Over the past few years, social media platforms have become a huge part of marketing campaigns. Individuals and businesses alike are flocking to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram to advertise their brands more and more frequently. Although TV commercials and Internet advertisements are as prevalent as ever, social media marketing reaches individual users on a level never achieved before, making it the premiere method of today’s advertising.
Social media marketing campaigns have taken many different shapes thus far. From following sprees to giveaways to sponsored contests, brands have manipulated the system in a plethora of interesting and creative ways; since marketing success stems from being at the front of new advertising styles, it’s beneficial for businesses to predict or pioneer new marketing trends. To help with that effort, here are six emerging Instagram trends to watch for in 2018.
1. Rise in Instagram automation
Although marketing teams may be hesitant to place their entire advertising campaigns in the hands of an Instagram bot, social media automation is more powerful than it seems when it comes to building a large, engaged following.
2. Boomerang and Stories
If you’re actively using Instagram, the Boomerang app and the Stories feature shouldn’t be new to you. However, if you’re still unfamiliar with these aspects of Instagram, then look no further. Boomerang is a subsidiary app owned by Instagram that can be used to easily create short, looping videos. The app is also integrated with Instagram, making posting these moments that much easier. The Stories feature is a staple in many social platforms today that allows users to put up photo or video content that will disappear after 24 hours.
Although both of these features have been used creatively in the past, there still exists more room for innovation. Businesses who want to be top dog in the marketing game come 2018 should start familiarizing themselves with these two features and brainstorming ideas to better utilize them.
3. Use of Snapchat filters
Instagram is a social media giant in its own right, but we can’t forget that it shares that space with a few other platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all come to mind, with the latter most resembling Instagram. In fact, Instagram and Snapchat have so many similarities that they can bounce off of one another to create more interesting content in the coming year; it’s up to marketing teams to come up with the content.
Interactive filters in particular are the most talked-about feature of Snapchat. Instagram accounts can benefit from the wide variety of available and ever-changing Snapchat filters. Posting pictures with Snapchat filters not only presents new, unorthodox images on Instagram, but it can also spark recognition from followers, who are all likely to be on Snapchat. Overall, Snapchat has the potential to boost Instagram advertising efforts to the next level.
4. Gallery posts
Another new feature to Instagram is posting galleries, or being able to contain several photos and videos in one post. This can be a powerful tool if used creatively. Simply putting up five of the same picture won’t cut it because nothing new is added to the overall content of the post. Luckily, there are a number of ways to utilize gallery posts to maximize attention from followers, and none of them are particularly hard to accomplish.
One strategy is simply posting photos all grouped under a common theme, like a trip abroad or a particular event. Another idea involves posting pictures that form a slideshow capture of events. Between these two methods of using gallery posts, businesses will have plenty of material with which to craft content; now the trick is just generating even more ideas.
5. Links to the shop
As if Stories wasn’t already versatile enough, Instagram now includes a Shop Now feature that allows users to include links to their products or store pages. The feature makes e-commerce that much easier, while also simplifying the process. Businesses can close the gap between attracting followers and getting them to buy products by conducting as much of the process within Instagram.
The feature doesn’t work without at least 10,000 followers and an Instagram business account, which ensures that only select businesses can partake in the privilege of Instagram e-commerce. As more and more individuals and companies will be turning to e-commerce as a solution for increasing sales, businesses should increase their Instagram brand presence to make use of this helpful feature.
6. Use of sandwiching
As you may have noticed, Instagram’s old display of posts in chronological order has been replaced with a seemingly random pattern. Although there is an algorithm that contains many unknowns, several high-profile users have formulates certain ways to beat the system. Of these methods is “sandwiching.”
This practice involves increasing a post’s popularity by placing two promotional posts on either side. According to what is known about the algorithm, being surrounded by posts with high levels of user engagement will elevate the visibility of that post.