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Why should your small business publish content on Instagram?

One word – trust.

Consumers buy from brands they trust, and content provides an affordable and effective way to build brand trust.

How?

By enabling companies to create emotional connections with consumers that grow into relationships and ultimately, trust.

But what should your small business post to Instagram?

The key to building relationships that develop into brand trust, brand advocacy, and brand sales is to define your target audience and post a variety of images and videos with relevant, strategic captions that tells your brand story, sets consumer expectations for your brand, and consistently delivers on those expectations by entertaining, educating, and engaging your audience.

That means you need to publish a variety of posts so your Instagram posts tell your brand story in a way that interests your target audience and meets their needs.

The 10 easy Instagram posts introduced below can help you do it.

1. Professional Product Photos and Videos

Professional product photos are visually appealing, stylized photos taken by a professional photographer and with a high-quality camera – think photoshoots.

You want to have an opportunity to show your products in the best possible way, so including professional photos provides a foundation for your brand’s Instagram presence.

Check out how Vans does it.

2. Real-World Product Photos and Videos

Let your audience imagine themselves using your products or services by showing them in real-world situations. These photos could be professionally taken or you could simply pick up your phone and take pictures of your employees using them.

Another way to publish real-world photos is to ask your customers to post their own photos. User-generated content is powerful, so get out there and ask for it!

Crocs not only post user-generated content, but it also asks people to tag the Crocs Instagram profile in their own posts, so it can repost.

3. Teasers

Publishing teaser posts and videos on Instagram is a great way to build anticipation and get people talking about your brand.

Disney is masterful at building anticipation for its launches, and in the months leading up to the release of Toy Story 4, it published numerous teaser photos and videos on Instagram.

4. Sales and Special Offers

If you’re having a sale or special offer, then you should share it on Instagram. Including the sale or offer information in the image is important to get more people to notice it and click through to read the caption for additional details.

Harley Davidson uses this type of post to promote online and offline sales and special offers.

5. Launches

When you launch a new product or service, you should spread the word through every channel you can, and that includes Instagram.

You can see how Panera does it below.

6. Tutorials

Instagram might not seem like an obvious place to publish tutorial and how-to content, but with some creative thinking, it can be very effective. Remember, you can pair video content with a descriptive caption to provide all of the instructions.

Want to learn how to make a natural bug spray? You can learn how in the post below from Aromatics International.

7. Contests

Contests and giveaways are a great way to get people talking about your brand, products, and services. They’re also a great way to increase your Instagram followers and boost engagement.

Love her or hate her, Kylie Jenner’s Instagram marketing team knows its audience and posts content they love, including contest posts.

View this post on Instagram

🚨GIVEAWAY ALERT🚨 **comment to enter** WIN a signed magnetic palette complete with all 28 eyeshadow single shades for you and a friend! All you have to do to enter is tag your friend in the comments below. We will be picking 5 winners over the next 24 hours and updating you with the winners names, here on this post, so keep checking back and keep commenting. No purchase necessary. Both the selected winner and tagged friend must follow @kyliecosmetics. ❤️ FIRST WINNER IS @shaurenlaw… check your DM! SECOND WINNER IS @sammi_bea_stone! THIRD WINNER IS @lovin_so_mint! FOURTH WINNER IS @kpaoj! FIFTH WINNER IS @Selasiafriyie! Congrats to everyone who won! More giveaways coming soon!

A post shared by Kylie Cosmetics (@kyliecosmetics) on

8. Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes photos and videos make your business and brand more human. They’re also effective in building emotional connections between your brand and consumers.

Behind the scenes Instagram posts can be planned or spontaneous. Bluebird Botanicals, a CBD and hemp consumer products company, offers a great example below with a creative image of the company’s founder.

9. News

Company news can be interesting to your Instagram followers. Keep in mind, news doesn’t have to be something that just happened. Look for stories related to your business, brand, employees, and customers that are newsworthy.

For example, Starbucks published an Instagram post about its Military Family Stores.

10. Brand Building Images and Quotes

A simple image or quote that represents your brand’s promise can have a significant impact on your Instagram audience, motivate them to share your content, and strengthen their relationship with your brand.

Nike does this effectively with inspirational images and video posts.

The Honest Company does it with quotes that resonate with its target audience of mothers and expectant mothers.

Key Takeaways about Instagram Posts for Small Businesses

Posting content on Instagram can build your brand and small business, but it can be time-consuming. Use tools like Canva, PicMonkey, and Adobe Spark to create and edit images and videos, and invest in tools like Later or Tailwind to streamline and speed up your posting process, including adding hashtags and posting at the best times.

Most importantly, have a strategy, publish a variety of content, and focus on meeting your audience’s needs while creating an archive of posts that consistently tell your brand story and support your brand promise.

That’s how you build relationships with consumers that leads to brand trust and sales.

10 Easy Instagram Post Ideas You Can Quickly Publish Today
Content StrategyInstagram Marketing

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Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, and The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.