21 Best Instagram Tools & Apps for Business Growth in 2024

As a consultant who assists small and medium businesses with their Instagram marketing, I‘m constantly researching the latest and most effective Instagram tools and apps.

Instagram presents a massive opportunity for businesses to visually engage with over 2 billion monthly active users. However, simply posting photos or videos is not enough to stand out and reach your target audience.

You need to use specialized tools to create high-quality, branded content, strategically grow your audience, streamline scheduling and analytics, and turn Instagram into a sales channel.

Based on my experience working with over 100 small businesses, I‘ve put together this comprehensive guide on the 21 best Instagram tools and apps for optimizing your Instagram marketing in 2024.

Photo and Video Editing Tools

High-quality, eye-catching photos and videos are essential for engaging your audience on Instagram. According to HubSpot, posts with images receive 53% more likes than text-only posts.

1. Adobe Lightroom

With advanced features like raw image editing, HDR merging, and geometric transformations, Lightroom empowers you to craft studio-quality visuals.

I recommend using Lightroom to fine-tune colors, apply custom presets, and give your photos a consistently branded look.

Best for: Professional photographers and perfectionists.

Price: Free with in-app purchases on iOS and Android

2. VSCO

VSCO is used by over 2 million creatives worldwide for its aesthetic filters and easy-to-use editing tools.

I suggest VSCO for quick yet polished edits, especially if you want to batch process large volumes of photos. It‘s also great for curating feed galleries with cohesive formatting.

Easiest to use for: Beginners looking for quick enhancement of photos.

Pricing: Free with $19.99/year subscription for advanced presets

3. Snapseed

With 29 tools and filters, Snapseed gives you precise control over edits like tuning, cropping, and adding local adjustments.

I recommend Snapseed for hobbyists who want more advanced editing capabilities than Instagram filters offer, but find Lightroom too complex.

Best for: Enthusiasts seeking accessible yet customizable edits.

Price: Free on iOS and Android

Design Tools

Visual content that looks professionally designed performs up to 88% better according to HubSpot. But you don‘t need an in-house designer to create branded assets and templates.

4. Canva

With its drag-and-drop interface and library of over 75,000 templates, Canva makes design easy for everyone.

From social media posts to Instagram stories, Canva has beautifully designed templates that you can customize in just a few clicks. I suggest Canva for small businesses that need to produce a high volume of visual content regularly.

Easiest to use for: Beginners with no design experience.

Price: Free with paid subscriptions for more assets

5. Over

Over focuses specifically on designing Instagram stories with hundreds of animated templates.

I recommend Over for real estate agents, retailers, and anyone wanting to take their Instagram stories to the next level. You can also upload videos for quick and polished editing.

Best for: Businesses that want premium Instagram stories.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Automation Tools

Juggling content creation, community engagement, and tracking analytics manually can be overwhelming.

Automation tools help streamline and scale your efforts:

6. Later

With Later‘s visual content calendar, you can plan and schedule Instagram posts and stories weeks in advance.

I suggest Later for solopreneurs and small teams that need to map out content more systematically. Bulk upload, save captions as templates, and analyze performance data.

Best for: Service-based businesses with limited bandwidth.

Pricing: Free for 30 posts/month, paid plans for more features

7. Tailwind

Tailwind allows you to manage Pinterest and Instagram from one dashboard.

I recommend Tailwind for ecommerce brands focused on driving traffic from both platforms. Curate UGC, schedule in bulk, and integrate analytics.

Best for: Retail brands marketing on Instagram and Pinterest.

Price: Starts at $9.99/month

8. SocialPilot

SocialPilot completes automation tasks like following influencers, engaging with hashtags, scheduling captions and posts, unfollowing non-followers, and analyzing data.

I suggest SocialPilot for active Instagram marketers looking to save hours normally spent on manual actions. The auto DM feature is great for outreach.

Best for: Agencies managing multiple high-volume accounts.

Pricing: Starts at $99/month

Growth Tools

Simply posting consistently is not enough to gain followers and reach on Instagram anymore. Growth tools help expand your audience.

9. Influencer Marketing Hub

This platform makes influencer marketing easy by helping you discover and connect with relevant influencers in your niche.

I recommend it for businesses new to influencer collaborations who want a simple and low-budget solution. Micro-influencers generally charge $50-$100 per sponsored post.

Best for: Businesses with modest influencer marketing budgets

Price: 15% fee on campaigns

10. Hashtagger

Hashtagger uses AI to identify the optimal hashtags to reach more users based on expected engagement and competition data.

I suggest Hashtagger for any business wanting to maximize hashtag performance. Quickly find relevant tags for your posts and join larger conversations.

Best for: Service providers and local retailers targeting a local audience.

Pricing: Plans from free to $49/month

11. IGCombin

IGCombin connects your account to “combo” with other related accounts to cross-promote content to each other‘s audiences.

I recommend IGCombin for influencers and personal brands who already have an engaged follower base and want to expand their reach.

Best for: Bloggers, artists, and micro-influencers.

Price: Plans from $12/month

Ecommerce Tools

Instagram makes shopping seamless with product tags and shoppable posts. Convert your product views and engagement into sales.

12. Shopify and Instagram

This integration allows you to tag Shopify products in posts and create shoppable product galleries that users can easily tap to browse and purchase.

I suggest Shopify’s Instagram integration for any brands selling tangible products online. it provides complete visibility into your conversion funnel from product discovery to checkout.

Best for: Online stores selling physical products.

Pricing: Free with Shopify plans, 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee

13. Like2Buy

Like2Buy creates shoppable Instagram posts where a double tap “likes” the image and adds the product to the user‘s cart for checkout on your website.

I recommend Like2Buy for brands focused more on impulse, one-click purchases versus browsing a product catalog.

Best for: Fashion, accessories, and beauty brands.

Price: Plans from $99/month

Analytics Tools

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Analytics tools provide data to refine your Instagram strategy:

14. Iconosquare

Dive into audience demographics and engagement metrics for both your and competitors’ accounts. I love Iconosquare for identifying the type of content and strategies that perform best in your niche.

Best for: Brands wanting actionable data to optimize content.

Price: 7-day free trial, paid plans from $29/month

15. Sprout Social

Sprout Social offers an integrated dashboard for social media management, analytics, and reporting.

I suggest Sprout for the robust analytics capabilities combining engagement data, demographics, competitive benchmarking, and more.

Best for: Agencies managing multiple brand accounts.

Pricing: Plans from $99/user/month

Final Tips for Choosing Your Tools

With so many options, choosing the right Instagram tools can be overwhelming at first. Here is my advice for selecting tools tailored to your business‘s unique needs:

  • Identify your top goals – Growth? Conversions? Brand awareness? Align tools to objectives.
  • Consider your skill level – Beginner friendly apps have intuitive interfaces and templates.
  • Factor in bandwidth – Automation tools multiply output if bandwidth is limited.
  • Compare pricing tiers – Start with free or low-cost tools first.
  • Check integrations – Choose tools that sync together for maximum efficiency.

The 21 tools covered in this guide offer tremendous potential to elevate your Instagram presence and strategy. Approach them strategically based on the strengths of your business. With consistent effort, you will unlock Instagram’s potential for profitability and brand exposure.