It’s fair to say that Instagram is one of our favorite social media marketing platforms because it’s constantly changing and keeping us on our toes. One of the most notable changes is the strong focus on Instagram Stories, diverting our attention from our carefully-curated feeds and encouraging us to be more ‘in the moment’ with our posts.
Face filters and GIF stickers might not make your business change strategies. However, it is incredibly smart to be aware of what’s going on and how the social landscape of Instagram is changing, as there are some trends that you can take advantage of.
Here are 4 Instagram trends that are changing the industry in 2018:
1- Instagram Shopping
Instagram has become increasingly favorable for businesses. With the introduction of Instagram Shopping, users can now purchase products easily. This selling feature allows businesses to attach links within photos to direct users to specific landing pages.
Shoppable content is a growing trend in the world of e-commerce, and it’s no surprise that Instagram is at the forefront of this trend. There’s a huge demand from everyday users to be able to shop the products that bloggers and influencers advertise on their posts, and it makes perfect sense for brands to monetize from influencer collaborations more easily.
2- Instagram Ads
With 2 million advertisers on Instagram, mobile ads aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, advertising on Instagram is becoming increasingly prominent on the platform.
This year Instagram marketing is offering brands more advertising features, Carousel Ads. Very much like Facebook’s version, users can add more layers to paid content with additional photos per post. This gives consumers more to digest and explore within a single ad post, thus driving up conversion rates.
3- Instagram Live
Instagram Live is certainly one to watch out for. Live feature creates a stronger, more personal connection between user and audience, probably even more so than Stories. Instagram Live is all about being real, being connected, and responding to events or topics that are ‘of the moment’.
The lifespan of the Live posts make them the perfect example of immediacy marketing in action. If you can only see it now, you are more likely to view it – it is human nature!
The new features added to Instagram Live this year (from being able to go Live with a friend to being able to request to join someone else’s Live broadcast) has reinforced the idea that community, engagement and collaboration are Instagram’s main priorities for the upcoming year.
4- Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is the most successful feature Instagram has. There is no doubt that many Snapchat fans have jumped ship and caused Instagram user numbers to soar. Instagram was wise to utilize the trend for ephemeral, instant and personal content.
In the past few months, Instagram has wanted us to see more Stories, more often. This seems to be the agenda for the rest of the year too. Towards the end of last year, we were finally able to view Stories on desktop. This just shows how much of an integral feature Instagram views it to be. And, as of December, it also became possible to feature ‘Story Highlights’ on our Instagram profile, allowing us to showcase our Story posts beyond the 24- hour limit.
We should expect to see even more filters, effects and features this year, with the goal of shifting users to a more personal and immediate type of posts.