Social media marketing is a great way to grow your small business audience and win customers. Instagram in particular, with 1.2 billion worldwide users, can help you develop a visual brand and promote products or services

But if you’ve never used Instagram for marketing, there are a few things to know before you get started.  

This guide covers how to market a business on Instagram, including:

  • Creating a profile 
  • Posting regularly 
  • Using Instagram features 
  • Measuring engagement 
  • Incorporating cross-promotion
  • Working with influencers

How to make an Instagram page for your business

Before you learn how to market a business on Instagram, you’ll need to get your brand on the platform. 

Create an account

Start by downloading the Instagram app and tapping ‘Sign up.’ From there, you can choose a ‘professional account’ and fill out your information.  

If you already have a personal account and want to switch it to a business account, you can learn how to do that here.  

Design your profile

Once you have your business Instagram account, design it to match your brand. Start by adding your business logo as the profile picture. 

Then, draft a short description of your business in the bio. For example, you could write: ‘ (type of business or services) specialising in _____’ 

Under ‘edit profile’, you can also add your website URL, contact info, and shop address to help customers find you. When you have everything set up, start by following people within your target audience to build a presence.  

See also: how to set up an Instagram shop.

How to market a business on Instagram

Once you’ve got your Instagram page, you’re ready for people to find you. Let’s go over some of the main tactics for marketing your business on Instagram. 

Regularly post content to your feed

To build your Instagram audience, you’ll need to post to your feed regularly. Otherwise, your business will appear out of date and fail to stay relevant on the platform.

Content calendar 

Creating a content calendar lets you keep up with your posting goals. For example, you may want to post new content twice a week. 

You can create a posting schedule and simplify the process with a management tool like Later

Next, try brainstorming some content ideas. For example, you could post: 

  • Photos of your products or services 
  • Pictures of your business or shop
  • Market relevant tips or quotes
  • Industry news or business updates.

Feed design

Try to make your feed look visually consistent. You might stick to a clean black and white look or use the same filter across all posts. 

Here are some tools for creating great visual content:

  • Canva – design 
  • VSCO – photo editing
  • Preview – feed planning before posting

Below is an excellent example from @theshopfiles. Here, the account alternates between videos and quotes against a solid background to create a cohesive look. 

Optimise content

Be sure to create a clear objective when you draft captions and finish with a call to action or CTA. For example, let’s say you post about a new product release. You might refer to a link to the product in your bio.

To reach more people, consider adding 10-12 hashtags per post, which you can find using a tool like Hootsuite.  

See also: how to trend a hashtag on Instagram.

Use the features  

Stories

Unlike your regular posts, stories only last 24 hours. Still, they’re a great way to update your followers. You can even add a link to increase traffic to your website. 

Here are a few things you might want to post to your story: 

  • New content you’ve posted to your feed
  • Videos from events or business updates
  • Sharing other users’ content
  • Reminders of news or upcoming events
  • Polls or Q&As for your followers 
  • Information for a competition

Key tip: Use story highlights to keep your story content behind 24 hours and organise them into categories. 

Instagram live

Instagram Live is another way to engage with your audience and share what your business is up to. For example, you might go live from an event or hold a Q&A

Reels

The Instagram platform also lets you post videos with Reels. You could create tutorials, tips, or introduction videos to promote your content more dynamically. 

Measure engagement 

To increase the success of your Instagram marketing, post when your audience is most active. In fact, you can use Later to measure activity levels and find the best posting times.   

Instagram Insights also provide valuable information, such as:

  • How many people you reach
  • Engagement rates
  • Audience stats such as activity times and gender.

Key tip: Commenting on others’ posts and messaging people will help you increase your engagement. 

Incorporate cross-promotion 

Interacting with others will strengthen your Instagram promotional efforts. Consider tagging people in your posts and sharing other user’s content to your story

Consider asking customers to post about and tag your business on their Instagram accounts to diversify your audience. 

Plus, to cross-promote, you can post content with:

  • Small businesses you partner with 
  • Events you attend
  • Organisations you work with.

Instagram actually has a new collaborator function that allows you to post content jointly with other users

Work with influencers

Influencer marketing is another way to boost your traffic on Instagram and direct more people to your business. 

This type of marketing is when you pay or partner with people who have an established audience. They’ll help to promote your business by organically posting about your products and services

Enhance your marketing with Instagram 

Now that you know how to market your business on Instagram, you can turn to the platform to grow your brand. To build engagement, just remember to:  

  • Post regularly
  • Use the app’s features to enhance engagement 
  • Measure activity and outreach 
  • Apply cross-promotion 
  • Work with influencers.

You can use these tactics to develop a winning Instagram strategy. But remember: Instagram isn’t the only social media platform that can help you market your business. Why not check out our article on how to use Twitter to market your business?

Simplify your finances with a clever app

As you grow your business through Instagram marketing, it’s important to organise your finances.

Countingup is a business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

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