How to promote a local business on Instagram?

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Instagram is becoming the center of the marketing universe. It didn’t take a long time for it to get to that point.

But there’s a misconception among those who haven’t used it for their good. Most people think that Instagram is a platform to share their vacation pictures or their dog photos.

What they don’t realize is Instagram can actually help your local business to get in front of the audience from the locality. The best part is, the tools provided by the platform will help you get infront of people you didn’t even realize are looking for you.

If you’re looking for a guide to promote your local business on Instagram, this one is for you.

This guide includes methods that will require you to invest money in ads, apart from free ways.

With that said, let me throw some amazing ways to do just that right away.

Note: If you’re absolutely new to marketing on Instagram, I’d recommend you to go through this guide that will walk you through the topic & get both of us on same page. The basic knowledge is necessary for all that I’m going to share, make sense. Here’s the guide on Instagram Marketing.

#1 Leverage Word of Mouth marketing

The best thing about Instagram is the community driven conversations that happen on the platform. The trick is to build a community around the niche your local business is into.

Incentivize the customers who’re vocal about your local shop. Give them cashback coupons so that you keep the business & earn the loyalty of those customers.

Encourage the user to create content on their social media tagging your local shop. This acts as a social proof to get more attention of the local users who’re interested in what you sell.

This leads us to the next tactic.

#2 Encourage User generate content

UGC is how all social media platforms operates. No social media platform create content for the platform, it’s the end users who do that. This becomes a huge add on to the credibility of your business.

According to Statista, 31% of purchases from a business is derived by user generated content. One of the best, easiest & most honest way to encourage user generate content is to simply ask for it.

No fluff, no gas, no agenda. Simply ask your existing customers to create content & tag your local shop in their content. It can be as simple as a picture, in fact that’s why Instagram exists today. This was the idea behind the platform.

#3 Participate in the community

If you’re not targeting a local community, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. If you want to grow on Instagram, you have to have a community to target.

If not, you’re not gonna get noticed. It’s not your fault, it’s how the platform is built. It’s community driven.

So first step is to find a community & it’s as simple as finding hashtags your target audience are most likely to follow & engage with the content under those hashtags.

Next step is to find & engage with the users who’re frequently creating content under the hashtags. Follow people they follow & so on.

This way you’re declaring your arrival on the platform & ready to engage with like minded people.

The idea is get attention by paying attention to other’s content first. Hit a conversation to keep the community engaged.

To build an engaged community, you have to engage with a community first.

#4 Don’t hide behind a logo, show up

We’re living in times where people are trusting corporate brands & logos lesser than they did just a decade ago.

Even if you’re a small shop & aspire to become a well known brand in your local city or even the state, don’t hesitate to become the face of your business on Instagram.

The gram is a visual platform, pictures & videos are the heart of the platform. Therefore it becomes utterly important to show your face to the people you want to grow with.

Remember how Gary Vee used to be the face of his dad’s wine business — Wine Library?

He did that on YouTube & it was way more difficult than it is now. There’s audience ready to consume your content.

You just have to create the content they want or tell them what should be wanting. The Instagram algorithm will take care of finding the right people for your content.

This way you can even build a personal brand to bring more business for your business. Humans have evolved to trust personal brands more than the corporate ones, just because its way more easy to trust a breathing human being than a logo that doesn’t talk to them. Isn’t it?

#5 Participate in the local events & news

By participating, I don’t mean literally going there & covering the news or event. What I mean is cover the events & news in favor of your brand/local business.

For example there’s a marathon in your city which will be covered by major news channels & you can participate in this marathon by offering something to the marathon runners for free, this will do the branding & will reach a very broad audience.

You will get thousands of dollars of free press with bear minimum investment.

You can also create around local lifestyle that attracts tourists & give you global exposure via the tourists, should they discover you. If nothing, the local public will definitely recognize you.

If I were you, I’d go extra mile by finding the positive things happening around my city & reward them for their work. This will get a ton of attention you can only imagine to get via organic methods — that’s growth hacking.

TL;DR: Final thoughts

The whole point of Marketing your local business on Instagram is to get the undivided attention of the local audience who spend at least 58 minutes on average on Instagram.

I want you to think in terms establishing a brand, brand recognition, recall & awareness. This is a long way if you have very little to invest other than what you’re already investing in your business.

There are a couple of growth hacks that you can try (I’m gonna share those in upcoming posts, make sure we keep in touch here) to grow you local business with a little more investment in terms of time & money.

If we’re meeting for the first time, Hi! I’m Shubham Davey. I teach people to build & leverage personal brand online. We can keep in touch via Instagram & LinkedIn, that’s where I hang out daily to share priceless content around everything that either leverages your existing personal brand or teaches you to build one.



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Shubham Davey

Shubham Davey

Content Writer for SaaS founders | Writing since 2011 | Tech Enthusiast | 2.2 M views on Quora | | Hit Follow ⤵