5 Surprising Features and Ideas You Can Use to Market on Instagram

Instagram stories on a screen

Instagram, once the selfie posting social media app has expanded to a multi-billion dollar platform for eCommerce and influencer brands. 

About 6/10 Instagram users log in at least once daily, making it the second most logged-in social media site for daily use after Facebook. It’s safe to say that users are familiar with well crafted CTA’s and bombarded with ads daily. Followers are more marketing-savvy than ever before. 

Which begs the question, how do you stand out on Instagram against all that content and competition? 

The answer, you’ll need to stay up to date with the latest Instagram features, statistics, and marketing tips. Allowing you to keep your business one step ahead of your followers and competitors. 

Today, we’ll talk about five amazing features and ideas you should use to market on Instagram to keep your content fresh and increase sales along the way.  

Use Instagram Close Friends List to Market Your Brand 

In December 2018, Instagram officially launched its new story feature, Close Friends. This feature allows you to share exclusive Instagram story content with a select group of “friends”, and further Instagram’s attempt to allow people to connect more on a personal level on the social media platform. 

But every smart marketer knows that almost every one of Instagram’s features can be leveraged for business.

Here’s a quick guide to creating your first close friend’s list:

Close friends on instagram

You can use your close friend’s list to add customers or VIP members. Being selective with who’s added to your close friend’s list is what gives it the feeling of exclusivity. The impact of exclusivity helps to increase sales because it affects humans on a deeper psychological level with the Scarcity Principle. Here are three ways to market your product on Instagram with your close friend list: 

Share Your Landing Pages & Website

Once you have access to adding links to your Instagram story, you can add your website or landing page to your Instagram story. If you’re hosting a contest, new product launch or features give followers on your close friends list first bids before you launch to the public. 

Instagram advert

Grow Your Email Marketing List 

Email marketing is still useful today. It’s said to provide a $44 return for every $1 spent. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Use your close friend’s list to grow your email list. Create an eye-catching graphic and convince them to share their emails with you. 

Mailing list setup on instagram

Sharing Discount Codes

Did you know that 58.8% of users follow brands on social media to get access to offers and discounts? This means discount codes are an effortless way to increase sales and collect emails.

If you’re a small business, it can be a bit difficult to run discount campaigns and huge offers. It takes a certain level of strategy and tactics to avoid discount fatigue. Here’s a brief guide to help you to learn how to use incentives to get more fans & followers.

Flash Sale on Instagram

Use Video Marketing to Market Your Brand 

Video generates more engagement than any other content type on Instagram. Not to mention by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. 

If you want to market your business on Instagram effectively, you’ll need to add video marketing to your strategy. Here are three Instagram video features to consider using today: 

Create an IGTV Channel

Instagram launched IGTV app in 2018, which allows creators to upload one-hour long videos. This feature is Instagram’s attempt to “borrow” a favorite fan feature from YouTube in an effort to stay relevant. Thus IGTV was born. 

Instagram now offers IGTV where you can create videos longer than a minute on Instagram and share them as a one minute preview in your feed.

Pomeranian on instagram

Instagram Story Features 

Next to Instagram’s algorithm, Instagram Stories are consistently being updated with new ways to reach your audience. You can now add GIFs via Giphy, repost Stories you’re tagged in, add fun countdowns to special events. 

With new features using the Instagram Stories Create Mode and Instagram music stickers, you don’t need a graphic designer to make creative Instagram story videos. 

Check out Bitable’s video on how to make an Instagram Story video: 


Instagram Reels 

Facebook’s strategy to compete with TikTok is to first win in markets where TikTok isn’t popular yet, like Mexico and Brazil. That was how Instagram Reels was invented. This feature has more features than TikTok business owners can use to highlight their products or services. 

Since this feature hasn’t made its way to North America, you have time to practice video content in your IGTV and Instagram stories. 

Use Shoppable Tags to Market Your Products 

Social commerce with Instagram is now easier than ever before. You can create shoppable posts and stories. Instead of asking followers to “click the link in the bio,” now they can shop for their favorite products with one tag! Cutting your buyer’s journey in half by driving sales directly. 

Before you jump the gun, make sure you’re located in a country that’s eligible for Shoppable Instagram. Check this post from Instagram to ensure your country is eligible to use shoppable posts.

Tagging products on instagram

No matter how many times Instagram changes its algorithm, new marketing trends and influencers emerge, one thing remains consistent: content and engagement. 

This is the defining feature of a successful Instagram account. Mastering your content isn’t as hard as it looks. Here are some tips and tools to help you market your business on Instagram like a pro: 

Take Professional and Creative Images of Products

The average Instagram user spends 53 minutes on the app per day. They consume content daily, you’ll need to create eye-catching content if you want them to stop scrolling and pay attention to you. 

Host Giveaways & Contests on Instagram

Instagram contests are a great way to generate more followers and drive more engagement within your network of Instagram Fans. Brands like Hydro Flask and Gym Shark have grown their social media following with the help of influencers and giveaways.  

Giveaways on instagram

Once you find the perfect contest method, be sure to read up and follow Instagram’s giveaway rules and guidelines. 

Invest in Influencer Marketing 

Influencers are social media users who have a significant following and can (as the name suggests) influence their followers’ buying decisions with their trusted expertise in a specific niche.

This multi-billion dollar industry has been in the top 10 digital marketing trends for the past five years.

Next to YouTube, Instagram is one of the best influencer marketing platforms to date.  

It all starts with researching influencers you’d like to work with for your marketing campaigns. Gone are the days that you’d need an influencer with 100k followers to make an impact, now you can use micro-influencers to gain just as much exposure.

Instagram screenshot

Market Your Brand’s Amazing Customer Service

Shoppers now expect brands to provide customer service on their social media platforms. Around 44% more people think that a brand’s conversations (including direct messaging or in response to a comment posted) are more persuasive than a brand’s advertising ads.

People are always watching comments and remarks from brands to decide if they should invest their time and money with them. 

With 83% of people expecting companies to respond to social media comments within a day or less, the worst thing you can do when someone comments or complaints about you (or your products) on Instagram is to take a long time to respond.

Instagram now provides instant replies so you can provide more efficient customer service in your direct messages.

Quicky reply in Instagram

The Rundown 

Take time to create your content on Instagram and use social media listening tools to keep up to date with your customer’s remarks and demands. 

You can also invest in social media management tools to automate your content so you can run your business without checking your phone every second of the day. 

Here’s a quick recap of five surprising features and ideas you can use to market on Instagram: 

  1. Use Instagram Close Friends List to Market Your Brand 
  2. Use Video Marketing to Market Your Brand 
  3. Use Shoppable Tags to Market Your Products 
  4. Engagement & Content to Market Your Brand
  5. Market Your Brand’s Amazing Customer Service

Which features are you currently using to marketing your business Instagram account?

This is a guest from Victoria at Wishpond. Victoria is a Content Marketer specializing in all things digital and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays, you can follower her on Twitter.

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