If your brand still doesn’t have a social media marketing strategy in place, you’re falling behind. Social media has become an integral element of every brand’s digital marketing strategy (and with reason). With major social media networks like Instagram growing at such a rapid pace, it’s hard to ignore the impact social media has in the marketing space.

Pictures are better than a thousand words… And no platform demonstrates this better than Instagram. Instagram is increasingly becoming the important social media channel in a comm pro’s toolbox. That’s why keeping up with Instagram marketing trends are fundamental. The visually-driven social media network has seen immense growth over the past year and isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Its effectiveness as a channel for brands to reach their target audience, which will continue to be the case in 2018.

As marketers, we recognize the immense opportunity Instagram offers brands in being able to reach their audience like never before. In a digital world where social media carries such significance, CMOs simply cannot avoid integrating Instagram into their 2018 strategy.

Marketers Share Ultimate Instagram Guide for CMOs

To fully leverage the potential of Instagram, CMOs need to take a forceful approach in crafting their marketing strategy for the new year. However, experienced digital recruiters know a thoroughly-prepared plan isn’t merely enough – a strong team of marketers capable of supporting your strategy is what makes it truly effective.

While there may be no perfect solution to make your Instagram marketing efforts successful, there are a few key measures to take to drive desired results. Here are 5 trends digital marketing recruiters encourage CMOs to focus on in 2018 to ensure their team is fully equipped to take on the new year.

The Rise of Instagram Stories

When Instagram first released its Stories feature a little over a year ago, it received mixed reviews as some saw its potential while others thought of it as just another tactic to copy other social media applications like Snapchat.

However, its popularity has soared among both users and businesses over the past year. Instagram Stories allows users to share daily moments with images and video that disappear after 24 hours. This makes it easy for content creators and social media marketers to create compelling content and advertisements that are easy to consume.

Instagram is supported by Facebook and its forceful advertising features – this allows CMOs to take advantage of tools such as Power Editor and Ads Manager to control how often they target their audience and tools that provide insight into the performance of their campaigns.

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories offers a feature that allows users to play with face filters and is the perfect way to have fun with your stories. In addition to advertising and promoting your brand, marketing recruiters encourage CMOs to use Stories as a way to present company culture and introduce members of your team in an entertaining and carefree way. This allows your audience to see that you’re not just a money-hungry company but rather a brand that they can personally connect with!

Video Content Is [and Will Be] King

Video is one the most effective forms of content in the digital marketing landscape. This type of visual content is extremely powerful and allows brands and marketers to create immersive content that will effectively drive engagement and create a unique experience for their audience.

In today’s competitive digital space, you simply can’t avoid implementing video into your content strategy. Thus, recruiters stress the need for CMOs to build a team of marketing talent who understands the power of video and is capable of producing dynamic video content. Whether you’re using video content to post to your Stories, or posting a preview of a YouTube video on your profile, high-quality content that is a thumb-stopper drive the most engagement so a team of experts is critical.

Influencer Marketing Continues to Thrive

Collaborating with influencers is still a powerful method of reaching core audiences you may never have had access to before, and will continue to boost brand awareness and engagement in 2018. When you find the right influencer to represent your brand, it can become one of the best ways to reach a wider audience organically.

Depending on how big their following is, the power Instagram influencers can have is incredible. Influencers with hundreds to millions of followers are able to introduce your brand and help you reach new communities of people you don’t have access to through other channels. However, the number of followers shouldn’t determine whether an influencer is a right fit for your company. That’s why marketing recruiters recommend identifying social media marketers that are able to seek out influencers whose values align with the brand.

The influencer community on Instagram is massive with an even larger cohort of followers that cross numerous demographics and groups. By combining the right offer with an influencer that accurately represents your brand image, you will see a significant return on Instagram marketing.

Marketing Is Nothing Without Data

Accounts that are business profiles have access to Insights, Instagram’s analytics tool. Insights allow you to access data that can be used to significantly improve your Instagram marketing efforts and campaigns. With access to insights regarding impressions, reach, website clicks, follower activity, video views, and saves, you have the opportunity to learn more about your audience and their needs. Understanding your target audience and how they intersect with influencer audiences can help you co-create engaging content they want to see. That’s why a media monitoring platform can give you additional insights about your followers, your influencers, their followers, your competitors, and your industry keywords.

Use these insights to learn about your consumers and engage with them. Ensure that you have a team of marketing analysts that can understand data and translate it into actionable information. The tools you use are only as good as the human intelligence you have to support them.

Engage, Engage, Engage!

Digital recruiters recognize that brands often neglect to pay enough attention to the engagement and interaction with users on their own page. This is a big mistake as abandoning great content is an unfortunate way to hinder additional engagement. Something as simple as a ‘like’ on a comment or a thank you reply will show that you are truly invested engaging with your audience.

Re-purpose content from the user – post pictures or video from users that involve your products or services. This is a fairly simple way to interact with your audience and post unique content. The more users see you engage with your audience, the more they will return that back.

Use relevant hashtags to boost engagement with your posts. By creating a trend of hashtags unique to your brand and re-posting user-generated content from those hashtags on your page – this will is a fairly simple way to drive user engagement.

Show your followers the human side of your brand – organically interact with them by following them back, replying to their comments and re-posting their content. This will do wonders in boosting brand loyalty and ultimately profit.

Final Words

In a highly competitive industry, brands need to embed themselves into their consumers’ lives to set themselves apart. Digital recruiters know there’s no better social platform to do that on than Instagram. This channel is a creative and compelling way to reach your target audience and create engaging interactions like no other platform can. Whether you’re a global brand or small business, focusing on these trends will increase your following on one of the biggest social platforms in 2018 and beyond.

While following these trends is key to ensuring that your brand sees success on Instagram, it substantially depends on your leadership as a CMO and the team you have to support your social media marketing strategy. Without the right support, your efforts on any platform are essentially pointless.

To learn more about Instagram marketing, download our on-demand webinar.

 

This article originally appeared in MarketPro, it was written by Bob Van Rossum from Business2Community, and is legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.