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Awesome Instagram Reels To Grow Your Business

What are Reels?

Reels are brief, entertaining videos on Instagram and Facebook. They’re a fun and engaging way to view content and can be used effectively for businesses. 

Similar to the content of TikTok, Reels are short-form videos that show up on your Instagram feed, stories and Reel explore page. The fun part is that you actually get to see Reels from accounts all over the world and not just from those you follow. They can be addictive too – it’s hard to stop watching! 

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Everything you need to know about #Hashtags

Did you know that hashtags have a genuine value for growing your business online? They are a very important part of your social media marketing. If you know how to use them properly, the results can be fascinating and impactful.

You have probably seen hashtags on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter), and we can bet that you had a chance to use them too. You may already be familiar with these, but having a guide on how to use them effectively can really improve your social media presence and hashtag performance.

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Top 10 Tips to Quickly Build Your Instagram Following

This article was updated in March 2024.

In ever evolving world of social media, Instagram still stands out as one of the main platforms for organisations to build their brand, to connect with their audience, foster engagement, and ultimately, drive growth. Instagram remains a great  place for businesses to showcase their personality, values, and offerings too, if you do it right.

To help you harness the full potential of Instagram and propel your brand to new heights, we’ve compiled the top 10 tips that cover everything from using hashtags effectively to sharing captivating visuals and engaging with your audience.

Instagram in 2024

But first a little about the app in 2024. Instagram is a photo and video sharing app owned by META Platforms. There are currently 2 billion users, and 62% of them access the platform at least once per day, spending an average of 33 minutes there. Over 90% of users on Instagram follow a business, but two-thirds of profile visits to businesses come from people who aren’t following that business. The largest segment of Instagram users are millennials aged between 18 – 34 with a pretty even split between men and women (leaning slightly more to men than women).

Since its launch in 2010, the platform continues to grow and evolve. Over the past few years, Instagram has undergone significant transformations and introduced new features aimed at enhancing user experience and providing more opportunities for businesses to engage with their audience. These changes have included the launch of Reels in August 2020 (replacing Instagram TV), offering users a platform to create short, videos set to music. 

Additionally, Instagram has expanded its shopping capabilities, allowing businesses to sell products directly on the platform through Instagram Shop, and product tagging in posts and Stories. Other notable updates include broadcast channels that allow companies to directly engage with followers at scale. Alongside these advancements, Instagram has prioritized user privacy and safety by implementing features to limit unwanted interactions and filter abusive content, ensuring a more secure and enjoyable experience for all users.

Brands that benefit most from Instagram (and those that don’t)

Brands that benefit most from using Instagram are those in visually-driven industries such as fashion, beauty, travel, and food, where showcasing products or experiences can engage audiences effectively. Lifestyle brands can leverage Instagram’s visual platform to inspire and connect with followers, while e-commerce businesses can drive sales through product promotion and shoppable posts. Additionally, personal brands, influencers, and nonprofits can utilize Instagram to build communities, raise awareness, and foster meaningful connections with their audience. Ultimately, brands that prioritize visual storytelling, community engagement, and authenticity are best positioned to thrive on Instagram’s dynamic platform.

While Instagram can be a valuable platform for many brands, certain businesses may not benefit as much from having a presence on the platform. These include highly regulated industries like finance or healthcare, B2B companies that may struggle to engage their audience, niche industries with limited visual content, brands offering low-engagement products or services, and those with limited resources for content creation. For these businesses, other marketing channels may be more effective in reaching their target audience and achieving their marketing goals. Ultimately, it’s essential to carefully consider whether Instagram aligns with the specific needs and objectives of your brand before investing time and resources into building a presence on the platform.

10 tips to build your brand in Instagram 

  1. Master the Art of Hashtags: Hashtags are the bread and butter of Instagram—they help users discover new content and connect with like-minded individuals. To maximize the reach of your posts, use a mix of 3-5 popular and niche hashtags relevant to your brand and industry. Research trending hashtags and incorporate them strategically into your captions to increase your visibility and attract new followers.

  2. Share Stunning Visuals: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and on Instagram, this rings especially true. Invest in high-quality photography and create visually appealing content that stops users mid-scroll. Experiment with different styles, compositions, and editing techniques to find a visual aesthetic that resonates with your audience and aligns with your brand identity.

  3. Embrace Instagram Stories and Reels: Instagram Stories offer a dynamic and ephemeral way to engage with your audience and share content in real-time. Take advantage of features like polls, questions, and interactive stickers to spark conversation and encourage engagement. Whether you’re giving a behind-the-scenes look at your business, sharing product demos, or hosting Q&A sessions, Instagram Stories are your secret weapon for driving engagement and building connections with your audience. Instagram Reels are a feature within the Instagram app that allows users to create and share short-form videos, typically lasting from 15 to 60 seconds.

  4. Curate a Beautiful Feed: Your Instagram feed is your digital storefront—it’s the first thing users see when they visit your profile, so make it count. Create a visually cohesive and aesthetically pleasing feed by maintaining a consistent colour palette, theme, and visual style. Use tools like Instagram’s grid preview feature or visual planners to plan your content in advance and ensure a seamless browsing experience for your followers.

  5. Share Compelling Client Stories: Your clients are the heart and soul of your business, so why not showcase their success stories on Instagram? Share testimonials, case studies, or user-generated content featuring happy customers to build social proof and credibility. Not only does this humanize your brand, but it also fosters a sense of community and trust among your audience.

  6. Engage Authentically: Building a loyal following on Instagram isn’t just about posting great content—it’s also about engaging authentically with your audience. Take the time to respond to comments, answer questions, and acknowledge user-generated content. Show your followers that you’re listening, and they’ll be more likely to engage with your brand in return.

  7. Follow, Like, and Comment: Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty on Instagram. Follow accounts in your industry, engage with their content, and leave thoughtful comments to spark conversation. This not only helps you connect with like-minded individuals but also increases your visibility and attracts new followers to your profile.

  8. Use Linking Strategically: While Instagram’s bio is the only place where you can include clickable links, make the most of it by using it strategically. Direct users to your website, blog, or landing page by including a clear call-to-action in your bio. You can also use features like Instagram Shopping or swipe-up links in Instagram Stories (if you have over 10k followers) to drive traffic and conversions.

  9. Share Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give your audience a glimpse behind the curtain and show them what goes on behind the scenes of your business. Whether you’re sharing photos from a team brainstorming session, a sneak peek of an upcoming product launch, or a tour of your office space, behind-the-scenes content humanizes your brand and builds a deeper connection with your audience.

  10. Collaborate and Cross-Promote: Partnering with influencers, brands, or other businesses in your niche can be a powerful way to expand your reach and attract new followers. Look for opportunities to collaborate on co-branded content, giveaways, or Instagram takeovers to expose your brand to new audiences and leverage each other’s followers.

In conclusion, mastering Instagram for your brand requires a strategic approach and a commitment to authenticity, creativity, and engagement. By implementing these top 10 expert tips—from mastering the art of hashtags to sharing compelling client stories—you’ll be well on your way to growing your brand on Instagram and connecting with your audience in meaningful ways. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building your brand on Instagram today or get in touch with us so that we can do that for you!

Related articles:

6 Best, Scroll-Stopping First Post Ideas to Introduce Your Business on Instagram


Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business in Terrace and Kitimat

Next week, Mhairi will be heading up to Northern BC to present ‘Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business” at the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce on February 27th then on to the Kitimat Chamber the next night.  The Terrace event is full but there are still a few spots in Kitimat. Click on the link to register below.

Social Media Strategies to Build Your Business Seminar

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

Tickets: FREE
Light dinner included

REGISTER TODAY: Email info@kitimatchamber.ca

Terrace and Kitimat businesses welcome!

Marketing Predictions and Digital Trends for 2018

Ten years into the great social media experiment and 2017 was the year we saw Facebook hit the 2 billion user mark, the proliferation of real-time video across social platforms and the continuing email renaissance. With 2018 coming up fast upon us what better time to reflect on the past year, to dust off the crystal ball and to predict what 2018 will bring for marketers.

This post is divided into five sections to mirror the disciplines Out-Smarts focuses on websites trends, SEO – getting found when people search online, email marketing, social media and overall marketing strategy.

Website Design Trends

We know that Google is going to continue to emphasize the importance of mobile in 2018 so expect to see function taking precedence over form with a focus on usability and minimalist site navigation and content proliferating. It’s going to be interesting to see how the content is king crusaders balance their obsession with publishing content with minimalism and mobile. Expect to see more valuable content related to buyer intent rather than simply content for the sake of putting something out there.

Will 2018 be the year when small businesses finally catch up? 50% of small businesses still don’t have a website; we’re hoping this new year will be the one the laggards finally catch up. It is interesting that social media adoption for small business is much higher than website adoption. The popularity of social media is likely because of a low barrier to entry of social platforms. However, it is important to consider that you don’t own your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages (or any other social media presence you might have) the social media company owns it. What happens if they switch directions or go out of business? A website belongs to your business, not to a third party.

Watch out for more animation (logos in particular) and websites that incorporate GIFs in 2018 too – hopefully, they’re less cheesy than their Flash predecessors. Artificial Intelligence is going to be everywhere in 2018 too as enhancements make Chatbots get better and better at answering questions and simulating conversations with website visitors.

Search Engine Optimisation

Don’t let anyone tell you that keyword research is no longer important. It is and will continue to be, but there will be a shift in 2018 to focus more on semantic search, buyer intent and topics rather than specific keywords. SEOs will focus more on having their site show up at the right time when people are actually considering a purchase, rather than having the site show up to attract particular personas.

Another aspect that should be on your SEO radar in 2018 is voice search which means you need to hone your long tail keywords, i.e. keyword phrases that are hyper-specific to what you are selling.

Image search will continue to grow in 2018 so now might be the time to make sure all the images on your website have well thought out and optimized alt tags.

Email Campaigns

The email renaissance will continue in 2018. Get ready to watch videos embedded directly in email campaigns. Technological enhancements in email clients will continue to lead to more and more email apps that support embedded video. Right now less than half of all email clients can play embedded videos but thanks to Apple mail, iOS and Samsung this is changing. Up until now, most senders have opted to embed a fake play button in the email with a link to the video on a separate site or by GIF.

Including video in emails can lead to big increases in open rates – Campaign Monitor

Watch for more sophistication in list segmentation too. Segmenting campaigns so that specific audiences receive emails that contain content tailored to their unique perspective.

Social Media

2017 was the year of streaming video in social media; LinkedIn In and Twitter followed Facebook Live’s lead and began supporting live streaming video content. In 2018 watch out for growing adoption of these technologies and more creative live streams.

Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day (TechCrunch, 2016). – via Buffer

Not doing short video is not an option – Kat Hahn

In 2018 we will also see the increased adoption of short-lived content, content that’s only available for a short period of time before it disappears, – like Instagram stories and Snapchat. Marketers must start developing strategies to maximize the reach and impact of ephemeral content as well as considering tactics to get this content noticed.

On platforms like Instagram and Facebook, only a tiny percentage of followers actually see the content you share on your page. To get noticed in 2018, you will need to invest in ads on these platforms. Consider video ads to spice things up a little.

Social media analytics, measuring tools and management solutions will become more sophisticated in 2018 with an emphasis on enterprise social marketing integrating all platforms.

How Marketing Strategies will Evolve in 2018

Above angle of two people on laptop and tablet, beside craft supplies

I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that 2018 will be the year that our obsession with all things digital and only digital will end. It’s also going to be the year we’re going to start calling our discipline marketing again (rather than digital). Marketing in 2018 will encompass all aspects of the marketing mix, both online and off and marketers will use the means most likely to help them attract their target audience.

Consider this, there are 65 million business pages on Facebook, 90% of businesses use social media. These are substantial numbers, but for marketers this means that it is becoming increasingly difficult, not to mention more expensive, to get noticed. If you want to attract your target audience’s attention in 2018, then widen your horizons and consider sending them a direct mail piece (depending on the audience) in a nice coloured envelope with handwritten wording. It will likely be the only physical mail the recipient gets that day (or maybe that week or month!), they’re going to open it, and if your copy is effective they will act on it!


2018 is going to be an interesting year; technological advancements will continue to speed up. To be effective as marketers, it’s going to be important not simply to jump on the bandwagon of the next big thing but to consider options strategically and with your target audience in mind (rather than from a product or service-centric perspective). That said, video popularity has been growing year over year and won’t stop. Cisco predicted that video would account for 80% of internet traffic by 2020. So if you do nothing else, consider how you might incorporate video into your digital approach in 2018.