It looks like the masterminds behind Instagram have come to realize that their road towards success goes through the road which had already been traversed by its parent company Facebook. The latest development in this journey is that of Instagram business profiles, similar to Facebook’s company pages. Earlier, Instagram came up with a targeting strategy and style which was so Facebook. Similarly, it is also focusing on getting more videos on its platform, a strategy Facebook started more than two years ago.
Though this move was making rounds of discussions for a long time, it is now revealed that this Instagram’s attempt to boost advertising and brand activity on the platform will be equipped with analytics tools with more add-ons in the context of functionality. It will also allow the purchase of Instagram ads via mobile, in addition to these new Instagram business profiles. We still don’t know when we will see some of these updates, but surely they are just around the corner. Users have been spotting them here and there for the past few days.
As per the image published by Later.com, the new Instagram business profiles will include a “contact” button that parks itself beside the “follow” button, a linkable location tag, and a category for your account. We will touch upon these one by one with their respective significance.
It’s well-known that the only place to include a link in your Instagram is in your bio. Due to this limitation, many brands on the platform considered it a hindrance in their process of connecting with the people. But this contact button will create an immediate channel for brands to communicate with the potential clients. It has eliminated the need to put e-mail address into the bio space. Naturally, it will eliminate the spam. It is very similar to how Facebook pages allow their followers directly message them.
This addition also leaves a space for e-commerce sites to place a link to their shoppable mobile galleries like Shoppic.me.
After clicking the contact button, a pop-up menu appears offering directions to the business or the ability to email the account.
An interesting thing to note here is that Instagram is not forcing businesses to use its own messaging system. It has realized that businesses still prefer traditional email as their primary source of communication.
Now, after clicking on the Get Direction’s option, you will see a map screen where you can find the business location. It’s a welcome addition, considering what businesses had to do in the past. Businesses had to provide geotags in each image. More than often, they were ritually ignored or overlooked by but the most proficient Instagram users. This can be like a boon for small and local retailers who are still working around to find a way to put their location in their bio. What will make it more lovable is its easy functionality. You can open the map interface by just clicking on the location tag.
The third additional feature is the categorization of the page, which you can easily see below the business name field. In the following image, you’ll notice that below her name, she describes her business as a “Health/Wellness website.” It will be helpful in quickly establishing what the page is all about. Besides, it will ensure people that they are looking at the right page and they will get the desired products or services.
It is also helpful to Instagram as well in curating its future feeds for its newly launched themed video channels. Instagram wants you to present best videos without diminishing the purity of your main feed.
It’s quite obvious that with the above-mentioned features, Instagram is trying to address the basic pain points on the platform for businesses. Despite the logic in its flow and functionality, one noticeable missing addition is a “Buy” button. There is no visible method of converting Instagram account holders into Instagram shoppers. Right now, it is allowing brands to create a direct link to their mobile web pages. When asked about this, Instagram COO Marne Levine said, “We’re going to look and understand how businesses are using the platform and whether they’re achieving the objectives that they’re trying to achieve and think about what to offer them. I think what’s most important is for people to understand that they can advertise on Instagram”.
If the whispers of the experts are concerned, it’s a wise move. In a nutshell, it’s a way to boost the internal monetization by getting equal with Facebook. It’s an open fact that 98 of Facebook’s top 100 advertisers also market on Instagram. It makes a lot of sense to create another channel for those advertisers to advertise their products or services. This move will be crucial for the future planning of Instagram; especially when reports are suggesting that engagement on the platform has declined since it opened up its ad platform to all businesses. But it will be interesting to see how this quasi-Facebook model will negate this little setback in terms of engagement for a giant visual platform which grown from 200 million users in 2014 to 400 million now, with its user base sharing more than 80 million photos on the platform every day.
Tip: Well executed contests for Instagram can catapult your brand reach significantly.
This post was written by Prasad Dhamdhere.