One of the fastest rising social media players nowadays is Instagram or IG, the Internet-based photograph and video sharing application. The free app was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and was launched in October 2010. The mobile app was initially intended to run on the IOS operating system but later, it released an Android version in 2012. In the same year, it was bought by the other immensely popular social media application which is Facebook. In this article, the history of Instagram as a marketing tool, the advantages of marketing at the IG platform, and the current best Instagram marketing tools, are discussed.
Instagram As A Marketing Tool
There are two main reasons why businesses are currently using IG as a marketing tool: increase the base of followers and eventually generate more sales for the business. In order to improve IG marketing, increasing the number of followers on a steady and consistent is imperative. With this in mind, the quest for the best Instagram marketing tools is on the rise. The popular use of hashtags makes it easier to determine the trends generated by a certain post.
Best Instagram Marketing Tools: Free And Paid
Enumerated below, in no particular order, are the current and emerging best Instagram marketing tools. The choice on which is the most popular or appropriate will depend on the specific business requirements and the target audience.
- Buffer – This application can be used to schedule IG posts. The posts can be planned directly from the Buffer dashboard. It has an analytics feature which can monitor likes and comments on posts and a tool that provides information on the most popular and least-liked posts. It can also publish and schedule upcoming posts on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This application is free for the first 10 scheduled posts. After these, a monthly plan as low as $10 can be considered.
- Hootsuite – Similar to Buffer, this paid scheduling application does not post on IG on the user’s behalf but will need a mobile device with the configured IG app. The three main features of the application permit the account user to follow and monitor the competitor relative to their marketing strategy, determine the best time to post, and promotes brand growth and presence in IG. It permits the setup of a hashtag search stream to let the user see who are using the branded hashtags.
- Later – This marketing tool visually designs the calendar of posts and is popular among bloggers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. Although it is similar to Buffer and Hootsuite (does not automatically post on the user’s behalf), it allows the user to create a queue of posts and then sends a notification when these posts are due to be delivered on IG. It is free although for better results, it has a premium version.
- Hashtagify.me – This application offers tracking on IG and determines the top related hashtags and influencers in a particular niche. It provides an analytics feature which shows the current trending hashtags and can help observe what the competitors may be posting.
- Tailwind – Originally intended as an automated scheduling and analytics application for Pinterest, this paid app has extended its use to Instagram scheduling. One great feature of the app is the bulk scheduling of IG posts through the drag-and-drop functionality. Another unique feature is the Smart Schedule and automatically suggests the optimal times to post on the IG account. This is important once the posts go live and when the audience is most engaged and most likely to interact with the content.
- Sendible – This paid premium application makes it easy to create an Instagram image or post through a Canva integration. It is more targeted towards marketing agencies.
- Iconosquare – It has the features of scheduling and organizing tasks like the other applications but the unique feature of this paid app is it lets the user identify significant Instagram influencers. This IG influencer analytics would be an advantage for the business in terms of brand growth awareness.
- TagsForLikes – This application organizes the most popular hashtags from IG and classifies them into categories and subcategories. TagsForLikes is also available as an app for iOS and Android, enabling the quick search, assemble and copy popular hashtags to the mobile device’s clipboard for easy pasting into the Instagram post.
- Like2Buy – This application displays a simplistic gallery of products that are readily available for purchase. Most purchases are influenced by a brand’s social media and Like2Buy provides a link that brands put in their page. Once a user clicks on the link, it will take them to a page of the brand’s featured products.
- Facebook Power Editor — Since Facebook’s purchase of IG, the former has been able to specifically build out ads for the latter. This powerful tool should not be overlooked since an IG account can be easily linked to the Facebook Business Manager. Turning Facebook ads into Instagram for marketing is as easy as flipping a switch.
Wrapping It Up
If still undecided on the best Instagram marketing tools for business needs or goals, the time to get started is now. With more users than Twitter and an increasing set of features like stories, Instagram for marketing is becoming more popular than many established social media platforms.
If deciding on the most appropriate and creative hashtags, both Hashtagify and TagsForLikes, provide the most popular, trending hashtags for Instagram posts. If the intention is for in-depth analytics, Iconosquare is the best option within the social media market. If the need is post on IG at the most optimal times, then Hootsuite and Tailwind are the choice applications.