Instagram is quickly becoming a major destination point for marketers. The platform is all abuzz with influencers and brands trying to get their message out to folks. Up until now, working with Instagram from a business perspective was tough. The reason is that the Instagram ecosystem was closed off to the world. There were no real ways to employ marketing tactics like calls to actions, linking, and analytics. Now that is changing.
Developers rejoiced (at least their marketing clients did) when Instagram announced that it was opening up their coveted API and allowing new ways to interact with and see data generated by using the IG platform. Check out the developer’s documentation from Instagram to get the skinny.
Giving people access to Instagram data via the API, opened up the door to many different aspects of the Instagram platform. Two are most notable: advertising analytics and third-party scheduling tools. Both of these are huge to the digital marketing community because it means being able to better understand advertising practices on the platform AND being able to begin to manage the publishing activity on Instagram.
The first aspect of advertising that I noticed was when Instagram opened the “call to action” functionality. This was the obvious beginning of opening up the platform for marketers and advertisers to utilize. The day has come that digital marketing professionals can have some access to the Instagram API. This means learning more about your IG audience and how they are interacting with content on the IG platform. Now we are seeing even more loosening of the reins around the IG API and a few select partners have been chosen by Instagram to have deeper access to the channel.
One of the biggest partner advantages I’ve noticed is scheduling of Instagram posts. Regarding scheduling, this is huge because previously there was NO easy way to schedule posts to Instagram like you can do natively in Facebook and via third party social media tools like Hootsuite, NUVI, and Sprout Social. Historically all posts had to be uploaded via the mobile app and required manually logging in and out of each account that needed content posted. Well, that hasn’t exactly changed all that much at the time of this writing. What is being touted as scheduling is being able to compose a post with image and text, then the third party platform will send a reminder message with all the crucial details to your mobile device. Then you have easy access to a prepared post that you can then upload to Instagram. Lots of then’s and not quite as easy as scheduling Facebook or Twitter messages, but it’s getting closer.
So, Instagram is one step closer to being a powerhouse in the social media marketing world. Their ad revenue is estimated to surpass that of Facebook and Google in the near future. I feel this prediction will come to fruition as Instagram gives digital professionals more access to the IG API. This will only increase the usefulness of the platform which will make it even more attractive to digital marketing people.
Keep a keen Internet eye on Instagram if you are using images to promote products or need to reach the target group you’ve identified that meshes with Instagram demographics. Please feel free to contact LTM Digital with any Instagram or digital marketing questions. We are happy to help.