If you were given the choice to have your social media page filled with a variety of news feed items (status updates, video links, app activity, images, news), or to be connected to the world with only images, which one would you choose? If you were to ask me, I would pick the second option. Like, how would you not want your newsfeed be bombarded with images, am I right?!
Instagram is a social media platform where you can share your creativity and beautiful photos with a series of images, with the ability to inspire the world around you. The way it works is by taking a picture from your mobile device, choosing the best filter and sharing it with the world. Instagram is one of the most powerful social media mobile platforms, with a total of more than 400 million users (Instagram Business).
Transformation of Instagram:
If you’re an addicted social media user like I am, you have likely seen Instagram transform over the past few years, including new features recently released and more to come over the next few months. When I first used Instagram, it started with snapping a picture, choosing one of the effects and sharing it. Looking back, the transformation from hastags has gone to launching photo maps, tags on photos, Instagram videos, Instagram direct and now launching sponsored photos and videos. The great thing about Instagram is that throughout all its evolutions, it continually stays focused on being a visual content platform.
Now, without any further delay, let’s check out the new features of Instagram for 2016:
Ever been frustrated trying to log in to different accounts on Instagram for your company or for your two different personal accounts? Well if you haven’t heard it already, now you can add up to five different Instagram accounts and be able to switch back and forth seamlessly. On Feb 8 2016, Instagram launched their multiple account switching feature. You can now easily switch back and forth between several accounts on Instagram without having to log out anymore (Instagram Blog). Simply click the downward pointing arrow beside your name, and you can link up to other accounts.
With the Instagram for business function, you can now advertise on one of the largest and most powerful social platforms. Businesses on Instagram can be advertised through several different ways: photo ads, video ads and carousel ads. Advertising your business through Instagram can help businesses achieve various business goals, like clicks to website, website conversions, mobile app installs, page post engagements and generating traffic to landing pages (Instagram Business). The ad shows up organically in users' feeds with a small "sponsored" tag on the top right.
Call to action buttons
With the sponsored button introduced to Instagram users about a year ago, Instagram is now introducing new call to action buttons with several functions: shop now, install now, learn more, download and sign up. When an ad is sponsored through Instagram, the business has an option to include one of the new CTAs. The shop now button has been a popular feature in social media this year, where the purchase process is only one click away, without users even having to leave the platform at all. Likewise, with the install now button, one can download the business app immediately. The learn more button links users directly with the website to discover further info about the business, and the sign up option directs users to the company’s sign up page, all without having to leave the Instagram platform. Instagram also has the option for users to like, comment or hide the ad from their feed (Instagram Blog).
View Counts on Videos (TBA)
Instagram introduced videos in 2013, where you were able to upload a 3-15 second video and share it to your followers. Instagram has recently announced its brand new feature, View Counts on Videos, now live. Through this new feature, you can now see view counts on videos, and if you tap the number of views, you can also see who has liked the video (Instagram Blog).
These new features are exciting, and a sign of the constant evolution of Instagram. Now, you are probably curious about the cost of advertising on Instagram. Instagram has not laid out the pricing scheme of their advertising to the public, but it looks like the pricing varies with the type of campaign you choose for your business. If your business is looking to increase its click through rates to the company's website, your company pays per impressions (serve your ads to as many people as possible). The second type of campaign is pay per link click, in which the company pays each time a user actually interacts with the ad. The last one is daily unique reach, where business ads are served to Instagram users up to once per day (AdEspresso). According to Kenshoo, Instagram users are more likely to have two and a half times more click through on ads than any other social media platforms. So, although another outlet you need to use for your social ads, Instagram ads might be worth trying and the right platform for your business (Fortune)!