How To Scale Up Your Instagram Small Business
If you’re thinking about scaling up your business, chances are you’ve already got a solid business plan going for you. By now, you probably realize that adding Instagram to the marketing mix can help broaden your commercial scope. Here are some facts you should know, whether you’re looking at Instagram with enthusiasm or with dread.
- 90% of Instagram users follow one or more business pages.
- Instagram is the most sought-after app for Gen Z women looking to shop.
- Gen x males (55-64) are the fastest-growing audience on the app.
- The average Instagram user spends 29 minutes a day on the platform.
- 68% of 18-24-year-olds are more likely to buy a product if recommended by someone they follow.
Broadly speaking, you need to integrate your brand’s marketing tactics with content creation for Instagram. Culture is content. What we mean is to get out of the selling mindset. Focus on providing value to that user who stops by your page. They could be on any page, but here they are on yours. What can you offer to make them hit that Follow button?
Say you’re an ice cream company. Don’t just post regular old product photos. What if you made an eye-catching meme matching different flavors with different birth months?
People love to place themselves at the center of what they consume and share relatable content.
Or maybe, talk about how the Pinot Noir flavor is inspired by Alexander the Great‘s fascination for boozy icy treats. The driving philosophy here is to get out of the ‘creator’s entitlement to engagement’ and see how to keep your audience hooked.
Instagram as a business is on its monetization track and has adopted features from competitor apps. Understanding the app can be a real game changer, whether you’re a content creator or an Instagram small business owner. In this article, we get down to the brass tacks of hacking the growth algorithm so you can scale up your small Instagram business.
Start by asking yourself these 5 questions
- What are my top 3 user personas?
- What do I enjoy creating?
- What kind of tasks can I delegate?
- What are the tools you need?
- What do the numbers mean?
1. What Are My Top 3 User Personas?
Who are the end users of your product/ service? What are their wants, aspirations, and fears? Create 3 personas of your prospective audience or customers. This is an example of what a consumer persona could look like.
Image Source: Clevertap
Now that you have an idea of your target audience, you can start strategizing content accordingly. Let’s say you’re running a brand that makes yoga pants, and you’ve identified a lacuna in the market for fashion-forward athletic clothing for plus-sized women.
This has a bearing on the content you curate, the memes you share, the models, and the influencers you work with. Identifying the right pain points, cultural beliefs, political leanings, and sentiments of your target audience is crucial to create a campaign that works.
We can acknowledge that this is still an overarching profile. A shot in the dark, someone more cynical might say. But here’s the thing about the internet. Needs are invented more often than not. Nobody knew they needed a fidget spinner till they saw one online.
2. What Do I Enjoy Creating?
You need to get real about what part of creating you enjoy. Do you like scripting, shooting, or only ideating? We live in a post-high production value era, if you will. Videos promoted by the algorithm are often original, creator/influencer-led, and deliver entertainment. It’s not always the videos with the highest budgets or ones with the best cameras that rake in the views.
If you’re an Instagram small business, you will need to embrace the ‘creator life.’ Start by learning to work a smartphone. Times have changed, and Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app. Everybody’s complaining about the increase in short-form video content, but it looks like reels are here to stay. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to post a reel every day and burn yourself out.
Comforting fact: Only 5% of Instagram Accounts post at least once every day
Katie Steckly’s Creator Club, in their podcast about social media marketing & content creation, talks about working from the outside in to discover what kind of content and in what frequency you can post. You have to answer 3 major questions:
- What do you love to make?
- What performs well for you and your audience?
- What do you have time to create?
Imagine your answer being at the intersection of a Venn diagram of these questions. According to Katie Steckly, this will lead you to create the most sustainable strategy to grow on Instagram.
3. Outsource Work
There comes a point in time in every ambitious business owner’s life when they must stop carrying the whole weight of marketing on their shoulders. It’s not easy running a business and making it look post-worthy on Instagram. If we have learned anything from Instagram, it’s that the algorithm rewards consistency.
If you lack time, delegate and outsource the work. You can hire a person or a team to shoot, edit and package content for you. You can avoid making a dent in your marketing budget if you plan your content in advance and hire your crew accordingly.
Image Source: Pexels
For example, find a way to schedule shooting photos and reels of multiple content ideas in one schedule to get better vendor discounts. When the money comes in, collaborate with an influencer whose persona aligns with that of your brand.
You could even generate images using AI, ensuring that you’ve got a constant flow of content for your feed, without necessarily needing to outsource the entire project if your budget is stretched.
4. What Are The Tools You Need?
As a small business owner on Instagram, embrace the Instagram Scheduling tool. Automating posting according to your content calendar ensures that online engagement doesn’t take a back seat when dealing with other tasks. Knowing the best time to post on Instagram is important to assess the potential of your content.
Video Tip: Aspect ratios (4:5, 2:3 & 9:16) are ideal for vertical videos (reels)
Image Source: veed.io
Let’s talk about user experience. When you create reels, for instance, the app enables captions for the video under the sticker tab. This makes it easier for the average scroller to retain the attention span for your video. This is in addition to the obvious advantage of enabling aurally challenged users to consume your content.
Most tools that are in-built into the app can be utilized to simplify your work. Let’s take the reel template example.
In addition to using existing audio, Instagram also lets you use a fellow user’s video time code. This way, it’s easier for someone to recreate a seamless audio-video experience of a video that is already well-edited.
Don’t dismiss photo posts entirely. The algorithm favors carousel posts with multiple photos or videos as part of one post.
If you’re looking to enhance your photo posts, consider using an online photo editing tool like BeFunky to make your images stand out.
Remember that when you’re a business, Instagram is additionally a messaging app. It also becomes a tool to interact with customers, enabling customer support automation is advisable. With the app’s new shop feature, you can even integrate tools like Shopify to transfer the aesthetic to your Instagram page. The shop feature facilitates easier shopping by selling on the platform.
5. What Do The Numbers Mean?
If you have a business account or a creator account, you can use Instagram’s native analytics tool to get an idea of your audience demographic, engagement with your followers, non-followers, and more. This helps you understand your prospective consumers better.
Facebook Ad manager is also an important tool for measuring the performance and cost of your ads. The analysis can also help you with A/B testing and revisiting marketing strategies.
You can better understand what kind of content works best with your audience depending on metrics such as a change in engagement over a given range of time and story and reels analytics that highlight shares, saves, and likes. Instagram story viewer is a more instantaneous feedback mechanism.
In addition to being able to see the views, one can also look at the insights and actions taken by users on a particular story. If you’re the kind of business owner who wants to get the deets of your users and competitors without your name popping up on their story viewer, third-party apps let you anonymously keep tabs on customers and competitors.
A study by the eMarketer group reports that 71% of companies in the U.S. are using Instagram, outperforming Twitter at 67%. If you’re an Instagram small business, it can initially be difficult for customers to notice you exist. The competition is tough, so you best be getting your A-game on.
It helps to understand the difference between engaging and posting. Remember that creating real value consistently over time is better than a short daily posting streak. To be successful at this game, you must be willing to embrace Instagram in all its glory and feature updates.
What is Instagram Small Business?
Instagram is a leading social media platform that is photos based. You can also use it as a marketing tool or a business platform. People make business accounts for their businesses and post pictures, videos, and reels of their products. Consequently, potential consumers place their orders. Thus, keeping the company running.
What are the different types of Instagram Small Businesses?
There is no limit to what kind of business you can run on Instagram. For instance, if you are a fashion designer, you might want to sell your creations to your Instagram audience. Likewise, people choose to become influencers, DIY craft experts and even sell their makeup business. So, the first step is to comprehend your personality and which of your hobbies or talents you can turn into a business venture.
How does the Instagram algorithm work?
The Instagram algorithm is a tricky concept. There is not one but many algorithms that work according to the content type. For instance, currently, Instagram is focusing more on reels than regular posts. So, to reach out to more audiences, you need to post relevant content on reels.
How to Increase Instagram Small Business engagement?
You need to post content that helps reach a greater audience. So, post content that resonates the most with your target audience. Make saveable content, post reel, and interactive videos to ensure more and more people interact with your content.
How to define Instagram Small Business Goals?
Instagram is a tool that lets you interact with a greater audience. Therefore, your goals should also revolve around Instagram features and algorithms. In simple words, ensure that your content enhances brand awareness, boosts interaction with potential leads, and converts them into customers.