So, what is all the buzz about Instagram anyway? It’s a mobile-friendly, super trendy platform with newly minted Instagram TV, Instagram Live Streams, Hashtags, Tagging, Followers, Instagram Stories, Square videos, and lots of other features. As a small business owner you’re probably overwhelmed already, right? Are you wondering where to even begin? Well, fear not! We not only have your back covered, but we’re here to give you practical and useful Instagram marketing advice that is sure to deliver immediate results. Tips that your business can benefit from today.
By leveraging the power of Instagram’s impressive global reach of 1.4+ billion users as of Dec 31, 2017, you’ll have increased targeted customers, conversions, brand awareness, and sales! It’s important to think of Instagram marketing as a favorite TV channel that people love to watch, engage with, and just keep coming back to for more of your content. But, the platform is uniquely positioned in that it’s always on. People carry their mobile devices with them everywhere—even into the shower, if they could!
This means your business has a unique opportunity as well to always be in your customers’ minds and lives. Once that sinks into your own business psyche, you’ll realize what a tremendous advantage and opportunity you have built by engaging with and cultivating a legion of Instagram superfans. Fans that absolutely love to interact with your service, product, and branding story!
Sounds like a good deal right? Keep reading!
Is Instagram Really a Game Changer & Is It Right For My Business?
The short answer is: absolutely, yes! Keep studying and you’ll be a wiser business owner in no time! Learn how to focus on a business niche and stick with it. Maximize your link in your Instagram bio, and use those hashtags like a pro. Set up your free special Business Profile and finally find out how to use those Instagram Ads—as well as what’s the right amount of ad spend. And learn what exactly it is that an Instagram Influencer does, and how it can help you.
Let’s dive right in!
Tip 1. Focus on a business niche and stick with it!
By specializing with a product or service, you can provide the most value for your customers. Carving a niche for your business puts you in a great selling position by making you stand out from the diluted business crowd. A person needing a heart transplant sees a cardiologist and not a general doctor, right? Likewise, your business should model a specialization, serving a niche with a unique product and/or service that your customers will want to purchase.
Further, you demonstrate value by focusing and serving your customers within your niche demographic. And by focusing on a niche industry, your business strategically shields itself by limiting the competition. And if your product or service happens to be something more mainstream, find what makes you and your customer special.
Specialized Instagramming for a Specialized Business
Your business aim should be to target ideal customers that are already on Instagram. For example, if you are in the automotive industry servicing and selling luxury cars, ask yourself: “Where are my Instagram fans hanging out?”
Chances are, your ideal Instagram followers are not only following luxury car pages, but also the large scale and grassroots events surrounding that brand as well as luxury lifestyle pages such as exotic world travel, yachts, private planes, and jewelry boutiques. Once you have identified your Instagram niche, industry pages, and likely followers, then act two for your business is to try any combination of: comments, likes, follows, shares, engagements, and tagging of your targeted followers. These actions will create genuine connections and real human experiences with your business followers. That’s the secret to making Instagram really work for your enterprise—REAL GENUINE HUMAN CONNECTIONS. Be sincere with your interactions and watch your targeted followers turn into highly engaged and likely buyers for your goods and services.
Having Trouble Identifying Your Niche?
According to CC Marketing Online, asking yourself these questions can help in identifying your business niche. (We’ve provided examples to make it easier.)
- What do I enjoy doing? (Working on classic muscle cars)
- What do I not want to do? (Work on motorcycles)
- Where do I have the most experience? (Car mechanics, engine rebuilding, classic car knowledge)
- What is my target market? (Classic muscle car enthusiasts, car restoration shops, small business owners)
- Who values my services? (People that love classic muscle cars, auto repair shops, auto parts stores, classic car conventions, classic car museums)
Now that’s not so hard, right?
Kristen McCormick, a Content Marketing Manager for ThriveHive, says that having a niche helps you as a business owner. It increases your visibility and gets you in front of the right customers. It then allows you to have better relationships with those customers. And frankly, working in a niche is just more fun! Also, because a niche demands attention in one area, this laser focus can really fine tune your business expertise in a quicker time span.
If you’re still struggling to identify what your niche could be, don’t worry. McCormick says that, oftentimes, companies find their niche by accident in the natural occurrence of serving their target audience. Build it and they will come, right?
Tip 2. Maximize Your Link In Your Instagram Bio
When I was a kid, our neighborhood ice cream truck would slowly come up the street with its jingle and all the kids would fall into a trance, begging their parents for money. My mom would give me a buck and would often say, “Make it count.” So, what does that wise advice from the 90s have anything to do with your bio link? Well, you must “Make it count” because it’s the only link Instagram allows you to have that’s truly customizable. You can point your bio link to your business website, a YouTube video, an e-commerce store—almost any destination URL.
However, we recommend going beyond the one bio link and giving Link Tree a chance. With both free and paid plans, a special linktr.ee link in your bio allows you to display multiple offers on your new landing page. Want to present your customers with free value on the ultimate pdf guide for your grandma’s pizza recipe? No problem, link tree can help. Or, how about a link to your online e-commerce store? Too easy, link tree has you covered. Blog posts, contests, giveaways, coupons, a specific webpage, a video, or whatever—your only limit is your own imagination as to what your business can offer in your new links.
Having unlimited customizable links to direct your web traffic in any way you see fit is a much better business option than just having one Instagram link in your bio. (Go on, turbocharge your link with linktr.ee and Make it count! Ice cream sandwich anyone?)
Here is an excellent example of a smart business person maximizing his one Instagram Link via Linktr.ee:
Tip 3. Use Influencers
It’s the secret weapon for small business owners.
According to Kim Westwood of later.com, “Instagram influencers will be crucial to driving sales.” But, what does that mean to Joe or Jane Small Business Owner? Sales and word-of-mouth interaction with your brand that turns your Instagram followers into loyal customers.
Numbers usually don’t lie, and Mediakix says that by 2019, Instagram Influencer Marketing is projected to reach $2 billion. (Let that huge number sink into your business mind!) That $2 billion means lots of selling opportunities for your business, brand, products, and service line. One could say it’s a second or third wave of a digital gold rush. (C’mon, grab your digital shovel!)
First, some housekeeping rules do apply. Ensure you identify your brand values first and then look for Influencers that align well with your marketing message. Why? Because reaching out to Kim Kardashian for a paid “Shoutout” at a price tag of $500,000 may not be appropriate for your company. Plus, it’s just ridiculously expensive!
However, Michael Heller, CEO of marketing agency Talent Resources, says the products endorsed on Instagram – from waist trainers to weight-loss teas – “sell out immediately”, and big brands view this exchange as a guaranteed return on investment. We recommend that your business use Social Blade to leverage “Instagram Top Fan Finder”, which helps you find your top fans for your business. Once you authenticate your Instagram account, you’ll know who your best fans are. This tool really shines because it gives you the ability to research just about any Instagram analytics metric, such as how new or seasoned an account is and even assigns a quality grade of that account.
Business Bottom Line
If you’re considering working with an Instagram Influencer, Social Blade will give you important information such as: is the follower growth steady and organic over time? Or, are these just a bunch of fake profiles? Social Blade, among many options, can help you find this vital info. You can also, for instance, view the top 100 Instagram accounts, sorted by most followers. Curious? Well, here’s a peek of the Top 25, compliments of Social Blade:
Stay Tuned For More!
We hoped you enjoyed this introduction to 7 Instagram Marketing Tips. By now, you should feel confident enough to start focusing on what your business niche is and sticking with it by maximizing the link in your Instagram bio and knowing how to use Influencers with no sweat.
Use these tips now to help you with a shortcut towards running your successful business marketing campaign with confidence! And be sure to look for Part 2 for more useful Instagram marketing tips. There, we’ll dive into how to set up your business profile, using Instagram ads and proper hashtagging. We’ll also supply you with another powerful Instagram Influencer tool. So, stay tuned and Happy Instagramming!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Federick Gonzalez is a native of Southern California, growing up in the LA area. He is the oldest of five siblings—one brother and three sisters. Federick’s undergraduate Alma Mater is the University of Maryland, after which he pursued his Masters at the University of Oklahoma. As a military veteran of nearly 15 years, Federick loves and supports the Armed Forces. A proud dad and serial traveler, he has experienced the cultures of 25+ countries and counting. Federick is passionate about all-things digital and spends his free time immersed in trending business topics, volunteer work, spiritual concepts, Spanish culture, and adding value to the lives of those around him. Fun Fact: Federick has attended more than 20 flamenco concerts!