Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

Taylor Loren is the marketing lead at Later, the #1 Instagram marketing platform that helps you schedule Instagram posts, visually plan your feed, manage UGC, and more. She was also named a LinkedIn Top Voice of 2016 for her writing on social media marketing.

In just a year and a half, Taylor grew the Later blog from 30,000 to 1 million+ sessions per month, and she is the author of Later’s popular Instagram newsletter which has over 600,000 subscribers.

She also specializes in Instagram marketing, having previously worked on celebrity accounts and campaigns for Fortune 500 brands while growing her travel blog @localwanderer to over 100,000 social media followers. 

Taylor loves to chat about all things content, like blogging, SEO, email marketing, and everything to do with Instagram! 

You can follow her on Twitter: @taylrn.

She will be live on November 16 starting at 930 AM for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.

  • DI

    Dave Irwin

    8 months ago #

    What tactics have you found most successful when growing Later with how crowded the space has become? What do you to do shout over the din of the crowd?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      This is an awesome question!

      An advantage that Later had when we were starting is that we were actually first to market - at the time we were called Latergramme, and our founders actually created the product at a hackathon! This was the first time the "push notification" or "reminder" system for Instagram was used, and for a while Later(gramme) was the only way to schedule Instagram posts.

      Since then a lot of competitors have entered the space, you're totally right about that, but what makes our company stand out and continue to grow is definitely our content. Our first priority is helping people understand how to use Instagram to grow their business, and secondary is showing them how Later fits in to help them achieve their overall business goals on Instagram.

      Our blog and newsletter have grown tremendously over the last two years, and I think it's because of our commitment to not only producing high quality content, but also just educating the general audience about Instagram.

      What separates us from the "big" guys - like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc is that our product is super visual and has a lot of Instagram-specific features for visually planning your feed, reposting photos, saving hashtags, etc.

      What separates us from the "smaller" guys - other Instagram specific scheduling apps - is definitely our content and the community and brand we have built around Instagram marketing :)

      4 Share
  • JP

    John Phamvan

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor

    a. What tools are you using at Later for experimentation & analytics right now?
    b. Have you added any new tool(s) to your stack recently? If yes, which one(s) & why?
    c. Where does your data live?
    d. What collaboration tools does the team use?

    Thanks!
    John

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      A) We use a variety of analytics platforms for different reasons: mixpanel, baremetrics, intercom, and google analytics are the main ones I use each week for marketing reporting and analysis.

      B) Currently looking for ASO software! Looking at AppAnnie or any other alternatives if anyone has any recommendations :)

      C) the AWS cloud in Virginia (is that what you meant?) and we use Segment and Intercom for customer data as well

      D) Our team uses Slack to communicate and Asana for project management. Slack is a lifesaver for us, especially as we grow our remote team. Asana helps us to keep all of our projects organized week over week, it’s an awesome hub for our marketing team to collaborate. I would literally cry if Asana was down!

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    8 months ago #

    Thank you for joining us today, Taylor.

    How does one become a "LinkedIn Top Voice"?
    Can you point to something(s) specific that you did that led them to recognize you this way?
    What benefits have you seen as a result of this?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Hi Glen!

      I was posting regularly to LinkedIn and two of my posts went pretty viral because they were featured in the "marketing" or "social media" category. After that I would send a quick email to the LinkedIn newsdesk every time I published my post, which got me on their radar, and would sometimes lead to more posts being featured :)

      A little cold calling never hurts!

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor

    A couple of IG advertising Qs

    a. Have you experimented with IG advertising at all?
    Can you share how you think about this from stage of funnel perspective and driving conversions?

    b. Have you ever paired FB and IG advertising (ie either targeting FB fans with ads on IG and/or vice versa)?
    What results have you seen?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Instagram advertising is such a fun topic to chat about right now, so thanks for your question! When ads first came out, I think a lot of people were not seeing any ROI beyond engagement, so they weren't really prioritized in marketing campaigns.

      Happy to say that's changing, and I truly think the future of social media strategy will be finding ways to make organic and paid work well together. Right now it's a bit of a silo, with most marketing teams split between having some people work on organic social and other people run paid social.

      A) Yes, we have definitely used Instagram advertising! Since we are an Instagram tool, we have Instagram advertising geared towards top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel (customized to the stage of our customer journey). We created a step-by-step guide to launching IG ads that I think you might find handy! https://later.com/blog/instagram-ads/

      B) We run advertising on both platforms regularly, but we typically group our ads around the funnel stages for our audience vs. platforms specifically. Our end goal in our funnel is to drive sign ups and purchases, so the heart of our strategy is driving our social traffic to land on our later.com pages. I think it’s a great idea though for social community building to retarget your existing social fans on one platform and promote your other social presences! The bigger community you have, the better off you’ll be.

      3 Share
  • DH

    Dani Hart

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor - so excited to have you here!

    What's most different about IG than every other channel in terms of building a following/it becoming a sustainable traction channel? How did you discover this difference?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      I think what makes Instagram different is that it's generally a lot harder. You need to be great at creating content, curating content, editing photos, writing captions, being strategic with posting times / hashtags, optimizing your bio, and now you have to do all of that PLUS live video content on Stories!

      That being said - what also makes it stand out is that if you're good at Instagram, it can have a HUGE return on your business. My favourite example is Glossier - it was an Instagram account before they even had a product, and their business is booming because their customers love posting about Glossier on their own Instagram accounts. Even if you don't have their products, you love their brand, so your Instagram could literally be worth millions one day if you get it right.

  • C“

    Corey “Meanberg”

    8 months ago #

    Do you feel like having a beautifully curated profile is still important? Considering that not many people look at content in the feed and not in the profile view.

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Yes! It is still super important for 2 main reasons:

      1. The look of your Instagram feed is just as important as the look of your website. Instagram is becoming a search engine, and when people hear about brands for the first time, they're now turning to Instagram to look them up instead of Google. Your Instagram profile is a first impression of your brand, and just like you would focus on the first impression that your website gives your customers, it really does matter.

      That being said, it doesn't have to look picture perfect. I am loving the trend of having more "real" feeds now, brands like Nasty Gal for example don't post Instagram perfect photos, which makes sense for their brand, but their feed is still cohesive and you understand what their brand is about from glancing at their Instagram feed.

      2. What your Instagram feed looks like is what determines if someone follows you or not. Whether they're searching for your brand, see you mentioned in someone elses post, or tagged in a photo, when they click to view your profile that means they're curious. What they see in the first few seconds of your Instagram feed is what makes them decide to hit "follow" or hit the back button.

      Your IG feed is a reflection of what theyre going to get when they follow you, so you want to put your best foot forward. Maybe once people actually follow you, they won't be looking at your overall feed much, but for new visitors it is super important!

      We recently launched a free Instagram course that shows you how you can create and curate your Instagram aesthetic - its under 30 minutes and you can watch it for free here: https://later.com/training/instagram-aesthetic

      2 Share
  • TT

    Tami Tsansai

    8 months ago #

    What strategies have worked best from your experience to grown an Instagram following organically AND then keep my followers engaged enough to visit my website and sign up?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Driving traffic from Instagram is SO hard! And driving conversions is even harder.

      If you're not having success with getting people to directly sign up from your Instagram (I would be really impressed if you were finding success with this, haha), you can use change your strategy a bit.

      For example, we prioritize web signups more than mobile signups for Later because our product has a lot more functionality on the web (we're working on having all features available on mobile but right now that's not the case).

      Because of this, we don't try to convert Instagram followers directly into users by linking to the app store, etc. Instead we use Instagram to share content (links in Instagram Stories are doing really well for us lately).

      Once someone has shown interest in our content, they can either enter their email on our blog for a free content download within the blog post (like an ebook, checklist, etc) and we'll nurture them through email marketing, OR we can retarget them on Facebook once they've visited our website.

      Now to go back to answering your question about keeping people engaged enough to actually click on the link in the first place - make sure you're posting regularly, I would have friendly, relatable captions that sound like they're coming from a real human, and use Instagram Stories as much as you can! It really helps to put a face to the name :)

      Here's some other tips for keeping your engagement up - it's tough out there! https://later.com/blog/increase-instagram-engagement/

      2 Share
  • ME

    Milly ELVIS

    8 months ago #

    What features do you see Instagram coming up with next (best guess)?

  • AE

    Ahmed Elbougha

    8 months ago #

    Hi Taylor,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and help with us,

    I am of software development background and I finished my Marketing major MBA. In the time being I'm taking self-based Data Science training, am I on right track? What do you think my next steps should be?

    Also, I'm a co-founder in a startup software development company that is project based (we don't have our own product but we do projects for other people), I wonder if you can give me a couple of advices how I should think about business to business marketing for my situation?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Hi Ahmed!

      The only person who knows if you're on the right track is yourself :) The start to my career was basically the opposite of yours - I took a semester off for an internship at a local tech startup (Hootsuite, actually) and ended up dropping out of university to work full time and haven't looked back since!

      As far as B2B marketing, creating awesome content and focusing on SEO can be a cheap and effective way to grow your business, especially if youre in a niche. Besides that...a lot of it is probably networking :)

  • JC

    Jayden Carey

    8 months ago #

    A lot of companies in the past that have relied on the API access of Facebook and Instagram have been crippled upon updates to their restriction. Being a company that relies heavily on access to Instagram's API for your products functionality, does Later have a contingency plan in place if Instagram ever does make updates that would stop your service from working?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      I think that question would be best directed at one of the founders. What I can say is we do have a working relationship with Instagram :)

  • DB

    Daeshawn Ballard

    8 months ago #

    Hi Taylor,

    Love the Later blog and the insightful emails you send. My question is about attracting and retaining engaged users to build a community.

    Utilizing hashtags has certainly brought our company Imagine Careers more likes and canned comments, but what's the best approach for building a community of let's say, 50-100 users?

    Thank you

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      So happy you love our blog and emails! :)

      Hashtags can help boost engagement, but in the end that's a bit of a vanity metric because people commenting or liking photos from hashtags does not equal a user or customer.

      Have you thought about creating a Facebook group for your users? Facebook Groups are super "in" right now, they're not penalized in the Facebook algorithm like a page is, and it's a great way to get your users to chat with each other and build community.

      Your Facebook group doesn't even have to be just with your users, it could be about the general niche/subject matter and then use that as a marketing channel to convert people into users.

      For example, Later's Facebook group has over 6000 members now and it's all about "instagram marketing" but is hosted by us :) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1613794475565023/

      2 Share
  • DL

    Dickson Low

    8 months ago #

    How can I grow my personal brand on instagram other than hashtag? I only get 10 followers for each daily post. Im at 270 followers now.

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Lately I'm finding that the best strategies for Instagram growth are actually off of Instagram. For example, we wrote this blog post about 20 Instagram themes, and the 20 people featured in that post got hundreds of followers from just the one post. https://later.com/blog/instagram-themes/

      Try to work your personal brand into other opportunities you have...I'll do that right now and plug my own Instagram, for example ;) http://instagram.com/taylor.loren

  • AJ

    Amir Javid

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor

    I have so many questions for you

    a. What growth techniques have you used for grew Later's blog and Instagram following?
    What was unique to both and what was "generic" in both cases?

    b. Have you actively done employed SEO for growth? If yes, any recommendations for what to test based on your experience?

    c What factors do you attribute to the level of success you've had professionally?

    d. What was the last book you read (and why)?

    e. What do you do to continually improve your (marketing) skills?

    Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.
    Keep Shining!

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Hi Amir! Great questions, thanks for asking! I'll try to answer most of them -

      The main growth techniques for the Later blog have been SEO and email marketing. When I started at Later 2 years ago, we were very small and there was no email marketing done, and the blog got about 30k visits/month mainly from one blog post that ranked well for "instagram bios".

      I just started by posting regularly, one blog post per week, but took the time to craft out longer form blog posts that had a lot of photos, examples, and step by step instructions. Then, we would send that one weekly blog post to our email list, which was HUGE for us! We had maybe 300k-500k users at that point (I can't remember), which means we had that many emails that we werent communicating with at all.

      It's kind of crazy to me because I had very little knowledge about SEO back then, and now SEO is top of mind for our blog strategy. We do a lot of keyword research and optimization, and we have a great SEO king on our team (shout out to Andy).

      The last book that I read was "The Light We Lost" and I didn't love it! But I read it in one day on vacation haha. I was a part of the launch team for Belletrist (http://instagram.com/belletrist) and definitely recommend checking them out for any non-professional book recommendations :)

  • JG

    John Goethert

    8 months ago #

    What criteria does Instagram use to determine an image is a "Top Posts" in hashtag searches?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Great question! FYI - I think "top posts" might be going away soon. They're "broken" on some hashtags right now, and others have just disappeared.

      But here's how it works:

      The algorithm behind Instagram’s top posts takes a few things into consideration, including: how much engagement your post receives (likes and comments), the popularity of the hashtag, and how quickly your post receives its engagement.

      Really at the end of the day, top posts are all about what’s trending—not what’s most popular. So while the amount of engagement you get is really important, it’s slightly less important than how quickly you get that engagement, or, in other words, the “growth rate” of your engagement.

      We explain more in this blog post :) https://later.com/blog/trending-instagram-hashtags/

      3 Share
  • JG

    John Goethert

    8 months ago #

    Another question:
    Do you know of an app that will show me how many likes a follower has had on my account and which? I am VERY active in IG liking and commenting on all the posts of the people I follow. But now that I follow many people, there is only so much time, so I don't want to spend time engaging with "follow and leave" people.

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Hi John! There's probably some random app out there that can you show this - but I wouldn't recommend it. There's a lot of sketchy apps that use a hacked version of Instagram's API, which goes against their terms of service. For example, any automation (bots, Follow/Unfollow) is not allowed, and any apps that show you lost followers, etc also are against the ToS.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    8 months ago #

    So cool to finally have you on, Taylor!
    This q is actually from someone else (I'll ask mine later):

    "How can you make sure your posts are being viewed by your Instagram followers now that the feed is not chronological?"

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Hey hey! :) Happy to be here!!

      The best way to make sure your posts are being seen in the Instagram feed is to find your optimal time to post. The way the algorithm works is it takes into consideration not only how *much* engagement you get, but also how *quickly* you get it. Posting when most of your followers are online means that you're giving yourself the best chance to get as much engagement in as little time as possible.

      Contrary to popular belief, there is no one "best" time to post on Instagram - each account has followers with different lifestyles, in different cities and timezones, so every account is going to have their own "best" time to post.

      Later came out with a super cool feature a few months ago that uses an algorithm to find your top 7 best times to post, but you can also run a series of tests to find it out yourself. We cover all the steps for doing this here - https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/

      2 Share
  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    8 months ago #

    Hi Taylor
    What do you absolutely need to get right on Instagram to make it a sustainable growth channel?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      THE CONTENT!!!

      Instagram isn't going to work for you if you have bad photos or cheesy content.

      Luckily, UGC is all the rage right now and it's 100% acceptable to have your entire Instagram feed be user-generated content, aka reposts of other peoples content. So if you aren't great at taking photos, you just need to learn to be great at curating them! :)

      Here's some tips: https://later.com/blog/user-generated-content-instagram/

      2 Share
  • SK

    S Kodial

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor!
    How have you dealt with the emergence of your own profile as Later has grown? Have there been times when you have to separate yourself from Later brand given that might be tightly linked (as in the case of the IG newsletter)?

    Also, what have you actively done build and manage your own influence?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Ooo, this is a great question!

      Honestly, when I sent the first email as "Taylor from Later" (or rather, Latergramme at the time) I never knew it would become such a "thing" haha. It was my first week on the job and I just thought that the email should be a bit personal. Fast forward to two years later and our email list is 1 million+ and the #1 piece of feedback I receive from people is that our newsletter is the only one they open every week.

      Because of this, I am definitely aware that me as a person is pretty tied to the Later brand. I'm generally okay with this now because I'm 27, married, and live a generally chill life now, but I struggled with this a lot during my first job in tech.

      Back then I was 21 and clubbing it up like most 21 year olds, except I was working in social media at a tech company and my Twitter account wasn't exactly "professional" - it was hard for me to balance being my authentic self online with also having to uphold company standards/policies.

      I still don't think my Twitter is super professional, lol, but now the reason is that I like to tweet a lot of Kardashian content in addition to marketing and Instagram content ;)

      I don't think I've ever had to separate myself from the Later brand though, I really really really love working here and I'm super proud of all the work our team has done to grow our brand and I'm happy to stand behind it or have my name on it.

      The difference between that and say, my previous roles, is that I had a much larger role in shaping the brand and voice, so I *want* to be linked to it because I'm proud of my work. I hope that makes sense!

      All that being said, it's not something I actively think about! As far as building and managing my own "influence", I'm just a super active user on social media and Instagram and I like to make a lot of internet friends :) If I'm in any way seen as an influencer, I'd hope that it's just because of the work and content I produce.

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    8 months ago #

    Hola, Taylor
    What type of content and frequency does your team post on Instagram? How has this changed over time and why?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      Later posts a mix of User Generated Content and marketing related graphics and images created by our in-house team (http://instagram.com/latermedia)

      We try to feature our users and repost their content wherever possible, so long as we have their permission and it fits with Later’s aesthetic. We typically post daily and try to post 2-3 stories a week as well. We actually used to post more frequently (2x per day), but found that our reach and engagement wasn’t scaling at the same rate. Our focus is to deliver value through our content, so we believe in quality over quantity!

      We use Later’s best time to post tool to ensure we’re posting at peak times for our account. If you haven’t heard of that tool yet, Later created an algorithm to suggest a personalized best time to post for our users in June of this year, you can learn more about it here: https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-feature/

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    8 months ago #

    Hey Taylor

    What other startup/saas/entrepreneurship focused brands do you think are kicking ass on IG?
    What's so great about what they're doing that the others are missing out on?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      I'm out of time but here's a few off the top of my head! @adobe, @shopify, @intercom @paperlesspost, @artifactuprising

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    8 months ago #

    Hi Taylor!
    What's one actionable test you can share that everyone should try on IG?

  • JD

    James Dunn

    8 months ago #

    Hi Taylor
    Why did you decide to start a travel blog (there's clearly a lot of them around)?
    How did you get your first followers and how were you able to accelerate the growth of its following to the extent that you have?

    • TL

      Taylor Loren

      8 months ago #

      It's almost been 4 years since me and Elaine started Local Wanderer! When we first started, it wasn't a travel blog - we both quit our jobs, jumped in a car, and went on a road trip down to Mexico. We created an Instagram account to share the cool local places we found along the way, and when we came home after 2 months we had 27,000 followers (http://instagram.com/localwanderer)

      It wasn't until a year later that we decided to turn it into a blog - mainly so we could make more money. the amount of time/effort it takes to do 1 sponsored Instagram post is basically the same amount of time/effort to do 1 blog post, but you can make double the amount of money charging for a blog post instead of an Instagram post.

      So to answer your question - at the time, travel Instagrams weren't really a thing in January 2014, so that helped our initial growth for sure. Our focus is also different - it's about finding the coolest small businesses in each city and really about promoting localism instead of tourism. Most of our content is from the US and Canada, and it's really urban based. You can find our blog here: http://localwanderer.com

      As far as accelerating growth, it's gotten a lot harder in recent years! We got pretty lucky with the timing of things, but my co-founder Elaine also creates super epic photos and content, so that has been key to our growth :)

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
40
40