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What started off as a way for individuals to share pictures with friends has snowballed into a social norm, impacting the way users shop, dine, vacation and more. Since Instagram’s launch nearly a decade ago, the app has garnered more than one billion active monthly users, expanded spokesmodel marketing to include nano influencers and social media sensations, and consistently rolled out new features. Among the platform’s evolution includes the replacement of the chronological timeline with an algorithm that prioritizes feeds based on which posts and accounts individuals engage with the most. Considering that eight out of ten accounts follow a business on Instagram, the problem isn’t getting users to follow your brand. The problem is ensuring that the audience actually sees your post in their feed. If users aren’t engaging with the brand-leading content that you’re publishing, utilizing these five recent Instagram releases can help.

Dive into the Power of Instagram Stories with “Create” Mode 

In a world of GIFs, countdowns, texts, polls and more, there are endless features to engage users via Instagram Stories. The likelihood that brands will remember to incorporate more of these direct response features just increased with the launch of the Create mode camera. This option houses all creative features under one convenient tab to ensure that all options are utilized to connect with consumers. It also allows brands to add a full-page of GIFs, tiled three times, to use as the background of a post!

Create Your Own Filter for Instagram Stories

Looking to show off your creative expertise and connect with the 500 million accounts that use Instagram stories daily? Facebook’s Spark Augmented Reality (AR) Studio recently rolled out a public beta that allows all brands and individuals to create and submit their own filter effects to Instagram. This exciting new feature–which was formerly exclusive to select brands and creators–can be a great way to engage with your audience, generate brand awareness and add exposure to campaigns. Using the Spark AR Studio program, brands can begin designing their own effects, such as textured filters, facial effects, games and more.

While designers have free range with the creative effects, one guideline to be mindful of is that the filter can only include one logo or short catchphrase. Once a promotional filter is approved and published to Instagram, users will be able to locate the filter on the effects tab of the brand’s profile, via links to the effect and through Instagram Stories, which lists the name of your effect and who created it. With that in mind, one way to utilize this feature to its utmost capacity is by having an influencer use your filter on their story. This can help widen the reach of who sees it, who downloads and uses it, and who takes a look at your brand.

Utilize Instagram’s Save and Share Features to Boost Algorithm

Another excellent way to keep your branded content at the top of someone’s feed is by posting material that the audience feels compelled to save. Bookmarking a post will, of course, make it easier for the user to reference the material again. The benefit for the brand is that Instagram’s algorithm categorizes this action as a more weighted “like,” because it indicates that the content is so valuable that they want to return to it at a later date. As Instagram continues running tests to hide the total number of likes and video views content receives, the emphasis placed on the overall engagement rates on a post, which include the number of comments, saves and shares, will continue to grow in value.

Paying close attention to the number of saves your posts get will also help illustrate the type of material that resonates most with your audience. The same applies when users share your Instagram content onto their stories and even through direct messages, which Instagram tracks although users themselves cannot see it. Some tips for creating stand-out content that users may feel compelled to save and share include:

  • Infographic style images
  • Longer post captions, also known as “micro blogs”
  • Tips and advice
  • Insightful or inspiring quotes

Respond to Instagram Direct Messages on Desktop Via Facebook’s Integrated Inbox

Every month, there are 150 million people conversing with businesses through Instagram’s Direct Message, and 200 billion messages exchanged between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger. As brands continue to feel more connected to brands, these numbers are sure to increase, which makes effectively managing messages even more important. Brands can do this by connecting their Instagram Direct account to Facebook through the Pages Manager app. This allows brands to simultaneously respond to consumers on two different platforms and gives them the option to respond to via desktop.

Incorporate Branded Content Posts into Advertising Strategy

To make the most out of an influencer campaign, brands can now promote creators’ organic branded content posts on Instagram feeds and Stories, and in Explore. This new feature allows brands to boost, scale and measure influencer content that promotes their product or business. Once the ad is approved and live, brands will be able to access the standard ad reporting metrics in the Ads Manager and insights within the Brands Collab Manager on Facebook pages. One thing to note for this particular form of branded content is that only static images and videos are supported at this time.

Whether you’re launching a new campaign for the fast-approaching holiday season or looking to liven up your Instagram feed, you can spark engagement and increase your brand visibility with these recent releases. Need help taking your marketing to the next level? We can help! Learn more about the various services that Orange Label offers.

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Founded in 1972

As Orange County’s longest-standing, privately held response marketing agency, we have witnessed dynamic shifts in the world of marketing. Through it all, we have ensured our clients stay at the forefront of communication and technology, driving response and value with every new endeavor.