Are you looking to improve your brand’s Instagram presence with more interesting and engaging content? That’s a good decision because the platform is constantly evolving, and posting quality pictures or videos of your products or services may not help you stand out from the pack.
Why? Because the number of active Instagram business profiles has skyrocketed in a relatively short period of time. The data provided by Statista suggests that there were 8 million of them in March of 2017, but by the end of the year, the number increased to 25 million!
Clearly, if you want to be successful on Instagram, you have to be aware of the latest trends in social media content marketing, integrate them into your existing strategy, and add improvements constantly. Since the competition is getting more and more extreme, doing so could be your way of differentiating your brand from others and keeping your leads and customers engaged.
So, let’s examine content marketing tactics that your brand has to employ to get the most out of Instagram campaigns.
1. Use shopping tags and stickers
Social media and Instagram, in particular, play a huge role in increasing brand engagement and sales because many people go there to look for products and services. Just listen to this:
- 96 percent of U.S. fashion brands have business profiles on Instagram source: brandwatch.com/blog/instagram-stats
- 50 percent of Instagram users say they research products on social media
- Brand engagement on Instagram is much greater than other popular platforms; in fact, it’s 54 times higher than Pinterest and 10 times higher than Facebook
- 72 percent of Instagram users say they made a fashion-, beauty-, or style-related purchase after seeing a product on Instagram source: danarebeccadesigns.com/resource/the-fashion-impact-of-instagram
Without a doubt, connecting with prospects and customers on Instagram will be one of the most influential factors that define the success of brands on social media. This means that your brand should also use the shopping features of the platform to help your followers with product research and increase sales.
That shopping feature is called “shopping tags” and they can be added to both images and stories. For example, if someone taps a product sticker in your story or a product tag in one of your posts, they’ll land on the landing page for that product where they’ll get the information they need.
Image Credit: Instagram
- Add direct commerce options such as product tags and stickers to your Instagram content marketing strategy to allow customers to buy from you there.
- Make professional, quality photos and video content to showcase your products and services
- Drive visitors to your website to begin their shopping experience with call-to-action (CTA) buttons like “Subscribe,” “Browse Collection,” and “Learn More.”
Creating a brand is all about creating a high standard of value to the consumer choice. You cannot build authentic relationships with your consumers until you pay attention to their choice.
2. Create vertical videos
This next trend is a big surprise for many people because, well, it used to be a bad thing. For example, just a few years ago, if you shot a vertical video on your smartphone and shared it with your friends on social media, you’d get some comments telling you to turn your camera around to get a better view.
Now, however, things have changed. Instagram users are increasingly warming up to vertical video, and one of the main reasons for that is the popularity of Instagram stories, most of which are essentially vertical videos.
Men and women of Instagram have made them super cool and extremely shareable. That’s why you should add vertical videos to your video content marketing strategy to produce videos that your followers would readily like, share, and comment on.
One of the brands that do a great job with vertical videos is Tastemade. Check out their Instagram feed, and you’ll see that it delivers well-edited vertical videos longer than 30 seconds and is not using horizontal video.
Image Credit: Tastemade/Instagram
Many experts in online trends and businesses also see the vertical video as a great way to connect with followers and improving their viewing experience. For example, Salah Zalatino, head of product and tech at Forces, said the following about vertical videos in the recent interview with Digiday:
“I see vertical video as the future of mobile video. We have seen 15 to 25 percent higher click-to-play on vertical video. We are currently reformatting some of our videos into vertical videos.”
Here are some ideas for you to take advantage of this medium:
- Use the “unfolding story” technique. One of the main reasons why people love vertical videos is that often they show some planned events they cannot visit. For example, you can film the best moments of live events, thus creating suspense and interest, which is something many people want. In fact, 45 percent of live video audiences say they would agree to pay for live, exclusive, on-demand video.
- Record behind-the-scenes content. This is a particularly intimate way to introduce your followers to your brand and products, which you should definitely use.
- Create useful and interesting content. You know your target audience very well, so use their interests and content needs to give you some ideas for future videos; for example, these could be tips, quick how-to guides, interesting events around the industry/niche, and just funny videos.
3. Use IGTV for branding
Instagram TV (IGTV) was launched earlier, and it quickly became a sensation. Not only it allowed brands and users to upload hour-long videos, but it also opened a new, exciting way for businesses to engage in branding.
Before this amazing feature was released, businesses on Instagram had only one-minute videos and even shorter stories to add to their profiles. IGTV was a logical step in enhancing the platform’s video-related features that presented new opportunities for businesses.
Here are some ways in which your business can use IGTV to improve your video content marketing next year.
- How-to videos. These are incredibly popular on all social media platforms right now, so you can also win your share of the market by creating tutorials. Since IGTV now allows longer videos, you have more time to explain things in more detail; therefore, be more helpful to customers.
- Documentary/Behind the scenes. These two styles are similar because they both enable your followers to take a look at how a typical day at your business’ office looks like. You can even film a day in your personal or professional life to demonstrate what values you stand up for and what you do to make sure that your customers get great service.
- Significant events. This could be a celebration of a birthday, an announcement of a contest, a presentation, a conference, etc.
For example, one of the world’s best cooks and an owner of many restaurants across the globe Gordon Ramsay uploads videos of him playing in a charity game of soccer, which is a major hobby of his.
Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Instagram
This way, Ramsay keeps his followers engaged and interested in his personal brand. Besides, it’s a great way for him to share other interests besides cooking.
4. Use micro-influencers to promote content
Images and videos by celebrities promoting products and services isn’t a new thing to Instagram, but in 2018 more and more brands are choosing to go with a different kind of influencers called micro-influencers. These are ordinary people who have built significant social media followership but still have far fewer subscribers than their million-plus peers (between 10,000 and 100,000).
Although their audience size may be modest compared to other influencers, their impact is profound. In fact, they could be key to your digital marketing success. And since micro-influencers prefer Instagram to post content and engage followers (in fact, 80 percent f them say they use this platform – take a look below), chances are you’ll find a lot of them working in your industry or niche.
Source: Bloglovin’ Global Influencer Survey
Here are the reasons why your brand should be using micro-influencers on Instagram.
They are more cost-effective than macro-influencers
According to the aforementioned Blogloving’ Global Influencer Survey, most micro-influencers charge less than $250 per post, which makes them much more affordable than macro-influencers who charge a lot more.
Source: Bloglovin’ Global Influencer Survey
They can help to build authentic relationships with followers
“Online audiences are craving authentic relationships with brands because they’re tired of being sold to.” – Mark Ronso, the Marketing Manager at Top Writers Review. “Since micro-influencers don’t generally endorse brands and products they don’t believe in, many people consider them more credible resources than influencers who have millions of followers.”
Many followers of micro-influencers consider them friends, and we know how important personal recommendations are for influencing buying decisions (in fact, consumers can be five times more influenced by recommendations from family and friends than celebrities). With celebrity influencers, however, things are different, especially when their post is added with #ad.
They can help to create engaging content
Micro-influencers can do wonders for your social media content marketing because they are great at creating awesome, relatable content that their followers love. Many of them produce quality images and videos, so you won’t compromise the quality of your marketing here as well.
A good example of a well-known brand that was not afraid to use micro-influencers for a content marketing campaign from the beginning is Sperry, a footwear company. In 2016, the brand started working with over 100 micro-influencers on Instagram and asked them to develop visual content for their official accounts.
Sperry conducted research and found Instagram users who were sharing cool-looking photos of Sperry products in action, and invited them to make more content. The results were great. For example, here’s a post from the official Instagram page of Sperry that was created by a user with a nickname Ourlifewithporter. As you can see in the comments section, the brand thanks the user for being their fan. The image also is very cute!
They allow to tap into a niche audience
As it was mentioned above, micro-influencers have a small audience that shares a certain passion or an interest. This audience chooses to follow a micro-influencer instead of a macro-influencer because they perceive them as more genuine and authentic (besides, macro-influencers are much more likely to be involved in paid marketing campaigns even with brands they don’t use). Therefore, they trust micro-influencers more when it comes to product recommendations.
Since micro-influencers typically operate in a certain niche, cooperating with one is a great idea if you’re working in the same niche because their audience has an interest in it.
Important considerations for making your cooperation with a micro-influencer successful
- Define your goals. Micro-influencers cannot help you with everything, so keep their limits in mind. For example, they can help you generate more leads, increase traffic, and improve sales, but their impact is typically limited to one niche.
- Carefully study the audience of a micro-influencer you’re considering for cooperation. For example, you can check their geographic locations, gender, type of posts they like and comment on, etc.
- Define whether a micro-influencer would be interested in cooperating with your brand. As it was briefly mentioned above, micro-influencers prefer to work with brands whose products they really love, so check if that influencer has an interest in similar products by checking his or her feed.
- Define how engaged a micro-influencer’s audience is. Engagement is one of the critical metrics here, obviously. Review posts made by an influencer and see what kind of response they get (likes, comments, etc.). If the engagement is low, chances are that your campaign with that influence won’t be successful.
- Does an influencer’s style match your brand’s style? This is also important because if a brand and an influencer are a mismatch, people will notice that pretty quickly.
Content marketing is a great way to improve your brand’s Instagram presence, increase the number of leads, and, of course, improve sales. Content remains king in digital marketing, so it’s safe to assume that brands will continue to produce more content to engage online audiences.
In this article, I’ve given you the latest trends in Instagram content marketing that will define the success of brands, as well as strategies needed to ensure that your brand follows them. Being updated about all new trends is critical in digital marketing, especially in ever-changing social media marketing.
Hopefully, this information will help you to stay ahead of your competitors and increase the relevance of your brand on Instagram. Remember, it all starts with a commitment to keep up with the needs of your target audience resembled in these latest trends. If you do that and adopt the best practices, your brand’s Instagram account will be super popular.
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