Instagram has been making big moves this year, first with the new algorithm and more recently its massive redesign. Earlier this month, we learned that brand/business profiles were on the way, but yesterday, the platform formally announced its new native business tools on its blog. The post claimed that they molded their tools to better service the business community that lives and thrives on Instagram. They took note of what the businesses wanted and needed from the platform after many rounds of interviews: to stand out, get better insights, and reach new customers.
Here’s a lowdown of the new features that will be rolled out in the coming months:
Image courtesy of Instagram.
In order to weed out users who want to self-promote and gain followers with no commercial interest, only businesses with live Facebook pages will have access to the free business profile feature. This also allows businesses to transfer their payment credentials and pre-populate their profiles with the information that is already listed on their Facebook page. Taking note of the community’s wishes, Instagram has also added a contact button to the business profile that allows the business to choose how they want their customers to get in touch. Clicking this button will direct users to call, text, email, or get directions to a business if an address is added to the account.
Image courtesy of Mashable.
One of the biggest changes coming to Instagram is the added insights feature that users will be able to access from within the app. When it came down to analytics, marketers and businesses were faced with little to no information about their Instagram presence unless they used a third party app or site. The platform will soon provide valuable information such as feature metrics (top posts, reach, impressions, and engagement) and data on followers (age, location down to the city, and gender). Finally having access to users’ location information will allow brands to publish their content during optimal posting times depending on where most of their followers are from.
Image courtesy of Later.
Image courtesy of Instagram.
Most small businesses are new to advertising on social media, and it can be a difficult feat to figure out without prior experience. Instagram has remedied this by adding a native promote feature within the app. This means brands will be able to turn posts that have performed well in the past into ads by simply adding a call to action. Brands can choose to create their own custom demographic targeting or opt for Instagram’s suggested targeting based on audience and budget, and can choose how long they want the ad to run for, all from within the Instagram app.
The ad capabilities are not nearly as powerful or customizable compared to Facebook’s, but because the two platforms are enmeshed, the data from Facebook users’ profiles and the valuable insights that come from the mobile tools supplement each other to maximize reach and audience engagement.
Following in its parent company’s footsteps, Instagram is growing and maturing as an ads platform for brands and businesses. The post and audience insights were a long time coming with Instagram’s foray into paid advertisement, and a look into these new features comes as a sigh of relief for marketers everywhere, as accurate data of Instagram performance was previously hard to come by. James Quarles, Instagram’s Global Head of Business and Brand Development, told TechCrunch, “Fifty percent of people follow a business on Instagram, and sixty percent learn about products and services on Instagram,” further emphasizing the need for these specialized tools within the platform.
What’s your take on the new Instagram for Business features?