The innovation of Systrom and Mike Krieger; founders of Instagram; was cut out with a simple goal in mind: Helping the creators share their images. After this innovation garnered 25,000 users 24 hours after launch, their growth kept skyrocketing from there on. After the Hurricane ‘Sandy’ hit in 2012, Instagram realized that the users were reinterpreting the power of the app.
During Sandy, the whole coast of US came together on social media in a way which majority hadn’t seen before. People were uploading pictures of themselves next to candles with no electricity, trees down, flooding and banged up cars. And that’s what lead the inventors thinking that this moment-sharing app can be powerful if organized and curated right.
And thinking about the potential of Instagram is very exciting, especially because it has transformed into a crucial channel for a ton of businesses. Today, we witness how more and more companies disseminate, owing to their channels and how the social network is a given in lots of strategies.
And with millions of users under their belt, Instagram has transformed into a repository for future memories – pictures and videos – that showcase what’s going on in people’s life. Aside from being the repository for future memories, have you ever wondered what is the future of Instagram itself is? If you’re a social media marketer, then there’s no way that thought didn’t hit your mind.
Over the course of this piece, we’d go over 6 of best predictions for Instagram. Let’s get started:
(1) Instagram Ads Will Turn Into a Crucial Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Whether you’re a business or influencer, with the consistent changes to IG algorithm and increased competition for getting your content seen, IG ads will transform into a vital part of your Instagram marketing strategy.
As the organic reach is taking a nosedive, you’d have to use Instagram advertising for bumping up engagement and the reach of your posts.
Although it mainly was the businesses that used IG ads before, “boosting” posts will soon turn into the norm for everybody.
The brands out there have been sucked in with the social media algorithm now. Just like Facebook, we’re about to witness a plummet in organic reach so that Instagram can squeeze out more money. While this will cause an uptick in Instagram’s business, it’s not the ideal thing for other businesses. In fact, such an approach from Instagram means brands which naturally fit organically can rest easy and the widespread obsession with growth hacking mindset.
A report says, 75% of Instagram users take action, like, visiting a site or buying something, after watching an Instagram ad. So that pulls Instagram out of the ‘criminal-mastermind-marketer’ zone as moving to paid search reach can reap you a ton of buyers and results.
(2) Instagram Stories Will Dominate
Launched in 2016, Instagram offered its brands a unique and effective way to reach followers. With the increasing growth of the app, it’s no surprise that the majority of the expert Instagram assumptions involved insights on the popular story feature. This has already become the new flagship of Instagram and it’s already camping at the top of your feed. In fact, facts like lower organic reach make the stories so much more crucial.
While many people were hesitant about using Instagram Stories first, everybody now has embraced it, which has turned into a prime aspect of their strategy, and, a really fun part of their day. The interactive aspect of it is what helps you make more connection through story responses. Lots of Instagram businesses and influencers are planning to utilize this tool more this year and using it to build a community, get traffic to other endeavors, and beyond. Even Instagram Stories Highlights, the feature is promising to steal the spotlight this year since it is a great way of skyrocketing your engagement, showcasing sellers, pushing out tips and tricks, writing product details and educating business owners, these are a few examples. And to top it all off, the feature is a great epitome of being more human and showing authenticity, instead of just being a nicely curated Instagram feed. You don’t even need to be perfect on Instagram Stories, and that’s what people connect more with.
Businesses and prominent influencers are already posting multiple IG Stories for showcasing their brand, generating traffic and sales. Haven’t used the feature yet? If not, it’s high time you do because it’ll wow your customers.
The bottom line? In 2018, expecting IG Stories to keep on dominating and becoming a crucial part of your Instagram marketing strategy won’t let you down.
(3) Video Content Will Garner A Ton More Spotlight
IG lets users upload 3-60 seconds long videos, and when the videos were first introduced on IG, more than 5 million videos were shared within 24 hours. IG’s video engagement numbers bumped up 53% in May compared to the year before. This surpasses the 46% growth ratio that picture posts got in the same timeframe.
Lots of brands have included video content in their IG marketing story.
Making videos, especially for Stories will be a new focus as well, especially because IG Stories ads started gaining popularity. While many individuals and businesses are intimidated because of the hard work that goes into it, without creating video content, it’s really hard to grow, right?
People should be more into sharing their art and figuring out new ways to express what the world means to them. Because Instagram has now given the sheer power of videos to them.
Although photo ads would probably remain the top dog in 2018, the count of businesses that plan on using IG video ads would almost double since last year, 38%, from 20%.
(4) Shopping Through Instagram Will Skyrocket
Shopping on Instagram is assumed to skyrocket throughout the year. In 2017, Instagram helped us with the option of adding links to stories, making retail brands and publishers very happy. And as Instagram brings up more tools for advertising and sharing links, soon enough, a lot of our online shopping experiences will begin with an Instagram post or story.
You can expect more of Instagram and Shopify integration soon enough, new shopping features are soon to be launched to Instagram’s wider user count in 2018/2019. Just take a look at the integration between Pinterest and Shopify, expect something similar.
Shopping would bump up even more and brands would start to see Instagram as a digital sales catalog, especially, obvious niches like, beauty, fashion, tech, food and perhaps even CPG.
A study found that, while 2017 witnessed a huge focus on ramping up brand awareness, 2018/2019 can be the time that IG fully evolves into a sales channel, due to more businesses than ever emphasizing on IG advertising, product promotion, and influencer marketing.
You can also anticipate shop-able feeds like http://Linkin.bio to get more popular with bloggers, publishers and anyone using IG to drive traffic to a precise page.
(5) Instagram Will Keep Putting Out New and Exciting Features
We witnessed a ton of new features launching on IG, making it easier for users to put out content and connect with their audience. Experts anticipates the platform would keep expanding with new capabilities and tools.
Instagram is probably trying to work out a way to build up virality on their platform. A ton of its most prominent accounts put out screenshots of tweets, which have gone viral in their own right on Twitter. IG wants people to create on their platform, so arming the average joe with the power to post something which can grow far beyond its followers will be a key to elaborating the platform.
Besides, the audience demands a ton of features to ease their life up. For instance, having a more targeted feed arranged by categories alongside a search tool like Pinterest, where you can search accounts you already follow within the food, fashion, travel categories for instance.
Another example is, having a ‘Favorites’ group, so you can keep all the people you love to see and comment on, in the group and observe when they posted. You use post notifications for these people as of now, however, sometimes they get lost with all the other notifications going on.
(6) Finding Creative Ways To Keep Up With Instagram Algorithm Changes
Lots of IG experts stated their hopes of IG going back to a chronological news feed. That said, because there’s no sign of turning back the clock yet, a few of our experts assume that users would keep looking for unique and new ways to squeeze the most out of their content and make sure their posts get seen. While we’re not going to get the chronological feedback again, seeing that, extra engagement would most probably require paid searches to support them. Some also want trending hashtags to come back because let’s admit it, it was fun witnessing what random national holidays were in full swing for the day. And if Instagram keeps focusing on monetization, we’d soon get flooded with many branded content and sponsored ads.
We’d need to find creative ways to get followers to the fresh content we get on our feeds, using cross-promotions, stories and any other avenues that we can find. Creativity and resourcefulness here is the key.
The Bottom Line
The coming years undoubtedly will be big marketing years for IG, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for this platform. Do you have any Instagram predictions of your own? Let me know below and I’d get back to you right away.
About the Author:
Mehedi is a freelance writer/blogger helping businesses grow with red-hot content. You can visit his site PowerhouseBlogger for actionable business tips. And if you want Mehedi to help you with content, you can hit him up on Facebook or Twitter.