Instagram is an underutilized tool for business - only 28% of marketers currently use Instagram.
With the image-based platform on the rise, now's the time to get started with Instagram marketing.
These Instagram tools and apps will help you make the most of your Instagram effortts, whether it's creating captivating posts, monitoring your Instagram analytics or coverting your Instagram followers to customers.
Here are the top 10 tools and apps you need to create a fool-proof Instagram marketing plan:
Flipagram allows you to take a series of photos and put them together to create a quick slideshow video for Instagram. They call them "photo video stories." This type of Instagram post is a quick and easy way for followers to consume their products - it's much faster than going through photos manually - as the photos are only seen for about a second before it flashes to the next.
Clothing retailer Reformation uses Flipagram to introduce their Instagram followers to their new collection.
This post drives traffic to their ecommerce store because Instagram users can shop the look with the link provided in their bio.
Check out reformation's photo video story here.
Not in the retail industry? Here are three examples of ways other businesses could use Flipagram:
- Restaurant/bar: Individually photograph each food & drink item on sale for the night
- Photographer: Compile photos from your fall wedding photography last year to promote for fall 2015
- Hotel: Use photos of guests engaging in sports and/or activities (snorkeling, bird watching, golf, tennis, etc) to attract guests
Did you know that 65% of Instagram users say they feel honored when a brand @mentions them? Repost is an easy way to make your followers feel appreciated.
Repost makes sharing other people's photo or videos simple: browse your feed or search for a specific user or hashtag, click on the photo and press, "repost." It's that simple. The app is a great way for brands to show their user-generated content (UGC) and give praise to their customers.
Lots of big brands and celebrities use tools like Repost. In the screenshot above, soccer star Giovani dos Santos uses repost to share a photo from his teammate.
Tip: Create a hashtag unique to your brand. It will make it easier for you to find UGC photos for your brand to use, and a great way for Instagram users to browse your photos.
78% of consumers make purchases influenced by a brand's social media. We all know it's a best practice to include a link to your website or blog in your bio, but Like2buy takes this a step further. They provide a simplistic gallery of products that are instantly available for purchase.
Like2buy provides a link that brands put in their bio. Once a user clicks on the link, it will take them to a page of the brand's featured products. It only takes a few clicks to get from a brand's Instagram to their Like2Buy product page.
Big brands like NastyGal and Forever 21 use Like2buy to make it easy for their followers to buy.
Tip: Use Instagram captions to say "shop link in bio" to remind users that they can shop for the products conveniently.
Price: Request demo for details.
Layout is Instagram's collage app, and it's by far the easiest app of its kind. It allows you to combine 2-9 of your photos into one image.
There are three options from where you can select your photos: camera roll, recent photos and an interesting "faces" option where Layout compiles the photos you have of people('s faces).
There are also a lot of creative features included: such as mirroring, flipping, resizing and rearranging with just a few taps.
Bonus: It has a photo booth feature which includes a countdown where you can snap up to 4 photos in a row.
How can other businesses use Layout?
- Real estate agent: Make a collage of several different photos of a new property for sale.
- Beauty salon: Compile a collage of the latest hairstyles of the season.
- Tea merchant: Snap photos of 4 loose leaf teas in visually pleasing containers at a high camera angle.
Instasize allows you to post the entirety of your photo on Instagram. If you forget to take a photo in "square mode," Instasize will resize your photo so Instagram doesn't crop a majority of it out.
The app allows you to resize your photo or video in less than a minute - simply access your camera roll and upload the file you want, then edit your photo or video and use the red icon in the top right hand corner of the app to export it by opening it in Instagram or saving (in high-resolution) to your camera roll.
Instasize has a lot more features than just image resizing - check out their unique overlays, borders, collage frames and stickers. You have the option to download more borders and stickers easily and for free through the app.
Did you know that images with high lightness generate 24% more likes than dark images?
There are so many image editing tools you can use for your photos, but Pixlr is my favorite and is easy to use and also gives you a bunch of options.
Here are a few of the features:
- take photos within the app
- 100+ effects
- 280 overlays
- 200 borders
Despite all of the options, this app is surprisingly easy to navigate.
If you check out Pixlr and decide it's not your thing, here are three other popular photo editing tools marketers use:
- Adobe Photoshop Express: A mini version of Photoshop on your phone
- Camera+: not just for photo editing, but also for taking photos. The app has 6x zoom and a built-in stabilizer
- VSCO Cam: the minimalist's favorite camera app. you can also follow other photographer's images on the app
ScheduGram is one of a kind - it's a web-based tool that enables you to publish your Instagram photos and videos now or later.
What makes ScheduGram so different? Unlike other Instagram photo scheduling tools, ScheduGram actually posts the photo to Instagram for you - instead of reminding you to post the image yourself.
You can also manage multiple Instagram accounts and collaborate with other users - which is particularly useful because you don't have to log in and out to switch accounts.
ScheduGram has basic photo-editing features such as cropping, adding filters, text, and rotating images. It also lets you schedule multiple posts at a time. This is an effective time-saver and frees you from worrying about the last time you posted on Instagram.
Price: Plans start at $20/month
By the way, Hootsuite has recently announced that they now allow you to schedule Instagram posts, though it works similar to Latergram as you will receive a notification when it's time to publish the post yourself.
70% of Instagram users have already taken part in a contest on Instagram (or would be willing to do so). Your followers want you to run contests.
Wishpond's Instagram Contest App collects Instagram photos and showcase them in a voting gallery on your Facebook Page or website. Fans submit their photos from Instagram and vote on their favorites.
Running contests is a great way to engage your current followers and collect email leads. They're a win-win for both you and your Instagram followers.
What are some other ways businesses can use Wishpond's Instagram Contest?
- Library: Get entrants to snap a photo of you and your book of the moment in your favorite reading spot.
- Mall: Set up a photo booth corner somewhere in mall and tell Instagramers to snap a photo there for a chance to win.
- Radio station: Have your followers take a funny photo (or video) of them belting out their favorite song
Price: Plans start at $69 per month and also include a variety of other tools.
Iconosquare is the go-to Instagram analytics tool for marketers: it allows Instagram users to monitor and analyze comments, likes, followers and messages.
This free tool sorts out the analytics of your and puts them all in one dashboard. It's the only Instagram tool that is this in-depth.
Here are a few handy Iconosquare functions:
- The bulk commenter makes it easy for you to keep track of your follower's comments
- Shows you who has unfollowed you in the last week and onward
- Specific comparative growth statistics that help you grow your followers
Chances are, if you've browsed the "Explore" section on Instagram, you've seen a graphic designed on Over. This sleek app was designed for mobile-creative types and Instagram users that are serious about making visually appealing graphics. With Over, you can add text and artwork to your photos. They feature both standard and custom-made fonts as well as original artwork.
Over makes it easy to make beautiful graphics for Instagram while you're on the go.
If you're into designing your own fonts, you can upload them to Over to use on your photos.
I hope you've discovered a new tool or app to further your Instagram marketing.
What are your top Instagram tools?