With Instagram seemingly an ever-evolving social media site with new ways to share content with followers, it can be difficult to keep up as a busy small business owner. Luckily for you, the Crystal Media team has been on top of the different methods for posting—and testing out each one! We recommend always trying out a new form of creating content on Instagram to capture your audience’s attention. It will also help in getting on Instagram’s good side. Early adopters of new features have been known to get their content rewarded in the algorithm by the app. Their posts are being showcased to more viewers.
Currently, IG Reels and IG Guides are two of the latest ways to post, so if you’re not sure what we’re talking about, keep on reading, retailers! 👩💻We’ve got you!
An IG Post lives on an Instagram user’s profile page and will appear on the IG Feed and explore page. A post can be a single photo, a carousel post of up to 10 photos, or a video that is up to 60 seconds long. Retailers can add products to a post after creating an Instagram shop and syncing with their e-commerce website.
IG Stories are full-screen forms of content that are posted in the form of a video. It can also be a boomerang, or photo that expires after 24 hours unless saved to a Highlight on your IG profile. There are currently many features available for stories including text tools, the doodle tool, GIFS, stickers, filters, and polls. Small businesses can use this less-permanent way of posting. It is effective to become a little more candid with their viewers. It is also effective in showing some “behind the scenes” of their business.
An IG Reel is short-form and full screen size video content that lives on an Instagram user’s profile page under the “Reel” icon. It can show up on the main feed if the poster chooses so and will appear on the explore page. Reels can currently be up to 30 seconds long and showcase many of the same available Instagram stories. Filters, GIFS, text tools, and in-app filming are samples of these. Reels is very similar to TIKTOK and retailers are using these short-form videos to get in front of their customers and keep their attention.
An IGTV is long-form, full screen video content that lives on an Instagram user’s profile page under the “IGTV” icon. It can show up on your main feed if the poster chooses, and will appear in the explore page. IGTVs can be anywhere from 1-10 minutes if uploaded from the IG app. Or up to 60 minutes long if uploaded from a desktop. IGTVs are a great way to share a story, a longer message, tutorials, or any long-form message that cannot be shared in 30-60 seconds. Retailers are currently using IGTV to show their customers the different ways to shop with them and how to do so.
AN IG Guide is a categorized list showing products, posts or locations. The user can link products from their own IG shop, products from multiple IG shops, several locations, or posts from their own feed or other users’ feeds. A guide lives on a user’s Instagram homepage under the “Guide” icon. Retailers can use IG Guides similar to albums by showcasing different products or posts they’d want to highlight, and to be easily discovered by viewers of their page.
An IG Live is a full-screen video of the user going Live for up to one hour. The Live will live on your stories for 24 hours and then expire, unless posted to an IGTV. IG Lives are a great way to connect with viewers because the viewers can comment in real time. With IG Lives there is an option to bring on another IG User. The screen will be split in half to share the camera view of both users.
Out of the 6 categories featured above, how many are you using? We recommend combining a mix of the different content types above. In this way, you will see which performs best for you. Also, this will help you give your audience a wide range of content options.