With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram marketing presents small businesses with great opportunities. It’s a dynamic platform for promoting your products and services, and its visual nature can work wonders for audience engagement!
In this blog, we look at how your business can get started with Instagram marketing, the benefits of the platform over other social channels, and techniques for creating engaging content.
Instagram has a unique appeal to small businesses. Consider the following points:
- Half of its billion users are active on Instagram every day. This means you’re bound to discover new audiences for your business’ products or services.
- Users can purchase from businesses using the Instagram app. Brands can add product descriptions, prices, and ‘shop now’ buttons to their posts. This allows you to do business directly from your Instagram page!
- A survey by Facebook revealed that 80% of respondents used Instagram to help decide on making a purchase. This proves the value of having an appealing business profile and attractive, engaging content.
- Instagram’s ‘Insights’ feature reveals useful details about your followers, such as demographics and their most-active times. You can use this information to maximise follower engagement and target your content at relevant groups.
Once you’ve set up a business account, the next step is to optimise your profile.
Your business’ Instagram bio is an integral part of your social media presence. It’s a brief overview of what your business does and how customers can contact you. Your bio is the first thing prospective customers will notice, so you need to make it count!
Your profile will need a high-quality profile picture that complements your brand. You can also add a category to your bio to denote what your business is, e.g. ‘Coffee Shop’. Importantly, you should include links to your website, email addresses, or phone numbers, as you can’t add any links to the captions for your posts.
How to create engaging posts
As a uniquely visual medium with plenty of features, small businesses can really get creative with Instagram marketing!
To make your content look polished, ensure that your photos have good lighting, composition and focus. You’re likely to use graphics or animations as well, so be sure these are clear, readable, and of sufficient resolution.
There are plenty of possibilities for post types. For example, you might choose to upload short videos of up to 60 seconds. The video function can be used to create narrated office tours, how-to videos, or messages from staff about what your business offers.
Although Instagram is known for photographs, you can also create engaging content with text-based images. This could take the form of infographics, for example. By using design tools such as Canva, you can create instructional or informative infographics in a more visually-exciting format than captions alone.
When it comes to captions, these will give your photo or video posts context. For any post, it’s best to get your message out concisely in the first two lines, as many people don’t read any further. As keyword search functionality was recently added to Instagram, you may also wish to include appropriate keywords for your business in your captions.
Hashtags are another essential tool in boosting your visibility. Keep these relevant to each post and your sector.
Sharing interactive Stories and Reels
Businesses can also use Stories, Highlights, and Reels to diversify their content.
A study from Instagram revealed that 58% of respondents became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. Although these posts only last for 24 hours, you can make them permanently viewable as ‘Highlights’, which can be easily compiled and accessed under your bio. You can also use Stories to share customer posts about your business.
Reels allow you to create and edit short TikTok-like videos. You can customise these with filters, audio, and basic editing features. You might want to use Reels to highlight your products, e.g. packing or unboxing orders or for brief ‘meet our team’ videos.