New Instagram Features Marketers Should Be Using in 2022

In the social media landscape, Instagram is nothing short of a juggernaut. Currently part of the Metaverse, Instagram is currently available in 22 languages and has completely revolutionised the way people share media. Instagram has over one billion monthly active users, from your next-door neighbour with their small following of friends and family to celebrities with hundreds of millions of followers. 
New Instagram Features Marketers Should Be Using in 2022

Instagram has come a long way since it was first launched in 2010. In the beginning, the platform was only used for photo sharing, and the now-popular messaging feature didn’t even exist! One of the reasons Instagram is so popular with both users and social media marketers is that it is always evolving and staying current with the latest trends and consumer demands. As of December 2021, they have done it again and released several game-changing Instagram updates. Here are the main changes you need to know about if you are in the Instagram Marketing space: 

Story Links Sticker

Previously, only users with 10,000 or more followers were able to place links as stickers in their Instagram stories. In this new update, any user can add a sticker that, when tapped, will redirect the viewer to the specified link.

How To Use It

Adding a Link sticker is simple:

  • Add to your story by uploading or capturing
  • Tap the sticker tool on the top navigation bar
  • Add your desired link by tapping the "Link" sticker and then tap "Done"
  • Place the sticker on your story just like any other sticker, then customise the sticker with colour variations by tapping on it 
  • Post to your story

Benefits For Marketers

Link stickers are a great tool for marketers. They can be used as a CTA to drive traffic to your website, far more than before the update. It also allows marketers more creative freedom when it comes to compositions since they no longer rely on the standard “swipe up” previously located at the bottom of the screen. Story links stickers are a great tool for paid advertising on Instagram, allowing marketers to promote their products and reach their audiences better than ever before. 

‘Add Yours’ Sticker

The Add Yours Sticker is a new way of creating public threads using Instagram Stories. It allows you to create a photo prompt and have other users respond in their own photo stories in a public thread. 

How To Use It

Here’s how to add your own Add Yours Sticker to your story:

  • Add to your story by uploading or capturing
  • Tap the sticker tool on the top navigation bar
  • Tap “Add Yours”
  • Write the prompt for your "Add Yours" and tap “Done”
  • Post to your story

Benefits For Marketers

Add Yours makes Instagram that much more interactive between users and followers. Marketers can use this new feature to start trends and challenges, drawing attention to their brands. It’s a great way to kickstart conversations and brand awareness while shining the spotlight on your brand’s personality.

Find Creators

The Find Creators feature makes it easier than ever before for brands and creators to connect with each other. This feature is a game-changer when it comes to creator/brand collaboration, making it easier for creators to make a living on Instagram and also helping brands drive business and engagement.

How To Use It

First off, this is only applicable to participating brands. In the first step, creators add brands that they are interested in partnering with to their Preferred Brands List. When brands are looking for creators to partner with, creators who have added them to their Preferred Brands will come up at the top of their search results. Brands can filter creators by name, followers, age, location and more. 

Benefits For Marketers

This feature allows marketers to easily find creators who actively want to work with them rather than wasting time approaching those who aren’t interested. It makes collaboration to boost brand awareness and sharing branded content that much easier. With the filters available, marketers have more control when searching, saving time and giving access to creators who are a good match right away. 

Story Auto-Captions 

The option to Auto-Caption content is a welcome addition to Instagram’s features. Captions make it easier for users to watch story content without audio, a huge stride for the platform in terms of accessibility. Auto-Captions automatically convert what someone is saying into captioned text for users to read. 

How To Use It
  • Add to your story by uploading or capturing
  • Tap the sticker tool on the top navigation bar
  • Tap “Captions”
  • Choose between four different text formats, position your captions on the screen and tap “Done”
  • Post to your story

Benefits For Marketers

With Auto-Captions, a wider audience can engage with content. Users who can’t or prefer not to consume content with the sound turned on are now less likely to tap past your stories which will give a boost to your engagement. It also opens up the platform to users who need accessibility features such as captions, creating a more inclusive experience.

Social Fundraising

Recognising the desire from its users to raise money for causes that matter to them, Instagram has made it possible to do so on the app. Users can create fundraisers for themselves, their businesses, or a cause that is important to them. It’s also possible to donate to causes through the platform.

How To Use It

This feature is currently still being tested. If you don’t have the options described, don’t worry, it’s likely coming your way soon. 

  • Tap the “+” at the top of the screen
  • Tap “Fundraiser” 
  • Select a charity by using the search bar
  • Go through the screen to fill out the details of your fundraiser, including a cover photo, your monetary goals and any collaborators you have
  • Tap “Share Fundraiser”, and it will be added to your Instagram bio.

Benefits For Marketers

On a large scale, Instagram is optimising its platform for the digital activism they have seen in response to issues like the global pandemic and social injustice. In terms of social awareness for issues, this is huge. For marketers, Social Fundraising can be a platform to show your audience that you are a brand with heart by starting and contributing to fundraisers for worthy causes. When people donate to the fundraiser, their information can be shared (if they are willing), boosting engagement with your brand while promoting and raising money for an important cause.

Collabs 

The Collab feature makes it possible for users to co-author feed posts and reels. When you invite a fellow Instagram user to collaborate on a post, the finished content will show up on both feeds. Both collaborators share views, likes and comments. 

How To Use It

Collabs need to be accepted by the invited collaborator before they appear. The invite will appear as a request in their DMs. To invite someone to Collab:

  • Create a post or Reel as normal
  • On the “Share” screen, tap “Tag People”
  • Tap “Invite Collaborator” and use the search bar to select your desired collaborator 
  • Post as normal

Benefits For Marketers

Shared engagement with both collaborators’ audiences (likes, views and comments) means that both can take advantage of and engage with each other's communities. It is an easy way to tap into new audiences and gain exposure in a mutually beneficial way!  

Calendar Tool

Within Account Insights, Instagram has the calendar tool which now offers account metrics for a 60 day tracking period

How To Use It

This feature is specifically available to Business or Creator accounts. 

  • Go to your profile 
  • Underneath your bio, tap “Insights”
  • In the top right-hand corner, you can change the time period and review your account’s performance!

Benefits For Marketers

Exciting news for business profiles is that the data tracking period for Instagram Insights has been extended from 30 days to 60 days. Marketers no longer need third-party apps if they want to track insights for a longer period. They can easily see it from the platform itself. 

Support Small Businesses Sticker

The Support Small Businesses Sticker allows its users to tag any business with an Instagram profile, helping them gain a larger audience or following. It can be added to Instagram stories and acts as a special mention for small businesses. Users of the sticker will be able to share their stories on Instagram as well as those of the businesses they follow.

How To Use It
  • Make a story by capturing it or uploading
  • Find the sticker tool in the top navigation panel
  • Tap “Support Small Business”
  • Type the name of the small business you wish to support
  • Choose from a variety of styles and options for the sticker
  • Post to your story

Benefits For Marketers

When a business has been tagged with the Support Small Businesses sticker, viewers can tap the sticker and see a small pop-up with the business’s details, which can help the business gain exposure to a larger audience. Businesses will receive a notification when they have been tagged, allowing them to thank the tagger or repost content to their own stories and create more engagement.

Instagram is constantly rolling out new innovative features and additions to the platform that capture the interest and attention of users and social media marketers alike. A good understanding of the new Instagram features is essential for any marketer looking to leverage the platform into a solid Instagram marketing strategy.


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