Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with over one billion active users. As per recent data, Instagram is the 4th most popular social network by number of users. This makes it the ideal choice for brands, marketers and even news publishers to include Instagram as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Instagram is a great platform for publishers and newsrooms to connect with their audiences and share content. Newsrooms are leveraging Instagram in the following ways:
- Creating engaging and visually appealing content to reach out to new and potential audiences.
- By including links to their articles and stories in their Instagram posts to drive traffic to their websites and other social media platforms.
- Build relationships with their audience by responding to comments and questions.
A recent study found that 50% of people from a sample of 100,000 were using the app. The problem is that publishers aren't using the app for what it's really for.
How can you use Instagram to get more eyes on your content?
A news story can be repurposed into an Instagram post, and then that post can be shared on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This allows publishers and newsrooms to reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to their website or app.
The New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Wall Street Journal and CNN are just some of the news outlets that have made their mark on Instagram. We have curated a list of newsrooms or media houses that are leveraging instagram the right way.
The Wall Street Journal
With a whopping 4.2 million followers on Instagram, The Wall Street Journal is one of the first news organizations to use Instagram to share exclusive images and videos. For example, when they covered the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon in 2015, they shared a video from inside the classroom where the shooting occurred.
On a day-to-day basis, WSJ publishes news stories on their instagram feed in the form of posts, reels (short videos), and even stories. Take a look at their story highlights in the screenshot below.
They have covered everything from Covid Doctors to vaccines to political news in order to engage their visitors, no matter where their interest lies.
Not only this, WSJ have realized the visual potential of IG as a platform. In turn, they started a picture-exclusive page on Instagram called wsj photos. This page captures unique pieces of news through their impeccable photography.
CNN was another early Instagram adopter; it has been using the platform since 2013 for breaking news events such as Hurricane Sandy, political debates and more. CNN currently has astaggering 18.6M followers, about four times that of WSJ.
CNN’s Instagram page looks like a typical no nonsense news channel page. You can see bold headlines on every post. One look at the page and you will be thorough with the daily news digest. Perhaps, this is why CNN has such a large following on Instagram.
They are also making the most out of IG Reels as that’s where the primary audience lies in current times.
CNN launched an instagram account called CNN Climate on account of Earth Day in 2019. The best part about Instagram, perhaps, is how you can leverage current trends and events to boost popularity on the platform.
The New York Times
The New York Times was one of the first major news outlets to use Instagram as a way to share exclusive images and videos from breaking news events. For example, when they covered the bombings in Brussels in 2016, they shared photos and a video of people walking through an airport terminal with their luggage after two explosions occurred there.
Their feed consists of a mix of textual, visual and video-based news stories from around the world. This makes their instagram page fit for readers with diverse interests to explore. This also explains the 16.4M followers on the official NY Times IG page.
The New York Times is the perfect example to show how newsrooms can leverage instagram the right way by repurposing content. They have different accounts for different reader interests. For example- Their travel desk produces 15-second videos for Instagram, which are excerpts from their "36 Hour" travel guide series.
BBC News, with 23M followers currently, is one of the media houses with a huge social media presence and a highly engaged audience. Their multifold Instagram strategy since their launch, with a target to engage their followers, has gained a lot of appreciation overtime. This strategy also helped them gain more than 6M followers in less than 18 months.
One of their thumb rules was to post regularly and consistently. This was mostly done through IG Stories. They published 3 unique news stories everyday without fail.
Not only this, the stories were created in-house, using Instagram itself, unlike the usual graphically pleasing stories. This improved the user experience for their followers and ultimately helped them save resources.
Next, they constantly engaged with their audience in the comments. Not only liking and replying to their comments but also helping them get more information.
BBC News constantly engages with their users through Instagram stories. They also experiment with the latest IG features such as polls, Q/A, and tags/ hashtags.
BuzzFeed News is another popular news outlet on Instagram because they use it to promote their stories and post exclusive images and videos from breaking news events. BuzzFeed News is known to showcase “viral content” on their Instagram channel in a bite-sized way. A classic example is how they present excerpts of celebrity gossip on their Instagram.
Buzzfeed, as a brand, is known for its highly tailored approach on different platforms. This is why they have created different accounts for different audience types.
BuzzFeed News also constantly repurposes content for their Instagram in the form of short videos and interactive visuals. They usually post snippets on their IG page. The readers can view the complete news article through their link in bio. This is a great way to boost website traffic.
With 5.4M followers on Instagram, The Guardian has established a global social media presence today. It has always been seen as a trustworthy and reliable news provider. This helps them engage their audience on IG as well.
Guardian’s IG page features a mix of sports, current affairs, politics, climate, and much more. You can often see the same news content presented in different formats on their instagram page itself. Thus, The Guardian has effectively been successful in repurposing content on Instagram.
Recently, they did a series of IG stories featuring their legacy about how The Guardian prints their newspapers. This was done in light of their newly re-designed print product. This behind-the-scenes approach has enabled The Guardian to establish their image and engage their audience with the brand.
All these have different approaches to repurposing content, but they all share a common goal: to provide their audiences with the best possible experience.
Repurposing content on Instagram can be a great way to expand an audience:
Instagram is a great platform for newsrooms to reach new audiences and grow their readership. Instagram is more visual compared to text-based platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
This makes it an ideal place for newsrooms to repurpose their existing content because this platform allows them to showcase their work visually.
A well-curated Instagram account is a great way to share content and engage your audience. It’s also a good way to show off your brand’s personality. It’s important to post regularly and often. Instagram is all about providing your audience with quality content and these newsrooms have showcased the right way of repurposing content to do it.