Helpful Tips to Maximise Your Instagram Strategy

Helpful Tips to Maximise Your Instagram Strategy

Online Presence

Having a foolproof Instagram strategy is fast becoming an integral part of your brands online presence. Instagram is the second most used platform in Ireland, directly after Facebook, with 56% of Irish accounts browsing Instagram on a daily basis.

Instagram Strategy

Instagram has transformed a great deal since its inception back in 2010, from a run-of-the-mill social media platform to a major digital marketing channel. Updates to the app in the past few years have added several valuable tools for business accounts to improve their Instagram Strategy

Helpful Tips to Maximise Your Instagram Strategy

Instagram Stories

Following suit from the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram rolled out their own take on stories in 2016 and it has since become a much loved feature of the app by business and personal accounts alike. Stories provide a fun and engaging way to build awareness around your brand, drive traffic to your website and create relationships with your followers. Instagram stories can be created by tapping the camera icon on the top left corner of your home page or by tapping the add symbol on your profile picture from your profile. From there on, making your story is a similar process to posting an image on your profile, but with a number of additional features such as the ability to add interactive stickers, animated gifs and links, and don’t worry, you can still use your favourite photo filters on your stories!

Instagram Stickers

Adding stickers to your Instagram stories is a great way of creating engagement with your followers. Some notable ways to make use of stickers include:


• Starting a Q&A session with your audience using the question sticker

• Adding some humour to your story content with emojis and animated gifs

• Starting a conversation with your followers through polls


As is the nature of story based content, Instagram stories only remain live for 24 hours on the stories feed. However, you can pin your favourite stories to the highlights section of your profile, so you followers can view it indefinitely.

Instagram insights page
live video on instagram

Instagram Insights

Insights is Instagram’s native analytics feature that allows business accounts to see data on the performance of their account as well as the demographics and behaviour of the people interacting with their profile. Although at this time Instagram’s in-app analytical capabilities can be quite limited, it is an extremely useful tool for getting an overview into your account’s performance in order to adapt your current Instagram strategy.

There are three different ways you can use Insights:


• To see your profile’s Insights overall for the most recent period, tap the bar chart icon on the upper right corner of your Instagram profile. This provides you with a summary of the content you’ve posted, the number of followers you have gained, your total reach, your total impressions and your number profile views for the past 7 days. From here you can also see a break down of your audience demographic information in terms of age range, gender, top locations and the time at which they are most active.


• To look at statistics for individual images including its reach and impressions, tap the “View Insights” link in the bottom left corner of the relevant post.


• To view the performance of an active Story and to see the people that have watched it, open the Story and tap the profile pictures in the bottom left corner of the screen.


Instagram Product Tags

Instagram is fast becoming a key factor to E-Commerce success, with 30% of users purchasing a product after first spotting it on Instagram. From just a quick glance at your recommended posts feed, it’s evident that some of the top performing posts on the platform are product centred images.


Product tags are a particularly powerful tool for E-Commerce. They allow verified “Shoppable” accounts to add a shopping bag button to the corner of their images. Followers can tap these posts to reveal pop-ups with details about the products featured in the image. Tapping these pop-ups shows further details on the product with a Shop Now button, which brings your followers directly to the corresponding product page on your E-Commerce website, where they can add the item to their cart and check out.

Enable Product Tags

To enable Product Tags, your Instagram account first needs to meet certain criteria: 


• Your Instagram account must be converted into a business profile.


• Your Instagram must be connected to a Facebook page with a Shopping Catalogue, which can be created and managed using Catalog Manager or E-Commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce.


• You must comply with Instagram’s Merchant Agreement and Commerce Policies.


Previously, this feature was only available to accounts based in the US but as of this year, Irish accounts can also get in on the action. Now is a great time for Irish businesses to be early adopters of this powerful Instagram tool.



The popularity of the “Stories” format has shifted ideas of how people watch video. With the number of people watching videos on mobile increasing every year, 96% of mobile video consumption is now viewed vertically. Instagram reacted to this by releasing IGTV for longer form vertical video content last year. The length of your IGTV uploads depends on your number of followers, for most people this means 10 minutes but accounts with a large following can have episodes as long as one hour!


When creating content for IGTV, it is important to keep in mind what Instagram based this platform on – Television viewing. Viewers seek out content that provides entertainment or value to them on IGTV, just as they would while watching television. It is still early days for IGTV, and finding content that your audience will truly love will take some experimentation, but some content that has proved popular thus far include:


• Tutorials and product demonstrations

• Updates from company events such as conventions and social gatherings

• Interviews with experts and people of interest

• Giving in dept answers to queries that have been posed from a Q&A sticker on an Instagram story.

• Episodic sketches and shows


With Instagram’s current toolkit of business centred features, now is the perfect time to get your brand’s Instagram strategy in shape. If you’re looking for any further advice on improving your social media channels, our Digital Marketing Manger Jonathan is here to help.


Márla Communications are recognised as a top Email & Marketing Automation Company on DesignRush.

How Digital Marketing Changed Branding

Digital Marketing and Branding

How Digital Marketing Transformed Branding

How Digital Marketing has Transformed How We Think about Branding

Branding and Advertising

Throughout the 1980’s and into the 1990’s, the approach to branding and advertising was largely prescriptive – we agreed on brand positioning and target market, agreed budgets, developed a communication plan….and then rolled the campaign out to agreed platforms including TV, Radio, Outdoor and Print (newspapers, magazines, bus wraps). Digital Marketing wasn’t even a “thing” at this point.

What is so interesting looking back at this process, is that the ‘marketing communication’ work was more or less completed before even one consumer interacted with the brand. Certainly there would be follow up consumer feedback, brand awareness measures, readership and listenership figures review, but it is fair to say that once the campaign was launched, the input from marketing was minimal.

Old Marketing

I recently read an article which captured ‘old marketing’ very succinctly:

• The brand was developed

• The brand was prepared

• The brand was presented (to the market)

The control of the brand and the communication rested totally in the hands of the brand owner/agency. Potential consumers/users were ‘presented’ with the brand and could chose to accept or deny its proposition. But they could never really interact or engage with the brand in a meaningful way.

Vintage Coca Cola Newspaper Ad
Marketing done the old fashioned way!

The Onset of Web and SEO

Move forward five years to 2000; while the world of on-line communication was just beginning to be appreciated, no one had any real comprehension of the impending desruptive influence that that digital would bring to the world and branding. Companies were beginning to understand the importance of web and SEO to a lesser extent, but many wondered if it would ‘stick’.

Companies were beginning to understand the importance of web and SEO

SEO | Search Engine Optimisation Effectiveness
The onset of web and SEO

Integrated Digital Marketing

Enter the Integrated Digital Marketing sensation of today – the most revolutionary, consumer-centric, iterative marketing communication mechanism ever. Post 2004, with the advent of “proper” social media channels, better internet speeds and e-commerce, the digital age exploded.

From a branding perspective, the biggest impact was the change in brand ownership – this shifted from companies to consumers; a brand was no longer a visual entity with which we hoped the customer would connect, but a piece of their everyday lives that they could engage with at a much deeper level than ever before. Through social networks, with Facebook and Twitter taking the lead, ‘everyday consumers’ created a brand dialogue that was candid, fresh and like nothing the world had seen before. Suddenly the world had a platform to share their opinions and their brand experiences – both good and bad.

Suddenly the world had a platform to share their opinions and their brand experiences – both good and bad.

The World of Corporate Brand Engagement

The world of corporate brands responded to the world of digital a little more slowly than the general public, perhaps driven by the illusion that engaging meant loss of brand control; it didn’t take them long to realise that there really was no choice here; it was a matter of engaging or becoming irrelevant. Most prudent companies chose engagement.

The obvious next question is…”so if Digital Marketing is so powerful, how come so many companies don’t see the benefit of it?”

Integrated Digital Marketing
Enter the Integrated Digital Marketing sensation of today.

Marketing Communications Agency

As a marketing communications agency in business since 2006, we have worked with our clients through the transition from ‘traditional only’ marketing to digital marketing; we have seen what works and doesn’t work from a digital perspective. We have helped our clients get significant returns on their digital investment through a process of campaign development, implementation and adaptation. Two of the most important factors in understanding and maximising the investment from digital marketing are (1) Target Marketing Profiling and Segmentation and (2) Key Word research, analysis, understanding and application. Get those elements right, and the return on investment will follow.

Google Analytics and Keywords
Analytics and keywords

Where to go with Digital?

With so many companies unsure about where to go next in their digital journey, we have decided its time to dispel some of the digital myths, time to provide some insight and guidance to companies seeking to take the next step. Every month, we will take an important element of digital marketing, and explain how to approach this in a simple, yet effective way.

Next Month’s Feature: Profiling your Target Market

Márla Communications 10 year Competition Winner!

Competition Winner

Huge congratulations to Life Kitchen, the Márla competition winner of our €2,500 prize fund competition with over 47% of the total votes! Many thanks again to all who voted, entered the competition and to our 4 finalists Dessert First, Excel Promotions and Aoife Hearne Dietitian!


We look forward to starting work soon with Life Kitchen!

Life Kitchen Brand Design

Winners Podium

Márla Communications 10 year Competition Finalists

Márla Communications Competition Finalists

Márla Communications Competition Finalists have been chosen! We are delighted to announce that the four finalist include Aoife Hearne – Dietitian, Life Kitchen, Dessert First and Excel School Uniforms.

Thank You

Thank you again to all the businesses who entered and to our 10 year Competition Finalists. It was humbling to see the response to this endeavour online and by word of mouth. To say we have been 10 years as Márla is a pleasure. Working with amazing clients is a double pleasure!

Competition Finalists

You can read each finalists entry by clicking on the company’s logo, you can then vote for your favourite campaign. The company with the most votes will win a prize fund of €2,500!

Prize Fund

The overall winner will be treated to a €2,500 prize fund of our services, which could be a big help to their existing business plan.

Excel Promotions Brand Design

Video: The soon to be King of Social Media Content

Video: The soon to be King of Social Media Content

Social media can be a strange beast. Constantly changing, ever evolving – sometimes it is incredibly hard to keep up with these seemingly endless edits. Ever evolving, the latest trends and facts seem to indicate a major shift in how content will be shared in the coming years. Enter video!

According to a report by Cisco, by 2019:

• Video will account for 80% of global internet traffic

• Nearly a million minutes of video will be shared every second

• It would take an individual 5 million years to watch the all the video that will be shared each month

5 million years eh….

These stats are staggering and very much a wake up call for the current direction of how Designing for digital (and designing in general) is going to have to “join or die” with this trend. Remember not so long ago when Facebook’s interface was simply post a bit of text, maybe add an image and don’t expect a like… mainly because the like button wasn’t conceived yet.

Things quickly changed

Now Facebook along with its peers connect you so intimately with your audience, that one on one dialogue with clients and potential clients is second away. What works with video through social media is that it is quick to digest and easy to flick through (to the best bits), a lot harder to do when reading a long piece.

It would take an individual 5 million years to watch the all the video that will be shared each month


Commercially this is revolutionary.

Just think about all the hassle a business would have had to go through to get your attention? Flyer drops, posters, direct mails… not that these are not made redundant and useless.

It is because they have become a secondary support material to the power of digital marketing. Where printed material would work very effectively for example is through targeted direct mailers to very specific clientele who could possibly be looking for your service.

According to data from Facebook:

• Video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the U.S.

• Overall the amount of video from people and brands in News Feed has increased 3.6 times year-over-year

• More than 50% of people who visit Facebook in the U.S. every day watch at least one video


Using Facebook on your mobile right now looks almost like looking at Snapchat story for example with the amount of videos you see showing up. Snapchats method of giving you a direct feed to your favourite brands and bloggers is slowly being adopted by the other SM giants.


Stats all point to a very content rich future of social media usage.

Will the paradigm shift lean fully towards an almost fully “Live” social sphere? Perhaps the Oculus Rift and the virtual social presence will make sure that the perquisite will have to be live, supported by content rich videos.

Will the paradigm shift lean fully towards an almost fully “Live” social sphere?


Within the last year we have begun to develop bespoke videos in house here at Márla Communications. These videos stemmed from the effective visual communication efforts seen through static infographics. We loved how static infographics got across a large message fast, and when they were animated, it really was effective. However, we also wanted something that half and half an advert and infographic.

In-house production

At Márla, we have developed numerous ‘motion adverts’ for clients that were roughly around thirty seconds long. The videos ranged from animations, to slow play image based descriptive pieces. Below are examples of some videos we have developed.


Ultimately, we are hoping we have started to at least get our finger on the pulse of this giants jugular. If you want to keep a razors edge on whats new and what will ‘win’ in social media, I recommend checking out Gary Vaynerchuck… that’s if you have the energy!