Once more unto the thick of it we go – Instagram has had several new updates in the last few weeks and it’s time to sift through each to decide how best to get each update to work for you and help your business.
With Meta being the new buzzword on the tip of everyone’s tongue, updates from the world’s most beloved photo-sharing app are to be expected as well. Notwithstanding the news that Instagram has found itself suddenly dethroned as the most beloved app of the younger generations by viral-sensation, dance-creating, tip-recommending, knowledge-sharing app TikTok, is it surprising that Instagram video features are getting a full makeover too?
So, without further ado, let’s take a dive into the world of Instagram and all it has to offer with its latest updates.
They are a key feature on Instagram, prominent to a point where earlier this year the company considered making them the main feature of the app as opposed to the picture-based scroll feed. Whilst this remains a to-be seen question, there have been some fun and exciting new features that users are utilizing and are perfect for brands.
To start, let’s look at the new link sticker.
Previously, the words ‘swipe up’ were only allowed to be uttered and typed from the mouths and fingers of the verified and played a key role in affiliate/influencer marketing. However, the swipe-up feature has left the chat and has instead been exchanged for a link sticker, and this exclusivity is no longer the case. Now, anyone on Instagram can use the link sticker – it is no longer a verified perk. Allowing so many people access to this feature has been long awaited and proves itself to be a valuable channel of UGC. It is a great feature for any business to be used as often as possible, as not only does this sticker inspire more website link clicks and traffic but also generates ongoing and free UCG without costing the brand a cent.
Say for example you own a skincare line and have had to previously reach out and work with influencers within the same niche market in order to ‘create’ UGC. This would have cost time, money, and a whole lot of headaches, but now, any customer can sing your praises, create a community within their own private capacity and post a link to the product itself and potentially direct new clientele your way – all from a link sticker. Easy for everyone and a situation everyone can ‘like’.
Now, in the spirit of community, let’s chat about the new ‘Add Yours’ sticker.
Essentially, this is a sticker that can be added to a story that instructs and encourages a chain reaction of others sharing similar or associated pictures on their story, that in turn would link back to yours. The reason this is a great feature for brands is it acts as a method of encouraging engagement and reach (and reach you can!) whilst fostering a feeling of community and sharing that plays on #FOMO feels for anyone who can’t join in.
A story that showcases this feature so well occurred in the last few weeks and was recently in the news. A company called @plantatreeco started an innocent ‘Add Yours’ campaign that asked users to share a picture of their pet and that for every picture shared, a tree would be planted. However, having clearly underappreciated both the amount of love and pictures that people have of their pets, this trend quickly spiraled out of control and over 4 million people jumped on to join within a matter of hours. Whilst the logistics of where 4 million trees would go and who would be paying for this behemoth of a task are still to be discussed, it does show how prominent and powerful this sticker can be in terms of reach and engagement – and just how invincible cute dogs faces can be.
From a business perspective, an online campaign asking for products to be shown, services results to be shared or any brand specific question can be done using this tool and cultivate a community through UGC prompts. They get to show off their products or service results and you get free branding – It’s a win-win for everyone!
But how do these features affect Influencer Marketing?
Influencers and the art of selling both your personal and professional brands is a skill that has evolved over the last few years and has allowed for many new career paths and opportunities ever since Instagram launched. To ensure continued success for this prominent billion-dollar industry, Instagram has launched two new features: Collab and Partnership. Let’s break these down a bit further for understanding.
Collab: With this feature, anyone can invite another user to collaborate on any content and allows for both of you to share credit, have the picture appear on both your feeds and share likes, comments and views. This allows for micro-and-macro influencers to collaborate more and gain entrance into niche markets and access to audiences they may not have before. It also encourages complete transparency and encourages collaboration across the platform. This feature extends beyond just static images and feed videos but also into reels now too – an influencer and her brands dream.
Whilst we are on the topic of video, fun side note – videos and IGTV are now grouped under one heading on your profile. Having seen the success of bit-size media from TikTok, long IGTV videos just don’t seem to have the right reach anymore and therefore are not highlighted as widely as before. Who would have guessed another app would have such a reaching influence?
Partnership: This great new feature facilitates and allows for an easy stream of collaboration and conversation between content creators and brands through the messaging feature on the app; encouraging direct communication between brands and their perfect influencer match. It really does go down in the DMs then?
And there you have it, a quick overview of all new Instagram features that can serve you and your brand. To summarise, no more ‘swipe up’ feature, make sure you use the ‘add yours’ sticker regularly, reach out and collab with more influencers and chat more through the partnership for specific brand deals.
That’s it! But if that seems like a lot, give us a call – we are only a howl away and ready to have you join our pack any day.