Digital Agencies on Instagram: Which Tools Do They Use and How?
By Angelina Harper
With millions of users and over 25 million active business profiles, Instagram has proven to be a vast and valuable landscape for marketers. But it’s no secret that running an effective marketing campaign on this platform is a full-time job. From targeting the right audiences, creating engaging content, interacting with followers, analyzing data, and much more, managing a brand account on Instagram goes far beyond maintaining an appealing presence.
Large brands employ social media managers and digital agencies to run integrated marketing campaigns, who, in turn, rely on a wide array of tools and apps to ensure campaign success and amplify the brand identity. But these tools are not available exclusively to the experts and social media giants – small businesses, as well as independent Instagram enthusiasts, can maximize their efforts too by learning from the pros. If you are keen on picking up the tricks of the trade for your own campaign, read on to find out how digital agencies put tools to use on Instagram and which ones are the most popular.
Instagram stories are more popular than ever, with the latest stats counting 400 million daily active users worldwide. Brands have jumped at the opportunity: temporary (aka ephemeral) content holds true marketing potential, most notably for its ability to grab attention and elicit engagement by leveraging the widely researched phenomenon of FOMO (the fear of missing out) on social media.
For the time being, there’s no effective campaigning on Instagram without utilizing Stories, which, unsurprisingly, has opened up new possibilities and aesthetic standards for creating them. Here are some of the most popular tools experts and a growing number of enthusiasts are using to craft engaging and appealing Insta Stories:
- Easil. This design platform offers various image templates and tools for personalizing them. Marketers mostly use them when promoting special offers, announcing Instagram takeovers (which are increasingly popular), directing audiences to blog posts, etc. Whenever they need to announce or present something via Stories, marketers can choose from a wide array of Easil’s templates, then edit and customize them to propel their message.
- Storeo is an especially useful mobile app that allows users to create seamless video experiences. Users can shoot videos through the app, which breaks them up into 15-second snippets when uploaded to Stories. This way, Instagram’s 15-second Story format doesn’t present an obstacle when trying to communicate with your audience in one go. There’s another similar app, Cut Story, which is less popular but functions on the same principle, along with the option to add music.
- Hype Type is a mobile app used to add music clips to both images and videos in Stories. It also offers different fonts to choose from if you want to add text. Overall, it’s a useful tool for grabbing attention and mixing media to convey your message.
Whether you’re managing a large account or just starting out with a modest following, scheduling posts makes the whole process of content creation and maintaining consistency much more organized. There are two main tools for this:
- TakeOff, which doesn’t only allow for scheduling but also shows users which times of the day are best for posting in order to gain maximum visibility. This app is especially popular among prominent digital agencies because team members, as well as clients, can be added to the account in order to collaborate on the campaign. It also offers useful insights by analyzing photo captions and suggesting relevant hashtags which would help improve the visibility of the post on the platform.
- ScheduGram, which offers web uploading and scheduling management, but without suggestions. The tool also allows for simple editing of uploaded images (cropping, rotation, filters).
Graphic design and photo editing
This is where experts and the wider audience alike invest a lot of interest – after all, on Instagram everything begins and ends with images. Marketers largely depend on posting high-quality, enticing images not only to engage their followers but to maintain their credibility (in the sea of beautiful visuals, a poor image on Instagram looks worse than it would elsewhere).
There are plenty of tools and apps for photo editing, but VSCO stands out as the favorite in the crowd. There are numerous filters to choose from (there are plenty of free ones but they also offer additional collections in the in-app store) and editing tools to help create sharp, impressionable visuals. VSCO’s own Instagram profile really speaks volumes about what the app can do.
But there’s another popular tool, Canva, which goes beyond photo editing and offers some extra features for graphic design. Using fonts, graphics, images and an array of design elements, social media managers can employ Canva when creating posters or other more design-oriented content from scratch. Praised for its simple interface, the tool is used both by professionals and beginners.
Research has shown that posts tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement than those without a tag. These findings go a few years back, but geotagging remains incredibly popular in the social media landscape because it spurs connection and interaction. With tools such as Ink361, brands can craft effective campaigns targeted at certain location-based demographics. Although the app is not primarily designed for this, geotagging is its most popular feature, most notably because of its map viewer option, used for discovering people based on photo location.
As Instagram’s popularity continuously rises, the options of using tools multiply. There’s already plenty to choose from, both for the seasoned marketer and the Instagram enthusiast. You can try some of these yourself and see how they fare. Either way, there’s surely more coming in the following years, and it will be exciting to see the new possibilities.