If you are a business owner and haven’t jumped on the Instagram train, you are not of this century. As a matter of fact, many successful businesses has emerged from Instagram. The platform has the ability to create visibility for your business yet several business owners do not know how to market on Instagram.
In early 2018, Instagram had over 600 million active users and 400 million daily active users. Needless to say, this is a ready made market every entrepreneur should explore. But, you cannot get the best of the platform if you don’t know how to market on Instagram.
At entrepreneurs.ng, we are committed to helping your business become more. Hence, we have compiled 15 creative ways Nigerian small business owners can market on Instagram
How Small Business Owners Can Market On Instagram
1. Understand Your Audience
Obviously, you will not be selling to dummies. Your audience are human and they have feelings, choices and desires. Therefore, you need to do a thorough research to understand the people you want to market to.
To do a research on your Instagram audience, go to ‘insights’ on your Instagram App and click ‘audience’. There, you will see the type of people that follow your page. From age to gender and location. Meanwhile, you will only have access to this information when you have up to 100 followers.
Another way to research your audience is by checking the type of post they engage with more. With that, you will discover the best way to market your product/service to them.
2. Switch to Business Account
Actually, personal Instagram account will do very little to help your business grow. So, if you haven’t switched your profile to a business account, you should do that now.
To switch, go to your profile and tap in the upper right corner, click on settings, click account, click switch to professional account, then choose business.
Unlike personal profile, a business account opens you up to other functionalities like insights to your followers, uploading company information, running advert and so much more. Besides, people tend to
trust business accounts more when doing business transactions.
3. Have A Detailed Bio
Another way to market your business on Instagram is to have a well detailed bio. Usually, the first thing prospective customers sees on your profile is your business name. The next thing they look at is your bio. If you have a half-baked bio, you will not appear serious to them. In truth, your bio has a strong impact on your audience.
Basically, a good bio should be short but detailed. Importantly, your bio should have your company information, website and other relevant call to action like phone number and email. You can as well use emojis to show your personality. Its a social media, so don’t forget to make it social.
In addition, take advantage of the highlights to showcase all your offerings. By doing so, a prospective customer will know everything you offer by just glancing through your highlights.
4. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories makes it easy for you to engage with your audience. It also give you the opportunity to show your customers that your brand is interesting and relatable.
In addition, on Instagram stories, you can add link that lead users directly to the purchase page of your product.
Most times, images with faces do well on Instagram stories more than those without faces. So, bear this in mind when marketing with Instagram stories.
5. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags makes your product/service discoverable. But, ensure your hashtag is relevant to your post and your brand. Meanwhile, the maximum hashtag you can use on a post is 30 but, its not a must you use it all.
On the other hand, you can create a hashtag for your brand and include it in your bio. The hashtag can either be your company name or a tagline you want people to know you with. Always include the hashtag in every post you put out. You can also follow your competition to see the hashtag that drives their sales and incorporate such.
6. Make Your Visuals Catchy
More often than not, catchy post gets people’s attention. And, if they don’t click on it, they take their time to read the content over again. It’s in human nature to admire beautiful things.
Research has it that 93% of buying decisions are based on visual appearance. So, always fashion this into your posts if you want to drive sales.
7. Know When To Post
Normally, there are specific times you post on Instagram and get more engagement from people. And, there are other times you post and nobody sees it, talk more of engaging with it. As a marketer, you need to know the right time to share your post to get the desired result.
Some believe the best time to post on Instagram is between 3 – 4pm. But, the engagement level varies based on the day of the week. Nevertheless, there is no generally accepted time. So, I will advise that you study the times your followers engage more with your content and share important posts at those period. You can as well get this information from your Instagram insight.
8. Carefully Choose The Brand To Follow
Do a research on relevant brands in your industry that are using Instagram to market their product/service. Interact with their posts by liking them or leaving a comment that is relevant to their posts.
Sometimes, these brands can follow you back if you are doing something worthwhile. You can as well send them direct message to extend a hand of partnership or collaboration.
By doing so, you will have access to their followers and you can sell your product or service to them.
9. Don’t Bombard Them With Marketing
As much as you want to sell on Instagram, don’t spam your followers by always posting marketing contents. Actually, people don’t like to be sold to. When you bombard your followers with marketing posts, they will get overwhelmed and unfollow you.
Rather, post valuable and rich contents that can as well help them become knowledgeable or better in their field. That way, the next time you post your product or service, they will be more interested because they now trust you enough to buy from you.
10. Run Instagram Ads
Instagram is in existence to make money and one of the ways they make money is when businesses run ads. There is a limit to the people you can reach on instagram organically so advertising is important.
To advertise on Instagram, you have to integrate your facebook page to your Instagram page. With Instagram advertisement, you can select your target audience, demography, interest, budget etc.
Most people outside the set-up of their Instagram advertising because they don’t understand how to do it themselves. This is why we wrote; DIY: A Practical Guide To Running Instagram Ads. The book saves you cost as it explain pictorially how to run your Instagram Ads yourself. You don’t need to pay anyone.
Not only that, there’s no limit to the number of people you can target, provided you can afford it. More so, you can run picture, video, carousel, stories or collection based advert, as you deem fit.
11. Share Testimonials and Reviews
It’s okay to tell prospective customers how good your product or service is. And, prospective customers are more likely to buy when someone they can relate to speak highly of your offerings. Therefore, encourage your customers to send you a review or testimonies of their experience with your product.
Afterwards, post them on your Instagram handles and tag the testifiers. That way, whoever is still in doubt of your product/service can contact the testifier directly so they can feel secured with your offerings.
12. Partner With Influencers
Another potent way to market your product or service on Instagram is to leverage influencers in your industry. You can either do a give away through them or pay them to promote your business on their page. Meanwhile, the influencer you choose will go a long way to influence the way people see your product. So, choose wisely.
When choosing an influencer, choose someone who upholds your core value as a brand. In addition, ensure that the influencer has genuine followership and have good interaction with his/her follower.
13. Instagram Live
Aside having a well detailed bio, another way to engage with your customers on Instagram is through Instagram live. This feature is a powerful way to interact with your customers. For instance, you can pick a
day in the week to always go live. Inform your followers ahead of time and tell them what to expect.
Alternatively, you can have a live broadcast for product launch, questions and answers only or influencer takeover.
Importantly, have a call to action after each live broadcast. Do you want them to visit your website, buy a product or visit your office? While interacting with them, find a way to get them to achieve your objective.
14. Encourage Your Followers To Like/Comment On Your Content
When you double tap on a post, you automatically like it. You may wonder why people are so crazy about likes on Instagram. Well, this is due to how Instagram Algorithm works.
When a post receives lots of likes and comments, Instagram Algorithm sees it as a quality and engaging content and it becomes visible to more people. Hence, the post will be shown to more people.
When you encourage your followers to engage with your post, it will help you to reach more audience as your followers audience will have a chance to see your post too.
15. Simplify Your Marketing Approach
Another way to market on Instagram is to show your prospective customers what will happen if they buy from you. For example, if you are a beautician, you can showcase the before and after effect of using your product.
On another hand, you can share a content on the best way to use your product or access your service. As much as possible, let your language be simple. Do not complicate things and get your audience confused. This will give you an edge over your competitors.