With the growth of Instagram over the past year, it’s no question that the social media platform is one of the best when it comes to reaching a large global audience. The trend of partnering with influencers strictly on social media has increased as well and with that we most constantly track what the current and upcoming trends are on the social platform. This allows us not only to initially appeal to the influencer that we wish to work with but acknowledging top marketing trends on social media serves as a guideline when we are working with an influencer as we explain what we expect of them when working together.
According to Latergramme, the automated Instagram posting application and website, and Media Kix these are the current top five trends that they have observed throughout the beginning of 2016 and where we can hope to see even more growth moving forward.
Using GIFs and an increase of video on Instagram
2016 is the year of the video and we expect Instagram to gain a whole lot more movement over the upcoming year. With new applications such as Apple’s Live Photos, Boomerang by Instagram and DSCO by VSCO, it’s no wonder that the social media platform is turning into somewhat of a live stream, allowing its users th personalize their posts and create a moving “snapshot” to share with their friends.
But customers aren’t the only users taking advantage of the video trend. Brands can use this as an additional opportunity to showcase how their product or brand actually functions in real time. If you’re running a fashion boutique, for example, having an influencer post a short video clip of a twirling in a dress you sell will help better showcase how lightweight the dress might be better than a picture can.
Even Instagram is a top supporter of this trend already updating the social platform so videos play on loop rather than having users manually start each video.
Advertising on Instagram
In 2015 Instagram launched a variety of new features to increase the ways that brands could advertise through the social platform.
Although many users aren’t keen to sponsored posts creeping up on their feeds, brands must realize the importance of creating relevant and engaging sponsored content that integrates itself into the users feed rather than scream out that it is an advertisement.
Linking to Content
In order to be successful on Instagram, brands must ensure that what they post is leading customers back to their original content, whether that be a blog, company website or online commerce site.
Although Instagram currently does not possess the ability to allow brands to post links directly in the caption of an image, we have already seen the increase in features such as Instagram’s “Buy Now” Button and other services such as the popular Like To Know It. These web applications are the closest thing we have to making Instagram “shoppable” and if you are selling a tangible object it is imperative to utilize what is currently available.
Consider working with a top bloggers through these web services. For example if you want to work with a fashion influencer, encourage them to post an image wearing a top from your brand and link it with LikeToKnowIt so viewers can instantly see where to purchase the top.
As the visual social platform continues to grow, customers expect to see a stream of only high-quality imagery. As customers expect more and more, the idea of “stock photography”, meaning that perfect looking imagery, will continue to grow and brands must ensure that their image quality is at its best.
Brands have the option to use outside tools such as Stocksy, which offers beautiful stock photography from Instagram-loved photographers, or Flashstock, which pairs brands with localized photographers around the world. These tools allow marketers to have more options to outsource their Instagram content. But high quality isn’t cheap — both of these tools come with a nominal fee based on the image chosen.
When working with influencers consider working out a way to double-check the imagery that they are planning to post. No one wants to see a blurry image on their feed so if the image they have planned is not high-quality enough, you want to have it switched out before it is exposed to the social platform.
Multiple Instagram Accounts
As Instagram continues to grow, brands need to adapt to the idea that consumers are looking for very specific characteristics when turning to Instagram. Brands need to create multiple account for their different types of customers.
A great example of this is Nike. The brand has multiple accounts based on the type of customer that searches for them. For example, the brand has @nike, @nikewomen, @nikebasketball and many more, all cultivated towards the different types of customers they serve.
This allows the brand to really hone in on what that specific brand persona of their customer is and how they can better market to the customer based on that. If a female customer is looking up the Nike brand on Instagram, she will be more likely to consider making a purchase if she sees an image of a women exercising in the Nike classic running short she’s interested in, rather than see a post of a man wearing basketball shorts.
When working with social media influencers, having multiple channels allows you to work with a variety of influencers. The more content you have available the more likely you can find an influencer that matches with your brand image.
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