11 ways to improve Instagram marketing for small business

by | Aug 27, 2021

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instagram marketing for small business

Often, small businesses feel absolutely dejected on Instagram. They see big brands blowing their trumpets, never letting the spotlight buzz off them. But it isn’t so.

A small business can make it big only if they continuously adapt and change their content strategy. Instagram is a visual platform, launching new updates every now and then. And naturally, businesses are expected to use each of these features to its full potential.

You just can’t get away with posting a few edited images and expect to claim fame. Because it simply doesn’t work that way. But on the contrary, if you manage to pull it off with the right strategy, nothing can stop you from being a household name.

Let’s assume you are into the home decor business, and you find your sweet spot in posting captivating images of your products. You might get engagement and a handful of leads. But if you adapt, use Reels, and employ a shoppable feed, you have a fair chance of growing your business by using Instagram marketing techniques.

If you still aren’t convinced, here are some statistics why your efforts on this platform are worth the hustle:

  • Instagram influences purchasing decisions of 80% of its users
  • Users spend an average of 53 minutes on Instagram
  • Half of Instagram users follow at least one business page

Now, these show that Instagram gives you the power of influencing your audience. It all spirals down on how you use it, so your audience has a reason to double-tap your posts. In this blog, we shall discuss some foolproof ways to learn that exactly.

Let’s begin with perfecting your bio!

1. Start With Bio Optimization

A bio is your formal introduction to your audience. But most businesses pay little heed to this, committing the very first mistake of leaving it incomplete. A smartly crafted bio is a contributing factor in tempting your profile visitors to tap the follow button.

Here’s how you can optimize your Instagram bio:

  • Avoid lengthy descriptions
  • Keep it direct
  • Add a compelling CTA
  • Mention your website
  • Add location
  • Include branded hashtags
  • Mention handles of your other profiles

start with bio optimization

BuffBunny, a women-clothing business, has an impactful bio. It is crisp and very precise. They have mentioned their tagline, details about the available size range, and shipping information and ended it with their official website link.

2. Write Catchy Captions

Captions explain the context of your posts better. But providing context doesn’t mean a dull monologue. Set a background, employ storytelling techniques, and make it more insightful. Use FOMO lines if your posts adhere to specific campaigns.

Another benefit of writing catchy captions, specifically for Reels posts, is that they increase the watch duration and play count. Your viewer happens to come across your reel. Make sure to nudge the viewer to read your caption. This hack also might be pivotal in bringing more profile views.

Finally, end your captions with a question or ask your followers to comment and tag their friends if they relate. A simple tweak in the caption can actually shake things up for the better.

write catchy captions

KKW Beauty, a beauty line owned by Kim Kardashian, posts aesthetic images with irresistible captions. Consider this post, for instance. Take some inspiration from this caption with a playful narrative and a lucrative CTA.

3. Strengthen Hashtag Strategy

Instagram is one of the few platforms with an impeccable hashtag reach. Though the permissible count is 30, it is advisable to use 5-9 hashtags in every post. You can also add up to 10 hashtags in your story and double your reach.

But this doesn’t mean you should go bonkers and clutter your caption area. Apart from the business-oriented hashtags, add the one relevant to your product/service. Come up with your personalized hashtag bearing the business name/tagline.

What’s the advantage, though? Branded hashtags are free social media listening tools in disguise. They help you filter out branded content, so you get your hands on the best user-generated content and valuable mentions in one go.

strengthen hashtag strategy

Porto’s Bakery includes a good mix of branded and trending hashtags. In this post, they have wished their followers and revived the spirit of 4th July. It went down well with decent engagement figures.

Tip: Add more hashtags as your first comment to posts.

4. Geotag For Better Visibility

Every small business knows that its brick-and-mortar presence plays a huge role in branding. And, geotagging helps you authenticate that with your social media existence. It adds a sense of credibility and also narrows down your leads.

Let’s take an example to understand this even better. Say you are a salon based out in New York. It would be better to geotag your posts with your exact location, so NYC folks find you easily when looking for a life-changing haircut.

Just like hashtags, you can add your location in stories and posts. For stories, select the location sticker and add the exact location. To edit or add geotag to your usual feed posts, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the three dots
  2. Click on the Edit option
  3. Tap on ‘Add location’ underneath the username
  4. Type out your address
  5. Tap on the tick mark to save the change

geotag for better visibility

Small Luxury Hotel, a hospitality brand, geotags their jaw-dropping escapades to entice the travel buffs. They also list out the specialty of their particular backdrop to be the undisputable stop for people visiting the place.

5. Reach Out To Influencers

Well, availing benefits of influencer marketing isn’t a pricey affair anymore. With the boom of micro-influencers dominating the marketing landscape, the only concern is to find the right ones.

If you are skeptical about it, try using influencer listing tools like Buzzsumo. You get a wide range of options in almost every niche at an affordable budget.

Check out their social media profiles and get in touch for a collaboration request. If you want them to be a part of your campaigns, ask them about their performance estimates from their end to get a rough estimation on ROI.

But if you need them for a general feature promotion, consider sending them your products for free and if they are willing to promote you in their Instagram profile.

reach out influencers

Adam Gonon, a fashion influencer, is endorsing the new arrivals from Express Men here. Once the post is shared, ensure to comment on your influencer’s post just like it’s done here.

6. Focus On Video Play

Nothing catches the eye like a well-edited video! That’s why posting more video content is the easiest shortcut to improving your branding. Creating them isn’t a hassle now, thanks to ample powerful and intuitive tools. If you are thinking hard as to what exactly you should share in videos, then worry not. Here are a few ideas for your next post.

  1. Interview clients
  2. Start a DIY series
  3. Take up a Reels challenge
  4. Behind the scenes
  5. A glimpse of a regular workday at business
  6. Recordings of a live room session
  7. Quick tutorial and hands-on

The best part is Instagram supports videos of all duration. If you want to cover tutorials and live room sessions, post them as IGTV rather than Reels. But ensure that if your videos are long, they should hook your viewers till the end. Cut them in a professional way and make them catchy. Also, keep posting stories consistently for the necessary amplification.

focus on video play

House of CB, another fashion brand, leverages IGTV for flaunting its latest collection to 3.3 million followers. The profile is very impressive, sparse with all types of content.

7. Organize Exciting Contests

Contests are the catalyst behind a mass adrenaline rush. Organizing an exciting contest is your ticket to getting colossal attention. Though the idea seems basic, its execution requires detailed planning in advance.

Contests can be theme or occasion-based. You can also launch a new product and give them away to top winners. Here’s how you plan one:

  1. Start with the contest objective
  2. Decide the entry requisites, prizes, and procedure
  3. Use a contest platform for better monitoring
  4. Make social media announcements and create anticipation
  5. Hire influencers and collabs to spread the word
  6. Share reminders and countdowns before and after the contest
  7. Analyze and announce the results

organize exciting contests

Here’s a contest by The Perfume Shop. The rules are simple. The participant needs to post a transformation video and use the campaign hashtag #bringouttheperfume. The top 10 entries would win 10 perfumes, star in TPS’s official Christmas video, and be invited to participate in a game show. Now that’s a fantastic way to beat promotion blues.

8. Post UGC Content

User generated content or UGC is the secret weapon for big brands. A part of their content calendar is reserved with handpicked UGC content. And for small businesses, this might be equally beneficial.

Small businesses can create a community of loyal followers by posting their posts as solid testimonies to their service. UGC content is a two-way promotional street, benefiting all. The best part is you don’t need to pay for such a UGC promotion. But how do you find them? That’s where social listening comes into the picture. Monitor who all are mentioning you. Is it a negative or positive message that’s being shared? This content type is candid and directly impacts your brand’s impression. So make sure it’s a good one!

Post UGC content

Naturally Serious Skin has shared a post featuring one of their ardent followers who used their products and was happy with the result.

9. Product Tags and Shoppable Feeds

Now you can turn your Instagram feed into an Etsy catalog with product information. Your followers just need to tap on the products to see their pricing details and will be redirected to your website straight away to complete the purchase.

This feature allows you to create collections too. Along with the usual feed posts and stories, your followers can shop from Instagram guides or Editor’s pick as well.

Such a feature is a boon for small businesses that struggle to get massive website traffic. Shoppable feeds overall enhance the user experience, so you score more leads without being pushy!

products tags & shoppable feeds

LuluLemon posted a story highlight named ‘IG Checkout’ where they traced the exact steps on discovering more of their products.

10. Boost Instagram Posts

Knowing what to post on Instagram is a never-ending question. But thanks to Instagram, you can edit photos and it lets you promote in various ad formats like photos (Image, Carousel), videos (IGTV, Reels, Stories), creators, and shoppable feeds Boost posts to share your best-performing content to maximum people.

However, if you truly want to maximize your Instagram engagement, you’ll want to edit your images off of social media. Some tools are as easy to use as Instagram’s, and you can do much more with them, such as remove, replace, and blur the backgrounds in your photos.

Check your insights to boost only those posts that have garnered more than usual engagement. Here’s how you can boost posts on Instagram:

1. Click on the promote button by tapping on the post you want to boost.

2. Start with selecting a goal. Boosting has three goals:

  • Profile visits
  • Website visits
  • Messages

3. You can then either opt for automatic audience targeting or create your own. Creating your audience requires you to feed in:

  • Audience name
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Age and Gender

4. Set the budget and duration. Choose the payment mode.

5. Click on the Create Promotion button to get started.

Boosting results in exponential organic reach and engagement. It’s a safe bet because you already have a fair idea of its performance.

11. Choose The Right Social Media Tool

Posting alone isn’t sufficient unless you track the results. Though Instagram offers various insightful metrics, it’s advisable to go for social media tools for businesses. They are actually worth the investment because they save you the time and effort you otherwise spend on manual posting and commenting.

Your brand needs to be present on multiple platforms and not alone on Instagram. For example, Facebook has a huge reach and can be a great social media platform to complement your Instagram marketing campaign. So choosing the right tool that helps you manage everything from one place is of utmost importance. Along with these usual scheduling and tracking tools, you should also be equipped with amazing video editing and designing software for easy treading on this quest.

Final Words

Instagram is consistently supporting small businesses to glam up their branding. With more than a billion users, this platform is guaranteed to amplify your branding far and wide. The only catch is that you have to evolve with them to get enhanced visibility. Being an old-school marketer won’t fetch you the expected results even when you are consistent. That’s why you have to play smart, experiment, and make the most out of it. These actionable hacks we mentioned will help you take that essential step. Give them a try, and you will witness a stark improvement!

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