Instagram is one of the biggest social media networks on the market right now. With over one billion active monthly users and 25 million active business accounts, it’s clear they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. That’s why in this article, we’re covering 10 marketing strategies for small business on Instagram.
So you can better use the platform to connect and convert your ideal customer and client. Let’s get to it.
let’s dive right into the tips, starting with number one, optimize your bio.
Optimize your Bio
The very first thing you wanna do on Instagram whether you’re just getting started or whether you’re looking to take your account to the next level is to really fully optimize your bio by describing accurately, clearly and concisely what you do and who you do it for.
This is also your opportunity to talk about why you’re worth following. After all, what you do and who you do it for is one part of the puzzle but why is your account worth someone’s attention and time?
Of course, if you’ve got them there, you’ve compelled them with what you do and who you do it for and why you’re worth following, well then obviously you’re gonna wanna follow this up with an effective call to action leading them somewhere to get them off the site and to basically try to build your network some other way.
A perfect example here is offering some kind of freebie or guide or lead magnet and making sure to link that up using the link in your bio.
A really important note is to obviously make sure that whatever place you’re sending them off Instagram, is mobile optimized because almost all of Instagram takes place on a mobile device. So the last thing you wanna do is send them to some ugly website that doesn’t work when they get there.
Also, bonus points if you’re using a link tracker like Bit.ly which is going to enable you to see just how many people are clicking the link and ending up where you want them to go.
Have a Brand Plan
Alright, tip number two is to make sure to have a brand plan.
The three words that can help you build an effective brand plan are consistency, clarity and congruence.
Consistency means that you’re applying a regular schedule, meaning you’re posting regularly, you’re checking in regularly, responding to comments and responding to DMs on a regular and consistent schedule.
All of which help prove that you’re a reliable and trustworthy brand.
Clarity is all about what you’re about, your style and what you do and making sure that is really clear exactly what you do, who you do it for, why you’re worth following like we already covered, but also the theme and the tone and the style across your entire account.
Confusing someone is one of the quickest ways to lose them no matter what we’re talking about. Lastly, we have congruence.
Again, this kind of marries the consistency and the clarity by making sure that what you do, what you talk about, what you post and all the images all really work together and all really follow the same line and the same theme, again, making sure that we avoid confusing anyone about you and about what you’re about.
Feed and Stories
Tip number three is to leverage both feed and stories in your Instagram marketing plan.
The way that I like to think about it is feed, real good, and stories, real time. Meaning that you wanna make sure that you’ve curated and created your absolute best content in your feed so that you’re really portraying your best brand image possible and putting your best foot forward and then using stories to show things in real time, live action as they happen.
If you’re running Instagram ads, which we’re gonna talk about in just a minute, well, then you can leverage both feeds and stories and see which one provides the better return on investment for you and your business.
Our next tip is to use hashtags. Now I’m sorry that I even need to say this but it’s just so important and so many people are still missing the boat here in leveraging and using them across all of their posts.
And it’s so important because this is how people are going to be finding you and your content.
Now there’s three tips I have when it comes to hashtags to really help to elevate your game and get more bank for your buck.
The first of which is that you need to do #research, meaning, you’ve gotta go out there and find out what other influencers in your space are using, what the top brands are using and what your competitors are using in order to attract and build an audience.
Also, most importantly, you need to find out the hashtags that your ideal target market are using because these are the people that you’re actually trying to show up for.
The next tip is that even though you’ve done your research and you’ve got a kind of a stock pile of hashtags ready to go, you wanna vary them up over time so that you can continue showing up in front of new and varied audiences by using a variety of different hashtags.
If you stick to the same hashtag, time and time again, over time all that’s really gonna happen is you’re gonna show up in front of the same people again and again so your account is gonna stagnate and not grow as much as it could by varying the people that you’re trying to reach.
My final tip when it comes to hashtags is to make sure to use the keyword shortcut inside your phone which is gonna make it a lot easier to pop them up quickly rather than having to hand type out each and every single one which can be incredibly time-consuming and laborious.
My next tip is to make sure to leverage a micro-influencer strategy.
Now I know you’ve heard of influencer marketing where celebrities and people with large accounts go out there and get paid in order to promote a product on their feed but there’s a sub-segment of this massive industry known as micro-influencers and this is where I’d recommend you really wanna start diving into.
What micro-influencers are essentially really niche-specific businesses or people with tiny audiences of the exact perfect people that you’re trying to reach.
By going after them, you’re able to often get incredibly cost effective placements and postings for really pennies on the dollar and reach exactly who you’re trying to reach. But of course, finding the right micro-influencer is gonna take a little bit of digging and a little bit of research.
Leverage User Generated Content
My next tip is to make sure to leverage user generated content.
Leveraging user generated content is a fantastic way to build brand loyalty, build engagement with your tribe and also take a little bit of the load off your plate when it comes to creating content.
Fortunately, generating user generated content, well, that’s a bit of a mouthful, well, it’s easier than you might think. All you really need to do is ask for it and probably one of the best and easiest ways to do this is by using a submissions page right on your website which you can direct people to.
People submit content, you review it and you post it and give them a shout out, and that’s really it.
My next tip is to understand that timing matters a lot.
Now a quick Google search is gonna give you a number of different relevant and up-to-date statistics around the optimal posting frequency, the optimal time of day, and the optimal days of the week in order to post depending on your brand, or your business, or your market, or your industry, or any of those factors.
But there are some general guidelines that are working at least right now.
For starters, posting one to two times a day seems to be best with three on the upper end. Eight to nine a.m., five p.m., and two a.m. seem to be the best times to post and if you’re just gonna be posting twice, well, around eight or nine a.m. and two a.m. surprisingly actually works out pretty well.
And if you happen to be posting videos, which you should, well, nine p.m. seems to be the best time. Basically, you wanna be posting outside of regular business hours. If you’re a national or international brand, these times are based on Eastern Standard Time but you may wanna vary it for your specific market, especially if you’re located on the West Coast.
As for which days of the week, well, Monday and Thursdays seem to provide the best results, and Sunday the absolute worst.
Again, one of the things you’re gonna wanna do here is some active market research, meaning, follow your industry leaders, follow what your competitors and other leaders in the space are doing and model it after them and then of course, track and check and test and re-test over time in order to find the right frequency and timings for you and your business.
My next tip is to really understand demographic details.
First, the obvious stuff. 61% of Instagram users are under the age of 31, 69% under the age of 35. There’s about 7% more females than males, this number has been changing rapidly year over year, but older demographics and younger demographics are both still on the platform and those markets are growing quickly.
So one of the most important things you can do in your business whether we’re talking about Instagram or marketing in general, is really clearly dial in who your exact ideal target market is, what are their pains and their problems and their frustrations as well as their dreams and wants and desires, and how can you put your message in front of them in the best way and in the best place possible?
Alright, moving right along to our next tip, paid promotions.
My advice here is pretty straightforward. If you’ve got a business and you wanna generate more leads, customers and sales, well, you’re gonna wanna leverage the incredible power of Instagram ads. This does a couple really cool things for your business.
The first of which is that it allows you to keep your organic feed free from all promotions because you’re gonna be able to supplement that with paid advertising.
The second thing is that understanding that Instagram ads are one of the most powerful advertising tools available today, namely because they’re owned by Facebook ads which as we all know has one of the most powerful advertising algorithms available, allowing you to pinpoint your exact ideal target market and put your message directly in front of them.
If you’ve got a business that’s trying to generate more leads, customers, and sales, you should be using Instagram ads, end of story.
Leverage Instagram DM
Our next tip is to leverage Instagram DM. Direct messages are a fantastic way to build connections, outreach, network, and connect with other people just like you.
The key with Instagram direct messages and basically all networking is you need to lead with value, meaning, you’ve gotta go out there and find out a little bit about the person and how you can help to serve them with no intention of getting anything in return.
That’s what ads are for. So make a connection, seek to understand them first and really build that relationship and the last thing you wanna do is spam someone. Terrible for business.