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Strategies for Using Instagram Broadcast Channels for Brands

Jamie Landry
May 24, 2024
Last Updated On
pink vector image representing instagram broadcast channel chat

Instagram Broadcast Channels are a dynamic feature that lets users send one-to-many messages — think of it like a mass group text to selected users — providing brands with a direct and personal way to communicate with their audience. 

This feature represents a significant shift from traditional post and story interactions. It allows creators, influencers and brands to send updates, behind-the-scenes content, and exclusive announcements directly to their followers' inboxes. As Instagram continues to evolve its platform to enhance user engagement and content reach, understanding how to utilize Broadcast Channels effectively can be a game-changer for brands and creators alike to elevate their social media presence. 

In this blog, we cover: 

  • What is an Instagram Broadcast Channel? 
  • How brands use Instagram Broadcast Channels

What Is a Broadcast Channel on Instagram?

Instagram Broadcast Channels are designed for creators like organizations, celebrities and brands to engage with their followers in a direct and streamlined way. Broadcast channels let you send one-way messages to subscribers who opt into your account’s updates. Unlike Instagram Stories or posts, broadcast to all users, or ‘close friends’ that show your Stories to people you select, Broadcast Channels require other users to opt-in, which also provides them a more exclusive feel, particularly since content can be tailored and sent directly to a dedicated group of followers. 

Broadcast Channels are especially beneficial to send out timely updates, exclusive previews, behind-the-scenes content or announcements without the risk of your communications getting lost in Instagram’s noise. Users can share messages, videos, photos, polls, question cards and even voice notes. Followers who join a Broadcast Channel can interact with content through reactions but can’t directly respond. This one-way setup maintains a clear, focused message flow for creators and channel subscribers, making your brand messaging personal.

How To Create a Broadcast Channel on Instagram

Are you interested in creating your own Broadcast channel on Instagram to send specific messages to your community? Here’s the step-by-step process for creating one. 

  • Go to your Instagram profile or inbox — or start an Instagram account from scratch if you don’t have one. Keep in mind, you’ll need an Instagram Creator Account to create a Broadcast Channel. 
  • From your Instagram profile, head to Messenger in the top right corner. 
  • To create a new message, select the paper and pencil icon at the top right corner and choose ‘Create Broadcast Channel’. 
  • Name your channel and choose an audience — you can also select an end date for your channel if it’s time-specific. 
  • Decide if you’d like to link your Broadcast Channel in your bio.
  • When you’ve finalized your Channel details, click ‘Create’.

How To Find Broadcast Channels on Instagram

Unfortunately, Broadcast Channels don’t live in separate tab to browse. Fortunately, if a creator has a Broadcast Channel, it will be linked in their profile under their link in bio — look for the speech bubble.

How Brands Are Using Instagram Broadcast Channels

Despite Broadcast Channels being unavailable for Business Accounts, some brands have dipped their toes into the Broadcast Channel waters. Brands are using Broadcast Channels to share product updates, discount codes and news with their followers. Here’s how three brands use Broadcast Channels in their social media marketing strategy.

Favorite Daughter (@favorite.daughter)

Favorite Daughter uses Broadcast Channels to share discount codes, product links and Reels that showcase how they style Favorite Daughter clothing. They also offer reminders of when sales are ending, when a sale is about to begin and even livestreaming events where they style and promote new pieces. Sprinkled in between are behind-the-scenes photos of their outfits from founders Sara and Erin Foster, providing outfit-of-the-day inspiration for subscribers.

Image credit: @favorite.daughter

Katie Jane Hughes (@katiejanehughes)

Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes uses Instagram Broadcast Channel (KJH.chronicles), to share updates, makeup looks, giveaways, voice notes and interactive elements like polls. With polls and questions, Hughes is able to collect follower feedback on things like whether or not followers would like a tutorial for specific makeup looks and what kind of makeup looks they’re most interested in. This is a great complement to any data your team is collecting through audience demographics or Social Listening tools, so you can truly gauge what your audience wants to see. 

screenshot of ig broadcast channel from katie jane hughes sharing poll
Image credit: @katiejanehughes

Why Create an Instagram Broadcast Channel?

While Stories (particularly the ‘Close Friends’ feature) is a great way to reach followers, Instagram Broadcast Channels give you an edge — despite Instagram Stories being fairly easy to share, it’s typically up to individual user’s Instagram algorithm whether or not your story will be shown in their feed. With Broadcast Channels, however, brands can reach subscribers directly without competition from other channels — as long as people sign up. Another reason to leverage Broadcast Channels is to save time and share quick, timely updates that don’t require social media SEO optimization or visual assets. 

Instagram Broadcast Channel Tips

Broadcast Channels are a great way to drive engagement and are a great addition to any community-based marketing tactics. But how exactly can you use channels to share content that drives revenue and pique your audience’s interest? Here are four tips to use this Instagram feature to your advantage.  

Create Exclusivity

Although anyone can subscribe to your Broadcast Channels, it creates an exclusive feel where users feel they’re being spoken to directly — wouldn’t you want a DM from your favorite brand? Creators can also create Broadcast Channels within a Broadcast Channel, speaking to a specific segment of users. Another aspect of exclusivity comes in the form of good ol’ discount codes and sale notifications. Brands can alert subscribers to sales, restocks, new product releases and more before they happen, which is a great tactic to incorporate into your e-commerce marketing strategy

Nurture Partnerships 

Another way brands could use Instagram Broadcast Channels is to create a segment specifically for UGC creators or influencers. Brands can send exclusive messages, updates and sneak peeks of products to create a simple, direct line of communication to share information with these valued members of their network. 

Build Community 

Broadcast Channels can also be a great way to build a social media community. Since subscribers come to you, this is a great sign that they’re already engaged — now that you have their attention, you can speak to them directly with a notification you know they’ll see. Since you’ll likely be sharing discount codes, tips and more, you’ll provide value while being able to share polls and questions to learn more about your community. You can also share a link to your Broadcast Channel with a sticker in your Stories, to continue growing your community. 

Enhance Authenticity

Broadcast Channels almost feel like chatting with a friend, making them a great tactic to increase your brand’s authenticity. Use Broadcast Channels to hone your voice and show your brand’s personality to your audience. According to Instagram’s 2024 Trend Talk report, sending Reels or trending memes via Instagram DMs was Gen Z’s preferred way to use Instagram to get closer to others. Brands can tap into this by sharing funny quips, Reels and other content their audience wants to see. 

Turn Instagram Insights Into Action With Dash Hudson

Brands can use Dash Hudson to enhance their Instagram strategy by leveraging its AI-driven tools for comprehensive insights and competitive analysis. Instagram Insights helps brands understand their audience's preferences and behaviors, enabling them to tailor content for maximum engagement. Competitive Insights and Benchmarking allow brands to compare their performance against competitors, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. While Campaigns track the effectiveness of various campaigns, offering real-time data to optimize future marketing efforts. By incorporating these features into your workflow, brands can make data-driven decisions to boost their Instagram presence and drive better results.

FAQs

How do you turn off all Broadcast Channel notifications on Instagram?

To turn off all Broadcast Channel notifications on Instagram, go to your profile and tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner. Select ‘Settings,’ then ‘Notifications,’ and choose ‘Broadcast Channels.’ From there, you can toggle off notifications for all Broadcast Channels.

Why can’t I create a Broadcast Channel on Instagram? 

If you can't create a Broadcast Channel on Instagram, it’s likely because you have a Business Account, not a Creator Account. Another reason you can’t create a Broadcast Channel is that the feature is not available in your region. Additionally, Instagram often rolls out new features gradually, so ensure your app is updated to the latest version.

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