What Can We Expect from Instagram in 2017? Hear It from The Industry Experts!

Exploring Instagram's Marketing Potential

Social media marketing has evolved significantly over the last few years, and it has now become an integral part of digital marketing. Ask any Internet marketing expert, and you will know what a vital role Instagram plays in their SMM strategies. With the kind of reach and influence this platform has, it can be said with certainty that brands need their own Instagram exposure for better engagement with the users. There is a lot more that is being expected of this platform in 2017. Here, we have compiled the thoughts of many social media pros to get a first-hand feel of where the social platform is heading in the near future.

Top Instagram Marketing Predictions by Pros

About 50% of the brands are already on Instagram and exploring its marketing potential. This is expected to grow by up to 70% by the end of 2017. Turning out to be a must-have app for businesses, Instagram is fully focused on enhancing analytics and ad strategy this year.

As per expert research, it is expected that Instagram’s ad revenues from mobile apps may touch $2.81 billion this year. They may achieve it by offering advanced analytics tools along with continued focus on user-friendliness to business owners and marketers.

Business owners already have access to easily understandable analytics which evaluate the reach, impressions, engagement and the target audience. However, it is anticipated that Instagram may further grow in its reach and breadth of the types of business analytics.

A few other predictions for 2017 from Zimmerman are:

  • Instagram Live videos may be made savable for a day.
  • More filters and editing options may be added.
  • There can be a wider rollout of clickable links.
  • Integration with Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
  • Reply feature may be improved and may get tucked under the comment.
  • There may be shoppable tags which will get rolled to a wider group of users.

John D. Zimmerman is a social media analyst and leading technical writer.

2. Kevin Brown: User-generated content may become the standard

What we can primarily expect in 2017 is a solid shift towards UGC (user-generated content). All the smart brands are already tapping the benefits of fan content by introducing hashtag campaigns and community-drive contests.

Marketers can be prepared to leverage the benefits of this shift by using adequate systems in order to allow them to share the UGC effectively. In fact, Instagram doesn’t feature a straight share function. So, permissions is needed for using users’ content.

Effective tools like ‘Tack’ will help the brands to do this process more systematically and legitimately by approving permission to get fan content posted. The end result of it may be directly related to making trusted content for a brand and community.

Kevin Brown is the founder of a company, and had won the Best Business Blog Award in US back in 2015.

3. Lee John: Instagram may overtake Snapchat

Upon monitoring the trend over the last few months, you can fully expect that in 2017, Instagram make take majority of the market share and may surpass Snapchat. While Snapchat focuses on telling stories to let the audience get an inside look at businesses, Instagram has come up with InstaStories, which makes it easier for the users to get multiple things on a single platform.

The major difference between these platforms is in the connection feature. Snapchat makes it difficult for the users to connect to others. On Instagram, you can easily connect with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, and you can also search for Instagram followers who you would like to follow. Instagram also makes it a one-click task to post your Instagram content to Facebook.

Today’s marketers should familiarize themselves with Instagram and its various features. Instead of splitting their focus over too many social channels, marketers should pick the best ones to reap the most benefits out of each platform. Regardless of how you use Instagram, you should be trying to build meaningful connections with the followers.

Lee John is a well-known marketer who has worked for a number of leading companies for more than a couple of decades.

4. Maria DZilva: The company may offer improved functionality to keep competitors at bay

Small business owners have always found Instagram to be simply a visual platform that is ideal for industries such as fashion or food. It was barely considered as an efficient platform that can drive in traffic. The misconception mostly occurred from the lack of option to post clickable links in the content or caption. Since there is no direct re-share option on Instagram, most people thought it was impossible to make a post go viral.

However, the new features, launched over the last year, have changed the way small businesses feel about the platform. Longer videos, Boomerang, Hyperlapse etc. have the ability to switch between accounts, get shoppable images, tell stories, zoom photos and much more. On the other hand, live video streaming now makes it a much more dynamic platform for brands, businesses and influencers.

It can very well be expected that Instagram will continue to implement advanced features which may address changing market demands and customer needs. Even though paid ads have a great power on Instagram, there is still a scope for a great amount of natural engagement and organic reach. Brands should try to capitalize on this in the coming months.

Maria DZilva is an award-winning brand strategist and digital marketing consultant.

Marketer’s tips

With so many advanced things expected to happen on Instagram this year, it is essential for the marketers to be prepared with an effective strategy and budget. It is already proven that videos are going to play a vital role. So, the big thing to achieve is creation of short and attractive videos for Instagram and timely scheduling of the same.

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