Instagram is the king of photo-sharing and storytelling. To keep your business relevant and tell your story in a way your audience can receive it, it behooves you to post spectacular photos and videos. But, Instagram's built-in features are limited. That's where third party apps for Instagram come in.
Here's a list of the best apps for Instagram to help you get the most out of Instagram and keep up with your competitors.
Since we aren't all expert photographers, the ability to edit photos is a must. In fact, 50% of people who post photos on social media networks, admit to touching them up first. The perfect camera phone photo is rare.
While Instagram's built-in photo editor is helpful, there are many superior editing apps that help you create straight-out-of-Photoshop photos. Our favorite is VSCO. This app allows you to create, shoot and edit photos with a high quality filters and camera controls. Here's a tutorial for how to use the app.
Up until this year, Instagram didn't have an analytics platform for businesses to track performance on posts or engagement. Of course, users looked to other apps to do the job (many still do). Iconosquare is the top choice. It allows you to track follower growth, follower location, likes, mentions, comments, and engagement with hashtags. Only downfall: you have to pay for it.
If you don't have the budget for something like Iconosquare, take a look at Instagram's new Business Profiles. This interface tracks similar metrics (not as in-depth) to Iconosquare and it's free.
GIFs are fun. And with DSCO, you can create your own! Studies show that GIFs can increase conversion rates for your business by 103%, which makes them worth a solid try. Besides their obvious success, GIFs are great for refreshing your content. If you're stuck on inspirational quotes and product photos, try a GIF to shake things up. DSCO allows you to capture photos, easily edit and create GIFs, and the ability to share on Instagram in one click. Easy and free.
4. Pic Collage
Along the same lines of refreshing content. A great app for sharing more than one photo at a time is Pic Collage. Remember those days of thumb-tacking photos of your friends on bulletin boards? Pic Collage is the digital version. It also provides stickers for photos, backgrounds and templates. Here's an example:
5. Font Candy
Sometimes photos don't communicate everything you need them to. Font Candy is the app you're looking for. It allows you to add captions to your photos, text on top of images, as well as a variety of fonts, symbols and overlays. Also try Ripl for animated text.
Do all your videos come out shaky or too long for Instagram? Ours too. That's why Hyperlapse is a "must have." The app helps stabilize your shakiness as well as create time lapses. While these might be helpful for everyday Instagram posts, they are helpful for highlighting special events, interviews with clients, or if you're a restaurant, showing how a particular dish is created. Here's a cool time lapse from The Cookie Shop.
Boomerang is a video app that creates mini, high-quality, 60 second videos. The speeds can range, but most users create short videos that loop over and over again (like a GIF). If you're struggling to get engagement with your regular photos, but aren't confident in your video-making abilities, give Boomerang a try. You'll start to consider yourself a pro.
Ah, the one you've been waiting for. The scheduling app! The biggest downside of Instagram is it's lack of scheduling capabilities. Thankfully there's Later. All you need to know about Later is that you can schedule posts (including captions) on your computer or your phone. It's a huge time saver and you'll wonder what you ever did without it.
If you need a general tool for creating content, take a look at Canva. This app provides a plethora of image-editing features and a massive library of pre-designed templates (which includes fonts, stock images and other design elements). Canva simplifies content creation for Instagram as well as other social media platforms. It's also helpful if you lack a design team. In just a few clicks within the app, you can design a professional-quality post. Now, Canva can be your designer.
What are your favorite apps for Instagram?
Tell us about it in the comments below. Still not convinced Instagram is for you? Check out our infographic about benefits your business will experience on Instagram.