New Instagram Features For Brand Marketing

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On June 20th Instagram made the announcement that they now boast a global community of one billion users — that’s a huge base of potential customers.

But, with such a vast array of accounts posting images, how can you stand out?

Marketing moves fast — it’s all about adaptation and exploring. Instagram have recently added two new features: IGTV (a new video-streaming platform that they hope will rival YouTube), and Topic Channels in the Explore tab, allowing users to browse new content in their line of interests.

Early adoption of the new features will certainly offer a boost to your business, so let’s explore what the new features are and what they can do for you.

IGTV

IGTV has been designed specifically for smartphone use, utilising vertical shooting directly from your phone. Less time spent editing means more time to create innovative content to boost brand awareness.

With mobile video set to account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021, it’s time to try something new.

Keeping on top of your social media can often feel like a job in itself — bouncing between platforms to hit different audiences and requirements takes time.

Are you using a hub to manage your social media accounts? If not, let us explain to you the benefits of having all your accounts conveniently in one place;

By having a video-streaming app in-house, Instagram can help you tap into two key audiences without having to create and upload content in different places. It also means you don’t need to spend time building up a new audience. You can send your video content directly to your loyal customer base.

So What Can You Use IGTV For?

We’ve spoken in-depth about how video can benefit your business here;

IGTV can be used in the same way that any other video-streaming platform can. You can use it to show a human face to your business — introduction videos, quick response to news or product demonstrations.

You might even want to team up with influencers to extend and expand your reach.

It’s your chance to show people what your brand is all about. No matter what your business, whether you sell juggling balls, offer motivational speeches or can cook a mean Victoria Sponge, IGTV gives you the spotlight.

It’s your platform. Your space. Just remember, you’re there as the face of your business.

So while you might do a REALLY good drunk karaoke version of Bat Out Of Hell, your potential customers probably don’t need to see that (unless you run a Karaoke bar - then you’re probably good).

Topic Channel In Explore

The new Topic Channel feature has really expanded how people can browse and interact with content.

Instagram now has a tray with personalised and curated posts that fit the interests of each individual viewer. Using an algorithm that looks at frequently browsed and used hashtags it’s a way to explore and discover new content, in your sphere of interest.

Hashtags are set to become even more important than ever. The hashtags you choose to represent your company can really make or break you. I’m sure we all remember #susanalbumparty, but not for the reason that was intended.  

A poorly thought out hashtag may become a major trending topic — but it’s unlikely to help your business. And with the introduction of Instagram’s Topic Channels, hashtags now need even more thought and consideration.

While it may sound like a tricky task, a little research will do you wonders. Explore your own Instagram, see what hashtags competitors use, see what influencers in your sphere use, and maybe ask a friend to check before launching your own hashtag. Combining some well thought out hashtags with the new topic channels can really open up your content to a wider audience.

The simple fact that they have a personalised channel that picks up your content means they’re interested in what you have to offer — so it gives you the chance to potentially turn browsers into followers, and followers into customers.

It’s a great tool offering huge potential for growth.

In the digital age, consumers are looking for content that will engage them quickly, or they’re going to click away. Humans are incredibly visual creatures, so it makes sense that a photo and video-sharing social network like Instagram is the perfect way to catch attention quickly.  

A published MIT study suggests that we can understand the meaning of an image in only 13ms, that’s ten times faster than the blink of an eye!

So, if you want to catch the attention of your potential customers quickly and effectively — Instagram is perfect.

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