The digital marketing industry moves nearly as fast as the internet itself does, with new trends in digital campaign management coming and going at a breakneck pace. Nowhere is this truer than in social media marketing. It’s an in-demand profession: Instagram alone is projected to house 75.3% of US marketers this year. But constant updates to platform features and feed algorithms mean Instagram marketers must keep their eye for news sharp and their skills honed to match.
Understanding the toll this can take, a myriad of social media marketing tools rose to the challenge.
Why Use Tools to Manage Instagram?
Instagram is a deceptively simple app: take a photo or video, upload it with an accompanying caption, and watch others do the same. But the most successful brands on Instagram do more than that. Using tools, marketers:
- Save time and resources by streamlining the content creation and uploading process
- Measure the direct business impact of their efforts
- Use data-driven strategies to improve brand marketing performance and research competitors
- Stay up to date on industry news
We’ve collected a list of some of the best Instagram tools for brands.
Preparing posts in advance on a content calendar allows you to get Instagram posts ready for the upcoming weeks beforehand, freeing up time for daily Instagram management activities.
Later is one of the most popular ones. It distinguishes itself through user-friendly drag-and-drop options to organize Instagram content plans on a visual calendar, allowing marketers to preview what their feed will look like for greater control over aesthetic.
The tool also supports user-generated content (which 85% of customers say is more trustworthy than branded content) by allowing you to repost directly from searched hashtags.
Featuring an intuitive and “what you see is what you get” design, with Planable, you can coordinate large-scale social media campaigns and view your content exactly as it would appear on the feed.
Planable allows users to schedule and collaborate on their Instagram content with little no hassle. The solution supports multiple formats – videos, images, stories – which can be edited and customized. For a bird-eye view of their Instagram campaigns, Planable offers four viewing mods: list, calendar feed and grid view. The latter option is especially useful for users who want to plan and see how their grids will look like ahead of time. Add to that a workspace where parties can openly collaborate and share feedback on content and a multi-level approval workflow, and you can be sure that with Planable, no piece of content will be released into the wild without going through the motions first.
One of Planable’s latest features is Instagram direct publishing. This allows users to schedule and publish their content (stories included) directly through Planable, without requiring any extra steps – like fiddling with push notifications in the middle of the night.
Photo and Video Post Editing: Instasize
What’s Instagram without stunning visuals? For marketers who want to improve their content creation process, then crafting visual content is likely to take the most time. Instasize simplifies the process by acting as an all-in-one creative toolkit for both marketing and personal use.
For marketers primarily using their mobile phones to take pictures and videos, Instasize is handy for making quick edits on the fly. There are options to apply color filters, post-process photos more closely, add text and borders, and more. It updates frequently with new themed content as well.
Instagram Stories Editing: Made
Instagram Stories, introduced in 2016, should be a key part of any brand’s marketing strategy—over 500 million users were active on Instagram Stories daily in 2019. With its array of face-recognition filters, stickers, and searchable GIFs, Instagram Stories added another layer of personalization to the visual platform.
Made addresses the need for a Stories-specific editor by providing appealing templates—32 in the free version and 50 premium ones. The app also contains features to plan a storyboard, perfect for marketing creatives who want to take advantage of Instagram Stories’ storytelling potential.
Reporting and Analytics: Iconosquare
Not content with using Instagram Insights for your performance reporting needs? Iconosquare is a social media analytics tool that allows multi-platform management from one customizable dashboard. Essential data includes follower evolution, average engagement per post, reach, and impressions. Those with higher plans also get additional data on promoted Instagram posts.
Iconosquare also provides benchmarking data for each industry within their software, minimizing the need for extensive researching for time-strapped social media marketers.
Social Media Contests: Vyper
Hosting giveaways and contests on Instagram are a surefire way to get your audience more interested in the content you post. They serve a dual purpose: increasing engagement (and followers) and driving up brand awareness in your products and services. Vyper supports that by helping create high-converting contests.
Features include landing page builders (complete with thank-you page), social media contest templates, a referral and loyalty program platform, and tracking for all the leads the contest earns you.
Choosing the Right Tools for You
Not sure you want to commit to a pro plan? Evaluate whether tools are worth keeping for the long haul.
- Go through their websites, blog posts, and tutorials. Tips on the best way to use their features will be suggested by the companies themselves—they want you to succeed!
- Once you’ve gotten a good idea of each tool’s offers, take advantage of their free trials to test out features most interesting to you.
- Make a comparison between your current social media activities and the features each tool has. List your necessary features. Find the spots where your current strategy could be augmented by features you haven’t tried before.
These five tools are some of the best of the best, attracting high-profile brand clients as well as independent influencers and small businesses. Give them a try—you have nothing to lose, and you might just find your next go-to.
About the Author: Denise Langenegger is part of the team at Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile.