The major trends of 2018, 2019 as well as predictions for 2020, all point to Instagram. These trends include the importance of social media Stories, the financial success companies are gaining from in-app shopping and the development of IGTV. Together, these trends put Instagram high on the list of social media platforms your company not only needs to be on but should be using to its full potential.
The Boom of Stories
Using Stories on social media began a noticeable increase at the end of 2018 with no signs of slowing down. Stories started on Snapchat, then spread to Instagram, Facebook and now What’s App. The graphic below shows statistics about Instagram’s Story feature. As Stories grew more popular, companies started to use paid media on Stories as opposed to posts that would appear in a user’s newsfeed. Brands develop an ad similar to what users normally see as they tap through the endless stream of stories, causing users to not realize they are looking at an ad. Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, experts predict to see the number of companies utilizing Stories to increase on Instagram, as well as spread to different platforms. While many brands are posting Instagram Stories, only 9% are posting to their Facebook Story. It is believed that companies that become early adapters of this tool will likely see its benefits.
Reaping of In-App Shopping Rewards
Starting in 2018 and taking off in 2019 is Instagram’s new feature which allows companies to sell physical products to consumers right there on the app. By June of 2019, brands reported a 1,416% increase in overall user traffic as well as an average 20% increase in revenue through this new feature. Some brands have seen their revenues increase up to 100%. Sixty percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on Instagram, which makes them an ideal platform to offer this option. Instagram has an audience ready to buy and now provides them a way to buy on their app. For companies that already have a BigCommerce or Shopify account, adding Instagram’s in-app shopping feature is recommended, since it is free to use. The numbers for this feature are already high and are predicted to increase.
The Development of IGTV
IGTV, released in 2018, is a standalone app, as well as a function within Instagram. IGTV allows for longer videos to be posted on Instagram as well as an app that functions similar to Instagram but focuses mainly on videos. This allows for brands that hire popular YouTube influencers to have their full sponsored video posted on Instagram. Instagram developed this feature after noticing the growing presence of videos on social media. Looking towards 2021, Instagram believes mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic.
Other Key Trends
In 2018, the marketing industry saw an approximate 32% increase in budget allowance for social media ads. By 2019, companies started to see an increase in their revenue generated from social media ads. This relationship promoted the professionals in 2019 to recognize that paying for social media ads is an investment that needs to be paired with an equal investment of creativity, time and targeting.
In 2019, studies found that over half of companies do not yet have a documented social media plan. However, as companies begin to learn the importance of this aspect of advertising, consulting firms have noticed an increase in requests for an official social media plan.
A new social media platform is making its way up the charts. TikTok is experiencing a quick rise in users and downloads. Specifically, in the seven month period from September 2018 to March 2019, the number of US adults on TikTok doubled. Despite all these potential customers, less than 1% of businesses are currently on TikTok. Experts predict a steep increase in the number of business accounts and recommended that brands be early adapters and get an account to engage with potential customers.