Instagram can be challenging for marketers when searching for the right kind of tools.
Here’s an attempt to help you improve your Instagram marketing efforts, with a collection of tools for scheduling, editing, content management, curation, measurement and more…
Instagram scheduling is challenging on its own, as the platform does not allow third party apps to access its API, which means that the best thing that tools can offer is a management platform to collect all the future updates, along with notifications for marketers to manually publish the posts at the set time.
Sprout Social is a complete social media management platform that also offers measurement, monitoring and management of your Instagram profiles. It can be very useful for marketers, as it offers one platform for all the popular social networks, which makes the monitoring and the scheduling easier.
What’s more, it is also allowing you to manage multiple Instagram profiles and improve the engagement by creating one inbox for all the accounts.
ScheduGram is useful both for management and scheduling, as it allows you to upload multiple images at once, either to post them immediately, or schedule them for a future date.
Marketers may enjoy its feature of web uploading (as mobile uploading may be more time consuming), while it also offers the option to send an email notification when each post is ready to be sent.
Autogrammer offers similar services to ScheduGram (management and scheduling of Instagram posts), but it also allows marketers to add multiple social networks on the platform, going beyond Instagram.
It currently also supports Facebook and Twitter, which means that you can upload, edit, manage all your social posts for the three platforms and organise your social schedule accordingly.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular tools for social media management and it couldn’t ignore Instagram. If you’re already using it for other social networks, then it is ideal for monitoring, planning, scheduling and analysing Instagram accounts, while its dashboard is functional for a proper overview of each account.
The creation and the scheduling of the content allow you to prepare your posts in advance, saving time and creating a more effective Instagram presence.
Buffer recently announced the integration of Instagram to its supported social networks, competing with Hootsuite once again in the big battle of the complete social media management platforms.
Buffer hopes to help you with Instagram posting, sending you a reminder when it’s time to publish your content and its analysis of your account aims to suggest the best scheduling times for your posts.
It claims to be the “easiest way to plan, track, and amplify your Instagram marketing” and its Business plan also offers collaboration among team members, making Instagram campaigns easier than ever.
Agorapulse offers a complete social media management platform for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and LinkedIn and it can be very useful for the monitoring and the management of multiple social accounts.
The planning of your Instagram content can become easier with a convenient queuing of your posts, along with the necessary captions and hashtags, while it also notifys you when it’s time to post the scheduled posts.
Except for planning, it is also useful for the monitoring of engagement, compiling all the mentions and the comments in one dashboard, enhancing the communication with the audience, even helping you find and categorise the right fans and influencers for your brand.
Later, which was previously known as Latergramme, is simple and effective for scheduling your Instagram content and many marketers have embraced its appealing interface.
Its calendar view makes scheduling easier and its grid preview improves the management of your visual content to help you find what you’re looking for as fast as possible.
One of its most appealing features is the ability to create unique links with Linkin.bio, which brings targeted traffic for each post, increasing the chances of conversion.
Layout is Instagram’s own app that lets you combine multiple photos to create a single image. Its function may be very specific, but it still brings further opportunities for creative uses of your existing photos and it’s free and available for both iOS and Android.
Boomerang is Instagram’s video app that can create a quick video with simple edits, or help you turn a series of photos into a mini video. It creates a dynamic effect to your content that may offer a useful quick solution for new content. As with Layout, it’s free and both available for iOS and Android.
If you like Instagram’s filters, then VSCO can take your photo editing to the next level. It is both a photo editing app and a social network and it is offering high quality filters to transform any image into a beautiful post.
Snapseed is another great option for image enhancement and it offers a great control of professional photo editing, which lets you retouch, adjust, perfect any image.
Prisma is a recent addition that became popular for its artistic filters, inspired by famous artists, such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Levitan. It may not be suitable for all your branded posts, but it’s still an interesting app to consider if you’re looking for new creative ideas.
Repost is the most popular app for content curation and it easily allows you to discover and share user-generated content.
Instagram’s limitations do not allow a direct reposting through the app, so it is required to pick the content you want to curate, choose Copy Share Url and then proceed to Instagram again to complete the action and credit the original owner.
Content management and curation
Wishpond is a lead generation platform offering many handy tools, with Instagram Hashtag Contest being one of them. It is an easy and organised way to run a hashtag contest and collect all the Instagram photos that were attached to a particular hashtag.
It even has the feature of filtering the people who have also followed your brand, in case you set it as a requirement for your contest.
This enhances both your productivity, but also the effectiveness of your Instagram contests.
Yotpo blends the management of user-generated content with advertising, which makes it a very appealing option for Instagram marketing. Yotpo is a great tool for obtaining more ratings and reviews, helping your brand boost both the traffic and the sales.
It may become very useful for Instagram with a moderation dashboard that allows you to discover and obtain permission for user-generated content, even turning it into effective ads which promote your product directly through your customers.
Plann, formerly known as Plan Your Gram, is a visual planner and scheduler for Instagram which can be very useful if you feel more productive planning your content in advance in the most visual way.
Mulpix is a powerful Instagram search engine, helping you to discover new content through multiple hashtags. What’s even more interesting is the fact that you can also search for captions, mentions, and tags, which turns into an extremely useful tool for anyone monitoring and curating Instagram content.
Iconosquare is among the most popular Instagram tools and it helps you organise, understand and measure your content.
It is both an analytics and marketing suite and it may offer valuable insights about your Instagram presence, your audience and how you can improve your performance, by analysing engagement, the most influential followers, your account’s growth, or even the most used hashtags.
It can also be useful for comment tracking and UGC monitoring, while it is also offering the management of multiple accounts.
Ink361 provides insights for marketers trying to grow and engage with their audience on Instagram.
It’s a useful tool for the management and the analysis of your account, gaining interesting details on your audience and what could improve the growth rate of your Instagram presence.
Statistics can be based on the location, the timing, the hashtags, the filters, or even the likes and the comments. Moreover, there is also the option to monitor specific accounts or track your competitors’ presence, in order to find new ways to stay ahead of the rest.
Crowdfire helps you discover the best times to post on Instagram, along with the right hashtags to improve your posts’ performance. It is also popular for managing your following, helping you discover the right audience, while monitoring your following ratio.
For example, it can provide an insight of your new followers, or your recent unfollows, or you can even spot the inactive accounts that you’re following, ensuring that you’re only connected with your most relevant audience.
Simply Measured is a useful analytics tool that helps you analyse your posts, from the best time, to the best filter, along with the rate of your current engagement, based on the interaction that you followers have with your posts.
While it is offering a free Instagram Analytics Report, there is also a premium suite for a complete Instagram marketing platform, with features ranging full account insights, competitive analysis, keyword tracking, but also cross-channel social analysis.
Websta is a free tool that helps marketers understand their audience and how their Instagram accounts can see further growth. It focuses on simplicity, making analytics reports easily understood, offering insights on posts, engagement, hashtags, or even the potential fans that your brand should follow.
For the time being it is available for free, although the premium plans are coming soon.
Curalate has created Like2Buy to make your Instagram feed shoppable, turning engagement into conversions. A single tap leads consumers to the product they want to purchase, making the process easier and the sales revenue higher.
Its useful analytics may offer valuable insights regarding the impressions, the clicks and the revenue for each product, turning Instagram into an actual ecommerce tool.
24) Soldsie – Have2Have.It
Soldsie hopes to increase the conversions from your Instagram presence with Have2Have.It by using the bio link to drive ecommerce traffic.
This link leads to a a portfolio of your products, which makes the selling process easier.
What’s more, Have2Have.It also allows Instagram users to purchase directly by commenting on a “shoppable” post, provided that they have already installed the app. It also offers built in conversion analytics, helping brands keep track of their sales.
Inselly is a simple tool that turns your photos into products with the use of a single hashtag. All you have to do is to upload a photo, add the hashtag #inselly and you’re immediately informing your customers that the particular product is currently for sale.
You can add more details about the product by logging in to inselly.com and keep track of your selling process.
Like2Have.it is similar to Like2Buy, turning your photos into products that can be purchased through the custom site. All you have to do is upload a photo on Instagram, grab its url, add it on your Like2Have.it gallery and monitor the performance of your sales.
What’s interesting is the feature to create embeddable feeds with photos from your actual customers, showcasing your products in the most authentic way.
Showcase promises to make social ecommerce simple and it works with your Instagram bio link leading to a customised shoppable gallery. It is an interactive and effective way to take advantage of Instagram’s popularity, while driving sales, and a single tap of an image can highlight the featured products, linking to the specific product page for each one.
Instagram introduces its own Business Tools
Just when we were starting to feel overwhelmed with all the available tools for Instagram marketing, Instagram has (finally) decided to present its business tools to marketers trying to monetise their brands’ presence.
The tools have started rolling out this month and they should be available for everyone very soon.
28) Business profiles
Any business can create a business profile on Instagram, which will unlock access to insights and the ability to promote its presence. As the feature gradually rolls out to everyone, any account can link a Facebook page and create an Instagram Business profile, adding the necessary information and obtaining a more professional presence.
For now, the linking can occur only with a Facebook page and it seems to be a useful feature for any business trying to expand its presence or even to link its profiles on the two popular platforms for a more consistent presence.
Insights offer valuable analytics about your Instagram presence, provided that you have already created a business profile, helping you understand your audience and what makes an effective post.
These insights include:
- Impressions: the total number of times that your post was seen
- Reach: the number of unique accounts who saw your post
- Website Clicks: the number of accounts that have tapped the website link on your Business Profile.
- Follower Activity: the average times your followers are on Instagram on an average day
Even if other platforms may offer more detailed insights, it is still a great step for Instagram to provide its own native analytics and we certainly expect more to come.
This is the simplest way to turn a post into an ad. All you have to do is pick an existing post, add the right button for the CTA you want to use, deciding on what action your followers should perform, select your target audience (based on age, gender, location, interests) and decide on the length of time your post will be promoted.
Keep in mind, Promotions must follow Facebook’s Advertising Policies and they are usually reviewed within 60 minutes.
Picking the right tools
Instagram marketing is becoming more interesting with the introduction of its own tools, but we may still feel the need to use further platforms for more detailed insights, management, curation, monitoring.
As you may have noticed, many of the suggestions offer similar services, which means that it’s up to you to test them and pick the ones that work better for you.
UPDATE: For more tools and tips, check out our more recent article on the topic – 10 indispensable online tools for managing your social presence.