As of October 2022, Instagram emerged as the fourth most popular social media platform in the US, with 160 million users. Across the globe, the Meta-owned photo and video-sharing platform boasts 1.440 billion total users.
The broad user base, consisting primarily of Gen Z and millennial users, could be an ideal opportunity for your local business to harness Instagram’s pervasive presence to craft an effective marketing campaign.
However, it might take more than a couple of photos and videos posted on the Instagram page of your business account.
Let’s check out how you can adequately use Instagram to increase sales and grow your business.
Overview Of Instagram Marketing
Instagram marketing involves using the platform and its tools to create an impactful marketing campaign, efficiently manage the marketing pipeline and add more value to the brand.
As mentioned before, Instagram has a young user base that you could use to convert potential customers and grow your local business.
For young risk-taking entrepreneurs, content creators, and local business brands of all sizes, Instagram could be an excellent social media marketing channel.
Here are some components of standard Instagram marketing techniques.
- The foundational element is to create photos, videos, and informative, value-added posts. You can also include reels and stories to stay in touch with existing and new users.
- Paid Marketing Strategy is also widely used for better reach and lead generation. It includes using Instagram ads, including Stories ads, Shopping ads, etc.
- To expand your brand influence, you can also invite influencers to promote your brand in their future content.
- Moreover, Instagram has several dedicated tools to aid your marketing strategies, like Shopping ads, Product tags, catalogs, Live shopping, etc.
How To Use Instagram To Grow Your Local Business
After Instagram introduced the Shopping feature on the platform a few years back, according to Instagram for Business survey, 44% of users use the platform for their weekly shopping.
Though Instagram has a detailed study focused on growing and scaling small businesses, here we have listed all the steps in a simplified way for you.
Let’s dive right in and promote your local business via Instagram.
1) Start With An Instagram Business Profile
This is the first step in using the Instagram platform as a marketing tool. You can sign up for a new Instagram business account. Alternatively, you can convert your existing Instagram account into a business one.
Instagram Business will help you find exclusive features, such as Professional Dashboard. It is a great tool that will help you with performance tracking. You can measure the reach and engagement on your business profile and make data-driven decisions.
Besides that, Instagram for Business comes with several tools that could improve business processes and development and check monetization status.
Additionally, you will also get to use several in-app ad creation tools and on-platform shopping tools to sustain your marketing efforts.
2) Engage With Your Instagram Business Community
For any social media-based marketing strategy, engaging with the users is vital.
To leverage Instagram’s community-centric capabilities, you must focus on building a resilient Community. Follow other brands, content creators, and market leaders.
In the comment section, you should also regularly engage with customers and interested users. It is a pivotal issue, as many tend to leave feedback in the comments. Not engaging with stray comments can deliver the wrong message to potential customers.
Providing helpful user-centric content is also beneficial. High-quality, thoughtful content resonates with your customers and can build long-lasting trust in your business.
Nevertheless, Instagram hashtags can be a great way to reach out to your customers on the platform and ask them for feedback.
3) Maintain A Brand Voice And Utilize Instagram Direct
Notably, 86% of consumers prefer to purchase from a business with recognizable branding.
Therefore, put more stress on authentic branding if you are not already. Think about some features that could outsell your competitors or bring out a unique selling point that users can relate to and utilize as a consistent and precise tool for branding.
Also, creating a short and catchy bio describing the products and services, updating a relevant profile picture, and adding your eCommerce site link to the Business page can help you secure a smooth customer journey.
As a responsive brand, you can use Instagram Direct, the in-app messaging product, to respond to interactions and customer queries.
Instagram can also be a semi-customer relationship management tool as it lets you automate the responses to commonly asked questions, saving time and effort.
It will also provide a positive customer experience and boost sales.
4) Upload Product Catalogs
Product tags can come in extremely handy for faster product discovery and increased sales. People can use tags to make their customer journey briefer, increasing conversion.
Also, you could add a comprehensive product catalog to the Instagram feed. When customers find what they require right on the platform, their customer experience is enhanced.
While creating your product catalog, experts urge local business owners to monitor the user-generated content. This content is a gateway to learning the specific demands of customers, and optimizing your product catalog on its basis could prove beneficial in the long run.
5) Use Instagram Shopping And Testimonials
Instagram Shopping includes some features that also make product discovery fast and effortless.
This Instagram for Business feature lets you create an in-app storefront for browsing products, curating products into Collections, and adding product detail pages.
Testimonials are an inseparable part of marketing funnels. They can influence customers to choose your local business.
Focus on displaying bonafide testimonials with insightful results, data, and numbers. It can serve as a great marketing pitch in times of conversion.
6) Boost Posts More Often
Create and share content that generates high value for your local business. If you have posts that have fared better than others, convert them into an impactful ad by boosting them.
Ads can be beneficial tools that help in product discovery and increased reach. Insightful Ads fed with insightful data, including customer interests, location, etc., can connect with a broad audience.
It will also help you expand your business community and start more conversations on your Instagram Business page.
7) Tap the Trend
Instagram is a trend-based platform where product discovery could be positively impacted if you integrate trending topics into your daily marketing content.
For example, you could use the short-video format of Reels to make captivating content advertising superior features of your local business products and services.
Reels gain 22% more interaction on Instagram than long-form video posts.
You can also utilize this to hop on the current trend, educate your customers, use humor and entertain them while piquing their curiosity about your business.
To be more consistent with trends, create scheduled and spontaneous Stories in a 60-40 split.
Whereas you can use scheduled stories to ask customers what they would like to feature on your local business or invite meaningful feedback, spontaneous stories can double the scope of engagement by pushing forward relevant questions or information on a trending topic.
The secret ingredient to a thriving local business is to listen to the customers’ needs and do your best to fulfill their demands. Although a social media platform, Instagram could be an enabler of sales and execute strategic marketing plans for more revenue.