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The Future of Instagram

2018 was a banner year for Instagram with more marketers turning to the service than ever before. While this influx of interest has brought new lifeblood to the service, it has also seen some new changes which means you will need to be aware of the latest and greatest if you want to continue to see results. The following list of trends is sure to shape the future of Instagram marketing in 2019.

Vertical Video:

If you are still looking for proof that all trends reverse if given enough time, look no further than the reemergence of vertical video. While this was once a clear sign that the person who took the video didn't quite know what they were doing, it is now a burgeoning Instagram trend that is sure only to continue blowing up in the coming year. Vertical video is also becoming more acceptable on other sites including Vimeo and YouTube. All this makes it clear that vertical video is not going away which means now is the time to learn to create and edit them properly in order to ensure that you are ready to capitalize on this trend for as long as possible.

If you haven’t yet, then now is the time to learn basic video editing skills, even if you commonly work with a video team as it is always a good idea to understand how to edit down a longer video for an Instagram story. To add extra production value to your Instagram stories consider secondary apps like Storeo or Inshot. There are a few choices when it comes to creating an acceptable vertical video, and you can actually trim down video shot horizontally so it looks as though you were savvy enough to hop on this latest retro trend.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that there is a big difference between natively filming in vertical mode and cropping things later and simply hoping it all works out in the end. The most important aspects of the shot that you need to plan for when it comes to vertical video is that everyone remains clearly recognizable which means not cutting off the heads of anyone in the shot and ensuring that you don’t end up cutting out any of the good stuff in the process. Current trends suggest that many people feel as though this type of content is actually more engaging than the alternative which means your marketing efforts will see more views and people will consume longer chunks of the content as a whole.

While shooting proper vertical video is relatively straightforward, editing it can be more difficult than you might expect. If you have already edited video then it is certainly within your wheelhouse, it will just take some practice in order to get things down pat. There are a few ways to go about doing so, starting with editing the content on your phone directly.

If you are using an iPhone, then you won't be able to edit vertical video in iMovie which means you will need to go with a third-party app such as Bolt or InShot which will allow you to create vertical videos that still display in 16: 9. If you have some more time or want to do something extra special with your video, then you may want to switch to using iMovie on your laptop or computer instead. This is a must if you are interested in adding various layers to your video or things like graphics or text. Doing so will require you to rotate your video clips after editing and then flip them in QuickTime after they have been exported, but these steps are easy to manage after the first few tries.

Even still, if you are planning on creating a lot of intricate video content, then you are likely better off taking the plunge and going the professional software route with something like Adobe Premiere Pro. While this tier of software requires a fair bit of tutorial before it can be used easily, the end result will be superior every single time.

Instagram stories with AR Filters:

A major theme of the 2018 F8 Facebook conference was how augmented reality and virtual reality are going to be influencing social media sooner than the public might expect and one such way in which they are future-proofing their services is by offering more and more augmented reality filters as time goes by. Getting in on these options and becoming comfortable with them as soon as possible is sure to pay dividends in the future.

Offline events:

As surprising as it might sound, 2019 may very well see the return of the physical meetup thanks to an emerging trend of Instagram taking key influencers on vacation to specific locations. While this is certainly an expensive option, it is certainly a guaranteed way to generate a large number of likes and to sell a large number of products in the process. Companies like Boohoo, Benefit and Revolve are already seeing results taking a small group of highly curated influencers on vacation to take advantage of their existing followings. What they are doing is essentially forcing the illusion of the “cool” lifestyle by inviting viewers to follow along every step of the way and buy all of the cool things they see. Outside of this new example of influencer marketing, another new trend that is really starting to take off is curated museums of the “perfect” Instagram picture.

Instagram shopping:

Throughout 2018 Instagram has been releasing and retooling its shopping features, but they are stable enough now that you can expect to see serious traction in this area in 2019 and beyond. Beyond simply tagging products in specific posts, users now have the abilities to tag stories to specific products thanks to the new shopping tab that can be found on the Explore page. Rumor has it that soon brands will be able to link up with influencers directly from within the app and that these influencers will be able to tag specific brands as well as products in their posts.

There are a variety of different ways to make sales from Instagram, each of which will ultimately work better with some segments of the market than others. What works for your target audience may surprise you which is why it is best to try as many different approaches as possible as you never know when you will land on a gold mine. Getting started now will allow you to head into 2019 with a new and improved strategy ready to go.

Ads in Instagram Stories:

As popular as they have become, it was only a matter of time before Story specific ads started popping up and 2019 will be the year that they explode in a big way. Current estimates suggest that around 400 million people watch Instagram Stories each and every day which is ideal because it currently offers a far greater return on investment than a similar Facebook ad due to the reduced costs and comparable reach in some scenarios.

As this is still a young form of advertising, it is important to take as full advantage of it as you can before the price increases to accurately reflect its usefulness. This is the perfect time to try out a variety of different formats for your ads to ensure that your game is on point by the time even more people start paying attention. Rather than cropping an existing photo or creating something entirely new, when it comes to ads for specific stories you can still get away with just adding a top and bottom banner in relevant colors. Taking the time to include mentions, emojis, and texts in the ads will help them look more natural as well.

When considering these types of ads, it is important to keep in mind that when people tune in to Instagram Stories they expect to see casual content as opposed to things that are more highly produced which means you will want your ad to have the same aesthetic in order to ensure that people don't immediately swipe past it. Keywords here should be organic and filter-less videos.

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