Instagram isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The online mobile photo-sharing service currently boasts 300 million active users.
It has become the social network for image-based social media marketing.
Forty-five percent of marketers are planning to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. In fact, marketers who spend 40 or more hours per week on social media platforms plan to increase their use of Instagram by as much as 49 percent in 2015.
Visual content is more important than ever to a brand’s marketing strategy, but, why then, are so many marketers struggling to create a captivating Instagram profile?
We’ve written down some of the top Instagram trends in 2015 to help you stay on fleek.
1. Use of images on Instagram to gain ground
I think we can all agree that Instagram’s popularity has begun to rival even Facebook. Today, Instagram is the most popular network for sharing images.
A study by Forrester found that Instagram posts achieved a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent. In other words, Instagram posts generate 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter and 58 times more than Facebook!
Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr, and Snapchat, all of these networks foresaw the importance of visual content and they grasped the opportunity. The social advertising trend is expected to help these networks expand even further.
2. Prepare to pay
In the past year, Facebook and other social networks have all but killed the organic reach of your Facebook posts, leaving you with no other choice but to pay for exposure (or pray for shares from your diminishing reach).
Social media is no longer a “free fride.”
Nearly every social network has thrown its hat into the advertising ring. Platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, have all experimented with advertising options in 2014 (promoted pins, video-ads, twitter cards, you name it).
Instagram is growing more powerful by the day. As other platforms are launching their ad products, spending there will rise in 2015. We’ll see Instagram experiment with new ways of advertising and ad dollars will flock to their visual property.
While some have called the new in-feed video ads incongruous, Instagram’s latest feature has been a welcome addition for marketers looking to target Instagram’s young, affluent audience. Marketers now have an option to pay on Instagram to target their 15-second videos based on age, gender, and country.
3. Link it up
In addition to the social advertising trend, expect to see powerful new ways of integrating social ads with brands’ rich databases and social media platforms for better targeting.
By using accurate behavioural data from your brand’s website, email campaigns, online communities, etc. and by closely interlinking it with your other channels and social media platforms, the opportunities for growth with social advertising are endless.
The better your data is integrated with your other marketing tools, the better your tailored social ads will be, making users feel less commercialized. We’ll be seeing a surge in visual content (pictures, graphics, gifs, short clips, etc.) and human, real-life related messaging of which the most relevant and targeted ones will dominate the scene.
4. Expand into the social video space
Instagram will also continue to expand in the social micro-video space.
While Vine, Snapchat, Hyperlapse, and Instagram are competing for the most popular video networking site, they’re differentiating themselves through various features, editing capabilities, and video lengths.
As we enter 2015, we’ll see Instagram leave Vine in the dust.
The up and coming social video trend offers new advantages and opportunities for brands to create emotionally compelling, audio-visual stories.
It also offers you a great way to get your message in front of your audience through influencers, vloggers, and micro-vloggers who produce a lot of gripping user-generated content on sites such as Instagram.
5. Go mobile
Carriers’ shelf space for mobile phones with 4.7” screens and over has increased from 4% to a third, whilst the number of mobile-only users on Facebook grew by 34 percent in 2014 alone.
This suggests mobile is no longer a secondary screen. It’s fast becoming first-choice channel! ‘Mobile aware’ should be ‘mobile first’ in 2015. Try to think about all the ways your social presence can cater to the mobile user.
Big platforms have already been doing this, with Facebook creating its separate Messenger app and acquiring mobile apps like WhatsApp, Karma, and Instagram.
If Instagram is a smart platform to reach your audience, take advantage of it now while the organic reach and engagement is still high. Of course, these aren’t the only Instagram trends out there. We’d love to hear your predictions for this year!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Top 5 Instagram Trends To Watch Out For In 2015
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