Instagram recently announced it had reached 1 billion users. This is an increase from 800 million users in September of last year, which was 200 million more than that same time the year before. In this vast user base, it’s likely your customers are using the app regularly.
Instagram is about more than occasionally posting photos of your products or an inspirational quote. if you want to compete on Instagram, you need to take advantage of their broadening offering of features. These are all the newest Instagram features, and how you can use them to grow your business.
In June 2018. Instagram announced their newest venture, IGTV. IGTV is a standalone app for watching long-form vertical video, that also has a home within the Instagram app. The app will start by showing vertical videos from people you follow, along with personalized recommendations based on your follows. Believed to make Instagram more of a competitor with YouTube, it acts as a home for video content. It is designed to mimic television, which has video already playing when you turn it on, instead of having to search or make a selection. Videos can be from between 15 seconds and ten minutes, with one hour long videos available to influencers. Eventually, the app hopes to allow users to upload videos of unlimited length.
How to take advantage of IGTV:
Start adding video to your account! It’s likely Instagram will keep heavily promoting video that is added to this feature, so you might reach new users that won’t normally see your profile. You could try uploading content that already exists on your other social media platforms, like YouTube or Facebook. Just remember that the video is meant to be viewed vertically, not horizontally.
If you don’t already have a catalog of video, try filming an introduction to yourself or your company. Interview an employee, explain a new product, or give a tour around your office or factory. It’s worth giving this new feature a try, even if you aren’t totally sure what the best strategy is.
Like Facebook live, Instagram also allows you to start streaming live video. You can see who is watching your stream, and view comments in real time so you can respond in the video. Live Streams are put at the start of a users’ Story timeline, and all your followers are alerted to your new live video when you start. if you aren’t getting much engagement with your regular photo or video uploads, experimenting with live video can help expand your reach.
How to use Live Video
Live video is fun because it’s supposed to be candid and a little unpolished. If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can delete it, so it’s not accessible from your profile anymore.
If you want to go live, give you followers a heads up so they can be prepared to tune in. It’s a good idea to set a theme for the live before hand, like explaining a new product or introducing a new member of your team. Then, users can think about questions they want to ask on the live video.
Live Video also gives you the option to split the stream with another user. This could be with a pre-planned interview guest, who accesses the live video from their own device. Both parties can promote the live stream, and their followers will be alerted that they are streaming. Or, you can pull in users to split the screen with you during the stream, to ask a question or participate in whatever you’re streaming.
Live Video is a fun way to get your audience engaged, and might be a great way to show the personality of your company to your followers.