Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses: The Complete Guide.

28 Nov

Written by: John Wylde

Your team needs need to have an Instagram marketing strategy in place to harness the platform’s power. Read this guide to help you tackle the platform.

Here’s the good news: Even if you have a small budget, limited resources, or a one-person team, there are several Instagram marketing strategies that small businesses can use to grow their presence and find success on the platform. Let’s dive in.


There’s no doubt that Instagram is a powerful tool for small businesses. To get the most out of your Instagram marketing, there needs to be a clear goal in place for what you want to achieve on the platform.

Here are a few examples of goals you might choose for your Instagram marketing strategy:

Once you have a goal in place, you can use that to guide the type of content you post, the people you want to reach, and the general messaging to use on your page.

A few basic elements of an Instagram business profile are a profile picture, business name, and business category. Your page should also include contact information like a phone number, email, and address (if you have a physical location).

Your profile image should also be something recognizable like your logo so new followers instantly recognize your brand’s thumbnail as they scroll.

Your Instagram bio is the first thing people see when they visit your profile — think of it like the homepage of your website.

If you only have a few seconds to capture a visitor’s attention, what are the main elements or pieces of information you want them to take away?

Use your bio to let new followers know who you are and what you do. Include your company’s tagline or put together a sentence or two that sum up the type of content people can expect to see by giving you a follow.  

If one of your Instagram marketing goals is to drive more traffic to your small business’ website, then spend a little extra time optimizing the link section of your bio.

Because you can’t include clickable links in Instagram captions, the link in your bio is what users will click on to learn more about your brand, shop your products, or sign up for an email list.

Use the link section to direct people where you want them to go next.

Want to grow your audience on Instagram? Host a giveaway.

And it’s easy to see why. Instagram giveaways increase brand awareness, boost organic engagement, and drive more people to your profile by encouraging likes, comments, and shares for a chance to win.

Not only does more than one prize incentivize people to enter, but teaming up with another brand doubles the audience that will see your content or be introduced to your brand for the first time.

If you have a physical location for your small business, be sure to create a geotag so you can include it in your Instagram posts. A geotag provides location data which helps users pinpoint exactly where to find your small business.

Not only that, but Instagram also organizes posts that use a certain geotag under one searchable tab so users can see all of the posts from that location.

By contributing to the tag, you can show people what they can expect when visiting your business. For instance, if you have a restaurant, use your geotag to show off menu items or give people a glimpse at what the dining atmosphere is like.

Content creation is at the heart of Instagram marketing, but it’s no small feat. From brainstorming creative ideas to shooting images or taking videos, there’s a lot that goes into a single post.

This is where user-generated content (UGC) comes in handy.

UGC is content that’s been created and posted by Instagram users. It’s usually in the form of an image or video of someone using your product or visiting your business.

You can scope out UGC by checking out posts that you’re tagged in or browsing through content that uses your geotag.

If you want to give people a reason to follow you on Instagram, offer exclusive promotions for followers.

Share a discount code that followers can mention if they visit your business in person or use at checkout when shopping online. To make the promotion even more exclusive, use Stories to share discount codes. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, followers may feel a sense of FOMO if they don’t act on it quickly.

Promotions give your followers a reason to stay engaged and look forward to what and when you’ll post next, which helps build brand loyalty for your small business.

Hashtags are essential for your small business’s Instagram marketing strategy. Hashtags can help you join in on a conversation or topic that’s relevant to your brand. They also help Instagram categorize your content. When users search or browse a hashtag they’re interested in, they may see your posts.

Not only are hashtags a tool for users to discover new brands and content on the platform, but they also allow your small business to build brand awareness and recognition.

Consider creating a branded hashtag and encourage followers to use it when they post about your brand. This helps build brand recognition and encourages people to share UGC.

If you have extra room in your marketing budget, consider partnering with an influencer for sponsored content.

With all of the features that are available on Instagram these days, it can be easy to overlook one of the foundational elements of the platform: being social.

Engage with your audience wherever and whenever you can – in the comments section, in Stories replies, or even in DMs. By connecting with your audience on a personal level, you humanize your small business and build strong customer relationships.

You can start the conversation by directly asking for follower input. Use the interactive features on Stories, like polls and questions, to gather feedback and generate ideas from your audience.

Encouraging participation is another way to connect on a more personal level. Your followers will feel like they’re part of your community.

Instagram has rolled out several new features over the years including Stories, Lives, and now Reels.

Reels are short-form videos that can be creatively edited to form a compilation of clips that tell a story.

Here are a few ideas for Instagram Reels:

To understand how well your Instagram marketing strategy is performing, it’s essential to track and measure your metrics.

The metrics you choose to measure should tie back to your goals. If the goal of your Instagram marketing strategy is to drive more people to your website, then you’ll want to track your Instagram link clicks to see how they correlate to your site traffic.

Instagram continues to be a powerful and effective way for small businesses to grow their brand. With a strong Instagram marketing strategy in place, small businesses can reach new customers, increase sales, and build loyal customer relationships through the app for years to come.