What Happened to IGTV?

What Happened to IGTV?

You might have noticed that IGTV can no longer be found on Instagram. In October 2021, Instagram released an update that merged IGTV with Instagram feed videos. Although this may not seem like that big of a change, it is! Instagram had explained its decision to pull out the IGTV button and said users were only finding IGTV content through the previews shared to the Feed and in Explore. This finding meant that IGTV was essentially leading to clutter and confusion rather than more engagement. 

Now that IGTV and Instagram feed videos have merged, you will see an additional icon next to the reels tab on your profile page. This icon is from the update and is now what we know as “Instagram Video.” Instagram Video has given us new features like trimming, filters, and people and location tagging as part of the updated upload experience. This will save creators a ton of time since they will no longer need to trim or add filters in an external app before posting to Instagram. 

You will still have access to a preview of your video available to be displayed on your feed. Regardless of how long your video is, you will be able to find it in the Instagram Video tab instead of the IGTV tab. From the video tab, viewers will be able to access all of your video content, whether you have a preview on your feed or not. Instagram reels will still have a separate tab remain on its own. All your IGTV videos posted before this update will be safe and available in the new Instagram Videos tab from now on. Instagram’s goal with these changes will be a more streamlined video experience. The Reels will continue to be separate from Instagram Video, so no need to worry about that changing as well.

Take advantage of videos and reels on Instagram. With all of these new updates and features, you can only imagine that Instagram will continue to grow as a video platform and be a large competitor against TikTok and Youtube’s YouTube Shorts. As Instagram keeps evolving and bringing new updates, your strategy should evolve and adapt as well. 

How to Garner a Targeted Audience on Social Media

The key to operating a successful social media account is to be intentional with everything.

We all want to grow our social audience, with not just a general audience but a targeted audience.

Because, what’s the point in operating a coffee roaster’s social media account and garnering followers who don’t even like coffee?

We, as professionals, can use so many social media tactics to maximize our engagement and build our list of followers who support our mission and business.

Here are the top four tips we’ve compiled to build an audience that will strengthen your engagement and lead to a sale or new client.  

Utilize tailored hashtags

Hashtags are so important on all social media platforms these days…yes, even on Facebook. 

If you want to grow a niche audience, one of the easiest ways to do so is to use a handful of targeted hashtags in your captions. 

Using the coffee roasters example again, search the most popular coffee-related hashtags in your search bar and use the top five, but only if the hashtags make sense to the content you are posting. Remember, be intentional. 

When you use those top hashtags, your content will be included in a feed featuring only coffee content where coffee enthusiasts will be skimming through. 

Follow similar accounts

Often, people are nervous about following similar social media accounts, but this is where you can grow your network and garner new ideas. 

Maybe the account isn’t exactly a competitor, but successful niche social media accounts are usually followed by people interested in that product, mission, or organization type. 

We tend to underestimate how often people follow the followers of their favorite social media accounts, so be intentional about who you follow and aim to only follow accounts similar to your brand.

Engage with other accounts

Spreading a little love in the form of a like and comment on accounts that you follow will be appreciated. The followers on the accounts you engage with will take notice of your interactions and likely click on your account to see what it’s all about.

Engaging in a meaningful way with other accounts is a great way to build genuine connections, leading to garnering more followers who support your brand. 

Optimize social media handle and bio

Utilizing a social media handle that is transparent in correlation to your business and services is so important on social media. Being as descriptive and succinct as possible with your handle could help you build that targeted audience you desire. 

If a person comes across your handle and it’s descriptive of your niche, the social media user will likely snoop around on your page and possibly give you a follow. 

When it comes to the bio on the social media accounts you manage, it’s imperative to be as descriptive as possible in a concise way, never leaving new visitors to your accounts confused about the services your brand offers. 

Our team at TOC PR is confident that by implementing some of these tactics into your social media strategy, you will begin to build a targeted audience for your brand in no time.

Why You Need To Be Doing Newsletter Marketing

Newsletter marketing is when companies send informational and product-focused content via email to a subscriber list that comprises potential and existing customers. You might not think that email marketing is beneficial for your business, but trust us, it is! According to Statista, in 2020, the number of global email users amounted to four billion and is set to grow to 4.6 billion users in 2025. Therefore, your business needs to have an outlet like email marketing that quickly and effectively gets the word out on new products, services, or deals that you offer. Newsletters can also direct your readers over to blogs or web pages that provide them with more detail about your business.

Newsletter marketing is essential because it keeps brands on top of consumers’ minds, establishing authority and notifying readers of products that may interest them. If you’re not using email marketing, you are missing out on significant opportunities for your business.

It is so important to have additional ways of communicating with your target audience. Of course, social media is the most effective way to keep your customers engaged with your business, but what happens if suddenly you don’t have access to it? We saw this happen recently on October 4th, 2021. Without warning, Instagram and Facebook shut down altogether. If these two platforms were the only way to connect with your audience and attract clients, you would be in trouble.

The most effective way to counter this issue is to start building your email list. You might have a list of subscribers that love what you do but don’t hear from you enough, or maybe you have tried to build a list of subscribers but failed. Don’t be worried; we can help you out. Start making that email list today, no matter how difficult or time-consuming it might be. Next, find the most simple yet effective way to set up and grow your list. It can be as easy as going on social media and directing your audience to subscribe to your newsletter or creating a pop-up on your website that gives viewers an option to enter their email addresses for the newsletter. Consistency is vital when it comes to creating an email list for newsletter marketing.

What We Use to Write Our Newsletters

The easiest way to write an effective newsletter is by utilizing an online platform. Our personal favorite and the one we found most customizable is Mailchimp! Some other great platforms are Constant Contact, Mailerlite, and Campaign Monitor. Online platforms are easy to use and allow you to create newsletters that reflect your client’s brands. You can also easily manage your subscriber list and utilize segments to create different groups of subscribers. 

What to Include in Your Newsletters

Whether you use MailChimp or not, here are five things you should always include in your newsletters to make them as successful as possible:

Creative Headlines

Subject lines should both persuade the reader to open the email and correctly represent the contents of the email.

Consistent schedule

Information in the newsletter should be specific to the business and target audience and sent out in scheduled time intervals. Frequency truly depends on the brand. For example, we send ours out once a week, while some clients send it out once a month. Find the right frequency for your brand, but remember to be consistent.

Call-to-action

Newsletters should always have a desire to be performed by the reader. Therefore, we like to include buttons or links that redirect our readers to blog posts or web pages related to the content in the newsletter.

clean format

Readers need to enjoy the email visually. If the email looks scattered and uncoordinated, the reader is less likely to read the email and more likely to unsubscribe. Also, keep the information minimal. Share a snippet of your blog or content with a call to action to “read more” if applicable. We are in a day and age of short time spans; we don’t want to lose readers to too much text.

optimize newsletters for mobile

Readers are more likely to open the newsletters on their mobile phones. Therefore, you must make sure that your newsletters are optimized for smartphones and tablets. Many email marketing platforms have customizable mobile styles that take effect when someone reads the email on their phone or tablet. The default styles include font size and line-height settings that work well on a smaller screen.

Newsletter marketing allows businesses to demonstrate authority and expertise on the subject of their services and products. We make sure our newsletter marketing strategies are always attractive and informative to our subscribers so that there is a level of trust placed between us. Newsletters are imperative in taking your brand marketing to the next level.

Subscribe to our newsletter below!

Not-So-Basic Product Shots

Curious about how we take such professional-looking product shots? Don’t worry; we got you! Product shot photos look so effortless yet can be so challenging to get right. You change the way the product is sitting, change the lighting, change the angle, and change the location, yet it still might not look how you want it. However, product shots shouldn’t be difficult. Here are some quick tips for creating not-so-basic product shots.

Start with the lighting.
Lighting is the most crucial element to taking a sharp photo. Different products will require different lighting, and it’s up to you to figure out what works best for your products. You can’t go wrong with natural lighting. More times than not, natural lighting will result in an evenly lit picture. To find the best naturally lit area, keep an eye out for how the light changes throughout the day and determine when and where the light hits the best. Avoid hard light as it often makes colors look more saturated and can highlight even the most minuscule flaws.

Pro tip: If the sun begins to hide and the level of natural light drops, you can use a reflector to bounce and intensify the light around to fill shadows. A reflector can be as simple as a white foam board or any white screen.

Pick your background.
When choosing the correct background, try to be mindful of how you want the final product to look. We suggest keeping your background clean and simple. Your product must be the main focus of your photo. Your background should bring attention to your product rather than cause distraction. If you’re looking to use a backdrop, a white one is a great, clean option as it beautifully reflects the natural light; however, feel free to experiment with color that works with your brand. Depending on the size of your product, you can use anything from a large sheet of white paper, a white sheet, or a white roll of wallpaper. Also, don’t forget to make sure your backdrop is locked in place to ensure nothing moves during the photography process.

If you want your product in an actual setting it would be used in, make sure to be very specific with what you put in the shot. Every single thing seen in the photo should be on purpose and intentional! This goes for lighting and camera angle as well. The lighting, camera angle, camera distance, and everything seen in the photo all come together to create the mood and feel of your product and brand. You have complete control of this!

Equipment
Since we’ve gotten through the basics, let’s get into the camera details. You can use either a professional camera or a cell phone to get that seamless look on your product shots. When using a professional camera, you can control every single aspect of the photo through various settings. When using a cellphone, you can achieve that same high-quality image but may need to add a few filters to make it appear as if a professional camera took it. Don’t be afraid to mess with your camera or cell phone settings, but be cautious not to over-adjust them. Remember, you can always go in later and add those edits or filters to make the shot pop! We also recommend using a tripod or other stable foundation to reduce the chance of having blurry or tilted photos. 

Taking the photo
Don’t be scared to be creative with the product positions and camera angles; you want everything to stand out. You’ll most likely have to adjust things throughout the shoot, but practice makes perfect. Take lots of photos from various angles, making a note of the settings you used and what they produced. Take time between different angles to review the images to see if you need to adjust any settings.

Be sure to tag us in your product photos and show us what you created. Follow us on Instagram @TOCPublicRelations for more ideas for content creation!