In the last decade, content marketing has grown from being a mostly unfamiliar term to becoming the lifeblood of brands who want to touch and reach current and potential customers. Doubtless, you have learned some lessons about content marketing and content creation along the way. We have too. That’s why we prepare Content Radar for you every week — to keep you up on what we — and the rest of your fellow content marketers — need to know as we go.
Instagram announces several updates (and denies one)
If you are among the group of content marketers and creators who has watched Instagram’s growth over the years, then you doubtlessly have looked on in wonder at the social darling’s current state of affairs. What started as a simple photo-sharing app has become a marketing monster with more than one billion monthly users.
With that growth has come increased pressure to be a fun place for consumers and a profitable place for marketers. Given this, it should surprise none of us that Instagram is working on a number of updates that are designed to help it reach its goals for reaching consumers and assisting brands.
Recent leadership shakeups aside, here is what is in the works:
Any marketer who has ever felt sheepish about adding a small army of hashtags to a post will appreciate the fact that Instagram looks like it is testing the ability for an account owner to add multiple hashtags that don’t appear as part of the post caption. This update would allow marketers to more discreetly add hashtags that Instagram could serve up as related content or as search results — even though the hashtags aren’t a part of the visible content.
Geo-targeted organic posts
Up to this point, geo-targeting organic posts on Instagram has been impossible. This has resulted in brands and others not being able to target as effectively as they would like. With the opportunity to geo-target organic posts, brands can localize content by country to reach intended audiences (in intended languages) with the content that is most relevant for them.
GIFs in direct messages
There is no speculation about when this feature will become available: It’s already here. Users now can send Giphy-created GIFs in direct message responses to individuals or groups. Users can search trending GIFs, select specific GIFs based on their search, or use the “random” option to be served a GIF related to the keyword.
Marketers may not find a tremendous amount of value in the GIFs themselves, but should note the fact that as Instagram continues to flex its direct messaging muscles, more consumers will use the direct messaging functionality. And as the direct messaging functionality grows in use, the opportunities marketers will have to reach potential consumers will increase as well.
On Sept. 20, The Verge reported that Instagram was testing a new functionality called “seamless sharing” that allows for users to select a “share to feed” option. When posts are shared, they are accompanied in users’ news feeds by the name and bio photo of the person who shared it.
Of course, the amount of work Instagram is currently putting into this feature is debatable. Mashable reports that an Instagram spokesperson said the company is not currently building or testing the feature.
Snapchat has released an update that integrates its camera tool with Amazon. Snapchat now allows users to snap a photo of a product anywhere it is seen, then be guided to that available product on Amazon.
A new consumer survey has found that 90 percent of respondents are equally or more brand loyal than they were one year ago. Product quality was the top contributing factors to brand loyalty among respondents.
YouTube now allows creators with 50,000 followers to charge a $4.99 monthly fee to access content on the channel. The program — Channel Memberships — was previously known as Sponsorships. Until last week, Sponsorships required 100,000 followers.
Amazon is now the third-largest digital ad seller in the United States. Experts expect Amazon’s ad prowess to continue to grow quickly, though Facebook and Google are still the comfortable leaders in this space.