Instagram and small business? Yes, that’s a great match! Let’s be honest: one of the hardest things about running your own business, in general, is that you’re never off. And that’s especially noticeable with social media, Instagram in particular! That’s why our mission – as you probably already know – is to guide you through this process to make your SM life and content creation challenges much more manageable. “Instagram is everything for my business” – believe us, or not, but it’s a very common confession of our IQ Hashtags clients, and today, we’ll discuss how to make you say exactly the same thing, after a while of strategic work on your Instagram presence. Let it become your best source of traffic. Sounds like a plan?
What advice do we have for small business owners who are trying to grow their Instagram profiles and increase their digital visibility without outsourcing, hiring an official social media manager or content marketing agency? Let’s dive in!
Instagram and Small Business. Is Instagram marketing still a thing? It is—more than ever
Instagram is still the leading platform to build meaningful connections, as well as the best tool to help you maximize brand awareness, develop a voice for your business, and gain more targeted leads. That’s why in today’s article, we’ll cover some of the most effective growth tactics and outline what you can do to share your content in a fresh, unique way – to drive you more satisfying results!
Our IQ Hashtags team works hard to keep up with the content marketing trends so that you do not have to! Our job is to look at what is coming up in the marketing industry and find the most efficient ways to turn those trends into practical tactics.
Instagram and small business: How do I keep all the things running with all these crucial projects, constant rush, and all the effort social media demands from me?!
If you’re a results-driven, ambitious, bubbly business owner with killer ideas, big vision, and desire for badass results, but you keep falling into the same traps, and you’re thinking more and more often that Instagram is such an overwhelming platform – we need to talk! We might end up changing your mind and helping you establish the strategy that will leave you majorly excited. So excited you’ll be doing a little happy dance!
This blog post, as well as every other one from our IQ Hashtags School Series, will guide you through the first critical steps of crafting your social media presence, especially in the age of Instagram marketing. It’s designed to guide you through the essential steps to gain crucial knowledge, clarity, marketing secret sauce, consistency, save time and refine your content marketing strategy.
If Instagram is like extremely mysterious black magic for you, you hit “post” and then anxiously wait for the likes and new followers to roll in – today, we’ll cover the best hacks to grow more consciously and much quicker. To begin: begin!
1 // Create shareable content for your small business
We know, we know: you’ve heard it over a thousand times. It’s well-worn but still CRUCIAL, so we can’t skip this thought – all the more reason, it needs elaborating on!
The algorithm loves content that gets instant attention: likes, saves, and shares right now, right after the publication. That’s why the first 1-2 lines of your caption are – we’re not exaggerating – EVERYTHING. You need to come up with a good hook!
What does a good hook mean? Intriguing spoilers, unpopular opinions, industry controversy, and curiosity-building factors are usually pretty effective at catching people’s attention. You need to make up a small text block that hooks your followers and gets them to continue to want more. Once people click over to your content, it’s beneficial for both sides to provide a ton of value in your copywriting or video content. Why are we so sure of that? They’ll feel like they need to follow you and SAVE your post for later. 90% of the time, your post is going to get shared based on the amount of unique knowledge that your followers find helpful – your graphics or photos are what gets you in the door, but your ideas for copywriting is what makes them stay with you much longer, save your posts and keep coming back for more.
2 // Track your Instagram analytics
People would rather spend long hours googling: how to gain 10k followers FAST, than spend one hour analyzing the stats – to simply find out that there is where many most valuable growth secrets lay undiscovered. Not everything can be served on a silver platter – some factors are so individual and different for every creator and every business that you need to research yourself – because only you have full access to YOUR stats.
Benefits? By understanding the core needs of your current followers, you can start producing content they will be willing to consume with pleasure. Understanding your audience’s persona is more necessary THAN EVER to stand out. So watch your stats. Draw conclusions from it. They will tell you much more than you even imagine.
3 // Hashtag research is… A necessity
Hashtags relevant to your photos/graphics (as well as to your captions) help the algorithm know who can be interested in your content. With IQ Hashtags School, you’ll be armed with a full hashtag strategy training so that you know all the ins and outs of using well-tailored hashtags to help your profile get in front of new potential followers (and potential future clients). We have plenty of tutorials about how to use our tool to make hashtags your best friend. What do you need to do to collect those secret-sauce insights? Read our blog guides, watch our Youtube lessons and… Your future self will thank us 🙂
From the outside, hashtag research may look uncomplicated and straightforward. But when you’re doing it on your own: it’s far from that. It’s not an easy process, so we’ve developed a tool to make it much easier and quicker. Have you already tried it? Let us tell you, without modesty this time: it’s a game-changer! Why? Consciously collected hashtags give you higher reach, and higher reach = more opportunities.
4 // Don’t obsess over overnight success
You can find so many click baits like: “My wife’s 7 weeks old Instagram account has become an overnight success, with thousands of new followers! Here’s how she did it – AND how you can too!”, but the truth is that behind most of the thriving Instagram profiles, stands consistent work and intriguing content. It’s the result of whole months or even years of effort. The more AUTHENTIC stories you read, the more you hear from your successful friends or your online authorities, the more you realize that the concept of an overnight success is just a dreamy, non-viable notion.
So how to make it all work in the long run? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and busy, just document what you’re already doing. People like a behind-the-scenes look.
Be honest and personable. Try posting face-to-camera videos on your story. People like it when they feel like they know you! YES. Something as simple as that can make a huge difference.
5 // Try different post formats
Don’t be afraid to try something new from time to time – this way, you can find out which formats are the most exciting ones for your audience and what they prefer to consume.
We’ve noticed (and our clients tell us!) that what the Instagram users really like is that they feel like they get to know the business owners much closer, and they know who stands behind the brand. Treat your Instagram stories like a behind-the-scenes journal: this will keep your regular feed more curated. Reels and IGtv? Perfect for engaging tutorials or showing off daily processes. You also learn and observe A LOT just based on how your followers engage with certain types of posts.
We know that you may wonder how personal you should get creating your content. “It’s a business, so I should keep things the most professional I can” you may think. That sounds rational, but actually, your business is about people as well, and research shows that Instagram users generally respond better and feel much more connected to a profile when there are more personal insights!
That’s why we ALWAYS recommend putting a face to your brand on the Gram. “I have noticed that when I do more personal stories and do “talking head” videos, I get a lot more DMs and surprisingly high engagement” – here are the words from one of our latest clients. And we already know from many different cases that it’s a TRUTH BOMB. So make it work in your favor!
6 //Don’t forget about CTAs
Here we go: because so many creators forget about it! Be smart about what your goal for posting content really is – and keep that in mind when you try to come up with the right CTAs. Do you want your audience to download your freebie (so you can collect their emails or reach more potential followers)? Book coaching sessions? Buy your products or services? Spoil you with likes, saves, or maybe send you questions via DMs?
With a practical list of calls to action and a breakdown of content posting goals, you’re able to get more specific, targeted results with your engagement.
Stay tuned for more strategic insights and practical guides, and in the meantime, head over to our Youtube Channel. With us, you’ll feel much more confident in content marketing, and you’ll easily make the algorithm work in your favor so that you can have it doing all the complicated technical work for you to expand your brand awareness and posts’ reach and show up for your current and future followers!
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