If you are a digital marketer and you are working on an Instagram Marketing Strategy then you must be asking yourself, “What are the marketing trends on Instagram this 2018?” Afterall, a brand has to stay relevant to its audience to keep striving in the fast-paced world of digital advertising.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that this year Instagram is all about improving your content both in quality and quantity, all because of Instagram Stories. This year is also about optimizing your content performance and considering paid advertising to increase and expand your reach on Instagram.
The gist of it is that 2018 is going to be the year that Instagram marketing strategy-making levels up to be more advanced and modern. Instagram has added new functional analytics tools and fun new engagement features.
Instagram has launched the new feed algorithm that has changed the experience for everyone. Instagram is also opening up new opportunities for content makers and brands with their new Paid Partnership feature, and let us not forget how the Instagram Stories feature is attracting more engagement from the audience. Learn more about these features in our other articles.
Since this year has been a bomb of features and fun tools, you will be needing Instagram marketing tips to keep up.
Here are the top 7 useful Instagram marketing trends for 2018
1. Boosting Instagram Posts Will Become Normal for Everyone in 2018
Since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, a lot of content maker feared that Instagram will become a pay-to-play platform much like Facebook. It didn’t seem like it was going to happen but 6 years later, we are finally at that dreaded point when we are starting to feel the significant decrease in organic reach.
Fortunately, organic reach is not a lost cause, using Instagram Stories saved the day by giving brands a new, effective, and free way to connect with their followers. Including the usage of the Instagram Stories feature is definitely worth adding into your Instagram marketing strategy. This feature even lets the brands add clickable links to their content as well!
However, your marketing strategy can’t depend on Instagram Stories alone, if you want to keep a high engagement and reach on Instagram in 2018, you’ll eventually need to get acquainted with Instagram advertising.
Dealing with Instagram marketing strategies may be quite intimidating to many small business owners and influencers who are not very familiar with Instagram ads. Although Instagram ads have been around for quite a while, getting started will require a small level of expertise. However, running your own Instagram ad campaign is nothing to be afraid of!
Instagram has made its ads simpler and more available, you can simply boost your regular post with just a couple of clicks. There is no need to set up specific Instagram ads and targeting.
It only takes a few steps. Promoting Instagram post is much like to boosting Facebook posts now. You just need to create your regular Instagram post, and then once it’s posted you can choose to promote it to get more likes, impressions, and “profile visits.” This way, you can customize the goal of your boost in accordance with your Instagram marketing strategy. Your Instagram post then appears in the feed like normal, the only difference being the “sponsored” notation at the top and the call-to-action button.
This year, it is actually normal for brands to obtain low organic reach on Facebook. This means that most brands and small businesses are heavily dependent on Facebook ads to get their content seen by their target audience.
This scenario is not true for Instagram this 2018, but it sure will be a lot harder to reach a high engagement without any paid support or marketing strategy.
As a matter of fact, a number of Instagram influencers have already started promoting their posts in an attempt to keep their engagement high. They also do this to stay relevant.
For sure you would also want to stay relevant to your audience, if you are determined to stay ahead of the trend this year, then you better start learning more about paid advertising.
2. New Shopping Feature Changes the Retail Game
This year, Instagram launched a new shopping feature integration in partnership with Shopify.
What does this feature do? Instagram’s marketing new trend, the shopping feature, lets Shopify users tag their products in each photo, listing the item’s name and price right in the photo. Users can then click through to purchase the item right in Instagram, without having to leave the app.
According to Shopify and TechCrunch, “Instagram is already a ‘significant’ driver of Shopify merchant store traffic, so being able to convert said traffic right on the platform instead of round-tripping could result in a big boost of additional sales.”
3. Your New Home Page will be your Instagram Profile in 2018
This is the year when your Instagram feed will become just as valuable as the homepage on your website. More and more people are starting to search for brands on Instagram first, instead of Google. Which is why investing on your Instagram Marketing Strategy is just as important as investing on your website.
What does this mean for the brands? If you spend a lot of time making sure the photos and copy on your website are all amazing, then you would have to start doing this for your Instagram Feed.
Stand out by creating your own Instagram aesthetic and planning your feed so that it goes together as a whole is super important for growing your account, and it’s going to become an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy in 2018.
They say that the first impression is the last impression. It is true that your existing followers will not really visit you after clicking the follow button, but having a consistent aesthetic will help people decide if they want to follow you in the first place.
Take note that using a consistent colour palette and editing style goes a long way in making your profile come together.
If you still think that the aesthetic of your Instagram profile matters and is, in fact, a big deal, then consider this: Instagram has placed more importance on your actual Instagram profile and given brands a new way to get more followers, showcase their brand, drive traffic, and sell products with the release of the new Instagram Stories Highlights.
To give an example, Glossier has always been an early adopter of new Instagram features, and they already have multiple Instagram Stories Highlights on their business profile:
Glossier is using one of their Instagram Stories Highlights to feature a specific product, Cloud Paint, and at the end of the story, there is a call to action to swipe up, which leads you to the online shop to actually purchase the product.
With an amazing Instagram profile, you can increase awareness and education about your business in a single profile visit. I would keep a close eye on your profile visits stats in 2018, you may find that your Instagram marketing is growing your business, even without new followers.
4. Instagram Stories Ads as Your Secret Weapons
The concept of the Instagram Stories may have been just a copy of the version that Snapchat has, aside from the fact that Snapchat has more filters, but in 2017, Instagram quickly became a trending item and rose popularity to over 300 million daily active users, which is two times the size of Snapchat.
Using Instagram Stories for business is an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy for 2018, but the real trend for 2018 will be using stories to reach new audiences.
As all things should do Instagram advertising will continue to grow in 2018, and the real winners will be the early adopters who find success on Instagram Stories.
If you want to have a big opportunity to play around and find out what works for your brand while the digital marketing costs are still on the cheap side, then the stories advertising platform is the way to go.
Since a lot of people are very much enticed to watch their Instagram stories every day, you will be seeing more creative and conversion-friendly Instagram Stories ads in 2018.
5. Instagram UGC + Digital Rights Management Will Be one of the Hot Trends
The increased awareness about digital rights management for Instagram is brought about the rise of User-Generated Content nowadays. Due to the rise in user-generated content, your brand may end up seeking a social media policy and a process to ask permission and get approval from your customers to repost their user-generated content in any case, this will be playing an essential part of your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
Instagram has recently implemented Facebook’s Rights Manager program on Instagram, which allows publishers and creators to upload a library of their content to be monitored on Instagram. Publishers can then block their content if it’s being posted by an unapproved source, or monitor the video views.
You need to be careful in what you post in order to avoid a PR disaster this year. You have to make sure that you are following the rules and asking for permission before you repost on Instagram. You want to achieve that high engagement with the Instagram trends, but you would want to stay out of trouble as well.
Instagram is currently testing a regram button, which could help brands avoid sticky situations over photo permissions by ensuring that proper photo credit is given. But like Instagram’s paid partnership tool, it might not be enough to satisfy the law.
6. Sponsored Content Due to Micro-Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity thanks to Instagram, but in 2018 you won’t need to have to have millions of followers to cash in on this trend.
Micro-influencer marketing is officially the next big trend. Expect that brands are trying to find success in working with Instagram accounts that have smaller, but more engaged followings. Including micro-influencers in your Instagram marketing strategy could have a good return.
What does it really mean being a micro-influencer?
The definition varies from one person to another, but generally speaking, a micro-influencer is someone who has significant, but not massive, social media following. This could mean having anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
While Instagram influencers have gained something of a celebrity status, micro-influencers are more like everyday relatable consumers. Micro-influencers are trustworthy since they are like everybody else. Since they are effective elements to Instagram marketing, they might stay in the Instagram Trends list for a long time.
This year, you may want to get ready for when everybody (even your friends) starts to do #spon on Instagram as brands double down on influencer marketing and expand to micro-influencers.
Not all sponsorship has to be paid, brand sometimes reaches out to their loyal followers to give them a pleasant surprise. This makes their “regular” follower feel more engaged and connected with the brand along with Instagram influencers.
If you’re a small business, working with micro-influencers could be an effective and affordable way to grow your business in 2018.
#7: Gets More Analytical Instagram Marketing Strategy To Keep Up with the Algorithm
You have to pay close attention to your audience this year. Knowing and understanding your audience help you create content that will speak to them on a new level. This will improve your content performance.
This means that it is time to get up close and personal with your Instagram analytics this year.
Since the new Instagram algorithm is ever-changing and so dynamic, it lowers the reach and engagement everywhere. Brands and influencers are almost required to constantly be optimizing their content for the algorithm in order to get high impressions and engagement.
The bottom line here is that you should let the Instagram Trends this 2018 guide your decisions when planning your marketing strategy, but make something in your own style so you can stand out.