Instagram Marketing: 35+ Powerful Tips and Strategies

Instagram is not one of the most important marketing frontiers for small businesses. Not just its helping the business to reach its targeted audience but also bringing new customers. 

Well, in 2019, Instagram was ranked the 6th most popular social network in the world, with more than 1 billion users. 

Instagram focuses on a strong visual and upbeat vibe. 

When it comes to successfully utilizing this channel, there are lots of things that might be confusing. 

instagram marketing guide works for small business

To make sure you are getting all the benefits from Instagram marketing, here are some powerful tips that can actually work and help your small business to grow. 


Powerful Instagram Marketing Tips You Can Try Right Away 

90% of Instagram users have at least followed one business. Also, it’s not just the consumer benefit; 36% of B2B decisions are taken by using Instagram when it comes to researching new products. 

reasons why use instagram for small business

Instagram brings easiness and comfort for small businesses to get in touch with their audience. However, to start with this, you will need the account first. 

To make the best use of Instagram, here are a few steps for creating the account first. 

  • Download your app; it’s available for iOS and Android both. 
  • Open and go to create a new account. If you are using iOS and Android, choose to sign up with an email or phone number.
  • Now enter your phone number.
  • Create the password and decide on your username.
  • Add your profile information.
  • Now when you get the account, click on the top right ( the hamburger icon)
  • Click on the setting and choose an account.
  • Tap on the option to switch to a professional account
  • Now follow the prompts to get the account ready to use

Once your account is created, you can start your marketing based on what you are planning. And to make sure your Instagram marketing is on point, follow these tips. 

1. Choose Business Account 

Well, do not skip this step when you are following the procedure. There are two options you get, a personal account and a business account. 

Image source: Flothemes

Both have different purposes, but it’s important to choose the business account for the business. Also, with a business account, you get more features, such as : 

  • Instagram Insights
  • Instagram shopping 
  • Inboxes for primary and secondary 
  • Call to action on the profile.
  • Contact information 
  • Instagram ads 

Pro Tip: Choose a business account, and the features allow you to run your marketing better. You can connect your Instagram with Facebook and get analytic reports based on what you are performing. 

2. Fill & Update Your Bio

Instagram allows the bio and is limited to 150 characters only. You can only use this much to tell what potential you want the followers need to know. 

It’s implanted to use the space smartly; you can add hashtags that can make it easier for others to find you. 

Make sure to use the link in the description, add the website link, and let your customer visit the main site when they require it. 

tips writing business bios on instagram

Don’t just write and forget about your Instagram bio. You need to keep the bio updated. Also, keep visiting your bio to make sure you make the necessary changes from time to time. 

It keeps your account fresh and interesting for your followers. 

3. Set Your Account’s Look 

Instagram is a visual platform. That’s why it’s important for you to understand how your account will look, what colors you will follow, or the format you choose to post. 

The soon you know about these points, the better your account will look. When you are clear about this, it will also help you in associating your followers with your content as well as the brand. 

Pro Tip: Consistency is key; you must follow the same pattern, color pallet, fonts, and style the rest of the time. That’s why make sure you are using it smartly.

4. See Your Competitor’s Account

To get the idea, you can start by looking for other businesses and how they are handling their accounts. 

You need to identify the small business that is doing similar work as you first. Get the list and start looking; you can take notes about the type of content they are posting. Also, follow the hashtags, visual language, etc. 

This will also tell you about how their tactics are working. You can see their follower numbers and the engagement they get on per post.

You can get an idea of how their marketing strategy is working. You can use the data to make yours better and more effective. 

5. Create The Pillars Of Content 

When you are done with the research, you will take one more step, which is the important one. 

Before you jump to start Instagram and post your content, here, you can create a content pillar for your small business. 

Well, a content pillar means you get a few themes for the content type you plan to share on Instagram.

You can use this to guide you in scheduling your content, and this will allow your content to be more precise. 

6. Use Free Tools On Instagram 

There are a lot of differences when you switch from personal to professional business accounts. 

Instagram offers the option so that business accounts can get more ideas and better access to information. 

And for that, you get insights that include statistics about the engagement data, impressions, and many more.

Also, it’s not just generalized, but you can get insight based on posts on weekly performances. Here you also understand the impressions and period when your post was on top. 

You can also know which hashtag works and which people are reaching the post. 

Image source: constantcontactblogs

They have a breakdown based on the demographics. It includes information like location, gender, age, and the most active hours. 

Using these tools helps you understand how your post and content interact with your followers.  

The more you have the information, the better planning you can do for the next time. 

Pro Tip: You can use the product teasers to get your post more attention-grabbing and improve the impressions. 

7. Add Product Teaser To Urge For Buying 

Instagram is an effective platform for advertising your product. If you know how to do it correctly, you can use the platform to increase sales without annoying your customers. 

Here is an important point to remember. Never push your audience too much, as it will irritate them, and you will lose your followers. 

For that, you can use the product teaser as it’s not too pushy, but also you are giving the excitement of looking forward to the launch. 

For example, Starbucks uses Instagram to tease the audience by announcing the drinks for different seasons. 

Add Product Teaser

Image source: wishpondblog

The photo quality is always sharp and keeps without forcing too hard. 

Product teasers are helpful when you don’t push too hard but also keep the product interesting. This can trigger the purchase. 

Pro Tip: You can also get sponsored ads on your products

8. Creating The Sponsored Ads 

Instagram ads are common on the platform. However, here you get the benefit of controlling how much you want to spend on them. You can set the budget and keep your ads in control. 

You can also showcase multiple ads with the help of a carousel, or you can use one sponsor ad. 

tips getting quick instagram ads

With this, you can target your customer on a new level. Without sponsored ads, your followers can only see the updates and account. 

You can use different ads based on different forms, such as : 

  • Stories canvas
  • Photo 
  • Video 
  • Carousel or Dynamic ads
  • Stories 

9. Use Your Instagram Stories 

Instagram stories are helpful and one of the effective ways to create more options for generating leads. 

Well, the Instagram stories are different compared to the post; these ones are slideshow formats and only live for 24 hours.

Use Your Instagram Stories

Image source: Marcomalliances

However, you can save your stories on the archive or device for later use too.

Instagram stories stay on top, which makes them easy to spot. Also, you can use it for giving the behind the scene. You can use different features, such as Boomerangs which is similar to GIF. 

10. Partner With The Instagram Influencers 

The fastest way to grow and reach people is by using Instagram influencers

People are into what their influencers are using or recommending. That’s why lots of businesses are switching their marketing to influences too. 

When you find the right influencers that fit your brand and type of market, you can use them to keep your product relevant. 

With this, you can expose your brand to more people who are either interested in your product or the brand. 

For example, when you understand how to use this in the right way, you can take inspiration from Coca-cola and its partnership with Selena Gomez.

Partner With The Instagram Influencers

Image source: digitalmusicnews 

Pro Tip: You can use the post of your customers and give the credits for that. Even though they are not influencers, you can still get more attention as they have their own community, which can be your potential buyers. 

11. Create The Strong & Compelling Visual Content 

Instagram is strongly based on visuals. And that’s why it’s extremely important to understand the game.

The post should look great and appeal to the eyes. Well, it doesn’t mean that you need to invest in professional photography, but you just need the right equipment to keep your photos and videos sharp, well-composed, well-lit and focused. 

Also, if you are using infographics or animation, make sure you are keeping the text crisp, clear, and easy to read. 

Without a story, you can’t keep your photo appealing. Do not just aim for good photos, but choose photos that can tell a story.

If you don’t know what to start with, here are some ideas to consider: 

  • Reels: Reels have better reach, so you can use this to create a super short intro for products. 
  • Instagram Post: You can tell how to activate gals, and it’s compelling too. 
  • Videos: The maxim you get here is 60 seconds, but if it’s longer, this will go with IGTV.
  • Regrams and USG: User-generated content is authentic and a compelling idea to consider. 
  • Behind The Scenes Post: You can give the behind scenes of the office, manufacturing products, etc.
  • Quotes Or Text-Based Images: You can use creative text to keep the content interesting. Also, it doesn’t need photos. 

Pro Tip: Compelling content can help you in extending your reach. And if it fulfills the post, people can share it with others too. 

Keep your post easy to share along with quick to like. 

12. User Submitted Photo For Better Reach

User-submitted photos keep your work easy as you don’t have to create content or do hard work. 

When you have the user-submitted photos, it also shows that you have an engaged audience. This is useful content that can help you in getting in touch with more people. 

Image source: tagbox

Also, the followers enjoy these photos more because it’s unpredictable and authentic.

Make sure you tag the person you are sharing the post with, and with this, the person can get more followers as well as exposure. So it is a win-win situation for both of you. 

When you are choosing the photos, make sure you are doing them wisely. However, this can be difficult but make sure you follow these points: 

  • Choose a photo that fits the audience and is appropriate for your following. 
  • The followers of the person you are going to share
  • You are choosing the photo if it’s for the brand image. Is it something you want to create and want to create?

When you are choosing the photo, make sure you tune it with the brand and its message. 

Whatever you choose to share, make sure you carefully check through everything.

13. Come Up With Hashtag That Can Be an Interactive Brand

Hashtags are important for creating instant engagement. 

Just like Red Bull did, they featured their tag #itgivesyouwings, and this ranked up more than 299 612 posts.

Your customers can use the tag for posting their user-generated content. With this, you can do the search related to the post. 

If you are planning to use the post for your account, you can easily filter the post all around the globe. 

Creating a hashtag can also help in leading better advertising, and it’s free of cost too. 

Pro Tip: Ensure you are not overposting and using too many hashtags. 

14. Post In limit And Choose Right Time 

Overposting can make your customer unfollow your account. Not just is it irritating, but if you fill someone’s feed with your post, they will probably unfollow and block the rest of the posts.

It’s important to find consistency and keep track of the time when you post. Choose a time frame and keep your post schedule for the sleeted hours.

Make sure you are choosing the peak hours, so your customers can get your post much easier.

Do not post more than one or two times per day. Check when your followers are most active and schedule your post to go live. 

Pro Tip: keep your focus on engagement rate, URL click-through rate, and follower growth. 

16. Set Your Goals Straight, And Easy To Know 

When you are using Instagram or any channel, it’s important for the business to have the goals straight that they want to achieve. 

You are going to invest time, money, and effort. It should be clear from the start that for what you are doing. 

You can use Instagram for some basic goals, such as : 

  • Increasing your brand loyalty 
  • Showcasing your product and services
  • Building your brand community 
  • Advertising to the right audience 
  • Sharing updates and news about the brand 
  • Increasing the brand awareness
  • Showing your culture and values 

Setting your goals can help you in making better plans and direct your actions to make sure that you are growing throughout the process.

17. Optimize The Profile 

Since Instagram gives you 150 characters, optimizing your profile becomes extremely crucial. Also, you need to use every bit of it. 

Instagram bio is important for making the first impression. It can convey the message you have for brand personality. Also, it tells why people should follow you. 

However, this is too much for a small pace. Fortunately, Instagram has other fields to give much detail to your Instagram profile. This is also important to keep your business easy to find. 

These include important points like :

  • Your Name: This one is limited to 30 characters.
  • Your Username: This is a handle; here, you get 30 characters. 
  • Your Website: This is a clickable URL that you can change anytime. 
  • Category: You can tell what kind of business you do, and it doesn’t need bio characters. 
  • Call To Action: This one is a way for how people can contact you or interact from the profile page.
  • Contact Info: This one is important so that people will know how to find you. 

You can also look at different examples on Instagram to understand how these can be used. 

Source: Insider Vancouver

You can consider the Tourism Vancouver profile as they used most of the fields in a much better and more efficient way. 

18. Captions Are Just Not The Words 

Great captions can lead to more sales. Instagram is a visual medium, but it gives equal importance to the captions too.

You need not just you need a brand look but a brand voice too.

You can keep the captions up to 2200 characters long, you can use this for detailed stories, or you can keep two or more lines. 

Source: Natgeo Instagram

You can keep the post as what is considered the best caption length is 138 to 150 characters for organic posts, as for 125 characters for Instagram ads.

For example, National Geographic is a classic example when it comes to long-term content. If it’s a level of storytelling, you can exceed the story.

Pro tip: Your caption should be relevant, informative, and entertaining. 

20. Make Your Instagram Stories Appealing 

Most businesses are using stories for great results. It’s the third most viewed by businesses. It’s a key part of Instagram’s marketing strategy. 

Well, Instagram is staying for 24 Hours. Also, the stories should be real and raw so you can keep them appealing. 

This helps create the opportunity to contact the followers and build healthy relationships. 

howto keep instagram stories on point

Also, you can reshare the stories where fans tagged you. This will add more content that can help you in bringing more customers. 

This can be easy, seamless, and easy to share. You can also thank your customers for being part of the family. 

Pro Tip: You can save time by scheduling your Instagram stories, as there are several tools that can help you. 

21. Use Stories Highlighting For The Bio 

If the bio was not enough for your content and you need more to add. This one can help you to keep your bio highlighted and boosted at the same time. 

You can use the stories highlighting to create an album for preserving your best stories content. When you do it, you also keep the stories for more than 24 hours as it doesn’t disappear. 

Also, the highlights stay below your bio, and you can create a cover to keep it more information. 

When you understand the stories highlighted, you can use this to add an extra component and give information to keep your follower more information. 

Image source: mediapost

One of the examples you can consider is Sephora, as they used the stories highlight for showcasing the product categories on their Instagram stories.

22. Use Countdown Stickers To Building Anticipation

Instagram offers you different interactive stickers that you can use for your stories. This can help keep your stories interesting and creative for your audience. 

why use instagram stories stickers

Well, one of the stickers is the countdown. You can use this to build anticipation in your people before you launch the product

23. Test The Gift Card Stickers 

Instagram lets you sell your digital gift cards directly through your story or profile. 

This can help you in creating a better relationship with your fans and help you in going through a hard time. 

Also, it can be used for creating the CTA button. 

You just need to follow the steps i.e  

  • Tap on your edit profile 
  • Tap on under public business information to actions buttons
  • Now select a button, and choose the gift cards. 

Well, now you can add the gift card by using the sticker to the story. You choose the photo and now add the sticker. 

 24. Don’t Be Afraid And Go Live 

Instagram Live is one of the ways that can help you in connecting with your audience. Also, it is real-time, and you are doing it much more effectively.

Going live can help you in sharing your information and going a better way to understand. There are some strategies that you can follow : 

  • You can host Q&A 
  • Collaborate with experts and influencers related to your industry.
  • Offer behind-the-scenes to the events. 
  • Interview your members of the team.
  • Talk to the customers or your clients.
  • Share a tutorial or workshop.

Actor Mattew Mcconaughtey invited Dr. Anthony Fauci on his Instagram live. He did a live chat where they discussed important information about COVID-19.

Image source: KVUE

This information was shared with everyone who was following him. And the actor has 4.3 million followers. 

25. Set Up Your Instagram Shop 

The reason why you should choose the business profile also includes the feature of creating your own shop on Instagram. 

This feature is only for business accounts, and you won’t get this if you haven’t created one. 

There are around 130 million users on Instagram that tap on such posts every month. There are lots of people who are willing to purchase the product from their brand on Instagram.

Image source: business2community

Also, shopping product tags can be used on different kinds of posts, such as stories and IGTV. 

The view shop option stays on above, near your profile. It gives much easier access as people don’t have to visit your entire post just to see the store. 

They can simply click on that, and it will redirect them to the explore page. From here, the audience can look for the products or services that they want.

Pro Tip: Tagging the stories on Instagram and use it for auto highlighting. With this, your potential customers can have access to posts for more than 24 hours. 

26. Analyze Your Successful Post 

When you are using Instagram, make sure to look out for a post that has better reach and comparatively successful results. 

It will help you understand what is working for your business or not. You can change your marketing strategy to get a more successful post. 

When you dive to see the analytics of your post, here are a few things that you need to check. 

  • The most commented post or content. 
  • Post that received most of the most likes 
  • The numbers of the post and the influences on engagement. 

You can use the tool that Instagram offers, or you can use some other analytic tool that is available in the market to get many insightful results for your Instagram marketing. 

27. Respond To The Comments 

To keep your community strong and build more, you can use comments back to the post. Responding to the comments can help you in connecting with your customers or the users. 

It takes effort when someone shares their thoughts on your post. When you respond back, not just are you acknowledging their efforts, but also your actions tell that you are listening. 

When you do the proper listing and responding, you can encourage your customers to boost positive word of mouth

With this, you can create more advocates. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, studies say that 90% of consumers will recommend the brand if they have better interaction with them on social media. 

28. Run Giveaways & Interesting Contest 

For boosting engagement and building evangelism among the Instagram audience, you can run giveaways and offer contests.

You can get positive results if you are doing it in the right way. It includes : 

  • Increasing followers and engagement
  • Building a much stronger community 
  • Creating brand evangelists
  • Increasing the brand awareness

There are three simple options that you can consider here. However, Instagram offers you a platform that lets you use your creativity the way you like. 

The common one includes : 

Photo Sharing Contest

 Ask your audience to share their photo with your products and use hashtags. 

Set the theme and make sure to give them clear hashtags as it will keep your work easy to find them. 

Image source: RivalIQ

You can consider the example of Starbucks and its Red Cup Moments. They used the hashtag #RedCupContest to get more interest. 

Likes Contest 

The easiest one but you can get a lot of engagement here. You can run simple photos and enter a contest. You can keep it barrier-free, and the post that gets the most of likes will win the contest. 

Also, the contest is hassle-free for the audience too. They just need to double-tap on the post, and with this, they can simply participate in the contest.

Comments Contest 

To enter the contest, you can ask your followers to comment on something or you can give them the entry word. 

Also, to increase reach and engagement, you can ask them to tag their friends and do the same thing. 

It will also help you in boosting the chance of getting the post viral. 

There is always something trending on the internet; You can use this for your advantage, Pick the theme; maybe you can use Pizza day or some special national holidays. Make sure it relates to your brand. 

You can join by creating content that is relevant to the day and also help in boosting the excitement of the customers. 

When you choose the trends, always look for the ones that relate to your brand the most. Find and join the conversation, 

With this, you can keep your content fresh and related to the current time. 

For example, you can consider Staples. They shared the post on World Emoji Day. It was simple and shared something that their brand relates to. 

30. Give it A Try To Boomerang 

Instagram launched the Boomerang app that takes a series of photos and creates them similar to GIF images. 

However, if you compare it to the GIF, there is a small difference, but it’s important to understand.  

When you use GIF, It plays a video on a loop. But Boomerang plays the video that goes forward to backward. And then it forms a loop that goes continuously. 

There are lots of companies and brands that use Boomerangs to keep their posts interesting and fun. 

Also, you can boost engagement and get more people on such content. 

 31. Showcase Your Creativity In Products 

Instagram gives you a platform that you can use to showcase the creative sides of your product. 

You can take the example of Oreo and how they use it to show its features. They use it for sharing the features of their products. Also, their video and photos are compelling and unique. 

Image source: HopperIQ

You can also take the example of Nike; it’s a similar approach but with the majority of their post focusing on the products. 

Well, you can use the opportunity to showcase your brand and share the content on the platform. Here are a few of the options you can consider : 

  • Share your customer stories
  • Share your product 
  • Share the demo videos
  • Share the real world with the use of cases
  • Share the experiences

32. Engage As Much As You Can 

To get engagement on Instagram, you also need to get engaged. 

Sharing quality content is great, but if you are ignoring the important opportunities that let you connect with customers. Well, you are wasting some potential options for better sales. 

It’s important to interact with people, comment on their posts, replay their texts, and message them on special days. 

The more you interact, the better bond you will create. However, make sure to maintain the fine line so you are not going overboard or not letting anyone else do the same.

tips boost engagement on instagram

At a minimum, you can respond to the comments on your feed. If someone shares your content or talks about it in their post, you can thank them or share your opinion.

You can also seek the popular accounts that you have in your niche. Make sure you follow them and comment. 

Make your brand visible but avoid getting too much promotional. 

If someone tagged you, respond back or thank them.

Showing your gratitude can help you in creating a loyal base of customers. 

Pro Tip: Avoid getting into the idea of trolls and bots. Instead of that, get in touch so you can respond to real people. 

What Not To Do in Instagram Marketing For Small Businesses?

Understanding how important a role Instagram is playing for business, it becomes more crucial to keep mistakes away. 

Not just do you end up affecting your brand image, but it can decrease your sales and future results. 

To make sure you are not doing some kind of major mistakes, here are a few to know first. 

Letting Your Bio Incomplete 

Creating a perfect bio is important for any kind of business. If you don’t have one, you are not just letting the opportunity go where you can inform more about your business to the audience. 

Also, it makes your brand look bad too. However, make sure you are not posting too much information, either. The bio should not contain everything about your brand. 

People don’t have that much time to stay and read. It should be scannable points and easy to remember. 

That’s why it’s important to add keywords related to the business. Keep it short, easy, and relevant. 

Pro Tip: Avoid using hyperlinks about your product or brand. 

Not Responding To Audience

Serve your audience properly if you want them to engage with your content. In today’s world, when everyone is busy, having someone who shares something about their thoughts with you becomes crucial to respond to them. 

When someone leaves a comment about your brand or product, respond fast. Also, if they share suggestions, you should keep them modest and thank them,

Don’t let your customer think that you don’t care about their thoughts because this can lead to making them feel like they are not important, and they will unfollow you. 

Pro Tip: Comment those firsts who tagged you in their comments. Keep it light and funny to keep it engaging. But also make sure it serves the purpose. 

Posting the Same Kind Of Content 

Consistency is key and for any business, it’s an important point to remember. 

However, here make sure you are not posting one kind of thing over and over. Not just it makes your content boring, but also, people will not be engaged with your content anymore. 

Observe what is trending, look out for the competitors and see their ways of representing their products. You can take the idea and keep your post interesting. 

Also, don’t post too much and use bad-quality images. Both can make your brand look bad, and people will drop the idea of following you. 

Buying Followers For Instagram 

There are lots of businesses that want to get more followers in a minimum time. However, you can use strategies, but it will take time, and it’s an organic way.

It’s important to understand that at any cost, don’t purchase fake followers. 

It can harm your business, and people can lose their trust in your business. This is one of the artificial methods for building a relationship. But you should never purchase fake followers. 

Here you get : 

Less engagement 

When you purchase followers, not just are you forcing it, but also, people don’t feel interested in your content. This is not ideal for any business. 

Less engagement means less chance of getting sales, and it affects growth. Going with this option can bring all of these results. 

Harm To Reputation 

Ethics are important, and it defines you as a person and a brand both. If you end up losing it in your customer’s eyes, getting it back becomes almost impossible. 

Also, if the customer gets to know about your fake followers, it will also make them unfollow you. This is bad for the reputation.

Keeping Your Account Private 

When you private your account, you put a limitation on the reach. Only those who accept the following will know what you are up to. 

If you are interested in bundling community and increasing reach, the private account option is not for you. Also, with a professional account, you get a lot of tools and features to boost your business. 

When you keep the account private, you are hurting the business and reducing the number of followers. Also, losing those features that can help you in keeping your business boosted. 

Also, sending you a request and then accepting it is an unnecessary barrier that a brand or business doesn’t need. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is Instagram a powerful tool for small businesses?

Instagram is affordable and one of the most popular social media platforms. With this performance, small businesses can grow, increase their reach to new customers, have better communication, and stay connected to people who are already their audience. 

How can Instagram help in business growth?

Instagram has reached billions which gives a reach to small businesses. Improving the presence of Instagram helps the business to get into the industry and tap into important as well as potential clients and customers. 

Why should small businesses be on Instagram?

Small businesses need networking and reach; similar to other social media, Instagram provides a platform where you can analyze actions and improve strategies to increase brand awareness.

Instagram also has different tools that can help in boating the urge in people to purchase directly from the platform or visit the website. 

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