5 Ways to Build Your Brand on Instagram

Instagram is an ideal platform for building brand awareness. With some careful planning, you can engage with – and develop a loyal following among – some of its 500 million regular users. You can captivate this audience with products news, sneak peeks and exclusive, behind-the-scenes views of your business. Here are some tips to help you get going.

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Your display name is key.

This sounds obvious, but it’s an important starting point. Instagram has a huge user base, so it’s possible that your business’s name might already be taken. If that’s the case, try brainstorming creative ways to add your company’s location to your display name or break up words with dashes or periods. (Steer clear of adding numbers — it doesn’t look professional. For example, Nicks.Pasta.House is better than nick12345.) Whatever you choose, make sure it’s intuitive and easy to spot in a search or your business will likely get lost in the shuffle.

Offer unique insights.

Instagram is the king of social engagement, with an engagement rate of 2.26 percent (compared to other social networks, which clock in at less than 0.1 percent). As a visual platform, it allows you to tell your story over time. In addition to mentioning sales, offers and events, you should find ways to engage your fans with unique stories and insights. Many business owners will share a narrative, such as documenting a construction project or capturing the steps involved in making a cake. Another effective tactic is sharing behind-the-scenes images and videos of your business with Instagram Stories, giving your brand a human touch.

Post with purpose.

Come up with a visual style for your brand — a specific colour palette, filter, angle or photo style — and then be consistent. You want all your posts to have a similar look and feel so followers can quickly identify your brand in their feed. Always use sharp, high-quality photography to keep your account looking professional. A recent study found that 67 percent of consumers favored clear, detailed images over product information, descriptions and customer ratings. Make sure everything you post adds some kind of value through thoughtful descriptions or calls to action, such as a way to buy event tickets. Don’t worry about posting too much, Instagram’s algorithm makes sure you aren’t flooding people’s feeds.

Go behind the scenes.

People are the heart of a small business. Consider introducing your staff to your followers and share some information about what they bring to the operation. This helps to encourage familiarity, while engaging your team in a fun and friendly way. You might also consider highlighting your favourite customers — with their permission, of course.

Offer a sneak peek.

Grab your followers’ attention by giving them a sneak peek of a new product or sharing a daily special on Instagram before it reaches a wider audience. This is a great opportunity to create loyal followers and incentivise more people to start following you.

Instagram ads are available globally to companies of all sizes. Whether you spend $50 or $5,000, it’s worth giving a particularly successful piece of content a boost by putting some dollars behind it. You can target your ads by location, demographics and user intents within the Instagram ecosystem. Learn how to get started here.

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