Last year, a friend of mine checked her Instagram followers and noticed something unusual. She told me that she used to have a lot of comments and likes, but now they are gradually disappearing.
I asked her what she started doing differently for development. But her answer was – nothing.
And that was the problem.
Instagram has changed significantly since its first appearance in 2010.
Now they have 800,000,000! monthly active users.
Despite the fact that this number looks incredible, the growth of the platform is even more impressive.
In 2013 – 100 million users.
In 2016 – 500 million users.
By April 2017 – 700 million users.
800 million users by September 2018.
This means that the number of users has skyrocketed by 100 million in just 5 months.
The graph below shows the impressive growth rate of Instagram over the years.
it’s incredible, but true
Since Instagram is purely visual, it’s an incredibly wonderful way to connect with your customers.
But only if you know how to guide it in 2018.
Let’s take a look in this article at the top Instagram trends that all marketers should know about in 2018 to promote on Instagram
1. You will have to “pay” for Instagram
First, access to an 800 million audience sounds simple like a marketer’s dream. But with that figure, keep in mind that 800 million users also means a lot of competition.
And a big mess.
To make matters worse, Instagram continues to tweak its algorithms, negatively impacting organic reach.
In March 2018, Instagram announced that the introduction of a new algorithm will give users more control over their feed and ensure that posts appear on time for viewing.
These changes include:
Testing the “new posts” button to help users control how their feed is updated to see new posts.
Update to make sure newer posts are preferred to appear first in the feed.
What does this mean? The network continues to play with its algorithms, including those related to promotion on instagram.
Good for users. Bad for brands. However, it won’t be a disaster for the business.
First, 8 out of 10 users follow at least one business page.
More competition means more saturation. This fact, coupled with declining organic reach, means you’ll have to fork out in 2018.
Promoting your main Instagram posts is not the same as using an Instagram ad campaign. But this is your best chance to make your content stand out from the crowd.
do you often see posts with this mark in your feed?
On Instagram, only business pages have access to promote their posts. How to create a business account on Instagram? To get started, make sure your profile is set to publish. You can do this by accessing your profile settings.
try it now
Then click on the wheel icon and switch to the business profile.
did you succeed?
Click on the post you want to promote, select “Promote” and then fill in the required details. Here’s an example:
Setting up a promotion is one thing, but knowing which posts to promote is another. Naturally, you only need to promote those posts that will engage people.
Your statistics will quickly collect all the basic coverage data.
But there are also minor tools that you can use Socialbakers, Simply Measured and Union Metrics.
To engage with your posts even more, you need to use the correct hashtags.
How to use hashtags
If you use trending hashtags that are relevant to your audience, your posts will be more accessible.
But how do you know that you are doing everything right?
There are various tools to help you choose which hashtag is right for you:
Command – This tool will show you how your hashtags are presented. But, it is only available in the App Store for iOS users for $ 1.99 – $ 9.99.
Hashtagify is a free service that will allow you to find any hashtag. It will provide you with hashtag popularity, current trend, and other related hashtags.
KeyHole – this tool is interesting because it allows you to track the hashtag in real time, providing updated data on the hashtag for a certain period.
SeekMetrics – SeekMetrics ’Hashtag Generato will provide you with popular hashtags based on the keywords you use.
But how many hashtags should you put in one post?
TrackMaven researched Instagram hashtags and found that 9 is the optimal number. The report also found that longer hashtags (we’re talking about 24 characters) outperform shorter ones.
how many hashtags do you usually use?
But you can also always check what hashtags your competitors and your users are using.
To do this, start typing in the Instagram search bar. The app itself will show the closest hashtags.
It will even show you how many times the hashtag has been used by Instagram users.
the figure here is impressive
Once you’ve built a decent collection of hashtags that match well with your target audience, you can start posting them.
But don’t just publish and forget about them. Keep an eye on them. At the end of 2017, Instagram presented a new update with the ability to follow hashtags.
Simple but effective.
2. Customers can buy directly using the Instagram store feature
Do you have an online store?
If so, you need to use the Instagram store function.
For example, right now.
This improves the ability to find your product in the application by providing information in one place.
Selling posts can be identified in account profiles using the white bag icon in the upper right corner.
Users can see these posts initially in their feed while scrolling. Every post using this feature displays a white handbag icon or a “Click to see products” popup.
they say that trade tags have already reached Ukraine
Dasha Andreeva, co-founder of the wishdo SMM agency:
“Shopping tags are a new trend awaiting all Ukrainian businesses on Instagram. Product tags + prices will appear on the photos. Essentially like tagging a person in a photo, just tagging a product.
While some European countries, America, Canada are happy with the tags, but in Ukraine, some brands have started appearing as test tags.
For example, the Ukrainian bedding brand Home me, the children’s clothing brand Milkkids, as well as the online store Kapsula. These are the brands that I saw in my feed.
Shopping tags will make it easier to buy on Instagram, although I think they will turn profiles into a more “showcase” store. This is both good and not very good at the same time: after all, you do not always want to follow the brand purely just to buy. Therefore, in my opinion, there will be no need to abuse tags.
In order not to miss the news, update Instagram and follow the experts’ messages.
Instead of clicking on links to access pricing and product descriptions, this key information will be available in the Instagram post itself.
Customers can browse without leaving the app – it’s a good idea.
soon everything around will be a solid Instagram and there will be nothing left 🙂
The business benefits are clear; it is the easiest way than ever to promote your products to customers.
Statistics don’t lie. According to Instagram, 75% of users who see a business post respond to it.
Apparel company Lulus has tested this feature with great success. They found that “almost 33% of people who want to know more about a product visit our site through ‘Shop now’.”
This tells us one key point – consumers love to communicate with the brand through Instagram.
So how do you start? Well, Instagram is busy promoting this feature, but you still need to be approved to use it.
Once you’re approved, just upload the post to Instagram as you normally would. Then, you need to tag the product using the “tag products” tool.
is this function available to you?
It’s the same as tagging people.
Then, just share your post and you’re done.
How to increase the reach of your selling posts
To take it one step further, there are many tools to increase conversions depending on the platform you are using. Here are a few of my favorites:
Snappt – You can use this tool to embed your Instagram selling posts into your website.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud – This tool helps you manage campaigns that will drive engagement and optimize your Instagram posts.
Integration with BigCommerce and Shopify – these platforms make it easier for their users to integrate with the store function.
3. Get More Organic Subscribers With Live Streams
So, live streams fill many of us with horror.
But let’s face it. Instagram live is a fantastic way to connect with your audience, answer questions on the fly, and resolve any issues that might arise.
Scary? Sure. But it’s so easy to go live.
Start by clicking the on-screen camera icon (top left).
The camera will open.
Click “Live” and then “Start Live Video.”
If your notifications are on, your followers will be notified that you are live.
But what should you do? There are several types of live content:
Behind the scenes
Event updates / video streaming
For example, Dunkin Donuts took over Instagram Live, showing off behind the scenes creating some of their sweet creations in their test kitchen on Valentine’s Day.
yes you can be here all day
Beyond Yoga used Instagram Live to showcase how their garments look while performing various yoga asanas.
live broadcast is a great advertising ploy
Want more engagement? Use Instagram Live with your friends.
Instagram Live with Friends means you are on the air with a guest. This can be a great way to attract another brand or partner to share live streaming.
Jared Leto and Gucci have teamed up for Instagram Live with friends.
This provided an opportunity for the Gucci Instagram audience to be introduced to Jared Leto’s brand and vice versa.
the most unusual duet
Want more representation? The more popular your stream, the more chances it will appear on the Explore tab.
but simply “recommended”
Amazing, right? There is also such a thing as Top Live Instagram Stories. The more viewers and guests you have, the higher your rating will be.
Easy enough to use, but there is one important point to keep in mind: comment moderation. This feature should be enabled if you have a clean brand with an audience that doesn’t want to see bad / inappropriate words in the comments.
To moderate comments, go to Settings, then Comments and select the options you prefer.
we recommend brands to do this right away
Another thing you need to do is announce your live stream in advance.
Use Instagram Insights to find the right time to stream (this will be the time when your followers’ engagement is usually at their peak).
But that’s not all. More recently, Instagram made it possible to save your live feeds to your camera gallery.
And now you have great content to distribute to other social networks.
4. Niche microbloggers for your promotion
In his book #AskGaryVee, Gary Vaynerchuk writes that everyone who has followers on Instagram is already an opinion leader.
Gary knows what he’s talking about since he has over 3 million fans.
sometimes size matters, but so does audience quality
You might be thinking “3 million followers ?! My brand doesn’t come close to that. ”
You don’t necessarily need thousands of followers to generate income. Research shows that engagement occurs after 1000 followers.
test: which third-party services are used to measure engagement?
That’s why microbloggers are cool.
Those with a follower rate (1000 – 10000+) can have a strong impact on them and be incredibly effective for your brand.
Launching an influencer campaign also doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, working with influencers on Instagram can often bring you higher ROI
Influencer Marketing Days conducted a test to compare the value between micro and mega bloggers. Their results were interesting, though not surprising.
The mega bloggers had high subscribers but low sales. And influencers have high sales figures with a small number of subscribers.
Instagram success is measured by sales
Why was there such a result?
Despite fewer followers, micro-bloggers often have higher engagement rates and more personal relationships with their followers.
Sometimes they can even consider their followers friends and vice versa.
In addition, most micro bloggers invest in their passions, making them useful for marketers targeting niche markets.
Below you can see Erica advertising Capri Blue candles that are perfect for her brand and audience.
have you heard about hashtag #ad?
She marked the “#ad” message, which is incredibly important. The FCC has imposed rules to ensure that influencers and brands speak up about their relationships.
How to contact an influencer
You can find an influencer by searching for a popular hashtag that is related to your product or Instagram trends.
Sometimes you don’t even need to search, pay attention to your followers. A passionate fan can also be a great promoter for your product.
If you are stuck and cannot find anyone who suits your target audience, there are platforms to help you find a micro blogger. Some of them include Upfluence, Grin and Gnack (in Runet Livedune)
As soon as you find a suitable blogger, you can contact him via direct or email. If they usually participate in advertising campaigns, they can include an email address on their page.
If so, contact them via email. Many people leave their email addresses in their descriptions.
But what do you have to say?
You can send them a simple email like below to start a conversation.
They will get additional content for their page. And you get more exposure.
This is a winning alignment for both sides.
5. Instagram Stories offer real-time engagement
No, I haven’t forgotten about Instagram Stories, I just saved the best for the end.
There are several reasons why Instagram users are growing at a crazy rate, and one of them is Instagram Stories.
Of course we’ve all seen a similar feature before on Snapchat.
Snapchat’s business plan is built around “Stories,” a popular feature that may be contributing to the fact that there has been a sharp increase in active users over the years.
By the end of 2017, Snapchat had about 187 million daily active users.
Then Instagram launched its own Stories feature in mid-2017 and it paid off.
Since its addition, Instagram’s user base has skyrocketed by 100 million.
By August 2017, this feature had 250 million active users, overshadowing Snapchat.
This means Instagram Stories has a large audience for which you need to target.
It’s also wider, which means you have a better chance of reaching your target person.
Snapchat is currently in a downturn in users, and research shows that a percentage of its audience is actually moving to Instagram.
What does this mean for you?
You need to use Instagram Stories.
Stories can now be viewed on the desktop and Story Highlights is a new feature that allows you to showcase your most popular story for longer than the normal 24 hour limit.
How to Maximize Instagram Stories
While you’re using photos and videos, Instagram Stories are a great way to show your audience behind the scenes of your business.
Below you can see how Benefit shares the backstage of their fashion shoot.
But your story shouldn’t just show what’s going on.
You can also create a compelling story.
If customers or employees are happy to participate, you must make them stars! NASA paid attention to its employees, who shared why they enjoy working at NASA.
Recording a video is also very easy.
All you have to do is go to the main Instagram Stories screen and click the icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
Then press and hold the middle button until the video is ready.
To take a picture – just press the button once and release.
Then upload your video (or image) and add a caption or draw text on it.
Still videos work because users appreciate live footage. It creates a sense of closeness between you and your audience and shows your openness.
You can also use Instagram Stories to create a series of practical articles or tips on your page.
Below you can see some real simple and frequent homework tips on Instagram Stories.
How to write a practical article through Instagram Stories?
The best way to do this is to use slides.
Just place the slides together in the order you want before uploading them to Instagram Stories.
Slides should be attractive, colorful and engaging.
If you’re not the most visually creative person in the world, you can use Canva to design your story before uploading. It’s very easy to use for non-designers.
Finish each How-to Story with a compelling call to action that tells the viewer what to do next.
6. Brand personalization using branded face filters
Instagram has implemented face filters for its users.
Some can make you a rabbit, and some will put a crown on your head.
Filters work when using both the main and front cameras of your smartphone.
But how can these filters benefit your business?
Thanks to the use of proprietary face filters.
We know Instagram is following Snapchat.
And we’ve already seen Snapchat offer funded masks from Red Bull, Mountain Dew, Michael Kors and more.
With this in mind, Instagram is likely to delight brands with face filters soon too.
But this feature may not be available for every brand until 2019 and may not be cheap.
A source who previously bought a proprietary filter on Snapchat and Facebook for his company spoke to AdAge and agreed that Instagram’s proprietary face filters are very effective.
They said, “Instagram is a better place for masks than Facebook. After all, people use Instagram as a camera app. ”
But it doesn’t matter yet.
For now, consider adding a hashtag sticker to your story for more context.
To do this, first create your story.
Then just click the sticker icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
Then select and customize your hashtag.
Finally, add it to your story.
Of course, make sure the Instagram app on your phone is always up to date.
You don’t want to miss out on any new features.
Go to Play Store for Android users or App Store for Apple users.
Remember that people are less likely to follow an Instagram page that looks messy and inconsistent.
60% of the top brands use a consistent filter on Instagram.
Consistent aesthetics – this includes color palette, content, font, composition – all will be essential to Instagram’s 2018 success.
Look at Desenio.
They use the same colors over and over.
Take a step back and look at your feed as a whole. Do the images look good together? Is the overall look aesthetic and consistent?
If one moment you post pictures of food and the next moment you understand the current political climate, it will look very confusing.
The main message of your business will be lost.
Don’t let this happen.
Leave behind the bad habit of posting to your followers posts that have no value and little meaning. Be predictable.
If there are old posts that no longer fit your aesthetic, you can either delete them or hide them using the Instagram archives feature.
Instagram won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Users will continue to believe in Instagram, and its audience will only grow and grow.
But if you do not adapt to changing trends, you will lag behind your competitors and will not be able to make money on it.
Whenever Instagram comes up with a new feature like Instagram Stories, don’t sit back and hope it disappears because you don’t like the change. Be one of the first to use it.
Take advantage of micro-influencer marketing. Connect with influencers in your niche who have already built relationships with their audience and inspire trust in them.
Use Instagram live to create a sense of closeness with your followers and communicate with them regularly.
Carefully analyze your analytics so as not to waste money on promoting posts. Take the time to build a community and follow your page as well as your brand.
Then, pay attention to the proprietary face filters. In the near future they may already be available for your company.
The course “Effective SMM: Promotion of Projects in Social Networks” is designed for those who want to master a new profession of an SMM specialist. You will be able to independently create a plan for publishing content, learn how to launch advertising campaigns and analyze their results. Bring leads and sales from social networks to customers.
If you find an error, please select a piece of text and press Ctrl + Enter