Let’s face it. The hardest part of social media marketing, especially on Instagram, is finding that almost impossible balance between quality and frequency of content. You want your pics to win a Pulitzer Prize and your videos to spellbind like a Fellini flick. Meanwhile, you’re a startup CEO and all you’ve got is an iPhone and a whole lotta deadlines. We know you’ve got the creativity and vision. All you need is a little help in the tech department. That’s where you’ll find an incredible stash of apps that can instantly organize your efforts while offering your content the sophistication and polish it needs—minus the extra five hours a night in post-production. Below, you’ll find the five apps you need to take your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level.

Enlight

Tired of choosing between the same three IG filters? Yeah, yeah—consistency is essential for branding on social media. But let everyone else opt for Clarendon. With Enlight, finding that elusive look and feel that encapsulates your company and its mission no longer requires forking out thousands to a professional.

Even with the free version of the app, you’re able to:

  • experiment with 22 different dramatic filters, each of which can be tweaked through a vast amount of component dials
  • add light effects as well as a customizable vignette shape around the subject
  • overlay texts, shapes, stickers, and more
  • combine separate image layers to mashup scenes or textures

That brand consistency we were talking about? You’ll still get that. The difference? Your pics and vids won’t look like everybody else’s.

Clips

Boomerang is cool and all, but, really, how many different ways can you loop that vid of you spinning back and forth on your office chair? With Clips, you can turn a shoe-tying how-to into a comic book adventure. Offering 15 different video filters ranging from color to black and white to ink drawing, Clips helps you create your own branding universe. And when you’re looking for something quicker and more endearingly amateurish, you can overlay posters, labels, and emojis.

You can also mix mediums by combining video clips and still photos—for example, you could create a photo booth effect by inserting still frames throughout your impromptu hat modeling session. And text overlays work for both pics and vids, so it’s kind of like Snapchat for professional marketers.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can add some serious polish via text titles and music overlays. Clips offers equal parts candid and professional, and if you prefer the latter, you’ll be able to create some infotainment with just enough fun for your social media followers to stay engaged.

Focalmark

So you’ve got the perfect IG photo or video ready to go viral, then suddenly you remember you need some hashtags, and you need them pronto! Part of any solid IG strategy is to already have an architecture of brand hashtags in place, but what if you’re just getting started? Or what if the tags you’ve been using haven’t worked? Focalmark provides a straightforward solution where you choose the style of your post, the location you took the photo or video, and the camera you used.

The Style function lets you choose from dozens and dozens of categories that describe the essence of your post—Business, City Life, Food, etc. Many of these categories offer subcategories; Business, for instance, let’s you opt for Entrepreneur, Startup, or Business. In the Location option, you can choose from cities around the globe, though this particular function only offers major US cities (presumably the same for the rest of the world).  The Camera option allows you to pick from 24 different cameras, both traditional and mobile phone-based.

After you’ve entered all three criteria, Focalmark will then populate about 30 or so hashtags that are a mix of the Style, Location, Camera options. You can then copy this string of tags to IG directly, or to your clipboard.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the tags Focalmark generates are almost explicitly large-volume tags driven by millions and millions of IG user activity. This is a fantastic beginning point for testing the IG waters and understanding where your market niche falls within the vast IG hashtag universe. A more complete tag strategy would incorporate a range of user volumes, from the 1,000,000+ Focalmark generates, to half of that, or even a quarter or less. But Focalmark serves both the novice and the advanced IG user convinced they’ve got viral-ready content.

Later

Whether you’ve got the hang of things just yet, organization is vital to a successful IG strategy—you don’t want to have large time gaps between posts, or content that is too repetitive or even too unrelated. That’s why Later designed an IG scheduling app, where you can build all of your IG content (images, captions, tags, etc) then organize each post into a visual content calendar in order to assess your overall IG aesthetic.

Better yet, the app’s pricing begins at a Forever-Free tier which provides:

  • access to one user
  • up to 30 IG posts per month
  • basic analytics
  • a Search & Repost function that lets you easily find user-generated content within your IG community
  • unlimited media storage

There is, however, two caveats with the free version:

  1. You can’t post any videos. But, with all of your photo content arranged strategically, there’s no reason you won’t be able to accommodate manually creating a video post when it’s time.
  2. IG scheduling here means merely that you’ve got a visual content calendar, and that Later will message you when it’s time to post every scheduled post. Only the three premium business versions offer the auto-posting feature.

Nonetheless, Later allows IG users of all experience levels to build out a comprehensive IG strategy, while also saving users a tremendous amount of time. You are running a startup, after all.

 

Ready for Next-Level Strategies?

At tekMountain, our innovation and entrepreneurial center buzzes daily with talk of social media strategy, and with every startup, the approach is different. Whether it’s your industry, the nature of your product, your location, the variables are endless when it comes customizing your IG strategy. That’s why we stay on top of all the latest and greatest tech that can help you spend your marketing time more efficiently, so that your main focus can remain daily operations.

 

Contact tekMountain today to learn how your startup can take its IG strategy to the next level.

 

This blog was produced by the tekMountain Team of Sean AhlumAmanda SipesKelly Brown, Elyssa Miller and Bill DiNome with lead writer Zach Cioffi.

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