8 Instagram Features To Know for Mastering Instagram

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Having a presence on social media is essential because they are bound to regularly visit one or more social media platforms no matter who your target audience is. Your company could do what it takes to grab their attention. I think that out of all other platforms mastering Instagram or having the proper knowledge of its various features and their correct use can get you noticed, boosting your site traffic and resulting in more sales conversions.

I say Instagram because, after Facebook, the biggest and the most effective social platform is Instagram. In this article, I will share the background story of this dynamic app and how it has evolved over the years from being just a photo edit and sharing the app to become one of the most incredible marketing and business tools being used globally.

The Beginning of Instagram

Two Stanford University graduates, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger founded the brand in 2010. Initially, the app’s primary use was sharing pictures; however, its popularity multiplied rapidly because of its advanced yet easy picture-editing functionality.It had reached 30 million subscribers within two years, becoming the fastest growing social network of its time.Surprisingly, Instagram had zero revenue and 13 employees despite its popularity as a business.Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom (L) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (R) - Source: VOX | TheBloggingBox.com

At this time, in 2012 Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 Billion; because Mark Zuckerberg had spotted the potential of this great app and had grown concerns that one day Instagram could become a ‘threat’ to Facebook.And Mark was right!

Instagram Today

According to Findstacks’s Instagram statistics for 2022, 2020 was the year that changed everything for Instagram.In 2020, the Instagram app launched its long-awaited video sharing platform and Reels. The same year, Instagram started supporting its rising number of international business accounts; Making the platform reach a one billion user base. Today, around 25 million registered businesses are on Instagram, along with 4.54 billion monthly and 500 million daily active users.Instagram is nothing less than an opportunity power bundle for any blog or small/micro business owner with this vast userbase. I am saying this because 44% of Instagram’s active users use it to research and discover new brands, making Instagram the best forum to market any business or blog for FREE.Moreover, you can connect your Instagram to your Facebook & Twitter accounts, making cross-platform sharing of content much more effortless.And, since Facebook & Twitter are both known as the top-performing social platforms, this integration can help users reach out to all the different segments of their audiences.

8 Instagram Features To Know In 2022

\”The app allows for the creation of personal profiles but also can be connected to existing social networking profiles such as Facebook and Twitter, meaning users can share their pictures across platforms.\” – Webwise

Before posting on Instagram or other social forums, you will first have to create whatever you will be posting. And to create content for Instagram (that you can cross-platform share), you must know about the eight different inbuilt Instagram features that help you make better, more engaging, and more compelling content.

1. Instagram Filters

The inbuilt filters of Instagram play a very vital role in its success.These filters allowed anyone to become a professional photographer, which initially caught everyone’s attention and lured them to join this platform.Instagram has 25 different filters that you can choose from and apply to an ordinary image and make it extraordinary and super attractive.However, it’s never easy to choose one with many options available. But once you can figure out the filter you are going to be using; then you can start applying it to your images to attract more eyeballs and engage more prospects. Important Note: When marketing a brand, it is crucial to stay consistent with the filter that is being used. This consistency helps maintain the brand’s signature look and style, allowing followers to identify the brand’s content from others quickly.

Filters can drastically change your image’s whole look; earning you more likes and comments.To know which filters are most commonly used, Canva recently conducted an analysis on one million photos that were posted on Instagram. to out the following.

Clarendon:

According to a study, Clarendon is the most used filter in all US States.The reason being it can be applied for any purpose such as brightening, highlighting, and intensifying shadows for colors that pop. Its usability makes it the Number 1 choice of US Instagrammers.

Gingham:

The vintage-inspired filter that was only used for videos at one time is now the second-favorite filter of 16 states of the Pacific Northwest, most Midwest, and some states on the East Coast.The thing users loved most about this filter was that it allowed them to summon the past.

Juno:

This filter dominated most of the West, South, and Northeast.Mastering-Instagram-filterJuno helped enhance the warm colors and their intensity in an image. It is regarded to have given richness and validity to many urban photographs.

The World’s Favorite Instagram Filters

Instagram is used in 119 countries and Clarendon tops the global list also. Not just North and South America, but Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, and much of Africa seem to love Clarendon; probably because it holds the power to turn a dull picture into something amazing.Globally, Juno is at number 2 thanks to its general-purpose capability of injecting rich tones to make red, orange, and yellow burst.

Valencia and Sierra take third place because of their popularity in Bosnia, Serbia, and Kyrgyzstan. It adds warmth, a yellow tint, and an ultra-fine fade for the old-school feel.You can check the whole list of the most popular Instagram filters relevant to your business or niche; from around the world to know the most used:

    • Nature Filters
    • Fashion Filters
    • Food Filters
    • Selfie Filters

No matter which filter you use just make sure to follow the 3 key rules.

Stay consistent:

60% of the largest brands use one filter on every post.

Avoid Overdoing it:

Do not over-filter your photographs. Instagram will allow you really cool editing options even after you have applied your filter. Don’t as that may just ruin it. Well not unless you are 100% sure of what you are doing. However, if you get it wrong then the results would be like over-saturated images, unnecessary ’tilt/shift/blur’, lost detail, and several other problems that you can face so better to keep it simple.

Use a filter that compliments your Brand:

Make sure the filter you select goes with your brand image. Not only with your ‘feeds’ but with the entire look of your business brand. I mean do not use dark and gloomy filters if your business deals in celebration supplies; use something dazzling with a festive feel. And also make them match your other marketing images to avoid confusion within your leads.

2. Instagram Videos

Not too long ago there was a time when only big brands could afford video marketing. Now you can even do this using your phone camera and a low cost or even free software for edit.Mastering-InstagramIn fact, video marketing has become quite popular as according to research 86% of businesses were using video as a marketing tool in 2021; which was at 61% in 2016. And 93% of marketers using video see it as a very crucial element for their marketing strategy.From the user’s point of view, 30% have admitted buying a product that they first discovered on Instagram. Another study found that 7 out of 10 Instagram users swiped up an Ad campaign story to visit a brand’s website. And these facts would convince any business owner to sell their products and services through Instagram.

Video Marketing Benefits

Other than boosting engagement they also allow you to deliver the most difficult and detailed messages in a much easier to comprehend format. Nowadays businesses are enjoying a lot of engagement by creating 1-minute high-production-value videos of their brand and products.Bloggers can use videos to introduce their new blog posts; whereas business owners can use them to introduce their business and brand. Or to introduce their company’s culture in order to establish trust with customers, followers, and prospects.Just to make sure you catch your viewer’s attention, it is crucial to make the first few seconds of your video extremely interesting in order to catch the viewer.TheBloggingBox Super Tip: Create a video that can be shared without sound as well. As many users watch videos in places where they can’t turn the sound on.

3. Instagram Stories

This feature was introduced in 2016, and ever since then, it has been huge for Instagram. In January 2019, Instagram was getting 500 million users every day. And this was just when businesses were in search of tools that would help them increase their brand engagement at a reasonable cost; hence stories came a wish that got granted.Mastering-InstagramInstagram stories of the people we follow appear as circles at the top of our feeds and they vanish after 24 hours. For marketing purposes stories work really well and can be used to announce new products, promotions, releases, workplace culture, employees, and even their recreational outings.They are great for sharing fresh visual stories on a regular basis about your business and growing your followers. . Because they don’t appear on the viewer’s timeline, they aren’t spamming.Just maintain your consistency. Stay consistent with your posts and make sure each post is consistent with your brand image and message.

Mastering Instagram: Story Mistakes You Must Avoid

Do not complicate your story by using too much text:

Ideally, your story should grab the reader’s attention and deliver its message in a maximum of 5 seconds, as the majority will lose interest if it is anything longer.

No duplicate content:

Consumers notice the repeated use of the same content so make sure you don’t repeat your words or images in different campaigns. And if there is something that you want to reuse then make sure you do it in an innovative and smart way. Dont confuse repetition with consistency.

Don’t be illogical:

Plan everything that you share and make sure nothing comes out of the blue that you can’t support later. As such actions lead to inconsistency which you don’t want.

Not giving hashtags importance:

Your stories must have hashtags for them to appear on the hashtag page and have better reach.Mastering-InstagramIf you think that hashtags take too much space and create a mess then you must know that the platform is built on hashtags that it uses to sort and filter data. However, there are ways to hide hashtags after you type them out; by pinching them to make them smaller and then placing an image sticker or GIF over the hashtags to hide them completely and ensuring your story looks top quality.Ignoring UGC and not re-posting it:User-generated content’ or UGC is any form of content such as text, images, videos, reviews, etc, created and published on the social networks by individual people and not brands.Adobe Photoshop UGC Re-posted on Instagram - Source: Business2Community | TheBloggingBox.comPromoting your brand by re-posting UGCs will help you build a community around it and encourage people to create content. In fact, you must learn from these six brands that dominate user-generated content on Instagram.You can use Instagram stories to promote your goods & services, as well as to promote your business to existing followers to catch the eye of potential customers browsing their profile homepage. And as long as you are not repeating content in your stories and they are worth reading and not lousy then Instagram stories can prove as a fun, interactive, and very useful promotional tool for your business or blog.

4. Stories Highlights

Instagram stories vanish in 24 hours and probably this limitation makes them so attractive and successful.However, some stories become so memorable that users wish to keep them for later use. Hence, Instagram came up with the ‘Stories Highlights’ feature to allow users to save their best stories on their accounts for as long as they want.Mastering-InstagramYour visitors can see your story highlights at the top of your profile page. making them a great feature for marketing. Just create promotional stories with information about your business, display your top products or boast your best events.Instagram Quiz Screenshot Birth Stone - Source: JCK | TheBloggingBox.comAdd a quiz to your Instagram story and customize it for your followers to answer. This will help you in knowing their preferences and educating them about your brand. Also, save the stories that performed great to drive more people to them and take the action you desire.

5. Instagram Video Stories

Using videos in your Instagram stories can be a lot of fun; plus great for engaging followers, enhancing brand awareness, and driving traffic to your website. These video stories need to be short and catchy as they can only be 15 seconds long. Use them to promote your branded stories that match your brand’s image in terms of color, style, format, etc.

6. Instagram Live

We can go live on Instagram because it’s part of the Stories feature since the beginning. Amazingly, some businesses and marketers have successfully used this feature to create buzz around their products.Users do feel a sense of urgency about watching live broadcasts due to their transient nature.

You can benefit from this fact by offering discounts or giveaways or announcing promotions within your live broadcast. Promote your live broadcast beforehand using short video clips and posts to create excitement and encourage users to watch it.

You can also use this feature to generate leads by asking your followers questions or topics before your live broadcast. The \”Ask me anything\” sticker in Instagram Stories is something you can use as it is excellent for gathering questions.

Answer all those questions in your live broadcast and make sure to mention your follower who asked it to make them love you and give your brand some boosted exposure with real-time interaction.

7. AR Filters

AR is short for ‘Augmented Reality and it is a feature that is already applied at several places. It is a technology that overlays computer-generated virtual effects over real images and videos when used with a camera.Example 'Instagram Face Filter' - Source: Tech Crunch | TheBloggingBox.comInstagram has named them face filters that you can apply to your pictures and videos through Instagram Stories.Facebook sometime back formed a strategic partnership with brands to create a one-of-its-kind interactive camera experience for its followers; by including world effects and face filters.A few years ago, Instagram enabled brands to create their own custom AR filters for their branded Instagram Stories using the Facebook-owned Spark AR Studio platform.Kylie Cosmetics owned by Kylie Jenner was the first business to create custom AR filters to try different shades of lipstick before buying them.This is one example that shows how businesses can use this custom feature to give more value by making decision-making easy for buyers.Moreover, these brand-created filters were only available to users who followed that brand on Instagram or they could try it only by visiting the brand profile. Over time it proved to be an amazing tool that helped brands promote and advertise themselves on Instagram.Spark AR Studio, launched in August 2019, allows anyone to create custom AR filters for Instagram Stories.

8. IGTV

On June 20, 2018, Instagram released a great addition to its feature; a standalone video application for Android and iOS smartphones named IGTV; which in contrast to Instagram feeds allows longer videos.Despite being a standalone app, IGTV has basic functionality within the Instagram website and mobile app.Over these years IGTV has proven to be of great value for businesses by giving a significant boost to their Instagram following and engagement.IGTV video displays on User's Profile Grid - Source Social Media Examiner | TheBloggingBox.comUsers must sign up for IGTV using their Instagram accounts.; which enables them to upload their IGTV videos to their Instagram feed; the said videos with the IGTV icon then start to appear at the right side of the User’s Instagram profile grid.There is literally no limit to what you can do with IGTV, however, in marketing, you can use this feature to promote products, create product tutorials & how-to videos, as well as to share the latest news.The best part is that your videos don’t have to be professionally shot. Like IG Stories, it doesn’t have to be as perfect as a regular IG video or post to use this feature.Instagram allows IGTV videos to track views, comments, likes, and even audience retention rates (how many people watched the video to the end).These stats play a great role in helping you strategize the most effective use of IGTV for your marketing purpose.For example, if you know that your audience loses interest in your videos after a certain time which could be 10 minutes; then you know that ideally, you should make videos that are shorter. This helps prevent waste of time and resources plus produces better results.

Instagram Etiquette

According to the Instagram Community Guidelines \”Share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share.\”Mastering-InstagramUsing someone else’s image without permission may violate copyright and subject you to legal implications.If you enjoy reading our blog Mastering Instagram and want to learn more about Instagram, then this blog is for you Instagram |Complete Guide for Beginners

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    Erna 8thloop
    Erna 8thloop
    Welcome to the world of sports through my eyes – I'm Erna, a dynamic blogger with a passion for breaking down strategies and exploring sports culture. Stay connected and in-the-know with my insightful content.

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