How To Use Instagram To Grow Your Business

While building a business, you’ve likely heard that being on social media is a must and that it can help with brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. 

But it’s also a crowded field, and you may feel like your posts are getting lost in the mix. If you want to grow your business using Instagram, follow these tips and tricks from our team at Stencil.

Instagram for Business – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide – YouTube
1. Utilize Instagram’s visual appeal to showcase your products or services effectively.
2. Craft engaging and authentic content that resonates with your target audience.
3. Leverage Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes content and time-sensitive promotions.
4. Monitor and analyze Instagram Insights to measure the success of your marketing efforts.
5. Create compelling and targeted Instagram ads to reach a wider audience and drive growth.

1. Focus On Engagement

To grow your audience, you first need to focus on engagement. Engagement is the number of likes, comments, and shares your posts receive. It’s a good indicator of how engaging your content is and helps you understand which types of posts are resonating with your audience.

If there are no likes or comments on one of your posts, it could mean that it didn’t resonate with anyone, or perhaps people thought it was too salesy or self-promotional. 

We recommend always posting things that are interesting to you first so that if no one else responds positively to them, at least you enjoyed yourself!

When it comes to making the most out of your Instagram presence, our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing provides a comprehensive resource that covers strategies, tips, and insights for successful engagement and growth.

2. Research Competitors

To find competitors, you can use the search bar on Instagram to look for their hashtags or business names. You can also explore a few other things:

Look at their content. What kind of posts do they post? How often do they post? Do they have a lot of followers, but only have one like per post? That’s usually not good if you want high engagement rates on your account!

Check out their follower count and engagement rate (the number of likes and comments divided by the total number of followers). 

If someone has a ton of followers but doesn’t get many likes or comments on each photo they post, chances are they aren’t engaging with their audience very well either which is something that will affect your ability to grow your business.

Look up any hashtags that are used by the accounts listed under “Discover Tags” on the left side of Instagram’s app page when looking at one particular user’s profile page (like #travel or #vacation). 

This will give you an idea about what types of things are popular among people who follow this person’s account so that you can see how similar/different from them yours needs to be before launching it into the world!

3. Tell Your Brand Story

When you’re telling your brand story, the details are what matter. So start at the beginning: who are you and what do you do?

Be clear about your brand story. Use it to connect with your audience on a deeper level by inspiring them (with how-to’s provided by experts in their field) or by building trust (by proving that all products are made from scratch).

Tell it often and with purpose. Your audience will want to hear about the nuts and bolts of what makes you different from other brands in your industry and why they should choose yours over others.

Show off your expertise with engaging copy that highlights how much work goes into creating each product or service, as well as any certifications or awards that prove its quality.

Harness the power of visual storytelling with our step-by-step guide on using Instagram marketing to grow your business. Discover how to effectively showcase your brand and connect with your target audience through captivating visuals.

4. Be Consistent And Strategic With Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your brand seen and grow your audience. However, they should be used sparingly and thoughtfully to ensure that your posts aren’t over-saturated with irrelevant tags. Here are some tips for creating a hashtag strategy:

Hashtags should be relevant to the content you’re posting: For example, if your post is about how much you love food trucks, don’t use “#trucks” that’s too broad of a hashtag and will likely result in very few views or impressions. 

Instead, try something like “#foodtrucksarethebesttrattopia #loveisloveatfoodtrucks #yum” where the second part is just an example of what can happen if people search for specific hashtags associated with their content (and where I worked my way around making yet another pun).

Use location-specific hashtags: If you’re taking pictures at an event like SXSW or Coachella then using location-specific hashtags can help increase traffic from people who are there!

5. Use Videos And Stories

Video content is a great way to increase engagement. It’s also a great way to share content that is not appropriate for the main feed, like behind-the-scenes videos of your office or product reviews. 

Even if you don’t have a crew filming on set, there are plenty of ways you can use video in your Instagram marketing strategy. 

You can post behind-the-scenes photos and videos taken at events (like product launches), interviews with customers, or even just clips of your team working together in the office.

6. Partner With Influencers

Influencers can help you reach new audiences and grow your business in a variety of ways. They can help you build your brand, increase sales, drive traffic to your website or landing page, and even build a community around your product or service.

There are three main ways influencers can be beneficial for growing your business on Instagram:

They can help you reach new audiences. Influencers have existing followers who trust their recommendations and advice when it comes to products or services like yours. 

So if they post about one of your products on their account (and tag the account), that post has a much higher chance of going viral than one posted by anyone else with no previous connection to the company. 

That means that each time an influencer posts about one of your products or services and tags the company’s handle it could lead directly to sales!

They help build credibility and authority within specific niches on Instagram by sharing original content (such as blog posts) with their audience every week/month/etc., 

So that they become known as “the go-to source” whenever someone has questions related to those topics in particular; 

This builds trust between followers and creators which makes them more likely eventually consider buying something from said creator online since now there’s proof positive beforehand showing evidence that he/she hasn’t just been lying about everything being perfect all along without ever having anything negative happen during production etc., 

Which happens more often than not unfortunately due largely due because good people rarely make mistakes but bad ones do so frequently.

Because they don’t have anything better else worth doing besides bad things at least somewhere along some line somewhere sometime before infinity ends up meeting itself again someday soon hopefully soon enough before death comes knocking first before any other issues arise however unlikely those events might seem today.”

Are you looking to level up your Instagram game? Explore our collection of 15 actionable tips for marketers using Instagram to enhance your content strategy, engagement tactics, and overall online presence.

7. Drive Traffic To Your Website Or Landing Page

You can further drive traffic to your website or landing page by adding a call-to-action button in the description of your post. This button can be used as a link that directs users to a specific webpage (like your website or landing page) or social media profile. 

For example, if you have an online store and want to drive traffic there, you can add “Shop Now” as the CTA button for people who are interested in purchasing items from your store.

The only thing left is deciding where you’re going to place this button. If it’s not too much work on Instagram’s part (and it doesn’t seem like it will be).

Then I would recommend putting it at the very bottom so that people scrolling through their feed will see it before they leave without clicking anything else (which could potentially hurt engagement).

8. Run Contests And Giveaways

Running a contest or giveaway is one of the best ways to grow your brand on Instagram. Once you’ve figured out who you’re targeting and how to reach them, this is how you can get them interested in what you have to offer.

Here’s how:

Use a tool like a Gleam or Rafflecopter to run your contest/giveaway. These platforms allow users to enter by following you on Instagram, commenting on a post, and more!

Give away something useful for your target audience (i.e., if it’s makeup-related, give away eyeshadow palettes). 

It could also be something unique and memorable (i.e., an exclusive button earring set), so people will remember you when they see it again later down the road! 

And don’t forget about sharing make sure whatever item(s) are being given away can be shared with friends and family so they can help out too!

9. Create A Unique Aesthetic For Your Brand

We’ve already talked about how to create a unique brand aesthetic. Now it’s time to start applying those tips to your Instagram account! Here are some ways that you can use the same ideas on Instagram:

Use a consistent color palette. This means using the same colors in every photo and using them consistently throughout the images. 

It’s okay if they’re not the same shades just make sure they’re close enough that your followers can recognize the pattern and know which photos go together.

Use a consistent font for captions, hashtags, and other text elements that appear on your photos. 

There are lots of free downloadable fonts online (try Google Fonts), or you can choose from any number of paid options like Canva or Adobe Spark (both of which also have free trials). Just make sure all elements match up so everything looks cohesive!

Building an engaged following on Instagram doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Learn valuable insights on how to grow your Instagram account even when you’re starting from scratch or facing challenges in attracting followers.

10. Respond To Comments And DMs Promptly

The most important thing to do on Instagram responds to comments and DMs promptly. When someone comments or sends you a DM, be sure to respond within 24 hours of receiving it. You can always leave a generic response that says something like, “Thank you! 

I appreciate you taking the time to reach out!” If they ask for help or have questions, take the time to answer them thoroughly (and yes, this means responding without just copying and pasting from your FAQ page).

It’s also important not only how quickly you respond but what kind of response you give. 

If someone leaves a negative comment about your company or product, the best way to handle this situation is by being honest and polite with them even if their comment wasn’t very nice at all. 

Unprofessionalism breeds more unprofessionalism, so don’t stoop down into petty arguments with customers who are upset about something! Instead, try asking them why they’re unhappy and thanking them for bringing it up as this will usually diffuse tensions quickly enough.”

11. Offer Discounts Exclusively To Instagram Followers

If you’re looking to attract new followers, the best way is to offer them something unique and exclusive. This can include a discount code that your Instagram followers can use when they check out at your store. 

To do this, all you have to do is add an item or item on your store’s website with a discount code for Instagram users only. 

Then, simply share the link in Instagram Stories and let people know that if they want the discount code, they should follow along using the @mention feature so that it appears for everyone else too!

Note: this has been tested and proven effective by businesses who offer discounts exclusively for their Instagram followers because not only does it get people talking about their brand but also makes customers feel like VIPs since there are limited quantities available.

12. Take Advantage Of Analytics Tools From Instagram Business Accounts

If you have an Instagram business account, the analytics tools that come with it are extremely helpful. 

You can use them to see what your audience is responding to and what they aren’t responding to. If a specific type of post performs well or poorly, you should take note of this so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can also see how many people click on links within your posts by using the analytics feature. This will help you identify what types of content perform best in terms of driving traffic back to your website or blog and increasing sales!

13. Use The Save Feature To Bookmark Posts And Stories You Like To Refer Back To Later

Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your followers. They allow you to share behind-the-scenes content, give your audience an inside look at your life, and more. 

But with over 1 billion people using the app every day, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. Luckily, there are several ways you can use Instagram Stories to promote yourself as an influencer within your industry and reap some major benefits in return:

14. Share User-Generated Content (UGC) Regularly

User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to keep your followers engaged with you. It also helps you get more followers and likes on your posts, which can help drive traffic back to your website or other social media platforms.

There are many different ways that you can use UGC from your followers in your Instagram marketing strategy:

In Posts – Share photos directly from users’ accounts. If a customer has created an image of their product using it, this is perfect for sharing on Instagram! This gives them recognition and gets them excited about what they’re posting. 

You could also share images from other people’s profiles who have products similar to yours (for example, if you run a clothing store and see someone wearing an outfit similar to one of yours).

In Stories – Even though stories are only visible for 24 hours before disappearing forever into the void of internet space, they do still have value because they’re available as long as there are enough hashtags used within each one. 

If someone takes a picture of themselves wearing one of your shirts while at work/school/etc., feel free to post it up here with some relevant hashtags so that others can find out where else those clothes might be sold nearby without having any knowledge beforehand!

15. Utilize Instagram Ads And Boosted Posts Strategically

In addition to the features listed above, Instagram Ads have a lot of other benefits. For example, you can use them to drive traffic to a website or landing page. 

Or, if you have an Instagram business page (which will be covered in detail below), you can use them to increase engagement on that account by promoting posts and boosting posts organically. 

You can also create an ad that links directly to your profile or hashtag page so that people who see it know exactly where they’re headed when they click through.

These options provide endless opportunities for marketers who want their businesses featured on the platform without having direct access as influencers.

And allow small businesses in particular with limited resources but lots of potential reaches take advantage of this opportunity as well!

If you’re new to Instagram marketing or seeking fresh ideas to revitalize your strategy, explore our list of 15 creative ideas to get started with Instagram marketing. Uncover innovative approaches to engage your audience and drive business growth.


We hope this guide inspires you to take your Instagram marketing strategy up a notch. With 1 billion monthly active users, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re new to the platform, don’t be intimidated! 

Take things slowly and experiment with different tactics until you find what works best for your company. Remember that even if you make some mistakes along the way, that’s okay! All of your efforts will help build brand awareness and improve customer relationships over time.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further enhance your understanding of using Instagram for business:

Buffer’s Guide: How to Use Instagram for Small Business Learn actionable tips and strategies for leveraging Instagram to grow your small business’s online presence and engage with your target audience effectively.

Hootsuite’s Blog: How to Use Instagram for Business Discover proven methods and techniques for utilizing Instagram’s features to promote your business, enhance brand visibility, and drive engagement.

Instagram for Business: Getting Started Guide The official guide from Instagram provides insights into setting up and optimizing your business account, utilizing advertising options, and making the most of the platform’s tools.


How can Instagram benefit my small business?

Instagram offers a visual platform to showcase your products or services, connect with your audience, and establish a unique brand identity that resonates with potential customers.

What are some effective content strategies for business accounts on Instagram?

Engaging content, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content, and compelling visuals, can captivate your audience and foster a loyal community.

How do I use Instagram Stories to engage with my audience?

Instagram Stories provide a dynamic way to share temporary content, including promotions, behind-the-scenes moments, and quick updates, allowing you to maintain a consistent presence in your followers’ feeds.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my Instagram marketing efforts?

Utilize Instagram Insights and analytics tools to track metrics such as engagement rates, reach, and follower growth, enabling you to refine your strategy based on real-time data.

What are the key considerations for running successful Instagram ads?

Defining your target audience, crafting visually appealing ad creatives, and incorporating compelling calls to action are crucial elements in creating impactful and effective Instagram ads.