Why Should You Use Instagram to Promote Your Small Business?

Rita Pereira
October 18, 2023
 min read

In today’s digital age, social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses, big and small. Among the various channels available, Instagram stands out as a unique platform that offers immense potential for small businesses to promote their products and services. Are you a small business owner? Then you’re in the right place because this article is specifically tailored to help you maximise your business potential!

According to the Digital 2022: Global Overview report, Instagram is:

  • The 4th most-used social media platform, with 1,478 million global active users;
  • The 2nd favourite social media site for users between 18 to 64 years old (only Whatsapp stands in the way of it being #1);
  • The 6th most-visited website worldwide;
  • 4.62 billion social media users spend 11.2 hours per month scrolling back and forth on the platform.

It seems wild, right?

We hope these are reasons enough for you to keep reading our new blog post. Today, we will explore the benefits of leveraging Instagram as a powerful marketing tool to boost your small business. Let’s jump right in!

Capture Attention with Visual Storytelling

Instagram places a strong emphasis on visual content. Unlike other social media platforms focusing on text-based posts or a mix of text and visuals, Instagram centres on sharing and consuming photos and videos. That’s why square and vertical size visuals occupy the majority of the screen.

One of the primary reasons Instagram is perfect for small business promotion is that by utilising the power of visual storytelling, you can showcase your products, services, and brand in an engaging and aesthetically pleasing manner. Whether you’re a hair salon, a restaurant, or a fitness studio business, Instagram allows you to showcase the unique aspects of your brand through visually appealing content that can attract potential customers.

Reach Your Audience on the Go

Back in 2010, when Instagram appeared, mobile phones weren’t as commonly used for capturing and sharing photos as today. However, since Instagram was designed as a mobile-first platform, it capitalised on the behaviour shift towards mobile usage for social media consumption during the last decade.

According to Digital 2022: Global Overview Report, a staggering 92.1% of users aged 16 to 64 use a mobile phone to access the internet, against 71.2% using a laptop or desktop. In 2022, 6 hours and 58 minutes was the average time internet users aged 16 to 64 spent on social media per day (it increased by 1% compared to the previous year’s report). Notably, users devoted a significant portion of their time, approximately 11.2 hours per month, exclusively to Instagram.

As a small business owner, you should prioritise optimising your Instagram presence — take advantage of Instagram’s mobile-specific features such as Stories and Reels (keep reading to know more about these) and ensure your business has engaging content. These features will help you reach a wider audience and drive more traffic, leads, and sales.

With most internet users accessing social media platforms through mobile phones, businesses must ensure their Instagram content is mobile-friendly and visually appealing.

Boost Sales with Instagram Shopping

Did you know that Instagram has emerged as a popular platform for users to discover and explore products and services they intend to purchase? In 2022, 27.7% of internet users used social media to find inspiration for things to do and buy, 24.5% to find products to purchase and 23.1% to see content from their favourite brands!

Currently, the platform offers Instagram Shopping: a set of features that appear in a specific tab when you tap photos and videos on your business feed. With this tool, you can add product tags and create collections that allow users to shop on your website or directly on Instagram’s platform. These features are helpful because they provide a seamless integration between product discovery and purchase, making it convenient for users to explore and buy products directly within the app.

Sofia Godinho's instagram shop

Harness the Power of Influencers for Brand Growth

Instagram has given rise to the influencer culture, where individuals with a significant following can leverage their visual content and personal brand to influence consumer behaviour. Even though small businesses don’t usually have big budgets to pay an agency to collaborate with high-profile Instagram influencers, you can still benefit from working with nano or micro-influencers.

Nano-influencers and micro-influencers have relatively small followings, with nano-influencers typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand followers, while micro-influencers usually range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Unlike macro-influencers or celebrities, they are generally very approachable and open to partnerships, making it easier for small businesses to establish mutually beneficial relationships. They also typically have often highly engaged audiences and a niche and loyal following, leading to higher trust and engagement with your brand.

Research the influencers that fit your business niche and try to approach them with compelling partnership proposals highlighting the mutual benefits. Together, you can amplify your reach and drive meaningful results for your small business.

Mara Oliveira, a portuguese micro-influencer

Engage Your Audience with Stories and Reels

These two popular Instagram features allow businesses to share short-form content in different formats. These features help you engage with your audience, promote your products or services, and showcase your brand’s personality creatively and authentically, all while driving business growth.

How to use Stories:

Stories offer valuable tools like stickers, polls, quizzes, and questions to drive engagement and better understand your customers. The temporary nature of Stories, lasting only 24 hours, allows you to share time-sensitive promotions, limited-time offers, or flash sales effectively. Additionally, Highlights let you group important information from Stories, such as promotions, events, testimonials, behind-the-scenes footage, tips and tricks, or FAQs.

How to use Reels:

Reels, on the other hand, thrive on short, captivating, and visually appealing videos. Utilise the app’s editing tools, including music, effects, and text overlays, to grab your audience’s attention. Showcase your products through demos, tutorials, or highlighting unique features to entice potential customers and drive sales. Moreover, build your brand’s personality by sharing behind-the-scenes footage, employee spotlights, or fun content that humanises your business and strengthens the connection with your audience. Collaborate with influencers or other businesses through the collaboration feature, tapping into their audience and expanding your reach to new customers.

Expand Your Reach and Drive Conversions through Advertising

Ads on social media are essential for small businesses as they provide a means to increase visibility, generate more engagement and drive conversions by reaching an audience beyond your existing followers. Besides this, they are cost-effective and offer measurable results, allowing your business to optimise campaigns.

On Instagram, you can advertise reels, photos, carousels and even stories, targeting them to appear before your desired audience. This maximises the effectiveness of your campaigns and drives better results for your business.

If you are a small business owner with limited time and marketing resources but wish to bet on Instagram ads to increase sales, Leadzai might be your ideal solution. Our all-in-one platform allows small businesses to automate the advertising process on Instagram, requiring no effort or risk. Leadzai handles everything — from suggesting locations and audiences to adding your brand, logo, images, titles and descriptions — and you will only pay for the results.

Automated Image Ad on the Leadzai app

Don’t miss out on the immense potential Instagram offers your small business. Start harnessing its power today! 🚀

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