Instagram is a particularly popular option for website owners who are looking to promote their content. However the platform is also prone to change. Although the frequent updates can be difficult to navigate, they should be looked at as a positive factor. The wealth of new features means you can adopt a fresh approach to marketing, and keep your audience highly engaged.
Although it has a reputation as a hub for selfies and cat pictures, Instagram isn’t a platform to be underestimated.
Boasting over one billion monthly users, this social media site has truly made a name for itself – even among businesses. In fact, there are more than eight million business accounts currently active on Instagram, and 80 percent of users follow at least one of them.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Instagram so popular for marketing purposes, but the potential for cost-effective direct advertising is one significant reason. Instagram provides highly-customizable paid ad opportunities that are simple to set up; just a few taps on your business account and you’ll be ready to go. This means it’s easier than ever to get your message in front of the right eyes, at the right time. In fact, a lot of businesses find that new customers are actually discovering them via Instagram, with statistics showing that around 60 percent of users find out about new products on the sit
Despite the advantages detailed above, marketing can sometimes be difficult on Instagram. This is largely due to the frequent changes the platform makes to its systems and algorithm.
The most notable shift in the way Instagram operates was the recent switch to a non-chronological feed. Previously, users were shown content in the order it was uploaded. However, the platform now attempts to display content based on each individual’s past activity.
This decision has been met with mixed reviews, particularly from those using Instagram for business purposes. That’s because an algorithm based on user interaction generally means that fewer people will see the content posted by smaller brands and companies.
In short, if you want to succeed on the platform, getting your audience to engage with your posts is now more important than ever.
Engagement on Instagram can involve a wide range of activities, from “likes” on your posts to new “follows” on your account. The more people who interact with your posts, the more they and others will see your content appear in their feeds. As a result, businesses are starting to adopt a more user-focused approach to their marketing strategies, one that’s all about creating audience-focused content.
So, just what can you expect from this platform moving forwards? We can’t predict the future, but here are three Instagram marketing trends that are likely to be both popular and effective this year.
Shopping Tags on Instagram Stories
As we explained earlier, Instagram is used by consumers to find (and buy) new products. In fact, 30 percent of users have purchased an item they discovered on the platform.
This year, Instagram hopes to bridge the gap between marketing tool and e-commerce channel, by introducing new shopping features. Business account owners have always been able to tag products in their posts – making it easier for users to complete a purchase. However, this tool can now also be used within Instagram stories.
With the Shopping in Stories feature, you can place a shopping bag icon on any product or service you wish to promote. This is particularly exciting when you take the popularity of Instagram stories into account: More than 400 million people use them every day.
Plus, the new Instagram algorithm doesn’t affect stories in the same way it impacts regular content, which means your stories are more likely to be seen by a wide audience. To implement this feature, you’ll first need to set up an online catalog, and then you can start tagging your products.
An Influx of “Nano-Influencer” Collaborations
Influencer marketing is a much-discussed tactic these days. However, it’s not always an accessible method. It can be very difficult to get in contact with a popular influencer, as most of them have numerous brands trying to get their attention every day. Plus, smaller business are often priced out by the high fees these influencers charge.
As a result, the use of “nano-influencer” marketing is on the rise. This involves working with social media users who have smaller audiences than standard influencers, usually around 3,000 to 5,000 followers:
While a nano-influencer reaches less people, their following is often a lot more specific to a particular niche or industry. Nano-influencers also tend to establish closer relationships with their followers, increasing the level of trust and potential for engagement and conversions.
For example, according to one Digiday survey, nano-influencers are able to engage up to 8.7 percent of their followings. The engagement percentage of celebrity influencers is only 1.7 percent. That’s a significant difference when you’re less focused about the sheer amount of eyes on your content, and more interested in cultivating an interested audience.
If you decide you want to work with a nano-influencer, tools such as Tribe are a great way to find them. You can easily adjust the settings of your search to seek out influencers with smaller followings, and focus on those with connections to your target niche.
A More “Authentic” Approach to Brand Material
Instagram is known far and wide for being a sometimes overly-polished platform. Brands and influencers alike spend a lot of time making everything sure everything they post is of the highest quality. However, this doesn’t always have the desired effect.
An airbrushed approach to content is actually more likely to make users distrust your brand. In fact, Edelman’s Trust Barometer found that 60 percent of respondents no longer trust companies’ social media content.
Making the switch to less staged and more natural content is a smart way to build your credibility and stand out from the crowd. You can bring authenticity to your brand account in numerous ways, although featuring user-generated content is particularly effective.
For instance, you can encourage users to submit their own photos of your products, with the promise that you’ll share the best ones on your profile. This will help customers feel more engaged with your brand, provide you with organic content, and even increase conversions.
This year, Instagram marketing is all about prioritizing the needs of your audience. By adopting a more authentic approach to brand material and influencer collaboration, and focusing on stories rather than traditional posts, you can make sure users remain interested in your content.
Do you have any further questions about how to market effectively on Instagram? Let us know in the comments section below!