instagram stories

Instagram Stories Sends A Clear Message To Digital Marketers

Instagram took aim at Snapchat with the launch of its Stories platform, which allows users to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. The news should light a fire under brands that have yet to embrace ‘ephemeral marketing’.

As Instagram has evolved into the place to post highly stylized, curated photos of “perfect moments”, Snapchat took off with young people who just want to share the little details of their everyday lives — things they buy, what they’re wearing, stuff they’re eating, and who they’re hanging out with. Now, with Stories, Instagram hopes to “lower the bar for sharing all types of photos and video — and not just the carefully planned and painstakingly touched-up photographs that are typical of the service,” said Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram.

For marketers, Instagram’s launch of Stories underscores the importance of creating a new type of less-stylized brand content for these 24-hour social platforms. Snapchat, and now Instagram Stories, get closest to the holy-grail of marketing: the ability for brands to share authentic photos and videos that don’t “feel like ads” but still build strong brand lifestyle. When brands post content on Snapchat, it’s opt-in and interactive. Users choose whether they want to see the content, and can doodle on it, share it, or insert it into their own stories.

But these ephemeral social platforms also pose a huge challenge to marketers: creating enough of the right type of content. Whereas brands are accustomed to scheduling regular posts on Facebook FB, Instagram, and Pinterest – often using social media marketing platforms to create and manage content flows – Snapchat is more reactive, immediate, and constant. The highly-curated and staged posts brands are used to creating (or, more often, having their agencies create) for Facebook have no place on 24-hour platforms. Instead, Snapchat users want to interact with light, lower-bar content that paints the brands they love in a familiar tone. “Blooper” videos, behind-the-scenes photos, or user snapshots taken at live events are popular types of brand content on Snapchat. Simply put, the rise of Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories proves that digital storytelling is evolving .

So what can brands do to get ahead of the curve on the newest social marketing platforms? The first order of business is to bring more of their creative services in house, because timeliness will become a lot more important. Instead of scheduling two or three posts a week, with Snapchat and Instagram Stories, brands will have to post content at least once a day. Instagram Stories are also a good opportunity to leverage brand influencers. A popular tactic on Snapchat stories is to collaborate with an influencer to do a Snapchat takeover. Brands can do the same on Instagram. Influencers visiting the brand HQ can give viewers a behind the scenes look from their perspective for the day. The outcome is mutually beneficial: an influencer’s trusted content validates a company’s brand, while generating publicity and recognition for the influencer. Brands will have to mimic the type of fun, unstaged, interactive photos and videos that young millennials themselves post on these platforms.

Second, with Instagram Stories brands will have to start treating candid, less-staged photos as real marketing material. Brands can still operate within style guidelines, but will have to accept a broader range of content within those guidelines. On 24-hour social platforms, brands must move from airbrushed to authentic, skipping the polished and glossy images to instead include more raw and spontaneous posts. A great way for brands to increase these type of posts is to include user-generated content in their marketing arsenals. Consumers who post photos and videos of brand products are valuable influencers; marketers can re-share some of these posts on Snapchat and Instagram Stories to create an authentic, grassroots feel to their marketing content.

The rise of Snapchat, and now Instagram Stories, is a prime example of a shift that was already underway in marketing: Today’s audiences crave authenticity from brands. Young people in particular largely ignore traditional ads, instead expecting their favorite brands to engage with them in fun, personal, entertaining ways. The launch of Instagram Stores proves the time has come for marketers to loosen the controls on what’s acceptable brand content. Whether Instagram Stories can catch up to Snapchat remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: authentic, visual brand storytelling is the future of marketing.

Source: Forbes. Article by Kyle Wong(

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Facebook Live Map gives unusual look at the world

A new feature on Facebook is giving the world insight into your life – and you may not even know it.

Truth be told, most people who post a Facebook Live video intend to be seen. But they may not know that they’re on a “Live Map” feature provided by Facebook itself. Currently, it appears to only work on desktop computers.

And as the name implies, it’s a live map of all public Facebook broadcasts around the world that have location enabled.

It turns out there are quite a few. It also turns out that there are a few recurring themes that you may spot while surfing through this very interesting video web.

Here are a few:

  • Church sermons: If you look around for any length of time, particularly on the U.S. portion of the map, you’ll find someone sitting in a pew videoing a sermon. You’re passing along a good word so good for you. Check with your local church before whipping out your phone though.
  • Driving posts:  And you thought texting was bad.  It turns out that some of Facebook’s greatest philosophers feel their best content comes from the open road – while they’re on it gazing back and forth from the road to the camera… I hope their insurance company isn’t watching.
  • People sitting in their living room: Hey, why not, this is where you spend your time so why not share it with the world.  Except it’s usually pretty mundane.
  • Live concerts: Every once in a while you’ll stumble on someone recording from a seat at a bar. It’s shaky, it’s not great sound and it might even be illegal depending on what the artist demands.  But hey, if you spot a live concert, give it a listen… But you may not want to do it yourself.
  • Live sports: You heard right.  By way of these new high tech video phones and a big screen TV in a living room in Juarez, Mexico, you can watch a major sporting event.  And recently, it appeared that hundreds did exactly that for a major soccer game.  Good thing for them the map doesn’t pinpoint the exact location.  I’m pretty sure they fine for things like that.
  • Drunk karaoke: One man in aviator sunglasses with beer in hand singing his heart out to someone – or in this case everyone – on Facebook.
  • Drunk everything else: Doing dumb things on a phone isn’t new. But thanks to technology, there are so many new ways to do it. Live. With video…
  • Moments in the club: Hit the Live Map in the late night and you’ll find one thing that’s pretty consistent. That’s darkly lit videos with flashing lights, possible people dancing and a monotonous beat.  Not quite the same as actually being there – or is it?
  • Freestyle rapping: Budding rappers are just a click away.  Wander through the videos long enough and you’re bound to spot or listen to one.  Quality varies.
  • Makeup tutorials: They’re not just for YouTube anymore! If you enjoy watching paint dry, you’re going to love this!

Of course, this is just a small list and obviously things can be very different from one moment to the next. But it may be worth checking out this map if you’re feeling nosy. You really never know what will pop up – for better or for worse.

Source: 11 Alive, Article by Christopher Buchanan (

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Gnack- powering influencers on Snapchat and Instagram

Brands are increasingly turning to power users on Snapchat and Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns, but that’s often a time-intensive process. Like much else in advertising, it’s an area ripe for automation.

That is the idea behind Gnack, a Texas-based startup that unveiled its plan to integrate the three at South by Southwest this week. Gnack wants to help brands and agencies programmatically purchase user-generated content from Snapchat and Instagram influencers and so-called “micro influencers,” or people with 10,000 followers on a given platform.

To use Gnack for programmatic buying, brands need to enter a few parameters including campaign objectives, negotiated price and target demographics, as well as preferred hashtags and the number of influencers. Snapchat and Instagram stars, on the other hand, need to log in with their Facebook account. Then the system will automatically analyze their social profile and further pair them with brands.

Brands should consider micro influencers who don’t necessarily have the biggest following but see high engagement on Snapchat and Instagram. By collaborating with ‘micro influencers,’ brands usually see three to five times higher engagement per Instagram post.

Gnack works like Niche, a matchmaker between brands and Vine stars acquired by Twitter last year. The platform also looks like Facebook Exchange in some ways because it streamlines the media buying process for brands and agencies. But different from those ad networks backed by social media platforms, Gnack doesn’t have access to Snapchat or Instagram API and thus cannot programmatically purchase branded ad space such as Carousel Ads on behalf of brands.

Programmatic is moving slowly in the social media space because networks like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are very protective of their data.

Although platforms like Gnack don’t have full access to the rich data sitting inside Snapchat and Instagram, they could still be able to speed up the campaign setup. While still in beta, Gnack is already working with Nestlé to drive sales with more than 100 Snapchat and Instagram influencers.

The company will officially debut its programmatic dashboard for advertisers around April 1 of this year.

To see the app’s website click HERE 

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instagram analytics

Instagram Analytics

Instagram is only a few years old, but the social network is a hotbed of marketing activity. In fact, Instagram’s engagement ratio is eight times greater than other leading social networks, and the network is is a must-have channel for B2C brands in particular. Given Instagram’s elevated engagement levels, we’re all hungry to learn more about how to improve our performance on the platform. Luckily, there are tools that offer insights into Instagram analytics, so the real challenge is determining which Instagram metrics matter to marketers.

I’ve outlined six of the key metrics (quantitative and qualitative) that should be a part of your Instagram analytics reporting. These metrics are especially important to keep a close eye on as the platform continues to evolve and expand its advertising capabilities. So without further ado, here’s your guide to Instagram analytics:

1. Follower growth:

Instagram’s active user base is on the rise — and your follower base should be too. For context, the number of monthly active users on Instagram increased by about 33 percent from 300 million in December 2014 to 400 million in September 2015. Is your brand keeping up with the inflation of Instagram followers? If not, reassess your strategy for expanding your audience on the network. Or check out our industry benchmark reports to see the median Instagram audience size in your industry. Spoiler Alert: Apparel brands have the largest Instagram audiences, with a median of nearly one million followers. Insurance brands have the smallest Instagram audiences, with a median of 2,000 followers.

2. Engagement ratio:

Engagement ratio is the average number of interactions per post per 1,000 followers. It is a metric that normalizes for posting frequency and audience size so that engagement per brand can be compared. To calculate the engagement ratio, use the following formula:

Engagement Ratio = Total Interactions / Total Posts / (Total Followers/1,000)

Industry-wide,the average engagement ratio for brands on Instagram fell from a high of 34 to a low of 22 over the past year.

graph instagram


That decline reflects the increasing competition to stand out in the Instagram feed: Across 2015, the number of brands posting Instagram photos each month nearly doubled, growing 91 percent year-over-year. The number of brands posting Instagram videos, grew even more dramatically, rising 139 percent year-over-year.

instagram 2

Measuring your engagement ratio on Instagram versus competitive companies helps marketers track relative performance on the network.

3. Relative impact:

In Trackmaven, relative impact calculates how well a particular post did in comparison to the average performance of your other posts from the past 30 days, based on the engagement ratio. Keeping track of this metric allows you to quickly identify top-performing Instagram content so you can do more of what’s working (and less of what isn’t).

4. Referral traffic, particularly from Instagram ads:

More Instagram engagement certainly signals improvements in brand awareness, but ultimately most companies want more eyes on their website (and more conversions too). In Google Analytics, marketers can easily track the volume of referral traffic from social networks like Instagram. And if your Instagram engagement is increasing, but your Instagram referral traffic isn’t, consider changing the calls-to-action in your posts to drive web visits.

As Instagram continues expanding its ad platform, marketers can expect organic engagement to continue to decrease, more to the level of the already monetized Facebook. More and more, marketers will have to pay to play on Instagram. Although increased ad revenue may be a sign that you should expect your organic reach to decline, it also signals the increasing relevancy of the platform. Marketers should use referral traffic to make sure they spend effectively and sponsor the right stories.

5. Frequency of posts compared to engagement:

The average number of Instagram pictures posted per brand increased by 11 percent across 2015, while the average number of Instagram videos posted per brand grew 29 percent. Despite this growth in video content on Instagram, brands post only a handful of Instagram videos per month, but posting Instagram photos is a near daily activity (24.2 to 26.9 per month on average).


To determine the optimal post frequency for your brand on Instagram, keep an eye on your engagement ratio (#2). As long as the engagement ratio continues to increase, you can post more frequently. But if the engagement ratio decreases, you’ve reached your posting frequency limit.

6. Follower demographics:

When establishing digital marketing metrics, remember that it’s important to determine who you are reaching. Are you finding your target audience, developing relationships with key influencers, and connecting with current and potential customers?

Instead of focusing only on increases in followers, pay particular attention to which accounts engage with your brand on social media and their level of engagement, including who is sharing and liking your posts, contributing comments or mentions, and clicking on links.

The future of Instagram analytics

As Instagram continues to evolve, and particularly as paid promotion becomes more prevalent, keep a close eye on engagement metrics and referrals to make sure you’re spending your money on ads effectively. Continue to track and revise your goals as Instagram grows.

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