​​You need to start marketing smarter. How can you get more out of your IG feed? How can you engage with customers and build your brand in the smartest possible way?

Instagram is changing the way it does business. That means we have to change the way we do business, too. Here’s what you need to know about Instagram’s latest platform changes:

Organic Changes

New Home, Favorites, and Following Feed Views 

Instagram is trying to make it easier for you to keep up with the people, places and things you love.

You’re probably wondering what these changes mean for you and your brand. We’ve got some good news: users are expanding their following. This means more people are seeing more and more information and content. More eyes on your product, more engagement, more reach—it’s a win-win situation. 

Take this opportunity to boost your following by posting content that is interesting and relevant, but looks natural in the viewer’s feed. If you want to get more views, you’ll need to create content that’s curated to look organic even when it isn’t.

You should also aim for authenticity in your posts and make sure they’re relevant and timely. If you’re posting about the same things over and over again, people will get bored

Use the Favorites view to curate a list of accounts whose you want to strategically engage with, competitors, and industry leaders. That way, you’ll be able to see when they post new content or respond to comments or messages, so you can respond quickly and effectively.

New Hashtag Experience

You know how it goes: when you search for a hashtag on Instagram, you get a bunch of posts that are tagged with that phrase, but they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the cause or organization that started the tag—which can be frustrating.

Now, Instagram is working with relevant organizations to define which hashtags are relevant and represent an actual cause. Then, each of these hashtags gets its own destination, similar to a profile page. This means now you will be able to search for hashtags and get to their own dedicated pages.

New Messaging Features

Users can now see who’s active on the top of their inbox. If you don’t want to disturb someone, but still want to tell them something? Just use the silent DM feature! No push notifications will be sent out when you send a silent DM.

If you’re scrolling through your feed and find something that looks like it would be fun to share with friends, long tap on that arrow icon and check out the new Quick Send feature. You can quickly send links and other content to their DMs without leaving the app.

And finally… music sharing is getting even better. With the integration with Apple Music and Amazon Music (and soon Spotify), users will be able to share 30-second clips of songs they like directly in an Instagram DM.

Scheduling Live in IG Profile

Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your followers and show them what’s happening in your life, as it’s happening. And now, it’s even better—you can schedule a live video on your profile and let your followers know when it’s coming.

To make this feature more visible, profiles will get a badge with the information of the schedule live. This way, followers can opt-in to get a notification the moment the Live begins.

Collab Posts

Collaborate with a friend to create posts and share the love. The posts will appear on both of your feeds, so you can get extra exposure for your brand.

With Collab Posts, you’ll be able to reach new audiences while simultaneously increasing your reach within your existing community. It’s an easy way to breathe new life into your content strategy and help build brand loyalty with new followers.

Most Important Updates for Marketers

Instagram Map Search

While Google Maps has long been the go-to app for finding the location of businesses, Instagram is now entering the game with its own version of a map search tool.

This new feature is very similar to Google Maps, allowing users to find the location of different businesses within the Instagram app. 

Map search is located inside Instagram’s regular browser and allows you to easily see more information about that particular location, including its price range and public posts marked with the business’ location by clicking on the location icon on the map.

Stricter Consequences for Unethical Marketing

Instagram is changing how they handle unethical marketing. They’re introducing three features to give users more control over their experience on the app:

For example: if a post includes misinformation or comes from an account with a history of sharing misinformation, that content will live further down in the feed and fewer users will see it.

The update also allows users to report any post that includes hate speech, bullying, or incitement of violence.

Partnership Inbox

Brands and creators can now reach a whole new world of people through influencer outreach. And agencies can reach those influencers more easily than ever, with the Partnership Messages Tab.

Partnership Messages is a sub-folder in the Direct Messages tab, which makes it easy for agencies to find and manage branded content partnerships. These messages skip the request folder and get priority placement, so you don’t have to waste time digging through your DMs. 

Find Creators

The new feature will allow users to add brands to a preferred brand list. When a brand searches for creators to partner with, those who have the brand in their list will appear at the top of search results. This means brands can easily find and connect with influencers who already show an interest in their product or service.

In addition to this new feature, brands can also filter creators by follower count, age, gender, and location. Instagram believes that these changes will help brands “organize shortlists to easily manage multiple campaigns.”

For Creators, this means having more control over their partnerships with the preferred brand list. At the same time, brands will have a much easier time finding influencers to partner with using the newly introduced filters—so both sides win.

Expanding Product Tagging in Feed 

Instagram is expanding the product tagging feature to everyone—and that’s pretty exciting.

Previously, this feature was available only to creators and brands, so now everyone can use it for tagging products in their feed. With this update, users in the U.S will be able to tag a brand and then specify a product on their published feed posts. People that tap on the product tag will see detailed information about the product, like where to buy it and what other people are saying about it. They can also purchase the product directly from the app or through the brand’s product detail page.

With this new feature, brands will be able to create trends and user-generated content around their products, which means more exposure for your business.

Monetization Via Subscription

Generate revenue from your content by implementing the Subscriber feature.

If a user has brand partnerships that qualify, the Instagram Affiliate Program makes it easy to shop a creator’s account. This allows creators to make commissions on each sale.

The Subscriptions feature enables users to pay for access to subscriber-only live videos and stories. Subscribers will get badges next to their names so when they comment on posts or send DMs, creators will know the comment comes from a subscriber. Subscribers can also receive notifications and posts for promotions over Instagram.

This is great news for e-commerce brands because it means that you can now monetize your marketing content by offering customers exclusive content and discounts through subscriptions.

Let’s have some fun and get you noticed

It’s important to keep in mind that Instagram is constantly updating its platform and making changes. That means you have to adjust accordingly. You need to be flexible if you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.

In the end, it’s all about creating relationships. If you want to make sure your brand is getting attention, contact Cape & Bay. We’ll handle the rest.