How Marketers Can Take Advantage of New Instagram Features & Functionality

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 02/06/16 18:26
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Rowland Marsh

Instagram Changes

Instagram recently modernised its logo and the photo-sharing app has followed this up by rolling out some significant changes for businesses. Since the recent announcement that Instagram are implementing several updates to their platform, marketers have been pondering what means it all means for the them.

Enchant discusses the new Instagram changes and how they impact marketers:

Instagram becomes ad-friendly

Facebook-owned Instagram has been gradually moving closer to Facebook in its attitude to businesses. Sponsored posts and business profiles are two key areas for marketers and advertisers to exploit. There will be a greater scope for marketers to get their message across and promote call-to-actions, plus the previous hindrance of the square photo format restriction has be relaxed.

Business profiles

Companies will be able to indicate that their account is a business profile. This will grant marketers access to analytics to review the performance of ads and posts, whilst insights will enable information on those who have engaged with posts, including location and gender profiling.

Call-to-actions and click-throughs

A welcome change for marketers is the ability to allow followers to click through to content and websites. Instagram previously limited brands to adding non-clickable URLs to their bio, meaning no real call-to-action impact. Now business accounts will be able to promote call-to-actions and click-throughs, meaning the channel has much more potential to drive traffic back to websites and to increase conversion opportunities.

However, this is not the case for videos. When linking to an Instagram ad, anyone tapping on your profile will seeing your ad’s call-to-action at the top of your profile.

Video length

Marketers previously frustrated by the limit of 15 seconds for videos welcomed the decision to increase this to 60 seconds, enhancing the ability for marketers to get richer and more impactful branded content in front of Instagram users, with less need for editing down videos.

Video features enable marketers to post directly from their device camera, add filters and remove sound, and it’s now easier to repurpose content from other social channels.

Video views and interaction

Business profiles will come will the analytic capabilities for videos, allowing marketers to see number of video views and likes, whilst you will be able to follow users who liked your video. This is another move to bring Facebook and Instagram closer and it gives marketers much more insight into engagement levels of activity.

Instagram algorithm changes

The Instagram algorithm is the most contentious change to the app and is again following in the footsteps of Facebook. No longer will users see a chronological order of posts from those they follow, as it will be based on Instagram’s algorithm, which takes the control out of users’ hands.

Instagram claim this brings content from those most important to you closer, showing you the content you really want to see. There is also the feature “Turn On Post Notifications”, which notifies you when there’s been posts from those you engage with most.

What this means for marketers is that they need to focus heavily on quality and not quantity, when it comes to organic content. You will need engagements to ensure followers see your future posts. This will cause the same problem for start-ups and SMEs as with Facebook algorithms, as it will put pressure on them to turn to paid Instagram content to get the required reach for their content.

Summary

So Instagram’s changes benefit marketers with a budget for paid content. There are now greater tools for driving traffic to company websites via this social channel, with more capabilities for ads and video content, plus analytics and insights tools to help social strategies. However, marketers will have to work harder with their organic content to maintain good reach to their followers.

If you want to read about how Twitter’s new changes affect marketers, check out: 4 Ways for Social Media Marketers to Utilise New Twitter Limit Changes.


Topics: Social Media, Instagram, Instagram changes, Social, Social media marketing, Social strategy

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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