Are you using Instagram to connect with your audience? If not, you definitely should be.
In 2017 Instagram saw the fastest user growth rate in its history and instead of slowing down, it’s actually growing faster these days with over 1 billion monthly users.
With Facebook being a platform that many turn to for news and to connect with family and friends, studies have shown that people are more interested in brands on Instagram and are seeking inspiration and new ideas. It’s easy to showcase a product or service in a way that doesn’t feel forced and creates positive feelings around the brand.
With such a fast growing platform, new ways to engage and connect with users are being introduced all the time. Here’s the hottest trends on Instagram right now and how you should be using them.
Grids and layouts
There is more focus on how your Insta account looks. No longer do you need to only think about how users and followers are seeing your post in their timelines, but you need to consider what users are seeing when they visit your profile for the first time.
Many influencers and brands are putting emphasis on layouts and grids as part of their marketing strategy. So, what are the hottest layouts on Instagram?
This shows feeds featuring images with similar visual aesthetics or object in diagonal lines.
For this, each square is a tile and the most popular layout is by sharing a photo then a quote followed by another photo and then another quote. It’s the easiest way to create consistency on your feed.
The idea of this layout is to tell a story by creating a series of 3 posts. For example you may post and introduction of a product or service, followed by why people should buy it or a customer story followed by how a user can purchase it.
4. Line down the middle
The purpose of this layout is to use posts with similar visuals as the middle post. Very pretty to look at, it guides your viewers as they scroll down your feed.
5. Split images
This involves slicing one images into smaller photo tiles which can be posted one at a time to build suspense. This is great for new product releases or build up to an event.
Looking for a fun and creative way to engage with your audience? Look no further.
Unlike regular Instagram posts, which are subject to the Instagram algorithm, Instagram currently won’t penalise you for posting too many Instagram stories.
Post images, videos and even go live.
Add hashtags to allow your story to show up in searches
Tag people and brands and add your location
Add GIFS, text and emojis
Engage with your audience by using polls and quizzes
One of the most popular uses for stories is to create a series. Over the course of a day or a week you may want to focus on a certain topic, for example a certain product. Use imagery and videos of the product along with user and follower content. Be sure to save any topics under your highlights – create a highlight for each collection.
Sounds like a lot of work? Thankfully there are lots of Apps and platforms which will make the job much easier. Here are some of our favourites.
Pre-schedule your content across several platforms and manage in once place.
Use the free version for up to 3 platforms or upgrade to add more and unlock premium features.
We love this platform for all things Instagram. Not only can you pre-schedule you content for your feed but pre-schedule your stories with their paid for platform. Later.com even allows you to plan using grids.
Our top tip for small businesses: If you’re just starting and have a very small budget for marketing, you can pre-schedule a month worth of content by pre-scheduling Facebook posts on the platform itself, a free Hootsuite account for LinkedIn and Twitter and Later.com for Instagram.
Plan your grid with this handy little App. Split images and use the App to post to Instagram in the right order.
4. Stories Edit by Planoly and Over
Use these two Apps and their templates to create stories which are on-brand.
In our next blog, we’re going to go even more in depth to Instagram stories and how to use them!