The Small Business Guide To Instagram Marketing


Instagram is becoming the most prominent social media network around. The audience on Instagram is estimated to have 55% of social media platforms used in the US. The platform is very much famous among teenagers, and with the popular demographics, the Instagram platform is considered the crucial social media outlet in America. It stands second place next to Facebook on overall usage among teens ranging from 12 to 24. However, the platform is famous in the United States; 80% of the use of Instagram takes place outside the United States.

While it is clear that the platform is an essential social media network to benefit from, several businesses feel that the picture-oriented Instagram could be a bad fit for their businesses unless having an appealing visual product. This article shall see different points on things required to make Instagram execute for your business and ways for a content strategy that helps build brand visibility.

1. Create an Instagram Business Account

The profile bio must convey to your followers about you in a catchy and concise way. That means details about your business that reflect the picture that you want to present. For instance, you could include a short sentence that speaks your brand’s philosophy, a brand-specific hashtag, and a link to your website—brief and straightforward information. Also, have a physical location; remember to add required information about location and hours even here.

Place a website link in your bio.

Instagram is a peculiar platform; you cannot include links to your in-feed posts but can place them in profile bio. Hence, ensure to add the vital link to your biography; that way, the audience can access your site. The link could be to a home page, your latest product, or your blog.

Select Profile-apt Username and Picture

Pick up the right name that fits your brand across multiple social media platforms. Ideally, choose an Instagram username that suits your business name. If you don’t find a perfect match, pick a username that matches your brand. That may be using abbreviations, underscores, or slight variations but try to keep it relevant to the brand.

For the picture, it could be your logo, your products, your store display, or your employees. The picture does not matter, but ensure it represents your business or brand image you wish to convey.

2. Share Excellent Instagram Posts

Concentrate on High-Quality Visuals

Instagram is possibly the visual-oriented social media network out there. To make your Instagram engaging and successful, you have to outshine visually. This does not mean your product has to be beautiful themselves. Rather, you must ensure that your profile adheres with your content to get automatic Instagram likes for new posts hence building further engagement. Keep in mind that the pictures you post should have proper lighting and must be of excellent quality. Here are some rules for perfect visuals on Instagram,

  • Images that are brighter acquire greater visibility and receive 24% high likes compared to darker ones.
  • The extended background area is better, as less busy pictures get 29% high likes.
  • Single color has to dominate, as the images with dominant color receive 17% high likes.

Use Editing Tools to Post Appealing Pictures

Give a thought to the brand’s color theme that helps specify the whole “feel of your Instagram feed must be.” Probably, it could be desaturated neutrals, vivid brights, or muted pastels. Whichever color theme fits your brand, use editing apps to create pictures that match together cohesively. Built-in features on Instagram are a perfect way to begin, but ensure to use “editing” functions too, to have a manual control with editing your pictures.

Follow the 20/80 Rule of Selling

Your Instagram account has to drive traffic to your website or your physical store. Nevertheless, you need not focus solely on selling products. It’s absurd, but the typical rule of marketing on Instagram says that only 20% of your post must “Sell” products; the rest 80% need to focus on good quality content that engages the audience and not focus directly on products or services. About the 20% rule, how would you sell on Instagram? While showcasing your offerings or products, avoid open advertising and promotional tones because they put off your audience. Anyway, it does not mean to spotlight your products precisely.

Concentrate on “Lifestyle” Content Instead of the Product Itself

Identifying what kind of “lifestyle” content your audience would love to watch might be helpful to set up an audience persona and conduct research on the market into your consumer base. Tailor a story around your target customer. Who are your customers? their interests, their hobbies, their dreams? Where do they love to play, shop, eat, and drink? Kind of books do they prefer to read, the type of music they listen to, their favorite TV shows? Therefore, craft lifestyle content that resonates with your audience.

Feature Pictures Captured by Followers and Customers

Featured pictures are ones taken from followers. Encouraging your audience to use hashtags relevant to your brand or recommend them to tag your brand is a perfect way to know what customers talk about your product, and you can share this content on your Instagram account. Speak about creating brand loyalty and sourcing the right content simultaneously. That not just makes your follower feel special and appreciated but also feels authentic.

Post-Behind-the-business-scenes content on Instagram Stories

The latest video feature on Instagram has created an alarm since it competes directly with Snapchat’s Stories. It may sound controversial, and it acts as an additional feature by which you could create a personal relationship with your followers. The most popular brands use Instagram Stories to showcase a sneak-peak of their business behind the scenes.

3. Use Hashtags Lavishly

Know more is more

About hashtags on Instagram, do not tread sparingly. Using four to five hashtags may seem frustrating on Twitter, but on Instagram, it sparks conversations primarily, and communications are high on posts that have eleven or above hashtags. Instagram allows you to add up to thirty hashtags to every post or comment.

Identify Relevant Hashtags

To discover the right hashtags, invest some time in conducting research. Multiple tools are available to find relevant and popular hashtags. Therefore, it is worth spending time discovering new sets of hashtags that are related to your brand.

Add them in the Comment Section instead of in the Text of Post.

Everything discussed above on hashtags has one main caveat: “Hashtags must not, preferably, appear in the text of your content.” So, if you use one or two brand-relevant hashtags in post captions is good, but if you wish to include hashtags above one or two, then begin by sharing your post and post a comment with hashtags simply below the post picture. That way, you visually separate hashtags from posts yet let your content still be found across the platform.

Create Own Hashtags

As discussed earlier, garnering content from followers and asking them to tag the posts with your brand’s hashtags could be a perfect way to gain authenticity and create loyal customers. For this, you need to create a branded hashtag.

4. Provide Promotions to your audience

Post Discounts and Sales

Besides sourcing content that promotes products and creates a lifestyle story of your brand, your Instagram account is an excellent place to run existing sales, promotions, and discounts. Mention the promotion or sales in the caption of your product picture, and create a photo in canva or text overrated that tells about the promotion. Bear in mind to insert a link in the bio if your promotion is still present online.

Run Contests to Boost Engagement

Instagram is the best platform to run contests, create a specific hashtag-related, and encourage followers to take part by posting pictures and mentioning your hashtags to win exciting prizes. Running contests also let your audience make the promotional tasks for you; simply by specifying your brand’s names in their pictures, your business gets exposed to many people on the platform. The contests may offer gifts, discounts on products, and more.

5. Scale and Monitor Key Metrics

Decide on What you Monitor

I have invested some valuable time in detailing methods for you to take the Instagram Strategy. But the truth is your efforts would get wasted if you don’t monitor their efficacy. With the Instagram strategy, you have to focus on your goals for building your brand visibility, which means choosing some key metrics to monitor. Suppose you aim to develop your overall presence; you need to focus on increasing your following, maximizing the number of likes for every post, etc. Or you may focus on driving sales, where you have to track the number of clicks to your website, increases in the entire sales, and more. Therefore, spend time understanding your goals, and focus on measuring whether you meet the objectives.

Make Use of Tracking Tools to Scale Success

So, when you have determined what to measure, you could go ahead and find tools to measure them. Here, you ought to have some motivations for an excellent Instagram strategy. Instagram lets you get connected with potential customers and build your reach.


Developing a loyal following on Instagram does not happen instantly. But the positive side is that the audience on Instagram is most active and engaged. So to start rolling, you need to observe that your business would begin to build organically. Incorporate these points into action, and you would notice how strong Instagram could be for your small business.

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