Approximately one billion people use Instagram every month, spending an average of 28 minutes per day in 2020. A lot goes into using Instagram to market a brand or business, from responding to comments & DMs, to regularly sharing updates on Instagram Stories and collaborating with other brands and influencers. Luckily, there are plenty of free tools out there that can help you deliver amazing content quickly without the worry of spending lots of money. Here are the best free Instagram marketing tools that you should consider trying.
Photo Editing Apps
The image quality and creativity on Instagram has certainly improved over the last ten years. With more people and businesses focusing on high quality, eye-catching imagery, it’s definitely worth using one of the many free Instagram marketing tools for editing your images.
VSCO has been around for some time, and is by far one of the best photo editing apps on the market. Editing options include your traditional brightness, clarity, saturation, and so on. Or, you can choose to use VSCO’s range of presets (custom filters). It’s a simple, easy to use editing app that can really help you create an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed. The free version of this app does restrict your access to the presets. Try using the app for free, and if you love it, it might be worth investing in the yearly fee!
Another popular option is Snapseed, a photo editing app developed by Google. Similar to VSCO, Snapseed offers your regular editing capabilities, including professional-level editing features such as white balance and curves. If you’re looking to remove blemishes or small mistakes from your photo, the healing tool is particularly useful for removing small objects.
If you’re after a bold, bright and colourful Instagram feed, then A Color Story is the editing app for you. There are over 400 filters designed by top photographers and creators across the world, and over 100 effects, including flares and blend mode. Not all filters and effects are available for free - you do need to pay a small one-off amount for some effect packages. The app’s newest feature, Touch Tools, allows you to use your finger to draw on the screen exactly where you want to make an edit (i.e. brighten, sharpen etc).
Canva For Graphics
Creating documents and social media tiles in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with how these programs work. One of the best free Instagram marketing tools to create stylish designs is Canva.
There are endless ready-made templates to choose from. Or, you can start from scratch and customise your designs with your own flare. Create amazing Instagram feed and stories tiles with the large collection of fonts, stock images and illustrations. Canva is available as a desktop and an app. Using a tool like Canva to create templates and designs helps to keep the brand aesthetic and social post style consistent, especially if you are sharing quotes or advertising a sale/new product.
Storyluxe & Unfold For Insta Stories
You can certainly use Canva to create beautiful Instagram story templates, but there are quite a few Instagram marketing tools available specifically for Stories.
Storyluxe and Unfold are perfect options for creating simple, elegant templates. Both of these apps are packed with free (and premium) templates, including polaroid & instant film, ripped paper and classic designs. Both offer similar template options. Storyluxe probably offers slightly more creative template designs, and even offers templates dedicated to an event (for example, Valentine’s Day).
Preview For Grid Aesthetics
When someone lands on your Instagram profile, the first thing they will see is your feed. If you would like your business or brand to have a clear aesthetic and well-curated feed, then we highly recommend using a visual planner app like Preview. You can load your current Instagram feed so you can see what has already been posted, and plan what you would like to post next. There are photo editing features in Preview if you choose to use them. You can also schedule your posts through the app by setting a day and time, however, the app does not automatically post the images for you, rather it sends you a notification to do so yourself.
Instagram metrics are a must if you want to track your account’s performance. The easiest way to do this is by making use of the native insights Instagram Insights tool on Instagram. What it does is offer you the basic statistics like follower demographics, engagement levels and audience growth. You can also see what days and times you should be posting based on your follower activity. If you don’t have the resources or time to try additional paid tools, Instagram Insights is a great starting point.
Social Media Scheduling
There are plenty of scheduling tools on the market, all offering different things. Some, like Later, is particularly good for Instagram if you’d like to see the layout of your posts; Hootsuite is good for scheduling across multiple channels, and platforms like AgoraPulse are great for providing in-depth analytics. Many of the accounts, like Hootsuite, are free if you’re managing a maximum of 3 social profiles, and have just 1 user. Outside of that, you will need to pay. We love Sprout Social & Agorapulse, both offering a number of additional features like social listening, insights, and scheduling content across all social media platforms. However, the cost of use these tools can be quite high. If you are just getting started with Instagram (and Facebook), it might be best looking into marketing tools that are free first, and seeing which one you like best. Facebook’s in-built Creator Studio is free, and allows you to manage and measure your content across Instagram and Facebook, as well as schedule stories and IGTV posts.
Want More Instagram Marketing Tools Recommendations From Our Team?
There’s certainly no shortage of free and paid Instagram marketing tools, so if you are interested in any other recommendations, feel free to get in touch! We can also work with you to create organic and paid social media growth strategies using visually appealing imagery or video and captivating copy, and help you with managing your channels as well.