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What Instagram’s Layout Mode Means for the Growth of UGC

Marketing

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‘Layouts’ might be the latest feature to IG Stories but it won’t be the last. What does this mean for UGC and the rise of influencer marketing?

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Instagram’s newest update to Stories just made photo-sharing a whole lot easier. Appropriately dubbed, ‘Layouts,’ the update enables users to share multiple photos in a single post via a collage.

Specifically, six different photos can be uploaded at a time, versus the original one-image-per-Story process. Users can add a personal flair to their work with several different grid patterns spanning a four-box layout, a six-box layout, or two layouts each comprised of three and two boxes respectively.

Navigating ‘Layouts’

Step 1: After you open the Instagram app, tap the Camera icon to trigger a new Story post

Step 2: Swipe left across the bottom carousel of options until you see “Layout”

Step 3: Choose your grid layout

Step 4: Select the ‘Capture’ button to take a photo for each position in the collage (note you can choose up to 6). Alternatively, you can tap the gallery icon to import one or more images to include.

Step 5: Customize your collage to your liking by adding additional elements like text, tags, emojis, filters, drawings, and GIFs.

Step 6: Once you’re satisfied, share like you would any normal IG story by tapping the ‘Share to Story’ button

While the feature doesn’t yet include some of the additional, nice-to-have options third-party apps can offer, the convenience this update delivers will certainly win a lot of creators and brands over saving time from having to make extra steps to install, navigate between multiple apps, and have to copy and paste multiple elements into their post. Everything seamlessly takes place in the main app.

The Expansion of Stories

If you haven’t kept up to speed with the slew of add-ons Instagram has introduced to Stories, the string has included the ability to transfer Stories into Facebook Dating profiles, Reels, the platform’s spin on a music-video making tool, and Creator mode, which allows people to make a variety of content beyond images ranging from templates with conversation prompts, throwback posts, and more.

Indeed, Stories are an integral part of Instagram and are undoubtedly here to stay. These instrumental decisions will continue to inform how brands shape their strategies, expand their Insta presence, and maximize their growth opportunities as we transition into the new year.

Preparing for 2020: Influencers and the Growth of UGC

As you continue to weigh these decisions, there are a few Insta-tied industry stats and trends for you to have in mind as you look to scale your business.

According to a new report from data analytics company, Klear, more than 1 billion people use Instagram every month, 63 percent of which log in at least once per day. 500 million people use Stories daily. In 2020, users will spend a minimum of 28 minutes per day on the app.

This doesn’t come as a particular surprise as more influencers are incorporating Stories into their branded partnerships and looking for creative ways to cut through the noise. A whopping seventy-three percent of teens claim Instagram is the best way for brands to reach out and 200 million users claim visiting at least one business profile per day. Sixty-two percent find that they become more interested in a brand after becoming introduced to them through Stories.

Following the platform’s latest test to hide like counts on posts, Instagram is quickly seeing the role UGC plays in improving response rates. Forty-one percent of influencers in Canada reported seeing their rates drop once this vanity metric was removed. As influencers continue to seek new opportunities to connect in meaningful ways that sustain audience relationships, features like ‘Layout’ will only add to their ability to drive organic engagement and social ad results. A few recent findings supporting this trend include 92 percent of people trust UGC ads more than their traditional counterparts and brand accounts see a 690 percent increase when integrating UGC.

These authentic posts are also highly efficient drawing 50 percent lower cost-per-acquisition for ads and cost-per-click per a recent infographic from squarelovin’. They also help improve conversion and click-through-rates (CTRs). Specifically, UGC has been found to drive CTRs by 300 percent and 4.5x the conversion rates.

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