Instagram use has exploded, especially by companies, as a way to reach their followers and new customers. They have released a lot of new tools over the last year primarily linked to Stories, with 400 million users daily, and latterly Instagram TV (IGTV) which allows you to upload video. Here is a quick summary and user guide for you.
1. Add Multiple Images/Video Clips
This one has been around for a little while but in case you haven't discovered it you can add a mix of photos and a video clip or boomerang clip for added engagement in your Instagram post. It's known as the carousel. Just click the blue "layers"icon and then select the images you want to show for your post.
2. Follow Hashtags
So you've always been able to follow accounts, but now you can follow hashtags that interest you too including those that you use for your own business.
3. Instagram Stories
With over 400 million daily users checking them out, stories are created by uploading a series of photos or video clips over the space of 24 hours. It's a great tool for keeping your customers up to speed as to what you are up to and give them insight into your process, products or organization.
So give it a go! Let's see how...firstly, make sure you have updated to the latest version of Insta.
You will see a circle in the top left corner with your profile picture and a plus sign. Tap there to begin...You will see a new screen open up ( below right):
Each individual component of your Story is called a slide. You can either add a photo or video clip that you have taken in the last 24 hours or take some new video or photo. If you don't yet have content to use then you'll create it by taking a photo or a selfie.
Let's make that photo even more engaging to your viewers by using text, filters and other tools:
To each slide, you can add optional stickers, GIF stickers, a location tag, text, and even a survey to create engagement, through the icons in the top right corner of your screen. Finally, once all of your content is set, you can click the plus sign in the bottom left corner of your screen to add the slide to your Instagram Stories. Your slides will stay public for 24 hours but you can save your own story to your library.
Do showcase your business’ highlights and big updates.
Stay business like in your business Instagram account- Don't mix your personal life and business posts, unless you are the brand.
If you have an event coming up, go live and talk about the preparations and encourage people to sign up.
Let followers know what you’ve been up to and what you can offer them.
Fundamentally, you’ll want to share your content in the form of a novel. No matter how many slides you choose, there should be a beginning, middle, and end.
Add some of your story content to your regular feed posts, so there is a more permanent version of your content.
Once you have a business account with more than 10,000 followers or a verified account, you can add a link to your Call To Action by utilizing the ‘Swipe Up’ feature for it. But you probably know that by now if you have 10/+ followers.
4. Add Color To A Post
Sometimes you might just want to add text on a color background or reveal part of a photograph underneath a color mask that you have added. Here's how:
Earlier this year instagram launched a video channel, IGTV, allowing creators to upload video of up to 1 hour long.
You'll notice this icon in the top right hand corner and you'll see an array of video content from those you follow and those who are recommended by the Insta algorithm.
To add video to IGTV you'll need to initially download the IGTV app and create an account. If you are logged into Instagram it will pick that up.
Here are a few basic tips for uploading:
Click the “+” in the right hand corner to add a new vid.
Select a vertical video from your camera roll - When making your video use your phone vertically.
Add in your title and description. Note: just like when you upload a video to YouTube or write a blog you want to utilize relevant keywords. Same goes for IGTV, make sure your videos are “searchable” by adding in some powerful keywords.
Link your video to an external page. Think of all the possibilities. You could link to your website, a gallery, your portfolio or even your online store.
Create a thumbnail for your video so your channel stays neat and organized.
Hit that post button and you’re all set.
Some more info:
For regular accounts videos can be 15 seconds to 10 minutes long.
For verified accounts up to 1 hour.
Video files should be .mp4 format and aspect ratio 9:16 - which they are when you use your phone to record vertically.
You can only have one IGTV account for your instagram account and as of yet there is no paid advertising on IGTV.
I hope you find all of this useful- play with the tools and see how it increases your follower engagement, clicks to your site and conversions to your business products and services.