10 Instagram Predictions to Energize Your Business Results in 2020

Before we start, let me warn you — this is way longer than my usual.  Usually I try to stay short and be very concise.  I think I’m still concise here.   But there’s a lot to talk about.   This is me going around the internet, finding what I think are great tips for 2020; and then adding opinions, thoughts, suggestions.

Will this grow your audience?  Absolutely yes.

Will this bring in more money?  Absolutely yes.

Some of you have very modest social media.  For you, this is an ambitious step forward.  Not a bad thing.  But let’s find the “baby steps” version of this to start you off.

Some of you are already kicking ass.  A lot of this is a significant upgrade.  We can do it.  We will do it.  Keep breathing.  Remember, that we are here to answer questions, brainstorm and figure out how it best workds with your needs.

Lastly, this is the full “Top 10”.  I’m going to try to find time in the next few weeks to break each one of these down in its own separate letter and details them better.

To help you kick off January with a supercharged Instagram strategy, I’m giving you my breakdown down on all the biggest trends to watch for the next year, and beyond.  

#1: Words Will Become More Powerful than Images

Instagram used to be all about the visuals —  organized, aesthetic, high-quality photography, and relevant images were a must. 

 

Now Instagram captions will take over! Influencers are sharing lengthy captions on their posts to give greater insight into their world or to share their knowledge. 

 

Micro-blogging in captions is really paying off.

 

 

Longer captions create more positive engagement rates

 

On average caption lengths are 405 characters — which averages out to be 65-70 words!

 

#2: IGTV is about Series Content 

Video is the future of Instagram and a ton of brands are now creating long-form video content for IGTV to drive real business results.

 

IGTV is very immersive and recently has become more closely connected to Instagram — so it’s easy to align your IG audience with your IGTV content. 

 

A huge benefit of IGTV over Instagram Stories videos is that your content can be housed there for as long as you like, making it the perfect setup for a branded video series! 

 

Viewers can intentionally browse and pick a video when they’re in the mood to really engage and pay attention.

 

Industry experts suggest “creating a repeatable theme and style that your audience can expect in every episode.” 

 

A strong video series might include weekly segments on a single topic (how to find the perfect product fit), and is cohesive in terms of set and format. 

 

Plus, with the use of the Countdown sticker in Instagram Stories to promote the launch of each new episode, the execution becomes  “IGTV promotional genius.” 

 

And don’t worry about budget — some of the best videos series out there are filmed on a low budget, but hook people in with some clever editing 

#3: Brands Will Favor Partnerships with Micro-Influencers 

Instagram influencer partnerships are by far the best performing platform for brands to reach new audiences quickly. 

 

3.2% engagement rate compared to 1.5% across all social networks, having a strong influencer campaign strategy is a real asset to brands looking to grow on Instagram. 

 

Brands and businesses are investing a high portion of their budgets to influencer marketing — simply because, when done right, it works!

 

Even mega brands announce nearly 75% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing over the next year!

 

Crazy, but true.  And shows the bigger brands are catching on to this activity (and it’s HUUGE results)!

 

But for 2020, we’re expecting to see much stronger partnerships between brands and micro-influencers! 

 

Micro-influencers had the highest engagement rates (averaging at 7%) on their feed posts in 2019! 

 

Influencers (<25K followers) had higher engagement rates regardless of their genre, target audience, or topics.  

 

An expert study revealed: “Oftentimes a micro-influencer’s connection with their communities is much stronger!” 

 

Makes sense, right?

 

“Look for the influencer who consistently gets lots of meaningful comments on their posts. In my opinion, that’s the best way to determine whether or not an audience is actually engaging with the content as opposed to likes or followers.”

 

#4: Authenticity Will Lead the Way for Brands and Influencers

Authentic content was a major trend for 2019 — and it’s set to become even stronger in 2020! 

 

We’re seeing tons of brands and businesses getting on board and showing a more honest, real, and vulnerable side to their brand and business. 

 

A high level of authenticity can go a long way in building a stronger connection to your audience. When you can showcase the good with the bad, the struggles along with the wins, your brand will be more relatable to your audience. 

 

Authenticity was once exclusively linked to the Instagram aesthetic, with the no-edit edit trends piquing interest. 

 

But the authentic aesthetic expands well beyond a pretty filter in 2020. 

Brands can create a hashtag to become a space where their community shares their stories and connect with other storytellers.

 

And when it comes to curating the feed from the thousands of posts tagged with the branded hashtag, look for quality — color, brightness, and clarity. But truly look for images that remind your audience of your brand’s mission.  Themes, passions. 

 

So for 2020, having an authentic voice and mission is more important than following the “filtered” crowd. 

 

 

#5: Brand x Brand Collaborations Will Create Huge Results

A new type of collaboration is set to be big for 2020. 

Brands are now collaborating with other brands on Instagram to create quality content that drives traffic, boosts sales and creates a perfect marriage of brand affinity for each! 

 

Imagine your favorite coffee shop and favorite health brand team-up to create Instagram-ready coffee cup sleeves????

 

“Brand-by-brand collaborations can be incredibly powerful,” says an industry expert.  “In our experience, a brand-by-brand partnership can double your organic reach without any monetary spend. And they’re up to 25x less expensive than digital advertising!” 

 

 

“Businesses, as opposed to individual influencers, have more than just an Instagram account in their bank of assets. Therefore, any collaboration you do together can be leveraged across many social platforms, email lists, event audiences, blogs, media, and so much more.” 

 

#6: AR Filters Are Upping the Game 

Thanks to the launch of Spark Studio AR, we’re seeing a new wave of creators using the studio to create “preset style” filters to edit Instagram Stories.

 

From seasonal colors, to perfect replicas of VSCO’s most popular presets, there’s now an Instagram filter to suit your mood. 

 

For 2020, we’re predicting that a lot of Instagram users will step away from the classic filters and start using more sophisticated AR-inspired filters. 

 

Plus brands and influencers will start creating AR filters for their followers — making it even easier to spread the trend far and wide. 

 

If a branded AR filter is in your sights for 2020, you’ll need to do a little bit of research: consider your target market and what you think will appeal to them. Brainstorm a concept or idea that you think your audience will love, and then start bringing it to life!

 

PS-  Get a good feel for Spark Studio AR. 

 

Even with prior visual graphics knowledge, it takes time to understand the tools for creating augmented reality. Maybe keep your ideas simple at the start.

#7: Instagram Shopping is about to be HUUUGE

From shoppable AR filters, to one-click in-app purchases, Instagram Shopping is about to become big business for all brands on the platform. 

Right now, monthly, 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post to learn more about products.

For businesses, Instagram shopping posts are a great way to showcase your products and drive more sales. 

Especially now, thanks to 2019’s new Instagram checkout feature, which lets you buy products *directly* on Instagram without ever leaving the app!

 

And now — Instagram has recently invited a select few publishing brands to test the platform as an e-commerce tool. 

 

 

 

#8: More User-Generated Content on Feeds and Stories 

User-generated content (UGC) is still the best asset for brands and businesses looking to grow online. 

UGC is an affordable way to share high-quality content that generates sales for your brand — it’s the social media equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation! 

 

In fact, 55% of consumers trust user-generated content over any other form of marketing, making it a surefire way to boost your sales and improve brand loyalty. 

 

And incorporating UGC into your 2020 strategy doesn’t have to be complicated — it can be as simple as an influencer tagging a product in an Instagram Stories post, or a YouTube beauty tutorial featuring a brand’s new collection. 

 

But regardless of its form, user-generated content has a big pay off for brands and business, with some seriously impressive benefits like: 

  • Easy gathering and sharing of genuine reviews
  • Building a loyal fan base and community around your brand
  • Driving visitors to your site with a strong intent to purchase 
  • Generating an affordable marketing stream

#9: Video Content Gets an Upgrade 

2019 has been the year for video upgrades — say goodbye to shaky camera work! 

For example, Tiktok, and it’s ultra-easy-to-navigate but super-powered video editor, there’s a new standard set for videos on Instagram 

With IGTV, stories, and in-feed video taking off and boosting all round engagement, it’s easy to see why brands are moving to a more “video first” approach. 

 

Some have found “The more authentic, in the moment, and less ‘curated’ the better. It keeps viewers more engaged and a stronger authenticity makes people feel more human and part of the action.” 

 

Another suggestion: “Focus in on your unique niche and create related video content on IGTV — it’s a great way to engage your community on a deeper level and provide a ton of value”. 

The good news is that you don’t need to be a professional videographer, or buy an expensive kit to create engaging video content for your Instagram profile. There are tons of great video editing apps that can help you.

From resizing your footage to adding animations, branded assets, and filters to your clips, there’s great apps out there for you. And most of them are free!

#10: Brands Will Optimize on Data-Driven Content 

Audiences love two things — personalization, and data-driven information. And 2020 is going to be filled with both these things! 

 

Machine learning and personalized content is soaring and getting bigger.  There will be more data-driven analyses and infographics being shared from real brand advocates, consumers, and fans.

 

The brand x brand collaborations (from #5 above) will only strengthen the power of data-driven content on Instagram. 

 

We are brainstorming how to integrate hard data and fast facts into IG feed and stories posts! 

 

As we kick off a new decade, Instagram is on track to be a powerful marketing assets for brands, businesses and influencers alike. 

 

Interested in upping your Instagram game in 2020?  Let’s have a conversation. We strategize for the future and we’ll start hitting your 2020 goals! 

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