Snapchat had signed up more US users for its app than its rival Instagram has since the beginning of the year, but new data shows those figures are quickly disappearing.
It just seems like yesterday that Instagram was a novelty app for young people to exchange photos. Then Millennials caught on and it grew. Then video was added and now live streaming which has led us to Instagram as we see it today. It is overtaking Snapchat and has become a serious marketing tool for even the Fortune 500 Companies.
Whether you want to drive leads to your homepage or encourage customer engagement, Instagram is the perfect platform. Here are are some serious reasons you need to add Instagram to your marketing mix.
1. People spend more time on Instagram than any other social platform except Facebook
If you’re looking for a social platform with a high level of traffic and engagement, Instagram is the ideal fit. According to comScore, global users spend a monthly average of 12 billion minutes on Instagram, which translates to massive opportunity for businesses who want to dominate their niches.
2. Instagram makes it easy to get noticed because it is still relatively new to business
While it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed on Facebook and Twitter, only 9% of small businesses currently use Instagram, which means there is plenty of space to build a robust online presence but it is growing rapidly each month!
3. Visual content is today's main focus & it is sharp!
Marketers around the globe are predicting that visual content will be the future of online marketing, and Instagram is positioned to be on the bleeding edge of the shift toward image-based brand stories, especially in the use of digital video.
4. Content on Instagram=followers and influencers
While the content you post on Facebook reaches only a fraction of your audience, Instagram’s non-filtered feed means every post you make reaches your entire audience. This has the potential to boost engagement and improve your conversion rates.
5. Instagram caters mobility users in every way
2015 was the first year that mobile search overtook desktop search, and Instagram, more than virtually any other platform, caters to the rise of mobile users. Sharing on mobile platforms is quick and easy, and the app makes it seamless to navigate a brand’s content.
Instagram Marketing: You need it as a resource
Regardless of which industry you specialize in, Instagram is an essential tool that can overhaul the success and engagement of your marketing strategy. Simple, streamlined, and user-friendly, Instagram is the future of digital marketing. For more information, feel free to reach out to us here at FDMC Social and Digital Media.
How can you increase your organic reach on Instagram? Here are the 10 powerful tools to help you reach your audience with Instagram. Use them all or use some of them for your business. Regardless, make Instagram a part of your social marketing strategy so you are not missing out on your target audience whom today are very mobile.
1. Find your optimal posting times
Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still important. It is a factor in the algorithm. Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.
If you are using a Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day. To access your Instagram Insights (link to Instagram analytics post), tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon () on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:
2. Experiment with videos
Studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be! On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos! It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.
Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.
3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement
Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. Hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage your followers. Some of the call-to-actions you can do are:
Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below
To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media!
What’s on your reading list this week? Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team!
While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts. Try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.
4. Curate user-generated content
Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.
Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.
5. Tell Instagram Stories
Typically, 63 percent of marketers use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded! Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds. It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm. Spend the time to create cool stories and make them shine!
6. Go live on Instagram
A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.
Going Live though can have a weird effect on your content. A reason might be your brand is in front of your fans more often so the fans might go to your page to see your content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video. This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.
7. Use Instagram ads
This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.
If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!
So which post should you promote?
Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:
Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
For the third filter, select “7 days”.
You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.
8. Post less
If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.
I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.
Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.
9. Create specifically for Instagram
One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.
For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Cross posting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.
10. Be a great Instagram user
Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks. My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:
Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
Answering questions on your posts quickl
Thanking people for commenting on your posts
Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them
I hope this has been of some value to you and if you have any questions always feel free to reach out to us. Have a good one!
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Over the last few years, Facebook has quickly risen to become a powerhouse video destination, with its top ten publishers pulling in billions of viewers each month but just exactly why is that the case? Scientifically, is there a reason Facebook users, and even Instagram users, are attracted to video content when they’re on the site?
Facebook IQ recently conducted a study with some overseas users and found that they watched video content 5X more than any other content posted. Facebook’s study derives from a lab experiment where people’s eye movements and facial expressions were tracked as they scrolled through their personal feeds; this was followed up by interviews about the role video played in each participant’s’ life. The 114 participants were aged 18-30 and watched short-form (under ten minutes) online video content and ads at least once a month. Facebook IQ also enlisted Kantar Media to conduct a study of 1,999 people from two overseas countries who were over 18 years of age and who watched short-form video content monthly. The goal of this study was to try to gauge the content consumption of the participants and analyze related viewing trends.
Facebook claims five key factors have attributed to the increased popularity of online video viewing, which include “smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.” Taking all these into consideration, video publishers on the social platform (and its related photo- and video-sharing app Instagram) should consider the following strategies if they want to reach video watchers.
Focus on mobile content.
Most of the millennials in Facebook’s study prefer watching video content on mobile instead of on a desktop. Cater to this preference by developing mobile-optimized clips which users won’t be able to resist clicking on when the content shows up in their feeds.
Harness the power of Instagram.
Facebook IQ discovered that across all surveyed, video on Instagram resulted in 1.80x higher levels of joy than the same content posted on other platforms. Video publishers who want to incite action and brand loyalty should therefore consider posting more clips to their Instagram accounts.
Keep content short.
With shorter attention spans contributing to the rise of online video, video publishers need to make sure their own content on Facebook and Instagram is digestible and impactful, so that it not only captures the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds but also relays brand messaging or key points at the very beginning of the video.
Try new video formats.
Based on the idea that novelty is a key factor to online video’s growth and success, Facebook IQ suggests publishers experiment with new video formats. For example, the recent study of the overseas participants were found to look at 360-degree video 40% longer than regular video content; these respondents also reported a level of joy 1.40x higher than joy from standard video.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
· Instagram like Snapchat is becoming very popular in brand promoting. Here are some steps you will find helpful in getting your brand out on Instagram.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Account. The best brand Instagram accounts have a compelling bio, memorable profile picture and a connected website that drives to their homepage. It’s one of the first things you have to set up for your account but it’s also one of the first things people look at before deciding to follow you or not. Make your bio descriptive, compelling and don’t be afraid to use emojis.
2. Follow Industry Relevant Accounts. Think about the types of brands, media companies or people in your industry that are already using Instagram and go find them. Follow their accounts and interact with their last few posts by pressing like or leaving a comment. These accounts might follow you back and help you get started with your initial audience.
3. Find Popular Hashtags In Your Industry. Many people on Instagram use hashtags as a way of finding new photos and new people to follow. Each day, thousands of hashtags shared on Instagram. At first glance it might seem overwhelming but Jason offers some great advice on the topic: “Look through the pictures posted by influence's in your niche. What hashtags do they use? Write these down as potential hashtags to use.
4. Get Shout Outs From Others. Note that brands leverage the power of influencers to grow their account. Research the popular accounts that are relevant in your field, reach out to them to see if they’ll be willing to do an Instagram shout-out for you. As you conduct this outreach, build a spreadsheet that highlights the different accounts you’ve reached out to, their follower count and the price they’re looking to charge.
5. Share Your Posts On Instagram Regularly. You want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant. You also don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they unfollow your account.” One of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram is how frequently a brand should post. While many brands try to put a number on it, the reality is that what works best for one brand doesn’t always work for the next. Run your own experiments and determine the best frequency for your audience.
6. Use Hashtags In The Comment Section. One of the most underrated tricks in the book for Instagram market is the usage of hashtags in the comments instead of main post. Rather than stuffing your posts caption with a handful of hashtags and giving the perception of reach desperation – comment with the hashtags after pressing share. The impact is the same except your caption doesn’t look as bad!
7. Run Instagram Contests. A good contest can hands down be one of the best ways to drive new followers & activity on your Instagram account.Instagram has the flexibility to allow you to just run your contest on your feed, the advantage of this is that it’s easy to setup & encourages participation via Instagram. The downside to contests on Instagram is that it can be quite challenging to test. Use the link your bio as a place to send your followers and have them enter another contest. Sites like Gleam.io offer an easy to build contest form that will serve all your needs for a random draw with a social sharing component.
8. Tell Your Followers To Like Your Content. Tell People to Double Tap If They Agree. It’s a simple idea that asks your followers to tap a photo twice which results in a post like. That means the post will be shown to more people because of the Instagram Algorithm and show in the activity feed.
9. Build Relationships With Other Influential Accounts. The fastest way to grow an Instagram account is by engaging accounts with a larger following than you and having them promote your account. If you’re already creating great content, you might not have to pay them to give you a shout out. You might be able to get organic shout outs simply by building a quality relationship with one of those influencers.
10. Comment On Photos From Other Accounts. I thought it would be enough just to like other people’s pictures in order for them to follow me and like my photos. As it turned out, I got way more interaction when I commented on other users’ photos then when I merely liked them. As Instagram has grown in popularity, people have become less surprised and flattered by likes. As a result, brands who are looking to truly stand out will need to take it a step further by leaving comments.
11. Use Instagram Stories On The Regular. There are plenty of great ways to promote your brand with Instagram Stories. If you’re not familiar with Instagram Stories, it’s a section on Instagram where you can share temporary video clips or images that all of your followers can see but the content disappears within 24 hours. The approach is a direct spin-off of Snapchat Stories. When using Instagram stories, consider mixing static content that you may find on your camera roll with content happening in the moment. Don’t forget to also use strategies like collaborating with other Instagram accounts and taking over their stories to reach an even broader audience.
12. Use Both Images & Video Content. Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos” showing that video content is a great investment for brands looking to catch the attention of their audience. When thinking about your Instagram video content, create clear, fun, and engaging videos that people are going to want to tag their friends in. Creating images or videos that inspire people to tag their friends is a great way to drive virality for your account. As friends tag other friends, the content officially starts to spread like wildfire and take on a life of its own!
13. Run Instagram Ads. One of the best parts of Instagram is the fact that it shares data with Facebook. As a result, you have the ability to use the advanced demographic targeting offered on Facebook with Instagram as well. If you want to target people who live in a specific country and follow a specific band, you can do exactly that using Facebook Ads Manager. Instagram advertising offers photo based advertising in a square or vertical format and video ads in a square or landscape format. Most recently, Instagram also launched a carousel feature which offers an even more dynamic advertising experience on Instagram.
FDMC Social & Digital Media
Digital video is more popular than ever and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. Doing videos for mobile apps such as Instagram is a marketers goldmine. The problem is many small business owners believe it is too costly or they just do not understand how to go about making their videos. Here are some good tips to keep in mind when making digital videos, especially for Instagram.
Step 1: What is Your goal in making your video?
Before shooting your video, ask yourself what your goal is. What do you hope to achieve with this particular Instagram video?
Making a unedited video using your smartphone camera many times is all you need to do. Just remember to capture your idea and keep it professional. Always remember the time limits of videos on Instagram. Typically 60 seconds.
Start by outlining what it is you want to achieve, like getting the views you want. This is done by getting people to share your video and using hashtags.
Choose a goal that is achievable for your brand. If you're just getting started on Instagram and only have a handful of followers, don't expect 1,000 views on your first go-round. Going forward, keep a time frame to post future videos so you can gain a audience. Stick to that calendar!
Step 2: Light your shoot.
You don't need to own a top-of-the-line lighting kit to make people look great on camera. There are, however, some basic lighting tips that you can't afford to live without. This advice works particularly well if you're shooting a talking-head style video with a backdrop and a subject that's standing in one place.
Step 3: Shoot your footage.
When it comes to shooting your footage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Try to incorporate these best practices into the Instagram videos you make and you'll be on your way to success.
Step 4: Edit.
Now that you have all your footage together, it's time for the edit. Editing videos within the Instagram app itself isn't the most seamless experience, so if you're stitching footage together or going for anything other than just a quick trim, you should edit the footage in a third-party app. Here are some apps we've found particularly useful:
Social Media continues to evolve. It seems to be changing every month with new platforms, new trends, and applications. So you have your business on Facebook and Twitter and you think you are doing just fine in the world of social media. But are you really? Here are a few facts with business and social media. As Facebook becomes more of a "We want your money" operation, more and more people are drifting away to find the free platforms for their business to reach their masses. If you want the goodies now on Facebook, you are finding you have to cough up some dough to get it. Facebook's recent audience network launch program means for the business, the days of something for nothing is over.
What is becoming more popular for target marketing is video and images. Many of the Fortune 500 companies are moving in this direction for advertising and marketing. Images tell a lot and young shoppers especially are using this to their advantage and in their shopping habits. Pinterest and Instagram are picking up not only more users but advertisers as well as they pull away from traditional desktop platforms. Mobility, video, and photo images is 3 key words you as a business need to grasp and embrace for marketing and advertising. Video and still images have helped push Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine to new heights. Another popular tool for the young 15 to 25 crowd is Snapchat. While advertisers and still trying to figure out how to capture this new hot platform, Snapchat has become very trendy to this key target market.
While I am not saying you should not still keep a solid market plan in place for Facebook and Twitter, businesses need to be open to new platforms and monitor social media trends to capture that market share. keep up regular engagement conversations with your customers and stay connected. Remember, spending your marketing dollars in an empty room is not only fruitless, it is silly. Capture your market share and stay abreast of technology changes. Be a leader in the social media circle. Reach your goals.
We have all seen the recent changes to video apps in the latter part of 2013. Vine, Instagram, Social Cam among others have seen surges in their apps. Times, they are a changing. Social Media is becoming for visual. Instagram however has become the King of Video. Vine you may say has settled in as the Queen. Both have had their moment in the spotlight but Instagram has become more mainstream , more profitable, and more versatile. As more use social platforms for telling their short 30 to 60 second stories, Instagram will skyrocket in 2014. We are a visual society now.
As for the battle between Vine and Instagram, I think Twitter will settle on Instagram to be used in its mix as Facebook (who owns Instagram) has allowed pictures from Twitter to be now used in full without having to link to it. Cutting each other's profit throats is not going to be the solution. Video will surge as a marketing tool. We can also talk YouTube here as well. Besides the other video apps, YouTube will continue to grow as a content marketing tool for showing video. I would be remiss without mentioning SnapChat. This up and coming app also has emerged as a player in video but at the moment lacks marketing and advertising resource tools due to the nature of the videos going to selected groups, its length, and the capability of being removed. Some fine tuning and changes of SnapChat could however, make this app competitive with Instagram and Vine. Keep your visual eyes tuned to the video walls in 2014 and see the changes about to unfold in 2014 as we move from print to visual content!
A recent article stated that now over 115 Fortune 500 companies have embraced Instagram for their marketing campaigns. So what is your business doing? Instagram which started out offering only picture uploads now
accepts video with up to 15 seconds of content. This app (similar to Vine) has become a favorite for both consumers and businesses alike. So what do you get out of using Instagram? Demand generation, real-time (or close to it)
branding of your product offerings or services, and much more. Instagram allows you to post your products on sale, a service you offer, or an event you may be creating. It is simple to do. With your smartphone now a studio within a phone, you have your camera, your sound and if you need, you can even download editing software for your pictures or video. Most of these too are free. With ever shrinking advertising budgets, marketing your brand with Instagram is a very inexpensive way to promote.
Using hash tags with Instagram is also increases your search engine hits. Using a minimum of 4 to 10 hash tags will generate hits for you via search engines and increase your views. #Sale @ Bobs or #big sale are
simple examples. As to when to post, remember that social media applications are 24-7. Do not think that just because your business is 9 to 5 that you only post pictures or videos the same time. People today are very social media savvy and will check Instagram evenings and weekends as
well. Always keep that in mind. Try Instagram with your next marketing project and see what this neat app can do for you. Facebook now owns Instagram and yes you can post direct to FB landing page with Instagram.
Like Social Cam which I talked about in my last blog, another fast up and
coming app is Instagram. A little bit of Facebook , Twitter, and a little bit
of Social Cam rolled into one. You can "like" a photo, you can follow or be
followed, you can upload your shots onto Facebook or Twitter or both, whatever
your little heart desires. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Instagram. It
just that it kind of rehashes some apps that you can all ready do with others.
I guess what makes it kind of neat is that it attempts to roll many things into
one app. As to its longtivity as a popular app it yet to be seen. It is
available for most smart phones but you need to sign up on their website (at
least for the Android version from what I can tell) and specify your phone and
it downloads the app for you. http://instagr.am. To try and download it from the
Play Store without going through this procedure, it is not going to happen. Not
a big deal in my opinion. From there, find your friends through Facebook who
have the app and begin to follow them, start taking pictures so you can fill
your album and they will follow you or see the popular pictures of the day from
the web collaboration and like them too.
As seeing this as a social media tool for SMB's or an enterprise level, yes,
there "could" be some possibilities through promotions such as liking a picture
of an event your doing and tying this in with your Facebook fan page but the
verdict is still not in on using Instagram with business. Since signing up for
it, I am seeing mostly young people having fun taking goofy or fun pictures of
themselves like with Social Cam and just enjoying themselves. On a personal
note, a lot of my friends have started using Instagram. So even us "over the 30
mark gang" are having fun with it. If a smart social media administrator wanted
to capitalize on the fad and apply themselves, yes Instagram could be a cool
tool to use to capture real time events or promotions and intigrate with present
tools since you can merge as with Social Cam, to Facebook and Twitter. Take a
look at Instagram and decide for yourself.