Instagram marketing for small business: How to get started

Instagram is one of the most influential forces of social media. Why is that? Well, according to Forbes, along with hunger, fear and love, visual stimulation is embedded in the human experience. Instagram is all about visuals, and it feeds the minds and hearts of its users. But as Instagram seeks to deliver the best contents its users will enjoy, organic reach has been shrinking. This clearly presents a challenge for small businesses who doesn’t have the same budget as the big-time companies who promotes their posts.

So how do neophytes make it big on Instagram? What are the right strategies to do in order to gain more audience, acquire customers, and eventually generate sales?

Don’t fret. You can still up your Instagram marketing game if you follow the steps below:


  • Create fun and valuable content


Part of setting up your IG account is bringing out the best in your brand. How do you stand out from the thousands of businesses online? Can your posts answer the most common questions being asked by your customers? Do you think it’s best if you create original contents like videos and photo series to gain more traction?

Your posts should clearly represent your brand (products, services, vision, etc.) and must be valuable to your followers. They should answer their problems – that’s the key that would take them to the purchase funnel!



  • Find and follow your customers


Looking for ideal customers online isn’t that hard. One of the things that you can do is find brands that are similar to yours, and see their followers. Most likely, they may also be interested in your brand. Give them a follow or send them a direct message. It’s not a “creepy” thing to do as this is also being done by a lot of brands, big or small. Just be nice!

There is no guarantee that you will get a follow back from all of them. But some of them will, so don’t let the opportunity to interact with them slip away!



  • Post high-quality photos


Whether you’re using your own photos, stock photos or reposting from other people, always choose HQ images. Why? It’s because you want to give your audience an impression that you are a premium brand. First impression lasts!

Remember, IG is already a crowded space. Nobody wants to see a blurred photo with no proper composition. People crave visually-stunning images. You don’t have to be good in photography, and you don’t even need a professional camera to produce wonderful images. Just be playful, explore different camera angles and never forget to ask help from your team. Let those creative juices flow!



  • Don’t forget your hashtags


Hashtags are very powerful as they are a significant element of Instagram. In fact, using hashtags in your posts can help generate around 442% engagement. Yes, they are THAT powerful, so for small businesses, it’s very crucial to pick the keywords that are relevant to your brand. If you are a clothing brand based in HK, you may want to use the hashtags #fashionhk, #streetwearhk or #hkretail. If you are an advertising agency, you can use #advertisingfacts, #advertisingworld or #advertising101. As you can see, hashtags are all about wordplay. But again, use the ones that are relevant to you in order to easily connect with your target audience.



  • IG stories and IGTV


Take advantage of IG stories and IGTV as these two features can be beneficial to your marketing game:

  • IG stories – offers a variety of exposure that could help reach a lot of people, even those who don’t follow you. The 24hr-lifespan of this feature gives a sense of urgency and excitement for people, making it very crucial for brands to release only the best contents. So use IG stories wisely, as this can make or break your followers’ impression about your business.

  • IGTV – taking inspiration from Youtube, IGTV allows users to publish long-form videos. This is also good for starting businesses especially if you want to clearly explain why you do what you do. Additionally, people love watching videos now more than ever, so this is a good medium to use!



  • Monitor what’s working


Throughout the duration of your marketing efforts, you should be able to monitor your contents. Which among your posts got the most likes and comments? Which of them is the most engaged? You have to be able to know what type of contents resonates to your audience so you can continue giving them what they want.


Conclusion: Instagram is a wonderful place to market your brand. In fact, it’s much easier for small businesses to gain more audience there than in any other channel. Just focus on bringing yourself closer to your audience, and you will surely achieve a resounding success!

Also read: Top 5 Ways to Spot Fake Influencers on Instagram | 2018

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