Insta Articles: Overview and Setup [Video]


Hi. This is Russel from Low Fruit Solutions and today, I’m going to be talking about the Insta Articles application for Shopify, what it is and how to set it up. Firstly, what is the Insta Articles app? Let’s take a step back. Everyone loves using Instagram. It’s a very good way to quickly connect with your audience and share graphical content. No one enjoys spending time writing lengthy articles and putting them on the store. Insta Articles combines the two. It essentially acts as a bridge between Instagram to your Shopify blog, meaning any posts that you do on Instagram, well within the certain rules that you set, and we’ll come back to that in a minute, will then be automatically replicated as an article on your Shopify blog.

Where does the value come from? Well, every time you create content and share it in Instagram, it lives there. It really adds no value in terms of search engine optimisation or user engagement at your store level. By using Insta Articles and importing that content from Instagram as a article on your blog, you address both. You give your readers a view into your social feed and because the content is actually created on your store, you also add to your search engine weight or optimisation. In summary, what it does, it allows you to write articles on the go which allows you to connect with your shoppers and allows you to build your content and SEO all from Instagram.

Now, how would you represent that? Well, there’s a couple ways to do it. One, you could create something that look like an Instagram feed. Now, how would this … You could use some other apps to dress it up a little bit better depending how your blog is represented in your theme, but the value of this over a standard Instagram feed is that a standard Instagram feed just creates a view on your existing Instagram images and posts that all link back to Instagram, so there’s no real search engine value to you there. By doing it this way, you get that additional weighting or you also can use it for writing proper articles. If you’re prepared, if you’re one of those people who puts large posts into play and you can actually then use the app itself to decide how that should look.

On that note, let’s go and have a look at the app. This is my store dashboard. I’m just going to click on apps. I only have two here. We’re going to use the Insta Articles application. Let’s go click on that and this will take us to the app console. Now, as the tag on it says, it allows you to gram straight to your blog. So the first thing we need to do, is we need to add our Instagram accounts. I’m just going to add an account here.

Now,  I’m currently logged into Instagram with my Instagram account in another page so it’s come up automatically. Otherwise, it’ll prompt you for your user account and credentials. You can put anyone in here and click on authorize. This gives the application the ability to then read your posts from your Instagram feed. You can see my full name has come up for my account. That’s my Instagram account, my profile pic. The next step is to map it to a blog. I have two depending on my needs. Like I said, you could have it go to your Instagram feed or your current blog, however you wish. In this case, what we’re going to do is we’re going to put it into my existing blog and you get an option to map it to an author.

Now, if you have multiple accounts, because you can add multiple accounts to this list, it will change the pricing plan. Your standard pricing plan is just one account mapping which is perfect for your owner, store manager, one-stop person who does everything. Then up to five accounts as more of a team-based option which would allow, where you have domain experts or you just want to consolidate people’s feeds to display on your store. Then we have up to about 15 for when you’re really starting to look at collaborators and influencers to gain products and content from.

We’re just going to map this to the current only author on this store and then we have another button called additional content. Now, this is HTML content and it allows you to then append anything to the bottom of the article itself, so I could just write <I> for italics and I could say published. Got to spell first published on the go, close that off and then what that would do is, it would add a tag of this particular piece of text underneath every post that that is published for this particular Instagram account on this site. It would add that underneath, so published on the go. It’s a nice way to let people know that it’s from your feed, and et cetera but I’m going to use it for something else.

I’m going to use a short code, the author short code feature which is part of the Pro Blogger application which allows you to differentiate your authors, so the value here is that I can have multiple Instagram accounts mapping to different Instagram names but I don’t need to obviously increase my account numbers on the storefront itself. You can make things a little bit more interesting. I’m just going to add that short code and click okay and you can see it’s currently telling me the author mapping, it says it’s missing. I’m just going to hit save. That’s saved, so now, we want to go into step two.

This is where we define what content comes across from Instagram and ultimately, how we treat it. Now, the option you’ve got on the import is to say import everything which as it says, it just means that if someone makes a post, it will accept it and then apply the next set of rules to it or we can say only import when #yespost is used so this way, you can limit the post that would come across to only the ones you want. In other words, if you were making a specifically long post that you felt was worthy of being an article, then you could add #yespost, or you could do it the other around and say everything goes across except the ones where I have taken a quick snapshot and I don’t really want to go across to the blog. In which case, I’ll use the #nopost. In this case, we’ll say import everything.

We can also then, if you don’t care about that so much, you can also set minimum word limits on the content. If you don’t want to just create a representation of your social feed, you actually want to create little articles, you could say that nothing comes across with less than 50 words and that way, then, if you’ve got a, say for instance, up to five accounts for the team and if they’re just doing quick snapshots, you just turn those away and you only include the ones where there’s actually a little bit of content attached to them. We’re going to leave it as is, no minimum.

Title separator, well, what the title separator does is allows us to break up the text within the Instagram content to determine what should be the article title and whatever this value is here will determine which half is the title and which half is the content. So I’m just going to change that just a as a example to two forward (//) slashes. Then, we also put in a little bit of a rule here that if this character is not found, what to do. Now, you could just say don’t create the article or in this case, use the default six words of content. So if you have 10 words in your content, the first six words will be created as title and then the content will again be placed into the actual body of the blog.

Content management. Create tags in Shopify. We really recommend this. This means that the hash tags you use in Instagram will also be created against the article in your blog and this then allows it to be related to other items in your blog. Copy hash tags means that the hash tags will appear in the body of text as they do in Instagram. From an article perspective, you don’t really want to see hash tags like straight text hash tag so we leave that unchecked but it is an option. Convert Insta names means that where you have an @Instaname, it’ll be just changed to Insta name and actually becomes a hyperlink back to the Instagram account which you were referencing.

Set post as featured image, well, nine times out of 10, you’re going to want this to happen unless you don’t use featured images on your blog. This will port the image from Instagram and set it as the featured image and then, if your theme doesn’t display by default,  the featured image as in the header of your article then. You might want to include this little option here which is include the post image in article content so that way, your Instagram image will become the first piece of content in your article and then your text will follow afterwards. It’s great for those little themes where it doesn’t use a nice parallax or other type of option to display your featured image by default. We’re going to leave that unchecked. I’m just going to hit save on that.

Then, we’re going to go over and quickly do the demonstration from Instagram so here is my Instagram account. No posts here. I’m just going to go back to the site and we can see that this is the current set of posts that we have within this particular blog, so what I’m going to do is, I’m going to quickly connect on my phone and I’ll be making a post that we will be then be able to replicate through very quickly. Now, I’m going to include hash tags and we’ll do a quick refresh here and you’ll be able to see those hash tags in the Instagram post and then we’ll check those against the blog itself. I’m just going to push post now and we’ll just do a quick refresh, just waiting for that to happen.

Okay, so let’s just refresh. This is Instagram. There we go, one post. Let’s have a quick look at it. You can see here, I’ve used the title separator and a little bit of a string of text and the following hash tags. Let’s go back to Insta Articles or to the demo site, should I say. We’re just going to reload this page and you’ll see here. Here is my new article that has been created. If we click on it. What we’ve got is the title, the content. The short code that I’ve applied has added this author piece in and because I’ve put tags on it, it’s then made it relatable to other articles, as well as products which are part of this particular blog.

Let’s have a quick look at how it looks like on the blog side, click on online store and look at the blog posts. We’ll see here the article “Pineapples”. The very quick one I’ve put in here, you can see the short code that’s been applied as expected, the image that’s come across from Instagram and you’ll see here the tags as per the hash tags that I’ve just posted in Instagram. That’s it. That’s Insta Articles, a very, very quick and efficient way for you to manage and develop content that adds to your search engine optimisation on your store directly from Instagram.


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