The best tools for Instagram marketing can help streamline the Instagram marketing process in several ways. Tools like Hootsuite, Canva, and Google Analytics can help you understand your analytics, get new clients, and grow your brand. Every marketer needs good tools and with Instagram marketing tools, free options can be just as good.
These are just the top tier of Instagram marketing tools – the best Instagram marketing tools – but there are plenty out there. Several of the services I’m going to talk about below I would recommend to every new marketer. Even if you’re a more advanced digital marketer who’s been working for a while without them, you should consider picking these up.
Every tool serves a unique purpose, which I’ll go into more detail about below. But it’s important that you know there is a tool that can help you somewhere in your process. There’s a wide breadth of utilities out there for Instagram marketers, and at least one can help your business.
The four major reasons to use Instagram marketing tools, free or otherwise, are: post scheduling, analytics, competitor spying, and image creation. That means tools can help you get your content plan in action, see how well it’s working, do market research, and to make everything pretty. Anyone growing a personal brand or social media marketing agency should be using these tools.
If you want your business to be more time efficient, you should be looking for the best tools for that. And if you want to keep your marketing plan more accurate to what your brand needs, you should want tools for that. Of course, you want both of those things – that’s why you clicked on an article called “Best Tools for Instagram Marketing.”
Best Instagram Marketing Tools for Scheduling
The best free Instagram marketing tools tend to be either scheduling tools or image creation tools. Scheduling tools are tools that allow you to create a post and schedule it to go out at a certain time. This is useful if you’re the type of person to plan your posts out ahead of time – which you absolutely should be. Scheduling tools make it easy to get out ahead of your post schedule with your content creation, and automate that part of the process.
I do want to note that none of these tools can actually make posts on Instagram. While scheduling tools used to be able to automate the posting entirely, the Instagram API no longer allows for that. Instead, scheduling tools will send you a notification to make a post at the set time.
Hootsuite is one of the more well known social media management tools, as the company has also become a great resource for information about social media. While it began as tools for Twitter more than anything else, it’s also one of the best Instagram marketing tools when it comes to scheduling. Hootsuite allows you to easily schedule and manage your posts, as well as offering some analytics (as I’ll discuss shortly.) Hootsuite offers several packages, starting at $30 a month.
Sprout Social is one of Hootsuite’s main competitors, and some people would consider it better. I don’t use Sprout Social much for scheduling my posts, but it certainly performs that task well. Sprout Social makes it easy to see your content calendar, as well as to schedule and queue posts. Sprout Social accounts begin at $99 a month.
Sked Social – formerly ScheduGram – brags that it is the best Instagram marketing tool for scheduling, and many people agree with them. Sked Social allows auto posting on Instagram, which can be a huge benefit. You can also use Sked Social to schedule stories, which is good if they are part of your content plan. Sked Social begins at $25 a month for 1 account, jumping to $75 if you’re managing more than that.
Best Tools for Instagram Marketing Analytics
Analytics tools are some of the most useful, best tools for Instagram marketing. Digital marketing in 2019 is all about data. Being able to read and react to your analytics is a very important skill in the modern world, as your analytics can help to guide your marketing plan. Data gives us KPIs (key performance indicators) which show what’s important, what’s working, and what isn’t. If you can interact with analytics well, you can strategize like you’ve been doing it for years.
Of course, you can’t use analytics you don’t have. That’s why analytics tools are some of the most useful on the market. Additionally, analytics tools can help you get quick reports to keep your clients up to date on how things are going. There are really 2 main tools to know about, but each is near the top of the list of the best Instagram marketing tools.
Google Analytics is one of the most well known marketing tools in general, but you might be surprised to see it on my list of the best Instagram marketing tools. However, having your Google Analytics set up can show you what is possibly the most important Instagram metric: how well is it driving traffic to your website. Before you start marketing on Instagram, you should have Google Analytics set up to see how much traffic is being sourced from Instagram.
If you want analytics reports on your actual Instagram account, Hootsuite offers the best tool for the job. Hootsuite’s analytics will give you a rundown of your engagement rates, total engagements, and how much you’ve been posting and commenting. The reports are quick but also extensive, allowing you to go back and see how (for example) stats from this month compare against last month quickly. If you move up a tier with your subscription, you can customize these reports even more.
Sprout Social and Sked Social also offer analytics tools.
Best Tools for Instagram Marketing for Competitor Spying
Beyond just understanding your own numbers, I highly recommend looking at your competitor’s, as well. Keeping in touch with your competitors and other accounts, in general, can help you learn about the health of your own marketing plans, as well as guide you in your content planning. While the name is a little war-like, competitor spying is often a part of every healthy marketer’s toolset.
So, having good tools to do so is important. Some of the best Instagram marketing tools when it comes to competitor spying used to be or also serve as analytics tools, but have since been turned around to spying. If you have experience with SEO, you might note that these are very similar to SEMRush and other tools like that.
In addition to being one of the best Instagram marketing tools for scheduling, Sprout Social is a great tool for competitor spying. Sprout Social can compare your analytics against your competitors within the service, letting you see where you’re doing better or worse than them. This is only included in higher tiers of the service, but the higher tier is generally better for agencies, anyway.
Phlanx is a great Instagram marketing tool, free of charge. While it’s not too extensive, Phlanx lets you search a competitors account and quickly pull their engagement rate and follower account. This can save you some math, and come in handy when reporting to a client.
Social Blade is most famous in the YouTube world, but it’s great for Instagram, as well. Search for an account on Social Blade and it will show all of the important public-facing metrics. This lets you track competitor’s following and engagement rate, as well as how often they’re posting. Social Blade is also a free tool.
Ninjalitics lets you analyze Instagram accounts like a ninja, and is easily the best Instagram marketing tool for getting a deep report on competitors. Ninjalitics tracks daily growth and posting, as well as other metrics like following and engagement rate. The reason it stands out, though, is that it will also track these metrics over time and quickly create graphs of them. It will also show you an accounts best posts, and compare their metrics against the calculated average.
Best Tools for Instagram Marketing for Image Creation
Beyond the backend work, Instagram marketing tools can also help with the actual creation of the post. While they are certainly no stand in for a graphic designer, there are plenty of options available to help you make your posts look a little bit better. One certainly stands out above the rest for people who aren’t graphic designers, though.
If you really want to step it up in this area, you will need to learn to design or hire a designer at some point. But when you’re just getting off the ground, these tools can help you immensely in making your brand more visual. Of course, you also need to learn how to work a camera, as well. Having good photos is key to making your Instagram look great.
Canva is the best Instagram marketing tool for image creation, at least when you need to do it quickly. For free, Canva can help you quickly create graphics and edit images from templates that help prevent rookie mistakes. Graphics made by Canva aren’t typically great, but they can pass while you wait for a designer. Canva does offer some paid features, like paid graphics and merchandising.
Adobe Creative Cloud
The Adobe Creative Cloud has 3 main services you should know about. Photoshop can help create images and edit photos, Illustrator is used to create graphics, and Premiere is used to edit video. While these are best navigated by a designer, you can do a decent job with some free learning online. Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions start at $10 a month.
Other Instagram Marketing Tools to Know About
Beyond the four main types of Instagram marketing tool, there are other smaller utilities that might help ease your workflow. While they perform more niche tasks than others, they are still some of the best Instagram marketing tools. If there are any services to start using immediately, it’s these ones.
Linktree is a service that turns the one link you have on your Instagram into a link hub. Signing up is free, and you can use the app to send people to every place you might want to send them.
WordSwag is similar to Canva, though more limited in its use. Use WordSwag to add cool looking text to images on mobile, to help spice them up a bit. This is most useful for less visual brands, like a social media marketing agency.
AutoHash is a free app that lets you do basic hashtag research, and create lists to automatically add to your clipboard and post on Instagram. This app isn’t revolutionary, but can quicken that step in your workflow by a lot.
Repost for Instagram
Repost for Instagram is a simple app that does what it sounds like it does. Copy a link into the app and it’ll give you an easy to copy image or video and caption to paste on your account, complete with a graphic showing who you got the post from. This is good for sharing content from your colleagues, users, etcetera.
So, those are some of the best Instagram marketing tools on the market. Each of them can help to ease your workflow and grow your business more efficiently and accurately. The most successful businesses use the most successful tools, and yours should be one of them.