Whether you’re an Instagram addict or you don’t even have the app, it’s hard to deny its marketing superpowers. What began as a Foursquare-esque coding project (shoutout Kevin Systrom!) has become a web of connectivity — spanning across countries, industries and of course, people. It’s trendy, it’s fast, and it’s efficient. And now, it’s marketing.
Of all the industries living in the Instagram world, small businesses can either sink or swim. Naturally, we all want to succeed regardless of our size. Here are a few simple marketing tips for small businesses to use to boost their Instagram profiles throughout 2020.
One of the most important tips you can follow? Strategy matters. When you layout a gameplan for your Instagram, start with your “why.” This means defining a target audience and figuring out the best way to deliver your message to them. Try asking yourself these questions:
Why are you using Instagram to help your business?
Who are you trying to reach? Why are you trying to reach that target?
What do you want your target audience to know about you?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, begin to develop a strategy. You’ve asked the “why,” and now you need to ask the “how.” How will you measure the success of your work? In other words, define your objective — or better, objectives.
Ever heard of S.M.A.R.T goals? Smart, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. We won’t walk you through this five-step process, nor will we tell you exactly what kind you should be following. But it’s important that you have a defined process that lays out how you will achieve your goals.
Of the five components of S.M.A.R.T goals, be sure to really key into measurable. Your Instagram goals need to be quantifiable. Because Instagram is creative and in many ways, subjective, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using opinions as metrics. Just because something looks good or gets more likes one day doesn’t mean you’re pushing forward with your goals. Sure, you can monitor likes, but it needs to have an analytical process. And it has to be more behind-the-scenes than the quick info you get by checking how many hearts you got. (I.e., Who gave you likes? Are we increasing on a weekly basis? Are we getting likes from our target audience?) You get the picture!
We all know that networking is everything, so why not integrate it into your Instagram strategy? Another great way to grow your business (and boost brand awareness) is through partnerships. Partnerships are mutually beneficial, so as long as you’re trying to partner up with someone realistic and relevant to your line of work, you should have some success with your reach-outs. The hardest part is taking the leap and sending the first reach-out. It could be a cold email, a phone call to an old acquaintance or a DM. Whatever approach you choose, just do it!
With Instagram, you’re not expected to do it all on your own. To get your business booming, you may need to ask for help — and that’s okay. There are a lot of moving parts to a successful Instagram profile: strategy, writing, design, photography, to name a few. Try outsourcing a freelancer to alleviate some of the heavy lifting! This is especially helpful if you don’t have a strong background in a certain area. For example, a lot of people will hire a freelance designer when they don’t have much experience with design.
Let’s not forget that the core of a marketing strategy is to connect. You’re connecting with your users, consumers, customers or clients. As you develop and scale your business, keep your connections at the forefront. They are the backbone of your business and you are part of their support system. Find the values that connect you and make sure to integrate them into your Instagram profile.
Up for the challenge? We think so! Instagram marketing is most effective when you plan out your strategy and take it one step at a time. Soon enough, you’ll be sharing your tips with us!