10 Creative Instagram Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

10 Creative Instagram Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

The vastness of Instagram’s user base makes the platform an ideal channel for small businesses to reach their target market and boost their online presence. With 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram offers huge opportunities to expand your reach and capture new customers.

But simply setting up an account and broadcasting your products or services is not enough. To stand out, you need to capitalize on the features available and explore different marketing strategies that specifically target your customers’ needs and interests.

It’s not enough to just rely on one tactic or method – there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to Instagram marketing for small businesses. But by combining multiple strategies, you can form an effective and holistic Instagram marketing plan for your small business.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 creative Instagram marketing strategies for small businesses to help you get the most out of the platform.

#1: Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are an effective way to share daily updates as they’re seen by a large proportion of users and it’s an opportunity to show what you and your staff are doing during the day to visually show followers what’s new or exciting and not hindering the timeline or causing it to become filled with content that might be outdated instead of ‘in the moment’. This can be used in various ways - if your business is holding an event inform people of it and create FOMO or show off parts of your business, or ‘behind the scenes’ footage that makes followers feel connected to what or who they’re interacting with when engaging with your account. Moreover, introducing ‘takeovers’ by inviting staff, clients or well-known influencers to take control of your account for the day is a great way of keeping content fresh and engaging.

#2: Monitor Competitor Performance

It’s important to stay aware of your competitors’ actions and tactics to stay on top of the game. A great way to do this is to create a list of competitors, and regularly check out the posts on the list. Follow the hashtags associated with the competitors, which will usually yield insights about what content is working and performing best. You can also use analytics tools to get comparative metrics to track competitor performance on Instagram.

#3: Utilize Instagram Hashtags

Hashtags can be used to create brand awareness, increase reach and engagement, build relationships and find new customers. You should use relevant and targeted hashtags for both organic posts and ads, as well as save frequently used hashtags in order to save time when posting images or videos.

#4: Leverage Instagram Ads

Instagram advertising is a powerful tool for small businesses as it enables you to target your audience with ads, reach a broad audience and promote your content. By tracking ads’ performance, you can make adjustments to ensure they’re seen by the right people and reached the right goals.

#5: Get creative with Videos

Videos don’t have to have to require a big budget and months of development. You can quickly create engaging content with the use of creative tools such as Instagram’s own Boomerang, HyperLapse and Layout. With these tools, you can create monochromatic videos, stop motion videos, shoppable videos and more with very little effort.

#6: Run Contests

One of the most powerful ways to get exposure and boost engagement on Instagram is to run contests that challenge people to create something or guess something. They are usually easy to run and can be used for anything from product launches to campaigns. It’s fun for participants because it gives them a sense of accomplishment when they win, drawing attention to your brand and gaining new followers. Lucky winners can get cool prizes and discounts, and you can solicit individual entries from followers as well as shared content from their friends. A contest is sure to get people talking about your page, and you can make sure the conversation keeps going by reposting the best content you receive.

#7: Tap into Audience-Generated Content

Don't miss out on the chance to leverage content generated by your customers – it's free and it's often more trusted and effective than what you create in-house. If done right, it humanizes your brand, builds trust and reinforces the sense of connectedness between you and your customers. You can reward contributors with prizes to encourage participation, and it doesn’t hurt if you give credit and shout-outs to the best submissions.

#8: Take Advantage of Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights offers valuable data on all of your posts, so it’s worth exploring. Take a closer look at the data and you’ll get to see who’s interacting with your posts, which interest your audience is drawn towards and what kind of posts are getting the most engagement. Leveraging this data is the key to unlocking great organic reach and boosting visibility.

#9: Create Teaser Products

Showcasing products with teasers or previews often attracts people’s attention, and there are several ways to set this up on Instagram, such as a ‘coming soon’ announcement, announcing the product launch with videos, or countdowns. If done creatively, this strategy helps create buzz around the product and makes it attractive and worth the wait.

#10: Go Live

Instagram Live is a great tool when it comes to engaging and interacting with your followers because you can answer their questions in real-time as well as give ‘behind-the-scenes’ production tips. Going live also adds a personal touch to engaging with your audience and lets them know that there’s someone behind the account who cares about their needs and views them more than just numbers.


Instagram is an excellent tool to market a small business, and with these 10 strategies, you’ll be able to create an effective and powerful Instagram marketing plan for your business. Keep in mind that everything takes time and effort, but the effort will pay off eventually.

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