Q3 2019: New Instagram features and trends






The last time we wrote a blog about Instagram,it was 3 months ago. In the social media world, that's a long time. This dynamic world is waiting for no one and developments are moving at a rapid pace. Time to shine the spotlight once again on the second most "engaged" social media platform, which now has more than 1 billion (!) users.

Growth of Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping isn't necessarily something new, but it's something that's being used more and more often. It offers huge opportunities for everyone working in e-commerce. This doesn't mean it only works if you sell physical products. For example, you can tag courses or coaching sessions – as long as you sell it in your webshop. Because you can tag things directly from your webshop, people save a lot of time.

See here an example of our client, Kelly Fashion. The clothing store is ideal for Instagram Shopping and makes grateful use of this. You can already see from the feed when a product is tagged by the bag in the top corner of the photo. It is possible to view the image without the tags, so that the tags do not "take over" the image. If you click on the product, you can save it, go directly to the webshop or even see what Kelly Fashion combines the product with in images. Super convenient and very easy to set up!

Beautiful visuals are important

In 2019, design and beautiful design are becoming increasingly important and, fortunately, increasingly simple. It is no longer necessary to have Photoshop, let alone the skills to use that program. With apps like Canva you can easily make beautiful pictures and the Lightroom app is free for your smartphone. As it becomes increasingly simple, instagram users' expectations are rising. You won't get away with a simple picture with text or a disjointed feed.

Don't know much about graphic design, but do you still want a nice feed and a converting Instagram channel? Then look it away from the rest. Take an hour to scour Instagram for beautiful feeds and wonder what exactly you like about it. For example, is it because there is one theme color, because you like the font or because the photography is in a particular style? If you analyze all this from a number of channels, you can see how to apply it to your own channel.

And always good: Pinterest. For example, use this platform to get inspiration for photography on your channel. But you can do a lot more with it. For example, if you're looking for "graphic design" or "quotes" or "typography" or "Instagram feed" (we recommend English terms), you'll come across the most beautiful images. You can save it on a board and you can get a lot of inspiration from that. Disclaimer: it's super addictive and can easily last longer than that hour you planned for it.

Developments in the story

Instagram's popular Snapchat-like feature continues to develop. After the option to add the GIFs we thought it couldn't be better, but Instagram proves otherwise. We list three new features:

  1. Quiz: you can ask a quiz question and the viewers of the story can choose from four possible answers. Really as a quiz, only then without price, because you immediately get to see if you have it right or not. A very nice way to increase the interaction on your profile.
  2. Questions: This feature has been around for a little longer, but is still worth mentioning. You can ask your viewers questions, such as "which city in the Netherlands do you recommend for a city trip?". This is another fun way to make your story more interactive rather than just broadcasting.
  3. Countdown: do you have a fun event on the schedule? Then the countdown is a fun way to announce this. For example, use it for a workshop you host, a conference you're going to attend, or a new feature you're about to launch.

The features above are basically all "stickers", things you can paste on your photo or video. But there's more. There are three new marketing tools available and we discovered something very useful:

  1. "Share link to entire story": You can now share a link that leads to your entire story. That way you can easily share your story. Where the user used to have to open Instagram and then have to click on your profile and then click on your head, all he or she has to do is click on your link. Super handy!
  2. "Promote": First you could only promote posts in the feed. Now it is also possible to boost or promote the posts in your story (paid for).
  3. Edit videos individually: Videos in the stories are 15 seconds. It is now possible to upload videos that are longer and individually edited. The video is then broken into 15-second pieces and you can edit each 15-second piece as you're used to – with the quiz, questions or countdown for example!
  4. Tagging people in stories: a very simple and effective Instagram hack: tag users in your story and then make it invisible by, for example, pasting a sticker or image over it. Then what's the point if you don't see it? Whoever you tag gets a notification. He receives a DM[persoon]  with the message "has you tagged in his/her story" and then a preview of the story with a direct link. For example, this could be a story where you promote your e-book, so it doesn't have to have anything to do with the one you tag, but they do get a DM. For example, the people you tag may be people who have recently liked your photos or your new followers.

Authenticity of influencers becomes more important

Now that we are closer to the beginning of 2020 than we are at the beginning of 2019 (let that sink in), influencer marketing is no longer an omitable from the average (online) marketing strategy. We previously wrote a blog about influencer marketing in collaboration with Lora Stokkel of Onfluence.  

We like to emphasize it again here: authentication is the most important thing in influencer marketing. Instagram users are getting smarter and more critical. They poke through it when an influencer doesn't really fit a brand. Earlier this year, there was a big fuss when Instagram managed to track down fake followers and delete the accounts. As a result, some social influencers lost millions of followers, sometimes the lion's share of their followers. So they fell hard through the basket!

So, now you're up to! At least, for now. Instagram continues to innovate. Changes in the algorithm are the order of the day and with the rapid developments in technology, we expect that it won't be too long for something mindblowings to come. Want to use the value of Instagram? Then consider advertising. Sounds very exciting and tricky, but we'll help you get started. Download our free e-book about Instagram advertising here.

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Sander Baas
Over de auteur:
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Sander is dé eindbaas bij Baas & Baas. Als ondernemer en online marketeer zoekt hij altijd naar de best mogelijke oplossingen. Daarnaast reist hij graag de wereld rond voor inspiratie en fijne werkplekken. Zijn expertise ligt op het gebied van advertising, webdevelopment, SEO en contentmarketing. Direct in contact komen met Sander? Stuur een mailtje naar info@baasenbaas.nl.

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