15 Tips for Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses
Instagram marketing is one of the more underutilized digital marketing techniques available to business owners.
It often takes more expertise to execute successfully in comparison to other social network outlets such as Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, Instagram images get 23% more engagement compared to images on Facebook.
If you are wondering how best to leverage Instagram for your business, then pay attention to the following marketing tips to improve your Instagram strategy.
#1 – Get Started
The first step to creating your marketing strategy on Instagram? Creating an account of course!
Signing up with Instagram is fairly straightforward and the most obvious of all Instagram tips for business owners. Just sign up for an account using an email address and familiarize yourself with the platform. But you really want to get started with Instagram for Business. A Instagram business account aims at providing businesses with valuable analytics & a new advertising channel.
With 1 billion Instagram users as of 2018, there has never been a better time to get started.
Sidenote: If you are just getting started at using Instagram for small business, then please wait before diving into Instagram Ads. Learn the platform first and master organic (free) reach. This will save you both headaches & money!
#2 – Balance Business and Personal Images
All of the data and scientific research demonstrates that people respond far better to visual content than they do to text. This is one of the primary advantages of Instagram. For best results, mix business posts with personal posts in a ratio of 50:50. This goes against much marketing advice, but businesses that do this tend to get better results.
#3 – Use Statistics
Like images and video, customers love statistics. For best results, try to integrate your stats and images into an infographic.
Using infographics appeal to both sides of the brain. The creative side likes the colors and shapes, and it will make it easier to remember. The logical side will be impressed with the statistics and official sources. It’s a win-win.
#4 – Track Important Metrics
While there are many generic patterns among consumers, you still need to track Instagram metrics. This is because your particular audience may have certain tendencies which means they deviate away from general trends. In this way, you can gauge what your audience responds to best and tailor your posts to be as targeted as possible.
#5 – Use Automation Tools
There are many post scheduling tools on the market which make it easy to manage a social media marketing campaign. These tools include eClincher, Buffer, and HootSuite. You can see what your customers are responding to across a variety of social media platforms. The majority of these services also allow you to monitor your reputation from an integrated dashboard.
A social media automation tool is an excellent way to stay ahead of your competitors and to save you time!
#6 – Engage with your Followers
As much as possible, follow your followers and what they keep up to date with. No matter how large your brand is, it is a mistake not to follow your followers as this creates a better relationship. On some level, the customer will feel valued by your business.
You can also consider creating strategic relationships by following and commenting on brands on Instagram that you enjoy. By commenting on other popular Instagram pages within your niche, you will attract more potential customers to view your profile.
In addition, test out leveraging your audience to create user-generated content. This is a fun and easy way to both engage with your audience and to streamline your content creation.
#7 – Be Creative and Inspirational
You don’t have to post on Instagram every single day. Posting Instagram content every 3-4 days a week is usually sufficient. But you do have to ensure that the posts you release are engaging, inspirational, and interesting.
You should want to inspire your customers to use your brand in clever ways. Emphasize how somebody’s quality of life could be enriched using your services with vibrant images or intelligent statistics. Share stories from your current customers to inspire your audience to take action!
#8 – Be Unique
Focus less on selling and more on creating your own personalized and unique brand image that tells its own story. Your customers will pick up on this and respond in kind. Everybody loves authenticity and individuality. While you should pay attention to best practices, it’s always healthy to prioritize your creativity.
#9 – Cross Promote Using Hashtags
If you have a great post on one platform, feel free to share it on others. Trying to create unique content for every single platform all the time is a chore and is not an efficient solution. You can also cross-promote photo Instagram photo contests on your Facebook profile using hashtags. It is also recommended that you use branded hashtags to piggyback on popular trends.
#10 – Build the Perfect Profile
Not everyone puts in the appropriate effort in terms of an Instagram account. Instagram profiles need to include brand information in specific ways. Take a look at this cheat sheet in order to understand how to build the ideal Instagram profile. Basic tips include allowing your photos to be accessed by anyone and using the company logo as the profile picture.
#11 – Investigate Instagram Apps
There are a large number of Instagram apps that can enhance your content strategy and increase engagement. These applications have a number of different uses. Some provide statistics on images while others allow to quickly search for relevant Instagram images using hashtags.
There are thousands of these applications and diving into specifics is something that I’ll save for another article.
#12 – Use Image Analytics
You need to understand what your target audience is responding to and how many likes and shares your photos are getting. Blitz Metrics and Curalate are perfect for providing information on your uploaded images. Using these tools, you can get better and better over time in terms of curating and posting only high quality & appropriate images.
Find what your audience responds to and design your Instagram feed around it.
#13 – Be Consistent
Users like consistency and they do not like half-measures. So when you pick a theme, make sure to stick with it. If you change your mind and opinions all the time, you will not gain any respect on Instagram. And the followers you do get will also be quite fickle.
Get clear about your brand from the outset and stay consistent with both the type of content along with your posting schedule.
#14 – Share Teasers
Sharing the teasers of upcoming products or services is a perfect way to increase engagement rates. You can also provide discounts on those who sign up to the product or service early. Teaser photos are excellent for generating likes and interest.
The best way to give teasers to your audience is to use the Instagram stories feature! It allows you to provide a unfiltered behind the scenes look to your biggest fans.
#15 – Create a Strong Call to Action
Remember, that ultimately you need to convert customers into sales. So while it is great to post content that everybody likes, you cannot ignore basic online marketing principles. Ultimately, you want to direct customers into an exceptional landing page or homepage that convert followers to customers.
This is the step where most businesses on Instagram struggle. Especially since Instagram only give you one link to work with! It is extremely important that you have a strategy to drive traffic from the platform and to your site.
Every single post should use a call to action! Use call to actions to direct your followers to do exactly what you want from them.
Examples of the call to actions for Instagram:
- “Click the link in my bio to learn more!”
- “Comment down below if you enjoyed this post”
- “Tag a friend below who needs to see this.”
- “Make sure that you follow my page @MeasureTwiceMedia”
This is the most important tip that I can leave you with. Ideally, you have provided your customers with enough value that they will happily do any little task that you ask of them.
Instagram is still growing and it is now used by over 70% of the population here in the United States. Meaning it is essential that you figure out a successful way to use it. This is extra important if your target audience is under the age of 35.
Learn to successfully leverage Instagram and you will find that it can be as useful of a channel as any other social media platform.