10 Instagram Tools to Help You Build Your Following in 2018

Here are reviews of 10 Instagram tools that successful brands and influencers are using to generate sizable Instagram audiences in no time.

1. SocialDrift

SocialDrift lets you organically increase your Instagram followers by using machine-learning algorithms to engage with other Instagram users through automated likes, comments and follows. It allows users to set specific parameters about automated outreach related to account location, name or hashtag use.

This machine-learning platform then determines the best time to engage with target accounts. SocialDrift also also features a helpful dashboard that tracks automated engagement, new followers acquired through the plaform and interaction-to-follow conversions.

2. Grum

Seamlessly schedule Instagram posts right from your computer, using Grum. The web-based software platform is ideal for Instagrammers who have great content — stuck in a computer — that isn’t easily accessible on a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, Grum allows users to schedule posts, captions and comments in advance, making it easy to create a stunning editorial strategy without major headaches.

Related: 8 Simple Steps to Help Your Business Get Started on Instagram

3. Owlmetrics

There is a reason 78 percent of marketers surveyed in one study said that data was essential to their work. The best marketing teams are those that are able to quickly collect, analyze and react to data. Owlmetrics helps marketing teams do just that, thanks to a robust Instagram analytics platform.

The tool is capable of analyzing Instagram performance with regard to follower growth and post (including Instagram Stories) engagement. Users can also determine the best time of day to post content based on easy-to-interpret calendar heat maps that elegantly synthesize large data sets.

4. VSCO

Because Instagram is a highly visual social media platform, a successful strategy using it is dependent on your creating stunning visual content. VSCO empowers Instagrammers of all skill levels to edit images and video so that they look as though they were produced by a professional. The platform, available on iOS and Android, is a pleasure to use because it is so sleek and intuitive.

5. Later

Later offers media storage and scheduling features marketers will love. It’s perfect for social media marketing teams that need to build a complex Instagram content calendar. The platform offers content-management features like a Chrome extension, which help users to search for and even re-post Instagram content, and a bulk-media uploader complete with labels and tags.

6. Woobox

Roughly 70 percent of large brands use gamification as part of their marketing strategy. With Woobox, brands of all sizes can create a social media-based contest that can help to increase followers, collect leads and drive online sales. Woobox has been used by four million organizations, including Spotify, American Airlines and the NFL.

The all-in-one social media contest tool even includes a landing page and form builder for those who have yet to purchase some sort of marketing-automation software.

7. Canva

Edit media and create great-looking designs in minutes with Canva. This design platform inhabits a space somewhere between Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop. Brands of all sizes rely on the tool to create social media images without needing to rely on professional designers.

8. Linktree

In a move that’s somewhat controversial, Instagram allows users only one opportunity to link out of the platform to another website. But there’s a solution: Linktree is a free tool that turns one link into many by creating an intermediate landing page. This page allows visitors to choose where they land on the target website.

For example, if you are an ecommerce store, the link can lead visitors to a page with options for men’s and women’s clothing.

9. Ink361

Manage Instagram content, measure performance and keep an eye on competitors with Ink361. Since the platform is still in its early stages of development, pricing is currently free for all users, though that will change at some point. Ink361 is a great tool for Instagram marketers who are just starting out, since they can gain access to a robust all-in-one tool without first needing to make an investment.

10. Juicer

Display a curated series of Instagram posts on your website with Juicer. This social media widget can easily be embedded on any webpage to drive website visitor traffic to your Instagram profile. The tool even includes filter options, making it is easy to curate just the right content to suit the intent of the webpage.

With roughly 800 million monthly users, Instagram is quickly becoming a critically important marketing channel. Using the tools outlined here, marketers of all stripes can create a substantial Instagram following that can be harnessed to improve brand awareness and increase sales.

More Top SEO Tips

With Google being one of the top searches, it is important that you optimize your websites for results on Google. In order to do this, you need to know what factors are being looked into when it is indexing the site. Here are some ideas to help you out.

Keywords

When it comes to keywords, most people think that having your keyword in the page title and the content will get you a higher ranking. However, Google does not give this too much priority. To get higher ranking, you need to show a keyword authority that is determined by the amount of inbound links that go to your website. If the sites that link to you are higher-ranking sites, then you will place higher in Google’s ranks as well. In order to find the inbound links, search for “link: YourWebsite” in Google. Make sure when choosing your keywords you pick words that are as specific as possible, the more general the word choices, the more likely you will be classified incorrectly.

Page Factors

These are the factors that you can easily see when you view the source file on a website. Search for the top 10 websites in your field and then look at their source code. Note the keywords that they have used in the title, as well as how often they use keyword in the header, they use which header tag in regards to the keyword, and any formatting that they do to it.

There are also factors that you cannot see on the page. For instance, has the keyword been used in the domain or the sub domain of the webpage? Does the subpage rank the page? This is great research to help you with these elements of your websites.

Inbound links

In order to increase your inbound links, send email requests to sites that rank highly and ask them to link to your website. You will want to link to them before you send the request. Make sure that you make the request professional, as they likely get many of these types of emails. Another way to get the increase in links is to submit articles to popular directories, as Google crawls them rather quickly. You may also find it helpful to submit your website to different directory sites.

Sitemap

Make sure your website includes a site map that helps your visitors go from page to page. Not only does this help them, but it will also help the Google spiders to view all the pages on your website and add them all to your index. It is important to make sure that the links all work, but it is amazing how often a website designer does not check.

As with any time you are working with SEO, these are just some ideas to help you. You can do so many more things as a webmaster. You can also find websites and programs that will assist you with these things.

SEO Tips To Boost Your Rankings

When it comes to making money online, you have to get the traffic to your website. If you do not have people visiting you, there is no way that you will be able to get a sale. In order to get the traffic you require, it is best to look at what types of search engine optimization you are using, and implement ones that you are not.

An obvious way to make money online with SEO is to help others with their search engine optimization needs. This means promoting yourself as an expert in the market, proving it, and then getting the work to go with it. You can do this in a variety of different ways. However, this is not what this article is about, it is about how to use SEO to increase your traffic and as a result, increase the money that you are making.

Keywords – One of the best ways to get traffic to your website is the keywords that you use. However, this is not as easy as it sounds, as there are millions of websites out there competing for your business. However, many of these sites do not know how to use these keywords properly, so you can use that to your advantage. Make sure that the keywords are in your domain name, the subdomains, as well as the tags on your website. This will help you move up on the search engines.

Listings – Submit your website to as many directories as you can find. The search engines will find your website eventually, but it may be beneficial to submit your site to them as well to help your site show up in search results faster. You can spend days doing this, so you may want to stick to the bigger sites for best results.

Become an Expert – Another method to increase your SEO rankings and get people to your site, and then convert them to customers is to write articles and submit them to the major article directories such as Ezine. As these sites tend to rank higher, having articles on these sites will come up higher in the search engine results. You will be able to have an author resource box that you can put a link to your website. The articles will let people see you are an expert on the topic, and they will then visit your website for more information.

Ads – While the above items will get you traffic, they will not get you money. To make money online you need to have ads or links on your site for people to click on, which will then make you money. Make sure these relate to whatever your website is about, or else people will question your validity.

Once you are doing well on the search engines, the money will come with it. It is important that all the info ties together, or else people will leave quickly. The information you have on your site also has to be important and relevant.

Failing to Invest in Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to market your business in the modern marketplace, yet nearly two in three small businesses (68%) still aren’t taking social media marketing seriously.

Why? Unsurprisingly, small businesses don’t have time and resources to invest in social media marketing. So how do you tackle this problem?

There’s a wide range of posts on how to improve your social media strategy (many on this site), but here are the core fundamentals you need to establish for an effective social media marketing strategy:

• Identify your audience

• Start small; focus on one platform at a time

• Select key success metrics

• Analyze your metrics

• Create a social media marketing plan and use it

According to Facebook ads expert Mari Smith:

“The secret to social media success is to think and act like a member first, and a marketer second.”

Retargeting Everyone

The number one mistake most #e-commerce marketers make is retargeting every bounced visitor.

No matter how good your product is, not every visitor comes to your site with an intention to shop. A study conducted by the Baymard Institute found that 58.6% of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart simply because they were not ready to buy, with most of these window-shoppers clicking away even before they’ve initiated the checkout flow.

If you’re including these people in your retargeting effort – most of whom have shown no real interest in buying your products – you’re wasting your resources.

It’s like knocking on the door of an empty house – no matter how hard you yell, nobody is going to open it. Don’t make this mistake.

Here’s what to do instead – segment your bounced visitors into different groups by how many pages they’ve viewed, how much time they’ve spent, whether they’ve visited a particular product category etc. and retarget accordingly.

Don’t waste your retargeting budget on visitors who’ve bounced from your home page within few seconds without even checking a single category page.

Targeting every visitor won’t necessarily increase your revenue – but it will increase your costs.

How to Create Contextual, Useful and Helpful Content

The adage #Content_is_King has been true in the field of marketing for well over three decades now. It continues to grow in relevance, led by the multiplicity of channels – both online and offline, disruptive new business ideas, and changing customer behaviors – especially shortening attention spans, which makes separating the signal from the noise difficult for brands, yet critical for business success.

For any business — small or big — content can be many things; video clips, blogs, quizzes, whitepapers, surveys, PR, info graphics, content updates on social platforms, advertising creative, are all content types.

As an increasing number of people increasingly seek out information on products and services, a business getting relevant content at the right frequency in front of its audience is critical to change behavior and inspire participation in favour of the brand. Therefore, getting the fundamentals right is key to raising the level of trust with your audience, even before she has made the first contact with the business.

It is important for businesses to pay heed to the following to effectively leverage the opportunity afforded by sound content marketing.

Identify Your Audience

Sharply define business goals– whether they are attracting talent, or signing up more partners, or selling to more customers. This will help identify the relevant audience for your content marketing campaign, and also guide the content itself.

Understand your Audience

Having identified the relevant audience, it is important to define the audience persona in detail. It is critical to understand their sweet spots that can help engage with them more actively.

Look at your existing customer behavior to drive a deeper understanding of the audience. Address questions about your target audience’s interests, current content consumption patterns, content preferences, ways and means of accessing different content types, including information on products and services of interest to them.

Document your Content Marketing Strategy

Not having a strategy that answers the question ‘why and how’ will make your content marketing plan ad hoc. Define how you will measure the ROI on your campaigns. Map content to your identified target audience. Determine the frequency of your content outreach, and establish how generic or specific your content needs to be. Then focus on creating the relevant content, and finalizing the content distribution strategy to ensure your desired reach.

Content marketing is about continuous active engagement and building a relationship, and requires a long-term outlook for successful outcomes. Through this process, you become a credible resource for your audience and it helps your business be top of mind. This can result in a response towards your business at the right time as a relationship of trust has been built.

Think Like a User, Not a Business Owner

Ask yourself “why should the target audience view my content?” It must be contextual, useful and helpful. There can be distinct content categories such as Hero content that helps drive thought leadership and enhance customer engagement.

Don’t underestimate your existing content library. A lot of it can often be effectively repurposed to reinforce certain messages in your target audience.

Measure to Improve

If you don’t measure the outcomes of your content marketing efforts, not only will you not be able to determine the impact, but also lose out on the opportunity to improve and accelerate your efforts. Content marketing is an iterative process, and by analyzing the data such as click-through rates, unique visitors, time on page, likes, shares and subscribes, bounce rates, conversions, on a regular basis, you willbe able to make informed choices of what is and what isn’t working and help to refine your content strategy over time.

By studying performance metrics of high-performing successful content, you will be able to derive commonalities that can be funneled into designing the content for your future campaigns. Similarly, there are learnings to be had from content that performs below-par, and this can be instructive in future campaigns.

Like any stream of marketing, content marketing too requires consistent thought and approach for desired outcomes. It can be a fantastic way to actively engage continuously with your customers, and to position your brand as a trusted advisor to your target customers, thereby delivering sustainable results over the long term.