We all think promotion on digital mediums especially Instagram is simple as we all post really well on our personal accounts. We have enough followers and optimum likes on our posts but when it comes to promoting our business the likes and engagement plummet. The reason is simple your personal account has followers who are your friends, acquaintances or friends of friends. On the other hand, your business account has a goal and particular audience so it is a rare possibility that your friends are your audience. Hence, it becomes difficult to reach to a wider audience and gain significant engagement. This post on “How to promote a small business on Instagram” will share ideas on
- How to create engaging posts
- How to reach to a wider audience
Why you should try these ideas?
Suggestions are everywhere but what matter is result. We all have a goal and our efforts should take us near to our goal or atleast set us on the right journey. The ideas which will be shared in this post are mostly tested and created basis the insights from consumer behaviour. Like in my other posts, here also I will stress upon the importance of being consistent with your efforts and experimentation.
Now, let’s move to the important sections of “How to promote small business on Instagram”
How to create engaging posts for Instagram
There are two types of business owners here:
- One are small businesses who are just promoting their brand on Instagram pages. They occasionally/frequently post and normally all the content is around the brand.
- Second one are small businesses who are experimenting and sharing knowledge. They are being consistent and sharing lot of content for the audience. But in both the cases one thing that is common is low engagement.
The most important thing while promoting a business on Instagram is versatility. The attention span of people have reduced and they would only pay attention to content if it ignites curiosity. So, just doing direct promotion might give you short term sales but if you are looking to build a brand then need to have content from different buckets. Also, for second set of people who are sharing information, it is important to engage and attract audience so that they are compel to take actions. Below are some important buckets for promotion of small business on Instagram
List your USPs (Unique Selling Proposition)
You are fortunate if you are the only business in your category but this is rare. Considering that you have competitors in your business category and most of the businesses are present on digital, it is important for you to list down your USPs and make them part of your promotion.
For product sellers, USPs can be as follows
- Products @Wholesale price or Minimum Price guaranteed
- Made in India Products or We support Aatmnirbhar Bharat
- Free Home Delivery or Home Delivery
- Easily Refundable
- Warranty available for all products
- Free Demo or Demo on Youtube Channel
- 1000+ Products sold or happy customers – Always work towards aim and once it is fulfilled then make that as USP for your business. Read to know how to get a small business started
For Service providers, USPs can be as follows
- Personalised training or guidance
- Regular follow-ups
- Results or money refund
- Best technology – In case technology is involved in your service
- 500+ customers served or 500+ happy clients
Now, build a Instagram post calendar for your business and once in a week post one USP on your business page. You can also select an USP as a theme and promote it whole week or month. Show stories of customers/clients where they are happy with your USP. You can also decide hashtag for these kind of posts like #spreadingjoy #happyclientsequalhappyowner #500salesisourtarget & others. Will share one case study where effective use of hashtag led to amazing engagement.
Address people problems & offer solution
Being in your business, you must have experienced some problems that are common to people so address those problems in your posts or stories. Let audience know that your business deal with such issues and add CTA (call to action). Q & A sessions or going live where people come upfront and discuss their problems can really work well for the business. This problem addressing can be a part of your Instagram calendar or USPs. Continuous and consistent communication on your business page around these can help your audience associate your brand to one specific things and can bring referrals.
Here, I would like to reiterate how consistency helps your business
I follow one small business page which is related to cloth stitching and hand made cloth embroideries. It is into plus size clothing too which I consider its USP. Just because this business is consistent with posting I know the kind of designs they do. Although, I don’t have to buy anything of this sorts but in case somebody ask for suggestions, I will recommend this page because somewhere in my mind I have seen so many designs and can associate this brand with the requirement.
Such is the magic of consistency. You don’t know who is getting impacted but somewhere someone is referring you so, keep up the good work 🙂
Knowledge sharing basis on Google search trends
Sharing knowledge with people is definitely a win for your business. Considering the search trends and trending topics can just be the cherry on the cake. If you are putting efforts to create content for your audience just consider doing a check on Google & platforms like Quora.
For example, if you are dietician and post content related to dietary then typing you main keyword in google search box can give you so many results. Creating content around these topics will help your audience to get the information they are actually looking for. So, include these topics in your content or create post specific to each suggestion.
Organize contests & quizzes
People are waiting for opportunities to express their views or tell personal stories. Organize contests on your business page and let audience participate. Just to boost confidence, keep a prize or giveaway for contests.
This is a tested case for one of my clients. Contest on Friendship day was organized and we were amazed by the number of entries and submissions. Since, friendship bond is so special, people actually wrote and expressed their bond beautifully. The more you give people an opportunity to express their emotion, the more you will find engagement.
Use of hashtags for contests can be really helpful. Will mention about this in coming pointers
Adapt trending content:Everything from social media trends to news
Now is the time when people don’t want complacency but versatility. So, try to include trending topics in you Instagram post calendar. Don’t forget to cover news which is around your industry.
If you are looking for social media post ideas for small business, read this post. This can be really helpful for creating post for festivals around
How to reach to a wider audience
So, now comes another important part of how to promote a small business on Instagram. Above pointers are applicable when business page has some audience base but when some business is new one need to start afresh. After asking your friends & acquaintances to follow your page comes the most difficult part that is how to increase followers or reach to a wider audience. In this post, I will cover just organic ways to increase followers but soon will be covering a separate post for paid activities. So subscribe for the update 🙂
Tag audience or organize tagging contests
I have scrolled so many new businesses Instagram pages but have hardly seen any business which tags audience and excite them to participate in contests. One of the best way is to organize contest where person has to tag people. If it is an engaging contest then tagged people will participate. No matter what your industry is just try to create a generic contest around some holiday or anything invigorating. Some tagged people will definitely follow your page or will show interest in your business.
Try this out and don’t forget to keep giveaway for your audience
Explore similar pages to your Industry and engage with audience there
How many of you have visited your competition pages and looked for content they are posting? If you haven’t you should
Competition analysis is an important part of marketing and every business should be updated with all activities that competitors are doing. Beside this, look for comments by audience and try to engage with them. Aware them about your brand and offerings. This kind of activity can be done on all pages where you think your target audience is present.
In case you are wondering, which digital medium is apt for your small business, read this post
Join Facebook Groups & other platforms
Trust me, I was astonished by seeing the type of promotion businesses are doing on Facebook group. It can be effective for you as well if you get into closed group. Not just this, open groups can also help you in promoting your business and also increasing Instagram followers by simply posting about your business or engaging with audience through comments.
Offer referral discounts
This one is picked from word of mouth marketing but applicable on digital too & important pointer for How to promote a small business on Instagram. If somebody refers your brand to acquaintances, then give them discount on next order. Same can be done for followers. For example, if a person ask 10 people to follow your page and they actually follow then they can get 10% discount on orders. Referral programs are an important part of marketing strategy for bigger brands so don’t miss them