Foolproof Strategies to Make Money on Instagram

Instagram, an application that was started as a way to share photos is not one among the top social media platforms in the world. Launched in 2010, it shot up to fame with one billion monthly users in 2018 and continued to experience a growing trend. In the past decade, Instagram has grown from one million users to more than a billion and has become the ultimate app for communication and entertainment. The growth was pretty impressive, which showed how well people responded to visual content.

The fact that people responded well to visual content on Instagram was a vital factor that marketers considered, which made them committed to serving the audience through great content. By building a following, offering great content, and running attractive ads to sell products and services, marketers developed strategies to generate income. This became the most apparent strategy to make money online. Sounds clichéd right? Have you heard of anyone who made money on Instagram?

Some people who made money on Instagram!

Have you heard of Theresa Nguyen? She was just a teenager when she started making money on Instagram. She makes videos of homemade slime that attract a lot of attention and likes from thousands of Instagram followers. A clever CTA drives her real Instagram followers to her online slime shop where you can order colorful and attractive slime from a teenager. Interested? Theresa Nguyen is not the only teenager; Sara Y. and Rachel Albus have thousands of followers as well, with which they make decent money.

Next on the list of people who made money on Instagram includes Sara Tasker, a speech therapist who became a micro-influencer with more than 170 thousand followers. But if you think that you can make money only if you have followers, think again! Jeena Farmer, a qualified nutritional therapist has approximately 3,500 followers. But several brands pay her for mentioning them on her page. There are many others on Instagram who are making decent money within the comforts of their home. All you need to do is understand how!

How to make money on Instagram?

Instagram has gained so much popularity now that there are billions of users who constantly use it to share visual content and communicate with others. People are on it day and night, spending money rather than earning it. There are three major ways in which you can earn money on Instagram.

  • Be an influencer
  • Be an affiliate marketer
  • Be an entrepreneur

Instagram is a gigantic social networking site that has immense opportunities for everyone. You must ensure that you choose the right path for you to make money.

How to make money being an influencer?

Instagram is a platform wherein a lot of established influencers like celebrities are already actively posting photos and videos. Additionally, there are five hundred thousand influencers already active on Instagram. With so many influencers, why would Instagram pay you?

Did you know that brands pay you a good amount of money just to promote them? All you need is a good number of followers. If you are a person who can gain a stranger’s trust and convince them to follow you, then you are all-set. You don’t need an e-commerce site to generate money. But beware, there are several scammers out there who maliciously target ambitious influencers for their personal benefit.

What should you do?

You will start by getting as many Instagram followers as you possibly can. If you have sufficient followers, you can just about be yourself and post amazing, positive visual content about a brand, a product, or service. To get started as an influencer, you must –

  • Choose a niche: While choosing a niche, make sure that you have studied your personal brand well enough to understand the target market, whether your real Instagram followers match with the target market, if you have the potential to influence others into trusting you and your brand, and so on. Many brands prefer micro-influencers as they are perceived to have a real connection with the audience. It only means that the more specific you get, the better chance you have of earning.
  • Grow your audience by building trust: Trust is not easy to build, but your growth depends on how well you influence others into trusting you and what you promote. You can start by committing to post consistently and post content that your audience prefers.
  • Partner with brands that you would want to promote: You can partner with a brand by contacting the brands you pitch and offering them compelling details of your audience, or sign-up with an influencer and let the brands find you. The plus is, brands are eager to find influencers.
  • Be transparent with your posts: Did you know that you are legally obligated to be very clear and transparent when you are posting an ad? To ensure that you are not breaking any law, use the #ad hashtag in the first three lines of your sponsorship.

Now you are all set to be an influencer!

How to make money being an affiliate marketer?

Affiliate marketing is more to do with sales, and less to do with marketing a product, service, or a brand. In this strategy, you will only make money if your followers buy something and a meagre ad# hashtag and Instagram like is not sufficient. The plus is that you don’t need to stress out about fulfilling orders or producing the product, but you will need a strong strategy to grow without annoying your followers.

What should you do?

Affiliate marketing is associated with scams and has a bad reputation. But if you have an ethical approach, it is an ideal way to earn good money. As Instagram rolls out product tags, you are not limited to mentioning ‘link in bio’, and customers can approach you directly and carry out the purchase on Instagram. To become an affiliate marketer on Instagram, you must –

  • Choose a niche that you feel is most suitable for you. You can start as a product reviewer and extend your audience. The niche market you choose must be specific to your followers as well as your expertise.
  • Once you choose a niche, find merchants you can affiliate with. You can either be affiliates with brands directly or join an affiliate network, or both. Affiliate networks offer a huge range of products to choose from.
  • Post about the product. Just like influencers, you must ensure that you are transparent with your post and clear about the nature of your relationship with the product.

You can offer discounts, free products, and such to ramp up your chances of establishing yourself as an affiliate marketer. But remember, you must keep up with the promises you make.

How to make money being an entrepreneur Instagram

How to make money being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur on Instagram to earn money is nothing short of starting your own business. It goes beyond the realms of marketing, and right into the jaws of e-commerce. Unlike affiliate marketing, which uses other’s brands to sell, you will be selling your own product, service, and brand. If you already own a business, then it is high time you start marketing it on Instagram and make some money.

If you do not own a business, and yet you want to make money being an entrepreneur on Instagram, then you must –

  • Decide what your product or service will be. You may be a small-scale producer of handmade items, or offering a service of tutoring, or even a painter who wants to sell them. Define what your business is.
  • Build your product and keep them ready to be supplied.
  • Take advantage of the Instagram shopping-focused features such as product tags, explore tab, shoppable Stories, shoppable posts, and Instagram Checkout, and set up your account. Please note that you need to have a business account to enjoy the benefits offered by Instagram.
  • Set-up a website that offers more information on the products and services offered by you. You can also run a few ads to build customer awareness, but make sure you keep audience experience in mind while doing so.
  • Post your products on Instagram, and with the Instagram analytic tool, measure your success.
  • The most vital step is to fulfill customer orders. You can either take help from third-party logistics companies or handle inventory yourself.

Remember, if your customers trust you, you will have more followers. This is possible only if you are more realistic.

How about some tips for earning money through Instagram?

You may be tempted to try any one of the above strategies to earn money on Instagram. If you do, make sure that you follow only the best practice and be realistic. Some of the tips to grow yourself and earn decent money on Instagram include –

  • Understanding what you are actually worth and having realistic expectations
  • Make good use of social media monitoring and keep a tab on your competitors.
  • Make sure that you respond to a customer query on time.
  • Professionalism will take you a long way and influence your success.
  • Beware of fake Instagram followers, as they can hinder your growth.
  • Promote yourself or your product, service, or brand on other channels for more exposure.

Instagram is a great social media platform that offers opportunities to earn some money. There are other ways in which you can earn money on Instagram as well, but the three major strategies focused above are considered the best. Remember, the competition is fierce, but the possibility of success is huge if you are realistic and true.

Your Guide to Influencer Marketing on Instagram

With more than 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is the new go-to social networking platform for brands to reach their targeted audience, and influencer marketing offers just the way to do that. An influencer on Instagram is one who can convince their Instagram followers because of their credibility.
Influencers on Instagram already have an engaged audience of real Instagram followers, and they can get their Instagram followers interested in your brand. It’s a great way for brands to build brand awareness, increase sales, and accelerate business growth. Using influencer marketing, you can see a growth in the number of Instagram followers and Instagram likes your brand receives simply because the source is a trusted one, and the interaction happens on a genuine, casual platform such as Instagram.
Instead of spending heavily on conventional ads and marketing campaigns, you can get a lot more engagement through the use of engaging as well as authentic influencer’s voice to target the right users.

Pros of influencer marketing on Instagram

It’s a niche

Instagram followers can connect with niche content that’s in their interest area through hashtags, the Explore page, and thanks to the functioning of the Instagram algorithm. Branded hashtags for raising awareness or certain campaigns can help users to connect with what interests them while helping you experience business growth. Getting onto the Explore page with the help of an influencer can help you gain more Instagram followers and raise awareness for your own brand. The algorithm on Instagram ensures users see content that they’re more likely to be interested in, and since an influencer generally tends to work within a particular niche, it’s a great way for your brand to get noticed.

It provides an organic platform

With Stories, Live, and feed posts of high quality, Instagram followers have an organic way to engage with the content posted by influencers. Shoppable posts, product tags, and links for certain accounts have made it possible to experience growth in sales through Instagram posts.

It’s personal

The biggest advantage of influencer marketing is that you get to tap into the influencer’s Instagram followers purely based on the personal relationship created between them. Getting recommended by an influencer provides a stamp of approval to all their Instagram followers for your brand, and that kind of loyalty is hard to replicate through traditional advertising.

Types of Instagram influencers

Knowing about the different types of influencers on Instagram can help you make decisions about your marketing strategy based on their relevance, your budget, and your brand’s requirement.

Nano-influencers

Nano-influencers are those who have fewer than 10,000 Instagram followers and may resemble people like your friends and family. They offer authenticity in their interactions with their following, which may be a small but niche community. They’re also more cost-effective, which means you’ll get greater ROI.

Micro-influencers

Micro-influencers are those with less than 100,000 Instagram followers and they tend to be industry experts or topic specialists for a particular niche, giving you access to a focused audience.

Macro-influencers

Macro-influencers are those with Instagram followers between 100,000 and 1 million whose full-time job may be influencer marketing.

Mega-influencers

Mega-influencers, generally celebrities and public figures, have over 1 million Instagram followers.

Getting ready for influencer marketing on Instagram

Specify your goals and KPIs

Knowing what you want your influencer marketing efforts to result in is crucial before you get started, as everything about the rest of your campaign should be determined based on the goal you want to achieve. Even the performance metrics you will be used depending on the goals you decide upon at the beginning of your campaign efforts. You may have different goals for your brand depending on how it’s currently performing, which may include:

  • Boosting reach and brand visibility
  • Growing your base of Instagram followers
  • Driving brand engagement
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Promoting new product launches
  • Promoting growth in sales

Setting KPIs will provide you with a means to keep a check on how your campaign is performing.

Aspects to consider when selecting the right influencer

Brand fit

In order for the influencer to be a credible and authentic voice for your brand, they need to fit well with your brand. Spend time on figuring out their niche from their posts and stories, while also checking out the comments section of their posts to see the type of conversations that results from their content.

Reach

Choosing the right influencer based on their reach depends on your goals. If you just want to create brand awareness, a top tier influencer would be the best choice, but if your goal is to drive engagement for your brand, a micro influencer will work better.

Engagement

Real Instagram followers help to drive up engagement rates, so be sure to check engagement rates on posts of potential influencers so that you can ensure greater ROI.

Voice

What personality do you want to be associated with your brand? Are you looking for an influencer with a more serious voice, or a casual / friendly voice? Do you want an influencer who can pack in a good sense of humor? Select an influencer based on the voice you think would best suit your brand.

Sponsors in the past

When you look into who an influencer has partnered with in the past, you’ll get a better understanding of how those campaigns performed, which will help you get an idea of what partnering with them will be like for your brand.

Love for your brand

Influencers who genuinely love your brand are likely to be more convincing in promoting your products to their Instagram followers than those who are doing it just because of an agreement.

Of course, you’ll also have to keep budget considerations in mind when selecting the right influencer for your brand.

Tools to find the right influencer

Some great influencer marketing tools that you can use to find relevant influencers include:

  • Influence.co
  • BuzzWeb
  • Ninja Outreach
  • BuzzSumo
  • CreatorIQ
  • Awario
  • Klear
  • BuzzStream
  • Traackr
  • Upfluence
  • Hypr
  • rewardStyle
  • AspireIQ
  • Julius
  • Collectively
  • NeoReach
  • Open Influence
  • Scrunch
  • Hypetap
  • Dovetale
  • Takumi
  • Onalytica
  • Tapinfluence
  • Tribe
  • Famebit

Deciding a collaboration structure

Deciding a collaboration structure

  • Deadlines for the campaign timeframe must be clearly communicated.
  • Specify the kind of content you want them to produce and where on Instagram you want them to promote your brand (Stories, feed posts).
  • Be clear about content usage rights if you’re planning to use the content for your social media posts or website testimonials, with the influencer retaining ownership.
  • Make sure compensation has been clearly communicated to them, which may be in the form of free product compensation, paid compensation, or affiliate compensation. Clearly specify if a flat rate will be paid per post or payment will be based on the performance of the post. Compensation decisions need to take into consideration the level of complexity involved in the production, agency fees, travel expenses, as well as usage rights.
  • Make sure you and the influencer you’re working with follow the FTC regulations for sponsored posts through a proper disclosure of all sponsored posts.

Choose the best type of campaign

Once you’ve decided on everything else up until this point, you need to choose the best type of campaign that can work for your brand and Instagram influencer from among the following:

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts require you to pay an influencer to promote a particular product, followed by the hashtag #sponsored. Influencers can either feature your product through their content or even use it to tell a full story, depending on the agreement made.

Branded content

Branded content aims at subtly, including your product as part of the normal content of the influencer without coming across as pushy. You can also include influencers in your branded content which is created and published by you. Using branded content is a great idea when you want to target a new audience or promote the launch of a new product.

Contests

Sending products to an influencer to run giveaways is great for engaging a new audience, building awareness of your brand, and gaining more Instagram followers and Instagram likes.

Product reviews

If you want to build trust, see growth in conversion rates, or build awareness for your brand, getting an influencer to review your products is the best way to go. Unbiased, objective reviews of your products can help to build trust in your brand and help you gain more Instagram followers.

Influencer takeovers

Influencer takeovers of your account for 24 hours can get Instagram followers excited about the content being posted and drive up engagement rates for your brand.

Brand rep programs

You can even provide influencers with a code or custom discount link to share with their audience and pay a percentage from the conversions they help to generate. Such a campaign is helpful in building brand awareness and increase sales conversions.

Tracking campaign results

You need to check if your campaign has achieved its objective by tracking the outcome from the campaign. Metrics that you’ll have to track to measure campaign success include:

  • Engagement – Instagram likes, shares, comments
  • Brand sentiment
  • Website traffic generated from the campaign
  • Sales – conversions and revenues
  • Effect on the number of Instagram followers

Besides tracking metrics, assess the relationship of working with the influencer to determine if a future partnership is worth it.

You can now go about planning your influencer marketing campaign to ensure your brand receives maximum benefit from it.

Instagram Stories: Features You Need to Make Use of

With the growth of Instagram over the past few years, more and more businesses are making use of the platform to market their products and services. Its increasing popularity has resulted in Instagram putting out new features regularly to keep users interested in the platform and give them something new to experiment with.

Instagram Stories is one such feature of Instagram that can fetch you more Instagram followers and push business growth through the numerous possibilities it offers.

With over 800 million daily viewers of Instagram Stories, you’re seriously missing out if you aren’t already using Instagram Stories for your business. The fun, compelling, and engaging Instagram Stories capability can expand your interactions with your Instagram followers and enable you to get even more traffic to your posts.

Here’s a breakdown of Instagram Stories features that you may include in your Instagram marketing strategy to get more Instagram likes and promote business growth.

Create mode and customization

Instagram’s Create Mode allows you to share content created without needing to post any photos or videos. You can post text-based content for your brand and get a little help from the addition of stickers, GIFs, polls, and emoji sliders. You can also include countdowns to events and invite questions from your Instagram followers to boost engagement on the platform. Queries can be used for an “Ask me anything” style of an interview or even to invite your Instagram followers to share their thoughts on your latest offering.

With location stickers, you get to add a location to your story, making it possible to attach it to Instagram’s very own location story. In this way, you can reach out to a wider audience and end up on the Explore feed of users. The same is true for hashtag stickers added to Stories.

The wider reach made possible by such features means that you have the opportunity to see a growth in the number of Instagram followers you have. You can even add more spark and personality to your Instagram Stories by making use of GIFs.

Polls are another great addition by which you can gather relevant information about your real Instagram followers that can be useful when it comes to making business decisions. The Create mode feature also has an upgrade with the addition of an “On This Day” button that you can use for your brand to create “throwback” posts of past events and milestones.

You can even customize your Instagram Stories with drawing and writing features and add a distinct color to the background of your Stories to represent your brand identity. In addition, it’s possible to create a peek-a-boo effect for your Instagram followers through a solid background and the eraser tool.

Donation button

With a growth in the number of socially and environmentally conscious customers, Instagram’s Donation button serves as the perfect addition to its Stories, allowing for fundraising efforts to be undertaken with direct funds transfer into the accounts of NGOs. Instagram even covers the credit card and processing fees for it.

If you’re an NGO or looking to donate to an NGO, you can exploit Instagram’s Donation button in your Stories to drive fundraising efforts and promote brand image. Furthermore, influencer marketing can help you collect more funds from your Instagram followers and generate more Instagram likes for your brand’s content through improved brand image.

Close friends list

With a close friends list, feel free to add close friends to your list, and Stories will be visible only to those on the list. These Stories are also available for 24 hours but typically appear at the beginning of the Stories queue with a green circle around them.

You can make use of Instagram’s Close Friends List to connect with VIP customers or even brand ambassadors to offer them exclusive content such as sneak peeks, behind the scenes, special discounts, exclusive interviews, and product updates.

Utilizing the Close Friends List, you can also list out those attending your business’ physical events and share content leading up to the event or even during the event. Also, provide locally relevant content for your Instagram followers of a specific geographic area or collect feedback through questions, polls, or emoji sliders from your real Instagram followers by creating a Close Friends List of your top customers.

You can also boost business growth through the creation of a separate list for collaborators/influencers with whom you can share details of upcoming products, campaigns, or other promotions you would like them to make.

Music stickers

The music feature on Instagram Stories is the latest addition that has been picking up pace in terms of its use across different regions. With Instagram’s music stickers, you can add music to the background of your Instagram Stories and boost engagement with your Instagram followers.

Choose the song section you want to be played on your Story and even post the lyrics for the part selected with the new music feature for Instagram Stories. While this may not directly contribute to greater conversion rates, it is helpful in getting your Instagram followers to connect with you more easily and engage in your content, which can boost growth in the long run.

On top of this, the music feature of Instagram Stories is quite helpful when it comes to running a play on words, which makes your brand’s message clearer. Remember to select songs that your target audience is likely to resonate with.

Different video styles

You can make use of a variety of video styles in your Instagram Stories to post content and boost engagement with your Instagram followers.

  • Normal – can be used for taking a standard image or video
  • Boomerang – creates a moving image through a burst of photos taken.
  • Hands-free – with the hands-free video style, you don’t have to hold onto the record button, especially crucial if you want to post tutorials for makeup, or you’re demonstrating an exercise or sign language that requires the use of your hands.
  • Superzoom – zoom in on a focus point of your subject and create a dramatic and humorous impact through the use of accompanying music.
  • Rewind – can play your uploaded video in reverse.
  • Stop motion – plays a sequence of images and creates a video through an animation of your images.

Shoppable tags

With Instagram Shoppable Tags available in Instagram Stories, your Instagram followers can shop directly from your profile and view product catalogues, with the tagging of 5 products allowed on an image post and 20 on a carousel post. With this powerful addition, you can reach out to your real Instagram followers and see higher conversion rates from your Instagram marketing efforts.

Be sure to pick influencers with meaningful engagement to their audience and those who resonate with your brand, as Instagram followers are quick to spot the difference between a genuine product appeal and a paid one. You should also make it a point to utilise pricing psychology so that your price labels attract your Instagram followers more easily and help to boost business growth through more sales.

You can add links directly for your Instagram followers to access by the “swipe up” feature (if you have more than 10,000 followers) or use product tags directly in your Instagram Stories (if you have lesser than 10,000 Instagram followers).

AR filters

The addition of Augmented Reality (AR) filters on Instagram for its users can help you connect with your Instagram followers more quickly, especially with Gen Z and millennials. With Instagram’s AR filters, you can let your customers try on a product before they actually buy it. You also encourage content sharing by your audience using a custom AR filter and generate buzz regarding your brand, thus boosting engagement with a filter celebrating a new product release.

Reels

Reels mode on Instagram allows for the sharing of 15 seconds set to music video clips that can also go viral on the “Top Reels” category of the Explore page. Engaging content can be shared through Stories thanks to uninterrupted scene transitions made possible by a music database, numerous editing options, playback speeds, and ghosting.

Although the feature is only available in Brazil at present, it’s expected to be introduced in other markets soon. Using it, you can benefit from greater self-expression, engagement driven by experience, as well as more creativity so that your Instagram followers have access to quality content.

Instagram Story Highlights

The Highlights feature for Instagram Stories makes it possible to keep your content on your profile even after the 24-hour-period that Instagram Stories stay for. You can pin your Stories to existing highlights or create new highlights to inform your Instagram followers of details that you don’t want to have to keep posting.

Updates, promotions, and stories with shoppable tags can be added to Instagram Story Highlights so that your audience has access to the necessary information beyond the 24 hours lifespan of Instagram Stories. Highlights will play in the same order as the Stories appear, and you’ll need to keep your Stories for the full duration of 24 hours to ensure it gets added to the Highlights on your profile.

IGTV for Businesses

Instagram has proved to be a tremendously useful platform for businesses to market themselves and promote the growth of their brands by receiving more Instagram followers and Instagram likes. A popular addition to this already popular platform is IGTV.

Prior to IGTV being implemented into Instagram, videos had a time limit of 15 seconds for Stories and one minute for feed posts, making it increasingly difficult to upload long videos without breaking them up into smaller videos to meet the time limit. With IGTV, videos that are ten minutes long can be uploaded, while official accounts with a significant number of Instagram followers that have a blue tick can post videos that are up to one hour long. This helps to connect with your Instagram followers better and see a growth in your number of Instagram likes.

IGTV plays vertical and horizontal videos

IGTV focuses on vertical and horizontal videos. Vertical videos are great for getting up close and personal with your audience, while horizontal videos are great for high motion scenes involving dance and sports.

Three IGTV video categories

  • For You features videos that the Instagram algorithm considers to be something you’ll like based on the people followed, as well as Instagram’s machine learning.
  • Following has a video collection from the Instagram accounts you follow, which means that if you get more IGTV followers, you’ll also get more Instagram followers.
  • The popular category features videos that are trending on IGTV in terms of their popularity.

Why is IGTV important for your business?

Video is the way forward

The majority of online activities involve watching videos with more people increasingly watching videos on their mobile phones. According to Cisco’s prediction, by 2021, 78% of mobile data generated traffic will be from videos.

Videos can help you connect with your audience in ways that a simple picture or write-up cannot, increasing your ability to engage your real Instagram followers through unique content that gives out a strong brand personality, helping you get more Instagram likes. It is for this reason that IGTV is worth investing in as part of your Instagram marketing efforts so that you can maximize business growth.

Expensive equipment isn’t a necessity

While the idea of filming a high-quality video may be daunting to you because of the cost involved in terms of filming, sound, editing, and lighting, the great news is, for IGTV videos, you don’t need any of it – just a quality video shot on your mobile phone will do. The platform’s vertical format is perfect for it, but, of course, if you want to make use of more expensive filming equipment, you can do that too!

It’s still a new feature

IGTV is still a new addition to Instagram, which means that relatively fewer accounts are using it, which gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the platform, experience growth, use it to gain more Instagram likes and Instagram followers, learn what works, and stay ahead of your competitors while you still can.

It’s simple

The fact that you don’t need fancy filming equipment to post videos to IGTV makes it a platform that offers numerous benefits and scope for gaining more Instagram followers through the simple, easy-to-use platform.

Instagram incentivizes you for it

Just like Facebook offered 100% organic reach to users when they first launched Facebook Business Pages or greater reach to those using Facebook Live when it was just launched, Instagram also offers some benefits to their IGTV users. With IGTV, the much-wanted “swipe up” available on Instagram Stories for accounts with over 10k Instagram followers is available to anyone wanting to promote their videos even with less than 10k Instagram followers. It also allows for links to be added to video descriptions, which is a big bonus if you’re trying to see a growth in your business.

How to make the most of IGTV for your business?

Strategize and research

Don’t just get started with IGTV without having a plan for it in terms of the type of content you want to post, as well as how you want it to contribute to your brand personality. Plan for it well so that you can experience real benefits from it. Put in the effort to research everything you can about it, including how your competitors may be using it. Laying the groundwork will make sure you have a better idea before going into it.

Attract new Instagram followers with your past videos

When you post a video or picture to your feed, it comes with an expiry date because as you post more content to your feed, the chances of any old photos/videos being seen are almost nil. Even with Instagram Stories, your content stays just for 24 hours, and although you can highlight it and keep it on your profile, it isn’t the same as posting it new. With IGTV, you can share videos that you’ve shared in the past, and viewers can see past videos uploaded through the tool. In this way, you can reach more users through IGTV, gain more Instagram likes for your posted videos, as well as see a rise in the number of your real Instagram followers who engage with your content.

Attract your target group through unique IGTV videos

With so much content already available online, you have to be unique if you want to get noticed, and IGTV is a great way for you to do that. With IGTV, more detailed content can be shared in comparison to what your competitors are sharing. It’s also important for you to stand out by posting unique, authentic content to your IGTV.

Using IGTV, you can take your viewers on a journey like no other, sharing with them behind-the-scene footage from your events, a step by step guide on how to make use of your products/services, or even detail the start to finish procedure for your brand’s products and services. You can also market events before they occur and create a build-up and hype surrounding the event, which can result in more people showing up to the event. Remember to include a clear Call To Action for your IGTV content so that you can get your viewers to see the steps to take after viewing your IGTV videos.

Promote your products in an educational way

By integrating the advertising of your products with educational content, you can experience growth in your sales and conversion rates for your business. Tutorials are a great way to display the numerous features of your products, and if your products change often, then updating your tutorials through IGTV videos can help build trust among your existing Instagram followers, while helping you gain more Instagram followers as well.

Build a relationship through schedules

With IGTV, you can show viewers your content on a scheduled basis (for example, once a week), which is crucial for maintaining viewer engagement and generating more Instagram likes. Scheduling your content maintains consistency of postings and can help you build a relationship with your Instagram followers. With regular postings on a scheduled basis, your Instagram followers will get a chance to see you, hear you, engage with your content, and ultimately, this will help to strengthen their relationship with your brand. While posting daily may prove to be tiresome because of the work required in getting content ready to be posted, a weekly schedule will offer you enough time to develop content for your targeted audience with IGTV.

Respond to customer queries

As a business, you’re likely to get asked the same questions again and again, so it’s best to have responses to these questions ready in the form of an IGTV video. You can collect questions posed by your Instagram followers using the question sticker and make a note of the most frequently asked questions to respond to. When you respond to questions of customers, you’re likely to gain their confidence and trust in your business by showing them that you value them and appreciate their engagement with your business, which also helps to strengthen the relationship you have with your Instagram followers. At the end of your video, you can even ask viewers to comment on their next set of questions for you to respond to, thereby, increasing the engagement rate on your videos. Since IGTV videos don’t have an expiry date, your Instagram followers can always view them at a convenient time.

Upload videos featuring customer testimonials

IGTV can be used to upload testimonials of your products from satisfied customers and help you gain the trust of potential customers. Users are much more likely to believe a current customer of your business than a marketing message from the business itself; so, uploading testimonials are a great way to see a growth in your business sales while fetching you some extra Instagram likes.

Measure efficacy and adapt

With IGTV being a relatively new addition to Instagram, there’s a lot left to learn about it, and the only way to do that is to experiment with it, evaluate successes and failures, and adapt your strategy to optimize your IGTV content.

Video specifications for IGTV

  • MP4 video format of at least one minute.
  • 650 MB for videos under ten minutes and 3.6 GB for videos up to one hour.
  • Vertical orientation (aspect ratio of 9:16) or horizontal orientation (aspect ratio of 16:9).

Instagram Shopping for Businesses

Instagram’s growing popularity makes it the ideal social media platform for businesses. With the latest Shopping feature added to Instagram in February 2018, businesses can ensure higher conversions from their Instagram followers, get more Instagram likes, and experience growth. With more real Instagram followers, you can show off your brand to the right target audience and engage in meaningful interactions with them by tagging products that direct your Instagram followers to make a purchase.

The Checkout feature, added in 2019, makes it possible for users to buy directly on the platform. Sixty percent of users have been found to seek out and discover new products on Instagram, with 130 million people wanting to learn more about a product by tapping on a shopping post.

It’s worth utilizing Instagram Shopping for your business, and here’s everything you need to know to turn your Instagram followers into your customers.

What is Instagram Shopping?

Instagram Shopping allows users to directly shop for products they find on the platform through tagged post products, allowing you to gain exposure by offering an opportunity to showcase your products to 500 million daily users of the platform. There are different types of Shoppable posts your business can benefit from:

Feed posts

Instagram’s Shoppable feed posts allow you to tag up to five products in the photos to your store’s catalog.

Carousel posts

With Instagram Shopping for carousel posts, 20 products can be tagged in your images, making it easier for you to showcase your entire product range. When posts on your feed are tagged with your product, they’ll appear on a separate shopping feed, and your Instagram followers can see all of your tagged products on it.

Tagged products in Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are hugely popular and allow you to link your online store for users to swipe up and shop from. You can even add product stickers to your Instagram Stories to promote shopping and allow your Instagram followers to see product details, even if you’ve got lesser than 10,000 followers.

Why use Instagram Shopping posts?

Experiencing business growth through the conversion of your Instagram followers to customers is just one of many benefits of Instagram Shopping. Other benefits include:

Making the shopping process easier for your Instagram followers

Once you’ve managed to grab the attention of users, you can also provide them with the information they need to make a purchase using Instagram Shopping. The “Checkout on Instagram” option allows users to shop directly on the platform.

Serving as a virtual shop front

Shopping posts on Instagram, whether on your feed or in your Stories, fit in perfectly well with your brand’s aesthetic, so the videos/images selected can maintain your editing style without compromising the brand personality.

Connecting with an engaged audience

When you use Instagram Shopping, you’re reaching out to your Instagram followers, which is an audience that’s already engaging with your brand and products/services. All your Instagram followers need to do is click on the shopping bag icon of the post to know more about the product.

Setting up Instagram Shopping for your business

Meet Instagram’s requirements

Instagram’s requirements for utilizing the platform for shopping make sure only authentic retailers and e-commerce businesses can make sales through Instagram.

Connect your business account with a Facebook catalog

There are two ways to do this:

  • By adding a shop section to your Facebook page
  • By using a product catalog on Business Manager

Instagram’s review of your account

When you’ve completed the first two steps, you need to sit back and wait for Instagram to review your account before you’re granted access to make use of its Shopping features.

Once you receive approval from Instagram to use its Shopping features, you can begin to use product tags in your stories and posts to engage your Instagram followers.

Product tags in posts

You can include product tags in your images (five items per image or 20 items for a carousel post), with the option “Tag Products” appearing below “Tag People” with shopping enabled. Items to be tagged will be pulled from the Facebook product catalog created, and when these posts are shared, a shopping bag icon will appear at the top on the right side so that your Instagram followers are notified.

Shoppable Stories

Product stickers or swipe up links may be used in Stories to generate more sales. You can set up Stories using different types of stickers- shopping bag icon, translucent text, product name sticker in rainbow/grey color.

Shopping in the Explore tab

The Explore tab has over 200 million visitors daily, and in 2018, a separate topic channel was launched by Instagram for shopping, which is based on the shopping interests of users. Optimizing your content to appear on the Explore tab can boost sales greatly through brand exposure.

Boosting sales with Instagram Shopping

Tag images with multiple products

You can get better value for your photos if you tag an image/carousel with your products. By tagging multiple products in a particular post, you increase the likelihood of grabbing the attention of your Instagram followers. When multiple products are tagged, they also appear together on a product page, and clicking on a tagged item displays other tagged items as well under “Also Featured in This Post.” You should also make it a point to space out product tags on posts so that the information is clear when clicked. Remember, Instagram is largely used through mobile phones, and the screen space on mobile phones is much smaller, so for your Instagram followers to be able to read the tags, they need to be spaced out.

Tag the right products

Your posts should contain tags of items that are already in your Facebook product catalog. If your products have similar names, make sure to tag the right one in your posts so that you don’t make the user’s shopping experience difficult.

Use product photos/videos of high quality

Instagram, being a visual platform, necessitates that high-quality product photos /videos are uploaded to the platform to grab the attention of your Instagram followers. You cannot compromise on this aspect of your selling strategy.

Maintain a consistent shopping experience

Let the transition from an item click on your shoppable post to your product page be effortless. The products displayed in your posts and Stories must be true reflections of the item in terms of details like size, color, as well as functions displayed on product pages.

Promote on other platforms

By promoting your Instagram account and store on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you can increase your number of Instagram followers. You can even add pictures of your most shoppable posts in your newsletter, with a Call To Action encouraging shopping on your account. Running contests across social media platforms with the entry requiring people to follow your account is one way to gain more Instagram followers and encourage shopping.

Learn about how the Instagram algorithm works

With a thorough understanding of how the Instagram algorithm works, you can ensure that you’re keeping up with the latest changes so that your content can be discovered.

Make use of descriptive hashtags

Since it’s now possible to follow hashtags, making use of descriptive hashtags can increase your brand’s visibility and help you gain new Instagram followers. Be sure to research the hashtags being used by your competitors and other influencers so that your posts have a wider reach.

Showcase your products at work

It isn’t enough to just have a pretty picture of your product upon your platform. Make your posts dynamic by showcasing your products from interesting angles and depict them at work so that you can keep your Instagram followers engaged. While you’re at it, though, make sure your shopping posts don’t disrupt the overall aesthetic of your Instagram account. Ensure you’re still keeping them in line with your other posts by maintaining the same tone, filter, or editing style. Taking advantage of user-generated content in your shoppable posts are also a great way to let your customers speak for your brand.

Educate/entertain your Instagram followers

While you feed is generally reserved for showcasing your best content, making use of Stories on Instagram can help you add a more genuine, personal touch and communicate your brand’s personality. Don’t just pitch a robotic sales message; focus on how you can create a more personal connection with your audience by educating and entertaining them. With Stories offering a swipe up feature (if you have over 10k Instagram followers) as well as allowing for the addition of product stickers, you can help your audience make purchases more easily.

Use Instagram Analytics to track your Shopping Posts

It’s pointless to use Instagram Shopping without having a way to assess its impact on your business. You need to know if your Instagram marketing strategy is working as you wanted it to or not, which is where Instagram Analytics comes into the picture. Using Analytics, you can keep track of strategies that work so that you can use more of them, as opposed to ones that don’t. To track Analytics, you can make use of Instagram Insights for your Stories, as well as feed posts, to see the level of engagement generated. You can even make use of UTM trackable links to measure the amount of website traffic generated through Instagram shopping links by pairing it with Google Analytics.

Getting the Most Out of Your Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories, introduced in 2016, has grown massively on the platform and is being used more by users in comparison to their feed posts. The popularity of Instagram Stories is evidenced by the fact that Instagram Stories have more than 500 million daily users, with 1/3 most-viewed stories being from business accounts.

Stories appear for 24 hours and can be used to achieve business growth in a variety of ways. Not only can stories help you increase the number of your real Instagram followers, but they’re also extremely useful in driving engagement, building awareness about your business, and can even result in sales conversions. The resulting increase in the number of your Instagram followers can translate into more Instagram likes for your account and the growth of your business.

Knowing how you can best utilize Instagram Stories for your business to get the most of this Instagram feature is crucial, and here’s your guide to getting it right.

Have an Instagram Stories strategy in place

A strategy for your Instagram Stories can help you control and put into effect several ways of using Instagram Stories to optimize your business reach and growth. Posting between 1 – 7 stories each day has been found to achieve greater story completion rates of over 70% as compared to a greater number of stories. Posting consistently to build relationships with your viewers at the times that they’re most active is necessary to see a rise in the number of your real Instagram followers and get more Instagram likes. Your Instagram Stories strategy should focus on the following areas:

Using Instagram Stories to drive sales

Stories can be used to grab viewers’ attention, get them interested, achieve a sales conversion, and see a growth in the number of loyal customers your business has. Sales conversions can happen through stories in several ways. Even if you haven’t got 10k Instagram followers, product stickers, which are added as tags to particular items in your stories, can help your viewers shop for your products. Color and transparent variations of the product stickers also ensure that it goes well with any aesthetic of your Instagram Stories.

Adding links to your Stories can also be a massive growth driver and serve as a clear Call To Action for viewers to engage in. Whether you make use of text or give verbal instructions, asking viewers to “swipe up” is a great way to encourage conversions. Including “swipe up” motivating GIFs is also a great way to direct your viewers to the link. If you’ve got less than 10k Instagram followers, you can direct their attention to the clickable link in your bio through stories. Putting a countdown sticker in your Stories is also extremely effective if you’re looking to hype up product launches or other upcoming brand events. Viewers can even be encouraged to click on the sticker to stay informed of when the countdown ends.

Instagram Stories Ads are also an extremely effective way to drive business sales and can be targeted to the audience of your choice based on interests, location, demographics, and behavior. They also increase the likelihood of business growth by presenting your brand and its products/services to an already engaged audience.

Using Stories to showcase user-generated content and positive press can also be a great way to put out testimonials for your brand without letting the quality of the video/photo taken by users affect the aesthetic of your Instagram feed. Positive press showcased through Stories can, in turn, capture the interest of another viewer and get them interested in your brand, which could potentially result in a sale, furthering business growth.

Boosting engagement through Stories

Instagram Stories offer a great opportunity to engage with users and make it a more interactive experience, fostering a community sense. Authenticity is also maintained via the sharing of ‘behind the scenes’ footage and snippets from events hosted, leading to a sense of personalization.

Engagement can be boosted through several features of Stories. Polls can be used for viewers to choose between two options, questions can be sent in by viewers that are then answered, quizzes on interesting topics or even your brand can help arouse viewer curiosity, and even the use of emoji slider stickers can offer a sentiment reaction to a story posted. Chat stickers were also recently introduced to allow for a 32-participant chat forum to join the chat, which is a great way to get a focused group discussion going on a topic relevant to you or your business. Going live is another great way to increase engagement through Instagram Stories, not only because your Instagram followers are notified when you go live, but also because it gives them an opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and even engage in live discussions.

Getting more views through Stories

Hashtags and location tags can be included in stories to help your Stories be viewed by a larger audience. They can also be resized or blended into the background so as not to affect the overall aesthetic of the Story. Hashtags and location tags allow your Instagram Story to be viewed by more people by adding them to similar content posted by others. Location tags work well, especially for food and travel accounts, because people looking to travel to a place may just seek some inspiration from already existing content about the place. Posting consistently also helps to get more Instagram followers for your account, generate more Instagram likes for your posted content, and boost business growth.

Disclosing sponsored stories

Proper disclosure of sponsored content is necessary where there is a brand association, whether it is for a paid partnership or gifting. Disclosures can’t be hidden under other text/stickers, and need to be legible during the length of your story, in writing, as many verbal disclosures may go unheard by viewers who click on stories with the sound off. Disclosures not only help you meet the needed requirements, but are also beneficial to both parties involved in the brand association, increasing the likelihood of Instagram followers of each account ending up following the other account.

Scheduling Instagram Stories

Scheduling your Stories for Instagram can save you time and ensure you’re still consistent when it comes to Story postings. Several scheduling tools now make it possible for you to select the image/video you want to post as a story, plan your caption for it, as well as select the stickers you’d like to use with it and choose a date and time for when the posting should be made to your Instagram Stories. By carefully planning and scheduling your Stories, you’ll be able to ensure that your Instagram followers aren’t left wondering why you’ve suddenly gone quiet if you don’t have the time to make a Story, as the scheduling tool will do it for you.

Designing brand-aligned Instagram Stories

Your stories can communicate your brand’s personality, and so, having stories that align with your brand can be extremely helpful in putting across the impression you want. Design app templates, as well as Instagram’s very own built-in design tools, such as layout mode, numerous filters, brush tools, text options, GIFs, color picker, and even boomerang, can help to develop brand aesthetic aligned Stories on Instagram that can further business growth.

Using highlights the right way

Highlights on your profile on Instagram can help to save your Stories beyond just the 24 hours that they usually last, but that doesn’t mean you should be saving all your Stories to your Highlights. Typically, saving Stories that direct the most traffic to your website and other business links, Stories that include a Call To Action, or a shop-able link, should be saved as Highlights to allow viewers to access it even after 24 hours. Having a unique cover for your Highlights will also help to attract more Instagram followers and promote business growth by lending a unique brand aesthetic for your business that your viewers can’t help but be drawn to.

Use the right ‘Stories sizes’

The video/photo aspect ratio for Instagram stories is 9:16, while the maximum length of a video is 15 seconds, although Instagram does post longer videos to Stories as consecutive 15-second segments. The video or photo size requirement for Instagram Stories is 1080 x 1920 pixels. Adding text/stickers to stories while staying within the given blue lines allows the content to be visible to viewers.

Benefiting from Instagram Stories analytics

Insights can be generated for your Instagram Stories just as it can be for your posts, and making use of analytics on Instagram as well as insights from Analytics tools can give you access to information such as reach, impressions, exits, replies, taps back, profile visits, taps forward, follows, next story, shares, swipe away, and so much more. Insights from Instagram Stories analytics can help you evaluate your strategy and assess what’s working and what isn’t so that you can work towards improving your strategy and witness growth.

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.

The Best Instagram Apps for PC

Change the way you share your moments with an Instagram app for PC

The most beloved social media network of the present times is undoubtedly Instagram – the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing app that’s making the world go gaga over it for quite some time now. But the social network has made things a little complicated for its users by lacking access to the majority of its features outside the mobile app.

The app is perfect for on-the-go users who like to capture and share every small and big moment of their everyday life. But using the platform on your desktop gives you a better experience; the images look clearer and bigger—something that grabs your attention more as you don’t scroll as quickly as you do on the mobile app.

However, for those of you who wish to experience the platform on your PC, you will have to download a dedicated third-party Instagram app for PC, something that lets you share your special moments without using the standard website for desktop.

Get these Instagram apps on your PC today

While looking for an Instagram app on desktop, you might come across a plethora of options. But not all of them can provide the ease you are looking for. To make the choice easier, let’s take you through some of the best Instagram apps for PC here:

  1. Windows Store Instagram App

The Windows Instagram app is available for Windows 10 and provides you with incredible features that resemble the ones you get on the mobile app. It’s exceptionally lightweight and is free to download. Simply go to your Microsoft Store on your desktop, and you will find the link to download this Instagram app on PC. Here’s a rundown of the various aspects of the Windows Instagram app:

● Layout: The overall design of the app is similar to the mobile version. You have all the access options at the top of the screen that allow you to refresh, see direct messages, and upload images and videos to your Instagram story. The stories are showcased below the screen and you get a taskbar to search Instagram, access your homepage, check recent likes, and view your profile.

● Adding content: One of the main reasons why this Instagram app for PC is better than the website is because it includes options for uploading photos and videos. The desktop website does not allow you to upload new posts. You can now add new posts with the app by simply right-clicking on the app icon and tapping on ‘New Post’.

The only issue you might face on the Windows Instagram app is its speed. The app can run slow at times and pages take more time to load. Logging into your account can also be a little hassling. But once you get in, most of the experience will be a treat.

Snippet: The Windows Instagram app has a pleasant overall layout and provides ease in posting images and videos to your Instagram account. Try it for yourself.

  1. Gramblr

Another Instagram app for PC that’s gaining traction these days is Gramblr, which is a free Instagram client hooking straight into the platform’s API. Once you download this Instagram app on desktop, you will get an easy and useful way to post new images and videos. Thanks to its collection of tools, you can also expand your follower base and boost engagement on your profile. Let’s check out some of its characteristics here:

● Uploading tools: Gramblr has a fantastic suite of uploading tools that work just on a click of a button. Just like your Instagram mobile app, you can use a variety of filters to touch up your photos. It provides good controls for focus, lighting, saturation and sharpness—all of which are extremely useful to make a dull image look vibrant and appealing. The best part: you get the option to add sixty likes from real Instagram users immediately to your image!

● Scheduling: The digital world is all about automation these days, and nothing would be better than an Instagram app for PC that automates the posting process. Gramblr allows you to achieve this by linking straight to your Instagram API to upload images and videos on your behalf. All your posts will be uploaded as per the scheduled time.

● Auto likes: Gramblr has a ‘like’ feature which automatically hits the like button to grab more eyeballs on the platform. You can select images with hashtags so that you’re always targeting and reaching a specific audience. After that, you can press the ‘auto-like’ option and open the Gramblr app to automatically like new posts.

You might, however, face a few issues with this app. Firstly, you don’t get regular updates from the developer. Secondly, most of its features are in a gray area because the app does not conform to Instagram’s terms and conditions. Also, you cannot use Gramblr to message users or add stories.

Snippet: Gramblr is an Instagram app for PC that comes with a host of features to make your Instagram usage a lot easier and simpler. Check out its innovative features today!

  1. Ramme

If you are looking for a lightweight Instagram app on desktop, Ramme is what you need. The app takes you on a journey that’s not very different from the Instagram application on the iOS platform. There are quite a few reasons why this app stands out in comparison to the website. Before anything else, it’s the functionality of the app that includes uploading of photos and stories and direct messaging options. However, there are other aspects that make Ramme so popular amongst desktop Instagram users:

● Well-optimized: To use Ramme, you will only require the .exe file and you are good to go. You don’t need to go through the cumbersome process of finding an installer or scouring the Windows Store. You can also resize the Ramme window on your desktop, which will adjust everything on the screen to fill the window size without any hassle.

● Easier image uploading: The image upload process on the Windows Instagram app is a little peculiar and uploading images on the desktop website isn’t possible at all. With Ramme, you can overcome these limitations with an uploading process that’s almost the same as the mobile app. Simply click on the ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the screen and then browse through Windows File Explorer to find a photo or video that you wish to upload. It’s that easy and straightforward.

You will rarely come across performance issues because the app is extremely lightweight and runs seamlessly. As such, this Instagram app for PC will surely change your experience on the social network and provide a simpler way to stay connected with the rest of your circle.

Snippet: Ramme allows you to overcome the uploading limitations seen in Windows and other Instagram apps for PC. You will simply love its well-developed interface and nifty features.

  1. Windowed

Last but certainly not the least, you have an Instagram app for PC called Windowed. All the logins and actions are done directly with your Instagram API so that you don’t have to fret about giving your account information to a third-party. Windowed works amazingly by letting you access the mobile browser version of Instagram right from your PC. Here are a few features that make this app stand out from the rest:

● More engagement: With Windowed, you can scroll down your Instagram feed with more time in hand. You can use a mouse and keyboard to surf through posts without having to double-tap on photos, as is the case on the mobile app.

● Multiple account management: This is something similar to the Instagram mobile app. Windowed allows you to manage up to five Instagram accounts without any hassle. Simply go to your profile, click on your username appearing at the top, and tap on the “Add Account” option to bring multiple profiles onto one platform.

● Free accessibility: The best part about using this Instagram app for desktop is that you don’t have to shell out any money to enjoy its features. Available on both Windows and Mac OS operating systems, this application is usable entirely free of cost. There are no premium versions or extra hidden charges. Just download the application on your PC and get full access to all its functionalities.

Snippet: Windowed is an Instagram app for PC that comes with a host of features to enhance your Instagramming experience. You can now drive more engagement and manage multiple accounts without spending a penny. Check it out!

The bottom line…

The list mentioned above pretty much wraps up the best Instagram apps for PC. You will find plenty of these apps in the online marketplace, but you should choose the one that suits your style and needs. The app you choose should have a user-friendly interface, smart collection of posting features, and free usage terms. At the same time, it’s crucial that the app you choose is in line with Instagram’s terms and conditions.

So which one of the above is your favorite Instagram app on desktop? Let us know in the comment section below. Happy Instagramming!