4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

Out of all of the major social networks, Instagram has remained one of the most closed.

  • It doesn’t let you put links in your captions.
  • It hasn’t added as many other functions, though we do now have Instagram Stories. 
  • For a long time, it didn’t allow third-party apps to post to the platform.

That last point was especially tricky for digital marketers.

The benefits that services like Hootsuite and Buffer brought to managing other social networks didn’t carry over to Instagram.

You couldn’t plan your content ahead of time and publish it automatically like you could on Twitter or Facebook. That means when you wanted to post something to Instagram, you had to be there to push the Share button.

Luckily, Instagram changed that in 2018 by allowing businesses to schedule their posts on Instagram via an API. 

That makes it easier than ever to take advantage of Instagram’s high engagement rates

Having an Instagram community is part of a crucial strategy of social proof, something you can leverage to increase your conversions.

This means you might be ready to explore scheduling apps that let you organize, upload, and preview your Instagram posts.

To help you succeed on Instagram, I’m going to show you how to use four different tools to automate your Instagram content scheduling.

Let’s get started.

4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling

One of the best ways to engage your Instagram audience is to post engaging content on a regular basis. These tools make that much easier — you can schedule posts, so they go live when your audience is most active. 

#1. Later for Instagram Scheduling

The first app I’m going to show you is called Later. It’s a social media scheduling tool that works with Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

The best part about Later is that it’s free for up to 30 scheduled posts per month. If you’re posting once a day, this is really good news.

But you will need a premium plan if you’re going to use video, so keep that in mind.

As a tool, Later has two primary benefits.

The first benefit is that it lets you preview your posts so you can see what they will look like as part of the bigger picture — your entire Instagram account.

This is very helpful for marketers who want to have a harmonious Instagram page.

The second benefit is that you can synchronize your images directly from services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

That means skipping the pesky step of saving your images to your camera roll on your iPhone before posting through to Instagram.

Let me show you how it works.

You need to create an account to get started. Once you’ve entered your Instagram information and chosen a name and timezone, you arrive at the main dashboard.

It looks like this:

To be able to schedule posts on Later, you need to download and sign in to the Later mobile app.

Once your mobile app is connected, your dashboard looks like this.

To get started using Later, you need to add media. You can either drag images to the media library or connect to Google Drive or Dropbox.

Later is great because it lets you organize a lot of content quickly in two different ways.

First, you can select the option to see only the content you haven’t posted or content that you’ve starred.

The more in-depth option is to add labels to your images, which you can then filter to only see certain types of images.

To add a label, click on the image.

Then create your label.

Now you can go back and filter your images.

If you don’t have a lot of images in your media library, it probably isn’t worth your time to go through and label them.

But if you have thousands of images, taking some time to organize them can save you a lot of scrolling over the long run.

There are a couple of different ways you can create a post in Later.

The first is by clicking directly on the image itself.

The post creation window posts up. You can edit your crop and add a caption for the post.

Then, at the bottom of the window, you select the date and time you want.

The scheduled post is now on your calendar.

You could also just drag and drop the content from the media library into the calendar at the slot for the time and date you want.

When you do this, it automatically opens the pop up to write in the caption. The date and time are already added to the bottom.

When it comes time to post your content, they will automatically post your content.

#2. Agorapulse for Instagram Scheduling

Agorapulse promises to centralize your social planning in one place. There’s an option with a free trial to see if it’s right for you.

Like Later, it provides scheduling for the major social networks. I’m going to focus on the Instagram scheduling for this article.

To get started, click on the “Start my free trial” button at the top.

There is a caveat, however. You have to connect with your Facebook account. You cannot just create an account with your email address.

Then there are a couple of different authentication steps before Agorapulse asks you which accounts and pages you want to connect with. You can skip the Facebook and Twitter step and just do the Instagram account.

When you get logged in, the first screen you see is your inbox. Your inbox is a collection of all the comments from your Instagram posts.

This is a great way to be able to engage with people who have engaged with you. For a community manager, this is especially convenient.

What we’re concerned about for this article is publishing, so click on the Publishing tab.

The Publishing tab gives you a calendar view showing when you’ve already posted. For days in the future, you have the option to click on the calendar date to schedule a post.

You can also click on the Schedule Post button on the menu on the right.

The pop-up box allows you to create your post. You can upload media directly through this box.

Once you’ve uploaded your media, you will get the prompt to download and install the Agorapulse mobile app, which works more or less exactly like the Later app I showed you above.

A cool feature of Agorapulse is the Instagram view, which gives you a preview of what your post is going to look like directly in the post creation pop up.

Once you’ve installed the app, you can add your post to your queue.

Another cool feature is the time slots option for your queues.

You know how you can see your Insights in Instagram?

If you scroll down, you can see when your audience is most active for each day of the week.

Then, in Agorapulse, you can set up a default time slot for each day of the week. That way, when you add your posts to your queue, it’s automatically assigned to the best time for that day.

Agorapulse is also advanced when it comes to reporting and identifying your top followers. You can see who interacts with you the most in a glance and who your most influential followers are.

#3. Autogrammer for Instagram Scheduling

Another platform that promises to centralize your social networks’ scheduling is Autogrammer, which offers a free seven-day trial.

It’s much faster to get started with Autogrammer than Agorapulse. Once you’re in, you can add your social network accounts from the menu on the right or from the green button in the middle.

To add an account, type in the details in the pop-up.

When your Instagram account is connected, you will see the prompt to add a post.

Just like with the other services I’ve outlined, you can upload an image directly, add a caption, select a time, and add multiple social networks if you want to publish to Instagram and Facebook at the same time.

The post comes up in your queue.

The interface is designed to be as simple as possible, but you can still access things like the calendar view by clicking on the Scheduled Posts option at the top.

Like the other services, you can add a new post directly from the calendar view by clicking on each date’s little plus button.

Finally, there’s a Bulk Upload option if you want to add multiple media files at one time.

#4. Sprout Social for Instagram Scheduling

For a more robust option in terms of functionality, Sprout Social could be a way for you to go.

Like the other platforms, there is a free trial to get you started. It lets you evaluate if the interface and functionalities are what you’re looking for.

The free trial is super important for Sprout since the plans can get really pricey. It’s positioned more as an enterprise service.

You might want to take that into account before you get hooked.

I want to point out that if you’re just starting out, there’s a standard service that runs $59 per month instead of the basic plan that starts at $99 per month.

You can find that option hidden below the other major plans.

You can start your free trial with any of the options.

After entering your email address, you can link your social accounts.

The more expensive plans let you add more social profiles. The standard plan lets you add five.

The next screen in the setup window. It will ask a little more about your business since Sprout catered more towards business and enterprise clients.

Since we’re concerned with scheduling on Instagram, click on the Publish & Schedule option.

You will still have access to the other features of the platform, but Sprout will immediately orient you towards the publishing features and a video explaining how to publish and schedule. That’s a nice touch.

To create a post on Sprout, you are always only one click away with the green Compose button on the top right. The pop-in window resembles the other services I’ve already shown you.

The publishing tab shows a calendar view that lines up your scheduled posts. You can adjust the date range on the right to see more or less time.

When it comes to Instagram scheduling, the mechanism is similar to the other services I already described. You download the app and connect your Instagram. 

Then, you have to follow the steps to go through and share the content on Instagram via the Instagram app.

Sprout goes further than the other platforms I’ve outlined in both its project management capabilities and its focus on helping you grow your accounts.

Take, for example, the tasks tab.

As people interact with your Instagram account, you can manage your messages in the messages tab. By adding a task to a message, such as reply or contact this person, your task will show up in the tasks tab.

This is helpful when working in teams where a community manager can centralize the responses that are needed by going through and assigning who needs to do what.

You can also label someone as a potential lead, and make sure to follow up with them in a way that’s more sales-oriented than a simple response to a comment on an Instagram post.

The other cool feature on Sprout is the Discovery tab. The Discovery feature lets you created customized searches around hashtags to find people to interact with.

You can also use a geo-filter to narrow your search to a specific geographic area.

If you click on Suggestions on the menu on the left side of the screen, you will be able to find more people to follow who either follow you or who have interacted with you.

This is especially helpful if you’re managing a big community and you want to go through and find new, key people who are closer to helping you boost your business since they already know you.

Conclusion

Instagram finally allows automatically publishing on their account — at least if you have a business profile. 

Now it is easier than ever to schedule Instagram posts at the best times during the day and week to reach the maximum number of your followers.

To properly execute your Instagram strategy, use an Instagram scheduling tool, and make sure you avoid common mistakes.

Each platform offers different benefits, and above all, different interfaces.

Some interfaces will naturally be more comfortable for you. The only way to know is to test.

Once you find the right one, it will go a long way towards helping you execute a successful Instagram strategy.

What apps do you use to schedule posts on Instagram?

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Which Social Networks Should You Advertise on in 2021?

Whether you use it to supplement your existing inbound marketing efforts or it makes up your entire strategy, you’ve probably used social media to meet your marketing objectives.

There are various social media platforms to choose from, and each comes with a user base that brings different advertising potential. Even though there are so many platforms, HubSpot marketing experts Kelly Hendrickson and Andrew Delaney don’t think that you should be using all of them.

Featured Resource: Digital Advertising Training Course

Hendrickson says, “When it comes to choosing which social platforms to invest in, there’s often not a one-size-fits-all answer.” This is because, based on your business’s buyer personas and marketing goals, certain channels will help your advertisements gain more traction, while others may not be as impactful.

This post covers six different social media platforms to give you an understanding of when you should and shouldn’t elect to use them in your social media advertising strategy.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

Which social networks should you advertise on?

When deciding which social networks to use, Delaney says, “It’s difficult to recommend one platform or another for social advertising.” It’s best to take a holistic view of your needs, what the platform has to offer and go from there.

That being said, some social networks are better equipped for meeting overall marketing needs than others, and we’ll discuss those below.

Facebook

Facebook has around 1.82 billion daily active users and is one of the most popular social media platforms. It is also the leading marketing platform worldwide, with 91% of B2B and 96% of B2C marketers using it for advertising and marketing.  

Given this, Hendrickson says, “For better or for worse, every business needs a Facebook advertising presence.” The platform has the most powerful tools for optimizing and targeting, enabling marketers to create a true buyer’s journey within the platform. Hendrickson adds, “It’s also a lot of bang for your buck,” meaning that conversion rates on the platform are high (4.7%, to be exact).

facebook advertising

Whether you’re a software company or a clothing business, you’ll likely find success on Facebook, especially if you use their ad management tool and create a Facebook marketing strategy that carefully considers your target audiences.

You can think of it like this: 15% of Facebook users use the platform to find and shop for products. Suppose you’re an eCommerce business that has targeted the right audiences for your advertisements. In that case, the networks’ high conversion rates say that your target market, who are already using the platform to shop, are likely to make purchases based on your ads.

Should you choose to use Facebook, you can use automation software, like Perfect Audience, to ensure that you’re continuously nurturing leads and targeting the most qualified customers. Perfect Audience helps you generate lists of users on Facebook that are most likely to become customers and re-targets them for continuous influence.

If you’re a HubSpot user, the tool integrates with Marketing Hub, and you can analyze campaign success and track conversions. Once you understand who your most qualified customers are, Perfect Audience helps you continuously re-target those customers to maximize your influence. The image below displays a summary of a campaign analysis on the Perfect Audience platform.

perfect audience hubspot integration campaign analysis demo

When shouldn’t you advertise on Facebook?

Despite being useful for most businesses, there are still times where advertising on the platform is not as beneficial.

For example, if you don’t have a deep understanding of who your target audience is, it might be best to place Facebook on the back burner until you can gain a thorough understanding of who they are. While ad targeting on Facebook is specific, and the algorithm learns from your leads over time, the process begins with a pre-existing list of groups to target.

Instagram

Instagram is a visual social media platform, favoring high-quality images and video content. The network has around 500 million daily active users, and 62.7% of its global audience are between 18-34 years old. In terms of user activity, 70% of shopping enthusiasts report using the app for product discovery.

Considering those facts, Instagram can be very profitable for B2C businesses (82% of B2C marketers are already using it), especially those that use high-quality photos and visuals to attract leads and drive conversions. Instagram has recently re-designed their mobile application to be more shopping focused than ever before, making it easier to advertise and sell products without needing customers to navigate to a website storefront.  

In addition, Instagram is beneficial for eCommerce businesses as a means of customer service. Rather than having users email questions or call customer service, you can ask followers to directly message you with questions, comment on your posts, and you can even post instructional videos explaining how your products work.

So, in sum, if you’re an eCommerce business that can produce high-quality visual content to attract and engage leads, Instagram is worth considering.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Instagram?

Unlike Facebook, Instagram really only caters to B2C businesses. If you’re a more corporate business not focused on individual consumer purchases, you’ll likely have some trouble marketing on Instagram and cultivating engagement.

However, using Instagram and not producing the high-quality content that the app requires won’t aid in your marketing efforts. Users on the app expect high-quality content, so having these visuals is crucial, regardless of your business type. If you don’t have the time or the means, turning to a different platform will likely bring more success as you dedicate time to learn about Instagram and create high-quality visual content for future use.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging social media platform, with 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users. It’s popular in 20 different countries, and its users send out around 500 million tweets per day.  It’s also popular with businesses, as 59% of B2B marketers and 53% of B2C marketers use the platform to meet their marketing goals.

Like Facebook, the possibilities for exposure on the app are incredibly high because of user count. Hendrickson says that, because of this, “Twitter is great to build awareness for your brand and reputation as a thought leader.”

social network advertising

Some of Twitter’s main features, like hashtags, make it easy to reach a wide variety of audiences without having to target them specifically (plus, hashtags don’t come with a price tag). It’s worth noting that tweets with hashtags get 100% more engagement.

In addition to organic advertising, Twitter also has targeted marketing options that allow you to promote content to your key audiences.

In short, there are a variety of businesses that can advertise on Twitter. Smaller companies that may not have a large advertising budget can use free targeting with business-related hashtags. So can larger B2B enterprise businesses (as HubSpot does) that use paid advertising. Twitter can also be beneficial for any business with a significant understanding of their customer base, as ad targeting allows you to select relevant categories and demographic groups that may become qualified leads after seeing your campaigns.

However, Twitter is not the platform that will bring in a significant amount of site traffic conversions.

When shouldn’t you advertise on Twitter?

Hendrickson says, “Looking for site traffic? Twitter is probably not your friend. It’s tough to ask that audience to click and leave the platform.” If your overall marketing goal is to drive conversions to generate site traffic, it’s best to look elsewhere for those metrics.

Even though there are ways to target specific groups through hashtags without spending money, there is only so much you can do organically on Twitter to generate consistent engagement without consistent virality. If you’re a smaller business with a limited budget, relying on hashtags and mentions to advertise your business will make it challenging to hold out against larger, established businesses on the platform.

It may be best to then choose a platform that speaks more to your needs and use Twitter as a supplementary marketing channel.

Which social networks shouldn’t you advertise on?

All of the above platforms work for specific advertising needs. However, marketers with different goals can still develop a presence on the app and build their strategy until they need those marketing objectives. Delaney says, “Your success on different social media platforms can vary depending on your goal or objective, as well as your industry and where your target audience spends your time.”

social media channels to advertise on

There are other social media platforms whose audience and target demographics are so specific that it will be challenging to find success without meeting their niche requirements, like LinkedIn and TikTok.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that you should never consider these platforms. Instead, their user base is so niched that businesses who don’t have an explicit need for what the platform has to offer likely can’t make use of it.

Below, we’ll go over these two platforms, what they can be used for, and give marketers an idea of when they may be able to make use of these platforms in the future.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a unique social media platform, catered entirely towards businesses and working professionals. Although its user base is extremely specific, LinkedIn has powerful, targeted ad capabilities that can help marketers reach over 690 million users.

The costs of running LinkedIn ad campaigns are relatively high. Still, the audiences you’ll reach are higher-quality than other sites because leads are much more qualified than other social media channels. Your ads will always be seen by business-minded individuals targeted based on relevant demographic information like job title, claimed industry, and working location.

In addition to its higher costs, LinkedIn doesn’t have high click-through rates (the average is .45% lower than Facebook).

Because of its exclusivity, eCommerce businesses and B2C businesses will likely have little success in their LinkedIn marketing efforts, as platform users don’t browse with the intent of making purchases as they would on Instagram or Facebook, and even less than they would on Twitter.

Having said that, B2B businesses that use the platform may have something to gain.  

When should you advertise on LinkedIn?

82% of B2B marketers report using LinkedIn as a means of networking and making professional connections. Whether you’re hoping to raise brand awareness, get event registrations, advertise job opportunities, or recruit new employees, LinkedIn’s ad manager will help you designate target audiences and draw in the leads you need.  

If you’re looking to advertise a new job opportunity, use LinkedIn. If you’re hoping to network and grow connections in your field, use LinkedIn. If you’re a recruiter, use LinkedIn. The cost of advertising on the platform pays off for those who use it because, as mentioned above, the leads are significantly more qualified than they would be if you were to advertise a job on Facebook.

If you choose to incorporate LinkedIn into your B2B marketing strategy, using a platform like RollWorks can help you track campaign success and understand if the platform is worthwhile for your marketing strategy. RollWorks will give you campaign metrics in the form of activity graphs that provide overviews of conversions, cost per click (CPC), and return on investment (ROI).

RollWorks can be integrated with HubSpot, allowing you to get an overview of your campaign success across all platforms.

Nevertheless, B2C businesses do have opportunities to use LinkedIn for a variety of different scenarios besides engagement and conversions. For example, if you’re a B2C company looking to open a new storefront in an entirely different city, using LinkedIn to advertise job postings can be beneficial. The ad targeting will help you segment relevant audiences in that location and recruit professionals best suited for those positions.

TikTok

TikTok is a relatively new advertising platform for marketers to use. The company recently launched TikTok For Business, where marketers can learn about TikTok advertising and create ads that are best suited for the app.

The social media network has recently taken off and is available in 155 different countries, with over 600 million active monthly users. These users spend more time on the app than any other social media site, having an average session time of 10.85 minutes. Given this, the advertising potential on TikTok is high, especially when it comes to awareness and engagement.

TikTok, like over visual platforms, favors high-quality videos, but the preferred type of video content is different, which makes it more difficult to find success. This is because TikTok is popular among Generation Z, and most of its users are between the ages of 10 and 19. While the app can give you exposure to a younger audience than most other social media apps, this demographic is very specific in the types of content they enjoy. They shy away from ‘sales-to-drive’ leads promotions and prefer informal behind the scenes content ads.

They like to see a more human side of your business, like who creates the products you produce and what day-to-day looks like for your business employees. If your business is not prepared to meet these needs, it will be hard to benefit from the high engagement rates that TikTok has to offer. However, there is always room for growth and businesses to devise a marketing plan that favors TikTok preferences.

When should you use TikTok?

Businesses that will find the most success on the app are ready to, or already, create and post behind the scenes, organic content on their account. If you’re a clothing company, this could look like a behind the scenes video of a photoshoot for your new clothing line.

If your brand or business is B2B focused and typically creates sales-driven formal content, utilizing the platform would require a significant amount of focus diverted to a TikTok marketing strategy to make the content it prefers. Henrickson says, “When it comes to newer or more experimental channels like TikTok, they’re worth trying if you have the resources. Beating the competition to a platform and succeeding is great, but if your other tried and true channels suffer because of it, it probably isn’t the right move for your brand in the long run.”

advertising on social media platforms

That being said, if your business is looking to branch out and produce content to display a new, human side of your company, TikTok is a great place to start, especially since engagement rates are higher than Instagram and Twitter across all follower levels. Using the platform can help you diversify your content types and share a creative side of your business.

Additionally, TikTok does favor influencer marketing and influencer content. If your business already uses this type of advertising, using TikTok as a place to post this content is worth considering.

Making Your Final Decision

Choosing the platform you’ll use to execute your marketing strategy depends on your overall business goals and business type. If you’re consumer-purchase focused, you want to use a platform that will entice your audience to purchase your products, like high-quality Instagram photos. If you’re a recruiting company, you want professionals to know that you’re serious about your efforts and not running a scam, like LinkedIn job postings.

Delaney says, “I’m usually in favor of testing out various types of creative content across different objectives and audiences on multiple platforms, iterating on those results, and comparing over time.” You may find that a platform you initially thought was best doesn’t draw in the results you were hoping for.

If you analyze your campaign metrics and pay attention to the campaigns you run, you’ll get the information you need to make educated decisions about your marketing efforts. You can determine which platform offers the best results for your business and use that to inform future media placements.

social media content calendar

The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

Over the past few years, video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media.

From the instant popularity of Facebook Live videos to Instagram increasing their video length from 30 to 60 seconds, marketers are using the power of video to communicate their business’ personalities and brand stories, to express creativity, and to build emotional connections with fans and followers.

And it’s working: 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, according to a research report from Adobe. And over 60% of marketers plan to increase their investment in video over the next year.

Right now, video is performing incredibly well on social media. So where is it headed during the rest of this year and beyond?

Read on to learn more about the future of social media video trends with these predictions backed by today’s research and notable marketing experts.

Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

The Future of Social Media Video

YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram will be the preferred platforms for social media videos. 

While video will content to grow in popularity on social media, not every platform will benefit equally from this growth. Some social media platforms will be better equipped to create, publish, and share videos than others. And, the ones where marketers are the most successful will be the ones that brands will gravitate towards the most — namely Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.  

For instance, over 100 millions hours of video a day is watched on Facebook, and of the 79% of marketing teams that published videos on Facebook in 2020, 85% said it was successful. Of the 85% of marketing teams that published videos on Youtube, 83% found it to be successful. And, 65% of video marketers said that they plan to include Instagram in their 2020 marketing strategy because of how effective video content was on this social media platform. 

These three platforms will be the most popular when it comes to social media video content. Not only do they already have millions of active users, but they also let you engage with followers after you post a video. The more you respond to comments and communicate with your audience, the more they’ll interact with your content the next time you post.

Adweek’s Meghan O’Neil offers this advice.

“When you engage with your fans on Twitter and Facebook, it makes them all the more likely to notice when you have a new video up… and share it with their friends.” – Megan O’Neill, Adweek

There will be more video-based social media platforms.

While Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram will start as the leading platforms for social media video, that doesn’t mean they’ll be alone at the top for long. In fact, there’s already been a wave of new video-based social media platforms that are rapidly gaining popularity around the world. 

Take Twitch, for example. In just eight years, the video game streaming platform has grown from 102K viewers to over 1.4 million viewers.

Twitch-usersImage Source

Tik Tok is another good example. It was the number one app downloaded in 2020 with an estimated 738 million downloads. With over 500 million active users, Tik Tok is now the sixth largest social media platform in the world behind Instagram, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp. 

But, Tik Tok and Twitch aren’t the only social platforms aiming to joining the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Aside from smaller players like Meerkat and Parascope, Twitter is now getting into video with its newest feature, Fleets. Fleets are temporary posts that expire after a day, similar to an Instagram Story. With Fleets, users can post videos to their timelines which are six times more likely to be retweeted than a photo tweet. And, research from Nielsen suggests that Twitter video is twice as memorable than videos watched on other social media platforms. The reasoning here is that Twitter videos tend to be viewed as more organic and genuine than videos posted to Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram. 

Social media platforms will compete with streaming services. 

The next frontier for social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram appears to be television. In fact, Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, told Likeable that she believes that Facebook’s goal is “to become the next generation digital streaming television platform.”

“Facebook is on a mission to become the next generation television platform” – Mari Smith

This means that Facebook would completely directly with brands like Netlix and Hulu. Its goal is to become the destination for video streaming and, according to Smith, it’s investing heavily in its “Watch” feature to accomplish that goal. 

YouTube, on the other hand, has been experimenting with YouTube TV since 2017. With YouTube TV, users can watch live television without a cable subscription. This is much different than YouTube’s original approach, which was completely centered around user-generated content. With more social media platforms competing in its space, YouTube is expanding its offering to appeal to a larger audience. 

Let’s not forget Instagram, either. While it doesn’t offer a full-fledge streaming service, Instagram recently launched its IGTV feature which is geared towards long-form video content. And, rather than having to tilt your device sideways to watch a video, IGTV expands the image so the video can be watched from your device’s vertical interface. Research shows that watching videos from this angle improves its completion rate. 

Video will become part of the shopping experience. 

Video was already becoming a standard part of the customer experience, and now, as more people are working from home and shopping online, it’s an essential for brands trying to promote their products. Social media presents the perfect opportunity to share these videos as 61% of consumers crave video content when interacting with a brand. And, 55% of people will use a brand’s video content when making a purchase decision. 

Here’s an example of how J. Crew is using video to promote its new products on Instagram. 

 

But, product promotion isn’t the only way to capitalize on social media video. Brands like Napoleon Cat are creating “explainer” videos where they explain how a product works and who would use it. 

 

Other brands are hosting Q&A sessions and posting customer testimonial videos as well. This provides a level of social proof that helps customers trust a brand after they watch one of these video. For example, here’s a testimonial video for Clek created by one its customers. 

These are a just a few ways that social media videos are affecting the customer experience. As Brian Halligan highlights in the quote below, these are the timely opportunities that “marketers need to adapt to or risk extinction” by falling behind their competitors. 

Tweetable_Quote_Halligan

For more video tips, learn how to create social media video ads

free guide to using video in social media