Chances are, you’ve long used Instagram on behalf of your small business. Over the years, many changes have been made to Instagram — such as the debut of Stories and Reels. And whether you’ve kept up with Instagram’s changes — or you’ve found your Instagram growth somewhat stagnant — today’s episode is for you. Through this week’s episode, we hope to breathe new life into your Instagram strategy — and equip you to leverage Instagram creatively and effectively.

Leverage Instagram for Your Small Business - Brand It Build It Podcast by With Grace and Gold - Kelly Zugay - 1

Creative Ways to Leverage Instagram for Your Small Business

Welcome to Episode 213: Creative Ways to Leverage Instagram for Your Small Business. I’m your host, Kelly Zugay. It’s likely you know Instagram offers small business owners a compelling platform to showcase their brand, highlight their portfolio, connect with their audience, foster community, drive sales, and grow their business. But it can also be overwhelming to keep up with trends, be consistent, and always have quality, fresh content. Today, I’m excited to share a series of creative ways you can leverage Instagram for your small business, to jump-start a new, inspired season of Instagram marketing for your business.

Before we dive in, what are the basic recommendations for using Instagram on behalf of your business?

  1. Create a Business Account: If you haven’t already, sign up for an Instagram business account. This type of account offers additional features like Instagram Insights, which provides analytics about your followers and posts. Analytics can help inform the decisions you make when using Instagram — and equip you to post the type of content your audience values, at the times and on the days your audience appreciates.
  2. Optimize Your Profile: Your Instagram profile is your storefront on the platform. Make sure it’s complete and optimized for your business. Use a clear profile picture such as a professional headshot or your logo, write a concise and informative bio that explains who you are, what you do, who you serve, and if your business is location-bound, where you’re located. Include a link to your website or a specific landing page. (As a tip, we don’t recommend using LinkTree or a service outside of your own website. Clicks and visits matter, and to boost your Search Engine Optimization, all clicks from your profile should lead to your website. If possible, design a Links page within your own website, so you can reap the benefits of the traffic you receive.)
  3. Post High-Quality Content Regularly: Consistency is key on Instagram. Post high-quality photos and videos that showcase your products, services, and brand personality. Experiment with different types of content such as behind-the-scenes looks, user-generated content, and product demonstrations.
  4. Use Hashtags Strategically: Hashtags are essential for increasing the discoverability of your posts. Research relevant hashtags in your niche and use them strategically in your posts. Aim for a mix of 5-7 popular hashtags and niche-specific ones to reach a broader audience while targeting your ideal customers.
  5. Engage with Your Audience: Instagram is a social platform, so respond to comments on your posts, like and comment on posts from your followers, and use Instagram Stories and Live to interact with your audience in real-time. Also consider following and engaging with brands/individuals that would be your ideal client, or are in your same or related industry. This will allow you to connect with a new audience, fellow business owners in your industry, and gain new clients and customers! Photographers for example could follow wedding planners, florists, stationery designers, and bridal magazines.
  6. Utilize Instagram Stories: Use Stories to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business, share promotions or discounts, conduct polls or Q&A sessions, and more. Instagram stories give your audience a more personal look into you and your business and help them to be more connected with you personally! 
  7. Collaborate with Influencers: Partnering with influencers in your niche can help expose your business to a wider audience. Identify influencers whose values align with your brand and reach out to them to discuss potential collaborations such as sponsored posts or giveaways.
  8. Track Your Performance: Use Instagram Insights to track the performance of your posts and Stories. Pay attention to metrics such as reach, engagement, and website clicks to understand what content is resonating with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  9. Stay Up to Date with Trends: Instagram is constantly evolving, so stay informed about new features, trends, and best practices. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and be willing to adapt and experiment with your own strategy.

Now, if you’re in an Instagram rut, or seeking inspiration to revitalize your Instagram strategy, here are 10 types of Reels that tend to perform well for businesses on Instagram:

  1. Product Demonstrations: Showcase your products or services in action through quick and visually appealing demonstrations. Highlight key features, benefits, and different use cases to educate and entice your audience.
  2. Behind-the-Scenes: Take your audience behind the scenes of your business to give them a glimpse of your operations, production process, or team culture. This helps humanize your brand and build a deeper connection with your followers.
  3. Tutorials and How-To Guides: Create short tutorials or how-to guides related to your products or industry. Whether it’s a makeup tutorial, a cooking recipe, or a DIY project, providing valuable information in a concise and engaging format can attract and retain viewers.
  4. Customer Testimonials: Share short testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers to build trust and credibility. This type of content serves as social proof and can help persuade potential customers to make a purchase.
  5. Challenges and Trends: Participate in popular challenges or trends relevant to your niche. This demonstrates that your brand is current and in tune with the latest trends, while also tapping into the wider reach of trending hashtags and themes.
  6. Educational Content: Use Reels to share quick tips, facts, or interesting insights related to your industry. Position your brand as a knowledgeable authority and provide value to your audience beyond just promoting your products or services.
  7. Humorous or Entertaining Content: Don’t be afraid to inject some humor or entertainment into your Reels. Whether it’s a funny skit or a lighthearted take on a common situation, entertaining content is highly shareable and can help increase your brand’s visibility.
  8. Product Teasers and Sneak Peeks: Build anticipation for upcoming product launches or promotions by sharing sneak peeks or teasers in your Reels. Create suspense and excitement around your offerings to generate buzz and interest among your followers.
  9. Before-and-After Transformations: If applicable to your business, showcase impressive before-and-after transformations to highlight the effectiveness of your products or services. This type of content can be particularly compelling and persuasive for potential customers.
  10. Interactive and Engaging Content: Utilize interactive features such as polls, questions, or countdowns to encourage engagement and participation from your audience. This not only increases the reach of your Reels but also fosters a sense of community around your brand.

Instagram can be overwhelming at times — but ultimately it can be a really powerful tool for small businesses! We are so hopeful this week’s episode serves as inspiration as you brainstorm creative ways to leverage Instagram on behalf of your business. Connect with us on Instagram @withgraceandgold — and let us know what you think of this week’s episode!

Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is the best small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business. Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided award-winning custom brand and Showit web design and completely customizable Showit website templates for small businesses worldwide.

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