Instagram Apps to Boost Customer Engagement and Brand Awareness
With nearly 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram ranks at number six of the most popular social media platforms. And unlike viral platforms such as TikTok that emerged recently, Instagram has stood the test of time. Companies, large and small, use the platform in different ways with the end goal of boosting their businesses.
Instagram is mostly used to share daily moments and life’s highlights. But, it has grown to do more than this. Users can access the platform via iOS (iPad and iPhone) or Android devices, which makes it quite convenient.
Nowadays, any business can do more than just post photos on their Instagram account. New Instagram features are continually rolling out, and brands and customers love it. If you often share Instagram posts to engage your customers, we’ve suggested new Instagram tools for you.
Whether you’re looking to make your Instagram feed more colorful or display the posts on digital signage, you have come to the right place. We’ve rounded up some Instagram Apps and software solutions that will take your business to the next level.
In this article, we’ve divided these solutions into five categories. We’re going to discuss each of these in detail.
1. Photo editing apps
2. Layout and design apps
3. Video tools apps
4. Data and analytics apps
5. Digital signage apps/solutions
Photo Editing Apps
Instagram is one of the best video and photo messaging apps. Unlike platforms such as Twitter, where words are more expressive than pictures, Instagram and photos are inseparable.
Photo editing is a hot skill for Instagram users, and your business needs this as well. Editing Apps allow you to re-size, edit and add filters to your Insta photos, and there are lots of them.
Below are the three most popular Insta photo editing apps.
This is one of the most widely used photo-editing apps. If you frequently use Instagram, chances are, you are familiar with the #VSCO hashtag. Of all the hashtags used on Instagram, more than 200 million posts feature the VSCO hashtag.
Using this app, you can elevate the photo quality with ten free preset filters. In addition, you can add texture, sharpness, and clarity to your photos using grain, saturation, and contrast settings. If you want to access advanced features and edits, you can subscribe as a VSCO member. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Available for iOS and Android devices, SnapSeed works on both RAW and JPEG files. This app will help you do serious edits such as adjust geometry, remove unnecessary elements, or add brightness.
3. Avatan Photo Editor
This is an advanced photo-editing app that’s free but with in-app purchases to unlock premium features. The app comes with filters and special effects that allow you to lay over your original Insta photos. Moreover, you can also retouch raw pictures and create custom effects with ease. Avatan photo editor is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Layout and Design Apps
When posting on Instagram, sometimes you want to add brand elements to the photos. Layout and design apps will help you achieve this by adding interesting design features such as collages and graphics.
These are the three best layout and design apps for Instagram.
1. Layout from Instagram
This is a free Android/iOS app that allows you to create photo collages for your brand or business. The app compiles up to nine photos, and you can pick these photos from your library. After selecting the photos to post, you can create collage layouts and pair them with filters. You can also add other custom elements and graphics then share them on Instagram.
AppForType is one of the Instagram apps that allows you to layover some fonts on your brand’s photo. With 60 font choices to choose from, you can create some sparkling typography for your business. In addition, you can also create a custom photo with your handwriting then upload it to the app. APPForType is available for Android and iOS devices.
3. Design Kit (iOS only)
This is an iOS Instagram app that helps you customize and personalize the content on your Instagram feed. Here, you can personalize fonts, stickers, designs, and textures over your brand photos. The app features 60 plus fonts, over 200 collage layouts, and several design options. You can also change the backgrounds or add brushes to enhance the photos’ depth and texture.
Video Tools Apps
Video tools help you boost how your business creates and edits videos. Whether you want short videos for advertisement purposes or longer videos to educate the audience, these tools will do the heavy lifting for you.
Below are the three video tools apps you can use with either an Android or iOS device.
InShot is a popular Instagram app, thanks to its comprehensive video-editing capabilities. This app allows you to cut, merge, crop, and trim video clips. You can also adjust settings such as saturation and brightness and even add some background music to your videos. One advantage of using InShot is that it’s made explicitly with Instagram users in mind. For example, you can make the videos square for the perfect Instagram display.
2. Boomerang from Instagram
Boomerang is a video-capture tool for Instagram used to create mini videos. This tool helps you make GIFs or short videos that connect and loops a set of photos. Boomerang is often used to create entertaining video content. Therefore, brands take advantage of this tool to create hilarious videos that pass the message in a fun and personalized way. One advantage of this app is that you won’t need to make any edits.
GoPro is a company that manufactures cameras and develops its video-editing software and mobile apps. A video shot with a GoPro camera is perfect for high-end applications. Editing these videos is also easy. You only need the GoPro app to adjust the time-lapse or video settings and get sharper shot previews. Once you’ve recorded the video, you can do some edits. For example, freeze the frames, play the video with speed and even add movie-like transitions.
Data and Analytics Apps
Every social media channel plays a role in customer engagement and buyer decisions. Research shows that 71% of consumers will purchase a product/service based on social media referrals. At the same time, 93% of Americans expect brands to be active on social media. In short, these figures explain why companies take their social media presence seriously.
Over the years, audience engagement has become a vital indicator of a brand or business performance. For example, if consumers don’t engage with a brand, chances are, the company has little to no impact on their lives. This concern has led to the emergence of analytics and data apps.
We’ll highlight three apps in this category.
1. Trending Hashtags by Statstory
This app suggests a mix of popular and unique hashtags to use when publishing your posts. Hashtags help your posts reach a broad and most relevant audience. Using the Trending Hashtags app, you can boost audience engagement and brand awareness.
2. Hootsuite App
If you want to explore your brand’s performance, you need to measure specific metrics, such as likes and comment threads. Hootsuite app tracks all these performance metrics on various social networks, including Insta. This app also gives you the flexibility to publish your posts at any time. You need to schedule and post at the right time for maximum engagement.
3. Panoramiq Insights
This is a complete analytics tool that, together with Hootsuite, gives you closer insights into your Instagram account’s performance. Some of the detailed analytics you can track include:
- Follower demographics.
- Profile and post Views.
- New followers.
- Link clicks.
If your business has more than one Instagram account, Panoramiq insights will simultaneously track two accounts.
Digital Signage Apps
Over the years, marketers have found ways to use social media on digital signage screens. The reasons behind this move are evident. First, the use of digital signage is rapidly growing. The global market size is set to reach $ 31.71 billion by 2025, up from $18.55 billion in 2018. This represents an 8.0% CAGR between the forecast periods, 2019 – 2025.
Another reason is that digital signage is redefining marketing experiences and in-store advertising. Research shows that digital signage can boost brand awareness by 47%, with a possible increase in sales.
That said, marketers can choose to use a standalone digital signage app or deploy a digital signage CMS software. We shall later see which one to choose based on functionalities, convenience, and versatility.
For now, these are the three best digital signage apps in the market:
Screenfeed is one of the leading providers of subscription content services such as sports feeds, weather, and news. The app’s social dashboard allows users to control the posts displayed on their screens. Here, they can select from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. An optional human moderation tool and rules to filter content are available.
This is a versatile app that allows you to design, display, and moderate social content on digital signage. Miappi can display hashtag-based user-generated content with the ability to sort content relevant to a given location. There’s also the option to add call-to-action to posts within the app.
This is an internal-communication-focused app that pushes content from various sources to screens within and around the workplace. The company sells this solution as a service and has apps for social, communication, and collaboration platforms. These include GitHub, GitLab, Instagram, Twitter, Zendesk, etc.
Integrating Instagram with Your digital signage
Digital signage is a visual communication solution used to create, manage and display content on digital screens. A digital signage app or software is the program that hosts the content to be displayed. Think of a digital signage software as a content creator, scheduler, and manager that you pair with a screen.
Several CMS software providers can display social media content on digital displays. In addition, most of these services come with added functionalities that allow for automation, scheduling, and content moderation.
While certain digital signage providers are more social-media-centric, some are versatile and traverse all content genres. Choosing either of these types depends on your digital signage needs. If you want to display social media posts exclusively, a CMS like Enplug could be a great pick. However, if you are looking for a more versatile option, a CMS like Mvix would be a better option.
More often, integrating your Instagram feed with digital signage is a one-time setup. However, this can be hectic, depending on the complexity of the CMS platform. If you aren’t confident with your technical skills, you can always ask for help from the CMS provider.
Another way to use Instagram on digital signage is to boost customer engagement during events –whether virtual or in-person. By displaying your audience’s posts pulled from specific hashtags, they will be more inclined to share the posts. Allowing them to see their content on the brand’s signage makes the audience feel important, valued and treasured.
This would work even better if the audience were to accompany the hashtag with their own photos and captions.
Factors to Keep in Mind
Instagram is an incredible platform where you can share a wide range of content and engage your audience. However, you need to know a couple of content and software loopholes if you’re using digital signage.
- Content Moderation
Since everyone posts whatever they like, some of the content will be wrong, awful, and out of context. As an end-user, setting up a hashtag filter means every post with the hashtag will be displayed. Some people will likely make it their work – to share vindictive, damaging, or inappropriate content.
Therefore, content moderation is necessary to avoid possible brand damage due to the display of inappropriate content. There are two types of content moderation – auto-moderation and human moderation. The latter is more effective but can be a bit costly.
- Content rights
The rise of Intellectual Property lawsuits means you need to proceed with caution when using social media content. The user-generated content rights and permission come with a twist that requires proper understanding. For example, images, in particular, can be a bit tricky. IP infringement suits can emerge if a brand uses a repurposed image/post for marketing purposes. So, before deploying any technology and using content from the web, you need to give content rights a thought.
- Patent issues
Patent litigation is another issue that’s been building up over the last decade. Most digital signage apps/software use some technology that resembles what others have built in the past.
The pioneering company that sought and received patent rights can assert its intellectual property. This means they can ask for licensing fees from companies using a technology similar to what they invented.
In most cases, this won’t affect the end-user. However, sometimes the lawyers go for the end-users to push settlements from the respective software service provider.
What You Should Do: Choose the right Digital Signage CMS Company.
As seen earlier, you can use a standalone app or digital signage CMS to display Instagram posts on your screens. A digital signage app can be lightweight and cheap but with limited functionalities. On the other hand, digital signage software is robust and more comprehensive.
Large and small businesses are always keen to boost customer engagement using social media. However, this isn’t the silver bullet for success. Versatility is crucial, and having digital signage that displays a wide range of content is necessary.
The right digital signage CMS will allow you to filter your posts, customize the layout and choose what to display. More often, you won’t also have to worry about patent infringement lawsuits eating into your business.
In conclusion, with the best marketing strategies, there’s a lot you can achieve with social media platforms. However, your efforts are only as good as your tools. From the best Instagram apps we’ve highlighted above, you only need to choose what suits your business.
An all-around digital signage software will allow you to upload and display custom content and social media content. Either way, incorporating your business’s Instagram channel with digital signage will strengthen the brand presence. Your in-store customers and audience will also feel more engaged with the fresh and real-time content.
If you are new to social media marketing, or Instagram in particular, navigating these tools can be challenging. You may want to work with an expert digital marketer or approach a digital signage service provider for help.