Create The Perfect Instagram Profile

Create The Perfect Instagram Profile

The key to creating the perfect Instagram profile is a combination of things – an easily identifiable username, a recognizable profile picture, an informative but interesting bio, a relevant link, and a consistent stream of high-quality photos/videos/GIFs and Stories. Instagram accounts are automatically set to Public, meaning anyone can view your profile, and this is exactly how you want to keep it if you’re using your account for business. Don’t think your profile matters? Think again! Users make a decision about your profile in two-tenths of a second, so if you want to get more followers on Instagram, you really do need to create the perfect Instagram profile.

Username

The best type of username is one that is easy to search, recognize and one that people will remember. Using your business name is a great choice. If your business name is already taken as a username, try various combinations adding in words that represent your brand. For example, if the username @Starbucks was taken, you could try @StarbucksCoffee; or @Gucci was taken, you could try @GucciClothes or @GucciDesigner. Once you’ve decided on your username, stick to it, unless your business undergoes a big rebrand.

Name

As well as a username, which is used in all tags and mentions, your profile requires you also submit a name. Your name appears under your profile picture and when people search for you, it appears under your username. It’s important here that you add in your full business name to help people search for you and know what your full name is, rather than just your username. It makes your profile seem more official but also more personable. Your name and your username are the only criteria that make your profile searchable, so these are really important for visibility.

Profile Picture

Your profile picture is important because it forms a big part of a potential follower’s first impression of you. As one of the first things they see, due to being displayed so prominently, it should be something easy to recognize, and consistent with any other social media outlets you’re using. It can be a photo of yourself if you’re an Influencer, or a company logo if you’re a business. When selecting your photo, keep in mind that Instagram crops it into a circle and a minimum picture size is 110 x 110 pixels. Once uploaded, check that your photo isn’t stretched or blurry.

Profile pictures are more interchangeable than a username, which should remain the same. If there is a special season or trend, feel free to change up your photo to reflect this. For example, during Pride Month or Christmas you can create a temporary picture to reflect the season. It doesn’t have to be the entire photo, it could just be an element, such as adding in a rainbow background for Pride or snowflakes for Christmas.

Bio

The bio is a maximum of 150 characters and should include information to let people know what you’re about and why they should follow you. Make sure to incorporate who you are and what you do, be informative but also add a splash of personality so you don’t seem bland. People are more likely to follow you if you seem like a real person rather than a business. The bio section can also include hashtags, calls to action and a link. Hashtags encourage engagement by giving your audience a hashtag to use in their photo captions. Calls to action could give an incentive for users to tag you in their posts, and the link could be to your website homepage or to your latest update. Many people update the link here each time they post something new on Instagram. This directs consumer traffic more specifically around your website, perhaps to a new blog post or new products you’ve mentioned. Aside from Stories (which disappear after 24 hours), your bio is the only place on Instagram to add links. It’s recommendable to add in your email address, so potential clients/consumers have a way to contact you directly.

Photo Feed

After you’ve decided upon your username, written your bio and created the perfect profile picture, it’s time to think about curating the perfect photo feed. When users are considering following you, after they’ve read your bio and seen your profile picture, they are going to check out your photo feed. If they like what they see, they are likely to follow you. High-quality photos are a vital aspect of Instagram. Anyone with a smartphone can take mediocre photos, think about how to set your account aside from the rest. Creating high-quality posts comes down to three things: being interesting and relevant, a well-shot photo, and good editing.

Subject Matter

To keep the ‘insta’ in Instagram, the subject of your photo has to be relevant. Nobody would be interested in a photo of Christmas Day posted a week late, no matter how beautiful, cute or hilarious the photo was. It’s also valuable to consider your target audience and what they want to see. If you have a young audience, don’t post a photo of bingo night, post a photo of glow in the dark golf or snowboarding stunts. Comedy is another way to go, keep the image high quality but add in a witty caption to match and these are sometimes the most memorable and most shareable, a brilliant way to get more likes and followers on Instagram.

Good Photography

Spend some time learning how to take good photos. Experiment with different perspectives, take photos from up high or down low and see what works best for your subject matter. Creating a focal point can be important, don’t have too many things going on in your shot. The grid option on your smartphone helps with taking better photos. Add this in and place points of interest along these lines for a more balanced photo which encourages people to interact more naturally with it.

Good Editing

There are filters and basic editing tools available on Instagram, but these aren’t usually enough to create images of a high enough standard. Use at least one other photo editing app before you add them to Instagram. It takes practice but once you get the hang of it, it should be a quick process. All your photos should be somewhat similar in form, so they look good together when viewed in your profile. This means once you’ve found the right editing tools, it’ll be a breeze to edit future posts. Keeping the formation and colors similar makes your profile more attractive to users, meaning you’ll get more followers on Instagram.

There you have it, how to create the perfect Instagram profile. The username should come pretty naturally from either your name or your brand’s name, keep it simple and recognizable so people can easily find you and follow you. The trickiest part is writing the bio, keeping that balance of informing potential followers and enticing them in with your personality. Creating the perfect photo feed to complement the rest of your profile is a work in progress and in time should look beautiful and encourage everyone who visits your profile to follow you on Instagram.

Get More Followers on Instagram using Instagram Stories

Get More Followers on Instagram using Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are exploding in the marketing and social media world, Mark Zuckerberg even hinted that he thinks the use of the Stories format will eventually overtake the traditional newsfeed format. One in five Instagram Stories results in a direct message; this means potential clients are directly reaching out to your business as a result of your post. If you’re already using Stories but not reaping the benefits, here is a guide to get more views on Instagram Stories.

Location tag

Adding a location tag to your Instagram Stories helps increase visibility, even more so if you end up being featured on Instagram’s Story Search. Some reports show that you can achieve five times more views on Instagram Stories when adding in a location. It’s a good idea to experiment with the types of location that work best for your audience. The country or state might be too broad a reach and your Stories could get lost in the crowd. The region or city might be better, depending on where your target audience is, how populated that area is and how big or small the region is. Test out a variety of location tags and see which ones get the most views on Instagram Stories.

Hashtags

Boosting visibility helps get more views, so anything that makes your post more searchable is important. As hashtags are one of the most popular ways users search Instagram, it’s essential to use them if you want to get more views on Instagram Stories. The hashtag sticker used in Stories also helps you get featured on Instagram’s Story Search. Use up to 10 hashtags but keep them relevant so as not to appear spammy or cluttered. If you want to include multiple relevant hashtags but don’t want to clutter your post, here is a hot tip. If there are any color blocks on your post, such as a person wearing a black shirt or a block color background, match that exact color and add the hashtag there. It will be invisible to your audience but just as searchable as a visible hashtag.

Go Live

Not only does this create a feeling of urgency – ‘I need to watch this broadcast now before it disappears!’ – but users are alerted when you start a Live Video. This is immediately bringing it to the attention of your potential viewers. You can also enable replays of your live broadcast for 24 hours in Stories so it still appears in the Stories ‘bubble feed’ after the Live Video has ended. Usage of a Live Video is still fairly low, so users aren’t being inundated by ‘Live’ alerts. This means that they are more likely to click through and watch, so make the most of this while other brands are still figuring out a way to incorporate more Live Videos.

Mixed Media

Stories were designed for videos or boomerangs rather than still photos. Using photos every so often is okay, but mostly a moving post is best. If you are going to use a photo, consider adding in a funny caption because unlike in a video, viewers won’t have to concentrate as much on what’s going on so have time to read a caption. If you turn it into a question or a poll even better because this will help boost engagement.

Add subtitles

85% of videos viewed on Facebook are watched in silence. One can assume that this is probably also true of Instagram; so assuming the majority of your audience has the volume muted, you either need to add in subtitles or create attention-grabbing content which doesn’t require sound. If you can make compelling content without the use of sound, you’re way ahead of the crowd.

Bonus content

If your Instagram account has an official, professional or formal feel to it, you can mix it up with Instagram Stories by posting more casual content like a goofy behind-the-scenes peek to show the real personalities behind your brand. You can also post things irrelevant to your brand to demonstrate who you are as a person, like a hike you took at the weekend. This is likely to help you get more views on Instagram Stories because it is giving viewers something different from your everyday content, and something more relatable which hopefully will entice them to increase engagement.

Timing is everything

Identify the ideal time for you to be posting on Instagram using Insights, and post your Story then. Experiment with this a bit to find the exact optimum time. After you’ve identified this, post your first Story and then continue to add to your Story every 30 minutes for six hours. Make the first one a good one, because this is what will grab their attention and hopefully keep it. Prepare all of the content in advance and save it to your gallery, set a reminder on your phone for every 30 minutes and post the Stories. The reason for this is because it keeps bumping your Story to the first update on the Stories bubbles at the top, maximizing your visibility.

Tell a story

You can only post videos of up to 15 seconds on Instagram Stories. However, using the CutStory app to chop up a longer video, you can add them individually to your Stories. This enables you to tell your complete story in manageable chunks, and is a great hack to posting consistently.

There we have it, the most effective ways to get more views on Instagram Stories. Make your Stories as searchable as they can be by using all the basic tools Instagram provides like hashtags and location tags. Mix it up and try something new like a Live Video or funny boomerangs to show off your casual side, and further engage your audience. Don’t rely on sound in your content, update your Stories frequently and in no time you’ll find your viewing numbers will be increasing so fast you won’t know what hit you.

Use The New Video Feature to Get More Instagram Followers

Use The New Video Feature to get more Instagram Followers

Instagram recently unveiled its new video feature – an app that can be used within or outside Instagram that allows you to post videos up to 60 minutes long. This was first announced in the Wall Street Journal, and is said to be keeping up with the demand for mobile video among both consumers and advertisers. Launched as IGTV, users can post high-definition videos and its said that Instagram Influencers are in talks to create original content for the new streaming app.

At the press launch in June, Instagram executives demonstrated the different ways to use IGTV. These included vertical video clips of amateur cooks and wildlife explorers, among others. Initially, there won’t be any paid ads on the service, but this could change once IGTV becomes more established. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, stated that paid ads would be a ‘reasonable place to end up’ and at first content creators wouldn’t be paid for their content but that there would be a way for content creators to make a living.

IGTV is looking to take a piece of the online video market

Slated to be a big competitor to Snapchat Discover, which is currently home to daily content from National Geographic and Cosmopolitan, IGTV could be set to tap into the multibillion-dollar TV advertising market. Although marketers are still predominantly using TV to advertise, the spending into digital markets is slowly increasing. With the launch of IGTV, and Instagram’s one billion monthly users, it makes sense marketing budgets will potentially start to make space for digital advertising.

At the moment, the majority of Instagram’s users are in the 18-29 year-old demographic, which is why advertisers aren’t using it as their main marketing tool. They use it to target that demographic obviously, but TV ads are still the main marketing strategy for a lot of brands. However, with the introduction of Instagram’s new long-form video feature, it could bring in a new demographic. IGTV is set up so you can scroll through ‘channels’ and pick out whatever is interesting to you. Once you start watching, Instagram will use this data to recommend content that it thinks you will like, much like how your Instagram newsfeed works. This could potentially entice a much wider audience demographic to Instagram, meaning it’ll have more of an impact on your paid marketing strategy.

How IGTV benefits you

As a business, brand or Instagram Influencer you can use Instagram TV by posting longer videos without having to link back to your website or YouTube for the complete version. For example, if you have a new product launching, you can post up to an hour long video demoing the new product or perhaps an in-depth how-to video. If you are a comedian, you can post your full hour-long stand-up routine. This is designed to be the ‘go to’ place to build your audience. You can create a ‘channel’, much like you can on YouTube. Once users click to your channel (which is basically your IGTV profile) and watch a video, it’ll automatically jump to your next broadcast once the current one ends.

IGTV is designed with the idea of watching content on your phone, and therefore the videos are required to be in the vertical format. Content also starts playing as soon as you open it up, a concept designed to replicate turning on a TV. To find other content, swipe up and you’ll be able to switch between ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’. Users can also send videos in a direct message to their friends, and they’ll be alerted when someone they follow posts a new video on IGTV, which is great news for boosting visibility.

The vertical format encourages users to record videos on their phones rather than professionally via camera, this seeks to make it more accessible to everybody and build more of a community rather than exclusivity for professionals with access to video cameras. To get an idea of expected quality, it would have to be more professional than an Instagram Stories post but less curated than your regular Instagram photo posts. If users get bored they can swipe to move onto the next video, so even though they can be up to an hour, make sure every minute is still adding value. If you have a business profile you will have access to Instagram Insights, so through a few trial and error videos, you can find out which videos are getting the most engagement.

Mobile video consumption is set to increase

By 2021, Instagram expects that mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic, and that the younger demographic is more interested in amateur content than professional. This started with the craze of reality TV, then trickled to YouTube stars and now Snapchat and Instagram. IGTV is designed to be more like YouTube and less like Netflix, with videos from your favorite Instagram Influencers and not the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As far as business goes, this is good news as you won’t have to team up with production companies or TV studios to create in-demand content.

Unlike Instagram Stories, every video you post to IGTV is archived and thus users can go back and watch old videos again and again. When IGTV launched in June, Gucci uploaded every runway presentation since 2015 and gained over 400,000 views. Netflix uploaded an old video of a Riverdale star eating a cheeseburger for an hour, and it has over 700,000 views. This shows that there is definitely a platform for Instagram Influencers and marketers to get on board and maximize visibility without really having to do too much.

People don’t need to be following you in order to find you, your videos will be visible to anyone who searches them, as well as ‘videos for you’ which brings up videos based on previous engagement, and lastly, the popular tab brings up the most popular videos from around the world. The best way to use IGTV to your advantage is to think about what you are known for, how you can add value to this through an extended video and if there are any gaps in your current Instagram content that could be filled with an extra long video.

The main ways IGTV is going to affect Instagram is that Influencers and brands can engage even more with their audience, giving more in-depth interactions and content. It’s another way to boost visibility, add links into your Instagram content and ultimately get more Instagram followers and Instagram likes. It’s a concept sure to skyrocket, so get started on your long-form video content now!

How To Use Stories to Grow Your Instagram Followers

How To Use Stories to Grow Your Instagram Followers

While regular Instagram posts are designed for your very best content, Stories are designed to be used more frequently but with more ‘average’ posts. The idea is that it’s a fun way to share off the cuff moments you might not want on your regular feeds and show a different side to your account’s personality. This means you can publish them more often and, therefore, provide the opportunity to engage even more with your followers, and it also gives your posts a real-time value.

Creating Instagram Stories couldn’t be easier. All it takes is a simple tap on your profile picture on the Stories row, located at the top of your Home screen. This activates the camera where you can shoot a video or select something from the last 24 hours from your camera roll and click ‘+ your story’. There are a few options for formatting your posts to Stories, including Normal, Boomerang, Slow Motion, Rewind and Hands-Free. Make the choice of a GIF, a video played in reverse or a standard photo/video and, voila, you’ve created a story!

Stories can help keep your followers engaged

Why, as a business, would I waste time posting lots of substandard content? How can I use this to my advantage? Firstly, the Stories disappear after 24 hours, which forces your followers to log in frequently and check out your profile to see any new Stories before they disappear. This drives users to your business profile more often. It also humanizes your business, because the photos and videos tend to be more raw and relevant to a particular moment in time.

Although posts are technically designed to be of a lesser standard than regular posts, as a business, you’ll still need to think through your strategy. Using Stories during the right moments can be crucial. For example, if you’re having a sale or your business has an exciting event happening, posting some Stories can help your followers feel more connected to your brand and encourage more people to engage. You can also appeal to your followers’ sense of fun here, by posting more casual and witty photos and captions, rather than the more structured, rigid and ‘perfect’ posts on your official feed. This helps your audience feel more relaxed, and again more connected, to your brand.

How to boost the visibility and engagement of your Stories

As a result of Instagram making changes to its algorithm and moving away from its original chronological approach, it is possible your posts aren’t always showing up on your followers’ feeds. The algorithm predicts which posts are of the most interest to users, based on previous engagement, and those will be highest on their feed. However, Instagram Stories do not use the algorithm in this way. As a result, if you post in your Stories, it will show up at the top of their Stories feed at the time of posting. This is important in maintaining visibility with your followers.

To boost engagement and visibility further, you can tag people in the description of your Stories and decorate them with emojis, doodles and text to make them more in line with your brand. 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound so it’s reasonable to assume the same for videos and stories on Instagram, making the extra text on your content even more important. You can also add in your location, and when Instagram creates its location Stories if yours has created enough engagement it could potentially be featured, giving you that added element of visibility. The same can be said for adding in hashtags.

Adding polls to your Stories can boost user engagement while at the same time, give you vital insight into your target audience. There are two options when creating polls; A/B options or a slider option. The slider is more fun, but the A/B choice gives you more data. You can add in a question, such as, “Will you join me for a Live broadcast tonight?” with “Yes” or “No” answers; or to drive more engagement and excitement, you could use it to ask your audience what prize to give for your latest contest with descriptive answers; or to gain insight you could give future blog options or new product options. Just remember to check the results before the story expires in 24 hours.

Use Instagram Stories to drive users to your other content

Perhaps the single most important aspect of how to successfully use Instagram Stories is to take advantage of adding in a link. Aside from your bio, this is the only place on Instagram you can add in links. This is huge. Couple this will the fact you can add in flashy doodles to point out said link, it’s a potential goldmine. This is only available to business profiles, meaning not just anyone can capitalize on this. To add in a link, just click the chain link icon at the top of your story. Once a link is added, a See More option appears at the bottom but it’s a good idea to add in some text of your own to direct people to the link, for example, ‘Swipe up for the full post!’.

Although adding in links is a wonderful opportunity, be careful not to bombard users or post images just for the sake of adding a link. The posts should still add value to your marketing strategy, with the link as an added bonus. For example, if you are using Stories to show off a DIY project, you could include a link to your website with a full tutorial of instructions for the project.

Always make sure you edit!

The amount of flexibility given with posting to Stories is increased exponentially in comparison to a regular post. You don’t just have filters, you have stickers, graphics, texts, face filters or coloured backgrounds. From a psychological standpoint, anything that increases the exposure, warmth and contrast is going to be a winner. According to a group of Georgia Tech researchers who teamed up with Yahoo! labs, un-edited images are a no go, as they give the impression to your audience they weren’t worth the time to adjust. The same team found that the right colour adjustments have a significant impact on your audience engagement. Warmer colours, such as red and yellow, elicited feelings of cheerfulness, fun and excitement, leading to an increase in the number of comments by up to 45%! In support of the psychological colour theory, basic filters like Mayfair, Rise, Valencia, Hefe and Nashville will maximize your engagement, whereas Lo-Fi and X-Pro II are much darker and are unlikely to garner as many likes or comments. When adding in backgrounds or text, keep it light, sunny and colourful as opposed to dark or blue.

Make sure you aren’t using too many filters, emojis, text, doodles, links etc as these can put off your followers or cause them to unfollow or block them. Sprout Social found that irritating brand behaviours such as too many visuals or noises can cause 51% of your viewers to unfollow you.

As you can see, there are so many ways to use Instagram Stories. Whether you’re looking for market insight, higher engagement or a more personal connection with your followers, posting Instagram Stories is a great way to grow your business and influence.

How To Use Live Video to Grow Your Instagram

Use Live Video to Grow Your Instagram

Using live videos is a great way of connecting with your Instagram audience in real time, and seem to be a largely untapped market by businesses. It’s an innovative way of further engaging your followers, and attracting new ones at the same time. Understandably, a lot of businesses are opting to use Instagram Stories instead because you can use pre-recorded footage rather than un-edited live videos where anything could happen. However, among other benefits, going live can help you build trust with your followers as you’re not hiding behind multiple takes or heavy editing.

Engage With Your Instagram Followers

As well as building trust with your followers, Instagram Live can help boost your discoverability. If your Live Video is driving lots of viewers and engagement, you might end up on the Explore page, which will expose your business to a bigger potential audience base. Another way to increase your visibility is to hype up your upcoming live broadcast in previous posts, so your followers become excited about tuning in.

The psychology of Instagram Followers

There is also an interesting psychological element to Instagram Live. The app will let you know when an account you are following goes Live, thus creating this fear of missing out and knowing that if you don’t tune in immediately, you could potentially miss the content entirely and forever. Facebook has reported that its users spend three times the amount of time watching Live Videos than non-live posts and comment 10 times as frequently on Live posts than regular posts. This confirms that Live Videos are creating this sense of urgency and living in the moment, and as a result are a fantastic way to engage your audience.

Humans are naturally inquisitive. Live content feels like it is more real and intimate than a staged or edited post, and fuels our curiosity about how other people act in different situations. We feel like we are seeing something we don’t normally get the chance to see. We also know that anything can happen during a live feed, and we instinctively want to tune in to see for ourselves. There is a reason people tune into to live sports broadcasts rather than taping them; we want to see the events unfold and we want to engage with other people while they are happening, hence the heightened engagement and commenting levels on live social media posts.

The internet and social media culture has created a bit of an instant gratification generation in society today, Psychologist Susan Weinschenk notes that humans are hardwired to navigate our way through the world by seeking out information. This can come in the form of seeking out food or water, or in modern times it more often comes in the form of seeking information about the latest iPhone or red carpet outfits. This need is satiated constantly because of smartphones being able to tell us anything at any time. With an Instagram Live Video post, allowing your audience to instantly engage with questions, thoughts or feelings and as a broadcaster you can instantly respond, satisfying both parties need for instant gratification, sharing an experience and gaining extra information.

How to Use Instagram Live Video

Practically speaking, starting a live video on Instagram is pretty simple. Tap the camera icon located at the top left of the screen, or swipe right from your feed. From here tap the ‘Live’ button at the bottom of the screen and then ‘Start Live Video’. You’ll see the number of viewers will appear at the top of the screen and comments crop up at the bottom. Once you’ve finished your video, tap ‘End’ at the top right and tap again to confirm. Further options from here are to save the video to your camera roll to publish to your Instagram feed later (it disappears once you’ve finished), or you can select to share it to your story. Options available to going Live include hiding your post from certain people (head to Story Settings), hiding inappropriate words from the comments, or turning off commenting entirely. Obviously turning off the comments will disengage your audience somewhat.

Of course, sharing a live feed isn’t as simple as it sounds, you can’t just click ‘Live’ and go, you’ve got to give it some serious thought beforehand if you want to get more engagement from your viewers. On the flip side, it means you have all of the power to decide what you’re posting. It’s not like a live interview on the evening news, where the questions and tone are set by someone else. You are the one making the choices and telling the story. You can be really diverse in how you produce your content, for example, you can launch a new product, or have a how-to demonstration or even a question and answer session.

Plan Your Instagram Live Video to Get More Views

When preparing for a Live Video, it might be wise to plan out exactly what you’re going to say, bullet-pointed or even possibly a script in case you get sudden stage fright. Practising is important too, especially if it’s your first Live Video. You can even record yourself and play it back to get a feel for what your followers will be experiencing when they tune in. Obviously, you’ll want to get as many people as possible tuning into your broadcast, so promotion beforehand is invaluable. You can add a post to your feed mentioning your upcoming broadcast, and then use Stories to tease what the Live Video will be about. Creating a sense of urgency is important as well, going back to the ‘fear of missing out’ which is embedded in our human nature. Perhaps advertise limited time only offers or special promotions, with the details only being released during the live broadcast. If you want to be really business savvy about Instagram Live Videos, ask your audience to submit questions prior to the broadcast and use this as an opportunity to collect email addresses, to add them onto your mailing lists to drive future sales and build brand awareness.

Final thoughts, Grow Your Instagram Business

As you can see, there are so many opportunities to expand your audience and grow your business with Live Video on Instagram. Using the tips here you’ll be able to get maximum engagement and more comments on your live videos. Only a handful of businesses are maximizing this opportunity at the moment, so why not be a trailblazer and start those live broadcasts!

What is The Instagram Insights Feature and How to Use it

Instagram Insights Feature and How to Use it

Instagram Insights is a tool that provides data on the content you’re posting, as well as demographics for your followers. The information you’ll be able to find comprises Impressions, Reach, Profile Views, Website Clicks and Follower Demographics. This information is vital in maintaining and growing your presence on Instagram, as well as using it as an effective marketing tool.

What is Instagram Insights?

  • Impressions: How many times your post has been seen in total
  • Reach: Unique impressions (if someone has seen your post 10 times, it counts as one unique impression)
  • Profile Views: How many visits to your whole Instagram gallery
    Website Click Throughs: How many people have clicked through from your Instagram posts to your website
  • Follower Demographics: What portion of your followers are men vs women, their location (top cities and countries), their age range and the days and times of when people are logging on and seeing your posts

Measure your posts performance

Insights also allows you to see how individual posts are performing, enabling you to compare which types of posts are more popular to your followers. To gain access to all this information, you’ll first need a business account and then Instagram will start compiling data for you once you’ve made the switch. There are three different ways to access the information. From your account page, the bar graph icon at the upper right-hand corner will take you there. Analytics for an individual post can be found on the post, by tapping View Insights at the bottom left corner. For a story, same thing, open the story at tap the bottom left corner.

You can also look at several posts together or your whole Instagram profile. You could, for example, look at all of your video posts together and see how they are performing in comparison to all of your photos, or all of your boomerangs. This will help discern what type of posts your followers prefer. You can also look at how many comments and likes certain posts are receiving, to see which posts are engaging your followers the most. Insights also provides information on the resulting actions of your posts, such as if a follower visited your profile as a result of a post, or clicked through to your website, or purchased something. You’ll also be able to discover where people are seeing your posts – on their feeds or are they discovering you from your mentions, location or hashtags?

Post when your followers are active

Now you know how to access the information, the most important aspect is how to use this to your advantage. The information on the day and times your followers are most active is vital information. When you post on Instagram makes all the difference in the world when it comes to gaining and keeping followers. You’ll need to be posting during the time of day your followers, and potential followers, are checking Instagram. This is the same for days of the week as well. If everyone is logging in on Saturday, but not Tuesday, don’t post on Tuesday and post extra on Saturday, especially during active times of the day. If you’re posting when nobody is on Instagram, yes it will still be visible, but your posts could potentially get lost and reach far fewer people.

Use Hasthtags to extend your reach

You’ll also extend your reach of viewers by using Instagram hashtags. This is critical to people seeing your posts. Instagram can only do searches based on your tags, they can’t search based on the content of your images, and therefore they can only share your posts with people based on your tags. If your post doesn’t have tags, it’s not been shared, and if it doesn’t have appropriate tags, it’s not been seen by the correct audience. Use Insights to find out or confirm who your target audience is and use appropriate tags. The tags should also accurately describe the content of your photo, so if people are looking for photos of a sunset, if your sunset photo is not tagged with ‘#sunset’, they aren’t going to find it. Although general hashtags can be appealing to try and reach a bigger audience, using specific hashtags will reach people who are going to care about your photo, not people who will see it but dismiss it.

Use demographics to understand your audience

Using the follower demographics is an important one because you might think you’re targeting 18-24 year-olds but in reality, your main audience is 25-34. Knowing this can help you tailor your posts, and hashtags, to this age group and help you grow as you’ll hopefully be attracting even more of this demographic by targeting them specifically. Or if your product is specifically for 18-24 year-olds from New York, but you’re attracting an audience of mainly 13-17 year-olds from Beijing, you know that you’re not reaching the correct people and you need to change your social media marketing strategy.

Instagram Insights is a wonderful (and free!) tool, and you don’t even have to leave the app to utilize it and reap the rewards. Once you start checking in on Insights, you’ll find yourself with a font of knowledge regarding who your audience actually is, where they are from, when they are looking at your content, and what type of content they are enjoying. This information can prove invaluable in helping you create the perfect content to maximize engagement and visibility.

Welcome to IGTV

“IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators”
Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO of Instagram.

Instagram’s new platform and YouTube competitor is here. As well as being a standalone app, IGTV, you can also watch content from your favourite creators in the Instagram app.

 

What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s new competitor to YouTube and a new way to watch content online.
eMarketer predicted that 78% of video content will be viewed on mobile devices in 2018. They also expected YouTube to attract two-thirds of all digital video viewers in 2018, though the launch of IGTV may change this prediction.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV is made of all vertical videos – this makes a lot of sense as it’s specifically targeting users of a mobile platform who already create and view vertical content with Stories.

Anyone can create their own IGTV channel in the standalone app with a maximum of one IGTV channel per Instagram account. Most users will only be able to post videos up to ten minutes in length. Larger accounts can post up to one hour of content but Instagram announced that in the future there will be no limit.

Just like with other content on Instagram, channels and videos based on your likes and who you follow will appear in your explore page. Trending videos will show up on the popular channel and, like Instagram Stories, you can share IGTV content direct to your friends through messages.

Right now there are no ads as Instagram are focused on building engagement and creating a user base. However, there will be in the future so that creators can make a living off this new platform and creators will be able to post links on videos as a way to drive traffic to their other online content.

IGTV is also set up to allow you to view your Insights on each video so you can track engagement.

 

IGTV is a YouTube competitor

Instagram is very clearly looking to be an online, mobile content provider and not a new platform to rival Netflix or similar streaming services.

According to TechCrunch, “Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed.”

The announcement of IGTV also had prominent YouTube celebrities such as Lele Pons showcasing the new platform in what seems like a move to persuade popular YouTube identities to move onto IGTV.
This is great for channels and users already on Instagram.

There will be no pressure to produce super high quality, studio level productions. Focus on content and use simple editing software like iMovie to produce videos for your channel.

 

IGTV only shows vertical videos

Technically you could upload a horizontally shot video but that probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Instagram has been training people to shoot vertical content with Instagram Stories and this is just one step further.

As well as vertical video making a much better viewing experience on mobile, it also makes it easier for anybody to create content from their phone. Building on the points made in the previous section, this allows people to produce content that is natural and doesn’t have the too processed, polished studio look.
However, this will be frustrating to many businesses who may have to shoot video content in two different aspect ratios if they are planning to upload videos to multiple social media platforms.

 

IGTV is an interactive viewing experience

Whilst watching IGTV content, viewers can like and comment on them similar to live videos. Creators can add links to their videos so you can interact with them on other platforms as well.
You can also swipe up to search for more videos by category and swipe across to skip to the next video. We’re expecting many more features to be added that allow more interaction with content.

Like with other content in your Explore tab, IGTV videos are curated to your preferences and likes. The three IGTV categories help you distinguish between videos that Instagram thinks you will be interested in.
“For You” shows the videos that the Instagram algorithm believes you will enjoy. This is based on people you follow, posts you’ve liked or commented on and other data Instagram has on your activity.

“Following” shows the videos from all the accounts you follow on Instagram – if you follow someone on IGTV you’ll also follow them on Instagram too. “Popular” shows the current trending videos on IGTV.

 

This is just the start…

This is Instagram’s first move into long-form streaming content so we’re sure there are going to be new features coming out regularly. We already know ads/monetization and unlimited video length will be rolling out soon and we’re excited to see what is announced next.