If you’re in marketing, then you already know—change is the only constant. The same goes for social media. There are always new demographics, new trends, algorithm updates, and more. That doesn’t mean you can just ignore what’s passed, though. Keeping track of what’s been popular will help you make educated guesses for what will be popular in the future.
Keep reading for Instagram’s 2019 highlights, as well as what you can expect for the popular platform in 2020.
It’s true—when rumors of IGTV started last year, no one was entirely sure how it was going to go. People were skeptical, to say the least. However, after a few changes and updates to Instagram, IGTV is thriving in 2020 and is expected to grow throughout next year.
Not only is it an option on Instagram’s explore page, but they’ve also added the option to have IGTV videos show up in your feed like regular posts and shorter videos. The addition of IGTV is a huge opportunity to show some more long-form video content. Another great update? Instagram now allows landscape video content.
Creators are seeing more and more views on their IGTV videos, so make sure you’re capitalizing on it in 2020—this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Interactive content is huge right now. Why? Because it’s loads of fun! People love getting to interact with their favorite influencers and brands. Polls, questions, countdowns, quizzes—they’re all super easy ways to engage directly with your audience via something that’s already blowing up on its own: Instagram stories.
Come up with fun quizzes, or show two products side by side and have people vote on their favorite. You can even do a simple “ask me a question” and see what people are curious about. Polls and quizzes are a great way to get direct customer feedback on what you’re doing.
If you can believe it (we can’t), Instagram stories have been around for four whole years. By early 2019, stories were reaching 500 million daily active users—and that number is only supposed to grow in the future. Instagram is constantly making updates to make reaching people via stories easier and easier, like the function that allows you to post your stories to Facebook automatically.
More and more brands are focusing on their stories more than they’re focusing on their feeds. Why? Because it’s an amazing way to share bite-sized content, more often. Of course, you should still be posting to your feed two to three times a week, but updating your stories at least once daily is a very effective way to reach people.
There are almost too many shopping features on Instagram to keep up with—so many, in fact, that the platform can almost act as an entirely new revenue stream for your e-commerce business. Over 130 million users are tapping posts to see shopping tags each month. You can tag products in your posts and in your stories, and viewers can even complete entire purchases without ever leaving the platform. Much like IGTV, there’s now a separate shopping tab on Instagram’s explore page.
Tweets and Memes
The variety of Instagram account types are ever widening—popular posts aren’t just beautifully curated, posed photos anymore. Sometimes they’re just screenshots of popular and relevant tweets or memes. In fact, there are accounts on Instagram solely dedicated to these things, and they perform very well. More and more brands are hopping on this train as well, sprinkling them into their social media strategies.
The look performing well right now is a small screenshot of a tweet or meme, centered in a square background. The background should be an on-brand color that will mesh well with the rest of your feed. We know what you’re thinking—these tweets and memes don’t have to be funny! This is also a great way to share expert opinions in your industry, share reviews or comments from people using your products, and yeah, occasionally share some humor.
Authenticity has been and will continue to be a huge deal on Instagram. It’s no longer all about the flawlessly staged photos—those are still popular, but people are far more interested in the stories and reality behind these photos. The platform is becoming more and more about real life, because let’s face it—that’s more inspiring and relatable.
Because of all the positive responses to authentic content over the past few years, more influencers are posting behind the scenes footage, embarrassing moments and stories, side-by-side comparisons of photos before and after editing, and more. “Instagram vs. real life” is popular for a reason. We appreciate the beautiful, curated things—but we still need to know that they’re real.
At this point, influencer marketing is a tried and true strategy that really works—especially on Instagram. While it’s going to continue to evolve, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Here are some basic tips if you’re looking to work with an influencer this year:
Make sure you have a content plan.
- Story content and feed content come at different prices
- Stories disappear after 24 hours
- But story content is growing quickly
Consider micro-influencers or influencers with fewer than 25K followers.
- They tend to get more engagement
- More followers isn’t always best
- They could reach a more niche audience
Think outside the box!
- Influencers aren’t just for physical products
- They can show off your services, too
- They can visit your business or be a part of your ad campaign
When it comes to crafting an effective social media strategy for your business, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. If you find yourself struggling, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.