Instagram has become one of the largest social networking platforms in the world. Recent data shows 37% of adults in the United States are active on Instagram. The site also boasts that it has 1 billion global active users.
Since Instagram has such a massive base of active users, it is easy to understand why so many large companies have capitalized off of it. One analysis found that a post on the most popular Instagram profiles is worth twice as much as a Super Bowl ad. Large companies like Coca-Cola and Proctor and Gamble are spending millions on Instagram campaigns.
However, Fortune 500 companies with massive advertising budgets aren’t the only ones that stand to benefit from Instagram. Local businesses with much smaller marketing budgets are also leveraging the platform.
Your local business needs to appreciate the opportunities Instagram provides. You don’t need to get discouraged about the fact that you don’t have as much capital to reach potential customers as national brands. You will be able to generate a steady stream of business if you understand the principles of local Instagram marketing.
Here are some tips you should follow to get local business through Instagram.
Create an Instagram local profile
You are probably already familiar with Google Local profiles. They are a platform to help local businesses expand the reach to google users.
Instagram has its own version of profiles for local businesses. When users search for a company, they will see the following:
- The company’s full address
- The industry the company is in
- The company’s hours of operation
- A weighted listing for price (ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the cheapest and five being the most expensive among similar businesses). This can be helpful for reaching customers that are price conscious, such as people that want cheap car insurance with no deductible.
- The company website and company telephone number
Instagram local profiles are very similar to the ones found on Google. You should start your Instagram local marketing strategy by creating one.
Start and participate in discussions that are relevant to the local community
Have you marketed your business on Pinterest? You probably found that you don’t have to be as engaged in the community as you used to be. Pinterest changed its platform to be more of a search engine a couple of years ago. This meant that users didn’t have to spend nearly as much time building followers and commenting on other posts to gain traction.
The same approach does not work with Instagram marketing. It is especially ineffective if you are trying to grow a local brand.
You need to do more than just share great images. The best place to start is by initiating discussions about the local community or participating in existing threads. You can buildings discussions around local events, changes in the weather and activities other businesses have participated in.
Here is an example of a discussion that Search Engine Journal capped from a local business:
Be liberal about using local hashtags
Hashtags are very important with Instagram marketing. According to Quick Sprout, posts with 11 or more hashtags get 81% of interactions. This is twice as much visibility as posts with only a couple of hashtags.
Of course, your hashtags should be relevant to your target users. In the case of local Instagram marketing, you want to use hashtags that identify your locale. If you live in a large city like Los Angeles, your hashtags should probably focus on the neighborhood you are operating in. If you are marketing your business in a much smaller city, then the city name should be sufficient. Small businesses in rural communities might even want to include the name of their entire county two rich customers in the surrounding area.
Develop a Sound Instagram Marketing Strategy for Your Local Brand in 2020
Instagram is become a great platform for reaching customers. Local businesses can benefit from it too. However, you need to have the right strategy in place. The tips outlined above can be very useful.