Everyone loves a good visual. A beautiful sunset, a close-up of a blossoming flower or even a snap of your friend’s sushi–there’s something instantly shareable about a great image.
In 2017 the channel reported 800 million users. This is a level of popularity achieved thanks to Instagram Stories, view-and-buy photos and more video.
As always the key to success with any marketing strategy is a combination of a great plan and a few helpful resources. By choosing the right Instagram marketing tools from a list of ever-expanding options, you can make sure that your pictures appear in front of your customers at the ideal time, improving long-term loyalty. So, which Instagram tools should you consider using?
Here’s our nine Instagram marketing tools you could use every day:
1. Sprout Social for Scheduling
According to Instagram, around 50% of all users follow one business and around 75% are happy to visit a website after they see an ad post. While that’s great news, it’s important to note that your Instagram presence is truly effective when you get the right messages to your customers at the right time.
Simply existing in the social sphere isn’t enough. Each brand needs to carefully evaluate its audience needs and adjust its posting strategy to produce content that carefully pushes clients along the buying funnel. With a tool like Sprout Social, you not only get the opportunity to manage multiple Instagram accounts at once, but you also measure and monitor your profiles to learn when the best posting times might be.
As Instagram marketing tools go, Sprout Social has it all, with a schedule solution that includes queuing tools so that you’re always prepared with a new post. You can also apply custom tags to each campaign and use ViralPost to determine the right posting times for any audience. Sprout helps marketers understand the value of social media through its scheduling and publishing features.
2. Hashtags for Likes App for Hashtags
There are still some companies that continue to associate hashtags specifically with Twitter. The truth is that hashtags are a fantastic way to access certain audiences and organize campaigns on Instagram. The problem is you can only use 30 hashtags on any given post and it’s suggested to use 10 hashtags or fewer.
While 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram have brand associations, it’s important to make sure that you get the right blend of terms to help followers find and fall in love with your content. The Hashtags for Likes app is a simple and effective way to browse through some of the most popular hashtags in your industry. You can refine your search by niche or simply look at some of the biggest trending topics for the day.
3. Simply Measured for Analytics
Creating an Instagram campaign for your organization is only the first step toward true brand affinity. If you want to understand which terms, phrases and images help drive you toward your goals, then you need to peek behind the curtains at your analytics. Tools like Simply Measured help companies understand the metrics behind campaigns, without a headache.
With analytics for everything from standard posts to Instagram Stories, Simply Measured gives you the insight you need to share conversations that are relevant and engaging to your news feed. There’s a premium and beginner package to select. The premium option is better suited for in-depth insights, competitive analysis and cross-channel analytics. Both versions can be easily bundled with Sprout Social!
4. Landscape by Sprout Social for Image Sizing
For your Instagram campaigns, image clarity is absolutely critical. No one wants to launch a bunch of awkwardly-shaped images of their products or services. That’s why Instagram photo tools that adapt to the specific dimensions of the platform are so important.
Landscape is a completely free image-sizing tool that lets you transform a single image into multiple potential files, carefully optimized for the type of social network of your choosing. All you need to do is upload your image to the page and choose the network where you’ll publish.
Once you select the Instagram package, you further refine your sizing choices according to how you want to connect with your audience. This helps you double-check your cropping selections to make sure you didn’t cut anything valuable.
5. MailChimp for Instagram Campaigns
Marketers are already aware of the value of services like MailChimp when it comes to email marketing. However, what they don’t know is that MailChimp also brings its own Instagram marketing tools to the mix.
As more companies continue to turn to Instagram as a way of promoting products, it’s worth making sure that you have a strategy to stand out from the crowd. MailChimp makes creating a campaign simple, by using the same guidelines you’ll be familiar with in their email strategies.
Once you create an email campaign with MailChimp, it’s possible to use their Instagram tools to build social followings too. The product gives you everything you need to find customers similar to those already on your follower list. MailChimp also lets you discover which ad posts are delivering the right results for your brand. According to the company itself, MailChimp lists deliver 29% better ROI than standard interest-targeting alone.
6. CrowdFire for Follower Growth
Gaining actual organic Instagram followers helps brands have more of a pool for sales. While you’ll need to invest in engagement strategies, it’s still important to focus on building true and authentic followers. Unfortunately, follower growth remains one of the biggest problems for social media marketers trying to play off organic audience campaigns.
Creating great content is always a great first step toward building an audience. But you also want to make sure your audience see each post. CrowdFire is one of the best free Instagram marketing tools around to help you boost your reach with minimal effort or investment. Essentially, it allows you to follow the followers of competitors in your niche, which helps to unlock the traffic you want to reach.
Since research indicates that around 30% of all the people you follow will end up following you back, Instagram tools like CrowdFire could help you to get a head-start on popularity. Just remember that you want to make sure you’re following real and authentic people. With so many bot accounts out there, it’s easy to claim high follower accounts, but at what cost to your engagement? Learn more about getting Instagram followers here:
7. VSCO for Photo Editing
You know Instagram is insanely popular, but let’s paint a slightly clearer picture. Users upload around 60 million photos to the platform each day. The ones that stand out, are those that inspire, engage and interest audience members.
Otherwise known as Visual Supply Co., VSCO emerged as one of the most-loved Instagram photo editing tools in the world. Ever since it’s 2013 launch, the app gives companies a chance to stand out from the crowd with stunningly clear and sharp images editing tools.
VSCO comes with a handful of free filters to choose from, alongside an option to purchase additional collections from the in-app store. What’s more is you can adjust features yourself, such as sharpness, contrast, color temperature and saturation. For a feel of what you can get with VSCO, you could always try following them on Instagram yourself.
8. Ink361 for Geotagging
Have you ever been to a concert where a band calls out the name of the venue before they start their set? It’s exciting when a singer, brand or business recognizes the place where you live. That might be part of the reason why posts with location information included get up to 79% more engagement online!
Instagram marketing tools like Ink361 primarily market themselves as an application that allows companies to measure performance and respond to competitor trends. However, perhaps the most popular feature of this resource is the fact that it has a map viewer option that allows users to discover people based on photo location.
Ink361 could make it easier for you to link your content to the right geographical spaces, by giving you an insight into some of the other Instagram geo-tagged content in that area. This is perfect for brands who want to focus their campaigns on a specific location-based demographic.
9. Facebook Power Editor for Advertising
Last, but not least, it’s hard to talk about Instagram tools without some reference to Facebook. Since the social giant purchased Instagram, it gave brands a new way to build their social strategies by building out from the Facebook Power Editor.
In a world where customers are spending more time hopping between social channels than ever, it’s important to make sure that you don’t overlook Instagram marketing tools that allow you to take advantage of an omnichannel strategy. While it might seem obvious for some, you’d be surprised how few people link their Facebook Business posts to their Instagram accounts.
The Power Editor tool is a resource that allows businesses to manage a range of campaigns at once. With it, you can create, optimize and manage ad campaigns in bulk across different channels. What’s more, you can also mass-edit posts to save yourself some time online. Learn how to walk through Instagram ads with the Facebook Power Editor here with our complete and comprehensive guide!
Instagram Tools to Inspire Your Campaigns
Ultimately, there are plenty of resources out there that can help businesses to make the most of their Instagram marketing efforts. As always make sure you choose your options based on your business goals for Instagram. With your targets in mind, you can always set up some KPIs and metrics that will guide your decisions about which tools you need, and which resources are working best for you.