Are you using Instagram’s latest updates?

2018 brought some really exciting updates on Instagram, making the Facebook-owned platform one of the hottest places on the internet. We have talked about Instagram before, and I would like to start by letting you know that over 100 million new users joined since our last article on how event planners can use Instagram to promote their events. We have already mentioned the general features, today we are going to focus on the latest updates and how event planners can use them in their best interest.

picture of a phone logging in on Instagram

You can now follow a hashtag

I would like to start with my favorite update, the ability to follow hashtags. Yes, this is correct, Instagram now allows us to follow hashtags just as we follow people or brands. The result is that all posts with that particular hashtag will appear in the user’s feed.

This new option is very helpful for event planners that have created a unique hashtag for their events. Fans will be to join an online community by simply following the hashtag; their feed will gather content that uses that particular hashtag, no matter who posts it (official account of the event, performers, attendees of fans).

Carousel ads for Instagram stories

With the help of a few lucky advertisers ( from brands like Coca-Cola, GAP or Bottega Veneta) Instagram is testing the way Carousel Ads fit into Instagram Stories. As an event planner, Carousel Ads are perfect because they allow you tell a short story about your event. As a marketer, Instagram Stories are great because they have a higher conversion rate than Feed Ads ( in a 2017 study conducted by Agorapulse – Instagram Stories had a 23% higher conversion rate than Feed Ads). I think it’s safe to say that Carousel Ads for Instagram Stories will be a great tool that combines two powerful features. For start, the carousel format will allow marketers to use just 3 pictures/videos, but according to Instagram officials this is just the starting point and things may change.

 

series of 3 pictures showing how carousel works on Instagram

source:adweek.com

Scheduling for Instagram

In the past, it was impossible to schedule a picture to be automatically posted on Instagram. The process involved push notifications, meaning that when the time came for the post to go online we would still need our approval. The good news is that starting January 2018, Instagram allows business accounts to schedule single photos (and it automatically posts them) – the changes in Instagram API allows 3rd party apps like HootSuite, Later or Buffer to do that for Instagram users. For videos, ads, and multiple photos scheduling still involves notifications, but this update shows us that things are moving towards what we all want. For event planners, this new feature means more posts with fewer interruptions.

P.s.  there are signs that scheduling will become available for regular users as well.

An improvement made to Instagram Stories

Instagram made it easier for users to upload pictures and videos into the Stories section. Following its latest update (April 2018), it is now possible for multiple photos and videos to be uploaded at once. Great news for content creators, this new option helps them save precious time.

Earlier this year “Stories” received another update, the “Type” mode initially used for status update on Facebook. “Type” allows you to create personalized messages using stylish fonts and backgrounds and can be used by event planners to deliver live messages to their followers. It may not be the best way to communicate but it is an option that may come in handy.

 

The Facebook-owned platform seems the hottest place to be right now, and the new features developed by the team behind are a clear sign that Instagram is shooting for the moon. The new Instagram Updates can help event planners better connect with their followers but also to reach new ones. 2018 seems to be Instagram’s year and it would be a shame not to use it to promote your events.

Event marketing on Instagram. 5 ideas that will get you going

We’ve talked about the importance of social media in marketing. It offers us access to billions of users around the globe. Today I want to focus on Instagram, the platform that seems to be on everyone’s lips. With around 700 million accounts and over 400 million daily active users, Instagram had a fabulous growth in the last 4 years. And considering the fact that over 60% of its users are under 35 years old it’s clearly obvious that Instagram is great if you want to bring Millennials to your events.

smart phone placed over a laptop

So, without any further introductions, here are 5 ideas that will help you if you are planning to use Instagram to increase ticket sales.

Instagram is all about visual impact

Don’t forget that Instagram is the place where people come to see beautiful pictures. So for your Instagram profile, you should always have your camera ready. You can use pictures from your previous events (high-quality pictures with people having fun are perfect) or pictures with your crew setting up the place. A good way to show your progress is to use before/after pictures with the slide options; you can use up to 10 photos in just one post, showing your progress in setting up the place. If you want to edit your photos you can use Canva, a tool that allows you to edit photos directly into the Instagram format (1080px X 1080px).

Another powerful feature of Instagram is the Story section, where you can add both photos and videos. We talked about this section in a previous article that can be found here.

It’s easy to use Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads are a great way to ensure a greater reach for your posts. Just like Facebook, Instagram allows you to promote your posts so more potential customers hear about your business. There are four types of ads on Instagram: Photo Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads and Stories Ads.

Instagram is owned by Facebook so if you ever used Fb to set up a paid campaign you will find it very easy to set one up on Instagram. if you just want to promote a previous post you will be able to set up an Objective, select an Action Button, Audience, Budget, and Duration.

User-generated content works wonders

What will convince you to buy a certain product/service? The brand promoting itself or a customer that used it and can offer you a full review? Well, it seems that 76% of the consumers think that brands are not very honest when promoting themselves and believe that average people are, so they rely on user-generated content more than they rely on one particular brand’s marketing. Instagram is a great way to use this type of content because we all love to take photos, especially when having fun. Are you planning a festival? Create your own hashtag and your own location so people can tell the world where they are having fun. Planning a conference? I’m sure that attendees will love to take pictures with the speakers; repost those photos for some great user-generated content. There are many ways to use Instagram for USG, Hubspot went the extra mile and gathered some of the greatest campaigns.

Influencers can help you

Influencers love Instagram and you should take full advantage of it; it’s a great way for you to increase your number of followers or even convert some Instagrammers into attendees. How? Set up a partnership with an influencer in your niche so a post promoting your event will reach his tens of thousands of followers. This is the best tactic if you aim for a fast growth of your number of followers. If you want to set a strategy based on influencers you can read more here.

“Link in Bio” to the rescue

As I’m sure you know, Instagram doesn’t want you wandering around the Internet, so there are no active links on Instagram apart from the one in your Bio. It may look like a downside, but it’s not. You just need to learn that is OK to change the link in your Bio. Do you want to inform your followers on how to use your NFC cashless payment system? Add in Bio a link to an article that explains how this technology works. Are you selling tickets? Change the Bio link with so it leads to your tickets.

Instagram is a growing star, that’s for sure. And it’s great if you want to create an online presence. But, as I told before, you should test everything to see what really suits you. Remember that the vast majority of Instagram users are under 35 years old, this could be a very important information for your marketing strategy.

How to Rock Your Event with Snapchat and Instagram

I suppose that until now, we are all familiar with Snapchat and Instagram and how they became an essential tool in event marketing.

these sparks between us will

Even though Snapchat is losing market share since the launch of Instagram’s stories, it seems that the two are slowly taking different directions regarding the market segmentation and the user’s behavior while using the app. Instagram’s users are mainly over 24 years old and spend around 15 min a day browsing while 60% of Snapchat’s users are under 24 years old and spend an average of 30 min per day creating content. (Read more)

While Instagram is great in bringing awareness of an event within their 600 Million user base, Snapchat is perfect to create content and especially post event marketing material.

In this article I am going to talk about what are the best practices and uses of both Snapchat’s and Instagram’s stories.

How can you make use of the Stories in order to promote your event?

Like any other event we have three main phases: Pre-event marketing, Live marketing and Post-event marketing;

Pre-event marketing

  • Provide a sneak peak and Teaser – this is a great way to keep your audience intrigued and interested in your event while creating awareness within the possible attendees.
  • Create behind-the-scenes content – there’s nothing wrong about letting followers know about the hard work you and your team have put in creating this event. From the engineers who helped put everything in place –  to the artists doing their rehearsals, this will only make your audience feel more excited and included.
  • Overtake the Snapchat or Instagram account – it is a common trend that  a celebrity takes over a brand’s account for a limited period of time. Their main purpose is to showcase the event from their own perspective while offering valuable insights for their followers.
  • Incorporate location; based Geofilter and animated graphics that pertain to the event – Geofilters are available only on Snapchat and can be created or customized for your event; but keep in mind that this should be done ahead of time since they need a few days to be approved.

Live Marketing

  • Encourage Attendees to Use Snapchat’s and Instagram’s Stories – this represents the most important step in Live Marketing. It means bringing awareness, motivating and offering incentives to your audience in order to create content.
  • For both Instagram and Snapchat you should create centralized crowd-sourcing stories  and hashtags where your attendees can send all off their photos and videos.
  • Cross-promote your Snapchat’s and Instagram’s account – don’t forget to create a snapcode!
  • Create event and location hashtags so that your users can add them to their posts.
  • Snapchat’s geofilters are a big yes-yes – it is important to have it ready for when the event starts. The geofilter is like a stamp. A stamp which has to say your event’s story at one glance. It’s a stamp that your attendees should want to integrate in all of their Snaps.
  • Encourage celebrities to post behind-the-scenes content – everybody is curious about what is happening behind the scenes, how everything is organized and how the celebrities are getting prepared. Satisfy this thirst of curiosity by encouraging celebrities to post by themselves.
  • Respond to individual inquiries – when live streaming, in order to show your audience that you care about them, randomly answer some of their inquires. It is a small thing but it can bring a lot of satisfaction and loyalty.

Post-event marketing

  • Curate the content sent by participants – the content created by your attendees is Gold. Especially the content created with the use of Snapchat. The photos and videos created through Snapchat, will definitely bring an added value because of the different features the app has to offer; from editing tools, filters, animated filters and Geofilters the outcome of the content created is going to be unique. Receiving so much content from so many people and perspectives will definitely help create fun and entertaining videos for you to share on the Social Media profiles and let your attendees remember what a great time they had.
  • Send fun facts – another good practice would be to send fun facts and stories about what happened during the event. For example, at a festival: how many beers were drank or how many hotdogs eaten.

How to use and create Snapchat’s Geofilters

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Snapchat offers their users the opportunity to create their own Geofilters according to the occasion.

Categories of Snapchat’s Geofilters

Community Geofilters are mainly used for a place that it is meaningful for you and your community (this geofilters are free of charge).

Personal Geofilters are created for important moments which happen in every one’s life, such as birthdays, welcome home parties or any kind of events. (the price for these geofilters starts at $5).

Business Geofilters are dedicated to help any kind of business drive awareness and engagement in one swipe. The event category will fall under this section too. They are more pricey than the Personal Geofilters but still affordable.

Unfortunately,  the On-Demand Geofilters (Personal & Business) are only available in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK.

How to create your Geofilters for Snapchat

First of all, the Geofilters have to be original and in order to do that you need to design or have one designed it for you. PicMonkey and Canva are two good example of platforms that can help create wonderful filters.

From February 2017, Snapchat, launch a tool that creates on-demand geofilters on the web so that you don’t have to use any other external platforms.

For those who still prefer creating a Geofilter with a tool that they are more comfortable and familiar with, need to keep in mind a few aspects when designing it:

  • Include your event name/logo but be careful not to add any logo or design that you don’t own.
  • Insert creative graphics and text but try to keep it around 2-3 lines tops.
  • Your text and design should not cover more than 25% of the screen dimensions.
  • The size of your geofilter should be: 1080 x 1920 pixels and less than 300kb, saved in .PNG format.

Snapchat and Instagram are two amazing tools that should not be ignored while organizing an event. Comparing them with other channels of event marketing, they are cost effective and sometimes free – why not take advantage of their great features?

Event Marketing Through Stories: Instagram vs Snapchat

“It is clear to us that regular users’ Snapchat usage/engagement have gone down significantly since the release of Instagram Stories” writes Charlie Buffin

Event Marketing

For almost one year now, it’s been quite a war between Snapchat and Instagram – Why?

 

Well, on 2nd of August 2016 Instagram has launched the Instagram Stories, which are the identical copy of Snapchat Stories. For those of you who don’t know what Snapchat does, here is a brief intro; a Snap is a picture or video you send through the app to one or more of your friends. It will disappear after a maximum of 10 seconds and can only pe played twice. You have the option to add multiple photos and videos as well into the “My Story” feed which will disappear after 24 hours and can be viewed undefined times; visible to your friends only  if you have a private account or by everybody if you have a public account.

Instagram did not stop here, and one year later it hits again by copying Snapchat’s crowd-sourcing photos which allows users to send photos or videos from a specific location or event. Basically they can add photos from their personal story to nearby locations. Afterwards Instagram will curate the photos and the selected one that would show in the Explore tab as another story, let’s say New York (story). These stories created through crowdsourcing photos and videos can be searched after the location and hashtag. Learn more how to use crowd-sourcing photos for your next event.

Crowd-sourcing photos and Geofilters are two of the features that made Snapchat famous among all types of events

Crowdsourcing photos and Geofilters are two of the features that made Snapchat famous among all types of events; managing to create a high level of awareness within numerous events by collecting loads and loads of photos/ videos from all kind of participants at the events. It is an easy and friendly way to promote and bring awareness of your event . Learn more about how to promote your event through Snapchat.

It was quite a significant hit for Snapchat when Instagram launched its “stories ” because they suffered a substantially daily users decrease.

In only 25 weeks since launch, Instagram Stories reached 150 million daily users. That’s the same number of users that Snapchat’s whole app reportedly reached in June 2016, after seeing a significant growth from 110 million daily users in December 2015, Bloomberg reported.

Another report on TechCrunch found that both Snapchat views and posting of stories counts decreased by 15-40 percent after Instagram Stories launched.

Influencers seek for Instagram’s reach

Mike Albanese the CEO of social talent media company Galore’s says “Influencers that were late to build an audience on Snapchat pretty much abandoned the platform because it was so much easier for them to reach more people through their existing audience on Instagram Stories.”

Influencers have also noticed that the engagement rates are 3-5x higher on Instagram than on Snapchat. No matter how faithful you are to Snapchat, you’ve got to do what’s best for your business.

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Snapchat is fighting back Instagram

In order to fight Instagram, Snapchat launched Custom Stories in May 2017. Custom Stories  is similar to the normal story posting, the only difference is that it allows users to create their own events within their chosen friends. So for example, if you are organizing a birthday party, you can create a story named “`Birthday Party” and invite only the friends you would like to post in that story. Through Custom Stories, Snapchat is trying to focus more on offering a qualitative and tailored content to their users.

Creating the Customs Stories seems to be the logical step after creating  a tool that creates on-demand geofilters on the web, in February 2017, which allows users to create custom stickers for different occasions and events. And as competition with Instagram intensifies, it might represent an important milestone in the process of roping in new users.

Both Snapchat and Instagram are trying to bring people together through their stories. Even if it is about user’s lifestyle, a private event, a concert or a championship they help people spread the word and their experiences.

What makes the difference between the two, especially when using Instagram and Snapchat Stories to market an event?

Instagram

  • Has over 600 Million Users monthly with most of its users over 24 years old  (Read more)
  • Instagram’s users spend 15 minutes per day on the app
  • A big part of the activity users spend their time mostly browsing

Snapchat

  • Has 16 Million users daily with 60% of it’s users under the age of 24
  • Users spend twice as Instagram’s users on the app, approximately 30 min per day
  • 60% of user create content (Business Insider)

It only depends on what are your goals, who is your target and what kind of event are you are trying to market in order to decide if Instagram or Snapchat is more suitable for your event.

Having so many users, Instagram’s best use is to bring awareness and gain new potential attendees. But if you want to create an after event marketing, you can make sure that Snapchat is the right tool for you; Leaving all the content to be created by the community, with the wonderful slew of tools that Snapchat has to offer.

We are curious and looking forward to see how this battle is going to end. If Snapchat will raise back by increasing the number of daily users; if Instagram will manage to surpass Snapchat in it’s quality and number of features or why not  live happily ever after by figuring a middle way to survive on the “stories market” by bringing different added value for their users.