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October’s Latest Updates on Instagram!

It’s already October, and Instagram has been making some major changes these past few months. So let’s catch you up to all the major changes you need to know, and help you grow your account!

August/September Changes on Instagram: 

  1. New Shopping Options: Instagram added Product Tagging for Business Profiles on Instagram Stories. You can now tag a direct link to a product page, improving your ROI and Conversion rates.
  2. See your Friends Online: Instagram now lets you know when their friends are online through their direct message feature, similar to the features on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
  3. Polls in Direct Messages: Polls have been a huge sucess on Instagram Stories, it makes it easier to get both social proof and engagement. Now you can use them in Direct messages, sending them to an individual or to a group.
  4. Verified Badge: Instagram is testing a new in-app form to apply for the coveted blue verified checkmark. Although they are only offering it as a beta test, you can see if you have the ability to apply, go to “Settings” and see if you have the “Request Verification” option.
  5. New Time Management Tools: Instagram has a new activity dashboard, you can find it under “Settings” tab, and it will show you how much time you’ve used the app per day, or by week. You can also set alerts for usage, so you can better manage your time on the app.

We hope these updates were helpful. Understanding and using these features can help you grow your Instagram Account!

Instagram Updates You Need to Know!

In 2018 Instagram has made some major changes, let’s play catch up and go over the changes you need to know to help grow you account!

Major Changes on Instagram in 2018: 

  1. IGTV: Instagram TV allows you to create and upload videos up to an hour long and share them on the regular Instagram App, or the new Instagram TV app.
  2. Question Stickers for Instagram Stories: Question Stickers allow you to ask your followers questions, create polls, ask for feedback. Users who view the story can reply to the questions, and you’ll be able to see all their responses privately. If you choose, you can share these responses publicly within the Stories feed. It’s a great way to boost engagement!
  3. New Mute Feature: This feature allows you to “Mute” a follower from your feed, essentially you won’t see their content any longer, but you won’t officially “unfollow” them.
  4. CTA Button Options: Instagram added 4 Call to Action buttons. Book, Reserve, Start Order, and Get Tickets. You can now do these actions directly instead of having to take the potential customer to your website.
  5. Video Chat in Direct Messages: You can now have a video chat in direct messages. You can chat with one person, or up to 4 in a group. The feature works similarly to FaceTime, and allows you to connect more personally.

We hope these updates were helpful. Understanding and using these features can help you grow your Instagram Account!

5 Tips for Hashtags on Instagram!

In 2018 Instagram has made a lot of changes on how they search, view, and rank Hashtags. Since their algorithm is constantly changing it makes it hard to keep up. So we’ve compiled an updated list of the Top 5 Tips on how to use Hashtags on Instagram.

5 Top Updates/Tips for Hashtags on Instagram: 

  1. Following Hashtags: You can follow hashtags, instead of having to search for them, allowing that hashtags top posts to come in your feed. This is giving hashtags more exposure on Instagram.
  2. Specific and Relevant Hashtags: Be specific, now Users can mark posts that are irrevelant in their hashtags feed as “Don’t Show for this Hashtag.” If you receive too many of these Instagram will start ignoring your account for those Hashtags.
  3. Adding Hashtags to your Stories: You can now use Instagram hashtags within your Instagram Stories. It will give your content another way to be discovered by a new audience.
  4. Posting Hashtags in Content: It is best to post your hashtags within the Content Text of your post. Instagram seems to be reducing exposure, sometimes even ignoring hashtags that are placed in comments section.
  5. Mix your Hashtags: Change your Hashtags often in posts to avoid “Spammy” Behavior. If Instagram sees that you are using the same group of hashtags again and again, it will began to ignore them.

We hope these tips were helpful, and we will continue to keep you updated.

5 Tips for Growing Instagram!

Instagram adds new features and changes its platform almost every month. They made some major changes in July, and you might have seen some of the new features they added Instagram Video Chat, Channels, and adding Music to Stories.

It’s really hard to keep up, and since we work with clients of all stages, sizes and industries we are privileged to see the latest best practices. Our expert team has Summarized 5 Updated Tips to help you grow your Instagram Accounts

5 Updated Tips on Instagram: 

  1. Mix up your Hastags: Change your Hashtags in every post to avoid “Spammy” Behavior. Do not use the same hashtags consecutively.
  2. Use Instagram Stories: Its the fastest growing feature on Instagram, and over 300 Million accounts use the feature daily!
  3. Place Hashtags in your Content: Instagram seems to be often ignoring hashtags that are placed in the comment section, thinking they are spam. It is best to post your hashtags within the Content Text of your post.
  4. Comment Longer than 3 Words: Instagram seems to be ignoring comments that are shorter than 3 words. Longer comments will boost you in the engagement algorithm.
  5. Use Instagram Stories Questions, Polls, and Comments: This new feature allows you to ask your audience questions, create a poll, or take comments. Its a great way to boost engagement!

We hope these tips were helpful, and we will continue to keep you updated.

IMPORTANT METRICS OF ECOMMERCE

The 3 most important metrics of Ecommerce

1-Acqusition Cost- The amount it takes to you to acquire a customer. This is measured by how much you are paying per click divided by the number of people purchasing. Your goal should be to decrease this metric! Ways to decrease this cost are:

-Improving your content, make sure there is a clear call to action. Do you have visually engaging content? Is your landing page mobile friendly?

-Making sure that you are bidding for the right keywords. Stop bidding on keywords that are not converting or adjust the bids to reflect their conversion rate. If a word is generic bid lower. For long tail keywords after testing, you can bid higher if you know they will convert

-Develop a process to stay in front of the customer. It takes an average of 3 interactions with a customer to convert. Set up retargeting and relevant e-mail content.

2-Average Order Value- This is the average $ amount a customer orders per order. The higher this is the better. The more $ you can afford to market to them. You can increase this by offering bundles and savings for multiple products at checkout.

3-Lifetime Value of Customer- Defining this and Increasing this is the holy grail of marketing. When you know how much an average customer is worth to you, you know how much money you can spend to attract them. For example: If your average customer buys 3 shirts a year at $150.00 each and your average customer sticks around for 2 years they will have ordered $900.00 worth of goods from you. If your cost is $300.00 plus shipping of $50.00 that customer is worth $550.00 to you in gross profit. Then you can figure out an average overhead it costs you for each item. In this case let’s say it costs you $50.00 per item. You now have $500.00 left. That means that if you can keep your Acquisition cost less than $500.00 you will be in the green if you can sustain the cash flow. For cash flow you should look at the 6 month value of a customer if you are a small business. See how much of the LTV is done in six months and try to keep your acquisition cost less than it.

Reselling vs. Private Label

With the changing business landscape, where should small online merchants go?

RESELLING:

Many small businesses would go into reselling in order to capitalize on existing brand equity. This sounded like a good idea because it seems easy to drive traffic to brands that already have people searching for them. This has become tougher and tougher because of:

1-Lack of information/pricing disparity: 10 years ago, if someone came into your retail store you could educate a consumer on the features of your product and command a premium price. Currently you have to compete with every merchant in the world at the click of a button. Regardless of the seasonality of your product, the liquidity issue of others you all have to compete on the same item. With marketplaces like Amazon that aggregate the SKU everyone competes on one SKU.

2-Disappearing competitive advantage-If you are reselling the same SKU, what can you compete on? Fast Shipping, Good customer service, quality products, price? All these factors are becoming more and more standard. In the early 2000’s before paypal.com the customers expectation was to get their product in two weeks. They would wait for a check to clear for 7 business days! Can you imagine that now? Customers are irate after 3 business days wondering what kind of schmuck you are. The largest factor when you are reselling is PRICE. This leads to a race to the bottom of the barrel. This is exactly what you don’t want to go.

3-Advertising Economies of Scale- Public companies and small business’ use different methods of calculating ROI’s on their advertising. A large company like Amazon can looks at the lifetime value of a customer in a very different way. Because of their huge flywheel of product they have a larger flywheel. They can look at a customer who is buying a shirt as someone who will also buy diapers, toilet paper and toothpaste. A large company will look at the purchase of an item like:

Purchase $100.00-Advertising Cost $200.00+Lifetime Value $10,000=$9,900.00 profit

They can also finance the loss per sale thereby bidding up the advertising on google and other venues to above the profit that can be gained on one sale. This is difficult for small business’ to finance. The $100.00 loss of cash flow on the initial sale times by 10,000 customers turns out to be $1,000,000. A public company can report this cash loss to shareholders and account for the loss in cash flow by offsetting it with lifetime value. A small business can’t finance the short term cash flow loss in order to capture the lifetime value.

4-Brand control- Bigger brands are becoming stricter and stricter with MAP guidelines and where you can sell their product. Why build someone else’s business who can tell you what price and where to sell?

PRIVATE LABEL

1-Brand Equity-Instead of building someone else’s brand equity, you are building your own. Even though this is a slower and tougher process, it’s worth it. You can eventually sell your brand equity for a large multiple because you own the goodwill of the brand.

2-Profit margin-Because you aren’t competing with everyone else on the exact same SKU you don’t have to race to the bottom you can control your pricing. You also don’t have distributors and other layers so you can capture most of the profit.

3-Advertising-This is the tricky part of building your own brand. People won’t be searching for you initially. You have to have some ingenuity here to create a unique product, branding and get eyeballs to your product. We will be publishing more blogposts regarding that.

4-Control-You can control where you sell it and who sells it. If you don’t want to have competitors you don’t need to find any resellers. You can sell on any marketplaces you want and at the pricing you want.

With these factors above in mind, choose carefully where you want invest your precious investment and intellectual capital.

Good luck selling,
JCG Team