Aspire Digital Solution

Case Study: How Small Businesses Are Winning Big with Instagram Reels and Stories

Published November 25, 2023
Read Time: 5 min

In the fourth installment of our series, we delve into real-world case studies of small businesses that have successfully used Instagram Reels and Stories to grow their audience and business.


1. Cards by Shairy: Crafting Success Through Diverse Content

Shairy Aroro, the creative force behind ‘Cards by Shairy,’ utilized Instagram Reels to showcase her handmade greeting cards and explosion gift boxes. Since posting her first Reel in 2020, she has seen her follower count soar to over 50,000. Her detailed crafting Reels, some with views in the millions, have not only expanded her customer base but also led to brand deals. Shairy attributes her success to the engaging and visually appealing nature of Reels, which allowed her to effectively showcase the intricacies of her craft​.

Posts: Shairy Aroro, the creative mind behind ‘Cards by Shairy’, uses Instagram posts to showcase her beautiful handmade greeting cards and explosion gift boxes. These posts often feature high-quality images of her products, providing a visual catalog for her followers.


Reels: Shairy’s first Reel, posted in 2020, marked a turning point in her business’s growth. Her Reels, which feature the crafting process of her products, have attracted significant attention, with some gaining millions of views. This visual and dynamic approach to showcasing her craft has not only increased her follower count but also led to brand deals and the expansion of her business​.


Stories: While specific strategies for Stories weren’t detailed in the case study, it’s reasonable to infer that Shairy could use Stories for real-time updates, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or promoting time-sensitive offers related to her products.


2. Jessica Nguyen: A Flavorful Journey with Reels

After being laid off in early 2020, Jessica Nguyen turned to Instagram to share her recipes. Her chili oil recipe, showcased through a Reel, received overwhelming interest, leading her to start selling it. What started as a cooking passion translated into a thriving business, with thousands of units of her chili oil selling out quickly. Her journey underlines the potential of Instagram Reels as a powerful tool for product marketing and audience engagement​.

Posts: Jessica Nguyen’s journey started with her sharing recipes through Instagram posts, offering her followers visually appealing and easy-to-follow culinary creations.

Reels: Her foray into Instagram Reels began with her signature chili oil recipe, which quickly gained popularity. This led to her decision to start selling her chili oil, supported by Reels that were highly produced and stylized, showcasing her culinary skills and the quality of her product​.

Stories: Nguyen continues to share creative step-by-step recipes on her Instagram Stories. These ephemeral posts allow her to connect with her audience in a more personal, real-time manner. She also utilizes the ‘Highlights’ feature to archive valuable content, ensuring that her followers can access her recipes even after the Stories expire​.


3. Rachael’s Good Eats: Fitness Empire Built on Reels

Rachael DeVaux, a dietitian and trainer, leveraged Instagram Reels to grow her fitness brand. Her workout Reels, posted during the pandemic, received hundreds of thousands of views, significantly increasing her follower count. This popularity paved the way for her to launch her own fitness equipment business, ‘Sweat Recreation.’ Rachael credits the success of her business to the community she built through engaging content on Instagram Reels​.

Posts: Rachael DeVaux uses Instagram posts to share workout content, healthy recipes, and lifestyle tips. These posts help establish her as a knowledgeable and approachable figure in the fitness and wellness community.

Reels: The introduction of Reels on Instagram allowed Rachael to share quick and to-the-point fitness videos, which became immensely popular. These Reels contributed significantly to the increase in her follower count and played a pivotal role in the expansion of her brand​​​.

Stories and Live Sessions: Rachael effectively used Instagram Stories and Live sessions to conduct real-time home workouts, building a sense of community among her followers. She also used Stories to share her life beyond fitness, creating a genuine connection with her audience. This approach has been crucial in building a loyal community that supports her business endeavors, including her workout guides, apparel, and cookbooks​.


The Proof is in the Pudding

These case studies highlight the effectiveness of Instagram Reels and Stories in building a following and growing a small business. From showcasing products to sharing personal journeys, these tools offer a dynamic platform for small businesses to connect with their audience.

Be sure to check out our previous posts in this series for more insights into using Instagram and Facebook for your business: Understanding Reels and Stories, Practical Applications, and Building an Organic Following.


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About the Author

Bill Fow, co-founder of Aspire Digital Solutions and AspireConnect, is a visionary leader and innovator in digital marketing, known for creating impactful software solutions and driving transformative strategies in the digital marketing industry.