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Marketing 360® Blog

5 New Things to Try on Instagram

Post By Robyn Rivera | Social Media Marketing

The world of social media marketing is always changing.

Things evolve at a rapid pace on social media, and that’s especially true on Instagram. It feels like Instagram is always rolling out new features and tools, so much so that it’s not always easy to keep up with.

When you branch out and try something new on Instagram, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the results you want, but you never know when something new will pay off for you. And, with so many new features being rolled out all the time, it’s easier than ever to expand and update your Instagram marketing strategy.

Not all of the features that you could be taking advantage of on Instagram are obvious or even well-known, and there are plenty of under-the-radar options that you could be using to boost your brand on Instagram. Here are just a few of them.

5 New, Not-so-Obvious Things to Try on Instagram

#1. Make your Instagram Story ads more interactive.

Instagram Story ads are a great way to connect with customers and potential customers on Instagram. Instagram has always made stories interactive with a brand’s followers, but thanks to newer interactive elements, you’ll be able to interact with everyone, your followers and non-followers alike.

One of the elements that increase interaction with your ads is the polling sticker. With one of these stickers, you can add a two-option poll, which will automatically update itself with every entry.

The longer you can encourage a potential customer to interact with your ad, the more likely they are to become a paying customer in the future. In addition to increasing how much people interact with your Instagram ads, adding a poll will make your ads stand out more while someone is catching up with new stories.

When Instagram was beta testing this interactive new feature, they saw extremely promising results. Some advertisers saw an increase in app installs by up to 40 percent and a 20 percent lower cost-per-view.

#2. Create your own AR filter.

AR, which stands for Augmented Reality, filters add layers to the world around you. One of the most popular (and hilarious) AR filters that has come out recently is the filter on Snapchat that lets you age yourself up or down. For weeks, the stories of the accounts I followed were filled with my friends’ geriatric futures, and it provided hours of entertainment.

Though you may not reach quite the popularity levels of the aging filter, Instagram now makes it possible for brands to create their own custom AR filters. Here are a few reasons why you might want to make your own:

  • Get ahead of your competition – Custom AR filters are a relatively new feature that not a lot of brands are currently taking advantage of.
  • Boost awareness of your brand – If your filter isn’t promotional, anyone can use it, even people who aren’t yet following you. And, when you include your logo or mascot in the filter, it means more and more people getting introduced to your brand.
  • Connect with your audience – With more than 500 million users engaging with Instagram Stories on a daily basis, the potential on Instagram is endless. Creating your own AR filter is just another great way to connect.

#3. Use the countdown sticker.

Did you know that you can add a countdown sticker to your Instagram Stories? Set the sticker to a future date and time, and it will countdown for you. There are lots of things you could count down to, such as the release of a new product or piece of content, or maybe to a live video stream.

Like polling stickers and AR filters, the countdown sticker helps to increase the amount of time people spend interacting with your ads on Instagram, and that’s always a good thing.

#4. Add alternative text.

In 2018, Instagram launched two new features in order to expand its accessibility to people with visual impairments. The first feature they added was automatic alternative text, which automatically creates a description for photos using object recognition technology. With this feature, visually impaired users will hear a description of an image while browsing the app.

The other feature they’ve added to increase accessibility is custom alternative text, which allows you to add more detailed alt text descriptions of your images. Not only does this feature allow you to write better descriptions for visually impaired Instagram users, but it also gives you an easy way to use relevant keywords. This will help to ensure that your posts rank for those keywords when users type them into the search bar.

#5. Hide your hashtags.

Using hashtags in both your posts and your Instagram Stories is a great way to ensure that your content is found on Instagram. When it comes to discoverability, almost nothing is more important than using hashtags, and plenty of them. However, not every brand likes the aesthetic of a bunch of hashtags in their captions, and I have to admit, it doesn’t exactly make for a clean look.

Luckily, it’s easy to harness the power of hashtags on Instagram without making your captions and stories look overly cluttered or busy. Hiding your hashtags is easy; it just takes a little bit of creativity, on occasion.

On your posts, the easiest way to hide your hashtags is to put them in the first comment of the post rather than the caption itself. This way, your caption can be dedicated solely to your message, but you’re still categorizing it with hashtags.

On Stories, the most common way that brands use hashtags is with stickers. Although there are a lot of different styles of stickers you can choose from, sometimes, hashtags just cramp your style. But, the good news is that you can hide them easily by placing them behind another sticker or other elements in your story.


There are so many things you can do to get the most out of your Instagram marketing efforts, and new features are being released all the time. If you’d like help mastering Instagram or any other social platform, visit us online today to learn about our social media marketing solutions.