Instagram has officially announced its intention of becoming a video platform that lies somewhere between Snapchat and Youtube. The video app and hub will be known as IGTV (Instagram TV) and will support long-form vertical videos.
The video platform will come in two forms: a standalone app in stores and as a section of the IG app. Unlike the current conditions where regular videos run for 60 seconds and stories span 30 seconds, IGTV will support longer and full-screen vertical videos that run for as long as an hour. The app is already up and running and anyone can start uploading their videos.
Why long form vertical videos?
For marketing brands, short stories limit them on how much they can cover. A longer concept had to be broken down into smaller portions and posted differently making everything unnecessarily complicated. Mignoni, Bacardi’s director of creative excellence admits that there is a need for both long and short form videos as they allow marketers to choose what works best for various narratives.
Snapchat has had unprecedented success with its long-form vertical videos, and it appears every celebrity wants to try it out. Maroon 5, Nav, Lil Uzi Vert, Taylor Swift and many other celebrities are resorting to vertical videos. This shows just how viral the vertical format has gone. If you check the screenshot below, you’ll realize that most of those videos are merely a few months old.
Instagram is capitalizing on its heavy user base to launch an assault against Snapchat as well as compete for Youtube’s massive population. Although the app is targeting celebrities and video bloggers, anyone can post videos via their channels- similar to Youtube.
The million dollar question is, will Instagram users watch videos that are longer than they are traditionally used to? Well, it’s been reported that Instagram is advising video makers to stick to videos that play for around 8 to 10 minutes. This will make the platform different from traditional TV fare and more like Youtube.
Currently, Snapchat’s 1-2 minutes videos receive roughly 20-30 million views per month. If Instagram TV gets something closer to that, then it might become the top platform for uploading and watching vertical videos.
Regular videos do not shine much on Instagram and Facebook
According to Eric Lam, the CEO of Revfluence-an influencer marketing platform, IGTV is not a radical invention but rather a more natural evolution that sticks to the needs of the users. He went on to say that “people use Facebook for a variety of reasons and not to watch long videos. Introducing such a feature won’t be a natural fit on such social platforms.”
Revfluence research also pointed out that the performance of regular videos (not stories) on Instagram was dimming. The total posts with these videos only makes up for 4% of all branded IG posts.
Vertically oriented videos (mostly stories), on the other hand, continue to witness a steady level of growth. Therefore, it makes sense for Instagram to want to offer more of these videos rather than the conventional horizontal or square formats.
How Instagram TV can transform Business
IGTV will give businesses a chance to express themselves in detail regarding the launch of a new product or service. E-commerce stores, beauty parlors and other companies will be able to create tutorials showing customers how to use a particular product. This will make them an authority in their niche leading to a good bottom line.
Having said all that, we can all agree that Instagram’s IGTV, being an open platform, has the power to tap into the revenue that has been going to YouTube. However, it could be extremely hard for it to outshine Youtube as this platform is home to almost every media.
Do you think Instagram’s IGTV can outshine Youtube? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
The Rise Of AI: Will Marketing Consultants Become Obsolete?
A little while ago, the word AI was merely a buzzword. Everyone understood it as the impeccable but unreal tech like the stunts we see in Avengers movies. But alas, Artificial intelligence is now real and it’s up and running. Virtually every industry from insurance to construction is now becoming heavily reliant on marketing automation solutions.
Instagram Shadow-ban is a ban that renders your hashtags undiscoverable by the vibrant users. Only your followers will be able to see your feed and not the entire Instagram community. The ban is superficial and happens only when a rule has been broken. You have to fix those red flags to get your content back in good standing.
The year is 2018. Maybe you’re going it alone, in the early stages of setting up your business. Or perhaps you’re the marketing director of an established company, looking to expand your target audience. Either way, you’ve decided to turn your focus to Social Media Marketing. That’s the next logical step, right?
SMM has arguably been the most important force in marketing over the last decade.
Ten years ago, no-one could have predicted the impact that advertising on social media would have – between helping small businesses grow and influencing massive political campaigns, there is no doubt that social media marketing has been a force to be reckoned with. But has it had its day?
Are Social Media Platforms Still Working for Businesses?
Back in 2008, Facebook advertising was essentially a free-for-all. The platform’s popularity was on the rise and with more people came more people’s data. Little did we know the waves that this would create in the advertising world.
In the ten years since, businesses have been taking advantage of how much Facebook knows about its users by utilizing the sites targeted advertising service.
Think of it this way – if you were to build a massive billboard in a city centre, you might have thousands of people seeing it each day. But how many are interested? Facebook knows what its users are interested in, so it can make sure your advertisement appears in from of people who have shown an interest related to your product or service.
But that was then, and this is now.
In the time since, Facebook has introduced and constantly tinkered with the algorithms which allow ads to be shown in their users’ news feed. The result? The cost of Facebook ads has consistently risen since, yet organic reach has been shrinking for years.
Moreover, a quick stat-check reveals that younger users especially are abandoning the platform in favour of more private and fast-paced social networks such as SnapChat and Instagram. After all, who wants to see their mum on social media? And more importantly – has Facebook advertising had its day?
Not Enough Traction to Go it Alone
The rise of SMM such as Facebook and Instagram advertising has been such a rush for marketers that traditional methods of digital marketing have somewhat fallen out of favour. Is SEO still important? And who reads emails these days?
Well, here’s a newsflash for you: A study by McKinsey & Co has found that email marketing can be up to forty percent more effective than its social media counterparts. It showed that the buying process typically happens three times faster than on social media.
The lesson? No digital marketing campaign is an island. If you’re considering ditching the old techniques in favour of SMM then it might be time for a rethink – social media marketing should only make up part of your campaign, alongside some of the more classic digital marketing techniques.
Ultimately this means that a truly effective online marketing campaign is holistic. In other words, if your social media marketing isn’t bringing results, your first port of call should be to combine it with SEO, influencer marketing and email campaigns – instead of throwing more money into it!
And What About New Platforms?
Furthermore, as the years roll by an influx of new social media networks has cascaded upon us. Take Telegram, one of the latest free-messenger apps which is currently on the rise.
As the big networks struggle to maintain their monopoly, we are already beginning to see a rise in alternatives. In fact, a new type of platform is gaining momentum, especially amongst younger generations – faster ways to chat and send photos to groups such as SnapChat and more recently, Telegram, are snapping up their share of the market.
Initially only available on Apple, Telegram has spread to Android relatively recently; owner Paul Durov claims it is ‘faster and safer’ than its competitors. The app now boasts more than 100 million users per month, sending 15 billion messages per day.
Durov claims that his ‘Telegrammers’ are more engaged than users of WhatsApp (a similar but more established platform) – despite having 10 times as many users as Telegram, only three times more WhatsApp messages are sent per day.
With Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook has somewhat dropped the ball on protecting users’ privacy recently, it seems likely that users may begin to turn to other means to communicate.
So, What Does This Mean for Me?
It’s an interesting time for Social Media Marketing. Whilst there is a sense that the core power of SMM could be changing hands rapidly, to claim that it’s been killed off is maybe a little… premature?
However, there is good reason to be wary. Hedging your bets by employing different digital advertising techniques is increasingly important in a turbulent market, and cautious experimentation is sometimes the best way to find out what works for you.
Furthermore, as the dynamic shifts, newer platforms offer opportunities for the technology-savvy to jump on board and get their hands on new target markets before the competition.
So whilst we wouldn’t recommend jumping ship completely, keep a weather eye on the horizon – as the times are quickly changing in the world of social media marketing.
Instagram introduced sharing to stories and the new video chat feature
On May 01, 2018 Instagram announced they added new sharing options from other apps. Together with that the video chat feature is the major update coming in May. There are a few other changes as well, like the modified explore feature and the camera effects platform.
6 Surefire Ways to Grow Your Email Subscribers List Using Social Media
Unless your visitors are utterly enchanted with your content, it usually proves to be quite hard to keep a steady influx of email subscribers list. Asking those that land on your site to subscribe as soon as they’re there also makes almost no impact, it’s just too aggressive. So, what do you really require in order to get going?
You need to nearly invisibly integrate your email subscription request into the one thing that the majority of internet users spend most of their time on – social networks. The procedure itself may sound arduous and complicated, but most of the actual strategies are in fact quite simple and easy to execute.
Place social network buttons in your emails
At first, this may seem like a regressive strategy, and yet it’s the best thing you can do to boost your email list. So let’s say your email contains Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest buttons that will take those who click them to your social page.
The ones that already are your subscribers are probably delighted with your posts, and they won’t be too shy to share them. This doesn’t only increase the traffic you get, it also means that the like-minded friends of your subscribers who trust their taste will click the link that they shared and probably subscribe as well.
Those friends will share with their friends, and if you’re lucky enough, you can enter the unstoppable loop of success.
Gate your best content
The ‘gate’ in this case represents the barrier between your new readers and the finest posts your site has to offer. If they’re already hooked on whatever you’re addressing, or even just curious, they’ll be on your email list in no time.
The content you ‘gated’ will be overlaid with a message saying that the visitors have to subscribe using their email address before they can proceed with reading. Everyone that enjoys your top content will feel rewarded for providing their email once the new post notifications start rushing in.
Offer rewards for subscribing
Another way to grow your email subscribers list is to create premium content that encompasses the ideas that your site or blog elaborates on, or guide your readers through a specific subject, then advertise it as a free subscription reward. It will do the trick, as long as the eBook can’t otherwise be accessed.
You can take this strategy a step further and upload new premium content every month, which will automatically get sent to your current subscribers. Not only will they be eager to expect another one, they will be hooked on one of the best ways of obtaining traffic.
Add a call-to-action (CTA) to every social network profile
This method doesn’t take much more than an introductory 3-liner and a quick link to your site/blog, but it does wonders to your traffic. If your call to action also has proper SEO, meaning that it contains the keywords that best describe your content, you will be much easier to find by those looking for you or seeking anything you can provide.
You take this strategy to a whole new level and create landing pages for each of the links separately, which will address in detail whatever it is you emphasised on in your short description.
Add sign-up links to your social network profiles
Interweave the constant content link sharing on social networks with short and quick reminders for all followers and fans that they can get notified by email if they click the link. Being up to date with your content is relatively easy, depending on how much you actually share on social networks and how clever you are at doing it, but email notifications are still way more official.
With proper wording in the same style as your content, even the most persistent non-subscribers will eventually change their mind you will achieve your goal to grow your email subscribers list. Make sure that you point out just how conveniently they will be able to keep up with your posts if only they click that subscribe link.
Create YouTube tutorials and advertise in your videos
YouTube is the second largest search engine, and the first is owned by the same company. Google loves a good SEO plan, and that means more visitors and more subscribers. Pick any matter you address on your blog, make the title how to + something your target audience would search to locate the video.
After you connect your website to your YouTube account, you can add another subscription option to your channel, which will offer the sign-up button right at the end of the educational video.