Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Instagram should now be somewhere in your social strategy, so here are a few things that might be helpful to keep in mind when trying to grow your reach.
1. Use great images
Persoanlly, this is the most important element of your feed.
In an environment with so many visually fantastic posts filling timelines you need to stand out and capture attention straight away. Play with your contrast, use vibrant colours, choose striking filters that suite your image. Make sure that what your posting is striking enough to get people liking, following and visiting your profile for more.
2. Use Stories consistently
Don’t just use Stories now and again, use it consistently to remind your audience that you’re still there and to keep you front of mind.
When you post, if they’ve been engaging with you, your logo will be the first thing they see until they click your story.
3. Use the link in your bio
Use this link to send people to external locations to your Instagram bio, usually your general website home page.
But, if you’re running a specific promotion, running a questionnaire, promoting a YouTube video (etc.) remember to change this link to reflect where you want to be sending your audience at that point in time.
4. Use SEO tactics in your 'Name' section
You may have noticed that Instagram’s username/name is the other way around to most platforms. So as a tip, what about make use of your ‘name’ in a way that involves SEO more strategically, rather than simply doubling up on your brand name.
Example: If you’re an online store selling toys, have your handle as @KidWorld and then have your name as ‘Your Local Toy Shop’. If someone searches on Instagram for “Toy Shop” your profile is more likely to show up in their results now that your name matches a more ‘general’ search term.
Your handle will always be the more prominent title on posts and in the feed, so take the opportunity to increase your SEO and cram in those keywords that people might be searching for into your name section.
5. Include your handle in promoted messages
When you’re running a promotion, remember to include your own @handle in the message/comment section in order to drive traffic back to your profile page.
As it’s a promotion in the news-feed, it’s difficult to click through to your profile without having a @handle in the message as a clickable link. It will help you drive back extra traffic from your paid adverts to your Instagram profile, where they will then see the same link that your promoting in your bio as well as all the extra context from reading your bio.
6. Use a handle in your Instagram Stories
Using a handle in your Instagram stories is another opportunity to bring traffic over to your Instagram profile.
We know the only clickable external link on Instagram is the one in the bio section on your profile (other than a promotion), so take every opportunity to bring people over to that page.
7. Try using text on Images
Ok, this is a debated topic.
If your profile theme is a picturesque mountain pro-photographer album, text might not suit your style.
But, otherwise, why not take the opportunity to post a few things that grabs attention using text – we know it works well on Facebook and other platforms. Use one of your posts to show off that ‘60% off’ offer that you have going on at the moment; it’s a huge hook and selling point. Make sure your audience knows about it, and don’t solely rely on that small text underneath in the message.
BUT, we can’t stress this enough, make sure it’s stylish and the image is a good one. There are numerous stylistic ways of doing this effectively without spoiling that pure Instagram feel.
8. Use video
Don’t be afraid to use video on Instagram. With everyone else using images, video will grab someone’s attention simply by moving. Instagram is also keen on video, so it will push your video out to as many people as it can.
Historically, you find that images brought in a higher engagement rate than videos, but this may have been down to that fact that it’s not a simple double tap ‘like’ function, like it is with images. Even so, images work better if time is against you.
Same rules apply as with images; make sure that your video stylistically and visually fits in on Instagram.
Also, make sure that you choose a good image frame as your ‘cover’ (the one that appears on the homepage as a still image). This will help keep your profile tidy and a joy to scroll through.
9. Use hashtags
Using Instagram without hashtags is like driving your car without the wheels on. It’s the only way people are going to discover you.
Do your homework, have a look to see what hashtags are doing well within your industry. Instagram has a discover section and a trending hashtag list, or you can also search for popular hashtags online – numerous resources available to help you.
Warning: Be wary of using the same hashtags in every post or using more than 5 hashtags as Instagram’s new API change in January has started decreasing posts that flag up as ‘spam’. If you’ve got yourself a list that you’re always using over and over again you’ll need to switch it up and start tailoring them to every post. This is naturally a good thing, as posting the same hashtags again and again will mean that you’re reaching the same audience every time and will see your engagement dropping anyway. Make sure you’re using new hashtags on every post, find new audiences that won’t have discovered you before and keep your Instagram traffic flowing.
10. Use external videos in your stories
Don’t be afraid to use produced videos that you’ve shared on other platforms in your Instagram Story. Stories should not be kept for native ‘in the moment’ videos only; it can be a powerful tool to advertise your high quality produced content.
With everyone else creating selfie blog type videos, it’s a chance to stand out in the stories feed and really show off your content.