The late spring season has been big for online marketing news updates. Have a look at our article regarding recent Google news along with new updates from Facebook for business. This week, we now look to Instagram who continues to enhance its platform to the benefit of SMBs and large companies alike.
3 Recent Instagram Updates That Your Business Needs to Know About (and Adapt to) in Time for the Summer of 2021
New Insights for Business Profiles (Reels and Live)
On May 24 Instagram announced new updates to their Insights platform. Companies use Instagram Insights to identify trends that apply to their profile’s followers, along with data about how their content is performing and how followers are engaging. Insights are available for specific posts, stories and IGTV content that
you’ve created to see how each one performed and how people engaged with them.
As of this week, Insights will be available for Instagram Reels and Live. The Reels feature allows you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and a variety of creative tools. You can share Reels with your followers on the Feed feature and make them available to a broader Instagram community through the Explore feature. Reels in Explore offers businesses the opportunity to expand their reach, and attract new prospective customers. Instagram Live, is a live broadcasting feature that is great when you want to make a new product/service announcement (and unboxing perhaps?) or host a Live Q&A. Both are amazing tools for increasing engagement and follower-to-customer conversions.
IGTV Ads Growing Global
Just before April, Instagram issued a press release regarding a business-focused update to IGTV. Unlike Reels or standard video posts, IGTV is long-form and immersive video that takes over the entire screen of a person’s device. IGTV content is at least one-minute long, while the maximum length that your video can be is 15-minutes when uploaded from a smartphone, and 60-minutes when uploaded from a web property. The early success of IGTV has prompted Instagram to introduce an IGTV advertising model. In the U.S. IGTV ads (limited to 15-seconds) appear when users click to watch IGTV videos from previews in their feed. As of this spring, IGTV is going global, expanding into Australia and the UK. Canada is expected to follow this summer. For now, we suggest that your business get accustomed to posting IGTV content (which is available in Canada) to get accustomed to the feature and prepare for the ad-based opportunity to come.
“Long-form video makes it even easier to tell your brand’s story, connect with your audience, and reach more people.” (IGTV, Instagram)
New Messaging Features
Instagram, via their association with Facebook, received an update to their Messenger application last month. The update encourages your business to be more expressive in consumer-facing communications once they have initiated a conversation. Users now have the ability to respond to messages with a photo or video. This creates a great engagement opportunity for your business. For example, if a consumer asks you a question about how to do something related to your business (i.e. book a reservation, use a product, etc.) you can now respond with a graphic or video tutorial. For this reason you want to create an inventory of helpful content that is ready for sharing within Messenger should these opportunities arise. Another great update, is a Chat Archives feature, which allows you to “clean out” your inbox without deleting chats and losing message history. This is important should a consumer follow-up on an old query (from months ago) once they have made their purchase decision.
To get more out of these updates, encourage users and customers to reach out to your business on Messenger (“Have a question? Contact us on Messenger!”) which will open the door to better engage them on the communications platform.
Need help with your Instagram marketing plan? Contact Strategis Consulting Group today.