Instagram has changed the playing field for businesses looking to interact with their customers and increase sales during the past few years.
If your business is not currently on Instagram, you can miss out on a lot of Instagram updates that make it easier to maximize your growth.
7 New Instagram Features You Should Use In 2023
Here’s a rundown of 7 new Instagram features you should integrate into your 2023 Instagram marketing strategy if you need that extra help keeping up with social media marketing trends and changes.
Reels are a tool marketers should use (if they haven’t previously) since 91% of active Instagram users watch videos on the app weekly.
Instagram Reels are designed to provide users with endless scrolling and nonstop video content. They’re vertically shot, similar to the videos on TikTok. These 90-second-long videos can be accessed in a separate tab from Instagram’s standard content feed.
Some Instagram features that Reels include lens effects, personalized filters and decals, voice-to-text and captioning capabilities, a green screen, and the Reels’ impressive sound library of music and sound effects. The app’s new Reels Template tool may be just what you need to produce more reels faster if making Instagram Reels feels overwhelming.
Instagram Reels Ads Boost Feature
You can boost Instagram Reels to provide advertising options for brands or businesses looking to reach more consumers. To turn an existing Reel into an ad, follow these guidelines:
- The Reel should not be more than 60 seconds
- It should not have copyrighted music or sounds
- It should exclude third-party stickers, GIFs, and camera filters
- It should be recorded in full-screen and with an aspect ratio of 9:16 (vertical)
- It should not have a Facebook share (You can’t boost Reels if they’re shared to Facebook)
If your Reel has the correct specifications, you can Boost an Instagram reel by going to your profile and tapping the reel you’d like to boost. Then, below the reel, tap “Boost.” Fill in the details of your ad by selecting a Goal, an Audience, and Duration. Tap “Next” once done. To complete your ad, tap “Boost Reel” under “Review your ad.” Your ad will then be submitted for review to make sure it meets Instagram ad policies.
The boosted reel, which is now an ad, will begin running after approval. You’ll receive a notification in your Activity whether the ad is approved or not, as well as when the campaign ends.
2. Interactive Stickers On Stories
Today, Reels users can access a variety of interactive stickers that were previously only available for Instagram Stories. To engage their target audience, content creators and marketers can use the following stickers:
Polls encourage active engagement because it empowers audiences to take direct action. You can ask a question and provide a selection of answers for your followers to choose from. Anyone can then vote and see results in real-time. Poll stickers can be used to collect feedback, get new ideas, entertain your followers, or tease new product launches or service offerings.
Engage your audience by asking fun multiple-choice questions. You can also educate them about your service offerings or products, collect feedback, or dig deeper into their interests. Marketers can then use the audience feedback to plan future campaigns or product launches.
Put your followers in the driver’s seat with Questions. This sticker builds brand authenticity, showing your audience that there is an actual person behind the screen. These can also be used to start a conversation with your followers.
Emoji Slider Stickers
Emoji sliders act similarly to poll stickers in that they let you ask questions and display immediate results after your audience selects an option. People can simply drag an emoji by sliding from left to right in response to your question. With emoji sliders, you can pose amusing queries that encourage viewers to interact with your Story. Brands can also use this sticker to identify audience preferences.
Use Countdown Stickers to create buzz around an upcoming event or product release without being overly promotional. What’s great about this is that your audience can even subscribe to the countdown event. Once they do, they’ll receive a reminder when the countdown is complete.
Location Stickers will put your Story in a specific explore feed for that venue or location. You can widen your reach and increase awareness by sending traffic to your Stories while driving foot traffic to your event or store. Brands can also use Location stickers to promote the locations where the brand is available in.
Like the Location Sticker, a Hashtag Sticker adds your Story to an explore feed where the hashtag is used. Beyond increasing brand awareness and driving traffic, unique Instagram features allow your audience to explore other stories or posts you shared using the same hashtag. This builds better audience connections.
You can tag another Instagram user, account, or business with Mention Stickers. Maximize these stickers to build your community and show people behind-the-scenes Stories of what you do. This way, you build authenticity and humanize your brand while also drawing attention to your marketing initiatives or campaigns.
One great way to use Mention Stickers is to tag influencers or businesses that may share your Story to widen your reach. You can also share user-generated content to drive engagement.
Link Stickers replaced Instagram’s swipe-up feature. Use this sticker to direct your followers to the web page directly. Link stickers can also help your audience register for an event on a website.
Add Yours Stickers
This new addition creates public threads in Stories. Your viewers can quickly respond to your Stories with their interpretation based on the topic or prompt. How interactive this is becoming a great way to reach new audiences and build your brand community.
3. Find Creators
Heading over to the creator side, Instagram is now playing matchmaker with this new suite of tools to help content creators and brands connect. This feature is only available to business and creator accounts.
With this feature, users can add brands to a preferred brand list. When a brand searches for creators to collaborate with, those who have the brand on their list will be at the top of the search results. This makes it simpler for businesses to find creators who have already expressed interest.
Also, marketers can filter creators based on their follower numbers, age, gender, and geography. Instagram says this feature would enable brands to arrange shortlists to manage various campaigns easily.
4. Auto Captions For Reels & Stories
Your videos will be more widely accessible if you add captions and subtitles. Adding subtitles or captions will quickly increase engagement if you’re a marketer or maker.
Remember, Instagram videos can be searched if they have subtitles. Rather than being limited to looking for hashtags or picture captions, users can search for phrases that exist in the captions. Tactical Instagram features like auto-captions allow searchability that draws more visitors to your business website, increasing sales, clients, and growth.
It’s also crucial to consider whether different audiences can have an inclusive and equitable experience on your brand’s Instagram account. Content that needs to be more inclusive results in missed opportunities to interact with potential customers and can have unfavorable consequences, such as driving away clients.
For this reason, adding captions to Instagram videos is an excellent practice to accommodate today’s silent viewers and offers much-needed accessibility for users with disabilities, such as those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
To add Captions to Instagram Reels and Stories, here are some easy steps:
- Open the app and scroll to the Instagram Stories or Reels camera. You can either record a new video or choose an existing one from the camera roll.
- Once the video is ready, tap on the sticker icon at the top of the screen.
- Select the “Captions” sticker.
- After selecting that sticker, you’ll get “Transcribing audio….” After a few seconds, automatic captions start to appear. You can choose where it’ll be displayed on the screen and customize the caption format using multiple text and color options.
- Once done, be sure to review for accuracy.
With auto-captions, marketers can get the added help they need to keep their audiences, and potential customers hooked.
5. Scheduling Tool
This in-app post-scheduling tool for businesses and creators is one of the most recent Instagram features that lets you schedule Photos, Reels, and Carousel posts up to 75 days in advance.
Here’s how it works:
- Before sharing the post, tap “Advanced Settings” in the creation flow.
- Tap “Schedule this post,” then choose the time and date you want it posted
- In the post composer, tap “Schedule.”
With the scheduling tool, marketers, businesses, and content creators won’t need integration with third-party tools, making things more straightforward. This capability also helps cut costs and provides efficiency in managing your content and maximizing its performance.
Instagram subscriptions allow creators to charge a monthly fee in exchange for special access to content and benefits.
A subscribe button will appear on the creator’s profile after choosing their desired monthly subscription price. They can offer subscribers various advantages, such as private live streams and Stories.
Instagram features like Subscriptions are a part of a larger initiative to support creators’ livelihoods on its platform and serve as a perk for creators to stick around. Additionally, Subscriptions help in building closer relationships between creators and their audiences.
Carousels allow users to scroll through a variety of images. Today, carousel advertising is perfect for displaying various related products that clients might be interested in buying if you run an online store. Your business can use carousels to convey a multi-part story about the goods and services you offer.
Collection ads are a cross between carousels and retail ads. Marketers can use various product images so that customers can browse them rather than just one. Since these ads allow visitors to purchase products directly from the ad, they provide a great Instagram advertising option for eCommerce businesses. When a clicker clicks on an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront ad, they’re taken to a page with more details about the product and options for buying it.
Personalize Your Campaign With Instagram Features
Instagram offers a ton of benefits for marketers looking to introduce their brand to a demographic that’s ready to buy.
Instagram remains an investment worthwhile for any business thanks to Reels, Stories, and the abundance of advertising opportunities.