5 Louisville Businesses Killing It With Instagram Marketing

Louisville Downtown Skyline

It’s not every day you find local, homegrown businesses with a clear social media strategy and nailing the Instagram marketing game. We thought we’d have a little fun and give major props to these six Louisville businesses making their mark using Instagram.

1) Louisville Cream

Louisville Cream is a small batch ice cream company who, by their own account, are “nuts about ice cream.” They have the Instagram presence to prove it — with over 13,000 followers, they’re doing something right.

That something is a combination of exceptional, mouth-watering photography and fun captions that convey the brand’s relaxed vibe.

Follow LouisvilleCream on Instagram!

Louisville Cream Instagram Profile

Instagram Post by Louisville Cream

2) Hi-Five Doughnuts

Another tasty, sugary treat…

We’re not advocating for diabetes, promise!

Hi-Five Doughnuts is a Louisville doughnut shop and food truck where customers can build their own tasty treat with a bunch of different glazes and toppings up for grabs. Much like Louisville Cream, their claim to Instagram popularity are the bubbly, colorful photos and the always-playful captions that convey the brand’s happy feels.

Follow Hi-Five Doughnuts on Instagram!

Hi-Five Doughnuts in Louisville

Doughnuts from Hi-Five Doughnuts

3) Louisville Tea Company

Love. Leaf. Live.

Louisville Tea Company brings flavor to Instagram as a family-owned, local option for Louisville tea lovers! They do an exceptional job appealing to  customers with their colorful, themed photography, especially playing on the different seasons. One great takeaway is they always seem to find creative ways to integrate the product without coming across as too sales-y or self-promoting.

Follow Louisville Tea Company on Instagram!

Screenshot of Louisville Tea Company Instagram Profile

Louisville Tea Company

 

4) Against The Grain Brewery

Calling all beer fiends!

Against The Grain is a hometown favorite around Louisville — if not for their amazing beer, then for their food at ATG Smoke House. Their Brewery Insta is packed full of thirst-driving beer photography, and they combine that with a laid-back tone that makes you feel like you’re chatting with the guy or gal behind the bar.

Follow Against The Grain Brewery on Instagram!

Against The Grain Brewery Citra Ass Down Beer

5) BiteMeals

You don’t get to 105,000 Instagram followers by accident. If there’s anything that screams Instagram, it’s fitness. BiteMeals is a Louisville-based meal planning service that delivers a set number of meals straight to your doorstep every week.

They do a super good job presenting their meals, letting customers know what new meals are being released, and getting their customers to spread the word about BiteMeals (evidenced by the “Tagged” section of their Instagram).

Follow BiteMeals on Instagram!

BiteMeals Instagram BiteMeals Instagram Account

Taking It To The Next Level

There’s no doubt these Louisville businesses are dominating Instagram, and in especially impressive ways for those that are in a narrow niche like Louisville Tea Company and Louisville Cream.

One big area in which all of these businesses could up their game is pushing more discounts or sales via social media. The data below comes from the 2018 Sprout Social Index and shows an interesting divide between what many brands/marketers think consumers want on social media vs. what consumers state they want.

You’ll see that 72% consumers responded saying “Discounts or Sales” are the top type of content they want to see on social media. So, if you’re running an eCommerce business like Louisville Tea Company or BiteMeals, it’s in your best interests to share discount codes and other offers directly on social media.

Or even better, incentivize your followers to subscribe to your email list in exchange for a specific discount code.

social media statistics

Key Takeaways From These Top Instagram Performers

Bold Photography Wins on Instagram

Photography on Instagram is king. No surprise there. One key element all these businesses have in common — along with every other successful Instagram brand — is their photography is top notch and the style perfectly fits what users of Instagram expect when they log in.

Show Off That Personality

Personality sells. One trouble most brands find themselves in on social media is they deliver plain boredom. Corporate, stuffy, self-promoting content is the opposite of what consumers want to see. If you consider the rest of the data above, besides discounts and sales, social media really boils down to three basic categories: entertain, education, and inspire.

If you look at many of the companies on this list, they have a standout voice in their captions that really captures the essence of the brand, is welcoming, and makes you feel like you’re just talking with your buddy — now THAT’S social media.

Any Other Louisville Businesses You’d Add?

Pop a comment below if there are other Louisville businesses dominating Instagram or other social media channels! We know they’re out there. Self-nominations are welcome 🙂

 

Social Media Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

Social Media Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

Social Media Marketing 101 for Small Businesses

Guest submission by Victoria Greene.

Social media marketing and advertising are almost universally-applicable — they scale up to enterprise businesses, and right back down to entrepreneurs.

They’re also essential tools for local small businesses, like restaurants who are increasingly taking proactive steps with their social game — social has the spectacular power of offering access to engaged communities of customers.

Not every small business should be running off and posting daily videos on YouTube, or has the resources to support a unique visual social strategy across multiple social platforms!

Read on for actionable tips on social media marketing for your small business.

Developing a Brand Personality on Social Media

Growing a presence on social media often comes down to having something interesting to say, so developing a distinct social voice is key to standing out from the crowd and attracting followers.

Social media is an opportunity to show the personality behind your brand. When planning your campaigns, consider how your brand will be able to cut through the noise.

  • How can the way you speak differ from your competition?
  • Is there a hidden story that’s waiting to be told?
  • Is there room for a spokesperson or mascot figure in your brand?

Remember — don’t promote your own product or service in every post. Instead, allow your brand values and personality to shine through in a subtle, yet sincere way. Be comical. Be entertaining. Be authoritative. Be motivational.

Decide how you want your brand to be perceived and what customers will likely respond to positively, then drive your social tone in that direction.

Creating and Curating Social Content

With content that entertains or speaks to your customers’ pain points, a small business can form a strong bond with followers.

So how do you go about curating and sharing social content?

Sharing Your Own Social Content

Sharing content from your blog attracts prospects to click through to your website, so periodically work in your own content accompanied by strong calls-to-action, enticing headlines, and quality images. You can share the same blog more than once, especially if it’s evergreen content, but test out different times of the day and switch up the accompanying copy to speak to different stages of the buying cycle — cascading from neutral to more hard sell, but keeping the focus on quality content rather than “buy, buy, buy.

Curating Social Media Content

Writing content is time-consuming. There’s no great way to automate this process, since social always demands a human touch. To cut down on time, you can source content from other blogs or articles and share on your social platforms. Just be sure you tag the writer or company that published the article to give them proper credit (and potentially generate a share). My suggestion is to set up a Feedly account and subscribe to RSS feeds of relevant blogs and media outlets in your industry, then you can quickly scan these sources when you need help thinking of fresh content.

Emphasis on Visual Content

Visual content is emotive and captures peoples’ attention in feeds, so use images and video in your social content strategy. You can easily find design help online, from free self-help tools like Canva to affordable freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr. So don’t rule design out for your business, because of time or budgetary constraints.

Carefully Craft Your Calls-to-Action

Think about exactly what action you want your followers to take. Do you want them to share, click through, like, buy, or follow? How do you want them to feel?

When writing your social media posts and your calls-to-action, always filter your ideas through to the KISS method — Keep It Simple, Stupid. The second you leave your audience guessing what they’re supposed to do is the second they scroll past your update.

Also, consider using emotive, persuasive words and phrases that are likely to grab peoples’ attention, and think about how you can clearly imply value using a few words. Words like ‘free’, ‘now’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited time only’ and ‘join’ are popular for a reason — they work!

These words and phrases are even more important in your paid social advertising campaigns, where brevity and value-added are key drivers of success. Wasted impressions or clicks = wasted money.

Be Savvy With Scheduling

For your social media delivery, it’s a good idea to set up a content schedule to ensure you publish posts consistently. The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” rings incredibly true with social media.

While you definitely need to keep the door open to real-time posts, I suggest having the bulk of your posts planned in advance. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself struggling to carve out time some days to post, and that quickly becomes a bad habit.

Before you know it, you’ve gone dark for a week or two on one of your platforms — that just looks untrustworthy and disingenuous as a business.

Don’t be afraid to re-post the same piece of content more than once, if it’s appropriate and in line with the etiquette of the social platform.

For example, you can get away with sharing the same blog post on Twitter multiple times a week or month, but that’s less acceptable on Facebook or LinkedIn. With Instagram, you can drive people to the same content regularly in the captions of individual posts, but you should use different photos each time.

Another way to vary your delivery on social media is to re-purpose content using different media formats.

For example, re-purposing a successful blog post by turning it into a video is a great way to make your content go further. Or break down your blog post into multiple social media updates, creating a unique image for each social post.

Keep an Eye on Goals

As with any business initiative, especially marketing, it’s important to know how effective your social media presence is.

So you definitely need to measure the impact of your activity on website traffic, sales, and overall social engagement (which factors into metrics like brand awareness, brand loyalty, community growth, and so on).

You can keep track of your social activity using social analytics tools and, of course, make sure your Google Analytics account is properly set up to record web traffic. Check these analytics tools every month or two, and make note of trends.

  • Do certain types of posts perform better, like photos vs. videos?
  • Is your overall community size growing organically? If not, you might need to allocate some of your budget to social ads to increase community growth.
  • Are your social updates not driving enough traffic? Maybe you need stronger calls to action in your posts or incentives to encourage clickthroughs.
  • Do people visiting your site from Facebook convert at a higher rate than people coming from Twitter? Instagram? LinkedIn?

Don’t Bite Off Too Much Early

If you’re worried you’ll get overwhelmed by social media, you should start with just one platform and expand later. So often, businesses jump into social media and try to build a strong presence on multiple platforms, but it’s unlikely you have the resources or expertise to make that happen immediately.

Pick one platform you’re confident you can give full attention to, test to determine if your audience is present there, then invest time into growing a community on that platform.

As you feel more comfortable generating content and you understand what your customers like to see on social, you can expand to other platforms.

____________

About The Author

Victoria Greene: I love working with my small business clients — together we focus on creating content and campaigns that add value, stimulate conversations, and bring in new business.

Jonathan Payne leads as the CEO of JP Digital with nearly a decade of digital marketing experience helping both small businesses and national brands like Old Forester, Early Times, KORBEL, and University of Louisville.

JP Digital exists to remove that feeling of being overwhelmed by digital marketing and replace it with confidence and optimism about the future of your business. Let’s chat if you’re ready to take charge of your digital marketing!

 

Top 5 Marketing Podcasts Every Small Business Owner Should Listen To

Guest post by Emily Johnson.

Small businesses are a lot of things…

Like a constant source of joy and accomplishment to the budding entrepreneurs who are their creators, or fruitful part-time occupations that allow you to build a side hustle.

And ideally, they fetch you money!

But that doesn’t happen without a brand or marketing strategy.

As much as small business owners may be experts in their respective niches, approaching the business with a marketing mindset is a different skill entirely. Never mind that it’s a full-time job just keeping up with the rapid changes and challenges digital marketing frequently presents.

Fortunately, lots of prominent marketing consultants and successful business owners are sharing their expertise in the form of podcasts. Easy to consume on-the-go and typically lacking fluff, podcasts are an exceptional way for business owners to brush up on their marketing knowledge without sacrificing much time.

The podcast compilation below offers book-loads of marketing advice on how to make a small business thrive. These marketing podcasts are information-packed and entertaining, while making sure your time is used in a good way.

It’s time to put your listening ears on…

1) Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

Content Inc. is packs a powerful punch in a very brief amount of time. In 15 minute episodes, Content Inc. deals with a number of questions most budding entrepreneurs have about growing their business using content marketing.

In short, you’ll learn why your marketing focus should be publishing content that delivers distinct value and builds relationships with your audience, rather than adopting a transaction mindset and relying on traditional sales tactics and advertising channels.

In other words: Content Inc. offers the tools you need to know to grow a small business in the 21st century.

2) The Marketing Companion by Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster

The Marketing Companion, dubbed the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast, is hosted by two highly-touted individuals in the marketing world — Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster.

Mark Schaefer is a wildly-successful marketing consultant and author of multiple digital marketing books, while Tom Webster lays his claim to fame as a “pithy researcher” at Edison Research.

Together, they bring a humor-filled, yet intellectual perspective to their listeners. Topics spread wide, but tend to follow the lines of content marketing and social media marketing — influencer marketing, new social platforms, insights on the future of the industry, and plenty more.

Could not be better, two intriguing and thought-provoking minds who possess the perfect balance of intellect and entertainment. –Randy Bowden

Long story short, you’ll walk away from this podcast feeling both more light-hearted and intellectual. How could you find fault in that?

3) Social Pros Podcast by Jay Baer and Adam Brown

Social Pros Podcast, a product of Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert, is dedicated to content and social media marketing. Each episode, they interview top professionals, so you leave with a real-world sense of what opportunities and strategies characterize success in the field of content marketing.

There is much talk of digital marketing tactics, content marketing strategies and leadership, how to integrate digital marketing with events, and much more.

In short, you’ll pick up real applications of how to implement content marketing and social media into your business from the people who live in that world every day.

4) Content Warfare Podcast by Ryan Henley

Ryan Henley is an author and digital marketing coach dedicated to teaching people about how to grab the most eyeballs online.

The Content Warfare Podcast walks you through strategies and concepts for winning the online battle for attention. Beyond Ryan’s personal expertise, you’ll also hear from experts in business, marketing, art, and plenty more talk about how they create compelling content and build digital influence.

The Content Warfare Podcast has hosted a number of big names in the industry, including Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Mark Schaefer, Marcus Sheridan and plenty more. It’s the real deal, and you should tune in.

5) Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Duct Tape Marketing, led by esteemed marketing consultant, John Jantsch, is another exceptional podcast on the circuit.

John explores the depths of small business marketing by interviewing top influencers, authors, and experts in the marketing arena, along with digging into the stories of successful entrepreneurs. There’s a lot of variety in the Duct Tape Marketing podcast with topics ranging from social media marketing to business leadership to overall marketing strategy.

What’s Your Favorite Marketing Podcast?

This is by no means an exhaustive list. With the growing popularity of podcasts and tools like Anchor, I know there are plenty of outstanding people publishing audio content.

Leave a comment with your favorite marketing podcast, or drop a link to your own podcast if you’re trying to gain some exposure!

____________

About The Author

Emily is a lifelong geek and blogger at TheElectricWheels – come by and have a fill, they are pretty interesting.

Jonathan Payne leads as the CEO of JP Digital with nearly a decade of digital marketing experience helping both small businesses and national brands like Old Forester, Early Times, KORBEL, and University of Louisville.

JP Digital exists to remove that feeling of being overwhelmed by digital marketing and replace it with confidence and optimism about the future of your business. Let’s chat if you’re ready to take charge of your digital marketing!