Instagram is always adding new features, trying and testing algorithms, and keeping marketers on their toes. Because of the constant algorithm change, it becomes quite daunting for marketers to align their brands with its dynamic features.
In recent times, the social media giant has rolled out quite a few new features; marketers brace yourselves! Right from enabling people to create face filters to tagging a brand’s product on their post, Instagram is becoming a force to reckon with.
Here is a consolidated list of Instagram marketing features that will help you become a better marketer.
1. Hashtag Insights
Instagram has recently introduced a feature known as hashtag insights where you can check the number of impressions you’re getting organically. It will be a boon for brands in understanding their preferences, especially those who aggressively market on Instagram. It will also help brands in understanding which hashtags work for them and which don’t.
Now, you must be wondering how to use this feature?
Navigate to a recent post, tap on the View Insights button, and scroll down until you see the ‘Impressions from Hashtags’ section. Here you’ll see how many impressions a hashtag brings.
2. Dark Mode
Instagram has launched a dark mode for iOS and Android. It is touted as one of the most requested Instagram marketing features. The photo-sharing app’s new mode is similar to its competitors— eye-strain-reducing, battery-saving, chic-looking. According to Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri, the dark theme was made available for both IOS and Android users on the 7th of October, 2019, creating a history of sweeping the globe.
To use dark mode on an iPhone, users need iOS 13. Open settings, tap on Display and Brightness and tap the Dark Option on the right. Instagram will automatically switch to the dark theme.
Similarly, Android 10 users can turn on the dark theme mode in the settings. Those users who don’t have the latest version of Google’s operating system can activate the same from within the app’s settings.
3. Instagram Email Checker
Have you ever received an alarming email stating that you need to verify your account before signing in or that your password has been changed, including some link to save your account from deletion? Many people click that malicious link, and moments later witness their Instagram accounts getting hacked.
This is a classic phishing scam. Such emails are sent by third-party agents that trick you into giving away your details and losing control over your account.
Instagram realized this problem and has come up with a feature that will help users to vet whether the email received from Instagram is real or fake. To enable this feature, hit the hamburger icon on the top right after clicking onto your profile, select Settings, and go to Security and then click on ‘Emails From Instagram.’
Keep in mind that Instagram will never contact you about violations related to your accounts on your email— you’ll always get in-app notifications for these topics.
4. Authentic Content
Producing authentic content was one of the most important trends of 2019, and it’ll become even more prominent in the future! We’ve witnessed tons of people, brands, and influencers sharing the real side of their business.
If you want to establish a deep connection with your customers, you need to produce authentic content which they can relate to. When you showcase your journey, you’ll build trust with them.
This will be a year where people will follow brand voice more than a filtered crowd.
5. Transformed Shopping Experience
From inception, this marketing giant has created a soft corner amongst its users by bringing in a unique shopping experience. Previously, one could only advertise by putting their website or landing page’s link in the bio. But now brands like you have plenty of options.
This will be a year of experiencing a new facet of Instagram shopping. In other words, Instagram is trying to devise an eCommerce portal like Amazon or eBay.
Up until now, we’ve enjoyed shopping through shoppable tags that eventually takes us to a third-party website.
This year, it is expected that people will be able to view images, read descriptions, and order right from the shoppable posts in Instagram. This also means the app won’t redirect you to a third-party website, which it was doing previously.
Imagine how easy it will be for your customers to shop within the app without having to click out to your website! This will not only increase your user base but also boost online sales.
There’s no denying that Instagram is paving the way for other social media and retail apps to build a community that transforms the way how people shop online.
6. Share Twitter Posts on Instagram
Sharing viral tweets on Instagram has become a craze, and it’ll continue to pick up pace in the future as well. Many people are jumping the bandwagon and leveraging this feature.
Look at this example:
You can use Twitter posts to take a stand on the societal issues, bring humor, and give a sneak peek of your day-to-day life. Embed the tweets as a grid post and post them into stories to gain traction. You can also encourage your users to repost your tweets in their stories. This will help build the authority of your brand.
7. Customized AR Filters
We’ll soon be witnessing a new wave of AR filters shared on the Instagram stories. There’s a filter for every mood— fall shades, puppy dog faces, Halloween filters…you name it, IG has it.
This will be the year of AR filters— brands and influencers will be creating and promoting a lot of AR filters to leave an imprint of their brand image.
You must consider employing this strategy to push your brand a bit more. And for that, you need to research your target audience, their likes, preferences, and so on. Hence, you need to outline a concept that your audience will connect with and bring to life.
It is not a cakewalk— every visual that goes on your profile or story needs research, design, and execution. It also involves trial and error to vet what works for your brand. Hence, you’ll need to put your blood and soul into it to see significant results. It can be a daunting process, so jot down your ideas to streamline the process.
With that said, AR filters are also helping brands to sell on Instagram.
A report by Vogue suggests that Scandinavian based retailer brand Carlings is using Instagram to create a digital shopping experience to sell their products. They’re enabling their followers to digitally wear a T-shirt through augmented reality features.
In a nutshell, this will be an enthralling year for those brands who want to experiment with AR. Keep your eyes open and watch this space!
8. User-Generated Content
User-generated content is touted as a killer marketing strategy. User-generated content (UGC) is an asset for brands who are looking to widen their horizons in the coming year. It’s the word-of-mouth of the social media world!
A study by clickz.com reports that UGC on this social media giant is that goldmine whose benefits a brand can leap for ages. The same report also states that about 55% of consumers prefer UGC over other forms of content.
Brands like you are using UGC for earning customer trust as well as for cross-promoting the content.
You can leverage user-generated content by persuading your customers to repost your stories and tag your products. Along with that, you can partner with influencers to promote your products.
Needless to say, user-generated content pays in many ways to the brand:
- Brands get genuine engagement
- It helps build a community around your brand
- UGC drives your visitors to purchase your products and services
- It generates a marketing stream
There are many brands like Airbnb, Glossier, Mejuri, and Whole Foods that have grown their following insanely using user-generated content on Instagram.
We are in an era of micro-influencers. A report by Influencer marketing hub says that collaborating with influencers has proved to be a blessing for brands. The same reports also state businesses that are pro with influencer marketing can earn about $18 for every $1 spent.
If you have a strong influencer marketing strategy, you can take your brand to zenith heights. With that said, we’re seeing brands investing a more substantial chunk of their budgets in this as a marketing channel.
Recently, Estee Lauder, a renowned beauty brand, announced that they’d invest 75% of their marketing budget in influencer marketing this year.
Influencer marketing will grow exponentially. Fohr, an influencer marketing platform, has reported the engagement rates of influencers post to be the highest, averaging at 7% in 2019.
If you’re looking to boost your brand’s presence, you must collaborate with an influencer who’s an expert in your niche. Look for influencers who have built a community of likeminded people and can gain meaningful comments on their posts.
If you’re looking to take your Instagram marketing game a notch higher this year, start integrating some of these Instagram marketing features into your feed and stories. Think out of the box and, if required, build a new box.
Sharon Winget is a Staff Writer with GoodFirms, a review and rating platform for top IT companies and software. A tech geek at heart, she firmly believes technology can transform societies. She enjoys blogging about web design, email marketing, and content marketing.