The growth of Instagram is unstoppable. Instagram has the highest growth rate among all the other social media platforms in recent years. From April 2017 to September 2017 its user base jumped from 700,000,000 to 800,000,000 that is an increase of 100,000,000 users in just five months! Part of the charm of Instagram is that it is entirely visual. Pictures are a great way to make connections with followers because of the rise of sophisticated cameras in handheld devices; anyone can be a shutterbug anytime, anywhere.  It is so easy to upload pictures on Instagram and the add-on enhancements such as filters create otherworldly fun with selfies.

Instagram is poised to be the social media platform to watch out for by marketers for its interface and for its following. Images are vividly exhibited and are the primary content of postings; a picture says a thousand words and users have found that Instagram makes their pictures doubly captivating. Social media influencers on Instagram dominate and have millions of followers which is already the populations of some nations and cities. Instagram marketing trends will only improve and become more sophisticated as Instagram upgrades its features for the coming year. Instagram should be a primary consideration for marketers as they roll out their social media marketing plans for 2019.

Vertical Video

Vertical videos have taken over horizontal videos as the format of choice of people who depend on mobile for their internet browsing and social media updates. Vertical video used to be a bad thing and was frowned upon but it is now more acceptable and businesses and most folks are using vertical video in their uploads.  The consensus is there is just too much hassle in turning your phone around to watch a video. People will only watch vertical videos nowadays making it one of the most important Instagram marketing trends. Nearly everything on Instagram now is on a vertical video, you will see a vertical video on Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, and IGTV.  It is not just Instagram that is following the vertical video trend, YouTube and Vimeo have also followed suit.  Be ready for Instagram Marketing in 2019 and learn how to make vertical videos. You can boost the impact of your videos by editing it into bite-sized clips for Instagram posts or stories.

AR Filters for Instagram Stories

The concept of Augmented Reality (AR) seem like the stuff science fiction stories are made of but AR is closer to your everyday use. For one thing, most high-end games have already used the technology of AR in their games to create those immersive otherworldly realities that have got you hooked in a game for hours. AR is even already in Instagram as face filters, yes, those cute funny whiskers and ears that turns your face into a hyperreal rabbit or deer. Augmented Reality is just simply virtual effects superimposed onto the real world: in this case, your camera images.  AR can now be used by brands by launching their own AR filters which makes this feature so much more exciting in the coming years making it one of the major Instagram marketing trends in 2019. Users loved AR and Instagram has announced it will allow third-party users to make AR filters. This offering can be a great opportunity for businesses to go viral since users will only have access to the AR filter when they go to the brand’s profile. Kylie Cosmetics is one brand that creatively used AR filters by offering lipstick shades from Kylie’s Lip Kits to help users get the best shade for their skin tone before they make a purchase.

Offline Events for Instagram

The best and most followed Instagram post is about vacations in lovely and picturesque spots.  It is a growing trend that people save for traveling to have something to upload on Instagram as vacation pictures definitely get a lot of following and a lot of likes. The year 2018 was the year when brands took influencers to offline events specifically vacations for them to catch the most epic photos that feature the brand’s cool products. The expense paid by brands definitely had great returns since these events sold a lot of products. Creating an offline event reiterates the vibe and the culture that these influencers are already projecting on Instagram. Influencers can show their followers what it means to follow a certain lifestyle or how a certain product can help in an adventure or creating a certain persona.  For example, creating the cool-girl look using their sponsor’s products sends the message to followers to imitate, follow or set their own trend by using the same items the influencer is using or something similar to it.

Shopping via Instagram

It is now possible to shop via Instagram since they improved and added some features to their platform. The tag feature is now more shopper-friendly since you can now tag products in stories and you can shop recommended products in a new tab on the Explore page. Businesses with an e-commerce store should take advantage of Instagram’s shopping features. Shopping is now more immersive on Instagram and shoppers have more time to get to know and evaluate products. Posts that feature shoppable items appear with a white shopping bag on the top right corner. Users can continue exploring these items by through the “tap to view products” feature. All information can be viewed in an app such as descriptions and pricing so shoppers can browse without leaving Instagram. Lulus swears that this Instagram feature works for them. They cited that 33% of people who go to their site came from Instagram’s Shop Now feature.

Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram stories are definitely clicking in with users. Because of its very ephemerality, you have to catch videos and posts after the 24-hour mark.  This feature of Instagram stories makes content continually relevant, up-to-date, and fresh; after one day users are raring for the next content. Right now, people tuned in to Instagram stories is at 400,000,000 million and businesses may just jump into Instagram as the cost of Facebook becomes steeper. Instagram stories is a relatively new feature but now is the time to test how your advertising campaign can fit in this new channel while it is still cheap and there are few competitions in sight. It is best to keep your ads more organic and less filtered since users may just go past your ad. To add, only use vertical videos in your Instagram stories so you can guarantee viewers will be watching your ads.

Live Streaming to Reach Users

Even if you are afraid of public speaking going live is the best way to go. You can reach your followers more organically and you can create instant engagement with consumers through a live feed. You can answer questions and have conversations in real time. Simply press the camera icon and make sure the notifications are on to alert your followers that you have gone live.  There are many topics you can explore in a live feed such as demos, behind-the-scenes tours, event updates, exclusives, and contests.  People want to get to know your product better apart from what you have already shown in ads and this is the way to exhibit your products and get sales. Dunkin Donuts is a brand that has constantly used Instagram Live and they showcase their sweet creations in their test kitchen. Beyond Yoga tested their products real-time by showing how their products fared before and after a gym session. Audiences want to see your products in real-world settings to see how they can integrate it in their lives and live feeds can show them.

Long Form Video

Instagram has taken notes from Snap Chat’s self-disintegrating videos and posts through Instagram Stories and it is doing the same with YouTube as it tests the waters for long-form videos via IGTV. Instagram is set to increase its video from one minute to ten minutes for most users and up to one hour if you are extremely popular and have a considerable following. Instagram is set to burst out as a mere photo sharing program to a full-fledged video sharing platform in the coming year.  Long form definitely outpaces short form since users do hang around to watch long-form videos wherever they find it. As an added plus, long-form attracts more website traffic. According to a survey, more teens ages 13-17 are on Instagram at 72%, second to YouTube at 85% but Instagram is set to rev up its features in the months to come.

Chatbots and Instagram

AI reliant chatbots have definitely been a surprise to consumers and businesses in the past year and although the novelty may wear off the use of chatbots is here to stay. Chatbots will go mainstream in most applications and that includes Instagram. Chatbots help you stay up to date with the behind-the-scenes upkeep of your brand and chatbots can even auto-post when you need them too. Chatbots also come in handy when you need to respond to large volumes of queries. Although you shouldn’t rely your business on chatbots it’s good to keep them in your Instagram marketing strategy for the coming year.

Integrate Instagram Into Third-Party Applications

Integrating into third-party applications make it easier for your consumers to connect with your business even if it means they have to give up personal information. Companies still have to embrace and integrate this service with Instagram. Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and businesses should start integrating Instagram into third-party applications.

Target Micro influencers versus Mega influencers to Promote You

Social influencers are a force to reckon with but there is a distinct difference between micro influencers and mega influencers.  Contrary to wide-held beliefs engagement peaks at 1,000 followers so you don’t need thousands of followers to connect and establish customer engagement. Micro influencers or those with 1000-10,000 followers can create enough impact for your brand and working with them is not costly. In a test by Marketing Days mega influencers and micro influencers were compared: mega influencers had higher engagement but fewer sales (5 sales) while micro influencers have lower engagement but higher sales (100 sales).  Micro influencers have a higher engagement rate and have a more personal relationship with their followers often considering them as friends. It is important to disclose your relationship with influencers as regulated by the FTC. Most influencers include a hashtag in their post where products are featured to convey to followers that they have an ad relationship with a brand. It is easy to get in touch with a micro influencer, one of your brand’s followers is already a potential micro influencer or simply browse through some popular hashtags about your product.

Instagram is set out to be a phenomenal social media platform in the year 2019 as it offers new features that imitate the success of rival social platforms such as Snap chat and YouTube. Instagram is poised to be even more valuable to marketers because it has a large demographic following of teens ranging from 13 to 17-years old.  Marketers should be on top of Instagram Marketing Trends to rev up their marketing plan on this particular social media platform. Every social platform is unique and now is the time for marketers to experiment on the stuff that works for the Instagram platform and their product, one way we have found that works great to grown a targeted Instagram following of potential customers, is to utilise Magnetic Growth

Instagram is a relatively young social media platform so there is less competition in creating brand awareness within its ecosystem. Instagram allows for a lot of flexibility and creativity in launching ad campaigns and marketers can use features such as videos on IGTV or post Instagram stories. Mutual cooperation with influencers especially micro influencers can prove to be win-win situations where brands can showcase their products and services in a more organic environment.

Instagram Marketing trends are set for a breakthrough in the coming year and the ever creative-friendly features will only make marketers embrace Instagram more as they launch their products and services on this side of the social media.

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