One of the biggest myths of social media is that different platforms are geared to specific audiences. Instagram is for the B2C community, lifestyle influencers, the younger millennials, and Gen Zers; Facebook provides the ideal reach for local businesses; Pinterest is for eCommerce, and LinkedIn is where the professionals, corporates, and B2B businesses are present.
But, the truth is that – these don't hold anymore. The idea that Instagram is only for teen influencers and the millennial crowd is so outdated. Today, businesses of all sizes – from global corporations to small brands make up a sizable chunk of the Insta audience. So, as a B2B business or digital marketer, if you’re looking to target small business owners, then the ‘gram is the place to be.
If you think you're too late to the Insta race, no worries. It’s never too late to get started. With the right strategy and useful marketing hacks under your belt, you can steadily grow your B2B business’s presence and target small business owners using the platform.
Here are the top strategies to build your brand’s influence and target small business owners on the platform.
#1: Create a Business Page (if you don’t already have one)
An Instagram business page comes with several benefits. To give an example, you get a contact button on your profile where your target audience can tap to connect with you directly. Additionally, you also get access to Instagram’s analytics tools that give you detailed stats on page views, post reach, follower demographics, and more.
With a business page created, let’s focus our attention on targeting small business owners on the platform.
#2: Decide Platform-Specific Goals and Strategies
You must have a clear set of goals in mind before you get started. Instagram is an excellent tool for small businesses, but posting without a specific plan won't help you achieve the desired results.
- Are you trying to build brand awareness?
- Do you want to generate leads?
- Or do you want your target audience – small business owners – to reach out to you?
Having a specific target will help you plan your strategy and tailor your posts accordingly.
#3: Connect & Engage with your Target Audience
As a B2B business, your target audience on Instagram is other small business owners. Give your target audience what they want to see and not what you want to sell them. This is key to targeting small business owners and driving the right traffic to your website. Here are a few tips for connecting and engaging with your target audience on Insta:
- Speak to them on a personal level – let them hear the authentic voice of your brand. Avoid clichéd marketing speak.
- It's not just about selling – but showcasing your overall expertise and efficiency. You want your target audience to know that there are dedicated, passionate entrepreneurs behind the brand. You want them to trust you and follow you.
- Your posts should entice them to connect with your brand – it shouldn’t feel like a series of bland advertisements.
#Insta Marketing Gyaan: Keep the hard sells to a minimum, as frequent hard sells can be a huge turn-off. Instead, humanise your brand with BTS (behind-the-scenes) snapshots. Use the platform to establish your position as a thought-leader in your industry.
#4: A Minimum of Nine Posts are a Must to Get Started
This tip is for businesses that are just getting started with Instagram. If you already have an Insta presence with a series of posts, you can skip ahead to the next tip.
- Plan and create the content for your first nine posts. Post them all simultaneously – make sure to do this before you start promoting your Instagram business page and connect with your target audience.
- This way, you'll have a cohesive and professional-looking page that will create a good impression on people visiting your profile for the first time.
- You can use Insta post scheduling software to publish posts at specific times automatically.
#5: Quality Always Triumphs Quantity
Consider each post on Instagram as an opportunity to reach out to your target audience – in this case, small business owners. Spend time and resources on producing high-quality content. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- It’s better to post three quality posts per week than three low-quality filler posts every day.
- Try to focus on creating unique content that helps you stand out from the noise and grab the attention of your target audience.
#Insta Marketing Gyaan: Do not take shortcuts like buying followers, etc. These efforts never give you the desired results. Remember the new adage, “a hundred targeted followers on your profile is worth thousands of fake followers that you purchased.” Engaging in black-hat techniques like purchasing followers may even get you black-listed on the platform. So, avoid engaging in these techniques. Instead, build your page with quality content, and you can reap the results soon.
#6: Leverage the Power of Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to increase your brand's reach and reach out to your target audience. Choosing the right Instagram hashtags is like selecting the right SEO keywords for your website. It matters a lot. The right hashtags can help you increase brand awareness among small business owners or remaining unknown in the vast depths of the Insta-verse.
While choosing hashtags, think of hashtags that other small business owners are likely to follow like #entrepreneurship #smallbusinesstips #smallbusinessowner #smallbusinesssupport #smallbusinessindia #smallbusinessmarketing. Remember that Instagram allows 30 hashtags in each post, so try to get the maximum reach with a smart selection of hashtags.
Creating brand-specific hashtags is also another way to improve brand awareness and participate in conversations about your brand.
#7: Utilise Instagram Ads to Target Small Business Owners Specifically
Instagram is an excellent tool to grow your traffic organically. But, if you're looking for quick reach, then you need to start using Instagram Ads. Ads place your content in front of more people. The best part you can decide whom you want to show the ad to. You can target small business owners specifically using age, gender, location, and interests. Make sure to use the appropriate call-to-action buttons on the ads, so your target audience can easily reach you.
#8: Partner with the Right Influencers
Instagram is all about building your trusted audience base – who listen and engage with your brand. This is where influencer marketing comes into the picture. Influencers promote your brand, products, and services to their target audience. By partnering with influencers who have a large following of small business owners, you can drive traffic from their page to yours. This helps in increasing brand awareness, brand following as well as lead generation.
Here are a few points to keep in mind while choosing influencers to promote your brand:
- Nano influencers (with less than 10,000 followers) have higher engagement rates and a more authentic and targeted audience.
- Partnering with micro and nano influencers is not only cheaper but also gives higher ROI.
Finally, remember that “being on Instagram just because all other businesses are doing it won’t fetch you the desired results.” You need an engaging, well-planned, and strategic Instagram marketing strategy to capture your target audience's attention via the platform. Use the tips listed here to target small business owners on Instagram and increase your brand awareness and revenues.
Before we leave, "remember it isn't possible to build millions of followers overnight." You need to be patient and creative to get the maximum results on Instagram. It's a visual and innovative platform. So, put on your thinking caps, be authentic and leverage the platform to reach your marketing goals.
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Q. How can I find the right influencers for my business on Instagram?
Ans. Here are a few tips for finding the best influencers suited to your brand and objective:
- Start by searching for the most popular influencer you know in your niche. Navigate to his/her profile. Click on the drop-down menu near the follow button to find similar profiles.
- Conduct an Instagram hashtag research to find influencers in your niche.
- Google keywords like “Best Small Business Influencers in India” to zero in on the right person.
- Research your competitors to see who they are using for their influencer marketing campaigns. Find similar influencers in your niche.
- Use tools like Heepsy to help you find the right influencers. This tool enables you to shortlist influencers based on location, follower count, engagement rate, etc.
Q. How can I optimise my Insta posts to rank better in Instagram search?
Ans. Instagram is becoming a mini Google. Over 200 million followers hit the Explore tab on the app daily. By optimizing your posts, you increase your posts’ chances of showing up first under the Explore tab. This increases visibility and drives traffic to your profile.
The basic SEO principles that you use for your website also work on Instagram. Here are a few tips to optimize your posts to target small business owners:
- Treat the hashtags as keywords. Use secondary keywords as captions for your posts.
- While selecting keywords, think from your target audience’s perspective. Use hashtags that they are more likely to use. This gives your posts better visibility.
Q. Should I start using reels to target small business owners?
Ans. Yes, Reels and IGTV are a great way to boost your brand visibility. Shoot short-interesting videos for reels and longer-explanatory videos, tutorials for IGTV. Get creative and use the right content and hashtags to reach out to small business owners who use the platform.