Your Instagram business profile is set up, you’re posting regularly and engaging with followers… so what’s next? Keeping up to date with the latest Instagram trends and tools! New Instagram features continually offer fresh ways to reach target customers. The constant changes in social media keep us on our toes – and create opportunities to edge out the competition.
Not ready for mid-level and advanced Instagram features? If you have yet to set up a profile, here are 8 reasons why you need to be on Instagram. If you have a profile and aren’t sure what to do with it, follow our five pieces of basic strategic advice for Instagram to make the most of your time investment.
If you’re comfortable with the basics of Instagram, these Instagram features are for you. We’re going to review four of Instagram’s newest features that will increase engagement for your businesses Instagram account.
Stories have taken social media by storm the past few years, and users cannot get enough of them. They can consist of photos, videos, or boomerangs (we’ll cover this later), and they add life to accounts. Stories are far less invasive than multiple posts on your feed because people can choose to watch them. They also aren’t permanent; they disappear after being up for 24 hours. It’s perfect for featuring events where you want to post multiple photos/videos or just for a new way to say ‘hi!’ to your followers.
You can also ‘go live’ on Instagram Stories, a live-stream video that people can view and comment on in real time. Once the live stream is over, it also stays up for 24 hours, but then disappears. Make sure you advertise your live streams in advance, so your followers can plan ahead to join you for these special moments.
Boomerang videos fill up our Instagram feed, and we won’t lie, we love them! It is one of the new must-have tools for any business, from restaurants to supermarkets. Boomerangs are 1-second video loops: similar to Vine, but even shorter. It’s user-friendly, fun and right at your finger tips. Accessible through Instagram’s Stories feature, you have no excuse not to try it out! It’s as simple as recording it, saving it to your phone and uploading it to your feed. Quick and straightforward, just what the busy small business owner needs. Boomerang is an exceptional way to get people interested, and the moving video catches people’s attention. It also builds depth to your brand by letting people know there are actual people behind the camera! You can share the mixing of creamer in coffee, or the office dog getting up to no good.
Feeling stuck, or just want to see it in action? Check out how a few brands used Boomerang here.
As an alternative to stories, Instagram now allows you to post multiple photos in one singular post. Users will swipe to view all the images in the set and interact with them in the same way. You can create a story with these photos or stick to a theme for extra brownie points, but there are no set rules! Unlike Facebook, you cannot see all these photos at once. Users can only view them one at a time, so keep this in mind when choosing that first photo and put your best foot forward! Be careful how often you utilize photo sets as well, you don’t want to run out of images by depleting your inventory by posting multiple sets in a row. It will also bore users after a while if they feel there was no purpose to the set. Make each one distinct, enticing, and purposeful, and you’ll have no issues!
As you may know, Facebook bought Instagram. The social platforms are now bonded together, offering a great tool to reach target customers in the form of ads. If you are already familiar with Facebook ads, you are most of the way there, although Instagram ads are a bit different. Instagram ads are much more streamlined, but that doesn’t mean you can slack on creativity.
Instagram calls for you to say more with less. You’re still allowed some written content, but the photo/video in your ad is what will draw in your audience. Make sure the visual content feels authentic to your brand and business. Lifestyle-themed shots are often successful. The photo above is a great example of a lifestyle shot that could be used for a headphones/electronic company or sports brand. You want your ad content to blend into users’ feeds, so it doesn’t stick out as an “ad.” People do not like getting bombarded with ads, and they will ignore any blatant, unwanted advertisements. It’s not a good first impression, either! Test your Instagram audiences, too, and see who is responding and who is not. They could end up being the same as your Facebook audiences, or they could be completely different. Close attention to performance analytics will tell.
Check out these amazing Instagram ads for inspiration!