Instagram Features And Tools Instagram Agencies Should Exploit In 2021 (With Examples)

Let’s explore how to turn Direct Messages, Instagram Live, Stories and more to our advantage to generate remarkable growth on Instagram.

Instagram Features And Tools Instagram Agencies Should Exploit In 2021 (With Examples)

Instagram has around 1 billion active users in 2020. This puts it second only to Facebook and Youtube in the race for the most-used social network.

Still considered a platform for younger audiences - more than half of its worldwide users are younger than 34, equally used by both genders. On average, an Instagram user will spend 53 minutes of their day on the platform -- a clear sign of how engaging and appealing the social network is.

However, what makes this platform particularly appealing to brands is the fact that 90% of user accounts will follow at least one brand. An incredible 83% claim to have discovered a new product or service on Instagram.

When you as an Instagram agency are looking to promote a brand, reach and engage new audiences, growing your online presence, Instagram is the best platform for the job.

Let's look at some of the features of the network, as well as some handy Instagram tools you can use to improve your reach, engagement in 2021:

IGTV and Instagram Live -- the next generation of community

While IGTV was once reserved for shorter pieces of content, it is now able to match even the giant that is YouTube. On the other hand, Instagram Lives have always been an event, with their ability to draw in audiences and bring online communities together.

This community-building aspect of Instagram's tools is an incredible ticket into the lives of your target audience. It lets you connect, share information, exchange ideas, and establish unique relationships. Not only between yourself and your target users, but to foster connections between different kinds of users as well.

There are all kinds of content options available: from live boot camps to creative workshops and actionable live guides, you can do just about anything.

Olive and June have used their space to create a bunch of mini boot camps for at-home manicures. Starting out as a Live, they have later saved these sessions on their IGTV, making them available to anyone interested to watch.

Olive And June's bootcamps on IGTV

Similarly, Anna Newton and Lilly Pebbles have re-started their podcast from their Saturday Lives in lockdown.

Anomalie has shared tips with their brides on how to deal with the weddings they had to postpone due to the coronavirus pandemic.

GHD has done an IG Live with Zoe Sugg and Samantha Cusic promoting their latest line of hair styling tools, which quickly turned into a "how to create the perfect beachy wave live tutorial".

The options are endless, all you have to do is provide content you feel will best resonate with the community.

Instagram Stories -- the power of ephemeral content

Ephemeral content is content with an end date -- in other words, Instagram Stories.

Their short shelf-life is what makes them so appealing, and is probably one of the reasons why users keep logging into the platform. They don't want to miss out on the stories their favorite accounts are sharing.

One of the best ways you can use this Instagram tool is to reshare the stories of your followers. Encourage them to tag you so you can easily keep track, and share the best stories with your own audience. These can be stories that show your product in action or stories that talk about some of the features of the product, or anything else that you find has been well executed and will help your brand.

Followers will appreciate this share as it gives them the chance to grow their own following, and there are even brands who have a "use hashtag to get featured" tag on their profiles.

Look at what National Geographic or Taco Bell are doing with their own stories -- specifically tailored to their respective audiences. A great way to elicit a share.

Instagram Feed and Direct Messages -- a gateway for sharing information

There is something about looking at a well-designed Instagram page. It provides instant aesthetic pleasure. Whether it is the use of a filter or a preset, making sure that your images feel yours is an incredible way to embed yourself in the minds of the audience.

Your feed should be used to share important updates and provide access to the information your users could benefit from and enjoy: now.

As online shopping is becoming more prevalent than in-store shopping, your best option is to showcase your products and the best way to use them. Encourage your followers to make that purchase, and make it easy for them to do so.

You can also use the Shopping option: Colourpop Cosmetics do this very nicely on their feed, as does HM Home.

Your direct messages should always be open as a customer service channel. Encourage your visitors with Stories, use Feed, IGTVs and Lives to ask questions, get in touch and share their experiences.

Make sure you don't keep them waiting. The sooner you answer a question the better. Especially if it's a question that can directly lead to a sale - for example, a question about the size or shade of a certain product.

You should also use both of these communication channels (your Feed and your DMs) to compile a list of the most prevalent questions users ask, and answer them on your profile. The best way to do it is to save your stories as highlights. Name them something like FAQs, so that your followers can have ease-of-access to these answers.

Influencer marketing -- your way to reach new audiences

Like no other platform (except perhaps YouTube, but that's a whole other story), Instagram has offered "regular" people the chance to become influencers in their respective fields of interest. There are millions of accounts that exact a significant influence on their followers. And you can use them to spread the word about your product or service.

However, you need to be very careful about who you choose to work with here. First of all, you don't want someone who's following is not authentic. Luckily, you can spot fake influencers pretty easily, and stay away from their feeds.

You also don't want to work with someone who promotes anything and everything. These influencers may have a lot of traffic to their posts and stories. But they are also less likely to convert a user, as they are already known to be selling a whole lot of stuff.

Your best bet is to look for influencers who have an engaged and interested audience. These people will not necessarily have the highest numbers out there in terms of followers, but they will have loyal and interested accounts following them who are more likely to make a purchase off of their recommendation.

Fashion Nova is another example of a good influencer marketing, so check out their account.

Insights and Analytics -- a way to stay on top of your game

To get a sense on how these strategies are working you will need to have an Instagram business tool available that can help you keep track of your channel and your audiences.

A great Instagram tool for the job is IGBlade -- it will provide all the data you need. It operates from a single dashboard where you can track multiple accounts (for example yours and your biggest or most prominent competitors'), and receive daily, weekly or monthly PDF reports you can then send on to clients.

This kind of an Instagram Analytics app is a great way to streamline a lot of the work you would otherwise have to do manually, and it can also help you uncover all kinds of Instagram trends.

Final thoughts

With the help of these Instagram tools, your Instagram agency can implement  strategy well -- as long as you never forget that each campaign should be tailored to the brand and the audience it is trying to attract, you should have no problem using these examples as a way to skyrocket your own campaigns.