Recently, Instagram Chief, Adam Mosseri, announced that the platform is no longer a photo-sharing app. Rather, Instagram has evolved as a photo-and-video sharing app. As the platform tries to build new features for a better user experience, Instagram now focuses on four key areas. These are Creators, Messaging, Shopping, and Videos.
A social media agency Hong Kong has noted that such an announcement is a gold mine for marketers. It means that they can now make the best of Instagram’s features and tools to create a content strategy. So, what’s working on Instagram beyond images? Let’s find out several ways to connect with audiences on Instagram besides static photos.
IGTV is an immersive and long-form video app on Instagram. It allows brands, businesses, and creators to publish pre-recorded video content that lasts up to 60 minutes. A video marketing agency Hong Kong notes that there has never been a better time to include IGTV in a video marketing mix than today. With Instagram’s commitment and shift to videos, IGTV is the only site on the platform where you can post external links on the captions.
It is generally recommended to post at least one 1 to 15 minutes clip on IGTV daily. These can be demos, discussions, how-tos, unboxing, or the kind of teasers you upload on YouTube. A series of episodes broadcast weekly gives viewers a reason to keep coming back on your IGTV page. Recently, Instagram allows auto-captioning of IGTV clips to make it accessible among the hearing-impaired.
INSTAGRAM DIRECT MESSAGES
Another option on what’s working on Instagram beyond images is Direct Messages (DM). Also called Instagram Direct, the feature allows you to send a private message, photo, or video to an individual or group. Such private pieces of content do not appear on Instagram feeds.
Through DMs, brands and businesses can nurture relationships among their customers and prospects. Directing people to a link to your bio, sending story stickers, and even voice notes can make your customers and prospects feel valued. Instagram Direct Messages also allow saved replies to respond to the most common queries fast.
Live Streaming is raging these days. From gaming to sports events to vlogging, it became the most popular format consumed among social media platforms. Instagram Live generates a huge amount of engagement. It allows brands and businesses to collaborate with their audiences in real-time. Instagram also allows up to three accounts on a live broadcast enabling marketers to partner with influencers and KOLs. As such, it broadens its reach and visibility.
Most brands and businesses on Instagram typically go live once every week. Some content ideas for going live are “Ask Me Anything”, chats with experts, product demos, or simple tips. Instagram Live is what’s working on Instagram beyond images, so make it a key part of your marketing strategy.
In August 2020, Instagram launched Reels. They are initially a 15-second music clip similar to TikTok. Its main objective is entertainment among users. But it became a champion for boosting reach and engagement. Today, Instagram Reels can last up to 60 seconds. It allows brands and businesses to use them in posting behind the scenes, FAQs, myth busters, product launches, and top tips.
The first few seconds of an Instagram Reel are crucial for brands and businesses. With the small attention span of online audiences, they should create an eye-catching hook at the beginning of Instagram Reels. To boost visibility, you can use up to 30 hashtags when posting them. Including CTAs and product tags can promote better engagement.
Instagram Stories are 15-seconds momentary photos and videos that last within 24 hours. A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories came from businesses. With 500 million Instagram tapping into the power of Stories daily, this format is definitely working on Instagram beyond images. They appear above feeds, so people see them first upon opening an Instagram app. Plus, one out of every five stories evokes viewers to send a direct message (DM) from target audiences.
Brands and businesses should aim to post at least 8 to 10 active stories daily. They can feature a collection of their products, before and after revelations, behind the scenes, polls, questions, quizzes, etc. They are a perfect way to start conversations with your warmest audiences on Instagram. Recently, Instagram is working on “Stories Stickers” for everyone. These are link features currently available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Many changes in the world of social media have happened since last year. But one thing remains the same. It is the need to build communities and connect to the world outside. Today, there are lots of things working on Instagram beyond images. As such, it makes the platform shift from a photo-sharing app to a photo-and-video sharing one.