Social media is changing at the speed of light. Just when you have mastered one marketing hack, another one pops up. Nothing could be truer for Instagram which had a bumper 2017 in terms of upgrades and features. Instagram is fast becoming a leading traffic-boosting contender, and with the boost of Influencers, this is expected to soar this year.
In this post I will show you the top 6 Instagram marketing trends you should be keeping a close eye on this year.
1. Get Ready for Instagram’s Shopping
Instagram’s new shopping Instagram feature is set to launch this year and it’s going to change the eCommerce Instagram marketing game. The feature, which has been in testing until October 2017 when it was announced that it would be rolled out to Shopify’s US store owners.
So why the hype? Because with Instagram shopping your customers will be able to buy a specific product, by simply clicking the picture of it in your Instagram account. This is a huge leap from having customers having to click through to links.
In order to ensure you can cash in on this Instagram marketing trend, make sure you’re set up and ready to go. You can do this by getting your store approved by Facebook shop and importing all your catalogs. After you have done this, you will see an Instagram message in your app guiding you through connecting your Facebook Product Catalog to Instagram and instructing you how to tag your posts.
As a Shopify shop owner, you can visit this Sign-Up Page to ensure you are notified as soon as the app is launched in your area. hey advise you to:
- Make sure you have set up an Instagram Business Account
- Install Facebook catalog onto your Shopify store through the Facebook channel
- Meet the product requirements
2. Say Goodbye to Spammy Instagram Bots
I can not say I am sad to see the back of bots; there is nothing worse for an Instagram user than getting fake likes and generic comments from business accounts using automatic follow programs. As I mentioned in eCommerce 2018 Trends post, personalization will play a big role in online shopping trends this year, and generic commenting that has little relevance to the specific post isn’t going to cut it.
Instagram has been trying to crack down on these bots, which have increased substantially over the last year, and now penalize bot behavior for fake follows and repetitive commenting. Instagram shadowban is nothing new, but don’t be surprised if you notice a big difference in your engagement in 2018 if you:
- Are repeatedly reported by users
- Use banned hashtags on posts
- Have big unexplained activity surges
- Use bot software or apps against Instagram’s T&Cs
Check out Later’s Is the Instagram Shadowban Killing Your Engagement? Here’s How to Fix It full guide to Shadowban and how to ensure you’re not being penalized.
3. Story Domination
It is reported that Instagram Stories surpassed SnapChat in 2018, to reach 250 million daily users. There is no doubt that Instagram Stories has had a hugely successful year. A lot of its changes were awesome for eCommerce, such as the introduction of links to stories(currently for accounts with 10k or more followers) that enabled eCommerce to send story watchers to product or landing pages.
It should therefore be no surprise to know that Instagram Stories are expected to dominate the platform this year and if you’re not cashing in on the action, it’s time to add Stories to your content marketing strategy!
Some new Story features that have been rolled up over the past couple of months include Highlight Stories, where you can showcase a story in your profile instead of having it disappear after 24 hours, Gif Story Integration which launched this month, and Story Polls.
All doing very well for story engagement.
So what’s next for Stories ? Desktop Story Views and Story Links to all accounts is expected end of the year and of course we should see even more effects, mask and story features.
5. UGC Digital Right Management
We spoke a lot about UGC content last year, and Instagram is pushing to increase this hard in 2018. But with it, expect more structured digital rights that business accounts will need to adhere to which will include you asking permission to share UGC before posting to your Instagram account.
The days of just reposting content without asking are over. You may have seen this viral post from last year…
With the development of Facebook’s Rights Manager, users can get help monitoring their photos to ensure they are not being used incorrectly.
While Instagram tests their regram button – which will allow accounts to share content with the right attribution, make sure you are now asking for permission to repost user content.
6. Boosted Posts
Using popular hashtags is not enough anymore. Like with Facebook newsfeeds, to ensure your posts are seen, you need to seriously consider boosting your posts going this year.
Let’s face it, Facebook is in it for the money and if you have found your business organic reach drop, this is to be expected. This year it’s expected to drop further as reach without ad-spend will be harder and harder to get and we will be keeping a close eye on this to offer you insights and guides on how you need to work organic and paid content together.
So for 2018 we can expect more stories, more shopping and less organic engagement and a lot fewer bots. The key to eCommerce this year is personalization, and by the looks of these marketing trends, Instagram will be no different. The trick is to not cash in on quick-schemes to grow followers, to keep pushing out awesome content to grow your following organically and to invest in videos and stories to give your brand that personal touch.
Have something to add? I would love to hear from you; post your comments below.
Author : Nicole Blanckenberg
eCommerce strategist and content Guru, Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa and other leading eCommerce blogs with over 15 years experience. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she’s not researching the next content trend, consulting on blogs or creating informative small business content, she’s an avid beach goer and coffee shop junkie. Visit her Facebook Group: eCommerce Entrepreneurs