Influencer marketing is right at home on its most prominent social media platform, Instagram. By 2020, Instagram influencer marketing is set to reach $2.3 billion.
With over 1 billion users, the network enjoys massive popularity among the general public and is central to the strategies of marketers across the world, who regard it as the most important social media channel for influencer marketing.
The growth of Instagram and its importance within marketing spheres has meant increased demand from brands and influencers to improve the level of support and resources to execute impactful marketing campaigns.
Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, launched its subscription feature to help support its creator community and boost the ability of influencers to make better use of the platform.
Instagram has followed suit with Instagram Creator Accounts, which grant users more flexibility and insights into how posts are performing for better campaign results.
Influencers and marketers who are familiar with Instagram marketing likely know that most create business profiles in order to get additional campaign insights.
With the introduction of Instagram Creator Accounts, even more insights are being offered to users. This includes the ability to manage posts and more comprehensive analytics options including:
In its initial trial period, Creator Accounts were only available to those with over 10,000 followers. This has since been opened up to universal use for anybody.
Now, users can transfer their personal account or business account in a few short steps in the app’s settings. Once finalized, Instagram Creators have a set of tools in their repertoire.
Here are four tools available through upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account:
Creator Accounts are similar to business accounts in that they provide insights that regular users don’t have access to. Detailed insights range from gender, age, location, as well as which content your audience engages with most.
Instagram Creator Accounts also offer supplemental insights including:
‘Stories About You’ is a dedicated feature exclusive to Instagram Creator Accounts which helps streamline the interaction process.
Previously, interactions with Stories that mentioned your handle took place in the inbox. Stories About You seeks to improve this process, aggregating all Stories mentions of you and turning them into a singular story reel.
This reel is accessed by tapping the heart icon, then ‘Mentions’ under ‘Stories About You’.
There are minor exceptions to how ‘Stories About You’ functions. For example, for private accounts which you do not follow, mentions from them will not be added to your reel. And when your account is mentioned by someone but they only share it with their close friends, you will not see this activity.
Creator Accounts add another tab to your existing inbox. The two tabs are labeled the ‘Primary tab’ and the ‘General tab.’
Primary tab: This is used for messages that have the highest priority for you, and you’ll continue to receive notifications as usual for this tab
General tab: This is for everything else. Direct messages which are moved here have notifications turned off by default, effectively meaning DMs are less of a hassle for those with substantial followings
Keen as ever to diversify its content, Instagram has just launched a new toolset for the IGTV platform. This extensive update allows creators to organize their videos on a distinct page and denote episodes with a badge to differentiate them from other videos they create.
It also features an option to automatically play the next episode (similar to YouTube and Netflix’s autoplay functions), and the opportunity to turn on notifications for clips within IGTV series.
There are many benefits for both influencers and brands with the addition of new Instagram Creator Account features to utilize, notably:
There are still, however, a couple of shortcomings in the new offerings available with Instagram Creator Accounts:
The benefits of upgrading to an Instagram Creator Account are there for all to see. The change definitely addresses some long-standing issues that influencers have had with the platform over the years, particularly with regards to insights and direct messaging.
At present, however, the lack of a connection between Creator Accounts and the Instagram API could prove to be a large stumbling block for many.
This will be the case for influencers and brands who have established routines and practices for their campaigns which will be disrupted by the inability to use third-party tools for analytics and auto publishing, for example.
Instagram has always been ahead of the curve and shrewd in its ability to please its top talent with effective monetization opportunities. It’s the reason Instagram is still here and other social media networks, like Vine, have died off.
This latest effort, in conjunction with the recent announcement of the added tools for IGTV, seems to indicate that Instagram is focused on giving influencers added capabilities to aid their influencer marketing strategies.
As ever with social media, keeping your stars happy is a top priority. We just recently saw the boost Microsoft’s livestreaming service, Mixer, got when it tempted Twitch’s top streamer in a multi-year mega deal.
Instagram will continue to keep its biggest stars onside, which generally means giving them more creator tools, perks, and marketing opportunities.
The impact of totally removing support for third-party tools is one of the more interesting aspects of this update—something to keep an eye on as more users jump over to Instagram Creator Accounts. This has been a long-term strategy to bring influencers over to using their in-app analytics and insights, and the improvement of these services will be key to keeping them happy.