Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses to reach their local market. As a Fort Collins Marketing Agency, we have worked with several local brands selling products and services to the Northern Colorado market. Running Instagram campaigns for local businesses, we’ve developed some best practices that will help your business grow at scale in your local market.
Here are 15 of the very best strategies to use Instagram as a tool for business growth in your local market.
1. Use Local Hashtags
So many local brands use hashtags that are too broad to rank for. For example, a local coffee shop won’t get discovered for general hashtags like #coffee or #coffeelover. These hashtags get used too much by people and brands with huge followings.
Try to use both hashtags specific to your local area (e.g., #fortcollinscoffeehouse and #bestcoffeeshopincolorado). Local hashtags have a smaller audience which means your posts have a much better chance of ranking higher and being seen by your customers.
2. Create Instagram Stories
Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. This is a great way to humanize your brand and make it more relatable. To post a story, click on the “+” icon at the top left-hand corner of your Instagram feed.
3. Use Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your followers in real-time. You can use it to give them a tour of your shop, host a Q&A session, or even do a product demonstration. Going live on Instagram is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time. You can use it to answer questions, give product demonstrations, or show what your business is all about. To go live, swipe right from your feed and tap “Start Live Video.”
4. Take Advantage of Instagram’s Geotagging Feature
Tag your location on each post, making you more discoverable in your local area. When people search for Instagram posts using a specific location, your geotagged posts will appear in the results. This is a great way to get your content seen by people already in your area.
5. Get Targeted in Your Local Area With Instagram Ads
Reach new customers who are not already following you by running ads and targeting your local area.
6. Collaborate with Other Local Businesses
If you’re not in direct competition with one another, cross-promoting other local businesses on Instagram is a win-win strategy. Network with other businesses in your local community and cross-promote each other’s content.
7. Create a Local Challenge
Instagram challenges are a great way to engage with your local community and get people talking about your business.
8. Offer Local Discounts and Promotions
Instagram is a great place to share your promotions and special discounts. Include a call-to-action (CTA) telling your followers how to redeem the offer.
9. Host a Local Instagram Giveaway
Instagram giveaways are a great way to generate buzz and grow your following. To enter, all you typically have to do is follow the business and tag a friend or two in the comments.
10. Post User-Generated Content
When you post user-generated content, it shows your business is active and engaging with its audience. It also helps to build trust and credibility. The more genuine and authentic your brand appears, the more likely people will do business with you.
11. Leverage Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a feature that allows businesses to create 15-second videos. These short videos can promote products, showcase behind-the-scenes content, or even feature employees.
12. Use Instagram Shopping
If you have an eCommerce store, Instagram Shopping is a great way to drive traffic and sales. This feature allows you to tag products in your posts and stories, making it easy for people to learn more about what you’re selling.
13. Sponsor Local Events
Sponsoring a local event is a great way to get your brand in front of a large group of people. It’s also an excellent opportunity to network with other businesses and individuals. Show up at the event, take photos and videos of the event and then post them.
14. Get Your Employees Involved
Your employees are your company’s best ambassadors! So encourage them to get involved in your Instagram marketing. Have them take photos and videos of themselves using your products or services, share behind-the-scenes content, or even just mention your business in their own posts. Give your employees the green light on getting creative with the company’s Instagram. If you do, they are likely to come up with creative ideas using Instagram to promote your business that you would have never thought of in a million years!
15. Get Your Customers Involved
Don’t just post pictures of your products and services! Post pictures of your customers using your products and services. This is a great way to show off how your business is making a difference in people’s lives and it also helps create a connection between your customers and your business. Prior to posting a picture or video containing your customer, make sure you get their permission.
So whether your business is a brick-and-mortar store, an online store, or a service-based business, there are plenty of ways to use Instagram to reach your target market. Local businesses need to be strategic with Instagram marketing to stay ahead of their competition.
Contact us today if you’re unsure where to start or need help with your Instagram marketing. We’re a Fort Collins marketing agency specializing in helping businesses grow their online presence.