Have you ever searched for Instagram marketing tools online only to be shocked by how expensive they can be? Yep, us too!
Here’s a list of free (or cheap) Instagram marketing tools and apps that will help you make the most of your Instagram marketing efforts, whether it’s creating captivating posts, monitoring your Instagram analytics, or converting your Instagram followers to customers. And the best part? They won’t break the bank!
Best Instagram Marketing Tools for Photo Editing
First things first: in order to be successful with Instagram marketing, you need to be posting great photos. These photo editing apps will help you add filters, adjust brightness, and even edit out any blemishes in the background.
How to use VSCO Cam: As far as editing goes, the filters VSCO provides are in a league of their own and won’t give your photos that cringeworthy, over-edited look that many other editing app filters do. Along with applying filters, you can adjust the photo’s elements including brightness, contrast, temperature, fade, sharpness, and more.
Whether you want to make a quick edit or something a little more advanced, Google’s image editing app Snapseed is simple, easy to use, and perfect for when you’re on-the-go.
After applying your filter from VSCO, pop the photo into Snapseed to use their unique tools like ambiance, selective adjust (to only edit a certain part of a photo), and their brush tool, which is perfect for making certain aspects of your photo brighter or more saturated.
Fast, simple, and with enough features to keep you busy, Pixlr is a great web-and-mobile photo editing tool — especially for photographers and marketers who need to create or retouch something quickly.
How to use Pixlr: The web version of Pixlr offers more features, but the mobile app is fairly robust as well. In fact, it boasts over two million combinations of free effects, overlays, and filters, allowing for extra-personalized images.
Best Instagram Marketing Tools for Instagram Management
Use these Instagram marketing tools to take your account to the next level! The following apps can help you schedule Instagram posts, track your success, and make your feed “shoppable,” and just generally improve your Instagram marketing.
1. Optimize Your Instagram Marketing by Scheduling Instagram Posts with Later
If you’re working in Instagram marketing, you know that time is money. So, if you’re looking to make better use of that ever-so-precious commodity, it makes sense for you to save yourself time and enlist the help of Later, a free Instagram scheduler.
You can also design your feed with the visual, drag and drop Instagram planner, so you can preview what your feed will look like before actually posting!
How to use Later: Later lets you plan, schedule, and publish photos and videos from your computer or mobile device (Android and iOS supported) to your Instagram account. When it comes time to post, Later sends you a notification on your mobile device with the photo and caption ready to post. All you have to do is click the notification, and you’re set to post to Instagram!
2. Understand Your Audience With Instagram Insights
When it comes to Instagram analytics, one of the most straightforward tools is Instagram’s own analytics feature, Instagram Insights. The free feature provides a ton of valuable information on who your followers are, where they’re located, their gender, age, and even when they’re most active on Instagram.
How to use Instagram Insights: To get access to Instagram Insights, you need to convert your personal Instagram profile to a Business Profile. Once you’ve taken care of that, you’ll notice a “chart” icon at the top of your feed within the Instagram app. Tapping the icon will bring you to a page with a breakdown of your account’s analytics, including insights for specific posts and Stories.
Free download: iOS & Android.
3. Grow Your Account with Later’s Free Analytics
Analytics are a key component of any Instagram marketing strategy. With Later’s free Instagram Analytics, you can learn more about how your posts are performing and discover which type of content gets the most engagement!
How to use Later’s Free Analytics: Log into your Later account and head to your Instagram account summary to view how many likes and comments each of your posts received in the last three months, including which posts were the most popular and the average number of likes and comments you receive per post.
You can also optimize your Instagram content to get more likes and comments by comparing which post types or photos are performing best, and applying those learnings to your Instagram marketing strategy!
4. Drive Traffic from Instagram with Linkin.bio
Since Instagram only gives you one clickable URL (the link in your bio), it can be difficult to drive targeted traffic to your online store. With Linkin.bio, you can can add links to any of the Instagram posts you’ve published through Later, which helps direct your Instagram audience to the right content or products on your website.
How to use Linkin.bio: Lots of shoppable Instagram feeds start at $50/month, but when you sign up for a Later paid plan, you get access to Linkin.bio for free! Simply enable Linkin.bio from Later on the web, populate your Linkin.bio page by adding links to the posts that you schedule with Later, and add your Linkin.bio link in your Instagram bio!
Now when one of your followers clicks on the link in your bio, they’ll be taken to a web and mobile-optimized landing page that resembles your Instagram feed and displays your Instagram posts as clickable images!
Starting at $16/mo: later.com/linkinbio (also available on iOS & Android)
Best Instagram Marketing Tools for Content Calendars
Editorial calendars are a great way for Instagram marketing teams to plan content ahead of time. Although it takes a fair amount of time to plan out your content in advance, these Instagram marketing tools will make your life a lot easier.
1. Google Calendar
There are a lot of great calendar tools out there, but one of the best and simplest is, unsurprisingly, Google Calendar.
How to use Google Calendar: Start by creating a Google calendar for your content calendar, determine your posting frequency, and then plug your dates into your calendar. You can also use the attachment option to upload images and other items right to the calendar!
Asana is a great place to keep track of your overall content calendar so your Instagram marketing is in sync with the rest of your team. You can set up a calendar with all of your important dates, and apply daily, weekly, and monthly reminders to ensure you stay on top of your schedule.
How to use Asana: Start by creating a social sharing project and use sections to organize your content tasks. You can organize them by dates, topics, and more. Once you have a rough structure, you can populate your content calendar by adding individual Instagram posts under different categories.
Best Instagram Marketing Tools for Graphic Design and Video Editing
There’s a huge difference between a raw image or video, and an edited, well-thought out Instagram post — plus, we all know how important Instagram video is for promoting your business. These Instagram marketing tools are all easy-to-use, offer great flexibility, and are super helpful when it comes to Instagram for business.
1. Layout from Instagram
If you want to post a collage to Instagram, Layout lets you combine multiple photos into a single collage. You can pick up to 9 photos, and easily tag your friends on Instagram too!
How to use Layout: When you open Layout, the app automatically shows you previews of custom layouts as you select photos from your camera roll. From there, you have complete artistic control. Drag and drop photos to rearrange them, pinch to zoom or pull the sides of each photo to adjust its size and get your layout just right. Then flip and rotate your photos to create cool arrangements and mirror effects.
Whether you’re sharing tips, inspirational quotes, or want to add a creative twist to your Instagram marketing campaign, Quick is a great app that lets you overlay text onto your photos.
How to use Quick: Quick markets itself as the “fastest app for adding text to photos,” and it really is. Once downloaded, you can choose 16 different fonts, and easily adjust size, color, and placement to achieve the perfect effect.
Instagram’s Boomerang app, introduced in 2015, snaps a handful of photos in quick succession, and then turns them into a GIF-like loop that plays forward and backward. It’s super easy to make Boomerang’s in Instagram Stories now, but if you want to create them ahead of time (and upload to Instagram Stories later), you can use the original app.
How to use Boomerang: All you need to do is tap the record button to stitch together a burst of photos to create a short animation that plays forward and backward!
4. iMovie for Instagram Marketing
If you’re looking for an advanced yet user-friendly app for creating and editing videos for Instagram, then iMovie is a great option. You can add filters and enhance your video by adding effects like slow motion, fast forward, and split-screen.
How to use iMovie: Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can take a new video or select a preexisting video from your smartphone. From there, you can edit the video by adding titles, filters, themes, music, and transitions, and then save and export the video to your photo library. You can also use iMovie to upload Instagram Stories that are older than 24 hours!
Free download: iOS.
VideoShow is a lot like iMovie, but for Android users! It features a set of handy tools, like the ability to change the color of your videos, merge photos and videos together, and add music or subtitles to your videos.
How to use Video Show: Simply select your video, add titles, music, and effects. VideoShow also supports a ton a of creative video filters and Instagram-style color profiles. Once you’re finished editing your video, you can export it at the same quality as the original, or compress it to save space.
Free download: Android.
As helpful as they are, Instagram marketing tools can sometimes come at a hefty price. Hopefully this budget-conscious list of awesome apps can help you take your Instagram marketing to the next level without breaking the bank!
Ready to get moving with your Instagram marketing strategy? Later makes it easy for you to plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram posts!