3 Instagram Apps to Enhance Your Content

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Over 1 million advertisers worldwide use Instagram to share their stories and drive business results. This means more competition, and sometimes, less attention. Here are a few tools that can help your business stand out with creative content:

1. Layout

Layout is an app made by Instagram that lets you combine, flip and mirror multiple photos into a single image for a fun take on your photos. Choose photos from your camera roll or use the built-in Photo Booth and pick the layout you like best. The app is available for both iOS and Android users. A few features include:

* Re-mix up to 9 of your photos at a time to create fun, personalized layouts.
* Use the Faces tab to quickly find photos with people in them. 
* Capture the moment in Photo Booth mode with quick, spontaneous shots. 
* Save your layouts to your camera roll and share them seamlessly to Instagram or other networks.
* Easily see the last 30 photos you've selected in the Recents tab. 
* Pair your layouts with Instagram's filters and creative tools afterwards to make them stand out even more. 

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2. Hyperlapse

With Hyperlaspe, you can create smooth time lapse videos to share with your followers. The in-app stabilization technology lets you capture non-shaky videos that was previously impossible without a tripod. A few features include:

* Shoot handheld time lapse videos in motion— while you're walking, running, jumping or falling.
* Smooth out your video for cinematic quality with automatic stabilization. 
* Speed up your hyperlapse to be up to 12 times the speed.
* Share your videos seamlessly on Instagram and Facebook or save them to your camera roll to share anywhere, anytime.
* Start filming immediately with a simple design that gets out of the way of your creativity

3. Boomerang

Boomerang is another great tool made by Instagram that lets users create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth. Boomerangs require movement, whether that's an object or a person is totally up to you. Tap the button once and the app will shoot a burst of 10 photos that turns into an awesome mini-video! Some features include:

* Take mini videos of your life and yourself using the front and back facing camera. 
* There's just one button! The app takes 10 photos and stitches them together, speeds up the video and smooths out any bumps, then loops it back and forth.
* Share your videos on Instagram and Facebook right from the app, or share them later from your camera roll.

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Know Your Audience: Top Social Network Demographics (Infographic)

Knowing your audience is the key to developing and executing a social media strategy that will deliver results and create meaningful relationships.

What are the demographics? Where do they hang out online? 

These are questions you need to answer to help you create irresistible content that grabs their attention and inspires them to connect, converse and engage with you and your brand. 

The team at Trackx have created this new infographic which provides an overview of some of the key audience stats for all the major social platforms. Social media is all about the people. Now, it's time for you to take part in the conversation. 

 

 

 

Introducing Facebook Frame Studio

Facebook Frame Studio lets developers around the world create and upload simple, static overlaid image filters and digital frames to an image that appears in the Facebook camera. The tool, similar to Snapchat filters, gives your friends, family, and fans a new way to show creativity, enhance an image and show people what they are doing. 

  Image: TechCrunch

Image: TechCrunch

For now, everyone has access to creating and submitting Facebook frames using Frame Studio. You even have the ability to target your frame by adding a location, setting a start and end date, and including keywords. Once approved, your frame will appear in the Facebook camera or in Profile frames for use. 

  Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

If your business is interested in creating their own branded Facebook frame, you'll need to create your design in software like Photoshop. You can create one or several designs to place throughout the frame. Once your design is ready, open the Facebook Camera Effects home page. Click Create a Frame in the upper-right corner to open the Frame Studio tool.

The next step is to upload your design and place it on the blank canvas, where you'll have the ability to click and drag the corners to scale to your desired size. On the next page, you'll name your frame and select the owner. Choose a name that's clear and concise, as friends and followers will be able to search for your frame effect by name. Then choose the owner of the frame (either personal or business). 

The last section will require you to choose who sees your frame and scheduling. This can be set by place, landmark, or point of interest. Choose a start and end date for when your frame will be available and submit. Once approved, your friends and followers will be able to use it. 

What has your been experience like with Facebook's new tools? Have you tried out Stories or Frame Studio? Let us know in the comments below! 

3 Examples of Successful Instagram Stories Ads

Back in March, Instagram launched a new way for brands to target and reach audiences across the app's 600 million users. Instagram Stories ads appear between stories as users swipe through, offering them an immersive, full-screen experience. 

With the rapid growth of Stories, companies are taking advantage of these new ad tools to drive sales, showcase products, and gain awareness of their brand. Here are 3 examples of how brands are using Instagram Story Ads:

Fido

Fido, a wireless carrier in Canada, used Instagram Stories ads to help launch their new 'Fido Roam' service; a way keep travelers connected while they're abroad. The initial campaign featured a highly-immersive video that they wanted to get in front of 'travel hungry millennials.' 

Instagram says Fido researched the most effective creative elements of the campaign with AdParlor's Intelligence Tags Technology, giving them more insight into the best background colors and images to use to boost performance.

  From Instagram

From Instagram

Red Bull

To promote their 'Flying Illusion Show', Red Bull used Instagram Stories ads to run a video campaign featuring striking visuals and exciting breakdancers. With the new ad platform, they were able to target cities in Germany to reach as many people as possible.

  From Instagram

From Instagram

Target

For those who use the more static route, still-photos can be very effective. Target used Instagram Stories ads to show the image of a board game, its name, and the price. The ad is quick and to the point, and the image is attention-grabbing enough to create product awareness and get users to look up the item after the ad disappears. 

Have you tried to create your own Instagram Story Ad? Was it successful? Let us know in the comments below! 

Facebook Messenger: Destination Ads

Messenger gives your business a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch to schedule appointments, ask questions about your products and services and more.

There are two types of Facebook Messenger ads:

  1. Facebook Messenger as a destination
  2. Facebook Messenger as a placement

Today, we'll talk about Facebook Messenger as a destination.

Messenger as a Destination

Destination ads appear in the newsfeed with the same look and feel as a regular ad. When clicked on, your image, video or slideshow ad and CTA button will directly open up a Messenger thread. People will then see a copy of your ad + message text and are required to send a message to the business to start the conversation.

Get Started

Note: You cannot use Instagram as a placement option when selecting Messenger as a destination

  1. Go to ads creation in Ads Manager or Power Editor
  2. Choose Traffic or Conversions objective (Note: Traffic may appear as Send people to your website for some advertisers)
  3. Choose your campaign name and click Continue
  4. Choose your audience, budget and placement.
  5. At the ad level, choose your format. You can choose Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow format
  6. Choose the Page you want to connect
  7. Choose Messenger as your destination
  8. Choose a welcome message. When people click on your ad, they will automatically be directed to Messenger and receive a copy of your ad and the welcome message.
  9. After you've reviewed your ad, click Place Order

How to Use Messenger Ads

Facebook reported that more than one in two people say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next two years. This is where destination ads can help overcome any barriers that may restrict your customer from making a purchase. 

  • Promote your new offerings: Use your ad to promote new or seasonal offerings and engage your customers in a personal real-time conversation. 
  • Offer a discount: Use destination ads that open a Messenger conversation as a unique way to provide a coupon code and a personalized experience for your customers.

Check out the graphic below. These numbers show us that as marketers, we have an opportunity to tap into a massive channel to help grow our business and customer service. 

16 Video Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

In today's fast-paced world, video marketing is one of the few types of visual content that provides the value, relevance and flexibility consumers want.

With the rise of video content, businesses are looking to take advantage of this opportunity to better connect with consumers, engage with them and convert them to paying customers. It is also a great tool for businesses and professionals to showcase their brand, vision, products and services for maximum outreach. 

Last year, Facebook announced that its video viewership doubled from 4 billion daily views to 8 billion daily views. These staggering numbers go to show why video is becoming a critical component of every company's marketing strategy. 

In a recent study, Vidyard analyzed video data from over 500 businesses and over 250,000 videos, so marketers like us, can compare ourselves to the average or the best-in-class video marketers. Read on to find out how businesses are leveraging video:

  This infographic originally appeared on  Vidyard

This infographic originally appeared on Vidyard

3 Inspiring Ways to Create a Facebook Slideshow

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Facebook Slideshow is a cost effective way to feature content that you already have.

With Slideshow, advertisers can create a video-like ad by merging 3 to 7 still images that can be from existing video or photos, and stock images from Facebook's library. You can add audio and text overlay that bring your stories to life and resonates with your audience.

These are some great examples on how to create your next Slideshow depending on your goals:

Highlight Your Benefits

Does your business have more than one benefit? Slideshow is the perfect tool to highlight each of them. 

  1. Select images that clearly communicates and visualizes each benefit
  2. When you've uploaded these images, select the edit tool on each image to add text
  3. Keep the text short and make sure it's legible (contrasting with the background image)
  4. For better viewing pleasure, place the text in the same place on each photo
  5. Adjust the slide duration, so viewers have time to read the text

Show Off Your Product

Using Slideshow is also effective if your business sells a physical object. Choose a variety of images to show multiple products, or different styles of one product.

  1. Want to grab peoples attention? Try using a short duration for each image of a product with multiple styles. 
  2. Keep the product/s in the same place on each image to minimize movement between frames. 
  3. Add music to your Slideshow to make it more engaging. Select the Music option on the top of the slideshow tool and you'll be able to upload your own music or choose from a list provided. 

Tell Your Business Story

Show people what sets your business apart from the competition by telling them your story with several images. 

  1. What are the key parts of your business' story? Identify the ones that will resonate most with your audience
  2. Select one image to visualize each phase
  3. Make sure the first image is appealing and draws the viewer in.
  4. Add a few words to each image to communicate your message

Do you use Facebook Slideshow? What are your goals when using it? Let us know in the comments below! 

How to Post Live Photos to Instagram

If you're the type of person that prefers to take photos with your iPhone camera, then it's time to step up your Instagram content with Live Photos

Live Photos add motions both before and after you take a picture and packages it together in a 3-second shot. Think of them as sort of a mixture between a GIF and a short video. Since Instagram has yet to add direct functionality for Live Photos, you'll have to turn them into Boomerangs before you can upload them to Instagram. 

Uploading Live Photos to Instagram Stories

  1. Launch the Instagram app and tap on the camera icon in the upper left corner to create a new story.
  2. Swipe up to reveal eligible photos from your camera roll. (Note: Live Photos have to be shot within the last 24 hours in order to be used)
  3. Select the Live Photo you want to upload to your story.
  4. Once your picture is selected, 3D Touch on the screen by pressing firmly with a finger. This will create your Boomerang.

From there, you can post Boomerang to your story, share it to separate followers or save it to your camera roll for later use. Before you upload it to your story, don't forget that you can edit it and add filters just like any other photo. 

Want to share this type of content to users without Live Photo capability? 

The way these kinds of apps work is by allowing you to export your video as either a GIF or as an actual video. In this case, you'll want to export it as a video. 

 

Instagram Shopping Tags for Business

Since last November, Instagram has been testing a new option called 'Shopping Tags,' a tool that gives Instagram marketers a new way to showcase their brand through shoppable organic posts. 

Pretty cool right? Shopping Tags enable brands to augment their photos with product information and links to buy the items on their sites. Users will see "Tap to view products" notification in the bottom left of the image, revealing tags overlaid on the post and product information. 

Now, it's being made available for more businesses. 

As explained by Instagram

“Based on encouraging early results, we’re rolling out these shopping features to thousands of businesses that sell apparel, jewelry or beauty products in the coming weeks. Instagrammers in the US will soon be able to shop and browse products from these businesses from posts in feed, on profile and in explore.”

In addition, Instagram is also introducing a self-serve tool to make putting a product up for sale as easy as tagging a friend and can be done directly from your iOS mobile phone. 

Brands that want to utilize this functionality will need to first, apply and upload their product catalog through Facebook Business Manager. Instagram also notes that businesses will soon be able to access insights around metrics, like how many people tapped to see more product details or clicked on "shop now."

With 80% of (600 million) people on Instagram following a business account, Shopping Tags has the potential to become a huge game changer for marketers. 

An Introduction to Facebook's Messenger Day

Another day. Another story. 

Snapchat can't seem to catch a break. Last week, Facebook launched Messenger Day (the newest Snapchat clone) to tap into the hundreds of millions of people already using the Messenger app. Like with Instagram and Snapchat Stories, Messenger Day allows users to share photos and videos "as they happen." Users can customize their photos and videos with thousands of effects, frames and stickers that of course, disappear in 24 hours. 

  Image: TechCrunch

Image: TechCrunch

If you've used Snapchat before, the process is quite similar. Open Messenger and you can either tap the shutter circle in the bottom function bar or drag down to access the Messenger camera. Take a selfie or video and add your graphics and effects. To add art and effects, tap the smiley face icon on the top right and then tap to add to your photo or video. You can also add text by tapping the "Aa" icon and overlay a drawing by tapping the squiggly line.

Once your photo is jazzed up and ready to share, tap the arrow in the bottom right corner. Then, you'll be able to add directly to your Day, save it to your phone's camera roll or send it to a specific person or group. You can also add a photo or video to your Day story from any conversation you're having in Messenger. 

Need to take something down from your shared content? Facebook gives users complete control over who sees their Messenger Day with options to delete or share to certain people. 

The launch of Messenger Day serves as a reminder that Facebook is not letting any competitor out-do them, even if it comes with the copy-cat backlash from the Snapchat fanbase. There's not much to differentiate between the two as far as functionality, but it's only natural to think that Facebook will soon be king of the story. With a billion active monthly users and 17 billion photos privately shared monthly on Messenger, it's hard to argue.