Instagram, with one million users within 2 months of its launch in October 2010, was set to take social media to a higher pedestal. As a perfect go-to place for great photographs, photo stories, Insta-video clips, products, and visual-information – Instagram has been a favourite among the youth.
As per data from sources, 15 million businesses were using Instagram in July 2017 (which is nearly double of the 8 million businesses that used Instagram in March 2017).
While Instagram is more popular among B2C business with consumer brands like Nike, Adobe, Apple, and H&M, B2B brands have eventually also begun to embrace Instagram.
Let’s take a look at what Instagram has in store in 2018 for digital marketers:
More Instagram Story Highlights Over Organic Content
2017 has seen the rise in popularity of stories. In 2018, story-highlights would gradually take over organic content with newer options like mid feed Stories navigation panel.
New Shopping Links For Purchases
A major drawback of this platform was the absence of a way to share links in the comments and posts. This made it impossible to have a direct shopping link to purchase items that they liked in the Insta post. 2018 is to be the year when Instagram would finally fix this issue by enabling tags to the images and give direct access to shopping links for users to purchase. The same would be enabled via direct messages where users would be able to share links through direct messaging.
Virtual Reality, Soundless Video, and Live Stream Videos
Instagram is ready to take video uploads to the next level by bringing in many live video innovations, and also tools to enable scope of sharing and engaging other Insta users to live video streaming. There would be more live video content on the Instagram explore page.
Digital marketers would make the best use of it given the fact that live video streaming generates 4 times more viewers than a just a normal video upload. This would further enable brands to carry on effective live video campaigns.
Further experiment with soundless videos are also in play, since these are relatively less time consuming saving extra effort for audio-video editing. 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound which is a fair indication that soundless videos work almost equally well.
Facebook has already incorporated VR via 360° photos to share experiences that feel closest to real life. Instagram is experimenting and would be ready to incorporate VR in a more consumable way for its users, as per sources.
This is a year when direct marketing would be huge for Instagram.With a whopping number of one billion followers for each of its messaging platforms, Facebook already has tasted the success of it. This in all likelihood is set to drive Facebook, which is the parent company of Instagram, into opening its third messaging platform. There would also be further chances to collaborate with brands for direct-messaging campaigns.
As per analysts, $7 billion will be spent on Instagram advertising in 2018, a 32% increase compared to 2017. This is why more B2B businesses would be drawn to this platform along with the existing B2C businesses.
Micro-Influencer Marketing Will be Huge
Social media is abuzz with the perks of influencer marketing and the great benefits it brings to a brand at noticeably lower money. This year, there will be growing popularity of micro-influencers. Instagram would involve micro-influencers in their mainstream digital marketing. This group is not as popular as celebrity influencers but they are cost-effective – the best bet for start-ups and small businesses. In many cases, their influence is almost equivalent to that of a social media celebrity.