In the social media world, Instagram is one of the exciting and hottest platforms right now.
Especially when the world is getting digital, the platform is becoming one of the powerful marketing tools for business.
According to the report, 68% of users engage with brands on Instagram on a daily basis. The percentage is only 32 when it comes to brand engagement on Facebook.
Instagram has more opportunities, with a higher level of reach in their people.
For people who want to build their business to promote their brand or maybe want to do both, Instagram has all the needed features and important tools to get you started.
However, to know how to use the platform to its fullest, here is the ultimate guide for you.
Step By Step How You Build Your Brand On Instagram
Before you start, make sure you have the app downloaded on your mobile and create your account.
Also, choose the professional account, fill in the basic information and make sure you know what you are doing.
Once you are done, start with the step by step guide here.
Step 1. The Research & Strategy For Brand Building
No matter what you are doing in business, if it’s related to the market the first thing you need to do is research.
Do your brainstorming and cultivate what will be your strategy for Instagram. Make sure whatever you decide is aligning with your business goals and strategies.
However, there are basic factors that you need to focus on, such as :
Your Bussession Goal
Before you start, get clear on this point first. Make sure you know what you are aiming for and have your definitive goals.
Instagram is similar to other platforms on social media such as Facebook, you create brand awareness through your account to get more traffic diverted to your official website.
Your goals can be :
- Increasing traffic to the blog
- Connecting with current customers
- Spreading more brand awareness
- Improving your KPIs
- Increasing impressions on social media
- Getting new customers
To make it achievable, you are going to need to pinpoint the goals that you have for your brand promotions.
Here are few things to do so you can make it more special and achievable :
- Make sure your goals measure, doable, timely, specific, and relevant.
- Set your timeframe regarding followers, likes, visitors, comments.
- Fix on the site conversion from Instagram traffic to your website.
Target Your Ideal Audience
Similar to any other medium of marketing, When you are approaching via Instagram, you should know the segment of the audience you target.
Since you already know the business targeted audience and their characteristics. You can use the same thing to know who will be your audience and how they will buy your products or services.
Pro Tip: Instagram is more popular under the age of 40. So make sure your content is not for baby boomers.
Also, you can check on your competitor flowers to know your target audience. You can follow them and aim to get the followers back.
Your Competitors On Platform
Your competitors are the ones who can tell you a lot about how your business will work on certain platforms.
Follow your competitors on Instagram, see what they are doing. Study their actions for example, what they are posting, who are their followers, how they are interacting with the audience etc.
Image source: smallbusinesstrends
Note which post of theirs is getting more engagement, the type of content or hashtag they use, and how they craft the whole message.
Find Your Content Strategy
Content is the most important aspect that affects the most and makes sure how your brand will develop on Instagram.
Your content should be directed to the audience, also remember that even if there are some people who are not following you will see your post, so your content also aims at those people.
Here you can choose your content as text or visual. But make sure you are keeping it interested to get the element.
Image source: socialmediaexaminer
When you do your competitor’s reach, you will get to know about different types of content that they have shared on their post. Analyze their strategies and you can adapt what you have learned.
Look out for the trends and what topics are getting people interested. However, before you choose, stick with only those topics that align perfectly with your brand.
And here you will need the hashtag as it plays a vital role in your content strategy.
Pro Tip: To make sure that you are posting everything on time, and have all important pointers lined up, you can use the content calendar to make your strategy more effective and easy to understand.
Get Help From Product Photographers
Unless you know how to do this on your own or you have a professional camera and you can develop this skill. It’s recommended to get help from your product photographers.
It’s extremely important to understand that Instagram is an aesthetically pleasing social media platform.
How your product will look matters a lot when you are using Instagram for building your small business brand.
Image source: wordstream
Using photos that are low quality or videos that have nothing interested can never bring engagement to your post.
Also, you can’t do the inconsistent mix in your post of high to a low-quality image.
This will end up creating a bad image and many potential customers might just feel not appealing to your post.
Step 2: Deciding The Theme & Content Style
Instagram heavily depends on visuals.
It means you have to create your visual identity Even though you have the best content in this world, if your visuals are not aligning, it won’t have the effect you are hoping for.
There are some businesses that might be using low-quality visuals even if they are posting on a daily basis. But you can see their engagement and reach, as it’s always low as well.
To know how to deal with this, here are few points to start with:
Decide Content To Share
The content should be different and something unique, which means you are creating your content solemnly for your Instagram. Do not use the same post from Facebook and share it on Instagram.
Different platforms have their own requirements and set of rules too. Make sure you know what type of content you are planning to share.
For example, if your small company is B2B or offers services, you can use company achievement, customer reviews, and employee achievement as content.
Choose Your Theme
When you choose the content, now the second important part is to choose the theme that is going to be consistent. It will also show your brand identity, so it’s crucial to choose wisely.
You can choose a combination of patterns, solid colors, size of the image, different or particular styles in fonts, etc.
Image source: Plann
This also requires you to choose the best quality visuals. You can choose the video or photos.
Your logo and visual identity of the brand should be consistent on all platforms.
Pro Tip: You can use Canva or Adobe Illustrator to design your font, layout, theme, etc.
Step 3: Combination Of Hashtags
The important feature that you will find on Instagram apart from visuals is Hashtags.
There are lots of brands that get discovered through their hashtags that add with the captions and stories.
Image source: digitalbrandinginsitute
The hashtag helps your post to show up to the feeds of those who are not following you.
With hashtags, you can reach more people who are interested in the topic but don’t know about your brand yet.
To make sure you are using hashtag properly and people are coming to your post, here are few things to know :
- Come up with creative and smart hashtags that have less trending but align with the brand identity of yours.
- Check your competitors to know the hashtags that are working for them.
- Create your branded hashtags so people can find you easily.
- Use other branded hashtags to target location, trend, and cause.
- Use more than 15 to 30 hashtags per post.
Pro Tip: Find the balance when you are choosing the hashtags. It should not overwhelm your audience when they look at your post. Or overpower the content you are sharing.
Step 4: Use Instagram Stories And Live
Well, the features are exclusively for Instagram that is available for the mobile version.
Live can help you in taking your brand to a new level. You can get followers and let them see the behind the scenes.
You can share snippets of the brand and let them see the genuineness of your community.
Well as for using Instagram story, it only remains for 24 hours. You can use the highlight section for saving Instagram stories for your customer or yourself later.
Image source: convince&convert
You can use Instagram stories as creative as you can. Instagram has different stickers, pictures, doodles, conduct polls and sessions where your customer can ask you questions.
It will allow your customer to ask questions and get real-time answers. This cancels out the requirement of connecting with customer representatives or support where they waste the time.
As for Instagram Live, the streams remain available for the next 24 hours. But unlike the Instagram stories, you can save them for later.
Image source: Later
With live, you can gain more loyalty and authority from the audience. This will give them a tour behind the business you do and they will know the real side of the brand.
IGTV or Instagram TV is another feature that launched on the platform. Here you can let your videos stay for longer than 24 hours.
Image source: iconosquareblog
IGTV allows you to upload videos that are longer than 1 minute of duration. You get the share option on your newsfeed or add links to the stories.
Well, when you are using these three features, here are few points to remember :
- Instagram live, stories and IGTV, all have filters that you can use for giving extra effect.
- Add your CTA to your stories, live streams, and IGTV to make it useful and effective.
- Make sure you announce the upcoming sessions or videos etc beforehand so you can get more audience or viewers.
Step 5: Collaborate With Influencers & Brands
When you complete all the important steps and now you have the established brand. It’s time for collaborating with others.
This will help you in connecting with more people and give you exposure to more audiences.
You can consider collaboration only when you believe you have a knack for engaging people and skills to create brand authority.
Image source: medium
Your collaboration with influences and brands on Instagram to get to interact with more people as well as target the right audience for your brand.
When you are approaching the influences, here are few points to look for :
- Collaborate with only those who align with your target audience and brand identity.
- Be patient with choosing the influencers, go with those who have a genuine side and have followers that are interested.
- Make sure you are choosing someone randomly and it will affect your authority and brand image.
Step 6: Creating Your Instagram Community
It’s important to have your Instagram community regardless of how big or small it is. Community is helpful and it will promote your business brand.
However, building your own community will take some time and effort. Engage with the audience through direct messages or comments.
Image source: Tailwind
You can use Instagram pods which are especially for the newcomers on Instagram. Here you can build your base along with some other brands and create a group to message directly.
Here you will need to post the content that can get more engagement.
Once you successfully get your community, they will do the rest of the work for you.
Step 7: Be Consistent & Track The Progress
The crucial aspect that helps you in getting established and successfully build your small business brand is to be consistent.
Find the timing where you can post so you can get a more engagement rate. When you get the frequency, weeks, and times when your post gets the most effective audiences. Make it your schedule.
Also, keep your theme consistent, content, and hashtag approachable.
Image source: wordstream
The last but not the least point to remember is tracking your progress. See which post is working for you or which one is getting more engagement.
Track your actions and what results you are getting. It will help you in understanding what is working in your favor and what you should change.
Also, track the followers you get at least weekly. Check the visits and drop rates. It will be useful to make you straighties for future.
You can use Instagram insight tracking for –
- your post
- Ads and Instagram stories
- Likes and followers
- Traffic & sales
Pro tip: to get better insight, there are lots of analyzing tools out there, choose what fits your requirement and use it to get better tracking the progress.
How You Can Use Instagram For Boosting a Small Business Brand?
The benefit of using Instagram is, it allows you to compete with giants of the industry even if you are a small business.
Here you don’t have to own an enterprise-size business, you can build your small business brand using the mobile app that gives you a goldmine of potential opportunities.
Well, once you set your account and get the basics covered. Now you can use Instagram to boost the brand and get more value from it.
1. Engage More With Competitor’s Followers
Instagram allows you to see the followers that your competitors are following. Or you can see it in the suggested box too.
- The idea characteristics that you can consider before you target the followers are :
- They should be interested in your industry or niche.
- They like the post and content you share.
If the customer is following your competitors, it shows that they are interested in both mentioned things.
Image source: later
With this, the rest of your work becomes easier as you know how to win them. But the work starts when you need to work on how to keep them engaging with you.
Here are few points that will help in understanding this point :
- Start with a list, get around 50 to 100 followers from the competitors, and follow them.
- Now, aim to engage thousands and spread the word about the brand.
- Here you will need to communicate and share your thoughts.
- To engage with people either you can comment on the post, like their photo, and follow them.
2. Host The Contest On Instagram
There is no doubt that people like the free stuff. And with hosting an Instagram contest you can get more attention from your audience.
This also gives you better ways for engaging and getting potential fans too.
Image source: Photoslurp
However, to make sure that your contest is providing you the maximum results, here are the elements that you need to focus on :
- Make your theme instead of a generic approach
- Use custom hashtag for the contest
- Ask people to tag their friends or family members in the contest.
- Start promoting at least a week before you start the contest
- Consider collaborating with people, influences, and companies.
Also, Instagram has their own guidelines that you need to check before you start the contest.
The purpose of using the contest is to get more of your loyal customers. So make sure what you are using for the giveaway is related to your business.
With this, you are not just attracting the freebies seekers but also those people who are interested in your brand.
3. Capitalizing On The Ads
The one thing that makes small businesses feel troubled to try advertising on social media is the cost.
However, when you are using Instagram ads, you can do what suits you, and this also helps in cutting the extra cost and keeping it affordable to the business.
Image source: shopify
If you have an account related to Facebook accounting, you can build this on easily.
But it’s recommended to have custom image assets specifically for your Instagram instead of reusing old ones.
4. Include Regramming To Your Plan
Regramming means sharing other content on your post for building connections. It’s a quick and easier way. Howeer Instagram doesn’t have an option for you to share the content, for this, you can use other or third party apps.
Make sure you are giving the credits and tagging the person whose original content belongs. This will help you in staying out of trouble.
5. Get Comfortable With Hashtags
Hashtags are a vital part and for lots of people, it’s one of the confusing things.
Instagram search has features that help you in getting hashtags. Unlike other social media sites where you use keywords, on Instagram, you will need the hashtags to make people find your content easily.
To show up your content on the feed, as well as to boost the visibility and reach, it’s important to get comfortable with hashtags.
Image source: Flagshipsocial
The common mistake that people do is making up random hashtags. The right way is to choose the right hashtags for the suitable post.
When you use made-up ones, it decreases the chances of showing up. The reason is no one is looking for the randomly made hashtags. So it won’t work and affect on growing the business.
The hashtags work when you post the photo related to trending hashtags. When you do this, it boosts the chances of getting your photos to show up on the trending tags.
7. Consider The Advantage Of Influencer Marketing
One of the ideal ways that can speed up your numbers in followers especially when you start from scratch.
With the help of influencer marketing, you can connect with more people and establish better engagement with the audience.
Image source: SocialMediaExaminer
Well in a previous time when social media was not that huge, the whole influencer marketing was too expensive as the brand needed to hire actors, athletes, etc to endorse their products.
But since social media was introduced, the game has been changed.
People who are not celebrities but have a strong base of engaged followers especially in numbers like hundred, thousand, and millions.
They are not offering services at a lot of affordable prices but also give better access to a niche market.
To start with this here are few points :
- Make a list of influencers who are working on the top tier in your niche.
- Check their Instagram accounts and engagement with the audience.
- Check the likes, comments, and the number of posts as well as frequency.
- Connect with the influencer to share your proposal
Pro tip: make sure you check the reputation and their way of dealing with the audience. You don’t want to hire someone who has a bad reputation in the market.
8. Create The Videos More
For a small business, videos are becoming an important part. Even though you can get engagement from photos, videos are turning into one of the solid options.
It’s an opportunity that can be used because others are just starting.
Instagram offers features like Live and Stories, also the app does a clear push up towards the content in video format.
Image source: Later
Well for creating videos for Instagram doesn’t need lots of investment in production. Your phone and creativity are all you need.
The videos on Instagram are served in bite-size with the one-minute limitation.
Brands like Wahl used the video content for getting a 4,307% spike in their engagement. They focused on building strategy and making the engagement better.
9. Monitor The Comments
There are lots of examples in small businesses where they don’t monitor the comment sections. The common reason is due to the difficulty it carries within the app.
But it’s important to take your comment sections seriously. When you have more comments, it shows that you have built a good amount of popularity and the content is interesting.
10. Monitor What Is Working
This can save you lots of effort on things that are not working. Also, you can monitor the post and the engagement to know what kind of content is liked by your audience and which is not.
With this, you can find the powerful hashtag that is bridging most of your engagement. This will help you in planning the plans and post along with content choices for the future.
You can use the tools that can help you in getting the information and tracking your overall performance.
11. Use The Instagram Stories
Instagram stories were one of the controversial features when it was launched.
You can use stories for adding a string of multiple pictures as well as videos. They disappear after 24 hours, which is quite similar to the Snapchat stories.
Image source: AdEspresso
Stories are a powerful tool because of lots of reasons, such as :
- It allows you to add more content without making it overwhelming the feeds of followers. There is nothing like over posting.
- Stories don’t have anything like or shares. The person can engage by sending a direct message.
- It can be tested as new campaigns, you get only 24 hours. This will help in knowing what will work for you or what not.
An example you can consider here is Taco Bell that used the best out of the Instagram stories. You can consider the same strategies and go creative as much as you want.
What Mistakes Stops Your Brand To Grow On Instagram?
For a small business, Instagram is one of the powerful platforms that help in connecting with their audience. Also, you can build your small business brand here by following strategies and different ways.
But even after you are doing everything, if you notice that your brand is not growing as you thought. Then maybe you are making some mistakes, and also don’t feel you are alone at this.
There are lots of businesses making similar mistakes when they are building their brand. Some of the common ones are as follows :
Too Many Photos Of Products
The point is, you are indeed using the platform for getting more sales. But you need to strike the balance. Many companies start with too many product photos which makes their brand look less interactive.
The other mistake you do is adding too much of CTA along with the wrong hashtags.
Image source: Socialmediarevolver
Here you need to remember that if the person wants to see the product catalog, they have webpages for that. People ignore such posts as well as accounts on Instagram.
How To Avoid It?
Choose the natural way, use your Instagram so you can direct the audience. Focus on building loyalty among the followers.
Avoid bombarding products and promotions.
You connect with people and take their help in several thighs. They can tell you about content that people prefer, characters and you can use the market research to keep it effective.
Also, they can help you in-
- Understanding why the followers are following your brand on Instagram. You can know what attracts them and what brings them to your post.
- They help in understanding your target audience. Also people you should follow on Instagram.
- You can get help in getting ideas about possible content and publicity that will work.
Having Bombard And Run Attitude
For a small business, this attitude is a buzzkill. No matter how hard you work on your content, if you have a bombard and run attitude, it will keep your audience away from the business.
Thinking about your audience on Instagram as passive clients should be avoided. They are active participants that are required to be engaged and have an important role.
There are lots of businesses that leave comments without any response. Not just it makes your followers feel disinterested in sharing their thoughts but also gives a vibe that you as a brand are not interested in them either.
Make sure that you are not just interacting but ‘ Living’ with them. It will help in building interest regarding your business.
How To Avoid It?
The best ways that can keep this attitude away is :
- Take your complete time to make sure you check your all posts on a daily basis.
- Respond to the comments and follow the clients. You can do it twice a week.
- Share your photos regarding your clients, events, and changes in the product.
- Connect with them by sharing behind scenes.
- Focus on building loyalty towards the brand.
Same Thing Everyday, Every Post
For a small business, posting too late can make losing interest in the brand. Too much will make them look like a spammer.
The balance is difficult but important.
Image source: SocialPilot
The goal for building the small business brand is to get more engaged clients. However to focus on not giving the spammer vibe.
But here you need to take care of not posting the same thing every day. It’s boring and people will unfollow you.
How To Avoid This?
For your small business, it’s crucial to have a good performance on Instagram. But different strategies will help you in keeping your content fresh.
Also, don’t be afraid to choose something else if you feel something is not working for you. Here are few things you can try :
- Use a calendar for scheduling all the posts and content that you will post.
- Apply the A/B tests and schedule your post.
- Ask your employee to participate in a strategy social network. It will help you in dehumanizing your brand.
- Categorize and program all the content that will post each day.
Letting Go The Paid Advertising
The common problem with small businesses is not taking the paid advertisement seriously.
When you are not considering the option, you are letting the opportunities go that can build your brand and boost growth.
The paid advertisement not just exceeds the reach but also you can narrow it down to the people so it targets only those who need or are looking for it.
You can filter the audience with the help of paid advertising. Also here you can get the chance to choose the cities where the product will be sold.
How You Can Avoid It?
When you are using the Instagram paid ads you are also limiting as well as focusing on the targeted audience. It helps you in targeting your efforts and promotional activities in the right direction.
You can focus on the clients that have better response chances.
To get the attention of your audience towards the product, you can use the price tag option.
With this tag, you can link the specific page for publicity. It will contain the information that the person will need to be related to your product-related.
Ignoring The Opportunities To Generating Leads
For creating your business brand on Instagram, it’s a tool that can help you. But lots of businesses forget that Instagram helps in generating income.
You can use the lead advertising publicity which will help you in offering something but getting the information in return from the audience.
It’s one of the goals that you can add when you are planning your Instagram strategy. Especially when your brand is not having any direct sales.
How To Avoid It?
There are some basic steps that can help you in getting leads, and you can do this through advertising on Instagram.
- The first step includes, think about the audience that you want to reach using the ads. You can focus on your ads by using the Instagram options to direct to the ideal customers.
- Consider the visual platform by which the ads are shown up to the user windows.
- Keep your ads in an excellent quality image and attractive.
Unconscious Voice Of Your Brand
When a business has not very experience with social media, either they leave big gaps or they try to fill them with fillers.
Trying too hard means you are using way too many memes, hashtags, and posts. This gives unnecessary and out of contest contents which have no need.
These are considered fillers. When your followers decide to follow your brand, they believe you will provide valuable information to them.
When they get the filler post, it makes them click on stop following the account.
How You Can Avoid It?
It’s extremely important that you have a consistent voice. This favors your business and ensures more clients to attract the right audience.
- To reach your customers, the brand voice is needed. And for this, you need to follow these points:
- Make sure to give equal attention to the feedback and online poll.
- Structure the voice and tone of your brand.
- Use Instagram to show the backstage and help clients to feel the passion yours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Followers get the chance to connect with your daily routine as a brand. It will help them to know much about your business and products. With this, you can connect and engage better with your ideal customers.
Instagram has the highest average engagement as compared to all the social channels. It also beat against Twitter and Facebook. The audience on this platform is more open to the branding content as compared to other sites.
Set up your account and follow the strategies to keep your account effective. Also, use the tools provided by Instagram such as stories, live, insights, etc to make sure you have a better reach and understanding of the engagement.