If you have noticed it seems everyone is now online, individuals and businesses inclusive. For some time now, social media has become of the most effective media outlets. Many businesses are now online-based while many others are joining the bandwagon. In this article, I have explained in detail how you can grow your offline business using Instagram.
If you run an offline business and have been thinking of taking your business online, Instagram provides one of the social media outlets you can leverage on. This is even more so if you deal in physical products because Instagram is a visual social platform.
Engagement and connection is high if you have aesthetically-appealing products and valuable offers for displayed using HD images and videos your audience.
The good news is that even if you are new to social media and Instagram as a business, you can still utilize the platform efficiently to promote and grow your business irrespective of it is online or offline.
If you are a business dealing in food preparation (restaurants, caterers), auto dealer, cake designer, event decoration, graphics design, photography or offer any other physical product or service imaginable to you, Instagram is the place to be.
I have listed 8 steps that will do the following for you guaranteeing your business growth:
- Build brand awareness and visibility
- Create connections and relationships for you and your business
- Improve your sales rate
- Build your authority in your niche as the go-to place
Here is how you can grow your offline business using Instagram:
- Create a Relevant and Informative Bio
The first step to using Instagram effectively for your business is to set up an optimized profile or bio. Ideally, your bio is like your signboard telling people exactly what you do.
Your Instagram bio should be clear and uncluttered. It should contain your personal or business name and state what it is you do. No funny names or aliases and it show any necessary information that your audience needs to know about you.
Example: If you are a car dealer, your bio should clearly state this with the name of your business and probably information on the type of cars you deal in.
In addition, your contact details like phone number, email and other social media handles should be clearly displayed on your bio.
- Use a Clear Quality Display Picture Related to Your Product or Service
Next is your display picture, it should be a relevant picture related to your service or business. Formal photos of you can also be used since your interest is to appear professional.
The photo should be of good quality, clear and relevant. Using your photo will increase your brand awareness as people will be able to connect a face to your business. This gives you more visibility and increases your network the more you are associated with that niche.
- Research Who You Target Audience Is
The number one rule of business is for you to know who your target audience is before even starting up. Knowing your audience will help to be more intentional and objective when targeting your promotions.
You need to know who needs your products and services as this will help you use appropriate targeting means like paid promotions, hash-tags and joining communities to spread the word about what you do the world.
Are you a writer, content creator or author, click HERE to learn the best social media platforms for you.
- Create Valuable or Engaging Content Using HD Photos and Videos
One major way of connecting and engaging your audience and creating a tribe of loyal followers is by offering content that is interesting and valuable. Instagram is a visual social site so you need to post a lot sharp photos of your products or the services you offer on a regular basis.
Also, create and post valuable content and give it away free. People always love free stuff even though we know they rarely use it because of the sub-conscious belief that free stuff isn’t really worthwhile.
It doesn’t matter though so just go ahead to offer free valuable posts to build trust and relationship with your audience.
- Post Content Daily and Consistently
If you truly want to improve your brand awareness and reach using Instagram as a tool of choice then it’s important that you start posting quality and valuable content regularly.
Consistency is the name of the game and when you post daily, it creates a feeling of expectation and anticipation in your audience. They will always be on the look-out for your posts if they are usually packed with content.
Content can be anything from useful information, photos and videos to e-books and training courses related to your business and industry.
You can also use a social media management tool like Hootesuite to manage and send out content whetehr you are available or not via its scheduling feature.
Click HERE to check out Hootesuite’s free offer.
- Use Trending or Popular Hash Tags for More Reach
To increase your reach to other people who share an interest in your business, Instagram encourages the use of trending or popular hash-tags that have been used for promotions previously.
Hash-tags can be added at the end of any posts you create and when posted, anyone who has connected with such hash-tag in the past will get a notification. Posting using trending or popular hash-tags will expose your business to new people. It will also open fresh opportunities for you to make sales and close deals when contacted about your service.
- Offer Discounts, Giveaways and Contests to Increase Engagement
People love any chance they can get to get a discount off a product they want, win a giveaway or contest. As a business owner, you can leverage on this loophole.
Let’s say you are a hair stylist, you can offer to give a %30 discount to anyone who brings an extra referral to your business.
Or you can choose to give away limited copies of your e-book guide. Your audience will be drawn in by your offer and you can engage them once you get them on your list. As you do this from time to time, people get to know you and see you as an authority in your business.
When you finally pitch a paid product, your audience will remember they have gotten value from you before and check out your offer to make a purchase.
- Share and Ask Friends to Share your Handle
Share, share, share
This simply involves using the power of your network to spread your brand awareness campaign. Once you have an optimized Instagram account clearly stating your business, you can ask your friends to share your post around. This post should be engaging and relevant to your business.
Your products and services should also be clearly displayed on the posts so that interest people in your friends’ network can connect with you to know what you. Gradually but steadily, as you gain influence and grow your followers, your business will experience a positive impact of from these efforts.
So what kind of business do you do and how soon do you plan to use Instagram to build your business’ brand awareness?
Hey! Don’t forget to share as well, you could be helping someone, you know!