Updated on November 8th, 2019.
As 2020 slowly approaches, we are all excited to see what will Instagram bring.
As one of the most popular social networks out there, Instagram is bringing a lot of innovations. Not a while ago, a photo of an egg was liked the most times (in irony, of course) beating the most liked photo of another influencer.
All of these viral concepts prove that Instagram is the new playground for both individuals and businesses. As we stepped in 2020, many are asking what the latest Instagram trends are.
Millions of businesses and companies have a business profile and use this social media as their primary or secondary revenue generation platform. There is a lot of competition, which means that if you want to win on Instagram, using an effective marketing strategy is key.
Posting random photos and spamming your followers with hashtags was a trendy thing to do in 2012, but not anymore.
Last year, a lot of predictions turned into reality. From the shoppable posts which went big up to the bots disappearing, Instagram has been working hard to shape up a new market for Ads and make use of all features in a great way.
Being familiar with the latest Instagram trends will help you plan your marketing strategy for the year.
Here are some of the trends that will keep your business ahead of the curve.
Instagram Stories Ads
One of the challenges with running grid feed ads on social media is that it is hard to link your product page to timeline posts.
If you run a verified IG account or have more than 10K followers, Instagram Stories make it easier for you to leave a link on your product page.
About half the number of monthly Instagram visitors or around 500 million people watch stories daily, which means ads can only get more prominent and more popular.
Video views, brand awareness, app installs, conversions, and lead generation are some of the objectives available for Instagram Story Ad. In 2020, we can expect more to be added.
More Interactive Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories officially launched in 2016 as an option to keep followers updated with daily activities in your business. Since then, Stories has evolved into a more interactive option.
One of the best things about Instagram stories is that you can engage with your followers. There are various interactive features such as countdown times, question stickers, and external links.
Here are a few tips to make your Instagram Stories more interactive:
- Ask a Question: It is not about the question you ask but how you ask it. The sliding scale is one of the best options to make your Instagram Stories more engaging. Adding a sliding scale poll is easy. All you need to do is upload a photo for Instagram Story, click on the stickers tab (at the top of the screen), click on the sliding scale sticker, type your question, and pick an emoji.
You could ask people how much they love your product or how much they are looking forward to your upcoming product launch. Even after you get your poll results, don’t forget to leverage this engagement. You can create Stories with your reaction or share the poll results.
- Add a Clickable Sticker: One of the biggest advantages of Instagram Stories is that you can connect with other people in a hashtag hub. When you use the hashtag sticker, not only will your new Stories be seen by your followers, but you have an opportunity to be seen by other people as well. If more people engage with your Stories, you might end up on Instagram Explore page.
- Use The Question Sticker to Get User Feedback: Instead of sending a lengthy survey that no one likes to read and respond to, try something creative. Use Instagram question stickers. Just like the sliding scale, think of the perfect question to ask your followers. This is an opportunity to understand your followers’ preferences, goals, and help you to brainstorm more content for the future. The responses will help you create better content that grabs followers’ attention and encourages them to tap through while engaging with your Instagram Story.
Focus on Your Bio
The biography is the only place where you can put a link and lead your followers to a website. As such, it definitely deserves attention. You can also use the Stories Highlights to drive your followers to your site.
The bio is seen on your Instagram profile. It is where you share who you are, what you do, and why people should follow you. Needless to say, it is among the most important aspects of your Instagram strategy optimization and should not be overlooked.
What’s interesting is that as of recently, Instagram announced an option to test the different ways of presenting user profiles on its website. With this, you can not only improve the user experience (UX) but also encourage more followers to click on that Contact button or visit your website.
Shoppable Influencer Posts
A few months ago, Instagram launched its new option – shoppable Influencer posts. By using this option, people can now get to the checkout page of a product on an influencer’s post without leaving the page.
This option is still restricted to influencers for now.
Influencers like Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid are being used to test the feature. In 2020 we can expect more features to be added to make business pages more like online stores.
Here are some examples:
Urban Outfitters, has added a link to their shop at their Instagram profile page. Instagram is making it more straightforward for followers to purchase from their favorite stores.
If you click on the link, it will take you to the brand’s store on Instagram, where you can find a checkout link to their official website.
If a user doesn’t want to purchase a product at the moment, they can save it to their collection tab, and when they are ready to buy the product or compare it with a similar product, they can head to the tab under the profile.
Direct product links coming up on the Explore tab are another trend we can expect to see in 2020. You can see them marked with a white shopping bag at the right corner of the image. When you click on the bag, you will be directed to the embedded website to buy the product.
Taking Influencers on Vacation
In 2020, you have to work harder than only getting a few influencers to publish your content or promote your brand. Some brands have gone so far as to taking their influencers on vacation and letting them try their products while they are there.
For example, bikini brands are taking famous models to vacations where they get to wear their collections, have fun and obviously, snap as many pics as possible. Another example is Revolve, which is a brand that selected a dozen of Ivy League Instagram followers and took them to Utah on private jets. Their mission was clear – to create raw and behind-the-scenes shots that presented the brand from all the juiciest angles possible.
The end goal is more followers and more profits.
New Ways to Use Hashtags
Let’s face it – hashtags have always been a great way to attract new people to your Instagram profile. The techniques, however, are continually evolving. In 2020, you won’t get on the IG Explore tab by spamming your post with 50 hashtags.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using hashtags on Instagram.
- Hashtags Can Be Followed: Just like regular accounts, users can now follow hashtags. Using the right hashtag that your audience follows can help your new posts end up on more user feeds.
- Hashtags on Stories: While adding hashtags on Stories is just like adding them on a regular post, it is a real challenge to get into a hashtag aggregated story. You can add up to 10 hashtags, and if it is a popular one, you can bet other businesses are using it too.
- Insights Can Track Hashtags: In 2020, with an Instagram business account, you can view Insights for a specific post and get reports for the impressions from the hashtag you are using. This is an excellent way to know which hashtags work and which don’t.
In the past, the vertical video was a feature that usually went with all the “turn your camera next time” comments.
In 2020, vertical video has been embraced by Instagram – and it is one of the Instagram trends you should be aware of. With Stories, Live, and IGTV gaining in popularity, vertical videos are in fashion, not just on Instagram but also on YouTube.
For Instagram, getting better at video production can help you boost your content performance this year. Even if you are not a pro, you can start playing with apps such as InShot or Storeo and post your results on Stories.
More Augmented Reality (AR)
Instagram filters joined the platform after a wave of popularity with SnapChat. Instagram adopted these features and made them available for users at the time of the official release of Instagram Stories.
If you remember the days when Pokemon Go was popular on Instagram, you probably know that the mobile game used artificial reality (AR) technology, which offered an interactive experience of a real-world environment with the use of “augmented” objects.
If you haven’t seen these AR stories, here is a sneak peek.
Right now, celebrities like Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Will Smith are launching their own AR face filters, which you can only unlock if you follow the celebrities on Instagram. If you are an agency or a brand, you can also apply to become one of the first AR filter adaptors.
Face filters have become even more popular as the younger generations have used them with their posts.
The trend is literally everywhere on Stories despite that it’s currently in closed beta. However, it will likely emerge in the short future.
Keep on the lookout for businesses using AR to market their new products in 2020.
IGTV Will Become Big
Instagram TV (known as IGTV) is a big new feature that suddenly popped on everyone’s screen. It was announced and launched in June last year as a new video platform dedicated exclusively to mobile users.
Unlike YouTube and other platforms, IGTV is meant to play vertical videos and is therefore suitable for all marketers and content producers in need of a mobile-only audience.
With this, Instagram clearly wants to encourage more people to create video content but also keep up with the latest Instagram trends and use their mobile devices in a vertical position – something that we talked about above.
The bottom line is that a 2019 Instagram marketing strategy won’t work in 2020. New trends have replaced the old ones.
You can see that there are many clear indicators that go in line with the trends and discern the focus of the best Instagram marketing campaign. The goal, obviously, is for you to keep up with the trends so you can stay up-to-date with the practices that will work for your business.