Luke Edward Harper
Low-Risk Strategies That Pay Off on Instagram for Small Businesses
Post ideas coming up stale? Looking to grow your audience? Maybe you want to freshen up your presence online. With 107 million Instagram users in the United States alone and projected to increase by 2023 according to this Statista study, Instagram marketing is a good place to start.
Instagram tools are user-friendly, the platform is compact, and you already have an idea of who you are as a brand.
Here are a few ways of standing out on Instagram for small businesses:
Start With What’s Already Out There
To keep a conservative budget, some of the best content you can create has already been made. Look back into your feed and pick a post you’re really proud of, maybe one that performed well with your followers.
Reuse that content! Here are simple instructions from Instagram’s help page on how to reuse posts in Stories. You can use an Instagram scheduler like Hootesuite to schedule posts that pertain to a certain season or holiday.
What makes this post stand out to you?
Does it represent a part of your business that you want customers to focus on?
Can it show that you really care about your work?
Does it feature an employee, a tool, or a place that captures the soul of your company?
Low-Risk Experiments Pay Off
The best way to figure out what social media tools work for your brand is to take small risks. Try using Stories, (posts that only stay up for 24 hours,) to engage your audience.
With Instagram for Business, you can even promote these so that users that aren’t following your account will see them.
There are several “stickers” that allow users to interact with your story post. Get feedback from your following. The Poll sticker is a great way for your audience to make a quick selection on a binary question you pose.
Tip: Create a promotion specifically on Instagram for our business. This could be in the form of a promo code or asking customers to show a specific post at the point of purchase. Be creative!
Don’t Put It off Anymore; You Need a Logo
Branded content is essential to digital marketing and Instagram for small businesses. And look no further; because social benge offers logo design for an easy to swallow price point.
Once you’re all branded up, customers will see two things, your credibility, and your authority.
Logos Establish Credibility
Consider this post for a restaurant: In the image, a man is holding a fish. The caption says, “Fresh caught, to the table.” At first, it might appear that the man is having a great time on his day off, or maybe he’s bragging about the quality of his food - nothing about this local business.
With a logo on the post or as the profile pic, in a split second, the user makes the connection to the brand. This is an employee who’s demonstrating part of the company’s distribution channel.
It might seem obvious written out this way, but in between swipes, this is the mental process of an Instagram user. The brand reveals they’re being honest about their sourcing by connecting a behind-the-scenes view with the value proposition to the customer.
Logos Assert Authority
In this vein, a logo will bring authority to your brand. Think about the aforementioned post and imagine you don’t know anything about how fish get onto your plate at a restaurant. With just the picture of a man and a fish, would you ask this person about sourcing fish?
By putting a logo on the picture, the brand is taking responsibility for everything going on in the post. Without it, a casual viewer might not know that this person had anything to do with the local small business.
With proper branding, it’s clear the individual is involved in the organization, that it’s not a shoutout to a local customer, or a fun post from the owner on vacation.
Collaborate With Your Best and Brightest
Even if you’re your own boss, there are people in your life that would love to help you create posts that stand out.
Do you have an employee with an incredible story? Ask them to share it, and show your Instagram audience why they’re important to your business.
Have a customer that’s loyal to the very last? Ask them to share why they’re a repeat customer.
Creating content with a trusty collaborator doesn’t just bring out positive aspects of your business; it shows that you’re an organization for people, by people. To start, try using the Questions sticker on a story to get the conversation going.
You’re Special - Just Ask Someone Who Doesn’t Know
In college, I worked with a shoe care company, mostly doing email marketing. One day, I walked in on the owner, Joe, buffing out a pair of boots. To this small business owner, it was the same as ringing out a customer or taking out the trash. But to me, it was fascinating. There was a rhythm to it, a finesse. I made sure it was on their Facebook by the end of the week.
Carousel posts on Instagram, for small businesses especially, allow an audience to experience a process by swiping from start to finish. This also allows you to showcase something to its full extent.
Maybe you’re just starting out, or a veteran in your industry. Bring in a fresh pair of eyes. Consult a layperson. What’s ordinary to you might be riveting to your average Joe.
Take the First Step!
You should have some ideas floating around now. Think about what makes your organization stand out. What makes you stand out? Showcase your business and give your customers a window into how the magic happens.
With brave experimentation, trial, and error, you have what it takes to bring forth the power of your brand. Start a conversation. And if you’re looking to grow your small business using digital marketing tools, drop us a line at social benge. We’d love to help you express your passions!