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Best Instagram Marketing Tactics for Startups

Best Instagram Marketing Tactics for Startups

If you think that Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, think again. Instagram marketing has immense potential to help startups, and small businesses generate sales.

Instagram is the most popular and powerful social media platform that holds significant importance for businesses. From established enterprises to midsize companies and startups, nearly every industry realises the true extent of Instagram marketing to promote their products and services. Instagram has completely transformed the landscape of social ecommerce and how brands use social media to promote their business.

Marketers who regularly use the platform believe it is the most important factor driving sales and revenue. It encourages other business marketers to integrate Instagram into their marketing efforts and launch Instagram marketing campaigns to drive more conversions.

If you have a startup business and are wondering how to use Instagram marketing to grow your business, here are the most powerful Instagram marketing tactics to help you achieve startup growth.

What is Instagram Marketing?

Instagram Advertising Example

Instagram marketing is utilising Instagram features to enhance brand visibility, connect with your target audience and drive growth to your business. The platform offers marketers unique opportunities to reach their target audience, generate brand awareness, promote their products, and gain a competitive advantage.

According to recent statistics from Instagram, it is the number one platform for building strong relationships with brands, and 70% of people don't mind viewing sponsored ads while using the platform. Instagram is a fantastic place for marketers and business owners to promote their products and services.

Instagram holds immense importance for startups as a platform for brand building, audience reach, direct engagement, influencer marketing, eCommerce integration, analytics, and gaining a competitive advantage.

Why Is Instagram Valuable for Your Early-Stage Startup?

The sheer size and diversity of users have made Instagram an excellent marketing tool for marketers that can help them to increase organic reach and gain a competitive advantage.

Share Your Brand Story

The platform allows businesses to share their brand story through images, making Instagram a great marketing platform. You can add your brand story to life and share interesting posts, engaging stories, videos, and ads to convey your brand message.

Brand Building and Awareness

Instagram offers an excellent opportunity to establish and enhance your startup's brand identity. You can showcase your products, services, and company culture through visual content, including photos, videos, and graphics. You can increase brand awareness and attract a loyal following by consistently sharing high-quality and engaging content.

Targeted Audience Reach


Find more statistics at Statista

With over 1.35 billion monthly active users, Instagram provides access to a vast and diverse audience. By leveraging useful Instagram features, such as hashtags, geotags, and the Explore feature, you can effectively target specific demographics, interests, and locations relevant to your startup. This enables you to reach potential customers more likely to engage with your brand.

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Direct Communication and Engagement

Instagram fosters direct communication between startups and their audience. Users can comment, like, and share posts, allowing immediate feedback and engagement. Startups can leverage this interaction to build relationships, gather insights, and address customer concerns. Features like Stories, Live Videos, and DMs enable more personal and real-time engagement with followers.

Ecommerce Integration

Instagram provides various features for startups to sell their products or services directly on the platform. By setting up an Instagram Shop or utilising shopping tags in posts and Stories, startups can provide a seamless shopping experience for users. This eliminates friction between discovering products on Instagram and purchasing, improving conversion rates.

Valuable Insights and Analytics

Instagram offers built-in analytics tools for business accounts, providing valuable insights into your audience, content performance, and engagement metrics. This data allows startups to measure the effectiveness of their strategies, understand their audience's preferences, and optimise their content and campaigns accordingly.

Give Your Business a Competitive Advantage

Many startups already utilise Instagram as part of their marketing strategies. By establishing a solid presence on the platform, you can gain a competitive edge, especially if your competitors need to leverage Instagram's potential more effectively. It lets you showcase your uniqueness and stand out in a crowded market.

Generate Leads

Instagram is an excellent platform for generating leads. By running contests and giveaways or partnering with influencers, startups and small businesses can encourage their followers to act, such as signing up for a newsletter or visiting their website.

Drive Sales

Instagram can also be used to drive sales. By sharing product photos and videos or offering discounts and promotions, startups and small businesses can encourage their followers to buy their products or services.

How to Create a Robust Instagram Marketing Strategy?

Best Time To Post On Instagram To Go Viral

Instagram is an essential platform for startups and small businesses. Having a strong Instagram marketing strategy is vital to run successful campaigns. If you want to create an Instagram marketing strategy for your startup, here are some crucial steps:

Define Your Goals

Carefully define your goals and what you want to achieve with Instagram marketing. The goal can vary from business to business. Your objectives could include increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, boosting sales, or enhancing customer engagement. Clear goals will guide your strategy, run targeted marketing campaigns, and help you measure success.

Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience and understanding your potential customers' demographics, interests, behaviours, and pain points is imperative. This information will help you create content for a clearly defined audience that resonates with them and tailor your messaging and strategies accordingly.

Some essential tools to find your target audience include:

  • Google Analytics
  • SEMrush
  • Social Mention
  • Audiense
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Typeform
  • AnswerThePublic
  • Google Trends

In-depth Keyword Research

Believe it or not, keyword research is critical for successful marketing campaigns. Instagram relies on visuals; most of the time, discovery occurs through relevant hashtags. Therefore, finding the most relevant keywords that help the audience see your posts on the platform is advised.

The most popular keyword research tools include:

  • SEO PowerSuite
  • KWFinder
  • Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • GrowthBar
  • Long Tail Pro
  • Majestic
  • Keyword Tool
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Optimise Your Instagram Profile

Best Designers On Instagram

Create a compelling Instagram bio that communicates your brand's value proposition. Use relevant keywords, include a link to your website or landing page, and use a recognisable profile picture or logo. Consistently maintain a visually appealing and cohesive aesthetic throughout your profile. Make sure your Instagram profile is consistent with your brand identity. Use high-quality photos and videos, and make sure your bio and captions are clear and concise.

Create a Content Strategy

Plan the type of content you will share on Instagram. Consider a mix of product/service showcases, behind-the-scenes glimpses, customer stories, user-generated content, educational posts, and industry-related content. Create a content calendar to ensure consistent and timely posting. The more often you post, the more likely you are to reach your target audience. Make sure your content is high-quality and engaging. Use various content types, such as photos, videos, and stories.

Maintain Visual Consistency

Develop a consistent visual theme or style that aligns with your brand identity. Use high-quality images, videos, and graphics that are visually appealing, attention-grabbing, and represent your brand. Consistency helps build brand recognition and reinforces your brand's personality.

Create a Hashtag Strategy

Research relevant hashtags that are popular within your industry and align with your content. Use a mix of broad and niche hashtags to reach a wider audience while targeting more specific users interested in your niche. Create a branded hashtag specific to your business to encourage user-generated content and increase engagement.

Some popular Instagram hashtag generator tools are:

  • Influencer Marketing Hub
  • All Hashtag
  • Ritetag
  • Photerloo
  • #HashMe
  • Hashtagify
  • Sistrix

Engagement and Community Building

Engaging with your audience by immediately replying to comments, messages, and mentions is vital to building positive engagement. Responding to your followers' posts will make your fans and followers feel like you hear and appreciate them. This practice encourages your followers to interact with your brand repeatedly. Like and comment on posts from relevant accounts within your industry. Participate in conversations and contribute value to your community. Encourage user-generated content and run contests or giveaways to foster engagement.

Instagram Stories and Live Videos

Instagram Stories Growth Statistics 2021

Utilise Instagram Stories and Live Videos to showcase real-time updates, exclusive content, behind-the-scenes moments, and interactive experiences. These features help create a sense of urgency, encourage user engagement, and provide a more authentic connection with your audience.

Performance Tracking and Optimisation

Regularly analyse your Instagram analytics to gain insights into your audience, content performance, and engagement metrics. Identify patterns, trends, and content that resonates most with your audience. Adjust your strategy based on these insights to continually optimise your efforts.

Instagram marketing is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor, evaluate, and refine your strategy based on data, feedback, and emerging trends to achieve your business goals and stay relevant on the platform.

Instagram Marketing Tactics for Your Startup

Instagram is a relatively affordable platform to use for marketing and branding purposes. This makes it an excellent option for startups and small businesses on a budget. Here are some powerful Instagram marketing tactics for your startup business.

Try Instagram Sponsored Ads

Consider running targeted ads on Instagram to expand your reach and drive conversions. Instagram ads can be a great way to reach a wider audience and promote your products or services. Different formats are available for Instagram ads, such as photo, video, carousel, and story ads. Use the platform's robust targeting options to reach your desired audience effectively.

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Instagram's advertising platform provides robust targeting options to ensure your ads reach the most relevant audience. You can target users based on demographics, interests, behaviours, locations, and specific criteria like lookalike audiences. This precision targeting helps you connect with the right people more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Share Product Teasers

Whether you are an ecommerce business, SaaS business or service-based agency, sharing product teasers on Instagram excites users to buy. Unsurprisingly, Instagram is the best platform to advertise your products and services; product teasers can give your audience a sneak peek of your upcoming product.

When creating product teasers, keeping your audience in mind is essential. What will excite them about your new product? What information do they need to know? Ensure your teasers are clear, concise, and visually appealing to satisfy curiosity. Use high-quality visuals to showcase your product teasers. Craft compelling captions that hint at the upcoming product without revealing too much. Create a sense of intrigue and excitement by emphasising the unique aspects, benefits, or value the new product will bring. Encourage your audience to stay tuned for more updates or a big reveal.

User-Generated Content

Starbucks Instagram Ugc

User-generated content is a powerful tool for Instagram marketing. When used right, UGC can help you:

  • Build trust with your audience
  • Maximise user engagement
  • Generate leads
  • Boost sales

Create campaigns or contests that encourage your followers to create and share content related to your brand. Feature the best submissions on your Instagram feed and stories, and tag your followers in their photos and videos. When users share UGC, acknowledge and appreciate their efforts by reposting their content on your Instagram account. UGC adds authenticity and social proof to your marketing efforts. Create branded hashtags and run contests or giveaways to incentivise UGC creation. User-generated content can foster a sense of community and strengthen the relationship between your brand and your audience.

Use Instagram Marketing Tools

Buffer Social Media App

When it comes to Instagram marketing for your brand, there are several free tools available that can help you streamline your efforts, analyse data, and enhance your overall strategy. Instagram marketing tools can support various aspects of your system, from content creation and scheduling to analytics and engagement. Here are some useful free Instagram marketing tools that you can use to strengthen your startup's position:

  • Canva
  • Later
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Facebook Creator Studio
  • Sprout Social
  • Simply Measured
  • Social Pilot
  • Awario
  • Kicksta

Partner with Industry Influencers

Instagram is a hub for influencer marketing, which can benefit small businesses and startups. Collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values and target audience can significantly boost your reach and credibility. Influencers can create sponsored posts, reviews, or endorsements to introduce your startup to their engaged followers, generating awareness and potential conversions.

Identify influencers or micro-influencers who align with your brand values and target audience—partner with influencers to promote your products or services. Establish mutually beneficial partnerships to tap into their engaged follower base and leverage their credibility.

Use Instagram Stories

Stories are a popular feature on Instagram, offering a more casual and ephemeral way to engage with your audience. They are a great way to connect with your audience more personally. Use stories to share behind-the-scenes content, product sneak peeks, limited-time offers, polls, quizzes, and interactive features. Stories can help drive engagement and create a sense of urgency.

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Harness the Power of Instagram Reels

Undoubtedly, Instagram Reels are a fantastic way to promote your business. They are short (up to 90 seconds long) engaging videos that can be used to share your products, services, and brand story. One of the best things about Reels is that, unlike Instagram Stories, they don't disappear after 24 hours. You can use Instagram Reels to showcase your products, educate your audience, and attract new followers.

You can experiment with different formats, such as tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage, product demonstrations, or quick tips. Remember to keep your Reels concise and attention-grabbing. Using relevant hashtags in captions and leveraging trending audio can help your Reels reach a wider audience and increase engagement.

Add an Instagram Shop to Your Account

Instagram shopping is a feature that allows businesses to sell their products directly on Instagram. It is a great way to reach a wider audience, increase sales, boost user engagement, and improve brand awareness. If you are a business that sells products, consider using Instagram shopping.

Customers can shop directly from their Instagram feed without leaving the app. You only need to tag your products; customers will get additional information about the product and buy directly from Instagram. This makes the shopping experience more convenient and memorable.

Businesses can use Instagram shopping to personalise their marketing messages and target their ads to specific audiences. This can help them to reach more potential customers, boost conversions, increase sales and improve the customer experience.

Use Branded Hashtags Consistently

Trending Hashtags Tool

#JustDoIt, #StarbucksMoments, #ShareACoke #Sephora are a few examples of branded hashtags. Branded Hashtags are a great way to get your content seen by more people. They help spread the word about your business, find content created about you by your followers, and create a community around your business. When you use the most relevant hashtags, chances are your posts will appear in search results.

Therefore, choosing the right branded hashtags relevant to your business and your target audience is essential. You can use branded hashtags to engage with your audience by asking questions, running contests, and sharing user-generated content. This is a great way to build relationships with your followers and get them excited about your brand. Different hashtag generator tools will help you find relevant branded hashtags to market your startup business on Instagram effectively.

Run Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are the most effective way to generate brand engagement and excite people about your products. When people enter your contest, they are exposed to your brand, products, or services. They are likelier to follow you, like your posts, and comment on your content. This strategy can help you increase brand awareness and attract more new customers. It can build a stronger relationship with your audience and create a more engaged community around your brand.

Offer specific prizes that your potential customers will be interested in. Make sure the rules are simple and easy to understand. When promoting your giveaway, use relevant hashtags to help people find it. This will help you reach a wider audience and get more people to enter. You can grow your following, engage your audience, and promote your brand by running successful Instagram contests and giveaways.

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Post at the Right Time

Over-posting can save your marketing efforts, whether you are doing Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter marketing. If your followers see your posts on their feeds every time they see their news feed, chances are they will unfollow you. Therefore, you need to post strategically. Posting at the right time can improve your marketing efforts.

Well, the best time to post on Instagram varies depending on your audience; it is advised to post when your followers are active. The best way to find the best time to post for your account is to experiment. Try posting at different times of day and see which times result in the most engagement. Instagram's algorithm prioritises fresh content, so it's best to avoid posting during peak hours when everyone else is posting. This will help your content stand out from the crowd.

Track your Results

It's essential to track your Instagram marketing efforts to see what's working and what's not. Measure the success of your Instagram marketing campaigns. Use Instagram Insights or third-party analytics tools to see how many people view your posts, how many likes and comments you get, and more. Use the right Instagram metrics most important to your business and track them over time to see how your campaigns perform. Some of the most important metrics include:

  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Website Traffic
  • Follower growth rate
  • Number of clicks per post
  • Number of followers who engage with Instagram posts
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Stories metrics
  • Profile visits
  • Hashtag performance

It is important to note that the relevance of these metrics may vary depending on your specific goals. Determine which metrics align most closely with your objectives, track them consistently, and use the insights gained to optimise your Instagram marketing strategy.

Final Take Away

Remember, building a successful Instagram presence for your startup will take time and consistent effort. Experiment with different Instagram marketing tactics, adapt to your audience's preferences and stay true to your brand's values. With these Instagram marketing tactics for your startup, you will reach a wider audience, engage with potential customers, and reach your business goals.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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