Last month, the platform launched Stories, last week (August 15), it launched Business Tools, and this week (August 31), it announced users can now zoom in on pictures. It seems like the platform is pushing out updates left, right and centre.
“So? These functions have been around for years on other platforms”, I hear you say. And you’d be right.
In fact, when the Business Tools and insights analysis function launched last week, I was slightly taken aback by the excitement it caused in the marketing industry. Of course, it’s great news and absolutely enables marketers to better target core audiences, but being truthful, as marketers, we should have been frustrated that it took this long – this function should have been around from the start.
With over 200,000 businesses already using Instagram for advertising, it makes me shudder wondering how these adverts managed to create relevant content for its customers, if at all.
So what exactly is Business Tools?
In amongst features such as business profiles, contact buttons and the ability to promote certain posts, Instagram’s new Business toolkit allows brands to gain insights into posts, such as which ones perform better than others and with which demographic.
This analysis is invaluable to brands. With insight, a brand’s reach, frequency rate, success of product discovery and customer loyalty can all be gathered. Knowing which posts work and using data to determine a change in direction (or not) is the critical key to a compelling, engaging and successful platform strategy.
For Instagram, it couldn’t come soon enough
While insight analysis on Facebook and Twitter has been around for years, it’s difficult to comprehend how brands have managed to create consistent marketing strategies across social platforms until now.
Official figures released in June (2016) revealed the platform now has half a billion registered users, double the amount it had two years ago.
And with more than 300 million people using the service every day, it is vital brands get their strategies right, especially if you’re targeting the 90 per cent of users who are under 35. When stats show that 28% of users under 35 have purchased a product as a direct result of viewing it on the network in the last six months, it’s easy to understand why nailing Instagram is essential.
In this era of purpose where visual content triumphs over written, and the need for brands to talk with consumers, rather than at them is integral, Instagram, although half a decade old, still offers a fresh approach to help brands tell visual, authentic and transportive stories.
So what’s next for the platform?
It’s taken six years for the platform to get up to speed with its competitors, namely Facebook and Twitter, with its recent introductions, and no doubt there’s stiff competition from the likes of Snapchat and, although in testing, Lifestage.
But on such a roll, and now on par on its biggest competitors, its fair game what comes next.
Words by Nina Sawetz, PR and communications consultant
As head of Editorial for Bottle, Nina leads PR strategy and comms activity for the agency’s consumer division, and has extensive experience working with brands including Goodyear, Poundland, Interflora, Golden Wonder and AXA PPP healthcare.
Nina also runs FuturePR.co looking at ongoing trends and the changing landscape of PR and communications.
Contact Nina at email@example.com, and via Twitter @BottleNina or @FuturePRco.