Summer 2016’s brought some new tools for businesses, both large and small, who want to engage audiences on Instagram—including a brand-new contact button roll-out, as well as the ability to get some audience insights. Be sure you’ve set up your business profile to take advantage of most of these features. With new tools to help businesses, the keys for success are still the same: use stunning photos, be creative with storytelling, and be authentic.
1. Use Instagram Stories to create fun content.
This is one of the biggest social media announcements of the summer. Instagram Stories mimics the appeal that Snapchat offers: Very off-the-wall, rough, graffiti-like drawing and writing tools, and content that disappears after 24 hours. As a business, your followers tap on your profile photo when it’s got a colorful ring around it to see your newest Instagram Story. On Snapchat, advertisers were successful if their content was very rough—not polished. Instagram’s audience is a bit different, but it’s clear Instagram Stories was meant to attract that young Millennial segment. Take advantage of it! Some examples of businesses making clever use of Instagram stories include Taco Bell, Afar Media, and J. Crew.
2. Use your catalog to create dynamic ads.
Businesses can now upload their entire catalogs at once to create dynamic ads on Instagram. Once your catalog is uploaded, Instagram will show the right product to the right person at the right time. (Sweet!)
3. Turn great posts into ads.
Turn Instagram posts that are performing well into an ad. Through your business profile, you can promote your post, as with a similar feature on Facebook. Video ads are also a rising star - both on Facebook and Instagram. Recent industry analysis estimates 1 in every 4 brand ads on Instagram is a video, and the trend is edging towards longer duration times.
4. Create a business profile so users can find you.
If you haven’t already, set up your business profile in Instagram: Users will be able to locate you and contact you.
5. Never forget that relationship and relevancy matter.
Of course, the biggest story in 2016 when it comes to Instagram has been the major changes in its algorithm. Remember: Instagram (and other social media platforms) are working to give their users content that is most relevant to them.
The algorithms are designed to show users posts that are based on relationship to the user, posts that are relevant to topics they like, and posts that are current. (That said, not all Instagram users are happy about the changes, and some don’t like the fact that posts are no longer in chronological order.) Relationship and relevancy—the quality of the content—matters.