A plethora of Instagram marketing tools, case studies and tactics from #ClickZChat

Instagram marketing chat

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of visual content recently, so it seemed only right to dedicate a #ClickZchat to the subject.

We thought it might be fun to narrow the field a little though, so we decided to question our followers about how, why and when they are using Instagram to power their marketing (Or just to share cat selfies).

As usual we asked three questions in one hour, looking at ROI, measurement, tools and best practice, and finally a quick glance at brands doing really good work. Here’s what we learned this week.

Q1: Is Instagram bringing in the money for marketers?

Lots of users felt that there was strong ROI to be had, but it was not one that came from direct conversion. As with many social networks, marketers need a consistent content calendar to see significant returns:

This may seem flippant, but is actually an excellent point. Benchmarking returns from social is often extremely difficult, as it varies so much between sectors and businesses. In the case of Instagram, it may be several months before the effect begins to become apparent.

Q2: What does “success” mean on Instagram?

Amalia Yointic mentioned that while it is important to measure beyond simple metrics, Likes do have an inherent value:

Our own @latialondon went further, with a suggested engagement ratio for accounts to aim for. Certainly in comparison to Twitter benchmarks this seems reasonably high, but as our recent post mentioned, Instagram is capable of driving a high volume of interactions.

— La’Tia (@latialondon) April 20, 2016

Overall, marketers felt that regular engagement mattered, and was more valuable overall than driving ‘spikes’ of viral engagement around irregular posts.

And it’s important to remember not think of channels in isolation:

Q3: What tools and best practices should Instagram marketers be aware of?

@ClickZ @instagram A3: Posting at specific times in the day/night and sticking to these times for all posts! #ClickZChat

While a number of tools are available for Instagram, they seem to be relatively unknown, so I thought it would be useful to list some of the most common ones here:

1: Soldsie

tools_For_Instagram_soldsie

Soldsie utilises your bio link to drive ecommerce traffic, and comes with conversion analytics built in.

2: Later

 previously Latergramme The simpler way to plan your visual content marketing for Instagram

A number of scheduling apps are available for Instagram, but Later is one of the more elegant, with a useful content planning feature built in.

3: Iconosquare

 

Iconosquare_Instagram_Analytics_tools

If you need more powerful analytics for reporting, then this is a good option. The usual suspects like total and most liked images are included, as well as follower growth, audience breakdowns and more.

4: Simply Measured

simply_measured_Instagram_tools

An interesting tool with the focus on engagement. Reports can be exported to Excel and include all sorts of info on which times, posts and even filters are performing well for you.

5: Minter

Minter_Instagram_analytics

Yet more analytics, this time with enterprise use firmly in mind, with all the features you’d expect. Track and manage content, segment your audiences and track shares and conversions.

Bonus question: Who is doing Instagram well?

Finally, which brands are leading the way on Instagram? We had a lot of suggestions, so I’ve narrowed it down to a few of the biggest and best – click on the images to head to their accounts for a dose of Instagram inspiration.

Lowes

The US Home improvement store practices what it preaches. Posts are cleverly tied into events and trending topics, and feature useful tips and guides while directing the audience to delve deeper.

Saks

The famous department store is doing a great job here. There’s clever use of imagery, relevent hashtags and the captions create curiosity and drive action from the viewer.

Nike

As you’d expect from a business that encourages movement, there’s fantastic use of video from Nike. The company maintains a number of different accounts for various products, but the main account is pure inspiration.

Gap

Not afraid of a terrible pun, Gap showcases it’s collections in a variety of interesting locations, giving plenty of ‘real world’ ideas to customers.

Protein World

An interesting example that combines inspirational quotes with more overt commercial messaging, proving that you can sell on social.

Dream big and never settle. Don’t accept today what you don’t want for your future 💛. #bestmode @captain_potter

A photo posted by Protein World (@proteinworld) on Apr 24, 2016 at 3:09am PDT

National Geographic

As you’d expect, the @natGeo account is crammed full of eye-popping wonders, showcasing some of the finest photographers from around the globe. Follow along and revel in the beautiful images.

Photo by Corey Arnold @arni_coraldo I made this image only a couple hours after losing a bag full of my best camera equipment off of a cliff in Zion National Park. Only one lens and camera body survived, but just enough to to finish my work in the park…. This view from the Canyon Overlook Trail cheered me up as I waited into the night taking in the power of Zion and watching the crowds disappear into the lower canyon. Happy #earthday everyone! We are very lucky to have a brilliant National Park system in the US which protects and simultaneously provides access to some of our finest Natural environments. #natgeoearthday Next week I’ll be in Haleakala National Park on Maui. If you are a millennial under 30 years old and planning a trip to the park next week, let me know about it at @arni_coraldo . I’ll be photographing millennials in Haleakala for an upcoming story in the Dec 2016 issue of @natgeo #zion #zionnationalpark #utah #roadtrip #nature #landscape #night #traffic #instagood #photooftheday #instagram #nationalpark

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Apr 23, 2016 at 12:59pm PDT

Frooti

Finally, a smaller brand doing interesting things. Beverage company Frooti has a great feed full of whimsical and colourful images and slogan that make it stand out.

As always a huge thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you’d like to take part, follow the @ClickZChat hashtag on Twitter every Wednesday at Noon EST, and let us know if you have an idea for a future chat.
If you’d like to know more about Instagram marketing, go check out these 23 up-to-date stats and facts about Instagram.

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