In 2018 Facebook & YouTube dealt with major privacy issues. Snapchat nearly ran out of money. Twitter took another dive and spent most of the year killing off bots and fake accounts. But Instagram introduced global shopping, a couple dozen new features, social responsibility filters for things like bullying and mental health – and took over the influencer marketing world.
Currently, over 500 million people use Instagram every single day – which is close to 60% of total users.
Why is Instagram blowing up the internet?
Because of its unique nucleus: pushing individuals to self expression, through the most popular form of digestible content on earth – photos and video – while policing brands to promote social responsibility through excellent, beautiful content that people want to consume.
What does this mean for 2019?
Organic reach is going to drop. It already did in 2018, but the more users on the platform sharing and consuming more and more content, the less people are going to see your content. If you go into a small grocery store first thing in the morning in your hometown, chances are you’re going to run into someone you know or someone you recognize. But if you head to the city centre on a friday night, surrounded by thousands of people – chances of bumping into people you know (even if there are 5 times as many) are much slimmer. Make sense? That’s how saturation and reach works.
Buying followers or using bots are a thing of the past. Meaning, they still exist, but it’s very uncool to jump on that bandwagon. But bits bigger than off trend: the chances of you being booted off the platform, penalized and losing all your social proof – are drastically climbing. Instagram is getting smarter and they can afford to be far more exclusive between people and brands who’ve actually put in the work to build and curate a beautiful feed and following – and those who haven’t.
Instagram Shopping is going to change the world. Okay maybe it’s not as breakthrough as the internet – but it’s not too far off. Instagram Shopping essentially adopted a pinterest hybrid, where users tap on the photo and the platform then provides details on the items within the image with links to purchase on mobile. 72% of Instagram users have purchased an item through Instagram shopping already – and a lot of people don’t even know that it’s a real thing yet. That’s going to change in 2019. In fact, as of last month, 98% of all fashion brands are on Instagram and either haveenabled Instagram shopping – or plan to.
What we can expect in 2019 for Instagram Marketing…
Influencer Marketing continues to skyrocket past all other forms of digital marketing in both popularity and effectiveness. Paired with Instagram Shopping right in the platform – expect this trend to continue. Keep an eye out for micro influencers specifically.
Micro Influencer: a personal brand or individual on a platform who’s built their influence and fame through the content they share.
Use social media a vehicle for success
Typically use their profiles as lead generation tools for business or service they provide outside of the platform
Active members of a niche community (yoga, fashion, tech, fitness etc)
Hyper engaged in their social media accounts, communities and relationships
Typically 5-50K followers on Instagram
Mainstream influencers have gradually reduced their effectiveness and people are really sick of famous celebrities. Authenticity is the new “in,” mass marketed to the individual as self expression. People want to support the up-and-comer – but like, you need to know who they are too. Since 2017, influencer marketing doubled. And 93% of those campaigns ran through Instagram. Youtube and Facebook tied for second, but their numbers topped at half of instagram’s bandwidth.
One of the coolest things about advertising on Instagram is the ways users interact with ads, sponsored content and brands. While on Facebook, only 32% of users interact with brands on a regular basis – that number jumps to almost 70% on Instagram.
Why? It all boils down to one key factor: Facebook tells you why to buy from them, while Instagram shows you.
Instead of avoiding sponsored content, Instagram users don’t care if it came from their friend or a really cool brand. It’s all about the content. And it keeps getting better.