The days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing tool are far behind us. With over one billion users, Instagram marketing has become an important element of any business promotion. Today, businesses of all shapes and sizes use this network to reach out to their target audience, promote products, and increase sales.
As one of the fastest-growing networks, Instagram has great sales potential, so more and more companies set up their business profiles to promote products, and the number has grown to 25 million brands.
While big brands like Starbucks and GoPro have millions of followers on Instagram, most small businesses believe that they can’t reach out to their target audience as the market is oversaturated. However, 80% of Instagrammers follow brands and 60% of them want to discover new products on the platform, so they are open to new companies who are just entering the market. As a small business owner, you need to help your target audience find you on the platform and give a solid reason to follow you. If you want to speed up the process, you can learn more here.
But you can also put time and effort and get free Instagram followers with the following five ways:
With over 25 million businesses on the platform, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and hope for the attention of your target audience. Instagrammers are spoiled with the number of options, and it takes just 7 seconds to make a first impression of your brand.
Thus, it’s important to pay close attention to your Instagram bio if you want to promote your business on the platform. Your bio is the first thing that represents your business on Instagram, so it solves as a visit card that tells visitors about your brand, values, and products. Although Instagram bios are limited to 150 characters, people take a look at it and decide whether they want to learn more about your brand or not. All in all, it must be eye-catching for your target audience.
Let’s take My Book Mark, for example. The company’s bio shows the brand’s personality and informs visitors about certain products, making it easy for interested visitors to learn more about the products:
The bio is short and sweet as it is informative and eye-catching to hook visitors. To create a similar Instagram bio that can grab your target audience’s attention, you need to do the following things:
Tell visitors who you are and what you do
Add your focus keyword
Break up the bio with line spacing to increase readability
Use emojis to make your bio more interactive
Include a link to your website to let followers learn more about your company
If you want to humanize your brand, you can also add clickable profile usernames or clickable branded hashtags. As a small business owner, it’s a good idea to show people who stand behind your company.
All in all, it’s important to make the most out of 150 characters and optimize your bio so that your target audience could understand everything about your company. Want to know the best part? You can experiment with your bio and edit it every time you want to tell more about your brand.
If your bio has hooked your audience’s attention, that’s great. However, it doesn’t mean your visitors will follow your brand. The next step is to grab their attention with your Instagram posts, and Instagram aesthetics matter. Since people are 90% visual beings, having a cohesive Instagram feed is a proven way to grab their attention and make them want to follow you.
With a variety of visual content on Instagram, there are many ways to create a cohesive feed. One of the easiest ways is to create one style and stick to it. For example, you can take flatlay photos. Here’s how Coffee Table Mags did it:
And here comes another example from Ful Candles that uses a puzzle feed:
As you can see, there’s no need to invest much in hiring expensive designers to create a cohesive feed. You just need to follow the next steps:
Pick your perfect color palette
Choose a theme style and your grid layout
Create a unified visual style or use Instagram post templates
Preview and plan your content in advance
The idea of using hashtags and geotags isn’t new. No matter what social media platform you use, it’s recommended for brands to make the most out of these features to attract the right audience who is interested in your location and products.
For example, Flower Boutique includes its location to attract local customers who are interested in a specific area. What is more, the brand has its branded hashtag that allows users to discover more photos of their products:
And if you run a local business, using hashtags and geotags is even more important as it’s a proven way to target your local community, and therefore attract followers who can become customers in the future.
Back in 2016, when Instagram launched its short-lived Stories, no one could have predicted the rapid growth of this content. Today, over 500 million people create or watch Instagram Stories daily. Why? Since this content vanishes within 24 hours, the fear of missing out (FOMO) effect appears, so users are more likely to take action faster.
For businesses, this means that using ephemeral content is a must if they want to engage their audience. As a small business, it’s also important to create Instagram Stories to interact with followers, reach new visitors, and promote products.
Here’s how the jewellery brand the Animal Kingdom promotes its products via Instagram Stories:
And if you use hashtags or geotags, you can reach a wider audience even if these people don’t follow you on Instagram. Using these features makes your account discoverable on the feed of the chosen hashtag or location
It’s in our nature to love free stuff. Thus, it’s no wonder that social media contests attract many participants who want to get something for free. For brands, it’s a great chance to build brand awareness and increase brand loyalty.
Unless you have a solid engaged following, you can team up with influencers to become a giveaway sponsor. In partnership with Hemsley Organics, lifestyle blogger Eva ran a giveaway to boost engagement and increase following. This giveaway also helped the brand enter an already-established community of loyal followers and promote its products. The company gave away a gift certificate which helped to attract even more participants:
With the power of gift certificates for business growth, you can attract potential customers and give them a chance to try your products for free. Once you have a winner, you let him choose the gift of their choice, so they are more likely to be satisfied with the present. As a result, you create a positive impression about your brand, increase brand loyalty and trust, and give winners a reason to spread the word about your business.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with the highly-engaged user base, so it’s a perfect place for small businesses to promote their products online. And if you want to attract more Instagram followers for your small business, you need to know simple tips that grab users’ attention, and therefore help your brand stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Val Razo is a freelance SMM consultant with 5+ years of experience who helps small and medium businesses. Val claims that Instagram has great sales potential, so she recommends both big and small brands to use this platform for business growth. Follow her on Twitter to stay tuned for more.
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