As we enter the new year it’s a great time to reflect on how marketing strategies might evolve, especially within the ever-changing social media landscape and specifically look at how brands can make the most of such platforms to raise awareness and drive sales.
Instagram has dominated this space, as brands of all sizes continue to use this tool to spark exploration and inspire the modern consumer. In fact, since its birth in 2010, the social giant has grown from strength to strength and today boasts a userbase which exceeds 1 billion. Not to mention the fact that 61% of these users are actually active on a daily basis. Certainly, as social platforms go, it really does feel like a goldmine that can continued to be tapped by brands.
With this in mind, in this article we will talk about how Instagram will evolve in 2020 and what brands need to know in order to best use this platform specifically going forward.
If you weren’t already aware, consumers can now shop on Instagram. What was once just a photo-sharing app, now lets users shop with this new function, without leaving the app. Through the introduction of Checkout, Instagram has created a new way for consumers to engage with content and for brands to drive direct sales.
This year, we will see the Instagram Checkout feature blossom and become an essential call to action for marketing strategies. With so many brands making use of this function, it has never been more important for those working with true talent to continue to hold themselves to the same high standard set out by the platform and ensure that the landscape continues to remain authentic to all those that use it. We all know that the less genuine a channel becomes, the more likely it is to lose followers. That’s why we believe that as ad spend continues to increase on the platform, brands must work with credible and authentic talent and seek to craft stand out content that spark engaging conversations and drive advocacy in order to establish their identity, despite growing competition.
As always, rich visual content is an effective way of drawing in an audience, because it helps inspires action. On Instagram alone, video posts receive 38% higher engagement and generates 2.1X more comments and likes. However, given that the social media giant has very recently removed
the IGTV button (mainly because barely anyone seemed to be using it), perhaps a new medium will arise that will hero short-term video content, such as seen with the success of Stories. We think in 2020 Instagram will continue to pave the way for more and more video content and brands will then be able to experiment with new formats of video, with a focus on mobile friendly formats
Intelligent use of data
Instagram Insights helps brands learn more about their audience, their behaviour, activity and interests. But we think that in 2020 the demand for advanced data will increase. That’s because Instagram will continue to provide value for active advertisers who require further information who seek to optimise their unique creative tools. This way they can make improvements in order to separate themselves within the competitive market and engage with consumers who are otherwise becoming savvier. The key here is not just the creation of business intelligence about the online customer, but also the use of this data and how we can adapt, change and learn from these insights to enhance future efforts.
Unfortunately, 2019 saw many users fall victim to the lure of fast community growth and buy fake followers. Sadly, due to these synthetic communities which are based on fake followers, brands are losing money, trust and interest which is impacting the industry a great deal. We believe that 2020 will bring clearer transparency regarding the practices that nominate account owners as genuine or not and hopefully with this we can begin to restore trust in the industry. Frankly this issue of trust (or lack of it) isn’t going anywhere. Which is why, as the space continues to become even more crowded, brands will need to develop a talent marketing approach in order to identify authentic and credible professionals who deliver real results.
2020 is the year of quality
Last year Instagram announced that they would be hiding likes to remove the element of “pressure” and to stop the app from feeling “like a competition”. This move caused some serious discussion in the industry, not least because many marketers value when analysing campaign success. However, due to this announcement, we think (and hope) that brands will start to focus on a far more holistic and conscientious approach when it comes to their marketing strategies; one that values creativity over and above vanity metrics.
The rise of
Finally, as AR really starts to take off, we expect to see more AR technologies on Instagram, even to the extent that users will be able to generate their own filters. These tech advances mean that brands will soon be able to extend their presence outside of reality and reach new consumers who otherwise might be unable to visit a store. That being said however, these big tech changes and advances will definitely require marketers to be on top of these ever-evolving trends so that they can continue to enrich the consumer brand experience, bringing both new and established customers along with them.