As of now, Instagram’s audience reaches roughly 1.1 billion active users worldwide. Two-thirds of those users are aged 34 and younger, and that makes them active buyers as well. This platform is not just a photo-sharing application and is about something much more than just perfect pictures. It deserves proper appreciation from the marketers’ side, since it can make an effective and decent sales funnel, sometimes even bigger than Facebook, especially for e-commerce.
There are actually a few goals you can achieve on Instagram like enlarging your audience, raising brand awareness, and finally selling etc. All you have to do is to follow the trends that change with time. So here are the latest 2021 Instagram do’s you need to know to be used by businesses in order to achieve success.
Do #1 No matter what, content and grid posts still work, and your visual content is the main thing for you to focus on while planning your strategy. Your top 9 should be worth taking a look at and clearly show who you really are. Refine your biography at the top as well. In other words, altogether they will deliver the story of your brand in detail.
By the way, at the end of January, some selected users received a notification that they were deprived of the ability to share a feed post to their stories. It makes a certain sense, since you’re able to see the users’ IG story at the top if you follow them, but if you do, it means you see their feed anyway. This might be a bit frustrating, but in this way, Instagram is looking to improve the user’s experience of interacting with an App and prompt creating new content.
Carousels proved to get more engagement than single-image posts. Use your product’s pics, before-and-after images etc. and a strong CTA. Be sure to use a professional account. On average, three posts a week is enough, you can post more if you’ve got something to boast of.
Do #2 More and more Stories. They’ve gained popularity since their first launch. Stories are primarily posted by businesses, shown above feed and seen by those, who already follow you. They are the warmest audience actually. According to a survey, one in five stories prompt users’ DM. Once they do it, they are in your inbox, which means you can interact with them anytime personally.
After some testing in April the platform launched captions for the users from English-speaking countries. The captions are generated automatically and are not absolutely correct, so you will have to correct them yourself. This feature gives an option of boosting engagement within people, who cannot watch it with sound.
Later on, Instagram improved accessibility with the option of translating Story overlays in another language on the screen. IG Stories Translation Banner in the left upper corner supports over 90 languages for now, but only texts without an audio conversion. This feature might significantly help brands reach new markets with their promotions being instantly translated.
Try to keep up to 8 or 10 stories active at a time, but do not post all of them at once, for they will disappear at the same time. Be less formal and refined there, people would love to see the real you. You can mention someone there or show your business location, use polls and other CTA to prompt DM’s etc. In other words, be creative.
What’s even more important, in July all Instagram users were given an option of saving their stories as drafts within the application, when leaving during the creation process. When leaving without finishing the notification will let you know that it will be there for a week for you, no longer. This minor feature will come in handy for Social Media Managers, allowing them to create more comprehensive and post it at the optimal times.
Besides all the above mentioned, your Stories can be added to Highlights with awesome covers to boost your biography and keep them alive as long as you want.
Do #3 Reels, IGTV, and Live broadcasts will become more important. The primary goal of any Social Media is to entertain and that is what Reels, IGTV videos and Live are about.
Reels is similar to stories, but it is not the same. They are more likely to be shown on Instagram Explore Page, where new brands are mostly discovered. You can add AR effects, sounds etc. It is accessible through your Instagram camera and can be shared to Reels tab or to your feed. Reels frequency can be tested to find out what works best for you.
IGTV videos gained its popularity with the shift of focus to videos. You can post it anytime you’ve got a chance to. Besides that, it is the only Instagram feature that allows including an external link to your product or service, for instance.
Live broadcasts are perfect for product demonstrations, “ask me anything” sessions so on and so forth. Besides that, you can increase your audience by going live with up to 3 accounts, since their followers will receive notifications as well.
First, this feature came to testing in India back in December 2020. Due to the pandemic, Instagram observed a rise in streaming, since people were looking for new ways to stay connected. In March this option was launched for all the regions. A user is given an option of inviting other people to their IG Live Rooms, where you will be seen live side by side. A person, who is being invited, will see a drop-down notification. Such an option suggests a wider range of applications: from conducting interviews to strengthening a connection with your audience.
In May Instagram Reels and Live Broadcasts got deeper insight for the users to make the most of it and get a deeper understanding of their content performance. Total replays, shares and saves, likes, comments, and reached accounts became available for Reels. Live broadcasts got access to shares and save, peak concurrent views, likes, and reached accounts. With this detailed information, SM managers got an opportunity to refine their marketing strategy content quality.
By the way, in June Instagram finally started testing an option of uploading videos and images from your PC. For now, only a small group of users have access to the full set of posting tools. As soon as you add a video or a picture, you’ll get access to the editing tools as well. This option doesn’t work for Reels or Stories now, but most probably it will be tested pretty soon. This new feature will significantly streamline the work of SM managers and those, who access the app from PC.
Do #4 Create a winning strategy, define your audience and use relevant hashtags. An effective strategy starts with getting to know your customer. As we’ve mentioned above, two-thirds of users are aged 34 and younger, the largest segment is aged 25-34. But it doesn’t mean they are all yours. First, take a look at those, who already follow you, and not only on Instagram. Checking all SM would be wise. Don’t forget about offline customers. The key points are age, location, language, interests, spending patterns, challenges, etc.
Relevant hashtags play one of the key roles, since they can boost visibility and your brand’s discoverability. Mostly, from 5 to 9 are more than enough and should be relevant to your brand or product, your niche, etc. Try to avoid using “#likeforlike” hashtags though. You could also use your company’s name as a unique one, which will make your brand much easier to find.
Do #5 Set up an online Instagram shop, especially if you sell physical products. Since there are still some restrictions imposed due to the global pandemic, we keep spending more a more time online. Thus, media platforms tend to make shopping online easier and faster. In February new shoppable posts were emerging in our feeds. There was launched a tappable shopping back in the lower-left corner of your screen. It allows tapping and finding out all the details about the products you’re particularly interested in.
Once you set up a shop, you can tag your products on posts, IGTV videos and stories. You just need to make sure that tags match actual pictures, so as not to get your customers frustrated.
Here we collected the most relevant updates for you. VAfromEurope uses these new features and they really work. That’s what we can say judging from our experience. You can implement them right now or delegate it to one the most trustworthy agencies.