On June 20th Instagram announced it now boasts a global community of one billion users. That’s a huge base of potential customers. Likewise, with new Instagram features to play with, now’s the time to start engaging in some image and video sharing.

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

Firstly, marketing moves fast. It’s all about adaptation and exploring. Accordingly, Instagram has 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 line with their interests.

Therefore, early adoption of the new Instagram 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.

Introducing Instagram’s Latest Feature: IGTV

IGTV is designed specifically for smartphone use. Essentially, it utilises vertical shooting directly from your phone. Which means less time spent editing. Hence, 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.

Staying on top of your social media can often feel like a job in itself. Frequently 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 the benefits of having all your accounts conveniently in one place.

With its own video-streaming app in-house, Instagram helps 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.

What Can You Use the IGTV’s Features 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: Instagram Features to Explore

One of the Instagram features we like the most is the new Topic Channel feature. This 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.

Likewise, hashtags are now even more important than ever. The hashtags you choose to represent your company can really make or break you. Remember #susanalbumparty? Probably not for the reason that was intended.

Harness the Hashtag – Instagram’s Key Feature

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 fact that they have a personalised channel picking up your content means they’re interested in what you have to offer. As a result, you have the chance to potentially turn browsers into followers, and followers into customers.

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

Read more on The Best Free Instagram Tools for Marketing.

Consumers are looking for content that will engage them quickly, or they’re going to click away. Since humans are incredibly visual creatures, 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.

If you’re interested in finding out how Social INK can help your business, don’t hesitate to reach out here.

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