The Best Instagram Marketing Tools You Need to Get in 2020

Instagram has seen massive growth in the number of users and today it is about more than just nice food pictures or other visually appealing content. Instagram has become one of the most powerful platforms for social media marketing, and businesses are increasingly using it to promote brand awareness, increase sales, and drive business profits to the next level. Its increasing popularity, though, has also meant that businesses have to work a lot harder to gain and retain the attention of their Instagram followers, find ways and means to increase their Instagram likes, and propel their business towards growth through a plan to build more real Instagram followers.

The task is not as easy as popular Instagrammers make it look. Growing your Instagram account is about more than just making consistent posts or ensuring your posts are visually appealing. Careful planning and a strategy is necessary to achieve the results you’re looking for, and these tools for Instagram marketing can help you do just that. But before getting into what the specific tools are, it’s important to understand that different tools serve different purposes. While one may help you increase the number of Instagram followers you have or get more Instagram likes, another may be solely suited for scheduling tasks, so you need to know which tool to use for what in order to be able to reap the benefits of it. Let’s get right into it!

Growth tools

Maximising sales on Instagram requires your business to experience growth so that you have access to a higher number of real Instagram followers, receive more engagement and Instagram likes, as well as continue to grow the number of your Instagram followers. The following growth tools can help.

ShortStack

Contests are crucial to experiencing growth on Instagram and ShortStack allows you to do just that. Hashtags and comments in contests can be run, and can get approval for user-generated content. With the use of contests involving hashtags, you get access to all content posted by users making use of the contest hashtag, and voting/sharing options can be used to flaunt your user-generated content. The rights management feature of the tool also makes it possible for you to feature user-generated content in your advertising once you’ve received the user’s permission. Even comment based contests can be managed and winners chosen using ShortStack, helping you to grow the number of your Instagram followers.

Ninja Outreach

With Ninja Outreach, you can distinguish between the true influencers who have real Instagram followers as opposed to those who automate the number of their Instagram followers. Connecting with real influencers and collaborating with them to promote your brand will give you access to their real Instagram followers, raise brand awareness, and drive business growth.

Shorby

Shorby works as a bio link tool for your Instagram account, allowing you to have a “SmartPage” that contains all the necessary links that your Instagram followers can just click on while you get access to links that have received the most clicks since uploading. The Messenger link feature can also be used for the purpose of lead generation.

Yotpo

With the help of Yotpo, you can generate more ratings/reviews for your brand, helping you to boost traffic and business sales by making effective use of permitted user-generated content in business advertising.

Visual editing and content tools

Visuals are a huge part of what makes Instagram so popular, so it’s important to be on top of your visuals and content creation game to get more Instagram followers, and these tools can help you do just that.

VSCO

With VSCO, you can post eye-catching visual content using high-quality filters that are sure to get you more Instagram followers andInstagram likes.

Prisma

While not suitable for all branded posts, Prisma’s artistic filters can help to boost your posts with some creativity so that you can create not just visually appealing, but also engaging content.

Hashtag tools

Hashtags are a big part of what makes your content click on Instagram, paving the way for you to get more Instagram likes and Instagram followers by associating your content with the content of the same hashtags. Using the right hashtags can help you experience growth, so it’s worth understanding which hashtags work and which ones don’t.

Photerloo’s Instagram Hashtag App

Find the right hashtags for your content with an AI-driven approach by Photerloo’s Instagram Hashtag App. All you have to do is upload the content you want to and let the free-to-use Photerloo’s Instagram Hashtag App recommend the best hashtags to use for the post. Then, copy them and get ready to see the results.

Toptager

Toptager also helps you find hashtags that are the most popular and relevant to your posts, but you have to be careful not to use # or any space while searching, or else the tool will not function.

All-Hashtag

With All-Hashtag, you can get to choose from among the top, live, or random hashtags for your content based on keywords search and generate the right hashtags for your post.

Scheduling tools

Plan posts and other content on your Instagram account better with the right scheduling tools like:

Later

Later allows you to schedule visual content and remain organized through use of a social calendar. It can even support unlimited media, available for direct upload via Dropbox or Google Drive. Paid plan options also allow you to access analytics that can help you keep track of the number of Instagram followers,Instagram likes, and growth. Grid preview option makes visual content management easier, and you can even add unique links through Linkin.bio, increasing the post’s targeted traffic and therefore, likelihood of conversion.

Sendible

With Sendible, you can schedule your videos and images displayed on a social media calendar for posting at a particular time or at intervals determined in advance. A social media inbox is also available for you to keep track of comments and mentions with a CRM built-in and capability to report Instagram analytics.

ScheduGram

As the name suggests, ScheduGram is also a powerful scheduling tool that can help you plan the posting of your Instagram content while also offering a choice to be notified via email when the post is ready.

Tailwind

Tailwind not only allows for the scheduling of posts, but also provides detailed analytics relating to engagement, profile metrics, virality, and trend reporting. It can even recommend the right hashtags, provide you with hashtag lists, and offer a Chrome browser extension.

Buffer Publish

Buffer Publish is another great scheduling tool and also provides access to information from basic analytics and link shortening features. Bulk uploads, however, need to be made using the BulkBuffer tool.

Hootsuite

With Hootsuite, you can schedule your posts for Instagram as well as other social platforms, with the feature of adding streams on posts, hashtags, and scheduled posts on Instagram. It even allows for overseeing, planning, managing, and analyzing engagement data you’re your Instagram account to keep track of your Instagram likes and Instagram followers.

Monitoring, analytics, and reporting tools

Besides the apps already mentioned above, that also have analytics features, other monitoring, analytics, and reporting tools include:

Ink361

Ink361 gives you access to data and recommendations on improving your growth on Instagram. Data generated can be location, time, filter, hashtag, or even like/comment specific. You can even track competitors and other accounts to make sure you’re striving to stay ahead of the competition.

Crowdfire

With Crowdfire, you can find out what time will be best suited for an Instagram post, find your target audience, monitor the number of Instagram followers you have, and choose the right hashtags for your posts.

Awario

With Awario, you can get notified via email whenever a keyword/hashtag you’re tracking is detected by the tool. Keep an eye on your competition, track your mentions, connect with influencers, and uncover growth and sales opportunities through this simple, but effective tool.

Social Insider

With Social Insider, you can have a comparison of profiles, get information about post engagement on profiles, post types that offer the greatest engagement, frequency of posting and engagement received, monitor hashtags that increase engagement for you and your competition, as well as track growth over time.

Selling tools

The right selling tools can help you get conversions directly and increase sales from your real Instagram followers. Here are some great selling tools you can use:

Like2Buy

Like2Buy makes shopping possible on your Instagram feed, resulting in direct conversions, where buying a product is possible with just one tap. Revenue data from products and clicks can be analysed to provide useful insights.

Have2Have.It

With Have2Have.It, the bio link is used to direct people to your product portfolio, simplifying the selling process. Your Instagram followers can even comment directly on a “shoppable” post if they’ve installed the app and through, conversion analytics, you can monitor sales.

Showcase

Showcase also utilises the bio link to lead people to a shoppable gallery that’s been customised, allowing you to make more conversions from your targeted customers. Now that you’re aware of some of the best Instagram marketing tools you can use, which ones are you looking to include in your 2020 plan?

How Does Instagram Connect You with the Rest of the World?

Something that started as a free photo and video sharing application and social networking service by Facebook is now one of the best social media marketing platforms in the world. Instagram is a social media networking that connects you to the rest of the world. Launched exclusively for iOS in October 2010, Instagram became an instant hit with one million registrations in two months. Owing to its popularity, the android version was introduced within a couple of years, followed by website interface, Fire OS, as well as an app for Windows 10.

When the application was first introduced, it was designed for iPhone customers alone, and hence, allowed content to be framed in a square with a 1:1 ratio. This ratio was to match the screen of the Apple iPhones, which were later eased as the application was introduced to other devices as well. Instagram started as an image and video sharing application, which later introduced several other features such as comments, messaging, among others, similar to its competitor Snapchat.

At present, Instagram has become a household name that connects people all over the world. It has made several changes since its inception and has plans to include several other new features to benefit its Instagram followers.

What does Instagram have to offer?

Instagram has a lot to offer, from being a platform that connects friends and family to a market platform that can reach out to many users. Instagram offers both personal and business benefits to its users. Some of these benefits include:

Increased engagement with users

Having an Instagram account is one thing; using it for your benefit is another. As an individual, real Instagram followers use it for simple reasons such as to connect with family and friends, share pictures and videos that you like, follow your favorite celebrity, among others. Instagram offers increased personal engagement using Instagram likes, message, and comment features that lets users communicate with each other. As for business accounts, it is a great way to introduce their products and services to their followers and others alike.

An identity that is useful to build trust

Any business that has an identity is a business that people trust. When on Instagram, you create an identity for yourself. You define yourself, your business, your products, services, and build an image for others to see you. You can be an entrepreneur, an established sole trader, or even a large business. If people can find you and your business on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, they are more likely to trust you.

Visual content that offers more information

Imagine seeing a picture on Instagram that shows a woman flaunting her necklace or a video of a man feeling proud of his bike. Both images can be judged from personal, or from a business perspective. From a personal point of view, it might be an image of someone you know and have lost touch. From a business perspective, the necklace and the bike may be the product offered for sale by a business. A mere description of the product does not help you understand how it looks and whether it is something of your choice. Visual content is more helpful in providing more information.

How Does Instagram Connect You with the Rest of the World?

Approachability

The most successful advertisement is that which targets the right audience. Is this possible with Instagram? Many non-business Instagram followers are not aware that the social media platform offers automated targeting, which gives a business a head-start in creating an audience to the brand. Whether you are targeting a city or the whole country, your advertisement will reach out to the audience who are similar to those who follow you. With Instagram, you can easily approach your target audience.

You can build a community

Instagram is a social media platform where there are several communities for like-minded people to share their stories and opinion. As a business, you can build a community wherein real Instagram followers interested in your business can follow you and communicate with ease.  A community brings traffic to the content you share and keeps them super-engaged and fresh. Instagram is believed to drive more engagement than any other social media platform, which has resulted in its rapid and immense growth.

Connect with people/customers across multiple platforms

The most vital benefit of Instagram is that you can connect to multiple platforms by connecting it to your website. By having an Instagram account, you can increase cross-channel engagement by connecting with customers across multiple channels. When you connect your Instagram to your website, a website visitor may click on one of the images you have posted that is linked to your Instagram. Instagram followers may decide to follow you and reconnect with you later.

Instagram is a huge platform for both business and personal connections. Whether you are a business looking to connect with prospective customers, or an individual looking for family and friends spread across the globe, Instagram helps you connect with all.

How can you connect with the world using Instagram?

Instagram is a huge platform that offers a lot of features, from posting visual content for personal purposes to business advertising. It is a social media platform meant to connect people across the globe. What many users fail to understand are its features that help to connect. Some of these features using which you can connect with the world include:

Hashtags

Hashtag is a feature that encourages the users to make tags, specific and relevant to the photos added, to make them stand out and attract link-minded real Instagram followers across the globe. Since its introduction in January 2011, the hashtag has become so popular that people have also started using them as an analogy. Instagram also allows users to follow hashtags that they are interested in and shows related highlights of the topic in their feeds.

Explore

The ‘Explore’ tab was introduced in June 2012, which displays photos taken at nearby locations, recent popular photos, and search options. The explore tab was updated in 2015 to feature curated content, trending tags and places, and “Videos You Might Like” channel, among others. With the explore tab, Instagram users can search for people, content that interests them, and connect. By promoting public Stories content from nearby places, Instagram makes it easier for nearby businesses to reach out to the target audience.

Contact Button

It is a feature offered by Instagram to business accounts that shows the viewers to contact the business by clicking on the button. The business user is given an option to provide contact details such as an address, telephone number, email address, among others, through which potential customers can connect with them.

IGTV

One of the unique features of Instagram is the IGTV, which was launched in June 2018, which allows users to upload video file size of up to 650 MB, and ten minutes in length. Verified and popular users are allowed to upload video files of 60 minutes with size up to 5.4 GB. Now, can you imagine the exposure these files can get? These files can be found in the explore tab as well, and with the exposure they get, they can communicate the message easily. By using the IGTV feature, businesses can attract viewers and connect with them.

Instagram Direct

Instagram featured public-only feature where the content and comments shared were made public; everyone could view them. In December 2013, Instagram Direct was introduced. It is a feature that lets users interact with each other through direct messages. Instagram allows its users to send private messages to each other using Instagram Direct, share photos and videos. The recent updates to Instagram Direct include location sharing, hashtag pages, and many other features, making it more appealing.

Instagram Stories

Yet another way to connect with the world using Instagram is by using Instagram Stories. Depending on your privacy settings, Instagram stories can be viewed either by those following you or everyone on Instagram. It is a feature launched in August 2016, which allows the user to take photos, edit them, and share them in their story. Several functionalities were introduced that benefit both individuals, as well as businesses. One such feature was the skippable advertisement between stories. Users interested in the advertisement could connect with the business, and those uninterested could skip them.

Advertising

Advertising is part and parcel of every social media platform. Instagram introduced video and photo advertisements in between user feeds that tried to connect with the user. These advertisements were mostly targeted based on user searches. For a business, this feature made it easier to connect with the target market, and for the user, it was easier to connect with the business. Several other updates were added to the Advertisement feature to make it convenient for the users, as well as the business, to connect with each other.

Other features of Instagram that are made to connect include the ‘Stand-alone App’ and the ‘Third-Party Services.’ Instagram also plans to introduce several other features soon to benefit its users.

How to Grow Your Business on Instagram

Instagram may have started out as just another social media platform, but today, it is one of the best social media marketing platforms, with over 400 million active users daily, and over 200 million story users daily. With Facebook becoming known more as a platform that can be used to establish personal connections, Instagram has quickly shot up to the position of being a platform for businesses to engage with customers, build brand loyalty, and achieve business objectives. It is estimated that over 25 million companies make use of Instagram to further business goals, with over 200 million business profile visitors daily.

While Instagram has made it possible for businesses to experience growth like never before, its growing popularity has also translated into a highly competitive business environment, where gaining a competitive edge is crucial to thriving in the market. Before getting into what to do to grow your business on Instagram, here’s a tip on what not to do. Don’t buy followers. As excited as you may feel to see a huge ‘following’ number, it’s not worth it if it isn’t real. Real Instagram followers are likely to be retained for longer, make genuine connections with your brand, and, most importantly, result in sales/monetary conversions – something fake followers cannot help you with.

Here are some ways to grow your business the right way on Instagram:

Get a business account

If you’re not operating any accounts on Instagram, set up a business account from scratch, but even if you already have a personal account, you can gain access to a business account by converting your personal account into a business account. Such a switch helps to retain existing Instagram followers and makes the transition smooth even for your followers while allowing you to access additional features and benefits of a business account.

Develop an Instagram marketing strategy

Having a detailed Instagram marketing strategy with specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals are imperative to grow your Instagram followers, as well as increase engagement and Instagram likes, spearheading your business’ success.

You must know who your target audience is, beyond just overall demographics like the United States, India, Brazil, and Indonesia have the largest number of Instagram users. Utilize analytics to know who your followers are on other social media platforms, assess your already existing customer base, research your competitors, and develop a brand value statement. Look into what type of content your target audience is engaging with the most and how they engage with your competitors. 

Decide on the performance metrics you’d like to measure and which stage of the customer journey you’re looking to change, whether awareness (brand awareness, post reach, follower growth rate), engagement (Instagram likes and shares), conversion (conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, cost per click, CPM), or customer (through testimonials).

Commit to posting consistently and make use of insights to find out when your Instagram followers are online, being mindful of the time zones of Instagram followers worldwide.

Work on optimizing your profile

Your bio is what users will see first, so make it interesting and effective. Convey your brand’s personality through the bio and use hashtags to flaunt content generated by users. Don’t forget emojis and line breaks to make it easier to read your bio.

Use a high-quality picture for your profile or your business logo, but ensure it’s consistent across social media platforms so that it can be easily identified. Although photos display as 110 x 110 pixels, they’re stored as 320 x 320 pixels; so, upload a 320 pixels square photo just to be on the safe side, in case it’s changed on Instagram.

Complete your profile by inserting a clickable link to either your website, landing page, or latest blog post. Also, ensure you’ve included your brand’s real name or common abbreviation, and known username on various social media platforms.

Take advantage of the benefits of operating a business profile by including your brand’s category in your bio, email/physical address, as well as a phone number for your Instagram followers to get in touch with you. A business profile even allows you to add ‘call to action’ buttons directly to your profile, where your Instagram followers can either buy a ticket, make a reservation or an appointment.

Put up great content

Following the other tips is no excuse to compromise on your content. Your Instagram followers are likely to be retained only with consistently great content. Develop a visual aesthetic for your feed, which gives it a consistent look. You can either make it a direct visual of the product offered, or, in the case of services, you can engage your audience and receive more Instagram likes through stories, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes details.

Great pictures will fetch you more Instagram likes and increase the likelihood of growth even through just your mobile phone. Make use of natural light and try as many angles as you need to get the right shot. Harsh light won’t help your pictures; apply the rule of thirds to get balanced, though off-center picture, by placing the subject of your picture at the meeting point of the screen’s grid lines.

Edit your pictures to give them a final touch and keep them consistent with other content on your profile. A picture may be worth a thousand words, and Instagram may be a visual platform, but that doesn’t mean you let the pictures take all the credit. You can’t afford to overlook the importance of writing a great caption to add more meaning to your picture. Captions help to voice the brand’s identity in a way that a picture cannot do by itself, and are crucial to increasing Instagram likes and growing the number of Instagram followers.

Don’t neglect the stories. A fun fact: one-third of Instagram stories to receive the most views are posted by business accounts. Use your stories to tell a story about your brand and convey its personality. Use great pictures and videos to tell stories that your audience will look forward to clicking on and add in a call to action to promote business growth. You can even keep your stories beyond 24 hours by adding them to the highlights on your profile.

Focus on engaging with your audience

Social media, after all, is a community, so stay connected with the community that’s already associated with your brand or similar brands. Keep an eye on industry hashtags and comment/participate in discussions to make it known that you exist and direct people to your profile.

Add the correct hashtags to make your content easier to find by allowing people who don’t already follow you to see your post when they check an associated hashtag. Use popular yet specific hashtags for your brand. Select the right hashtag for your business post – brand, category, event, or campaign hashtags. Brand hashtags can help to create user-generated content and raise the community sense of your Instagram followers. Make sure they’re short, relevant, and creative to achieve high engagement with your Instagram followers and increase Instagram likes. 

Make sure to have genuine responses to comments and brand mentions. Automating responses is a bad way to go if you’re looking to achieve authenticity in your interactions and keep your Instagram followers engaged. Genuine responses will also motivate your Instagram followers to continue engaging with your brand. Collaborating with influencers is also a great way to gain access to their real Instagram followers and add credibility to your brand.

Indulge in cross-promotions by promoting your Instagram business account on other already existing social media platforms. Let your audience know why it’s worth to follow you on Instagram as well, and embed Instagram posts into cross-promotions. Also, remember to add your Instagram handle to your email, fliers, business cards, and event sign. 

Make use of Instagram ads to enable your content to reach a larger, more targeted audience, and include calls to action that make it easier for your Instagram followers to access your website or other pertinent information.

Another great way to increase audience engagement includes having a campaign specific to your Instagram platform. Campaigns help to maximize results from both paid and organic posts and are geared towards achieving specific goals within a specified time period. Campaigns can help in increasing brand visibility and creating more awareness of your brand; they can be used to boost sales using shop-able posts; branded hashtags can result in the collection of user-generated content, and engagement can be encouraged through Instagram contests and giveaways.

Analyze results and adapt

Make use of analytics to monitor your account overall, as well as track results from ads, posts, and stories separately. Keeping track of the numbers will give you an idea of where you’re at and how much progress you’ve made in achieving business objectives. A/B testing is also an effective way to keep track of what’s working and what’s not working for your business’ Instagram marketing strategy. In such testing, you choose an element to be tested and make two versions of it that are the same, except in the element you’re testing (caption, image, hashtags).  Compare the results of each and choose what works better to gain insights into how you can increase your business’ growth.