Instagram has grown to be more than a visual social platform. It has now become a marketing platform. In fact, there are many small businesses that are able to sell their products and services on Instagram alone. It is that powerful.
However, you’ll need some tools if you want to amplify your marketing power. After all, there is a limit to what you can do if you do it alone. Instagram marketing is serious business. It requires you to go not only create visually appealing and engaging content. You also need to deal with metrics, Instagram stories and direct messages. Without tools, these tasks can take most of your day leaving you with little to no time to deal with your customers. One tool that has been proven effective for a lot of businesses is a shopify affiliate app.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of tools that you can use. Here are 10 of my favorites.
On the surface, OSI Affiliate may seem like an ordinary affiliate marketing tool. But it does more than affiliate marketing. In fact, it can also be quite useful in influencer marketing on Instagram.
Here’s how it works. You simply look for influencers in your niche on Instagram. This can be done by either searching for variations in your niche hashtag. So if you’re selling yoga pants, you’ll want to search for #yoga or #instayoga. Just look for communities or names around your product and that’s good.
PRO TIP: When searching for influencers, try targeting micro-influencers instead of the big names. Ideally, you should target anyone who has around 1000 to 10,000 followers. They have a higher chance of replying to your offer.
Once you have an influencer list, it is time to contact them. You contact them via direct message. In here, you can give them your proposal. You can give them an exclusive discount code to your products or you can give them a freebie. Also, you can sign them up as affiliates so that they can earn a commission for every person they refer to you. All of these can be done through the OSI Affiliate platform.
And that’s not all. If you are releasing a new product, you can also include influencers into an affiliate contest. This will allow them to win more products as they promote you to their followers.
The power of Instagram lies in its images. As the community grows, the demand for high quality images become stronger. It is with this reason that tools like VSCO came to be. These are photo editor tools that allow you to alter certain elements in your photos before posting them.
What I love about VSCO is the tools. While other people may like their filters, I like to do my own ‘filters’ by fiddling with the tools. Unlike other photo editing apps which apply pre-designed filters, the tools allow you to alter the intensity of certain elements such as exposure, contrast and highlights. This gives you more freedom to alter the final picture.
Most of the photos that you will export using the tool will often look amazing as well. It just goes so well with Instagram.
If you have been seeing quotes on pictures on Instagram, the tool behind that are word-on-picture apps like WordSwag. Unlike the old fashioned way of photoshopping images just to add text, we now have an assortment of apps that can do that for you. On the top of the list is WordSwag for it allows you to add text to your images in just a few seconds.
This is good if you are in a niche that shares a particular culture. After all, brands are now more than products they sell. Brands are also about the culture that they embody. The best way to embody a culture is to constantly share quotes. This will embed your message to your followers' brains.
What makes Instagram quotes so special? Well, they are highly shareable. Every instagram images has a button that allows users to share quotes to their Instagram stories. The most shared type of content on Instagram are quotes.
You may have the image content and you have an influencer marketing strategy. But unless you have a regular posting schedule, all of that will amount to nothing. For that, you’ll need Buffer. Buffer is known to be a social media scheduling tool and it has Instagram too.
Setting up a promotion campaign on Buffer is easy. You only need to upload the image that you have created on VSCO or Wordswag and load it on Buffer. You can then input the description of the image and set the date and time on when you want it to be posted.
NOTE: Buffer is a scheduling tool and NOT an auto-posting tool. This means that it will inform you when it is time to post on Instagram but it will not automatically post the image for you. You still have to do that manually once you get the notification.
Given its limits, Buffer is still an amazing tool to work with. This is because it allows you to post to more than just Instagram. One post can instantly be posted in multiple social media accounts once it is done. It only costs $10 per month to be able to handle 10 profiles and have 100 scheduled posts.
5. CutStory for Instagram Stories
As I have mentioned earlier, marketing cannot get you far if you don’t have valuable content. But there’s another area of Instagram that seems to be underutilized. What I am talking about are Instagram Stories.
Here’s the problem with Instagram Stories. Not only does the content disappear in 24 hours. There is also a 15-second limit for your stories. This time is so limited that it can prevent you from posting a good story.
CutStory is a tool that aims to solve this problem. What this does is it cuts any long videos into 15-second postable chunks. But the best part is that you can post them in chronological order. This means that nothing gets left out and your followers will still be able to see the entire video.
So if you found an influencer who is able to post long videos in a chronological way, the secret to that is CutStory.
Hashtags are powerful. And it is even more powerful on Instagram. Hashtags make it easier for people to find your post and it can lead to more sales if you plan to sell something on the platform.
One of the tools that can help you is Hashtagify. This is a Twitter hashtag tool but you can also use it for Instagram. It can give a tag cloud of ideas related to your initial hashtag.
And that's not all. What makes Hashtagify so special is its ability to link metrics to its hashtags. You'll be able to see how popular the hashtag is as well as how well it converts. You’ll instantly see a metrics wheel once you search for a term. Then, you’ll get a cloud of hashtags with a list of influencers. Below that is the trends line along with the languages and spelling variants used for the hashtags. You'll also see the countries that made the most searches along with the people who have used it in their Twitter posts.
PRO TIP: The tool also seems to be quite valuable when it comes to researching Twitter influencers. So if you are looking for influencers to promote your Instagram page, you can use this platform to reach out to influencers in your niche.
Another area in Instagram that seems to be underutilized for marketing is the direct message. Not only are marketers scared of spamming people, they are also scared of reaching out. But they are clearly losing sales. This is because the direct message is such a powerful tool when it comes to marketing.
What makes direct messaging so special is the fact that it doesn't include distractions. When people are scrolling through Instagram and they found an ad. They can just scroll down and look for other distractions. But that is not the case with a direct message. When someone views a message, all they see is the message and nothing more.
A tool you can use for this is BigBanGram. This is a direct instagram messaging tool and it claims to have increased sales by as much as 56.8%.
In this tool, you have three options. First, you can send a bulk message to your followers. Next, you can also send a new message if the follower is new. This is a one-time message that you send once someone joins your Instagram followers. Then, you can also select users and send them a bulk broadcast.
This is powerful. This is because it allows you to utilize Instagram as a platform for direct marketing. You no longer depend on Instagram ads or your posts. You can also reach out to your followers via direct message.
Do you know the best time to post in your Instagram profile? Well, that will depend on how well your followers will respond. Iconosquare allows you to go inside the minds of your Instagram follower so that you can market to them better.
What makes iconosquare is that it gives you data that can help you improve your marketing. With this, you will no longer be throwing darts hoping that it hits. You know what your market needs and you adapt your marketing based on that.
The result? You get to save more money and time in your marketing efforts. Analytics is powerful so you should use it to your benefit.
Another problem for business owners is the management of multiple profiles. Iconosquare helps you with that as well. It allows you to log in your accounts and see all the posts in one convenient dashboard. It may be great if you have a social media team that handles your postings.
But the power of Iconosquare doesn't stop there. Like Buffer, it also allows you to upload, schedule and manage posts in your Instagram account. It is truly an all-in-one tool for it is more than just analytics.
Influencer marketing is powerful but it is hard. Not only do you need to manually search for influencer contact information (which by the way, is not easily accessible), but you also need to send them messages and follow up if they have received your message. On the surface, the process may seem simple. But it is not. If all of these are done manually, you can spend hours even if you are just dealing with 10 influencers.
Thankfully, there is a tool called Ninja Outreach. This tool allows you to search and store influencer contact information
Ninja Outreach is a great tool because it knows the work that goes into influencer marketing. First, it allows you to easily find leads and emails. Then, you can store this in your influencer database.
From here, you can now start sending templates. This will then help you to grow your traffic. While automated, the content of the template should still be customized according to who you are talking to.
With this, you will be able to scale your influencer marketing easily. This is great especially if you are selling on Instagram.
As mentioned, Instagram is serious business. Not only do you need to publish engaging content regularly, you also need to respond to your followers. With this, you need a management tool that can do everything and Sendible is perfect for that.
You see, Sendible is more than just a scheduling or posting tool. It allows you to see all your posts and messages in one convenient area where you can reply. And not only that, you can also create analytics report and manage everything with a team of people.
And that’s not all. Sendible also has a Canva integration allowing you to create your own images. It is like almost all the tools I mentioned above is in one convenient tool. Price starts at $24 a month. This allows you to add as much as 4 social media accounts.
What do you think of the tools? Which do you like to use first? Tell me all about it in the comments.