Instagram has come a long way from its launch in 2010. Growing from a simple app where users could share their pictures and videos to one of the world’s most widely used social media applications with approximately a billion users, has now become a great marketing and money-making tool for many.
With over 60 million active users monthly, Instagram has become a role player in its users’ decision-making and buying habits, ranking among the top 5 most prominent social media networks in 2021.
In a single sentence, Instagram marketing promotes your business to the audience following you and boosts sales.
In addition, it refers to the utilization and manipulation of the various tools available on the app to boost your brand or business, regardless of how big or small it is.
There are various ways with which you can use to grow your audience, including the use of engaging captions and trending hashtags, likes, comments, and different interactions. For instance, Insta Growing enables the usage of an extra platform activity.
Today, there’s barely a celebrity, business industry, company, or institution that does not have an Instagram account to promote their products and services, including famous brands and stars like Skims, Coca-cola, Mcdonalds, Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and many others. Today, Instagram marketing is a profitable career for a group of people called influences.
Why Is Instagram Marketing Important For Your Business?
Perhaps you’re not a social media person, or maybe you’re not sure why you should have an account for your business on Instagram. Here are a few reasons why;
It helps you promote your business
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting or if you don’t have money to hire a professional social media manager.
Having an Instagram account for your business where you can post your products and services means that hundreds, if not thousands of users in a day, will come across your page and the services you’re offering.
Even if they’re not interested, they might engage with your post, leave a like, comment, or save it for when they’re interested.
It helps you to reach a wider audience
The whole world has become digitized in every aspect today such that even learning can be done online. But, of course, this includes businesses too.
Statistics state that you are more likely to make new consumers online than physically. A survey conducted in 2020 showed an increase in the number of people who make their purchases online. Putting your business brand out there makes you visible and available to people worldwide with barely any restrictions.
It increases profits and strengthens business-customer relationships
Besides promoting and increasing customer outreach, Instagram boosts your sales and profits. Studies have shown that many people who go through Instagram make one or more purchases before exiting the application. Instagram also lets your customers stay on track with every latest news or update related to your business without you having to reach out to them personally because it shows up on their timeline when they’re following you.
You can also check on your customers, get reviews and feedback from them, which you can post on your page, and boost even more sales.
It provides growth opportunities
The world is constantly changing, and new trends are created daily, with old ones dying out and fading. Marketing on Instagram informs you of the latest trends you can adopt and adapt while keeping your business original. You can also get new ideas for diversifying your business, find or set a challenge, and work towards crushing it.
As people who run a similar business as yourself or offer the same services you do are on Instagram, too, this keeps the competition close and prevents you from getting left behind.
It helps you keep track of your progress
When marketing on Instagram, you tend to set goals for yourself, monitor how far you’ve gone in achieving those goals, and identify the mistakes you made while reaching them. As a result, you can watch yourself grow, and even more, you learn about the process of working because you have to research, read articles and blog posts on how to market correctly, and the things you know become an additional asset for you.
What Instagram Marketing Strategies Work Best For The Local Small Retail Stores?
As a small local retailer interested in boosting sales performance and increasing customer engagement through Instagram, here are five rock-hard strategies to help you put your market out there.
An Attractive Brand Account
Your brand account is your official page, more like an official online representation of your business. Before people reach out to you to contact you or ask for your products or the services you offer, they will first go through your account. A first glance at your account should be able to make a lasting impression on users. It should give them ability idea of everything your brand is about, the services you run, and the products you offer. This might sound like a lot, but it’s easy to achieve and to begin with, you should:
- Create an impressive bio that’s straight to the point and summarizes your business and services concisely.
- Use an attractive profile picture, preferably an optimized business logo.
- Add a link to your other accounts, website, and Gmail with which customers can reach you.
- Use a business account, not personal. A personal Instagram account vastly differs from a business account because, in the latter, Instagram provides you with tools to boost your marketing, including;
- Analytics: This helps you keep track of your posts and your audience’s engagement with them. You can see which type of posts gets you more responses from your audience and which don’t. You can also see the number of people engaging in a type of post in detail by using the visual insight button specific to business accounts.
- Post promotions: This is specific to business accounts; you can boost a post to make it reach more views by promoting it. Promoting a post is different from an ad. You’ll understand more when you use this tool.
- A contact feature: You can set up ways in which people can reach you directly from Instagram, such as your email or mobile number.
Build Your Follower’s Count
This is very important when it comes to marketing your business. The more followers you have, the more you will likely reach a wider audience and increase sales. You can do this by:
- Engage with existing followers by replying to their comments and posting engaging content.
- Follow accounts that offer similar services as you do to get ideas on how to run your report.
- Do your hashtag research properly. The hashtags you use can take your accounts far or limit your account to a specific set of people. Ensure you use diverse hashtags related to your content and are at the same time used by many people. This way, a post you made using the hashtag would pop up whenever someone searches for posts containing the hashtags.
- Use location tags. They’re essential too. Location tags allow Instagram to categorize your post with other posts with the same tag as yours. People who stay in the same city as you or are close to your town and have their locations on will have your post recommended.
Establishing A Target Audience
Your target audience is the primary people to whom you want to market your business and who are your consumers. If you are an established retailer who is not just starting, you already have a clear idea of your target audience because you know the type of people who buy your products daily.
Those are the people who you should target when you are creating content. So, for example, if you’re a retailer for men’s shoes, you’re looking toward generating content that men will find engaging.
Nothing ruins your marketing more than inconsistency. When you post today and go away for a few days or a week, what you are doing is telling potential customers that your business is not one they can rely on. So post regularly, create highlights for specific types of content and group them in one place, add to your story, and use Instagram reels to keep your page busy.
Consistency, however, goes beyond posting regularly. It’s also related to the content you post. Your posts should be related to each other by having the same style or color. A common thing is choosing a brand color and sticking to it. You can play with the colors, dabble in-between shades, and sometimes use it with another color, but the main color should always be there. This helps give your account a professional look while invoking a sense of familiarity whenever your followers come across a post you made.
Establishing A Target Audience
A vast follower count will look suitable for your account and help you reach out to wider audiences, but the numbers are just numbers unless you’re making sales from that audience. Engage your audience with a call to action at the end of every post, promote your work with every post, and post new products and existing ones. In a nutshell, put everything you have out there where people can see it.
When you make customers out of your followers, you are boosting sales and promoting your account and business because those customers are highly likely to refer your account to their friends and acquaintances.
Running Account With Professional Care
Every picture, post, comment, and even like you leave on other people’s posts using your business account represents your business. What you put out there is what people see and what makes the first impression on them, which helps them decide if they want to go through your account and check out the services you offer.
Be careful not to leave hateful or distasteful comments or posts on your account. Remember that this is a business account, not your account, so every action you take should be professional.
Everything takes a lot of time before you can start seeing results, including marketing. From finding the right colors, proper bio, and even choosing how to schedule your posts and coordinate their release, you have to invest your time and energy unless you’re hiring a professional to do it on your behalf. Hiring a professional will cost you money, even though they might probably get the job done faster than you can. If you can’t afford to hire a social media marketer, follow the steps above and drive your business to higher ground.
In conclusion, when you play your cards right, Instagram can promote your business, boost your sales and grow your brand in ways you haven’t imagined. However, it is also easy to make mistakes when marketing online as the entire thing is a concept that requires a lot of time and attention and particular skills. Many small retailers have opened Instagram accounts but only abandoned them later because they failed to get the significant results they expected when they started. Remember that marketing yields a slow process at first, so even after you implement these strategies, you might not start seeing results instantly, but that’s when you remember the last method. There are many other strategies out there that you can implement to market your retail store; these six, however, are robust strategies that can get you through selling your business until you have reached the hang of it and can do it perfectly or close.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.