NEW: Host a Personal Fundraiser on Instagram!

Have you heard? There’s a new way to fundraise on Instagram and it’s perfect for creators and small businesses! 

Instagram’s latest feature is a response to the rise of fundraisers to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And with the ability to create personal fundraisers on Facebook already available, it’s a logical next step.

In this blog post, we’re covering everything you need to know about fundraising on Instagram for your business:

Host a Personal Fundraiser on Instagram!

According to Instagram, more than $65 million has been raised for causes related to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement this year — from raising money for medical equipment to funding educational resources. 

Previously, if you wanted to raise money on Instagram, you could use the donation sticker in your Instagram Stories or raise funds on an Instagram Live — specifically for nonprofits and charities.

But with the new fundraising feature, you can now raise money for a personal cause. So what does this mean for creators and businesses?

A small business owner could fundraise for an upcoming event, to help support their staff due to COVID-19 cutbacks, or to raise funds for a fellow business-owner in need. 

Likewise, creators could raise money for a cause they support, like Danielle Coke. Her fundraising goal is to provide educators in the US with prints and posters of her allyship and anti-racism artwork.

This feature takes fundraising on Instagram to another level — and allows for an array of causes to be supported and funded.  

Instagram confirmed it will be rolled out in the US, UK, and Ireland in the coming months, alongside plans to make it easier to share fundraisers in your feed and Instagram Stories. 

If you don’t have access yet, sit tight! It could be coming your way soon. 

How to Create a Fundraiser for Your Brand or Business on Instagram 

If you have a social cause you care about and are aged 18 or over, Instagram’s new fundraising feature could be perfect for your business. 

Here’s how to get started:

Step #1: Set up Your Fundraiser

First, tap “Edit Profile”, find “Add Fundraiser”, and then click “Raise Money”. 

You’ll be prompted to select a cover photo, add a title, pick a currency, and the best category for your fundraiser. 

There are 14 fundraiser categories to choose from, including:

  • Business 
  • Community Projects and Groups
  • Crisis Relief
  • Education
  • Family
  • Hobbies, and more

After adding a description of your fundraiser, you can enter your banking information for Stripe (Instagram’s payment processor for donations). 

TIP: Treat your description as an Instagram caption — don’t rush it. It is an opportunity to tell your story, the cause’s importance, why you’re passionate about it, and to encourage donations.

Step #2: Set Up Payouts to Your Bank Account 

Now that you have your cover photo, description, and category all set, you’ll need to connect your fundraiser to a valid bank account. 

After your payment information is added and saved successfully, your fundraiser will be reviewed before it goes live. Once it’s given the green light, you’ll be able to fundraise on Instagram! 

Technically, your fundraiser will last for 30 days, but you’re allowed to extend it an unlimited amount of times. 

Once your fundraiser is live, you can promote it across your social channels. 

It should feel part of an overall content strategy, so it’s a good idea to remind your audience about the fundraiser on Instagram Stories or through the captions of your feed posts. 

You’ll be able to see who donates, along with how much they donated. 

TIP: If you have time, send everyone who donates a Direct Message thanking them for their support — this personal touch is a great way to acknowledge contributors and strengthen the sense of community around your business.  

Will you try this new feature and fundraise on Instagram? Let us know! Join the conversation on AV Digital’s Instagram account.

6 Tips For Shooting Videos Of Yourself On Your Own

How many times have you looked at your camera or phone and thought—today is the day I’ll shoot that video…

And how many times have you decided, “Eh… maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.”

🙋‍♀️*Raises their own hand*🙋‍

Shooting a video of yourself on your own is a daunting task, but we’re here to show you that it’s not as tough as you think. You can create high-quality videos at home or in your office, without fancy camera gear. Just using a phone, a quiet space, good lighting, and the right angle you can record videos that viewers will think involved a lot more fancy equipment.

Here are 6 tips for shooting videos of yourself on your own, so you can make high-quality videos for your followers, warm leads, and customers.

#1: Find a Quiet Spot

When you’re shooting video, there are 2 things you want to be most concerned with: audio and lighting. We’ll talk about lighting in Tip #2, but for now, we’ll focus on audio. Whether you have or don’t have, an external microphone—you’re going to need to make sure the environment that you’re recording is as quiet as possible.

Recording next to a window above a busy street is going to create a lot of background noise that you won’t realize exists until you’ve finished recording. That noise is distracting and gives your video a lower quality feel. By avoiding that street-side window, you’ll be able to amp up your audio, even if you don’t have the most expensive microphone on the market.

#2: Find Your Best Lighting

Aside from audio, lighting is a crucial factor for shooting videos at home. People (including you!) don’t want to watch a video of someone with loud background noise and dim lighting. It makes you feel less authoritative, weakening whatever conversion you’re trying to get from your video.

There are 2 options when it comes to lighting: find it or buy it. Natural lighting is always ideal, and natural lighting with extra lights around you is more ideal (but you don’t need that). To shoot with great lighting, find the brightest room in your home or office—this may change throughout the day—and figure out what the best time is to shoot videos. For example, the morning might be the best time or mid-afternoon. Between good lighting and audio, you’ll be able to fool anyone watching your video into thinking you have the best tech gear available… even if you’re just using your phone.

#3: Get Your Angles Right

If you’re looking down at the camera or up at the camera—your video is going to throw off the viewer. You don’t want them focusing on your chin or the top of your head, you want them looking at you just as they would if you were sitting across from them talking. Getting your angle right will ensure your video has a natural and conversational feel—which is exactly what you’re aiming for when marketing your business or products.

Tripods are by far one of the easiest video equipment to finagle at home. You can use drawers, nightstands, shelves, books, decor, etc. to prop up your camera or phone so that it’s at the perfect angle.

#4: Use The Best Camera Available To You

If you’re using a camera—then you’ve already got the best camera available to you. If you’re using a phone to record your videos, make sure to use the best camera on your device. For example, on the iPhone, the back-facing camera is the best camera. It takes better quality videos (4K) which means that’s the best camera available to you, not your front-facing camera.

Using the back-facing camera of a phone also keeps you from looking at yourself while you’re filming. You want to look at the lens of the camera while you talk—if you look at yourself on the screen your recorded video will look like you’re talking slightly away from the person watching the video.

#5: Do A Test Run

Ah, the infamous test run. The marketers who do test runs are the ones that have recorded a 10 minute (plus!) video only to find out that their angle was off, their camera was out of focus, or their microphone wasn’t turned around. And it always stings—always.

To avoid making these mistakes, do a quick test run of your video before you jump into the recording. Record for at least a minute to make sure that your lighting looks good, your audio sounds good, you are in focus, and the angle is right. Trust us on this one.

#6: Be Honest With Your Audience

If you’re usually in a studio recording high-quality videos OR if this is your first time recording videos for your audience—tell them. Being honest with your viewers, whether they’re prospective customers or paying customers builds the relationship between you and them. Instead of pretending that you’re not at home recording videos when you used to be in a fancy studio, tell them about it. Or, if this is your first few videos, tell your audience, “This is one of the first videos I’ve recorded.”

Then, ask them to give you feedback. If you’re recording videos for social media, their feedback, in the form of comments to your post, is going to boost your engagement and help them keep seeing your content (ah, the classic Facebook algorithm).

If you’re recording videos for a paid membership, asking them for their feedback on how to improve your videos is going to make them feel more attached to the final product. In both cases, you’re creating a better relationship with your followers, prospects, or customers.

We told you at the start of this article that shooting video of yourself on your own was a daunting task—but not a challenging one. Using these tips, you can record videos of yourself that have everybody fooled into thinking you’ve got the latest video tech, all while you are shooting from your bedroom.

Instagram is Expanding “Shopping” to More Businesses & Creators

Instagram is expanding its Instagram Shopping features to more types of businesses — including creators!

The announcement came alongside a slew of other updates to Instagram Shopping, including the rollout of new “Commerce Eligibility Requirements.”

According to Instagram, once the update goes into effect on July 9th, any eligible business or creator account will be able to use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Instagram is Expanding “Shopping” to More Businesses & Creators

Instagram Expands Shopping Features to Include More Small Businesses and Creators

Over the past few months, Instagram has announced several new e-commerce features to help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this update goes beyond supporting small businesses — it extends Instagram’s e-commerce features to a whole new category of users: creators.

According to the announcement, “whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line,” you can use Instagram Shopping to make sales on Instagram.

instagram extends shopping to creators

As part of this expansion of Instagram Shopping, Instagram is also adding new “Commerce Eligibility Requirements” that businesses (and now creators) must fulfill in order to qualify for Instagram Shopping.

Here are the updated requirements:

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #1: Comply With Facebook’s Policies

Firstly, your Facebook account and Page must comply with Facebook’s Terms of ServiceCommercial Terms and Community Standards, and your Instagram professional account must comply with Instagram’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

This is all pretty standard and mainly has to do with regulating the types of products and services that can be offered for sale on Facebook and Instagram.

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #2: Represent Your Business and Domain

A second requirement is that businesses can only tag products on Instagram from a website that they own and sell from.

In other words, you can’t use your Instagram account to sell another business’s products, like in affiliate marketing. Your account should only contain listings for products that are available for purchase on your website.

commerce eligibility requirements

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #3: Be Located in a Supported Market

As before, in order to use Instagram Shopping, your business must be located in a supported market.

Keep in mind that not all Instagram Shopping features will be available to supported countries. For example, Instagram Checkout is currently only supported in the United States.

You can find an up-to-date list of supported countries here.

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #4: Demonstrate Trustworthiness

Your Instagram account must also demonstrate trustworthiness, including an authentic, established presence.

According to Instagram, this may also include maintaining a sufficient follower base, although Instagram doesn’t clarify what “sufficient” means.

instagram shopping

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #5: Provide Accurate Information & Follow Best Practices

Finally, in order to qualify for Instagram Shopping, your account must provide accurate information about your products. For example, product information listed on Instagram cannot contain misleading pricing and availability information.

Your refund and return policies must also be clearly displayed and easily accessible from your website or on Facebook or Instagram.

Beyond these new requirements, Instagram also intends to update its sign-in flow to give clearer guidance to businesses.

New businesses will go through Instagram’s updated flow and existing businesses will receive an in-app notification in the coming weeks with instructions about how to comply with it.

instagram shopping

What do you think of Instagram expanding Shopping to creators and more businesses? Are you planning on using Instagram shopping tags on your posts?

Let us know in the comments!

Instagram Monetization: 6 Ways to Earn Money on Instagram

If you’ve ever thought about monetizing your Instagram account, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easier than ever in 2020.

Instagram’s continued investment in e-commerce features has opened up a world of opportunities for brands — as well as the creators who help support them.

We’re rounding up the best new features to earn money on Instagram, from Instagram Live Shopping to IGTV Ads:

Instagram Monetization: 6 Ways to Earn Money on Instagram

How to Make Money on Instagram:

This year, Instagram has been making some serious progress in the e-commerce space. From the ability to set up virtual storefronts, to having fans “tip” their favorite influencers, there’s a whole host of ways to make money on Instagram.

Here’s 6 new features that can help you monetize your Instagram account: 

Instagram Monetization #1: Sell Products With Instagram Shopping

Instagram’s first iteration of Instagram Shopping launched all the way back in 2016 as a simple product “tagging” feature. You could tag products in your posts and link them to your website where users could make a purchase.

Although the premise behind Instagram Shopping hasn’t changed much since 2016, the scope definitely has.

Today, Instagram Shopping is comprised of several features bundled into a single package: you can tag products in your organic posts and Instagram Stories, have people discover your products in Search & Explore, use insights to learn which products your community has engaged with the most, and (eventually) allow users to checkout directly from the Instagram app.

Here’s a breakdown of these features:

#1. Instagram Shopping Posts

Once you get set up with Instagram Shopping, you can start adding Shopping Tags to highlight products in your Instagram posts (including photo, video, and carousel posts).

To tag products within an Instagram post, start by uploading a photo as you normally would, and then tap “Tag Products” to tag a product from your Facebook catalog.

You can feature up to five products per image or video post, and up 20 products on multi-image (carousel) posts. You can also go back and add shopping tags to old posts on your business profile.

instagram shopping

When someone taps a Shopping Tag on your post, they’ll be taken to a product description page where they will see: an image of the product from your post, a description of the product, how much the product costs, and a link that takes them directly to your website where they can purchase the product.

instagram shopping

Instagram is also planning to launch AR experiences within product description pages, allowing users to virtually try products before making a purchase.

#2. Instagram Shopping Stories

Like with shopping posts, once you get set up with Instagram Shopping, you can start tagging products in your stories using the Shopping Sticker.

instagram shopping

Stories can feature one product sticker per story and you can adjust the color and text of product stickers.

#3. Instagram Shop

In a recent Facebook Live announcement, Mark Zuckerberg shared several new e-commerce features to support companies looking to bring their business online during COVID-19.

One of the biggest announcements was Instagram Shop, an upcoming feature that will provide a new way to discover and buy products directly within the Instagram app.

According to the announcement, Instagram Shop will begin rolling out this summer in the US, with plans to add a brand new shop tab in the navigation bar later this year, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.

You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and so much more!

But until then, you can still find and shop products on the Search & Explore page as you normally would!

instagram shopping

#4. Instagram Checkout

Released to just a handful of mega-brands in the US last year, Instagram Checkout is a highly sought after feature that allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app.

With Instagram Checkout, customers can tap to view a product from a shopping post and then continue to the payment process, all within Instagram. All they have to do is enter their name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time they check out.

It’s simple, streamlined, and probably the easiest way of converting Instagram followers into customers.

However, despite such obvious advantages, Instagram Checkout might not be for everyone.

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees may be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

And Instagram Checkout can also mean brands lose out on valuable customer data (such as emails) as all communications are handled by Instagram rather than the brand directly.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

That being said, we expect a ton of brands to use Instagram Checkout once it rolls out more widely!

Instagram Monetization #2: Create a New Revenue Stream With Shopping From Creators

Instagram’s Shopping from Creators may still be in beta testing, but it’s already causing a stir when it comes to driving sales on social!

The feature allows creators and influencers to create their own Instagram shopping posts and tag products from the brands they partner with.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

Of course, not just anyone can start tagging products from brands and reap the rewards. In order to access the feature, you first need to switch to an Instagram Creator Account, and then you need to be approved by a brand to tag their products in your posts.

Once you’ve done that, you can start tagging products in your feed posts and Instagram Stories!

Just keep in mind that Checkout doesn’t have a revenue-sharing model at the moment, so you’ll have to work out any affiliate or conversion payments as part of your influencer agreement.

On the brand side, Shopping from Creators is packed with benefits.

Not only does it make creator partner posts so much easier to shop, but it also allows you to track exactly how many product views and clicks the tagged post is attracting. This is a super useful insight into what drives engagement and (most importantly) what drives sales.

This feature is also in a closed beta, but we’re hoping it opens up this year!

Instagram Monetization #3: Build an Integrated Online Store With Facebook Shops

Facebook recently launched its biggest move into e-commerce yet: Facebook Shops!

According to Zuckerberg, the basic idea behind Facebook Shops (or Shops for short) is that it allows small businesses to build an online store and sell things directly across Facebook’s family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram.

Business owners can create a dedicated “shop” section on their Facebook Page or Instagram profile and build out a catalog of products and services that visitors can browse, save, share, and even purchase.

instagram shopping

And while every business, both big and small, can benefit from this, Facebook Shops is especially valuable to small businesses.

That’s because Shops are free and easy to create, fast, and, most importantly, they’re integrated across Facebook’s many apps, meaning once you set up your shop, it’s going to be available on your Facebook Page and your Instagram profile (and accessible from stories and ads).

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

Facebook Shops are also highly customizable. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

Facebook is partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.

Businesses will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as any social ads related to those Shops.

Speaking on the partnership, Shopify said: “Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”

According to Zuckerberg, part of Facebook Shops’ customization will also come from AI and Facebook’s augmented reality tech.

For example, if you’re a clothing store that makes clothes for both men and women, you’ll be able to personalize your storefront to show products that are most relevant to the visitor, like men’s jackets or women’s jeans.

Visitors to your store will also be able to use AR to virtually try on things like sunglasses, makeup, and even furniture — a lot like Instagram’s augmented reality shopping feature that was announced late last year.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

And just like when you’re in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops you’ll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more.

And in the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.

Instagram Monetization #4: Make Money on Instagram With IGTV Ads

Last month, Instagram broke the news that it’s finally rolling out updates that will allow creators to earn money directly on IGTV!

These updates include new ads on IGTV videos, badges that viewers can purchase during a live video, and an expansion of Brand Collabs Manager, which is essentially Facebook’s own influencer marketing platform.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

The launch of video ads is big news for the platform — this is the first time creators will be able to make money directly from IGTV since its launch in 2018.

Along with the earlier release of Instagram’s Shopping from Creators for feed posts and stories, the addition of IGTV ads gives creators access to a full-fledged money-making platform.

And while details are still scarce, according to an interview with The Verge, Instagram’s COO, Justin Osofsky, shared that those in the program will receive an “industry standard” 55% share of all advertising on IGTV.

As mentioned in the announcement, Instagram plans to test IGTV ads with a small group of creators and advertisers in the US and will expand slowly over time as they improve the experience (this includes IKEA, Puma, Sephora, and more).

They also plan to test various experiences within IGTV ads throughout the year — such as the ability to skip an ad.

Popular creators such as Avani Gregg and Salice Rose will be among the first to test out the new monetization feature, with a wider, international release in the coming months.

Instagram Monetization #5: Earn “Tips” With Instagram Live Badges

Playing off a popular feature within Twitch and TikTok, which allows followers to “tip” creators during live streams, Instagram Live Badges are the latest feature aimed at helping influencers make money on Instagram.

With the new feature, viewers, followers, and fans can purchase a badge during a Live video that will stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart.

instagram live badges

Although badges are still in beta, according to early details, badges will be available on 3 different tiers, based on the number of hearts available to purchase.

Viewers can buy one heart for $0.99, two for $1.99, or 3 for $4.99. It’s reported that initially, creators will receive 100% of the revenue from Instagram Live badges sales.

Creators can also see how many hearts a viewer has purchased thanks to a visual icon in the chat stream, making it easy to see who is supporting them for a shout-out.

If you’re an influencer and would like to be considered for early access to badges, you can fill out this form.

Instagram Monetization #6: Instagram Live Shopping

There’s no denying that Instagram Live has experienced a bit of a rebirth amid COVID-19.

In fact, Facebook has reported a 70% increase in Live views from February to March as creators and brands found new ways to embrace the platform during social distancing.

So it seemed like a natural progression for Instagram to release Instagram Live features that would help support small businesses and communities during this time.

Enter: Live Shopping!

instagram live shopping

Soon, sellers, brands, and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.

Tina Craig (@bagsnob) was one of the first to use the new Live feature promoting her latest product launches from her brand @ubeauty.

instagram live shopping

This one small change makes for a serious switch to a QVC-like, live shopping channel! Now you can get purchasing advice live from the host — which means you can have a live Q&As with your audience, share product details, or give product demos, all with a live link to purchase at the bottom of the screen.

As Instagram continues to invest heavily in e-commerce and creators, we expect them to release even more features to earn money on Instagram.

Until then, the features we highlighted in this post should provide you with everything you need to turn your Instagram audience into real-life customers.

Introducing Instagram Shop: A New Way to Discover Products

Introducing Instagram Shop — a new e-commerce destination that makes it easier to shop from brands and creators!

Already available in US, Instagram Shop is set to change how businesses make money on Instagram.

Ready to learn more about Instagram Shop? We’re covering all the important details in this blog post:

Introducing Instagram Shop: A New Way to Discover Products

What is Instagram Shop?

Instagram Shop is a new, more streamlined way for users to discover shoppable products on Instagram.

The new shopping destination is currently being rolled out in the US alongside the launch of Facebook Pay — a new secure way to make payments across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

First announced earlier this year, Instagram Shop will allow users to browse products through a new permanent button on the app’s main navigation bar, as well as from Instagram Explore.

The new Instagram Shop button is replacing the Activity “heart” button in the main menu, which is a huge change and a significant shift towards e-commerce:

The new Instagram Shop tab features shoppable selections from brands and creators, with filter categories like brands, beauty, and home.

Posts also have a new “Shop” button, making it extra easy to find inspiration and purchase products directly within the Instagram app.

It’s unknown exactly how Facebook will determine which products and brands get featured on the new Instagram Shop tab, but it is likely that brands actively using Instagram Shopping and Checkout features will be prioritized.

Why Instagram is Launching a New Shop Destination

Facebook and Instagram have launched several huge new e-commerce features in recent months, from Facebook and Instagram Shops to food delivery & gift card Instagram Stories stickers.

According to a recent press release, this drastic shift to e-commerce is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles it has caused for many businesses:

“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online.”

“That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”

Alongside supporting businesses, there’s also an obvious monetary incentive for Facebook to pivot towards e-commerce across its family of apps.

According to their Business Help Center, the fee for any product sold using Instagram Checkout is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

nstagram Shop: Everything You Need to Know

So with this in mind, it makes a lot of sense for Facebook to give extra visibility to shoppable products with a new Instagram Shop destination.

Facebook also plans to launch a new Live Shopping feature across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time.

According to Zuckerberg, more than 800 million people engage in live video daily across Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of that includes product tutorials and launches — so there’s already a strong e-commerce culture attached to live video.

But with Facebook’s upcoming Live Shopping feature, businesses will be able to “tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.”

nstagram Shop: Everything You Need to Know

What do you think of Instagram’s new Shop feature? Join the conversation over on AV Digital’s Instagram channel.

How to Use Instagram’s New Support Small Business Sticker

There are lots of ways to support small businesses during COVID-19, including using the new Support Small Business sticker for Instagram Stories!

Announced just yesterday, the new sticker was created by Instagram to help people discover and support small businesses during COVID-19 — and it’s already getting a ton of use.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s new support Small Business Sticker for Instagram Stories:

How to Use Instagram’s New Support Small Business Sticker

Ever since COVID-19 took hold globally, Instagram has been laser-focused on providing tools and features to support small businesses. There’s the food delivery & gift card stickers Instagram rolled out in mid-April, Facebook’s new small business grants program, and a lot more!

And now they’ve announced a new Support Small Business sticker for Instagram Stories!

support small business sticker

With the new sticker, people can mention the small businesses they love directly in the sticker to give their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker, their story will be added to a shared Instagram story, so their followers can see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

This is a great way to help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.

How to Use Instagram’s Support Small Business Sticker

To use Instagram’s new sticker, open the stories camera, and snap a photo or video as you normally would.

Once you’re happy, open the stickers tray and select the Support Small Business sticker.

support small business sticker

Next, type the name of the small business you want to support.

support small business sticker

You can tap the sticker for more options and styles.

support small business sticker

And that’s it! Once you hit publish, your story will be added to a shared Instagram story, so your followers can see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

support small business sticker

When someone views your story and taps the sticker, they’ll see a small pop-up with details about the business you tagged.

support small business sticker

The business you tag will also receive a notification and can choose to repost the content to their own stories or send you a DM to say thanks.

If you’re interested in checking out all of the tools, features, and resources that Instagram has launched to help small businesses during COVID-19, you can check out their directory here.

And if you have an Instagram business profile, you can also check out the Business Resources section of your account (at the top of your profile) to stay informed about the latest tools and resources that can help during this time.

business resources instagram

What do you think of Instagram’s new Support Small Business sticker? Let us know in the comments!

Fundraise for Nonprofits & Charities with Instagram Live Donations

Starting yesterday, Instagram Live Donations will make fundraising for charities and nonprofits a cinch!

Now when you host an Instagram Live, you can choose from hundreds of nonprofits to host a fundraiser for, with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity.

Here’s everything you need to know about setting up Instagram Live Donations!

Fundraise for Nonprofits & Charities with Instagram Live Donations

Instagram Live Donations: What is it & How Does it Work? 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram has been working hard to find ways to bring communities together, combat fake news, and now raising much-needed funds.

Today, Instagram released a brand new feature to Instagram Live that will allow you to choose a charity or a nonprofit to donate to.

 

Now when you host an Instagram Live, you can encourage your followers to donate and lead a conversation on why you care deeply about this issue.

Or if you are a charity on Instagram, it’s a great way to connect with your followers and explain how their donations are being used.

How to Use Instagram Live Donations  

Setting up Live Donations is really simple — just follow the steps below to set started!

  • Tap the camera icon in the top left of your Instagram Feed to open Instagram Stories
  • Swipe all the way right until the Live camera is open
  • Tap Live at the bottom of the screen and select Fundraiser to choose a nonprofit to support
  • That’s it — your Instagram Live will begin with a dedicated box at the bottom of the screen highlighting your charity

Once you begin your Live broadcast, you can see how many people are supporting your fundraiser and the amount of money raised in real-time.

You can also tap View to see a breakdown of your donors and individual contributions, plus you can give a wave to say thank you!

Instagram also announced that 100% of the money raised through the donate function goes directly to the nonprofit — unlike a lot of fundraiser platforms, Instagram is not taking a cut from the donations.

Instagram Live Donations Shared on Instagram Stories

To make Instagram Live Donations even more social, Instagram partnered with Brazilian community illustrator @leonatsume to create a custom “I Donated” sticker.

When you donate to a nonprofit fundraiser on Live or in Stories, you can now get access to the new sticker that you can use on any of your stories, but only for a limited time.

When you use the sticker, your story will be added to a combined Instagram Stories post for your followers to see, to spread more awareness, and hopefully raise even more funds.

This shared Instagram Stories post will appear at the front of the line in your Instagram Stories feed on your Home page — that’s prime real estate to give a shoutout to a good cause.

This new feature, along with Instagram’s latest release of Instagram Live on desktop will make bringing communities together a lot easier.

So it might be time to kick off your first Instagram Live for a good cause!

12 Workable Digital Marketing Solutions by Leaders in the Industry

With the world being in a complete tailspin at the moment due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, everyone finds themselves in uncharted territory. Very few, if any, small businesses, professional practices and solopreneurs had a contingency plan in place.

I mean, let’s be honest here, who woke up on the 1st of January and thought “Hmm, we’ll be in a global pandemic and under lockdown in April. So, I have to put measures in place to protect my business and employees”? No-one I know, not even me.

So, to make things a little easier and try and make coming out of this a little easier, we reached out to some known Marketers and/or companies to see what they suggest you do to make a clean break when this is over a little easier.

Jeremy Rundle, Founder of AV Digital Marketing

Communication is key, now is the time we must open lines of communication. You need to communicate with customers, employees and other shareholders.

Communication must be honest and sincere, keeping in mind that everyone is in the same boat, we are a little unsure and subconsciously taking cues from others about how freaked we really should be. So, keep communication truthful but optimistic, keep in mind though, there is a fine line between optimistic and appearing oblivious to what is happening around us.

Now is not the time to hard sell anything, nor is it a time to launch a new product (unless you are in a “must-have to live” niche). Now is a time “to be there, show you care and build your list”.

There will be a “new normal” once this pandemic is over, and it will be over. We will make it through this and those who embrace the change and make the necessary adjustments will emerge stronger.

In South Africa we have a Zulu word “Ubuntu”, loosely translating to “I am because we are”, no man is an island. Together, using genuine empathy for the situation we are all in, we will make it through this.

We must do is band together and help where we can. Yes, even your competition might welcome your help. We are human first and now is the time for humanity and empathy.

Amanda Powell, Director of Marketing at Digitalmarketer

Here at DigitalMarketer, we suggest you follow simple 3 rules during this difficult time:

1. Acknowledge the reality of the situation. One of the number one rules in marketing is that you need to engage with the conversation, and the reality right now is that everyone is engaged in the same conversation. The best thing to do is to acknowledge the pandemic and COVID-19. No one wants their business to come across as tone-deaf, so simply double-check your messaging, double-check your visuals, and double-check your offers and promotions, which leads to Rule #2.

2. Focus on audience expansion NOT revenue maximization. Unless you’re selling a truly essential product or service (medical equipment, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes) you should be working to expand your reach, not your revenue. Engage with the conversation people are already having and make an appropriate offer. For us, we were fortunate enough to have the ability to open DigitalMarketer Lab for free. By doing this, we generated over 50,000 new accounts. We’re considering that a huge positive. That’s 50,000 people that will now gain value from our product and 50,000 people who have the opportunity to grow as marketers during this pandemic. The idea is that NOW is the time to focus on the top of the funnel and growing your influence as a business.

3. You must believe it is going to be OK. Your team is watching you and so are your customers. Sales and marketing is the transference of confidence, and if you’re not confident, they won’t be either. Yes, things are hard right now, but this WILL end at some point. This could be the moment you’ve been waiting for in terms of going back and focusing on the things that truly matter to your business and honing in on what actually works.

I truly believe that this could be a time that each of us can look back on as a time of growth, of refocus, and of renewed priorities. So, focus on the positives, look at how you can help others, and start thinking creatively to bring positive change for your customers.

Josh Steimle – CEO of Influencer Inc.

8 CRISIS POWER MESSAGES

In an emergency, you need to communicate quickly to reassure your audience and promote positive, rather than negative, action. These eight messages can work wonders for maintaining calm and leading your audience to the best outcome.

  1. YOU ARE UNDERSTOOD… Your concerns are heard, understood, and valid.
  2. YOU ARE SAFE… Everything is under control, nothing bad will happen to you.
  3. YOU ARE REMEMBERED… You won’t be forgotten, left behind, or kept out of the loop. We’re in this together.
  4. EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT… Despite the uncertainty and challenges, we’ll get through this.
  5. HERE ARE THE FACTS… You can handle the truth so here it is, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  6. HERE’S THE PLAN…There’s hope, now here is what we’re going to do…
  7. GOOD WILL COME FROM THIS… We’ll turn the bad into good and next time we’ll be even better prepared.
  8. YOU ARE LOVED… We care about you.

Note: Only use these messages to the extent you can do so truthfully. For example, don’t tell someone “Everything is under control, nothing bad will happen to you,” if you’re not sure that’s the case. Otherwise, when it’s proven things are not under control you will lose your credibility and these messages will no longer be as powerful when you use them.

How to Use the New Challenge Sticker on Instagram Stories

Social media challenges have been hugely popular in 2020 with everyone from Drake to the cast of Friends jumping on the trend.

But coordinating a social media challenge isn’t always that simple. Do you have to wait for a nomination? Are there other ways to join in? And how do you nominate other users?

The new sticker streamlines all of these steps! Here’s everything you need to know:

How to Use the New Challenge Sticker on Instagram Stories

How to Use Instagram’s New Challenge Sticker

From #FliptheSwitch to #TrickShot and #DontRush, 2020 has been the year of social media challenges — and not just on Instagram! TikTok has also been hugely important in driving the challenges trend.

But the biggest driver has been… well, quarantine life.

As more and more people stay home to flatten the curve, social media challenges have blown up as a way to stave off boredom while having fun with friends and family.

But until now, there hasn’t really been a “standardized” way to give and receive nominations for challenges.

But Instagram’s new challenge sticker could change that!

Now if you see a challenge you want to participate in while scrolling your friends’ stories, you can join instantly by tapping on the sticker.

Doing so will bring you to the Instagram Stories camera where you can record your challenge and then nominate a few friends — it’s as simple as can be.

Here’s how to use the new challenge sticker for Instagram Stories:

Start by opening the stories camera and recording your challenge. Once you’re done recording, open the stickers tray and tap the challenge sticker.

instagram challenge sticker

Next, type in the name of the challenge (you can also browse through Instagram’s challenge database by typing in keywords like “don’t rush”).

instagram challenge sticker

Finally, nominate a few friends by tagging them directly in the story.

instagram challenge sticker

And that’s it! Anyone you tag in your story will be notified by DM and they can either re-share it to their own stories or tap the sticker to attempt the challenge themselves.

Note: If you come across a story with a challenge sticker being used (and you weren’t tagged in the story!), you can tap the sticker to browse through other people’s challenges or you try the challenge yourself.

challenge sticker

Are you a fan of the new challenge sticker for Instagram Stories? Let us know what you think in the comments!

5 Legal Marketing Mistakes that Kill Growth (& How to Avoid Them)

Marketing is the lifeblood of your law firm. Planning, building and executing an effective strategy will be the biggest driver of new traffic, leads, AND cases to your law firm.

In today’s digital landscape there’s no shortage of marketing channels. With so many options, it’s hard to know where to allocate budget for the highest ROI.

While there is no single marketing roadmap for a legal practice, there are specific strategies to leverage and potholes to avoid. And, the latter is the topic of this post.

We’ll highlight 5 marketing mistakes that cost law firms a lot of time and money (and how to avoid them).

1. View Marketing as an Expense vs. Investment

Your marketing budget should never be viewed as an expense. Full stop.

Marketing is an investment in the success and future of your firm. The end goal should be new clients and the creation of a sustainable revenue channel.

Dips in ROI are often met with budget cuts. But, before you pull out the hatch, re-evaluate where and how the firm is spending marketing dollars each month. A reallocation of funds is usually all it takes to grease the wheels and immediately grow the bottom line.

Monitoring channel performance doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. For example, we’re able to pull in all the KPIs from Google Analytics and populate them in a free Google Data Studio template:

This allows our clients to log in and get a real-time view of traffic, lead and conversion performance.

Want to know which channels will give your firm the greatest ROI? Get a free digital needs assessment here.

2. Fail to Watch the Competition

Don’t reinvent the wheel. When it comes to sourcing content topics that resonate with your target audience, leverage the heavy lifting already done by the competition.

Below is an example of how a larger law firm would use Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to find a term competitors are ranking for, but they are not.

Go to the Site Explorer and enter your domain. Click on the Content Gap link on the left side of the page:

You’ll see a page where you can enter up to 10 different competitors.  Make sure the toggle “at least one of the targets should rank in the top 10” is checked. This will help surface more relevant results:

Knowing what keywords direct competitors are ranking for, that you are not, will highlight critical gaps in your overarching content strategy.

PPC

The step above will help you identify new areas where you can be getting more organic traffic. But, you can also use competitor insights to build more profitable PPC campaigns.

Drop a competitor’s domain into SEMrush and you’ll get a list of all the keywords they are bidding on in the AdWords auction, along with the ranking position, monthly search volume and a bunch of other data points:

The ad copy they are using to win the click:

And landing pages used to convert traffic into cases:

These insights will save you time, and help reduce wasted ad budget.

3. Don’t Have a Localized Marketing Strategy

Two-thirds of people looking for an attorney start their search online, and 70% of those people will only engage attorneys listed in the top three local results:

What does this mean for your firm?

If you aren’t showing up on the map, a few things happen:

  • You’ll lose clients to the competition.
  • Leads dry up every time PPC campaigns get paused.
  • Client acquisition costs increase.
  • Profitability suffers.

Bottom line: showing up in the maps is the backbone of your local search presence and critical to generating a consistent stream of qualified case leads each month.

Ranking in the maps is outside the scope of this post, but we will put together a comprehensive 8-step framework for how we land clients at the top of the maps.

4. Neglect Online Reputation

97% of consumers read online local business reviews, and 85% of consumers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Even if you rank highly for the right keywords, a poor online reputation will derail it all:

The social proof that comes with a high number of quality reviews will differentiate your practice, build trust, and win clicks in the search results.

88% of consumers form an opinion by reading up to ten reviews. Having an automated system in place to request reviews from clients immediately following a positive interaction is essential to building a winning reputation.

Want to build a better online reputation? Find out how Virayo’s proprietary review platform can 5x your positive review count in 60 days here.

5. Fail to Take a “Mobile-First” Approach

On March 26, 2018 Google officially announced crawling, indexing, and ranking systems would no longer be using the desktop version of a website’s content to rank pages.

Sounds complex, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. This image provides a simplified explanation:

(Source)

If you see a message like this in your Search Console account, mobile-first indexing has already been enabled for your site:

Google states that “mobile-first indexing means the Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they’re looking for.”

Mobile searches now outnumber desktop. BrightEdge reports nearly 80% of all keywords, and 47% in the top twenty positions rank differently between mobile and desktop SERPs.

It is more important than ever to have a responsive, fast-loading site that provides a great user experience across all devices.

You can run a basic check now using Google’s free mobile-friendly testing tool here:

# New Leads: A lead is an unqualified prospect that’s starting to show buying behavior. There are different types of leads (MQLs and SQLs).

We’re typically more interested in increasing the volume of SQLs for law firms (i.e. someone who has shown strong buying behavior and has been vetted by marketing and sales for the next sales stage. Think: someone who filled out a form to set up a free case consult)

Cost-Per-Lead – How much money are you paying for each lead. Critical to understanding marketing channel ROI.

Opportunities: A sales opportunity has been qualified, contacted by sales and shown a direct intent to do business with you.

Opportunity-Close-Rate – Leads and opportunities are great, but if none of them close its all for nothing. This metric will give you insight into the overall lead quality and sales pipeline performance.

ROI – Saving the most important for last. The number on the left side of the ratio needs to be higher than the one on the right. If it isn’t, you’re losing money.

Knowing which campaigns are driving the highest ROI will allow you to properly allocate budget to scale the growth of your law firm.