Are you running the company Instagram account and struggling to find ideas for new posts?
Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
Instagram marketing can be hard work. It requires a constant stream of high-quality and engaging images, videos in a weird aspect ratio (9:16), reaching out to influencers, a marketing team not too camera-shy, and many more areas of expertise.
Is Instagram marketing worth it?
But just like any other marketing channel, it might not be the perfect fit for your brand.
Maybe you don’t have the resources to jump on a new channel and ROI on other channels seems to be higher.
Or perhaps, your target audience isn’t active on Instagram.
However, the number of companies that can claim their target audience is hanging out outside the walls of Instagram is getting smaller as we speak. In fact, there are more than 1000 images, plus all the Instagram Stories shared every second. The amount of daily active users has surpassed 500 million users with more than 1.1 billion users logging in every month. Instagram is already the third largest social media network, and might soon be taking over the lead from Facebook and YouTube.
Are you still sure your customers aren’t there?
That’s what I thought too.
To inspire your content ideation process, I prepared a list of four Instagram trends to be aware of:
- Stories have taken over images. Videos will be the next.
- Brands collaborate with micro-influencers to increase reach.
- Brands display Instagram content on their websites to boost conversions.
- Your account mentions and data can enhance ad targeting and conversions on Instagram and Facebook.
1. Stories have taken over images. Videos will be the next
In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories to compete against Snapchat, and eyebrows were raised in marketing teams around the world: why copy a feature from a completely different service?
Today, we know the reason why.
There are 400 million active users of Stories per day. Despite the popularity of Snapchat, there weren’t many who would have foreseen the fast growth at the time of the launch. Now, with the copy of selfie filters back in 2017, the platform has grown twice the size of Snapchat.
Stories are created by combining images and short video clips but the launch of IGTV, Instagram’s new app focusing on longer videos, will challenge YouTube and drive the growth of videos on Instagram too. For teenagers, YouTube is the de facto search engine; that’s where they start the search process. And teens don't hang out there just for silly cat videos: they process the visual content a lot faster than text - making videos the most efficient way to learn something new.
You might want to invest some of your marketing budget on Instagram videos too.
2. Brands collaborate with micro-influencers to increase reach
If you aren’t new to Instagram, you must have seen images and videos by celebrities promoting products and services. Influencer marketing is an excellent way to reach out to new audiences but big name stars might be expensive and selecting the right influencer can be tricky.
Who are the best influencers for your brand?
Shocking news alert: your existing customers!
Seeing the product or service being used by someone similar to us increases the likelihood of us buying it too. We’ve always trusted opinions by our friends and peers - and Instagram is a recommendation channel on steroids: images posted on Instagram are viewed by many of our friends and followers and, with the help of right hashtags, they reach far beyond our network.
That's the reason why forward-thinking brands encourage customers to share their feedback on social channels by mentioning a hashtag and their branded account. They filter and analyse the content and then collaborate with the most influential customers (micro-influencers) to amplify their social media reach further.
For more inspiration, learn how brands use micro-influencers to drive conversions.
3. Brands display Instagram content on their websites to boost conversions
E-commerce has always been a big part of Instagram – a stunning 72% of users report having bought something they saw in Instagram. In 2017, Instagram launched a feature to tag products to images. These tagged products can link back to e-commerce sites, driving traffic and sales and making it even easier for consumers to move from insipiration to purchase.
However, not all companies have tangible products to sell through image tagging. Furthermore, websites (with the help of Google search and ads) are still the number one sales channel for many brands and minimal sales are made elsewhere (excluding companies with their products sold on Amazon).
Wouldn’t it be great if you could display authentic Instagram images posted by your customers on your product pages too?
With the right tools in hand, it’s fast and easy. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to add user-generated content from Instagram to your website:
- Create a catchy hashtag and ask your audience to share feedback by mentioning both the hashtag and your branded Instagram account.
- Use tools like Flockler to gather all the mentions of your account and filter the ones you’d like to display on your site.
- Embed the social media feed on your homepage and product pages. If you have multiple products, you can create a separate feed for each one.
For more details, check our short guide on how to add an Instagram mentions feed on your website.
Why would you add user-generated on your website?
Brands typically see a 20-30% increase in conversion rates when social proof is displayed on a product or booking page...
4. Your account mentions and data enhance ad targeting and conversions on Instagram and Facebook
If you’ve been responsible for brand social media channels in the past few years, I’m sure you’ve noticed a decrease in organic reach. Social media channels are becoming ‘pay to play’.
Not only is organic reach decreasing but the growth in the volume of content together with limited space in a user's News Feed means the advertising needs to be relevant too. In the long-term, the key to the success of Instagram lies in engagement level - and money won’t buy happiness. Only the most relevant advertising will be shown.
Who’s responsible for the ad relevancy and targeting on Instagram and Facebook?
The algorithms of both services will help you to find the right audience (and you can manage all the advertising via Facebook’s tools), but when it comes to ad relevancy, the finger is pointing at you.
That's where customer generated content can help you further. Authentic images by your audience (and the mentions) drive visits to your Instagram profile - and that information can be used for the targeting of ads on both Instagram and Facebook. The targeting options enable you to create Custom Audiences using profile visits and to build lookalike audiences too.
Also, you can increase the relevancy of your ads by asking for the customer’s permission to use their image in your advertising campaign. With tools like Flockler, you’ll be able to identify the most popular and engaging user-generated photos - and the ads with authentic images will have a higher engagement compared to pixel-perfect ones by your marketing team.
For more inspiration, check our latest blog on how social data can make your marketing smarter.