You’re well aware that a complete online presence for any business consists of creating a website and utilizing the most popular and relevant social media channels. The one that everyone (and by everyone we mean over 300 million people) seems to be virtually hanging out on all the time is Instagram. As a user of the platform, you might be hip with all the stellar Instagram features, like carousel posts, the new ‘Ask Me Anything’ questions sticker and a pretty nifty analytics tracker for business accounts. Yet, there’s a whole world of tools outside the app that can really make your account stand out against the hefty crowd.
With a sprinkle of the right external add-ins, you’ll be ready to up your engagement and followers, make the most of the platform with some ‘secret’ hacks, and simply have a blast creating fun content. So dive into these 10 best Instagram tools that we highly recommend for your business:
It’s a fact that most of us shoot our photos for Instagram on our smartphones. And thanks to VSCO’s editing technology, no one needs to know that we don’t own the newest camera device. It offers many advanced editing tools, from the basics like cropping and adding contrast to more sophisticated filters and film-inspired presets. VSCO allows you to craft whatever mood you’re going for, be it happy and vibrant, vintage and grayscale, or dark and moody. After you’ve created the most professional images and videos, easily share them to your Instagram account through the app. If all of that doesn’t provide you with the help you need, VSCO also serves as a community-based platform where a bunch of creatives inspire each other.
Pros: Advanced tools and presets to create professional quality photos, a creative community, and exclusive photography tips.
Instagram Stories have become a big hit, replacing those Snapchat days to the point where you might be saying #TBT. Yet, the content of each platform is oh so different: Snapchat might be for selfies and awkward happenings, but Instagram is all about making your brand look as professional as possible. So how do you create Instagram Stories for your business that look polished and poise at all times? Download the application Unfold, which allows you to create customized Stories that will honestly amaze your followers. With this application, you can choose from over 70 different templates and five fonts to layout your photos, videos, and text. There’s no doubt that you’ll be looking your best.
Pros: Free application, 70 easy-to-use templates and supports both photo and video media – including sound.
Thanks to Canva, there’s no need to hire a designer to create beautiful and professional content for your Instagram account. This Instagram tool empowers users to become designers themselves through easily crafting their media with its easy drag-and-drop format, whether it’s editing photos, creating graphics with gorgeous fonts, or building photo collages. The best part: Canva allows you to set your brand colors and fonts to use throughout your designs in order to keep things consistent and up to par with your brand’s style at all times. The platform offers millions of photographs and fonts, along with different grids, frames, shapes, illustrations, icons and more. The opportunities are endless to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces for your Instagram account, be it Stories or posts.
Pros: Easy drag-and-drop format, millions of photos and fonts available, and an option to set brand colors and fonts.
Brands that use video content receive 41% more web traffic from search engines than those that don’t. This irresistibly engaging media form is gaining traction fast and it’s about time to hop on board and create social videos for your Instagram account…or maybe let someone else handle it for you. This is where Magisto steps in. The popular application uses artificial intelligence technology to create personal and business videos. All you need to do is upload your clips and photos, choose an editing style and the music. While you’re popping your microwave popcorn, Magisto will edit your content and generate your video within minutes – ready to be saved and uploaded to your Instagram page.
Pros: Creates professional videos in minutes with your own uploaded content.
No, we’re not talking about the Australian throwing tool, but this video feature has the same concept. Boomerang videos take a burst of photos and compile them into a short clip that plays forward and backward. Picture a video of someone diving into a pool and being sucked back up just before they hit the water, then watch this replay again. And again. And again. Like GIFs, this guilty media pleasure can control our attention spans for long periods of time. Knowing that’s the case, if you choose to produce this content yourself, your followers will be waiting in line for your next show. It’s not hard to create a boomerang anyways: just download the app, then find a moving object and stand still while you press down the only button on the app to shoot the video. Once you’re done, you can instantly upload it to your feed or Stories – as simple as that. (Note that Instagram does have a boomerang feature itself. Yet, it only works for Stories, not regular posts.)
Pros: Dangerously addicting media form that can be created by using just one simple button on the app.
Who doesn’t love a good jam session? Music happens to be one of the most engaging things in life, especially in social videos. But, maybe you’ve already created a video and this is the one thing you’ve left out. That’s not a problem thanks to Background Music for Video +. This application helps you easily add tunes to your videos and then post them on Instagram. It’s a quick and simple process that involves uploading your video, selecting your audio and when it will play, merging the sound and visual together, then sharing the final product on Instagram. The best part of it all: it’s free!
Pros: Free application and an easy way to add music to your social videos.
Get started here: iOS app
When it comes to content we love on Instagram, we often like and comment, and maybe even bookmark a post. Yet, strangely enough, Instagram is one of the few social platforms where you can’t share your followers content directly in the app…or can you? The simple hack to the system is called ‘Repost for Instagram’ – an application that couldn’t be any simpler to use if it tried. All you need to do is copy the link from the post you want to share, open the Repost application, and follow the steps to add it to your Instagram Story or feed. This is just one more step in forming meaningful relationships with your followers, a must for any business looking to succeed on Instagram.
Pros: Simplest way to share your followers’ content.
If you are planning to share a lot of posts or at specific times, it can be quite difficult to schedule. Planoly is the best option around, as it allows you to schedule your content and make use of highly effective tools at a very reasonable price. You can visually plan how your content (including Instagram Stories) will look on your Instagram profile before it’s posted by dragging and reordering posts. Other features include hashtag suggestions based on keywords you type in, adding direct links, managing comments, analyzing trends and collaborating with team members – all from the platform.
Pros: Visually plan, order and schedule your Instagram posts, then track their performance.
With Instagram, you get one opportunity to share a link on your bio. This means that every time you create a new blog post, add a new product to your online shop, or run a Facebook campaign, you need to update the link on your profile and leave the other ones inaccessible from your Instagram account for that time. But all of these links are important to your business and none should be left to the side. With Linktree, you can include one super link in your bio that leads users to a list of your other links, without exiting the Instagram app. In this list, you can link to your website, social accounts, email, phone number, and anything else you need – all under customized names. Then, choose from several different themes to display your content. It gets even better: the app includes more options, like scheduling the time frame a link is visible, providing data on the total clicks per link, and enabling email signup options.
Pros: A basic and free tool that provides one link to multiple destinations (website, social, contact, and more).
Get started here: Linktree
The most versatile element on Instagram is hashtags (you know, the little pound sign linked to a keyword or phrase). You include them in your posts, Instagram Stories, and now you can even follow them as if they are accounts of their own. But, when you place them throughout your content, are you optimizing their full potential? A strategic combination of using the most popular Instagram hashtags and niche or brand-specific ones throughout your posts will help you increase your likes, followers, and even customers. Hashtagify helps you find the best tags by providing suggested options based on each of your posts and allowing you to search the popularity of individual hashtags alone. Once you include them in your content, this tool allows you to monitor and analyze each hashtag’s performance. But, there’s one more way that this Instagram tool helps you to improve your social media strategy: You can also discover top influencers in your industry – a key distinguisher from the average hashtag discovery tool.
Pros: Track and analyze your hashtags, discover popular market hashtags and top influencers.
Get started here: Hashtagify
Once your Instagram account is equipped with the best tools, create a stunning website with Wix and link it in your bio!
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