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Top 5 Instagram Marketing Trends Marketers Must Know for 2019

Whether you're a small business or a global brand, there's one thing you absolutely need to leverage to grow your digital presence: Instagram marketing.

But to be able to tap into Instagram's potential, you need to monitor and follow the latest marketing trends. Here are top five Instagram trends any marketer needs to keep an eye on in 2019:

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has largely evolved from a photo-sharing site to a powerful marketing channel.

Over the past five years, the number of Instagram users has grown 11x, totaling 1 billion active users, which made this platform one of the fastest-growing social networks.

Just take a look at the chart by Statista:

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What does Instagram's expansion mean for marketers?

Instagram is already a major player in social media marketing, and it will likely become even more prominent in the future. That's why you need to develop a solid marketing strategy that will enable you to use the platform to:

  • build brand awareness
  • promote products
  • connect with buyers
  • reach new audiences
  • drive sales
Instagram's continuous growth and variety of business-specific features ranging from clickable links to shoppable tags make it an attractive channel for marketers.

Currently, Instagram is home to over 25 million businesses, and the business competition continues to grow. As the platform gets increasingly saturated with advertisers, how does your brand cut through the noise, get in front of the right audience, and drive the increase in revenue you need?

The answer is: stay up-to-date with Instagram trends and use them to your advantage.

Without further ado, here are five Instagram marketing trends you need to watch in 2019:

Instagram Trend #1: High Customer Engagement Will Attract More Brands

Your social media presence won't have much value if you can't properly engage your audience - which is why users' interactions are so important. It's only after your audience starts actively responding to your content that you can meet your social media marketing business objectives.

In the multitude of social media platforms, Instagram stands out as the one with exceptionally high user engagement. According to Socialbakers’ Instagram engagement research, Instagram helps brands win more interactions when comparing Facebook or Twitter:

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Because Instagram is a highly visual platform and 65% of people are visually-oriented, the social network is great for keeping your audience engaged.

Plus, thanks to the variety of formats and content editing options, Instagram is a great place to get creative and show off your brand in a more interesting light - which helps to drive engagement, too.

Not sure how to create posts that will get your followers to hit ❤️? Check out this list of effective Instagram post ideas!


Here’s how you can make the most out of this trend:

  • Align your Instagram content strategy with your audience’s affinities, interests, and behavior to make your posts more personalized and effective in generating interactions
  • Use hashtags to make your content easier to discover, increase reach, and win more engagement
  • Don’t stay passive; make it a habit to regularly engage with your followers' comments and posts to encourage them to respond to your content

Instagram Trend #2: Instagram Will Become an Even More Powerful Sales Machine

Aside from driving engagement, Instagram can help you drive sales and turn your followers into customers.

According to Instagram Business, 80% of accounts follow a business on the platform, and 60% use it to discover new products. In addition, 72% of users buy products after seeing them on Instagram.

As you can see, Instagram users are pretty much ready to buy. Because of this fact and Instagram's optimization for ecommerce, businesses big and small are actively using the channel to increase sales.

Let’s take a look at J.Crew, an American multi-brand retailer. This company is a great example of how to use Instagram's multiple ecommerce features to get maximum results.

From optimizing their bio with links and action buttons to using Instagram Stories Highlights and shoppable posts, J.Crew knows how to promote their products and provide followers with additional information about selected items:


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As you can see, it’s very easy for J.Crew followers to discover the company's products and shop on the platform.

When the company takes a customer-centric approach and allows their followers to quickly find and purchase products, revenue grows immensely. The bottom line is this: the easier the checkout process, the more your followers will buy.

Here’s how you can make the most out of this trend:

  • Add a link to your bio to provide visitors with additional information and drive them to your website
  • Include action buttons to encourage visitors to learn more about your company and products
  • Use Instagram Stories Links and Highlights to show off what’s new
  • Create shoppable posts to let your followers tap on a shopping bag icon and buy products without leaving the app

Instagram Trend #3: Ephemeral Content Will Keep Audiences Hooked

Back in 2016, when Instagram Stories was first rolled out, no one could have predicted the popularity of ephemeral content.

In case you're wondering what ephemeral content is, it's short-lived content that doesn’t appear on a profile grid or in the feed, and that's only accessible for a brief period.

Within just two years of the launch, Stories has gained 400 million daily active users, which indicates that people enjoy ephemeral content on Instagram. Brands simply can’t miss this opportunity to leverage the Stories format to reach and hook their target audience.

“The volume of brands posting Instagram Stories has increased 4x over the
course of 2018. In the battle for organic reach and engagement, adopting
new content formats like Stories has worked well for brands as they are
consumed actively, while feed content is consumed passively.”
    
                                                            Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers

Learn more about the most important social media trends to remember in 2019 here!

Not sure how to leverage Instagram Stories for your brand? There are tons of ideas that work great for business - you can check them out in this article.

But for now, let's zoom in on one example of a brand that leverages Stories in just the right way.

Old Navy frequently uses Stories to advertise their clothing and drive traffic to their eshop. Because Stories only last 24 hours, the Old Navy's followers are afraid they'll miss out on the best deals, so they keep browsing the company's Stories and visiting their website.

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Because ephemeral content (not only Stories but also live videos) is short-lived, it encourages audiences to access it and take action before it disappears. It is also a great driver of ecommerce sales for brands.

Here’s how you can make the most out of this trend:

  • Use ephemeral content to spark buzz around your product or product launch
  • Leverage Stories to share user-generated content or involve niche-focused influencers to make your content more diverse thus improving reach
  • Encourage your followers to interact with your company through Stories by using questions, polls, and countdown stickers
  • If you have over 10,000 followers, insert clickable links to drive website traffic.
  • Run Instagram Stories ads to reach millennials who consume more stories on Instagram than on any other platform

Instagram Trend #4: IGTV Will Dominate the Market

Sometimes, images aren’t enough to keep users engaged, and the growing popularity of video format seems to confirm that. According to a study by Cisco, video will account for over 80% of all Internet traffic by the end of this year.

But the increasing number of people watching videos isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Users are also consuming the format in a very different way.

As mobile usage rose, people increasingly started using their devices in a vertical position. This means users are very often watching videos vertically, which is a trend IGTV is capitalizing on.

Since the roll out of IGTV in June 2018, Instagram’s longer-form video hub has been gaining popularity with more and more users launching their IGTV channels to connect with followers.

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Vertical videos are a perfect format to engage your audience, so don’t hesitate to make it an inherent part of your social media strategy.

Here’s how you can make the most out of this trend:

  • Analyze your competitors to get ideas for videos your audience might enjoy
  • Share how-to videos to explain how to best use your products
  • Stay authentic and show the human side of your business to increase brand trust and loyalty

Instagram Trend #5: The Potential of Influencer Marketing on Instagram Will Grow Stronger

Modern customers are often tired of dull, overused advertising methods. For this reason, they frequently skip brands’ content altogether and instead turn to influencers for product recommendations.

Influencers, in turn, use Instagram to capitalize on their recommendations for their customers’ purchase decisions. According to eMarketer, 78% of influencers consider Instagram to be the best platform for brand collaboration.

Here’s one example that perfectly illustrates why Instagram is influencers’ platform of choice:

Sarah Ellis and Philippa Bloom are fashion stylists and influencers. They run an account on Instagram, We are Twin Set, and have over 110k followers.

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Both women post their daily outfits and tag brands to enable their followers to easily find and purchase these featured items. As a result, brands are eager to collaborate with Sarah and Philippa who help boost the mentioned companies’ sales results.

Here’s how you can make the most out of this trend:

  • Before you begin your influencer collaboration, make sure that the influencer is the right fit for your audience and that their performance metrics are on point
  • Keep your eyes peeled for influencers who are already engaging with your content on a regular basis and turn them into your brand ambassadors
  • If you’re a small brand and worry that influencer marketing might be too much for your budget, focus on working with micro-influencers: they’re a lot cheaper but very effective! 

The Takeaway

Instagram is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of both users and marketers. The platform is already the go-to channel for thousands of businesses, and it will likely become even more prominent in the future.

To keep up with and make the most of Instagram’s ever-changing business features, it’s imperative that marketers stay on top of the latest Instagram trends. We hope that this article will help make your social media strategy aligned with the key trends dominating Instagram in 2019.

Learn how to improve your Instagram performance with these effective Instagram marketing tips!


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