Instagram (commonly abbreviated to IG, Insta or the gram) is FREE Social Networking Service built around sharing photos and videos. The company was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Later the company was acquired by FaceBook in 2012. The app allows for the creation of personal profiles but also can be connected to existing social networking profiles such as Facebook and Twitter, meaning users can share their pictures across platforms. However, uploading photos and videos, and sharing existing content with other Instagram users, is possible only from the mobile app.
What makes Instagram Important Marketing Channel
Instagram is a visual platform to help you form a more personal connection with customers. From gathering insights to selling products, Instagram keeps rolling out tools to help business owners succeed on the photo-sharing social media platform. Pictures and videos are shared to engage your audience. With the right marketing strategy, businesses can promote products and services, boost their brand, and increase sales on Instagram.
Important Features of Instagram
Instagram’s photo filters are central to its success. Each one of the 40 filters creates a different look and feel so you can decide which one best represents your brand. One way to do this is to manage your preferred filters by selecting the gear icon at the end of the filter list. If more than one person manages the account, this will make it easy to identify which filters you use regularly and make sure everyone is on the same page.
While video is great for increasing engagement, it also gives you the ability to share more complex, in-depth content that can’t be conveyed in one image or series of Stories. Initially limited to 15 seconds, video posts today allow businesses to create long-form, high-production value videos of up to 1 minute long that leads to lots of engagement.
Stories appear as little circles in the top of your followers’ feeds and disappers after 24 hours. Stories are particularly useful to showcase new products or releases, promotions etc. A great way to encourage more people to follow you on Instagram is to offer Stories on giveaways and promotions.
Videos on Instagram Stories only last 15 seconds, so your clips need to be short and catchy. Use it for promotional content that reflects your brand’s tone and style.
Instagram Live is also great for generating leads. You can ask your followers to submit their questions about whatever topic you’ll be discussing during the live broadcast beforehand. Use the “Ask me anything” sticker in Instagram Stories to easily gather questions. You can then answer them live. Your followers will love you for mentioning them and the real-time interaction is great for your brand exposure.
AR-Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes virtual effects (generated by a computer) onto real images and video when using a camera. On Instagram, these AR filters are known as face filters. They are whimsical, cute overlays you can add to your photos and videos via Instagram Stories. One of the first businesses to create custom AR filters for Instagram was the Kardashians’ youngest billionaire Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics.
One of the most exciting additions is IGTV. Before you can upload an IGTV video to your feed, you need to create an IGTV channel. Instagram offers analytics for your IGTV video and measures views, likes, and comments, as well as your audience retention rate
Stickers and quizzes
From emoji sliders, to polls and GIFs, these added extras can help you interact with your followers in innovative new ways, and increase engagement. Location stickers can let Instagrammers know where your business is and question stickers are great for galvanizing your followers, and getting some insight into the things they’re most interested in. Quiz stickers can also be used to help your audience get to know you and your business.
The ultimate goal really is to keep your engagement up and if you can do that, your Instagram account (and business) will flourish!