January 8, 2019

10 Small Businesses that will benefit from Instagram Advertising in 2019

To really understand the benefits of Instagram advertising for your business in 2019, let me share some stats with you.

Instagram advertising
Growing your business through Instagram advertising

Instagram is a photo and video sharing application launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It was later bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

Instagram reached 1 million users in it first two month of release, and has grown to 1 billion active monthly users as at June 2018.

Just take a look at the graph below.

Instagram active monthly users
Number of monthly active Instagram users from January 2013 to June 2018 (in millions)

According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, 52 million photos are posted daily and about 35 billion photos so far have been posted on Instagram since its release.

The biggest age group of active Instagram users is 18-29 years and this account for 59% of the total users while the smallest user group at 8% are 65 years and older.

In summary, 1 billion people use Instagram actively on a daily basis and business are generating more revenue using Instagram advertising to promote their services.

If you want a comprehensive analysis on Instagram revenue and usage, check out this nice article by Artyom Dogtiev.

But first, let’s take a look at how Instagram advertising revenue has grown over the past 3 years just to give you an idea of how successful the platform has become and why brands are relying on Instagram to engage with their customers.

Advertising revenue of Instagram from 2015 to 2018
Advertising revenue of Instagram from 2015 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars) by Statista

But not every business can benefit from this. I’d tell you why later but first, let’s look at how you would set up your Instagram business account.

How to set up Instagram Business account

If you are going to use Instagram for your business, It is important to sign up using an email address that is different from your personal email.

This is very crucial as you won’t want to mix your business content with personal selfies.

It wouldn’t look good for your brand, trust me.

Marketing is all about the audience and not you, so stay focused on pushing your brand with a separate Instagram account.

Instagram gives you the option of setting up a business account when you sign up. Take a look at the image below.

Switching to Instagram business account
Switching to Instagram business account

This can be very helpful as it shows you some analytics of how your posts are performing.

It helps you better understand how people are engaging with your posts, their age group, gender, likes and much more.

Understanding how these metrics work can help you tailor your post properly to reach the right audience.

How to optimize your Instagram profile for business

Setting up your Instagram profile for business is a very important step that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Choosing the right username

While choosing your username, be sure to use your business name.

If your business name has been taken by someone else, try adding a couple of characters or digits but keep it as close to your business name as possible.

Profile picture

Most businesses on Instagram use their logo as profile picture, although there is no standard as to what is preferred but, this is a very common practice.

Using your logo help you stand out as a brand or business, but first, ensure your logo is optimised for social media.

If your logo looks too big when you set it up, it’s time to hire a designer to optimise it for social media.

Instagram bio

Instagram only allows for a maximum of 150 characters so keep it short and concise.

Try to add a little bit of personality and flare without losing focus of your core services.

Website link

Instagram gives you the option to add your website link. This could also be a link to your blog or other social media profiles.

Instagram website link
Instagram website link

This is the only place where links are clickable so be sure to change it when you share a post that requires an action.

Ensure your links are short. You can use services like bit.ly to shorten your link.

If you will like to know more about optimising your Instagram account for business, there is a nice post on hubspot.

Now, let’s take a look at the 10 small businesses that can benefit from Instagram advertising in 2019.

Also, I will be showing you how to set up Instagram ads at the end of this post so stick around.

1. Photographers

Instagram is for sharing pictures right? No wonder it is first on our list.

Some say Instagram was built for photographers, I say, we are all photographers.


Professional photographers can take advantage of Instagram advertising to showcase their works and reach more people. In fact, it is one of the easiest businesses to promote.

Photography posting tips

  • Share pictures that evoke positive emotions.
  • Ask people for their opinion, it’s a great way spurn up a conversation.
  • Don’t post the same picture twice.
  • Be creative

2. Makeup Artists

People love beautiful faces and makeup artist sure do a hell of a job making people look more beautiful.

Check out this instagram post by @beautycookstudios


Where else can you showcase such makeup skills and grow your business? Instagram.

Spend a little bit of money promoting your best works on Instagram and watch your income skyrocket.

Makeup artist posting tips

  • Only share your best makeup works.
  • Be sure to show a before and after shot of your work, this will wow your audience.
  • Ensure your environment has good lighting.
  • Use a good quality digital camera or a high-quality phone to take pictures.
  • Avoid using Instagram filters when sharing pictures, it alters the beauty your works.

3. Fashion Designers and Stylist

Instagram is the biggest lifestyle social media app on the internet.

Now that is a fact.

Fashion designers are using Instagram to showcase their latest fashion collection and breaking the internet on a daily basis.

Check out this instagram post below by @bellanaijastyle


If you’re a fashion designer, now is the time to consider Instagram advertising as a way to promote your work.

Else, you might just get drowned by all the spectacular fashion posts on Instagram.

Fashion design posting tips

  • Ensure proper lighting when taking pictures. If you have the funds, book a studio session and have a professional photographer take pictures for you.
  • Showcase only your best work and be consistent.
  • You can post the same picture multiple times but try to capture unique details such as fabric, stitching style, patterns and the overall style.

4. Hair Stylist

Women love their hair no kidding. So if you’re a hair stylist, Instagram is a great place to promote your work.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not only women that can showcase their work, men can and should too.

Like all other businesses on this list, focus on your best works. Take a look at the post below by @long.curly_hair


I’m sure you are thinking of going on some curls now.

Hair stylist posting tips

  • Ensure proper lighting to capture your hair style.
  • Be bold to flaunt your hair style from different angles.
  • Avoid using mannequins, they are lifeless.

5. Graphic Designers

This is a great skill to showcase and advertise on Instagram. Focus on your best works like logo designs, graphic illustrations, corporate branding etc.

Avoid works like flyers and posters, they really do look out of place on Instagram.

Check out this post by @ubanjicreatives


Make sure your designs are optimised for Instagram and avoid designs with too much typography.

Spend a little money on Instagram advertising to promote your best works, you won’t regret it.

Graphics designer posting tips

  • Stay original by posting your own work.
  • When you post work done by other people, be sure to give credit and talk about how the work inspires you.

6. Food Vendors and Caterers

Am I the only one or does the picture of a attention grabing meal make you feel hungry as well?

That is the kind of positive feeling you want to evoke in your followers.

Take a look at this post below and tell me you’re not hungry

Post by @food_emporium

Food vendors can benefit from Instagram advertising to promote their works so if you bake, cook, grill or make cocktails, start posting on Instagram.

Food vendors posting tips

  • Don’t be scared to share your preparation process using videos. This will stir up curiosity.
  • Ensure your environment is clean when making video shots. Nobody likes the sight of food being prepared in a dirty environment.
  • Add a little bit of creativity when taking pictures of your your finished meal.
  • Close up shots tell a better story, don’t be scared to zoom into the food for a nice shot.

7. Fitness Trainers

The holidays are over and your clothes don’t fit properly anymore, time to get new clothes or, you guessed it, a fitness trainer.

Fitness trainers can capitalise on this trends of people add a few pounds over the holidays and trying to loose them in the new year.

Post by @hugocroxfitness

Instagram advertising is a great way to promote your fitness routine and reach the right audience.

Best thing is, you can choose to run your Instagram ads at the beginning and the end of the year.

Fitness trainer posting tips

  • Focus on video content showing routines people can do at home.
  • Ensure your post are educative and add value.
  • Don’t flood your timeline with pictures of abs and biceps, it’s a turnoff for fat people.
  • Use your words, pictures and videos to motivate people.

8. Visual Artists

Just like photographers and graphic designers, visual artists have a huge following on Instagram.

Instagram advertising can really propel your business to a large audience looking to spice up their living spaces.

So whether you’re into painting on a canvas, drawing or sculpting. Instagram is a great place to showcase your work.

Post by @ibeananaba

Spend a little money on Instagram advertising and watch your business grow.

Visual artists posting tips

  • Showcase your work in context. People want to see how the artwork will look in their living rooms or offices.
  • Do short videos on your work process.
  • Avoid using Instagram filters when posting pictures.
  • Ensure your environment is properly lit when taking pictures.

9. Interior Decorators

Everyone loves a beautifully designed living space so it’s no surprise that interior decorator are doing very well on Instagram.

Promoting your interior decoration work on Instagram is a nice way to get new businesses.

Post by @abramsonteigerarchitects

So spend a little on Instagram advertising to reach more audience and watch your revenue grow.

Interior decorator posting tips

  • Be original by showcasing only your works. Don’t flood your Instagram feed with 3D generated designs.
  • Ensure there’s proper lighting so you can capture details.
  • Showcase before and after pictures of your work.

10. Video Production and Animation

This made it to the bottom of the list and you want to know why, Instagram only allows 60 second videos.

While this might seem challenging, you still have 60 seconds to showcase your work and tell a story.

Post by @antonio3dee

If you can’t create an interesting video that will get people talking, don’t advertise until you do.

Just be creative and explore diverse storylines to capture as much audience as possible.

Not all businesses made it on the list and that for a good reason.

Instagram is a great place to advertise and engage with people but it doesn’t seem to fit quite well with all businesses.

This is because Instagram is a visual platform with a young audience mostly focused on lifestyle.

So if you are a lawyer or tax attorney looking for a big break on Instagram, I’m so sorry. But hey, you can always try LinkedIn advertising.

How to do Instagram advertising

Setting up Instagram advertising is as simple as clicking “Promote” and setting up a budget and duration, or is it?

Promoting post on Instagram
Promoting posts on Instagram

To tell you the truth, you might just end up promoting your post to gain more likes cos your targeting everyone.

If this is what you need, just click Promote and you’re good to go.

However, if you are looking for a more professional way of setting up your ads to reach the right audience, you should set up your ads on Facebook and then target the Instagram platform.

Doing this helps you define your target audience which will improve your ROI.

You can target your audience by;

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Engagement activities etc.

Here is a great resource to help you started with Facebook advertising.

Also, if you want to learn how to make money on Facebook using Facebook groups and pages, we found this great article to help you get started.

If you want to know more about Online marketing and what works, check out our Online marketing guide for beginners


If you know of any business that should have been on the list but wasn’t included, please let me know in the comment section below.

Until next time, Cheers to a prosperous new year and happy advertising on Instagram.

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