I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
20 Instagram Marketing Tools You Need to Know About
While productivity and efficiency have always been the goal of businesses, the average small business spends around 20 hours per week just on marketing.
The bad news is that marketing (especially social media) has never been more important – the good news is that there are some great tools out there to help your team with the heavy lifting.
In this post, we’re going to explore 20 of the best Instagram marketing tools that will help your business do everything from publish better content to streamline your planning so you don’t have to worry about social media every day.
If you’re looking to get the most out of Instagram then read on – we’ve dug deep to find tools that will help you get back your time without sacrificing results.
Why you should use Instagram marketing tools
To be completely honest, it would be much easier to answer the question, “why shouldn’t you use Instagram tools?” The truth is, there are so many useful tools out there that unless you have a strong philosophical conviction against convenience, you should probably try at least a few of them.
For most people, using these handy apps and services is a no-brainer. There are Instagram schedulers that will post to your feed automatically at preset times, Instagram growth tools that can help you build your following, and editing tools that help you seamlessly fine-tune your posts to ensure they reach their full potential.
In short, Instagram marketing tools are about working smarter, not harder. So, if you want to get more out of your campaigns with less work, this list is a great place to start.
When you should pay for Instagram tools
The flowchart for determining whether you should pay for an Instagram tool is simple: if it provides a significant ROI, pay for it. If it doesn’t, take a look at whether you’re using it the right way. If you’re not, learn how to use it to its fullest potential and then re-evaluate. If you are using it correctly and it’s still not making you a good return, then drop it.
That said, it’s important to evaluate whether the tool sufficiently frees up your time for other work even if it doesn’t directly make you a return. As they say: time is money, so this should definitely factor into your cost-benefit analysis.
If you’re ready to up your Insta-game, let’s dive right into the tools.
Scheduling and automation tools for Instagram
The first category we’re going to take a look at is scheduling and automation. These apps allow you to plan out your content in advance and post it automatically when the time comes.
Here are a few apps that should be on your watchlist:
Sked is an easy-to-use and intuitive content scheduling tool aimed at agencies and promises to save its users over five hours of work each week. The service has several time-saving features such as the ability to create content drafts that clients can approve from within the app, and the capacity to manage and schedule posts for multiple accounts without having to log in and out of them repeatedly.
Sked also provides a preview of how a feed will look once the posts go live, which is incredibly useful for anyone trying to maintain a recognizable style across all types of content.
Overall, Sked is a fantastic Instagram scheduling tool for agencies, brands, and individuals who manage multiple accounts and want to save themselves some screen-time.
Tailwind allows you to schedule your posts just by dropping them onto your calendar and is another quick and easy way to plan your content ahead of time. What makes Tailwind stand out from other similar tools, however, are its deep analytics, hashtag suggestions based on relevant trending tags, and its ability to manage Pinterest as well.
The app also helps you optimize your post times by providing data on when your target audience is most likely to engage with your content.
This tool is useful for brands that have a presence on both Instagram and Pinterest. It’s also a great choice for users who want access to powerful analytics like optimal post times and suggested hashtags.
Later is one of the more popular Instagram schedulers and it deserves a spot on this list because of its great design and mature feature set. The tool provides an intuitive visual content calendar and a drag-and-drop feed planner that allows you to preview your profile before your content is posted. Users can also make their feeds shoppable by adding links to product pages into their posts.
This is a great product for users who want automatic posting to Instagram and a clean visual interface to plan their content. Brands that sell products will also find it particularly useful.
This tool is quite similar to the other schedulers we’ve looked at with one major twist: it’s compatible with all major social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Linkedin. This makes it an ideal tool for brands, individuals, and agencies that are managing multiple accounts over several different social media platforms.
What’s more: it allows you to tailor your posts for each individual network all from the same screen and then lets you post to all of them with the click of a button.
ViralTag’s Canva integration and in-depth analytics also make it a standout pick in this category. There are several other helpful features like easy post recycling and a market calendar that can be shared across a large team. Overall, agencies and large brands that are managing many different accounts will derive the most value from this Instagram automation tool.
Social Report is a fantastic tool for Instagrammers who post a lot of video content. In fact, it’s currently the only scheduling tool that allows users to upload videos directly to their posts. The tool has a couple of other great features like hashtag templates and the ability to comment on other users’ content as soon as it’s posted — an extremely useful tool for Instagram pod members.
This tool is a great fit for users that post a lot of video content, marketers that want detailed engagement analytics, and influencers that are members of Instagram pods.
Design and editing tools for Instagram
So, you’ve got your content schedule on lock, but there’s something missing: the content. Here are a few Instagram design and editing tools that will help you produce eye-catching content.
Unfold is a truly stunning design app with a focus on Instagram Stories, hence the name: this tool helps your Story unfold. The app comes preloaded with a generous amount of templates to get you started, and there are more available for purchase on the in-app store. The designs for each of these templates are truly impeccable, and any Instagrammers using them will be sure to catch their followers’ attention.
This app is highly recommended for Instagrammers who consistently post stories and want to up their game in this area.
Quicc is an incredibly useful tool for Instagrammers who consistently post video content and find themselves spending way too much time writing captions. This tool automatically transcribes inputted video content and then embeds the transcript into the video itself. In case the app gets something wrong, you can easily fix any errors with the included caption editor.
According to Quicc, “85% of people watch video with the volume off. At 91% accuracy, QuiCC allows you to be heard by burning captions onto your video in mere minutes from your smartphone.” This makes this tool a game-changer for Instagrammers who post a large amount of video content and it can save you hours of time and expand your reach significantly.
If you find yourself constantly posting selfies, Facetune needs to be on your must-have list. This handy app lets you airbrush your skin, whiten your teeth, and remove skin blemishes all from your phone. If you’re looking to have a bit of fun, you can also apply different makeup styles to your selfies within the app, although this isn’t quite as useful as the other features.
This app is essential for influencers, models, and anyone that wants their selfies to look as professional as possible.
BeFunky is an online photo editor and graphic design tool. The app is similar to Canva, but places a greater focus on photo editing than graphic design. BeFunky provides numerous filters, vector graphics, and a collage maker that can really help you take your posts to the next level. To make the deal even sweeter: the basic version BeFunky is completely free.
BeFunky is a great app for anyone who wants to get creative with their posts. The included filters and editing features can help all Instagrammers get more in touch with their artistic side. Even better is that the Plus version offers “a batch Processing tool that lets users edit multiple photos at once. This way, users can get a cohesive look for their entire Instagram feed.”
Infographics are extremely popular on Instagram and Piktochart helps you create some of these gorgeous graphics in a snap. This is another web-based editor that’s similar to Canva, but it really shines when it comes to presenting information in an aesthetically pleasing way. Just like BeFunky, the basic version of Piktochart is free, but users can upgrade to unlock more features like HD image exports.
This tool is particularly useful for non-profits and other organizations that need to post data on their Instagram feeds. Piktochart can easily turn a boring presentation into an exciting graphic and engage your followers along the way.
InShot is a fully-featured mobile video editing app that allows you to add music, sound effects, text, emojis, and video effects to your video content. Instagrammers will be happy to find that the app can correctly size videos for Instagram and add borders to your content. Users can share their content to Instagram directly from the app, making it a breeze to edit and post videos with InShot.
Anyone who posts video content should look into InShot. It’s a fantastic tool for Instagrammers that need to give their videos some touch ups before posting them.
Website integration tools for Instagram
When creating your digital marketing strategy, it’s important not to forget just how valuable organic search traffic can be. Integrating your website and social media synergistically can lead to outstanding results – here are a few tools to get you started:
The fact that links can’t be included in post captions is one of Instagram’s most troubling features. To get around this issue, Instagrammers use their captions to direct followers to links they post in their bio. But there’s still a problem: this means that Instagrammers can only post one link at a time, and older posts can refer to links that no longer exist.
Linktree offers a unique solution to this problem. The tool allows Instagrammers to create a single link that, when clicked, will allow users to choose what page they want to navigate to.
This is a pretty ingenious solution to a particularly annoying problem and will come as a godsend to anyone who finds themselves saying “link in bio” on a consistent basis.
Curator is a social media aggregator that pulls posts from multiple social media platforms and places them into a single embeddable feed. Brands can use this app to post a collection of their best-performing posts across all their social media accounts on their website or anywhere else you can post HTML and CSS.
Overall, this tool will be most appreciated by those who have a strategy that spans multiple social media platforms and wants to direct organic search traffic to their social accounts.
Just like the name implies, EmbedFeed from EmbedSocial provides users with an embeddable feed of posts that contain specified @mentions and hashtags. Assuming the posts that contain the targeted hashtags are flattering for your brand, this is a useful form of social proof that can greatly increase conversions.
In the company’s words:
“EmbedFeed has set up a goal to enable any company, big or small understand what customers talk about them online and re-use this content to amplify their websites in providing real, fresh and authentic display of what people experienced with their brand.”
E-commerce businesses and brands with physical locations will be able to make the most of this tool as feed of user-created content and reviews can significantly increase sales.
Snapppt takes your Instagram feed and turns it into a store with just a few clicks. In short, the tool imports your feed, makes it embeddable and allows you to add links to your posts. The feed that Snapppt creates can be embedded anywhere, so it’s easy to generate an entire web store in a short period of time.
This tool will work best for e-commerce brands — especially those that sell clothing, as links can be placed on specific items and accessories.
Management and helper Instagram tools
Finally, we arrive at management and helper tools. These tools have a wide variety of functions: some are more similar to schedulers, while others are solely focused on growing a following.
Let’s take a look at a few.
Woobox is an ingenious tool that allows brands to run contests on a number of different platforms. When it comes to Instagram, Woobox automatically enters all posts that contain a specified hashtag into the contest you’re running. While the use case is somewhat narrow (hardly anyone is running sweepstakes every other day), running contests can greatly boost engagement and is a great way to grow your follower count.
Individual and non-professional Instagrammers likely won’t find much use for this tool, but professionals, brands, and influencers will appreciate its engagement-boosting abilities.
SproutSocial is a heavy-duty social media manager designed for enterprises, agencies, and small businesses. The tool is built with scalability in mind: SproutSocial makes it easy for large teams to collaborate on multiple projects by providing separate environments for each client.
The platform provides incredibly deep analytics including social listening that can easily be configured to meet your specific needs. Teams will also appreciate the unified inbox that displays inbound messages from Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter all in one place.
This is a great Instagram management tool for agencies and larger businesses, but will likely be overkill for individuals and influencers who are managing their own profiles.
If you like to share viral content with your followers, RepostApp is a tool that you should definitely look into. The app allows you to easily repost content that you liked while providing proper attribution to the original content creator: all you need is to install the app and copy the share URL and you’re good to go.
Users who often make reposts should consider this app an essential part of their Instagram toolbox.
Helper Tools for Instagram
For most, attaining a huge amount of followers is the end goal of their Instagram strategy. This Google Chrome add-on strives to help users do just that: the tool scrapes Instagram and allows you to generate a list of anyone’s followers, and then follow all of them with a single click. A percentage of those followers may end up following you back, so doing this for many different profiles in your niche can lead to some fast growth.
This tool can also like all the posts in your feed, find the common users between two Instagram accounts, and find which users are most engaged with specific profiles. If you’re looking to grow your account quickly, this is the tool for you.
Iconosquare is another Instagram manager app like SproutSocial, but with a few unique features. While SproutSocial focuses mainly on large team collaboration, Iconosquare concentrates on in-depth analysis. For example, Iconosquare will rank your profile’s performance against competitors in your niche, providing a useful industry benchmark. You can schedule regular analytics reports that are sent directly to you and your team’s inbox. The company also provides free Instagram audits, which provide insight into how you can strengthen your profile.
According to their team, one of the best features is the “built-in, data-driven suggestions for your best time to post, allowing you to optimize your posting strategy and see higher engagement on your media.”
For brands that want to get their hands on all the data they can, Iconosquare is a must-have.
Autohash is a unique Android app that uses computer vision to determine the objects in pictures and generate relevant hashtags. Ideally, this app will save you time typing out tons of hashtags, but since AI is such a new field, be prepared to edit some of them yourself. Autohash will also add location-based hashtags if your GPS is enabled, which is a pretty nifty feature.
We recommend this tool to anyone who’s interested in AI or finds themselves wasting too much time typing out hashtag upon hashtag for every post they make.
So, there you have it: 20 of the best Instagram tools you didn’t know you needed. If you think we missed any important tools, be sure to reach out to us @ampjarcom on Instagram.
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