Sahail Ashraf posted on 31 August 2017
Instagram is one of those platforms that pretty much any brand can benefit from. It also has numerous features that enhance the marketing experience. The good news is that there are five features that we feel should become part of every agency’s playbook.
As an agency, you need to keep your client out there and receiving engagement. To prevent the Instagram well from running dry, make sure that the following features are known to your team, and are being used to their full potential.
We think they are easy to implement too, and once they are a component of what you offer to clients, you’ll be even more effective than you are now.
Something that is still relatively new (and therefore potentially unknown) is the extra value you can get out of videos on Instagram. Live videos that you post on the platform can now be posted to Stories, and therefore gain a shelf life of longer than, well, instant.
The best part of this is that your likes and comments that were received when you first posted the video will be ported over to the video on Stories. Sure, it’s no longer live but it is most definitely still a great marketing tool.
This means you don’t lose that great live broadcast when a stream ends. It gets to live for another 24 hours on Stories.
There is a world of engagement out there if you master the two ways to tweak Stories to your advantage.
Again, a relatively new concept is the ‘location’ story, where you can actually show up in a user’s feed. Adding a location sticker to your story means that people may see your story if they are searching for or are in a particular location. The possibilities here for location-based marketing are huge. But not a lot of people are aware of it, and certainly many brands don’t yet use it.
Right at the top of Explore you will see a story ring. Adding a location sticker is an amazingly efficient way to reach a local market. And the more you do this, the more likely local audiences will see what the brand is doing.
Stories also allow you to do exactly the same thing with hashtags. As we are all aware, hashtags are very useful for engagement, and Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post as a maximum. Using 30 may well cause people to run and hide, but the ability to add hashtags as stickers too means that you can easily become part of a larger conversation.
Many brands are still unaware of how Places can help. If your brand would benefit from engaging with local people and businesses, use Places as a springboard.
Searching in the Places tab does something immediately which brands should be seizing upon. It shows the top local posts in rank order, so you know what local people are discussing and what gets people’s attention. Use Places this way to pick up topic ideas and add more to the conversation as it happens.
A good thing about the ranking is that there is another metric that pops up. The most recent posts are also shown, again with the local slant. This means that you can see what is both popular and recent. Using this kind of information to fuel your local Instagram presence is absolutely vital.
As with all things social, none of these ideas will be worth anything unless you check the data. Once you have started looking at locally focused content, for example, dragging up the metrics allows you to instantly see how that particular campaign is going. And storing your competitor posts in a private collection doesn’t do anything if you’re not using the stored posts to inform your own strategy.
Instagram lets you archive posts. Now, while that may not seem particularly groundbreaking, it is a handy feature for anyone who is marketing a brand. Times change and trends change too, so being able to take old content and preserve it somewhere means that your brand never feels out of date.
Aside from the obvious use of hiding embarrassing posts, if you want to change your brand voice a little, then archiving posts that don’t fit in with that voice makes perfect sense. It is allowing you complete control over your output.
Simply tap the three dots (…) at the top of a post and choose ‘archive’. This takes care of it instantly. And don’t worry, you can always bring an old post out of hibernation just by doing the same process but choosing ‘show on profile’.
It’s useful for stuff that may damage the brand, but also stuff that doesn’t fit the current message.
Again, a simple measure that probably looks like something you could overlook, but turns out to be a good tool for a marketer. You know how you track what a competitor is doing by keeping an eye on their posts. You can make this even smoother by simply saving posts in a private collection.
This allows you to keep the posts that you are watching under wraps. And therefore, this allows for a way to collect useful information in one place, without letting it affect what anyone else is doing.
In addition to allowing you to collect posts from people you’re trying to do better than, you can also keep track of a relationship with a lead, for example. Saving posts to a collection means that you can have a clear visual reminder of how the lead nurturing is going.
To do this tap the ‘bookmark’ icon on your profile. Click the ‘+’ and enter the collection name, such as ‘strong leads’ etc.
Instagram will serve you and the brand you’re working with much more if you ensure that you are at least aware of these features. Test them out and see how it all impacts on your engagement.
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