I’m excited because today, we’re going to revitalize our culture hack series. Today we’re going to talk about talk about the top trends in 2019 for Instagram as you move your business forward, so I’m really pumped. And so because of that, today’s podcast episode is sponsored by the Instagram For-Profit Course that we have. It is currently $149 in the shop. So check that out at anchoredshop.com.
We’ve had a ton of people get this who are not just photographers out there and it’s helped them to make money. It’s helped them to grow their business diving into Instagram and all of those things. And so if you want to check that out, make sure that you go to anchoredshop.com and use the code podcast to get 15% off of that course.
Alright, so you know me and you know my Instagram strategy and it’s just kind of a no BS approach to Instagram. So like, I’m just gonna shoot it straight with you guys, because that’s what I believe in, like, I don’t want to sugarcoat it. I don’t want to be like, Oh, hey, you guys just making that feed and do all these things because, like, I think it’s actually moving away from that. So let’s go ahead and jump right into it off the bat.
Number one IGTV. Historically, IGTV has been something that like, we thought it was going to be huge. We thought it was going to be the next YouTube we thought it was going to be like Facebook video, all this stuff like it was going to come out of nowhere and just eliminate all these things. And it ended up being just like a complete dud. Right? Like, think about it yourself. When’s the last time you watched the IGTV video? You haven’t, but if you learn one thing about Instagram, it’s that they are persistent in their ideas and their goals. Just think back when they first started stories, right? When they started stories a little while ago, people said, “this isn’t gonna compare to Snapchat”, and it ended up being different. The same thing happened with their stories and then they kind of revitalized it, jacked Snapchat, like just completely stole it and then made it their own (kind of) and now it’s the biggest thing moving forward. So in 2019 it’s definitely one of the biggest things that you guys need to be aware of and I think that same thing is going to happen with IGTV. I think they’re going to come up with a little more of a robust “search engine” type way to go through, maybe even in the Explore tab. You could go to the Explore tab and you could search specifically in IGTV. I think they also may allow you to subscribe to certain IGTV channels and to be able to search for relevant content within the Explore tab, especially if their next big next move is going to be taking over YouTube.
The Importance of Making Long Form Content
There’s a lot of value in creating long form content if IGTV So if you are a photographer, maybe create a portfolio video. Maybe you’re a videographer, then you could create some really cool content that people can start to follow. But even if you’re not a videographer, maybe you’re a calligrapher or you’re a mom and pop shop that sells t-shirts. Maybe your long-form content can be behind-the-scenes videos and building a personal brand behind you and what you do. As they figure out how to be able to put more content in front of people and keep them on the platform rather than going to something like YouTube to find long long-form content, IGTV will do better, so it’s definitely something to look for.
Organic Reach Going Down
I think organic reach is going downhill fast. That’s just going to be something that you need to understand — Instagram is going to be pay for play. It’s a free platform. It’s been a free platform. And so as a business person, they’ve done a great job like, this is the ultimate Gary Vee Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. They’ve given so much for free for so long and now they’re starting to say, “if you want to continue to use this as a business, then you’re going to have to pay to play”, and it really makes sense from a business standpoint. And so in 2019, your organic reach is going to continue to go down, and you’re going to continue to need to pay to play. I also think aesthetic and feed are going to be less important than Instagram stories I think stories are where a lot of the engagement will happen. Let’s be honest, where do you spend the majority of your time when you watch or when you’re on Instagram, it’s not even scrolling through the feeds anymore. Like that’s more where you want to begin engagement because also that engagement is a lot more personal and we’ll talk about that in the DM as well and in a little bit trends are moving towards stories and away from post so just be aware of that in 2019 as you think about your strategy in that it’s not as much about the the defeat and how pretty the feed was.
Buying Likes and Followers
I think Instagram is going to crack down on buying likes and followers and they are going to start suspending, banning and penalizing a lot of these accounts that are paying for likes and followers because influencers are doing that to gain money from brands. Instagram wants to make sure they can keep it as pure of a platform as possible. So be aware of that because you know those brands that have 4 million followers and 40 likes on their photos. We’ve all seen it, don’t be that brand.
Hashtags aren’t going to be a big deal anymore. Hashtags can now be followed and while I think it’s going to be a good way to consume some content, it’s not necessarily going to be a good way to gain mass followers anymore. But you can still have certain people find you because of hashtags. So still make sure you guys are using those hashtags, but they don’t carry as much weight as they used to. If you are going to use hashtags, I think you can do a couple different things. So Gary Vee has this rule. It’s called the $1 dollar 80 cent rule where he says, “I want to put in my two cents on a bunch of different posts in a hashtag”. So he’ll go to a hashtag, put his two cents on this person’s post and put a legitimate comment on there that’s not pre-made, and that will gain him new followers and likes because you’re actually building up a community and not just going and trying to take. If you are going and trying to find new people to engage with, you can also do this with whatever you think your target audience would be hash-tagging. And that’s a great way to get new clients awareness because at the end of the day, what we really need and what we use social media for is to gain awareness and attention on our brand.
I think direct messages in Instagram are going to increase. They are constantly coming out with new things to use in the DMs. For example, you can now voice memo people in the DMs as well as video chatting and send photos (either Snapchat style or where it stays in chat). like they are constantly revitalizing the DMs and doing more research and development on it. And don’t expect 2019 to be any different because they want people to stay in the app. They want to replace text messaging, they want to replace things like WhatsApp and Snapchat. Just because it’s a DM doesn’t mean that that doesn’t take into consideration with the algorithm. They want to know how you’re engaging with the community and how the community is engaging with you. So every time somebody engages with one of your stories, or engages with something that you say in the story, or you engage with them, that takes into consideration with the algorithm. And so make sure that you guys are utilizing that well and sliding into the DMs. Messaging and responding to people positively puts a positive picture of your brand in people’s minds and in turn can lead to more engagement and bookings. So for example, I love Major League baseball and we have gotten inquiries from a lot of Major League Baseball players fiancé’s because I will find these girls on Instagram that are dating these major league players. Maybe they don’t have a huge following and I begin engaging with them on their posts and DMs, which creates a really positive relationship with them. So when they get engaged, I’m the first person they go to, so we’ve got a really cool clientele because of that.
E-commerce on Instagram
I think that buying things directly on Instagram is going to become really big next year. I think Instagram also wants to take over e-commerce and they want you to be able to have a one stop shop from your phone. And so if you are if you sell any kind of product in 2019, you need to make sure you go into your settings and setting it up that so that you can directly sell from your account. They just launched it where you can be able to go in and buy from stories, so that people who want to be able to go in and buy from one place can. If they see it on Instagram, they’re more likely to buy it from you. And that’s a statistic that they’ve seen over and over. People can see something on a billboard., but when they see it on Instagram, they’re more likely to make a purchase because it’s a trusted platform that they that has built up a lot of credibility within it. And so you want to make sure that you are utilizing, buying and purchasing within Instagram itself because people are impulsive.
I think that the organic reach in posts may go down but the live stream organic reach is going to go up. Instagram is going to want people to do more engaging with the community in real time. I haven’t used it much, but I really want to start using it more in the future. I think Instagram is going to really start to make a big push towards live just like Facebook Live. The reach has gone down on Facebook Live, but they still encourage the use of it. But Instagram Live still pops up as at the top and alerts you and they’re still at the front of the line for stories. I think in 2019 it’s going to get an even bigger upgrade and they’re really going to try to push it.
AR features are going to be out of the roof, especially with the new AR features and capabilities in a lot of these newer phones. I think AR and the stories are going to be a big thing, especially in the DMs. I think AR on posts might be a new thing as well. I think Instagram is going to invest heavily in 2019 because Snapchat is and I think they are trying to do everything they can to eliminate the disrupter that Snapchat is to their audience so that people can stay in Instagram.
So if you guys can start learning about Instagram ads, I think you guys are going to start making a lot more money. In Instagram, I think your reach is going to go up firstly because you’re paying for it. But I think ads are also going to help your organic reach because they will affect the algorithm. As you use the ads they’re going to help you to build up your brand awareness and help you build up your clientele. Using things like Facebook Pixels will help tremendously as well. I don’t think you should use ads until you’ve set up a Pixel because, as I’ve talked about before, landing pages are so, so important, especially when you’re running ads. You should not run an ad without a landing page. You could set up a Pixel on your landing page and then in doing so, that’s going to help you to retarget those ads from the people that visited your landing page so that you know that they’re interested in you and you’re not just blindly sending out ads. So there are so many things that Instagram like, it really is a beast that rewards you when you feed it. Like it just it really is like, some of you guys are afraid of ads like Facebook ads, Instagram ads. Don’t be because they’re super beneficial for you and your business.
Anyways guys, I hope this has been helpful. Like, this is one for me, I think there are these trends in that it’s moving towards. And as it moves towards it, I think we all need to be aware of those things so we can begin to utilize them in our business, because that’s a big deal.