The COVID-19 pandemic was an era filled with unprecedented shifts and challenges. This is especially true for startups, entrepreneurs, and financially fragile businesses, where many have to close and lay off workers as consumers choose to stay at home and economies shut down.
While it has been a tough time for many enterprises, digital marketing became one of the few ways to stay afloat. The Internet is the only way to bridge people with the outside world and access necessities. As a result, businesses saw this opportunity to amplify their digital presence and take advantage of this new consumer behavior.
Many businesses enlisted the help of SEO agencies to build and strengthen their online presence. In this age where social media platforms are the new marketplace, marketers became the lifeline of almost every industry. Considering the massive influence of digital marketing in doing business, many are wondering what comes next in social media marketing. In this article, we’ll discuss the top three predictions for social media marketing, particularly Instagram, and how they will affect business enterprises.
Keyword search on Instagram
Instagram was one of the most downloaded applications of 2020 and this social media giant is ready to take everything to extremes. This year, Instagram is giving businesses a bigger opportunity to bolster their digital presence and encourage more users to discover and explore their products and services.
Last year, Instagram officially announced it will be more search-friendly. This means people no longer have to rely on hashtags, as users can now use keywords in the search bar to look for related posts, profiles, and videos.
The new search feature will be a game-changer for influencers and marketers alike to enhance their online reach. The process works by allowing users to use relevant keywords to help Instagram determine and categorize related posts. To increase visibility, brands should post similar content consistently related to their niche. For example, if you’re running a cat food business, post content about cat food and nutrition and avoid posting anything from a different category.
Reels is another fresh Instagram feature in response to the rising popularity of TikTok. It allows users to create 15-30 seconds of video content to capture unique, attention-grabbing situations in an entertaining and creative way. Brands should take advantage of this feature to create more diverse content and gain a more active and engaged Instagram audience.
Micro-influencers as the new Instagram influencers
Influencer marketing has proven its staying power and will likely rise even more in the coming years. According to Business Insider, brands are likely to spend over $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. With more people spending more time interacting with influencers, brands will continuously partner with influencers to enhance their strategies accordingly.
But when we’re talking about influencers, it doesn’t mean brands should simply partner with any influencer with thousands or millions of followers. Although a great social following is necessary, marketers later found having a bunch of fans or followers doesn’t equate to quality leads. Quality followers should be the top priority of brands when picking the right influencer to represent their brand. This approach is particularly useful for business-to-business (B2B) brands that seek to increase their value and buying customers on their social media pages.
Brands are now turning to micro-influencers who focus on a specific niche. They’re known for their high-quality followers that are likely to convert to repeat customers. Micro-influencers are also great storytellers with the ability to create unique and authentic content. Although they’re active on several platforms, they use Instagram frequently to market campaigns.
Shopping on Instagram
Social commerce became a huge hit ever since the pandemic began and people have no choice but to shop using their smartphones. According to research, the global market for social commerce reached $89.4 billion amid the pandemic and is likely to hit $604.5 by 2027. With these figures, it’s not surprising why brands are now getting serious about social commerce.
Instagram has launched Instagram Shopping for selected brands that serve as a virtual storefront for businesses. They have made several changes to the application, including the “shopping tab” placement. This serves as Instagram’s strategic move to provide a more functional feature by adding a shopping platform. It will save customers’ time searching for brands on search engines since they can simply shop without leaving the application.
Now we’ve covered some of the proven social media marketing predictions on Instagram, it’s time to leverage these trends to stay ahead of the competition. The digital world is in a constant state of flux, so it only makes sense to continuously navigate possible trends and online scenarios that will significantly affect the success of your business.