There is no denying that instagram is one of the most popular and sought after social media platforms, today. With 120 million users in India alone, Instagram has become a place for creators to showcase their talents, users to display their lives, scroll for content and connect with peers and for businesses to market and sell their products efficiently. With an all round approach, Instagram seems to have something for everyone.

However, there is often confusion about how one can use the platform as a digital marketing tool, to its full extent. So, here is a list explaining exactly that!

Static Posts

This one is pretty basic and doesn’t need much explaining. It is the first and core feature of Instagram. Static images are a great place to start showcasing your creativity. As a brand you can use these to display your products, your team, showcase humour through memes and even use graphics in a witty manner to communicate your brand identity.

Video Posts

Another basic feature of instagram. You can upload short videos upto 1 minute as a post to potentially garner higher engagement. These are very useful to show snippets of your ad films or interviews, behind the scenes content, fun and engaging gifs and even influencer based informative content that is more relatable to your audience.

Carousel Posts

Like the two mentioned above, these also show up on your main Instagram feed. They are mini albums of sorts, and help you display upto 10 images and/or videos in 1 post. It gives you the freedom, as a brand, to display more product pictures together, show detail and deliver a larger chunk of content without cluttering the users feed. Many brands use this feature in a creative way to make ads and memes as well!

IGTV

While there exists the video feature, it is limited to a minute. IGTV or Instagram TV allows you to upload longer format videos. However, it is primarily meant for vertical videos rather than horizontal, which makes this content unique to Instagram. This feature is often leveraged while creating story based content or in influencer collaborations.

Stories

A favourite for many, Instagram stories are disappearing posts that last 24 hrs only (Unless you highlight them, ofcourse). Stories allow you to capture in-the-moment activities, interact with your audience through polls, AMAs, quizzes and truly portray your brand’s identity. You can also create your own branded filters and stickers for your audience to use, in turn encouraging user generated content and amplifying your brand message.

Reels

A leap from the infamous TikTok, Instagram Reels are short form videos of 15-30 sec duration. They allow users to edit the content on the platform itself, using multiple clips, adding music, text or stickers, adjusting speed and a lot more. They are fun, trendy and open up a lot of opportunities for brands. This feature, if leveraged correctly can generate a lot of engagement. Brands can show their products in an interesting way, start or participate in trending challenges, show behind the scenes activities and a lot more!

Shoppable Posts

This is relatively new but takes social media marketing to a whole new level! Instagram now allows users to see prices, save products they like and also buy from the platform itself. While it is still in the process of being rolled out, the implications of this are very positive for brands. From attracting new consumers, engaging and interacting with them to selling, brands can now leverage instagram across their consumers’ journey.

Chats or DMs

Like any other social media platform, instagram too allows for 1 on 1 interaction via Direct messages. But what is unique about it is that you can segregate your chats based on primary and general threads, send voice messages, react to texts and even share disappearing content. It is a great tool for brands to answer questions or resolve issues that their customers may be facing.

An interesting moment for IG DMs was when Swiggy leveraged its (then) newly released feature of voice messages and generated an engagement of over 1.5L DMs in only a single day!

Insta Live

Lastly, we have Instagram live (A feature that saw a boom post lockdown). This is a great way for brands or influencers to talk to their followers in the moment. Here one can host chats, interviews, Q & As, podcasts or even fan interactions that helps brands increase over audience engagement.

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