using the same images displayed in my Easy Digital Downloads products.
Easy Digital Downloads makes it very easy to create digital products for your customers. It comes with a lot of great features including:
- Discount codes
- Shopping cart
- Unlimited file downloads
- File access control
- A Customer account page
- Download activity tracking
- REST API
- Full data reporting
Installing Spotlight PRO and Connecting Your Instagram Account
To gain access to all the features used in this tutorial, go ahead and purchase Spotlight PRO. You will receive an email with the premium plugin and your license key to activate it. Once you’re done activating your plugin, it’s time to connect your Instagram account.
In order for Spotlight PRO to detect your account, make sure you’re logged into your Instagram account in another tab.
Back in the Spotlight PRO editor, you will be asked to connect your Personal or Business account. Spotlight works with both types of accounts. However, in order to create a hashtag feed and use Spotlight PRO’s features to the full, I recommend you go ahead and upgrade to a free Business account.
Option 1: Creating a Testimonials (Hashtag) Feed Using Spotlight
When you’re selling items online, it’s always important to think about your customer first. Consumers are always looking out for forms of validation that legitimize your brand or product.
Social proof comes in a number of different forms, including customer reviews, blog posts, social media followers, and social media posts. This last form of social proof is especially effective. Let’s see why.
Say, I’m selling an online course that helps you take great portraits with your new camera. While written reviews are great, actually seeing what your clients have learned through your course, through the images they upload to social media, is highly effective.
In this example, I’ve already instructed and urged my existing clients to upload their photographs to Instagram using the hashtag #minimalportraits. Now all I need to do is display the best posts right beneath my Easy Digital Downloads item. And voila! Free and effective social proof.
Applying Your Hashtag
Back in the Spotlight PRO editor, go to the Connect tab. Go to the section titled Show posts with these hashtags and type in your hashtag. You can choose between the most recent or most popular posts.
In a matter of seconds, Spotlight PRO has brought in 40 posts from all over Instagram with the hashtag #minimalportrait.
Designing Your Feed
Next, head on over to the Design tab to start designing your feed.
Spotlight PRO comes with over 40 customization options ranging from background colors, header styles, layout styles (including Grid, Masonry, Highlight, and Slider), and much much more. I find that it covers pretty much everything I need to design a feed that integrates well with any theme.
The plugin takes on your theme’s default fonts and also lets you open up images in a popup box:
Spotlight is fully responsive. Furthermore, it also lets you apply different customization options per device. In this case, I’ve opted for a 2 column grid for mobile devices.
Note that I’ve also chosen to show how many likes each post has received, further enhancing my testimonials.
Filtering and Moderating Your Instagram Feed
One of the only down-sides of hashtag feeds is that you bring in a lot of posts, most of which you don’t want to showcase on your website. Spotlight PRO takes care of this for you. It lets you filter your feed in two ways.
First, you can filter Instagram posts by caption or hashtag. In this case, I’ve filtered out images with the word “landscape” in their caption and all posts with the hashtag #instaminimal.
Second, you can also visually moderate your feed by selecting posts you want to include or exclude from your feed.
Saving and Embedding Your Feed
Once you’re happy with the way your feed looks, save your feed and give it a memorable name.
In this example, I’m choosing to use the generated shortcode which you can find under the Embed tab. Spotlight also gives you the option to use the dedicated WordPress blog or widget, and its very own Elementor widget which we’ll see in the next section.
Back in my downloads page, I pasted in my shortcode and hit save.
And there you have it! Our testimonials feed is up and running!
Option 2: Linking Your Instagram Posts to Your EDD Products (Using Spotlight PRO’s Elementor Widget)
For this next section, we’ll be using the Elementor widget.
To start off, I’ve opened up my Home Page in Elementor and created a new section titled “Shop my Instagram”. Then, simply search for the Spotlight Instagram Feed widget and drag it into your editor.
The Elementor widget lets you either select an existing feed from the dropdown menu or create a new feed directly within the Elementor editor.
Select Create a new feed.
Instantly, Spotlight’s editor appears on the screen. Follow the steps highlighted in the previous section to design your feed. In this example, I’ve chosen to show only my personal posts in a 4-column grid layout with a transparent background.
Then, filter and/or moderate your feed as needed. This step is optional so you can choose to skip it.
Linking Your Instagram Posts to EDD Items
Go to the Promote tab. This is where we will start linking our posts to our products. First, select a post. Spotlight PRO automatically recognizes Easy Digital Downloads and displays a Download option from the dropdown menu.
You can then search for the download you wish to link to and Spotlight PRO will bring it up.
There’s also an additional option to include popup box link text which will appear on the bottom right corner of the lightbox.
You may notice the two options at the top of your screen: Global and Automated promotions. Let’s see how these work.
Go to Instagram Feeds > Promotions in the WordPress sidebar and click the Create your first automation button.
Under the Automate tab, you can instruct Spotlight PRO to automatically link posts with a certain hashtag to a specific download. In this case, I’ve set every post with the hashtag #portrait to link to my beginner’s course.
If you’re planning on using your Instagram posts in various feeds throughout your website, Spotlight PRO also lets you set Global Promotions.
This means that you can set certain posts to always link to your desired downloads, blog posts, or any URL. These settings will apply anywhere the post shows up.
Once you’re done, hit Save and Embed in the Elementor widget and your Instagram feed is live!
Promoting Your EDD Products Using Instagram
Instagram can be a great tool when it comes to promoting your downloadable products. Not only can you bring in social proof in the form of testimonials, but with a plugin like Spotlight PRO, you can even entice visitors to shop your Instagram feed.
In this post, we’ve seen how you can create a great-looking website to showcase your products and testimonials using three WordPress plugins: