For how much Instagram has become an international household name, it’s about to become even bigger this year. With a slew of new features as well as higher engagement rates, Instagram is poised to remain in the top spot as many people’s favorite social media platform. With this new foundation, we’ve studied a few of the top trends that we think will make a big impact this year.

 

A Growing Influence

We’re all pretty well aware of how influencer marketing works, but the actual returns on it might surprise you. Influencer campaigns can earn anywhere between $5 to $7 for every dollar spent on them, which is well worth the investment. With more and more companies realizing the benefit of using influencers, the game for this; however, is changing, which is why you should expect to see some shifts in 2019.

The most noteworthy change coming to influencer campaigns will come down to price point and delivery. While we often look at how influencers charge based on follower count (for example, for every 10,000 followers, $1,000 per post is a common rule of thumb), the income levels to that are changing based on audience engagement. Given how competitive the field has gotten, superstar influencers have been increasingly charging more (effectively raising the price for everyone), while local or niche influencers have also been raising their rates based upon local engagement (that is, proving their voice within their community has significant worth). All-in-all, expect this sector to continue growing in 2019, providing more of a competitive base all redefining how much influencers are genuinely worth.

 

The Increasingly Competitive Landscape

Influencers aside, Instagram as a whole is becoming much more competitive. This is where a lot of companies have their base, as well as the biggest success in engaging with them (more on this later). The most significant challenge businesses will face with this isn’t necessarily just being present on Instagram, but how they continue to drive sales and engagement with their audience; which will come up with daily upkeep of stories, creating more call-to-actions, creating quality content, and actively working on keeping their output consistent.

 

More Than Window Shopping

For retailers, Instagram’s buying features played a significant role in increasing sales for 2018, which is in why 2019 you should expect more of the same. In fact, we’re willing to bet if you opened your Instagram story feed right now, there most likely would be a call-to-action resembling “swipe up to buy” within the first 10 stories…which proves just how much brands have adapted to the practice, as well as how overwhelmingly responsive consumers have been to it as well. Yes, our strongest prominent call-to-action in our day-to-day lives has become “swipe up to…”, which a lot of marketers have begun implementing into their social mix.

 

Changing Engagement

A significant challenge a lot of Instagram marketers face is the constant changing of how engagement works on the platform, particularly with the algorithm. Granted, one of the biggest reasons we use Instagram is because brands regularly see higher engagement rates from their followers. However, the challenge comes with those looking to ‘game’ or ‘hack’ the system, which often leads Instagram  to change up how the algorithm works at hopes of giving other users a fair shot; and for most businesses, this means looking into how they can rework engagement strategies to level the playing field.

Some popular engagement methods have been focusing on the timing of a post per the industry; for example, those in the fashion industry might see a higher engagement at night versus those who work in something like politics. Furthermore, pursuing paid strategies can be advantageous. While it can take some active brainstorming and practice every day, establishing different engagement strategies that are more curtailed to your audience over the algorithm can be a wise choice to weather any changes internally with the platform.

 

Big Spenders

Finally, with how popular Instagram is with younger generations, it’s those in their 20-40’s that you really need to keep an eye on. Yes, the population of the platform is shifting demographics, which means the money these individuals have is changing as well. Not only are more young people on Instagram entering the prime of their careers, but they’re also using the platform to showcase what they consume. And no matter if it’s an impeccable brunch spread or a new outfit for a weekend, a healthy population of Instagram users has become pretty big spenders, which is definitely a demographic to make a priority out of your base.

While that’s not to say you should completely abandon your base or solely go after those with larger incomes, it’s not a bad idea to continuously be testing how you can reach these new audiences. Take a look at where the current high-value customers you have, as well as if your competition is possibly attracting a higher percentage of top-dollar spenders. Although it’ll take some trial and error, the number of those with more disposable incomes is coming in stronger numbers for Instagram, and definitely a market to take on capturing.

What are some trends you’ve noticed might make an impact in 2019? Comment with your insights below!

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