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How to Start a Competitive Analysis: 57 Questions You Need to Ask [Free Kit]

When was the last time you ran a competitive analysis for your brand?

If you’re not sure, or if the last “analysis” you ran was a quick perusal of a competitor’s website and social media presence, you’re likely missing out on important intelligence that could help your brand grow.

To help you get started with competitive analysis the right way, we’re breaking down everything you’ll want to look for below.

Download the full competitive analysis kit from HubSpot and Alexa.com here.

Every brand can benefit from regular competitor analysis. By performing a competitor analysis, you’ll be able to: 

  • Identify gaps in the market
  • Develop new products and services
  • Uncover market trends
  • Market and sell more effectively

As you can see, learning any of these four components will lead your brand down the path of achievement. But before you get too excited to start, we need to nail down a few important basics.

How to Identify Your True Competition

First, you’ll need to figure out who you’re really competing with so you can compare the data accurately. What works in a business similar to yours may not work for your brand.

So how can you do this?

Divide your “competitors” into two categories: direct and indirect.

Direct competitors are businesses that offer a product or service that could pass as a similar substitute for yours, and that operate in your same geographic area.

On the flip side, an indirect competitor is one that provides products that are not the same but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem.

It seems simple enough on paper, but these two terms are often misused.

When comparing your brand, you should only focus on your direct competitors. This is something many brands get wrong.

Let’s use an example: Stitch Fix and Fabletics are both subscription-based services that sell clothes on a monthly basis and serve a similar target audience.

But as we look deeper, we can see that the actual product (clothes in this case) are not really the same; one brand focuses on stylish everyday outfits while the other is workout-centric attire only.

Yes, these brands satisfy the same need for women (having trendy clothes delivered right to their doorstep each month), but they do so with completely different types of clothing, making them indirect competitors.

This means Kate Hudson’s team at Fabletics would not want to spend their time studying Stitch Fix too closely since their audiences probably vary quite a bit. Even if it’s only slightly, this tiny variation is enough to make a big difference.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should toss your indirect competitors out the window completely.

Keep these brands on your radar since they could shift positions at any time and cross over into the direct competitor zone. Using our example, Stitch Fix could start a workout line, which would certainly change things for Fabletics.

This is also one of the reasons why you’ll want to routinely run a competitor analysis. The market can and will shift at anytime, and if you’re not constantly scoping it out, you won’t be aware of these changes until it’s too late.

What Exactly Are We Comparing?

Once you identify your true competition, you’ll need to determine what metrics you’ll be comparing across the board.

There are three specific categories to focus on: business (the products), sales, and marketing.

Business (Products)

At the heart of any business is its product or service, which is what makes this a good place to start.

You’ll want to analyze your competitor’s complete product line and the quality of the products or services they’re offering.

You should also take note of their pricing and any discounts they’re offering customers.

Some questions to consider include:

  • Are they a low-cost or high-cost provider?
  • Are they working mainly volume sales or one-o purchases?
  • What is their market share?
  • What are characteristics and needs of their ideal customers?
  • Are they using different pricing strategies for online purchases versus brick and mortar?
  • How does the company differentiate itself from its competitors?
  • How do they distribute their products/services?

Sales

Running a sales analysis of your competitors can be a bit tricky.

You’ll want to track down the answers to questions such as:

  • What does the sales process look like?
  • What channels are they selling through?
  • Do they have multiple locations and how does this give them an advantage?
  • Are they expanding? Scaling down?
  • Do they have partner reselling programs?
  • What are their customers reasons for not buying? For ending their relationship with the company?
  • What are their revenues each year? What about total sales volume?
  • Do they regularly discount their products or services?
  • How involved is a salesperson in the process?

These helpful pieces of information will give you an idea of how competitive the sales process is, and what information you need to prepare your sales reps with to compete during the final buy stage.

For publicly held companies, you can find annual reports online, but you’ll have to do some sleuthing to find this info from privately owned businesses.

You could find some of this information by searching through your CRM and reaching out to those customers who mentioned they were considering your competitor. Find out what made them choose your product or service over others out there.

To do this, run a report that shows all prospective deals where there was an identified competitor.

If this data is not something you currently record, talk to marketing and sales to implement a system where prospects are questioned about the other companies they are considering.

Essentially, they’ll need to ask their leads (either through a form field or during a one- on-one sales conversation) to identify who their current service providers are, who they’ve used in the past, and who else they are considering during the buying process.

When a competitor is identified, have your sales team dive deeper by asking why they are considering switching to your product. If you’ve already lost the deal, be sure to follow up the with prospect to determine why you lost to your competitor. What services or features attracted the prospect? Was it about price? What’s the prospect’s impression of your sales process? If they’ve already made the switch, find out why they made this decision.

By asking open-ended questions, you’ll have honest feedback about what customers find appealing about your brand and what might be turning customers away.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start scoping out your competitor’s marketing efforts.

Marketing

Analyzing your competitor’s website is the fastest way to gauge their marketing efforts. Take note of any of the following items and copy down the specific URL for future reference:

  • Do they have a blog?
  • Are they creating whitepapers or ebooks?
  • Do they post videos or webinars?
  • Do they have a podcast?
  • Are they using static visual content such as infographics and cartoons?
  • What about slide decks?
  • Do they have a FAQs section?
  • Are there featured articles?
  • Do you see press releases?
  • Do they have a media kit?
  • What about case studies?
  • Do they publish buying guides and data sheets?
  • What online and offine advertising campaigns are they running?

Then, take a look at the quantity of these items. Do they have several hundred blog posts or a small handful? Are there five white papers and just one ebook?

Next, determine the frequency of these content assets. Are they publishing something new each week or once a month? How often does a new ebook or case study come out?

Chances are, if you come across a robust archive of content, your competitor has been publishing regularly. Depending on the topics they’re discussing, this content may help you hone in on their lead generating strategies.

From there, you should move on to evaluating the quality of their content. After all, if the quality is lacking, it won’t matter how often they post since their target audience won’t find much value there.

Choose a small handful of samples to review instead of tackling every single piece to make the process more manageable.

Your sampler should include content pieces covering a variety of topics so you’ll have a fairly complete picture of what your competitor shares with their target audience.

When analyzing your competitor’s content, consider the following questions:

  • How accurate is their content?
  • Are spelling or grammar errors present?
  • How in-depth does their content go? (Is it introductory level that just scratches the surface or more advanced topics with high-level ideas?)
  • What tone do they use?
  • Is the content structured for readability? (Are they using bullet points, bold headings, and numbered lists?)
  • Is their content free and available to anyone or do their readers need to opt-in?
  • Who is writing their content? (In-house team? One person? Multiple contributors?)
  • Is there a visible byline or bio attached to their articles?

As you continue to scan the content, pay attention to the photos and imagery your competitors are using.

Do you quickly scroll past generic stock photos or are you impressed by custom illustrations and images? If theyre using stock photos, do they at least have overlays of text quotes or calls-to- action that are specific to their business?

If their photos are custom, are they sourced from outside graphic professionals or do they appear to be done in-house?

When you have a solid understanding of your competitor’s content marketing strategy, it’s time to find out if it’s truly working for them.

Content Engagement

To gauge how engaging your competitor’s content is to their readers, you’ll need to see how their target audience responds to what they’re posting.

Check the average number of comments, shares, and likes on your competitor’s content and find out if:

  • Certain topics resonate better than others
  • The comments are negative, positive, or a mix
  • People are tweeting about specific topics more than others
  • Readers respond better to Facebook updates about certain content
  • Don’t forget to note if your competitor categorizes their content using tags, and if they have social media follow and share buttons attached to each piece of content. Both of these will a ect engagement activity.

Content Promotion

From engagement, you’ll move right along to your competitor’s content promotion strategy.

  • Keyword density in the copy itself
  • Image ALT text tags
  • Use of internal linking

The following questions can also help you prioritize and focus on what to pay attention to:

  • Which keywords are your competitors focusing on that you still haven’t tapped into?
  • What content of theirs is highly shared and linked to? How does your content compare?
  • Which social media platforms is your target audience using and the most active on?
  • What other sites are linking back to your competitor’s site, but not yours?
  • Who else is sharing what your competitors are publishing?
  • Who is referring traffic to your competitor’s site?
  • For the keywords you want to focus on, what is the diffculty level? There are several free (and paid) tools that will give you a comprehensive evaluation of your competitor’s search engine optimization.

Social Media Presence

The last area you’ll want to evaluate when it comes to marketing is your competitor’s social media presence and engagement rates.

How does your competition drive engagement with their brand through social media? Do you see social sharing buttons with each article? Does your competitor have links to their social media channels in the header, footer, or somewhere else? Are these clearly visible? Do they use calls-to-action with these buttons?

If your competitors are using a social network that you may not be on, it’s worth learning more about how that platform may be able to help your business, too. To determine if a new social media platform is worth your time, check your competitor’s engagement rates on those sites. First, visit the following sites to see if your competition has an account on these platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Then, take note of the following quantitative items from each platform:

  • Number of fans/followers
  • Posting frequency and consistency
  • Content engagement (Are users leaving comments or sharing their posts?)
  • Content virality (How many shares, repins, and retweets do their posts get?)

With the same critical eye you used to gauge your competition’s content marketing strategy, take a fine-toothed comb to analyze their social media strategy.

What kind of content are they posting? Are they more focused on driving people to landing pages, resulting in new leads? Or are they posting visual content to promote engagement and brand awareness?

How much of this content is original? Do they share curated content from other sources? Are these sources regular contributors? What is the overall tone of the content?

How does your competition interact with their followers? How frequently do their followers interact with their content?

After you collect this data, generate an overall grade for the quality of your competitor’s content. This will help you compare the rest of your competitors using a similar grading scale.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats)

As you evaluate each component in your competitor analysis (business, sales, and marketing), get into the habit of performing a simplified SWOT analysis at the same time.
This means you’ll take note of your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats any time you assess an overall grade.

Some questions to get you started include:

  • What is your competitor doing really well with? (Products, content marketing, social
    media, etc.)
  • Where does your competitor have the advantage over your brand?
  • What is the weakest area for your competitor?
  • Where does your brand have the advantage over your competitor?
  • What could they do better with?
  • In what areas would you consider this competitor as a threat?
  • Are there opportunities in the market that your competitor has identified?

You’ll be able to compare their weaknesses against your strengths and vice versa. By doing this, you can better position your company, and you’ll start to uncover areas for improvement within your own brand.

How Does Your Business Currently Stack Up?

Before you accurately compare your competition, you need to establish a baseline. This also helps when it comes time to perform a SWOT analysis.

Take an objective look at your business, sales, and marketing e orts through the same metrics you use to evaluate your competition.

Record this information just like you would with a competitor and use this as your baseline to compare across the board.

Ready to get started with the full ebook and template? Click here to access the complete Competitive Analysis Kit. 

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The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.

Buyer personas provide tremendous structure and insight for your company. A detailed buyer persona will help you determine where to focus your time, guide product development, and allow for alignment across the organization. As a result, you will be able to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.

Ready to put this definition into practice? Learn how to create a detailed buyer persona for your business.

free buyer persona creation template

How to Make an Instagram Story Like a Pro

These days, social media is all about documentation.

Where you go, what you eat and drink, who you see, and what’s most memorable: These are the typical fodder of Instagram Stories — seconds-long glimpses of people’s lives, shared on Instagram for only 24 hours.

The Instagram Story feature allows Instagram users to share photos and videos to their “Story” — which is visible to followers of the user’s Instagram account — and to specific users the Story’s sender follows. Like in Snapchat, Instagram Stories are ephemeral, meaning they vanish after 24 hours. Stories are published separately from the photos and videos found in the tiled gallery of one’s Instagram profile.

You might know the basics of sharing Instagram Stories, but there are hidden tools within the app that can make the photos and videos you share more creative and more engaging.Download 25 free Instagram templates to increase engagement and elevate your  presence. 

Below, we’ve created this guide to how to share Instagram Stories, and how to make those Stories are compelling and cool as possible. In this post, we’ll cover:

  • Why Share Instagram Stories in the First Place
  • How to Post Instagram Stories (The Basics)
  • Instagram Stories Tricks and Hacks for Awesome Instagram Stories

25-Free-Insta-Templates-1

Why Share Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories can drive a ton of engagement and value — whether you’re sharing a Story from a brand account or your own personal profile.

Since launching back in August 2016, a total of 250 million Instagram users have started sharing disappearing content on Instagram Stories — contributing to the huge jump in time spent in-app every day from 24 minutes to 32.

What’s more, a lot of brands have already seen success publishing content to this platform. Instagram Stories have fueled the growth of brands like Teen Vogue, Insider, and Bustle. Whether publishers are trying to grow brand awareness, grow traffic to videos or newsletter outside of Instagram, or share sponsored content, publishers are flocking to Instagram to publish fun disappearing content that infuses brand voice and personality without taking up too much of the average techie’s dwindling attention span.

What’s more, Instagram Stories are credited with fueling the massive growth of Instagram Direct — private one-to-one messaging between users within the app. Instagram Direct has grown into one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with a staggering 375 million users. Even more impressive, TechCrunch reports that one in five Instagram Stories shared by a brand receives a Direct reply — giving brands a direct line to connect with their audience and learn more about them.

You can make Instagram Stories this successful too — but it requires a few more hacks and tips to make them look like the Stories big brands and influencers share. (Some of my favorite Instagram Stories are shared by chef Chloe Coscarelli, actress Busy Phillips, mattress brand Casper, and interior design app Hutch — and don’t forget to check out HubSpot‘s Instagram Stories, either.)

But first, let’s review the basics of how to share an Instagram Story:

1. Open Instagram, and tap the camera icon in the upper left-hand corner of your phone.

Step 1, using the camera icon to make a story on Instagram

2. Share a photo or video you’ve already captured by swiping up on your screen to browse your gallery.

Disclosure: Yes, I did a photoshoot featuring my cats. Can you blame me though?

Step 2, browsing photos to make a Story on Instagram

3. Or, choose a camera lens to capture a photo or video in the app.

Step 3, choosing a camera lens to make a story on Instagram

You have a few different options to choose from:

1. Live

If you toggle your screen to the “Live” option, you’ll start filming and broadcasting live on Instagram. Like Facebook Live, friends can follow along and leave comments, and when you’re done with the broadcast, you’ll have the option to let the video disappear, save it, or share it Instagram Stories for an additional 24 hours.

2. Normal

It means what it says: Tapping once will capture a photo, and holding down will record a video. Instagram Stories can be 15 seconds in length, so if you want to share a video that’s longer, film in 15-second stints, or use CutStory to split your longer clip into 15-second installments.

3. Boomerang

Boomerang mode films looping GIFs up to three seconds in length.

4. Superzoom

Superzoom is, on the surface, a video recording lens that zooms in closer and closer on your subject. But turn up the volume, and you can use Superzoom to create a dramatic soundtrack to accompany your video.

As my friend Marissa put it, “It’s like it’s BUILT for cats.”

5. Rewind

Use the rewind lens to film a video in reverse.

6. Stop Motion

Use this lens to film cool stop-motion videos: several different still images woven together in one seamless video. Think of it like the video version of a flip book (like this example below):

7. Hands-Free

Use hands-free mode if you want to set up your camera to film a video for you. Make sure you prop it somewhere stable before you call “Action.” We’ll talk more about this feature in a minute.

4. Once you’ve edited your photo or video, tap “Your Story,” or tap “Next” to share it to your Story and to other friends at the same time.

You can also save your edited photo or video to your gallery by tapping “Save” in the lower left-hand corner.

Step 4, tapping "Next" or "Your Story" to make a Story on Instagram

Now that you know the basics, let’s run through tips and hacks for producing high-quality, clickable Instagram Stories.

11 Instagram Story Tricks and Hacks

1. Use stickers.

Once you’ve captured a great photo or video, it’s time to jazz it up with some fun stickers. You can access these by tapping the smiling sticker icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen once you’ve captured a photo or video — or swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

Swipe up to use stickers in your Instagram Story

Change the size of your stickers.

You can pinch the sticker once you’ve added to your story to increase or decrease its size. You can also tap and drag it around the frame to change its position.

Big sticker that says "Yasss" to add to your Instagram Story

Check stickers every day for new and unique ones.

Instagram releases unique Story stickers often — whether it’s Monday, a holiday, or a season. Check this section every day for new and timely stickers to add to your Story.

Thanksgiving sticker in an Instagram Story

Add location, hashtag, poll, and selfie stickers.

Boost the engagement on your Instagram Story by opening it up to other people doing the same things you are. Open up the stickers section, and tap any of these buttons to customize your story:

Location, hashtag, and poll sticker options to add to an Instagram Story

Location Stickers

Start typing in wherever you are, and you’ll be able to pull in a geographically-specific sticker to show where you are.

Setting a location for your Instagram Story

When people view your Story, they’ll be able to tap the location sticker and see other photos and Stories happening around the same place.

Instagram Stories posted with the location Boston Common

Hashtag Stickers

Same concept here: If you add this sticker and type in a hashtag, your Story will appear in searches for that hashtag, and viewers will be able to click it and see who else is using it. #MotivationMonday, amirite?

Instagram hashtag sticker that says #caturday

Poll Stickers

You can add a two-option poll to your Instagram Story, and you can even customize the possible answers so they’re more unique than “Yes” or “No.” Use a poll sticker to gauge if people are really engaging with your content.

Poll sticker in an Instagram Story

Selfie Stickers

Open up the Stickers menu, and tap on the camera icon.

Select the selfie sticker to add to your Instagram Story

Then, take a selfie — or take a picture of anyone else’s face (that will work too). Then, you can use that face to decorate your Instagram Story. Somewhat creepy, but very memorable and funny, too.

Instagram photo of a black cat with selfie sticker

2. Record a hands-free Instagram video.

If you’re a frequent video-recorder on Instagram, you know you need to hold your thumb against the record button for as long as you’re recording. This can make it tedious when attempting dynamic and interesting videos that require more hand mobility.

But did you know you can record these videos “hands-free“?

Hands Free video option in an Instagram Story

The hands-free video feature can be found in the carousel of camera lens options beneath the record button, as shown above. Simply tap the record button once to start the video, and again to stop it after you’ve gotten the footage you want.

3. Let viewers share your Stories.

Increase engagement and views of your Instagram Story by letting viewers share them with their friends — as Direct Messages.

Go to your profile, tap the gear icon, and navigate to “Story Settings.”

Story Settings button on Instagram

Toggle on “Allow Sharing” so viewers can DM your Story to friends to increase your audience reach. Voila!

Allow Sharing option on Instagram

4. Use the pen.

Use the pen to add embellishment, symbols, or more text to your Story. If you tap the pen icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen once you’ve captured a photo or video, you’ll open up your options.

Various color pen options in instagram

From there, you can adjust the thickness of your pen stroke or change the color you’re writing with (more on that later).

I like using the highlighter pen (the third option) to add emphasis to words — or even the highlight of my photo or video.

Instagram Story drawing that reads "Ta-da!" with a blue pen and red background

5. Add a background color.

If you want to share a Story with a background color — like the images I’ve shared above — you can actually select it from the color palette.

Take a picture (it doesn’t have to be a picture of anything in particular), and then tap the pen icon to open up the color palette. (Here’s Leela again — my unwitting cat model.)

Add a background color to your Instagram Story

You can choose one of the colors from the three available menus, or if you want a specific shade of one of those colors, you can open up the full color spectrum by pressing and holding one of the colors.

colors2.png

Then, scribble anywhere on the screen, and hold your finger down until you get the background color you want to appear.

Orange pen added to Instagram Story of a black cat Orange color setting in Instagram

If you want to get really crazy, you could use the eraser tool (the fourth option) to create new words or shapes from the background, too.

Orange background added to Instagram Story of a black cat

6. Mention another Instagram account in your Story.

Sometimes, it’s just not enough to send an Instagram Story to a particular person — you need to give them a shoutout in the photo or video itself. In these cases, Instagram allows you to tag up to 10 specific handles directly in your Story’s photo or video.

To mention an Instagram account in your Story, shoot a photo or video and then tap the square “A” icon in the upper righthand corner of the screen. Enter the account you’d like to tag, starting with the “@” symbol and the account’s first letter. Scroll through the suggested accounts that appear below your cursor until you find the account you have in mind, and tap it. See what these options look like below.

Instagram Story mentioning another account in a photo

Once you post this Story, the person or account you’ve tagged in the photo or video will receive a notification of your shoutout, regardless of whether or not you send the Story to them.

7. Make your text funkier.

The text on Instagram Stories is pretty basic — jazz it up with these tricks.

Customize your colors.

If you’re unsatisfied with the color palette Instagram offers, create your own from one of the colors in the photo or video you’ve captured.

Open up the text icon, and tap the eyedropper icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen.

Dropper icon to change custom color of Instagram Story text

Use the dropper to sample a color from somewhere in the image you’ve captured, and use it when typing out text or using the pen tool.

Dropper icon set to black in Instagram

Add a drop shadow to your Story’s text.

If you want to add some extra drama to your text, add highlighting or shadowing by retyping or rewriting your text in a different color. I recommend choosing black or white to add emphasis to a bright color you’ve picked. Then, move the text above or underneath the brighter text to add some drama to your words.

Instagram Story of Leela the cat Instagram Story of Leela the cat with white shaded text

Turn your text into a rainbow.

This one’s tricky, but you can actually turn your text into a gradient rainbow.

Tap the text icon, and type out your message to add to your Story. Then, highlight your text.

rainbow1.png

This is where it gets tricky: Turn your phone to the side so you can hold one finger down on the right side of your text, and with another finger, tap on a color and hold until the color wheel pops up.

Rainbow color bar in Instagram

Then, slowly drag both fingers across both the text and the color wheel from right to left to create rainbow text. Go slowly, letter by letter until you’ve created a rainbow. (This one took me several tries before I nailed it, and I succeeded using both thumbs to highlight the text and the color wheel.)

Gradually add text to a Story.

Sometimes, you might want to add text or stickers to an image to build on it — perhaps to promote a content offer or event, or to encourage viewers to swipe up to read a link you’ve shared (this is only available to verified accounts).

Start editing the photo you want to share, post it, and save it to your camera roll. Then, swipe up on your screen to add the screenshot to the next installment of your Story — adding new text or stickers on top of the first photo. Keep doing this for as long as you want the Story to last — just make sure to keep taking screenshots of your latest photo so you can add to it.

gradual1.png gradual2.png Instagram Story of Leela the cat with purple and yellow captions and design

8. See who has viewed your Instagram Story.

Snapchat users have always been able to see which of their friends have viewed their snapped Stories over the 24-hour period that the Story is visible. Well, Instagram Stories can do the same thing — in exactly the same way.

To see who has viewed your Instagram Story, navigate to the homepage of Instagram on your phone and click on the circular icon denoting your Story. See what this looks like in the screenshot below.

instagram-story-homeImage by Mari Smith

Click on “Your Story” from the Instagram home screen and swipe up from the bottom of your open Story. This will pull up a list of all the accounts that have viewed this content.

Seeing who’s viewed your Story might be an ego boost to personal Instagrammers, but business users can learn a lot about what their followers are interested in this way. By looking at which users view which Stories, you can figure out which types of photos and videos you should keep posting.

9. Center your text and stickers.

When you’re moving around text and stickers on your story, you’ll see blue lines appear vertically or horizontally in the frame. These are guiding lines you can use to make sure you’re keeping everything centered.

centered1.png centered2.png

Don’t put your text too high or too low on the screen.

That said, make sure you don’t add anything to your Story too high or too low in the frame — or it will be cut off when viewers scroll through your Story, when Instagram adds things like your name and how long ago your story was posted that could block out your carefully-crafted text.

10. Add music to a Story.

This one’s easy: Turn on music using your phone’s native streaming app, and record a video Story. Once you get ready to edit and share, make sure the sound icon isn’t muted so your viewers can jam with you.

Alternatively, if you’d rather your video be muted, tap the sound icon so an “X” appears over it.

unmuted1.png unmuted2.png

11. Upload Instagram Stories from your phone’s camera roll.

Great Instagram Stories aren’t just created through the Instagram app. You can also upload photo and video content from your mobile device’s native camera roll.

To upload a photo or video for use as an Instagram Story, open your Instagram Story’s camera lens and tap the little square icon on the bottom lefthand of the screen. See what this looks like below.

instagram-story-upload-photo

Tapping the icon shown above will call up your phone’s native media gallery, where you can select any photo or video to publish as an Instagram Story. It’s that easy.

We hope these tips help you post killer Instagram Stories your audience won’t be able to stop following. There are lots of hidden ways to take your Stories to the next level — some we may not even have covered here. Our best advice? Keep clicking around and see what you can do with the latest updates from the app. Happy ‘gramming!

Instagram Templates

HomePod OS 12 private beta reportedly includes Siri multiple timers, make and answer phone calls, more

Apple has seeded a private beta for HomePod to Apple corporate and (some) retail employees for a while. iGeneration is reporting that the HomePod OS 12.0 beta, presumably set to be released alongside iOS 12 in the fall, has several major new features for Siri on the HomePod.

The beta reportedly includes phone call features, allowing the user to start and answer calls from the HomePod, as well as Find My iPhone Siri command, and perhaps most dramatically — support for multiple timers are apparently on the cards.

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What’s the best podcast app for iPhone?

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In response to privacy concerns, Venmo says default public transactions are a social feature

Earlier this week, we highlighted data from a security researcher who analyzed over 200 million Venmo transactions and was able to “learn an alarming mount” about users simply through those transactions.

The issue stems from the fact that anyone can track a Venmo user’s purchase history thanks to the app’s default public setting. Now, in a statement, Venmo is defending itself…

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Making The Grade: Juice Mobile Power solves classroom charging woes

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


Being in school IT, I get a lot of sales calls. It especially heats up in the spring when schools are making all the buying decisions for the following year. Most of them are sent straight to my voicemail, so it’s hard to wade through the junk from the great. A few weeks ago, I got an email from the folks at Bretford wanting to talk to me about Juice Mobile Power. I was immediately intrigued when I saw the first paragraph on the website: more…

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Posting Tools

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore new LinkedIn posting tools, new Instagram features being tested, new Facebook Ad Manager app creative tools, and […]

The post LinkedIn Rolls Out New Posting Tools appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

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Intel Power Gadget utility download link removed amidst 2018 MacBook Pro throttling controversy

The download link for the Intel Power Gadget, which reports info like Mac CPU temperature and current clock speed, has been conspicuously removed from the Intel website today. There’s no explanation on the page as to why the company suddenly removed the download, although it sure is convenient timing. The utility has been used by many tech reviewers to highlight possible thermal problems with the 6-core 2018 MacBook Pros.

Perhaps Apple or Intel have discovered inaccuracies in the tool’s reporting and is now in the process of updating it.

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iPhone: How to hide Caller ID

Most users will dial *67 before calling any number in which they don’t want the receiving end to know the originating phone number to, it’s the oldest trick in the book. However, if you’re wanting to stay completely off the grid, there’s a way to do it to all calls, that way you never have to dial *67 ever again.

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