All businesses – big or small require marketing. It’s the pathway between business owners and customers. Marketing can be done in various ways. Of them, social media marketing is an essential form of marketing nowadays.
It is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach customers. Some of the popular social media platforms for marketing are – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Facebook is the most widely used social media for marketing. But recently, there’s a lot of buzz around Instagram. Many think Instagram is just for teens and photographers. But it’s not true.
It is not only a place for teens and photographers only but a vital source of marketing too. It’s essential to take Instagram marketing seriously if you don’t want to be left behind. It is more of a necessity than choice now.
Nobody has the time to learn about marketing on another platform. So, we have tried to cover up five essential tools for Instagram marketing below.
Let’s get started:
1. Ink 361
Ink361 is a marketing tool that allows companies to measure performance and keep an eye on the competitors. You need to find out what works and do more of it. Ink361 gives you information about types of content people are likely to engage. Having a bunch of followers is not going to work if they don’t engage.
- Allows you to search hashtags and user accounts. By searching accounts, you can find out which of their posts are receiving more engagement and a total stat of their performance. You can search for your competitors’ accounts and have a better idea. Searching for hashtags also gives you an idea of how using a specific hashtag might affect the results.
- Allows you to scan through your account in a grid view with all information about engagements that lets you decide which kinds of posts to omit and which not to.
- Its most important feature is you can geo-tag your content. Its map function shows you what kind of posts perform better in which areas and lets you link your content to the right geographical space. This is important because people of different places differ in tastes and opinion.
It is free to use till now. But Pro version will be coming soon.
- Followers of popular accounts that already reach your target audience or even your competitor’s followers can be easily copied and followed.
- “Non-Followers” and “Fans” options let you know who followed you back and who didn’t. You can easily unfollow the “Non-Followers” if you have reached your follow limit.
- You can schedule posts. There are options like “Whitelist” and “Blacklist.” Use them if you want to keep some accounts out of your follow or unfollow recommendations.
They offer a free version along with three different paid plans – Plus, Premium and VIP. They cost $9.99, $19.99 and $99.99 respectively per month. You can also opt to pay annually, and the rates drop a bit if you do so.
One of the best Instagram marketing tools you will find out there is Iconosquare. It comes with a variety of features. Of them, managing to post at the right time for your target audience and hashtag analysis is the best. It can also do competitor analysis just like Ink361.
- Timing is important to reach your target audience. If you are posting at the wrong time, you cannot have expected results. Iconosquare’s “Scheduler” does the job for you.
- It has analytics facilities that cover up competitor analysis, content analysis, hashtag analysis and some other essential things. These analyses are critical factors in gaining success. You might be losing your target audience for an inappropriate hashtag.
- It also lets you track your media tools and followers’ comments comfortably.
You can have a free trial of Iconosquare, but it is mainly a paid tool. It has three plans – Pro, Advanced and Agency. Pro will cost you $29 per month, and Advanced will cost you $59 per month. It will cost you less if you opt to pay yearly. For the Agency plan rate, you need to contact them.
Later is a simple Instagram marketing tool that doesn’t flood you with a bunch of features. It does a straightforward task with perfection for you – which is to post an image to Instagram at a later date. It doesn’t have any analytics feature though. So, some might find other ones convenient.
- Schedules post for a later time. You can schedule posts for a whole month or even more than that with this tool. It shows you those posts planned in a perfect calendar view. You can preview the posts and have both weekly and monthly view.
It has a free version and a Plus version for individuals that cost $9 per month. For businesses, it offers three plans – Premium, Starter, and Brand, that cost you $19, $29 and $49 respectively.
Till now we have mentioned some great marketing tools of Instagram that perform tasks like scheduling posts, performing analytics, increase followers, etc. But isn’t Instagram all about photos? So, photo quality needs to be emphasized while marketing on Instagram.
It’s obvious that a nice visual with good quality is going to buy you more engagement. Hence, we considered including a tool that empowers you to edit images and video to such a level as if they were done by a professional. The name of the tool is VSCO. It’s a mobile app for iPhone and Android.
- It lets you whiten the background and fix blemishes.
- With the details tool, you can improve the view of things like sunglasses, jewelry and other tiny things that you want to show clearly in a photo.
- You can apply any filter you like and control the temperature and saturation.
VSCO is free to use. VSCO can be upgraded to VSCO – X which has a 7-day trial and will cost $19.99 per year afterward.
Many brands already leverage Instagram Live, a streaming feature of the social network that allows marketers to live stream video. IGTV however, is a new video hosting platform on the app that allows brands to record long-form video content to host on different accounts throughout Instagram. Leveraging IGTV is a great way to reach new audiences and capture attention of Instagram users much more efficiently than normal image posts.
These are some tools to get started marketing in Instagram. There are many more like this. As a beginner, you can start with any of these and try the free trials first. Once you get used to using them, you can upgrade to the paid version or look for any other tool that suits your needs. Use of these tools is sure to make your Instagram marketing experience smoother.
Author Bio: Liakat Hossain is an enthusiast blogger and web strategist at WebAlive Web Design Company. He has been helping Melbourne businesses grow by developing search and content marketing strategies since 2011. You can connect with him on Twitter.