When you think of using marketing tools, you probably think cost. But there are plenty of free and inexpensive tools at your disposal to make the most of your Instagram marketing! Here are 9 tools that range from creating attractive posts to keeping an eye on analytics.
1. Unsplash.com (Free)
Instagram is all about visuals! Unfortunately, we’re not all handy with a camera. Even easy-to-understand phone cameras can produce lackluster photos if the user isn’t particularly skilled in the area of photography. The solution? Free photos. The best site I’ve found for this is Unsplash.com. Skilled photographers share high resolution shots that look natural and attractive. Instead of the stock images you might find on other sites that are posed and usually bright white, this site has a range of pictures from nature to portraits. You can search for keywords and even save photos to collections. Signing up is free and so is the use of the site and photos. Just be nice and give credit to the photographer.
2. Snapseed (Free)
The Snapseed app is free to download and use and is easy to get the hang of. I like to use this to make subtle changes to photos to make them look cleaner and more appealing. This app gives a wide array of editing options. You can adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and so much more! They even have tips to give you ideas and help you get the look you’re going for. This is great for improving photos that might not have turned out how you wanted without adding filters that don’t look professional.
3. VSCO (Free)
VSCO has become the popular filter app among the majority of Instagram users. The filters are clean and they look natural. VSCO offers an option to adjust the intensity of a filter as well as the brightness, contrast, crop, and other simple adjustments. You can store photos on the app (make sure to sync before deleting the app or your photos will be lost) and see what a photo looks like with and without a filter by pressing down on the picture you are editing.
4. Canva (Free with option of paid business account)
How many times have you looked for an app to add text next to photos and realized that the app has added their own watermark to your picture? You can pay to upgrade so your photos don’t have the watermark, but is it really worth it? The best solution I’ve found is Canva. You can access Canva via a browser or download the app. Not only can you add text to your photos, you can also add some of their free graphics, borders, and shapes that really make your posts look more professional! Another helpful tool is the ability to use templates. They even have specific templates for Instagram posts, along with Facebook, Twitter, and other options. You can access even more tools if you choose to upgrade to Canva for Work, which is $12.95 per user/per month.
5. Later (Free)
Later allows you to schedule your Instagram posts and see how they will look in your feed. Whether you want your content to be uploaded at the same time on the same day or you don’t have time to create posts on the days you need to upload, this app is for you. It’s easy to upload your photos and get them ready to post. You can add your captions and hashtags so all that’s left to do is post. After you have created your caption, just schedule it for the date and time you wish to share. You’ll get a notification when it’s time to post and it takes just seconds to select the notification and share your post. Another great thing about Later is that you can schedule posts on a browser as well. If you want to share photos that you’ve taken on your camera and uploaded to your computer, it’s just as simple. You can only post via your phone, but I still find this app to be extremely helpful and easy-to-use.
6. Repost for Instagram (Free)
One of the most influential parts of marketing is for customers to see others using and enjoying a product. Ads are great, but to see someone who seems like the everyday person truly interested in the product makes it more appealing to consumers. Explore the posts you’ve been tagged in or where your hashtag has been used. Once you’ve found customers sharing your brand, you can repost their photos to not only gain more genuine interest but also engage with your followers or customers. Repost for Instagram makes it easy to repost a photo while giving credit to the original poster.
7. Crowdfire (Free with option of paid plan)
If you’re new to marketing on Instagram, Crowdfire is the tool for you. The app can curate posts for you that will keep your account active and up-to-date, posting at the times that will best engage followers. It can also create posts FOR you that are relevant to your image and message. Crowdfire helps you find potential followers that you can reach out to and get interested in your page!
8. Instagram Insights (Free)
If you want to see the types of Instagram users you’re reaching, all you need to do is use Instagram Insights. As long as your Instagram profile is a business profile, you’re set to go. Instagram Insights is free to use and can show you the age, gender, and location of followers. You can also see when they are most active so you can schedule your posts accordingly.
9. Websta (Free)
Buying Instagram likes is a popular choice in Instagram marketing. Apps offer a small fee to gain likes and recognition. This can help grow your brand and get more attention on your posts. But you also want to post things that appeal to a specific demographic. For this, you can use Websta. Websta offers a variety of tools such as seeing who interacts with your account the most and what kind of followers your brand attracts. You can also see which users and hashtags are popular and use that information to make your posts more relevant and likely to be seen. Another feature is to interact with not only who you are following but who’s following you as well.
Marketing on Instagram doesn’t have to be expensive or painful. You can use these tools to create posts that look great, reach the right audiences, influence when you choose to buy Instagram followers and improve your brand!