A Beginner’s Guide On How To Market A Small Business Using Instagram

6.2 min readPublished On: 30 April 2024By
A Beginner’s Guide on how to Market a Small Business using Instagram

Let’s face it, markets are competitive! Mastering social media is crucial for any small business aiming to enhance its market presence. Instagram, with over a billion active users, stands out as a dynamic platform ripe with opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and connect with their audience. Whether you’re a local café, a startup tech company, or a fashion boutique, Instagram offers a unique space to showcase your brand, engage with customers, and drive sales. From stories to beautifully formed grids, it’s the place to be when you want to market a small business.

Before you begin to market your small business on Instagram you’ll need to set up a Instagram business account.

Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account

Before diving into the content creation pool, it’s essential to set up your Instagram business account properly. This isn’t just about switching from a personal to a business profile; it’s about optimising your profile to attract and retain followers. Here are the steps:

Switch to a Business Account– Go to your settings, select ‘Account’, and tap ‘Switch to Professional Account’. Choose a category that best fits your business and follow the prompts. These prompts usually include adding a business telephone number, a website address and an updated bio.

Craft a Compelling Bio– Your bio should clearly state who you are, and what you offer, and include a call to action such as a website link or a contact method. Try to be as engaging as possible in your bio and make it fun for the audience to read. A great example of a fantastic Instagram bio can be found on Tea and Crochet’s profile. It’s also 100% acceptable on Instagram to use Emoji’s but be wary of those random aubergines as these really do have a different meaning.

Market a Small Business using Instagram

Profile Picture– Use a logo or a professional image that represents your small business well. We’d strongly recommend that a picture of the business principle is the way to go – remember people buy from people. Technically a profile picture should be 320px by 320px however Instagram can show your image provided it’s within a square (we recommend using Canva to resize the perfect image for your profile). You might notice when you look at your profile a ‘pink’ glow around you image – this has nothing to do with your image but is actually highlighting to your followers that you’ve recently uploaded a story (more on this later).

Understanding Your Audience

Knowing who you’re talking to is half the battle won on Instagram. By understanding your target audience, you can create more tailored content that speaks directly to their interests and needs. Use Instagram Insights to gather data on your followers’ demographics, such as age, gender, location, and when they are most active on the platform. This information is invaluable for refining your marketing strategy and post timings.

Content Is King

To effectively Market a Small Business using Instagram, it is crucial to produce content that captivates and engages. Instagram is highly visual, so quality images and videos are key. Consider the following content types:

  • Posts: Share high-quality images with engaging captions that tell a story and get people engaging in your content.
  • Stories: Use this for more casual, behind-the-scenes content or quick updates.
  • Reels: Ideal for reaching new audiences with short, engaging videos.
  • IGTV: Perfect for longer-form video content.

Visual storytelling allows you to connect emotionally with your audience, boosting engagement and building a community around your brand.

Market A Small Business Using Instagram

Using Hashtags Wisely

Hashtags extend your reach and help you connect with specific communities. Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to maximise your visibility. For example, #smallbusinesslove might reach a broader audience, while #handmadeinLondon targets a specific group. Researching and updating your hashtag strategy regularly is crucial for staying relevant.

Maximise the inclusion of keywords in your captions to enhance the visibility of your posts. Instagram’s algorithm will automatically categorise your content, increasing its chances of being discovered by users on the platform.

Employing keywords that are specifically for your niche is vital and maintaining consistency with your approach will help create a strong instagram strategy. This, in turn aids Instagram in showcasing your content to the appropriate audience and hopefully customers

Engaging With Your Community

Engagement doesn’t end at posting content. Responding to comments, participating in conversations, and even featuring user-generated content can enhance your relationship with your audience. Organising regular giveaways or Q&A sessions can foster a sense of community and loyalty among your followers.

We mentioned earlier in the article about a ‘pink’ glow around your profile image. Call it the Instagram Halo if you will. This will show when you have uploaded a story to Instagram and gives an indication to your followers that they can click and view. Stories are snippets and only last for 24 hours. You can ass them to Instagram Highlights (another great way to showcase your products or brand) which keeps them visible on your profile.

An effective method to continue audience engagement is by utilising engagement stickers, conveniently located in the top menus when creating a story. Employing features like polls, questions, or other engagement stickers fosters active and continuous interaction.

Market A Small Business Using Instagram

Instagram Highlights

Instagram highlights are great for on the go content and are really important when you Market a Small Business using Instagram. As we mentioned they only last 24 hours unless you add them to your profile highlights which means they are viewable by your audience when they choose.

So what are these highlights? Well stories turn into them

You can add highlights in two different ways – one is within the 24 hours that your stories are active and then shared into stories and the other is using stories archive (click settings and then archive). This is a great ‘catch-all’ should you have forgotten within those 24 hours to save your story to a highlight.

After saving to your highlights, you have the option to edit and design covers that align with your branding. However, keep in mind that you must first post them as stories. It’s essential to regularly update and refresh these covers, so make sure to remove and replace them as needed. Utilising archived stories can also help you update without overwhelming your current stories.

Market a Small Business using Instagram by using Instagram Advertising

Instagram’s advertising tools allow you to target specific demographics, increase your reach, and drive more directed actions, such as visits to your website or sales. Start small with targeted ads and experiment with different formats (photo, video, carousel) to see what works best for your audience.

Measuring Success

Use Instagram’s built-in analytics tools to track engagement rates, follower growth, and the performance of your posts and ads. Adjust your strategy based on this data to optimise your marketing efforts continually.

Instagram is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to enhance their digital presence. By setting up a tailored business profile, understanding your audience, creating engaging content, and actively participating in the community, you can effectively market your business and see tangible growth. We hope you found this article on how to Market a Small Business using Instagram useful. Follow us on Instagram for more insider tips and strategies, or get in touch for personalised advice tailored to your business needs.

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Jonathan Bird

Terence Carvalho

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