Welcome to IGTV

“IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators”
Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder & CEO of Instagram.

Instagram’s new platform and YouTube competitor is here. As well as being a standalone app, IGTV, you can also watch content from your favourite creators in the Instagram app.

 

What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s new competitor to YouTube and a new way to watch content online.
eMarketer predicted that 78% of video content will be viewed on mobile devices in 2018. They also expected YouTube to attract two-thirds of all digital video viewers in 2018, though the launch of IGTV may change this prediction.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV is made of all vertical videos – this makes a lot of sense as it’s specifically targeting users of a mobile platform who already create and view vertical content with Stories.

Anyone can create their own IGTV channel in the standalone app with a maximum of one IGTV channel per Instagram account. Most users will only be able to post videos up to ten minutes in length. Larger accounts can post up to one hour of content but Instagram announced that in the future there will be no limit.

Just like with other content on Instagram, channels and videos based on your likes and who you follow will appear in your explore page. Trending videos will show up on the popular channel and, like Instagram Stories, you can share IGTV content direct to your friends through messages.

Right now there are no ads as Instagram are focused on building engagement and creating a user base. However, there will be in the future so that creators can make a living off this new platform and creators will be able to post links on videos as a way to drive traffic to their other online content.

IGTV is also set up to allow you to view your Insights on each video so you can track engagement.

 

IGTV is a YouTube competitor

Instagram is very clearly looking to be an online, mobile content provider and not a new platform to rival Netflix or similar streaming services.

According to TechCrunch, “Instagram is focusing its efforts around web celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional, old-school publishers and TV studios that might come off too polished and processed.”

The announcement of IGTV also had prominent YouTube celebrities such as Lele Pons showcasing the new platform in what seems like a move to persuade popular YouTube identities to move onto IGTV.
This is great for channels and users already on Instagram.

There will be no pressure to produce super high quality, studio level productions. Focus on content and use simple editing software like iMovie to produce videos for your channel.

 

IGTV only shows vertical videos

Technically you could upload a horizontally shot video but that probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Instagram has been training people to shoot vertical content with Instagram Stories and this is just one step further.

As well as vertical video making a much better viewing experience on mobile, it also makes it easier for anybody to create content from their phone. Building on the points made in the previous section, this allows people to produce content that is natural and doesn’t have the too processed, polished studio look.
However, this will be frustrating to many businesses who may have to shoot video content in two different aspect ratios if they are planning to upload videos to multiple social media platforms.

 

IGTV is an interactive viewing experience

Whilst watching IGTV content, viewers can like and comment on them similar to live videos. Creators can add links to their videos so you can interact with them on other platforms as well.
You can also swipe up to search for more videos by category and swipe across to skip to the next video. We’re expecting many more features to be added that allow more interaction with content.

Like with other content in your Explore tab, IGTV videos are curated to your preferences and likes. The three IGTV categories help you distinguish between videos that Instagram thinks you will be interested in.
“For You” shows the videos that the Instagram algorithm believes you will enjoy. This is based on people you follow, posts you’ve liked or commented on and other data Instagram has on your activity.

“Following” shows the videos from all the accounts you follow on Instagram – if you follow someone on IGTV you’ll also follow them on Instagram too. “Popular” shows the current trending videos on IGTV.

 

This is just the start…

This is Instagram’s first move into long-form streaming content so we’re sure there are going to be new features coming out regularly. We already know ads/monetization and unlimited video length will be rolling out soon and we’re excited to see what is announced next.

Instagram Features 2018 – a Complete Guide

2018 has been a year of improvements and changes to Instagram. New features seem to be appearing constantly and with the launch of IGTV you might need some help remembering all the advancements Instagram has implemented.

Some are simple updates to privacy but others are designed to help you get more followers and grow your Instagram business if used correctly.

 

IGTV

The biggest announcement of 2018 – IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators. Whilst there is a separate app (like Boomerang) you can still view IGTV within the Instagram app.

Now videos of up to one hour long can be posted and they’re all in vertical/portrait format – the same way you hold your phone. This is a big move for Instagram and hopefully, there’ll be more exciting features added in the second half of the year.

 

Automatically schedule Instagram posts

One of the most useful new features Instagram added this year was the ability to schedule your posts at a time convenient to you.

This makes it far easier to post at times when you will get maximum engagement from your followers without having to interrupt your day (or night if that’s when your audience is most active).

Experiment with your scheduling and use insights to figure out when your posts are getting the most engagement.

 

An improved Instagram algorithm

The Instagram Algorithm is designed to choose what posts are most likely to be of interest to you and slip them into your feed or Search & Explore tab. The main elements it uses to predict this is interest, timeliness and relationship.

Interest – posts similar to ones you’ve already liked will appear more frequently.
Timeliness – how long ago the content was posted. More recent posts will be prioritised.
Relationship – if you comment or like someone’s photos a lot or are tagged in their posts, they are classed as “friends and family” and will appear in your feed more often.

The three other factors are frequency (how often you open the app), who you’re following, and usage (how much you use the app affects how far back the algorithm will look for you).

 

Add links to your Instagram profile

If you include a “#” or “@” in your biography, Instagram will automatically turn it into a link that can direct your followers to a specific hashtag or another profile.

This doesn’t mean your profile turns up in search results now but it is a great way to showcase your branded hashtags and any affiliates or collaborations you have going on.

 

Mute accounts you follow

If you’re getting bored of some of the content you’re seeing from friends and family this is a great way to ignore posts you don’t care about without unfollowing them.

Other uses can be for the whole follow-for-follow deal though this isn’t the best way to gain new followers. Be aware that this means you may be muted yourself!

 

Instagram Stories

There have been a huge number of updates to Instagram Stories as the competitor to Snapchat has shown its popularity. There are over 250 million users active on Stories compared to 166 million on Snapchat. Here are some of the changes they’ve made:

  • Repost Instagram Stories – This new button in your direct messages allows you to edit and repost Stories that other accounts have tagged you in.
  • Share posts to stories – This is a great way to promote new posts if you want to drive attention to a new campaign or a particularly relevant bit of content you are uploading.
  • Add multiple photos or videos to Stories – now when you are uploading new content to your Stories you can upload everything all at once instead of having to do it separately for each post.
  • Tag accounts using mention stickers – Alongside location and hashtag stickers already rolled out, you can now mention accounts in the same way to tag users or businesses.
  • Location suggestions – When you add location stickers to your stories, Instagram now suggests a location depending on where your photo or video was taken. This is taken from the geo-location data automatically stored when you take a photo or video.
  • Emoji slider polls – Similar to polls, you can now use an emoji slider on your Stories to make your polls a little more unique to gauge your followers’ reactions.
  • Add GIFs to Stories – Instagram and GIPHY teamed up to allow you to add GIFs from their library to personalise your Stories. Using this new feature in a consistent way without reducing quality can really help engage your audience.
  • Type mode – if you need to make an announcement now you can just add some text without a video or photo to your Instagram Stories. It’s a great way to promote events, discounts, links and important information to your audience.
  • Focus app for your camera – This feature allows you to edit your Stories by focusing the camera on your face and blurring the background. This generates the professional looking depth-of-field effects photographers use and help followers focus on what’s important.
  • AR camera filters and effects – Third parties are now allowed to design and add new filters and stickers to Instagram. If you see a new or interesting effect on someone else’s story you can now “try it on” and the new tool will be added to your tray.
  • Share songs from Spotify – In the past, users had to screenshot their song or playlist which wasn’t a great way to share content. Now, the cover art for the album or playlist you’re sharing appears in your Stories with a link for viewer’s to listen in Spotify.
  • Share GoPro footage – this is particularly useful for people who aren’t going to be using their phones to create content. It’s much easier to simply share straight to

 

A new and improved Instagram Explore page

As well as showing popular posts based on the algorithm, you can now use a new “channels” feature. Channels are based on your personal interests and you have the option to choose which categories to interact with.

This means users will have a lot more control over what content they are viewing and should make it easier for potential users to find and engage with your account.

 

Instagram API Changes

Instagram made significant changes to their APIs to improve data and privacy controls. As a result, there were several changes you may have noticed:

Many third-party apps losing functionality – shopping apps that track your activity, apps used to help analyse an account’s followers, and apps that searched for content and re-posted it have all either stopped working or have severely reduced capabilities.
This will affect a number of third-party tools that monitor user-generated content for influencer and business campaigns.
Another Instagram bot cull – when Instagram updates its APIs, you will most likely see a number of bots stop working. Including ones that replied or liked public content or allowed you to follow or unfollow users.
Private likes – Your likes are now confidential, meaning businesses can’t tell what posts you’ve liked. This primarily affected programs and apps that tracked your interests based on your Instagram likes.

 

Anti-Bullying Filters

Instagram also announced at F8 that users will be able to filter accounts that promote hate speech or harass other users.

There is a specific toggle that “hides comments containing attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health.” Instagram will also be alerted when there are repeat complaints about a user on the platform.

 

App Usage Statistics

You can now see how long you have spent on Instagram. This is likely part of a movement towards encouraging healthy usage of the app for users to better manage their time spent on social media.

However, this is also useful as it cuts down on needless scrolling from people who aren’t likely to engage with your account. The data taken from this is already being used in the algorithm and into Insights but there isn’t an easy way to use this to grow your account at the moment.

 

Instagram Shoppable Posts

Instagram now allows users to buy items direct from posts. With Shoppable posts, businesses can tag their products and allow users to click through to buy in-app.

While this feature was limited to a small group of retailers, it’s now available to all Instagram business accounts and worth using as a seamless interface with your followers.

 

Turn your existing posts into ads

Instagram has rolled out a new feature which allows users to turn existing Instagram posts into ads within Power Editor and Ads Manager.

According to WeRSM in May, “The feature, currently rolling out to “all global advertisers” within “next few weeks” will be available for the Brand Awareness, Post Engagement, Reach, and Video Views objectives, and will be available in “auction buying” in both Ads Manager and Power Editor.”

The Insights provided in-app will help you keep tabs on your organic and paid metrics.

The most important facts for your Instagram business

Important facts for your Instagram business

Instagram is growing quickly with reports that they have 800 million users active in May 2018, an increase of 100 million over the last month – 500 million of these users are active daily. When Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012 it only had 30 million users – that’s growth of nearly 2,700%! To help you grow your Instagram account here is some important facts for your Instagram business.

 

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded

Every post should have a hashtag – as well as helping Instagram users search for and categorize content, they also drive marketing and account growth. Branded hashtags are essential for user-generated content in campaigns or promotions so it’s no surprise that 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded.

Keep the hashtag simple, catchy, and relevant so that people will be enthusiastic about sharing it. You can encourage your followers to use branded hashtags by tagging their photos for competitions, for your events so that followers can share and track it, and promoting new products or purchases.

Photos of brand products posted by users generate higher conversion rates for purchases than those posted by the brand itself. This rate of increased conversion rises to 9.6% once the user interacts with the post.

 

80% of users follow a business on Instagram

With an Instagram Business profile, you are able to add things like a phone number, address and links to your profile. Instagram states that 80% of users follow at least one business with 60% of users hearing about a product or service through the app. To add to this, at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

With growth in the platform and more and more people using the app to find new products, it’s worth experimenting with advertising to see what it can do for your business. The powerful insights tool that comes with a business profile allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your ads and posts.

 

Instagram Ad revenue is expected to reach nearly $7 billionInfluencers prefer Instagram for brand collaborations

Influencers are a key tool in marketing your brand. Utilising their vast network of followers to promote your brand is a great way to reach and engage a new following.

Zine found that Instagram is the preferred platform for influencers – 78% of influencers stated Instagram was their preferred way of collaborating with brands. Blogs came in second at 16%. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were way down showing the clear influence of Instagram when it comes to influencers.

 

Instagram photos engage followers significantly more than videos

Although viewing of videos has increased by 40%, photos still generate more engagement – Instagram photos get 36% more likes than videos. There isn’t definitive research on why this is, but some people suggest they don’t necessarily create a call to action or it’s too easy to scroll past stories.

Regardless of the reasons, photos are going to generate more engagement for your account. Stories and videos still have their place so don’t ignore their potential, just ensure you are utilising the power of your photos.

 

The majority of the highest performing posts feature products

L2’s Instagram Intelligence Report suggests that 65% of the top performing posts feature products. This outperforms lifestyle content at 43% and posts from influencers at 29%.

Whilst it’s tempting to feature your product in every post, Social Media Today suggests that only 20% of your posts should be content that deals with your brand. These should be informative call-to-action posts that motivate your followers to learn more about your brand and engage with your posts.

How often should you post to Instagram?

How often should you post to Instagram

Getting the balance of Instagram posts can be a delicate process. Too many and followers can be oversaturated and switched off, risking them unfollowing you. Too few and followers aren’t staying engaged. How Often Should You Post to Instagram?

Previously, the half-life for Instagram posts was 72 minutes – meaning it takes 72 minutes for your post to gather half its total engagement.

The Instagram algorithm recently changed, and now older posts are showing up in people’s feeds or your posts are getting likes days after you uploaded them. Posts now have a longer lifespan. Does this mean that increasing the amount you post will take away from your previous uploads? Or should you post more to increase your reach?

 

Does posting more equal higher engagement and growth?

Tailwind did a study on how often you should be posting to Instagram. The simple answer is – at least once per day. Their research showed that in over three months, people who moved from posting less than once a day to seven or more posts a day increased their likes by nearly 13 times.

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It wasn’t just the likes that increased – Instagram follower growth also increased by 56% when posting seven or more times a week.

People often mistake more posts for lower engagement though this is clearly not the case. Tailwind also found that increasing post frequency by 100% also caused a 19% increase in overall engagement. This is also backed up by a Union Metrics study, stating:

“We’ve monitored accounts that post once an hour, all day long, and they see above-average engagement rates on almost all their content, no matter when it occurs in the one-post-an-hour sequence. Later posts do not decline in engagement.”

According to a Union Metrics study, the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. This backs up the studies done by Tailwind and is an achievable rate to aim for. So how many posts a day is right for your account?

 

Experiment with your posts

Some accounts can post several times a day and keep their followers engaged. Other accounts can post just once without more posts cannibalizing the likes and comments on further uploads.

In order to figure out your strategy, you may just have to experiment with your post frequency to get that perfect balance. You can just add a new post to a couple of days in the week and monitor its engagement. Is it taking away likes and comments from your existing posts or do both posts grow?

You can also use Instagram insights to check what times you get the most engagement and cater to that. Monitoring what times of the day you get the most likes and comments is crucial to know when and how often to post. If there are two, or even three, times of day your posts are getting high levels of engagement, use those as the times to experiment with posting more.

 

How often are people posting about you?

Sometimes, instead of just posting your own content, it’s worth featuring user-generated content between each of your own Instagram posts. As well as keeping things varied on your page, this is also a great way to engage your audience and make your followers feel involved.

Monitor your geo-tags, mentions in posts and captions, and search for you branded hashtags. Pick some of the popular or interesting posts to feature on your page.

 

Keep your posts consistent

When you’ve figured out how often you should be posting to gain maximum engagement and follower growth, keep your posting frequency consistent.

Increasing the number of posts and then dropping that number suddenly can have more detrimental effects than not increasing your posts at all. Forbes writes: “Accounts that abruptly decrease their post frequency lose followers quickly.”

 

Events, promotions and competitions!

Whilst consistency is important, there are some exceptions. When your business or brand has a special event you will likely increase your posting frequency.

Instagram accounts often bump up their posts around new product launches or competitions to generate excitement and additional engagement. During big events such as festivals or international fashion weeks, influencers and bloggers may post up to 10 times day and still maintain consistent levels of Instagram engagement – as long as posts remain relevant to the brand and maintain consistent quality.

 

Final thoughts

If you do decide to post more frequently, ensure you take the time to maintain the quality of your posts. If you have something you want to show your followers but no high-quality content, try posting as an Instagram story. This allows you to uphold the curated aesthetics of your account and create more natural content.

In the end, the best Instagram post frequency is the one you can maintain consistently. Try to post at least once a day and only post more if you can keep up with those levels to avoid losing followers or suffering from decreased engagement.

Get more Instagram followers to increase popularity

Get more Instagram followers to increase popularity

To get more Instagram followers and increase your popularity is the key to having a successful account. This article contains some of the most effective tips for getting more followers and growing your account popularity.

 

Create a profile that matches your brand

This is the first opportunity you have to make a brand impression and entice people to hit that “follow” button. Instagram profiles are another form of a landing page for consumers – the visuals and style of your profile should match the vision of your brand and page. Completing this and making it appealing is now more important than ever is the first step on your journey to get more followers on Instagram.

 

Use the right hashtags

Be specific and use Instagram hashtags that appeal to your target market. Avoid using only the most used hashtags as these posts may get lost in the crowd and targeted by bots which won’t help you to get more Instagram followers that are genuine. A mixture of niche hashtags and popular hashtags work well when targeting a specific audience.

Try using hashtags in your comments instead of your captions – this way you can add your maximum thirty without overloading your captions. However, don’t feel the need to add them all if they’re not relevant!

Create a brand hashtag for long-term engagement. Instagram allows users to follow hashtags and creates hashtag pages. Campaigns and competitions to promote your hashtags help develop your brand and following.

 

Post to Instagram at least once a day

According to a study by Tailwind, if you move from posting once per week to 1-6 times per week, you can double your follower growth rate. By posting daily, this rate increases to 4x the growth in your Instagram followers.

Only 5% of accounts post once or more per week, so there are a huge number of people not taking advantage of this simple method of increasing followers and growing their account.

As well as gaining new followers, increasing the number of posts to at least once per day also increases engagement rates and the number of likes – Tailwind estimate that moving from posting less than once per week to at least once a day will increase likes nearly 1,300%!

 

Utilise the Instagram Search & Explore tab

LikeSocial has compiled the best ways to grow your followers through clever searches and how to get featured on the search tab. Here are a few of the more successful methods:

  1. Use appropriate Instagram hashtags and location tags. Hashtags need to be relevant or you’re not going to be reaching the users you are targeting. Search your hashtags to find similar tags to find which are more popular and which appeal to niche audiences
  2. Utilise Instagram Insights on your business profile. You can use this tool to track the days and hours when your target audience is most active. Posting at the best time possible increases the likelihood it will appear at the top of the search page
  3. Collaborate! When someone likes one of your posts, it vastly increases the likelihood that this post will be seen by their followers. The more followers they have the more people will see your post! Ideally, the other accounts liking yours will be related so that you are engaging new users from your target audience
  4. Tag other users. This works better for large accounts with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. The community managers for these big accounts often like posts they are tagged in to engage their followers – this like means your post will then be seen by all their followers!
  5. Create a conversation. A high amount of engagement on your posts boosts your chances of appearing on the Instagram Explore page. The algorithm favours user engagement so create call-to-actions, ask questions, promote branded hashtags, and reply to your followers’ comments.

 

Follow and cooperate with Influencers

Engaging influencers is a great way to increase your following. Like their posts, comment with well thought out remarks, share their posts with your followers, and offer information that is of use to them. This makes your account much more likely to appear to their followers and you can benefit from their popularity.

This doesn’t just extend to influencers though, remember to engage your audience in a similar way to strengthen the relationship with existing followers.

 

Post at the right time

Use your Instagram Insights to see what time your posts are getting the most engagement. There is no specific “right time” for every follower on Instagram, rather times when your audience is most active. Experiment and watch your stats to determine when is the best time for you to post.

You can also schedule posts in order to reach users in other time zones that may be most active when you are otherwise unable to post.

 

Use Instagram Stories and Live Video for more exposure

Locations and hashtags also have stories and videos attached to them. Exploiting their growth and posting in different mediums increases your chances of being featured on the explore tabs and get more Instagram followers.

As with any post, make sure you are using the right hashtags and location tags. Simply use a sticker or write in the tag on your story or event to open it up to being featured. You can add multiple tags by hiding some underneath stickers so you aren’t cluttering your story or video.

Posting live videos at events relevant to your brand is a great way to attract the right followers. If you’re streaming something interesting, this can attract the attention of Instagram users and turn a casual viewer into a new Instagram follower.

 

Advertise on Instagram

As well as reaching out to users through all the above methods, using targeted advertisements on Instagram can reach relevant users you weren’t able to find otherwise. Put in consistent effort and ensure you are analysing your ad statistics like you would your normal posts.

We hope that you found some useful tips to help you get more Instagram followers.