- Content (Still) Reigns
Virtually every year, we highlight how content will play an important role moving forward. So, in 2023, it should come as no surprise that content is still the most important thing to consider when planning your Instagram marketing strategy.
There are several content marketing tools that can help you create amazing Instagram content, but don’t stress too much over production value. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a trend toward unfiltered and “authentic” content from Instagram influencers and brands, and that trend will continue (but more about that later).
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can just capture and share any old thing.
- Reels Usage Will Rise
Instagram Reels, Instagram’s response to TikTok, lets users create and edit short-form video content of 15 seconds each. It’s not a new feature, but you can expect to see many more Reels in 2023. What makes it so popular is that it’s a great option to capitalize on TikTok-style content, trends, and challenges without having to move to another platform and build your audience again.
Brands can leverage Instagram Reels in their marketing strategy in several ways. For starters, even if you’re not going to create content on TikTok, it can pay off big to stay up to date on what’s happening on the platform. You can then be one of the first creators to launch those trends on Instagram Reels. It’s also helpful to ease into Instagram Reels through informational content. Create the content on things you’re already knowledgeable about and share that with your audience.
- Working With Relatable Influencers Will Be the Most Effective
Influencer marketing will continue to be effective in 2023. With the trend toward authentic and unfiltered content continuing into the future, brands need to partner with relatable influencers.
The average Instagram user is looking to connect with real people whose lives look like their own — not celebrities. When looking for an Instagram influencer to represent your brand, consider all types of influencers. More and more nano and micro-influencers are being tapped for collaborations because of their connection with their audiences. While they might only have a couple of thousand followers, these influencers tend to have better engagement simply because it’s easier for them to stay in touch with a few thousand people than hundreds of thousands.
What’s more, by working with nano and micro-influencers that are relevant to your brand, you can stretch your Instagram marketing budgets as they typically charge less. So, it’s really a win-win.
- More Live Content, Specifically Live Shopping
Instagram Live use skyrocketed over recent years. What makes Instagram Live such a popular and effective tool is that it lets you interact with viewers right then and there on the spot, ultimately helping to create a deeper connection. It also lets you leverage storytelling which can help to humanize your brand.
From new product updates to brand announcements to live events, there are many ways how you can incorporate Instagram Live into your marketing strategy. In some instances, you can simply use your mobile device. Raw, live footage shot with your smartphone can be more authentic.
- More In-app Shopping Too
Fact: increasingly more consumers are turning to the internet for their shopping needs for everything from clothing to food to cars. And, it’s no longer reserved for official business websites. Social commerce is also on the increase. According to social commerce stats, global social commerce sales are expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2023.
Even if you don’t want to put live shopping to the test (after all, it doesn’t suit all brands), try Shoppable Posts.
In the Instagram mobile app, Shoppable Posts show up in your feed with a little shopping bag in the lower-left corner, and you can tap the products to see more information about them. Instagram also has a shopping section, so if you’re interested in selling on Instagram, now’s the time to get started.
- There Will Be More Focus on (Instagram) Video
Along with the increase in Instagram Live and Instagram Reels content, keep your eyes on Instagram Video going into 2023. With Meta encouraging Instagram to make more use of video so that it can rival TikTok, video content will continue to dominate.
Instagram Video is Instagram’s video platform, combining IGTV and feed videos. For a while, from 2018, IGTV was Instagram’s push into long-form video. However, IGTV never took off as a YouTube killer, and in late 2021 Instagram rebranded IGTV as “Instagram Video”, merging it with the videos people share in their regular Instagram feed.
With Instagram Video, creators have the option to use video editing software tools to make their video content pop. Though, as we mentioned earlier in this article, users are seeking a more authentic view of influencers and brands, so you’ll probably want to opt for a mix of “candid” videos and those that have a more polished and produced look.
- AI Content Recommendations Will Be Given More Time
Love it or hate it, Instagram isn’t going to give up on AI content recommendations. Similarly to Facebook, it’s anticipated that Instagram will continue to see how it can be used to boost user engagement next year.
So far, the reception, though, hasn’t been great. After the platform received a number of complaints (including from the likes of Kylie Jenner that started a petition to “Make Instagram Instagram Again”), it announced in July 2022 that it will reduce the number of AI-recommended posts users saw in their feeds. Though, Mark Zuckerberg posted that they expected that the number of content recommended by their AI would double from 15% to 30% by the end of 2023.
- Ad Practices Will Need to Change
The ad industry has been impacted significantly by the launch of iOS 14. If you haven’t managed to navigate your way around Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy in 2022, here are some ideas that WebFX, one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the US, shares:
Incorporate a more aggressive approach, but remember to stay adaptable
Give your ads between two to four weeks extra so that you can assess their performance better
“Go back” to traditional best advertising practices like highlighting benefits instead of features
- Misinformation Won’t be Tolerated
Social media platforms have more actively tried to reduce the spread of misinformation over the last couple of years. While this might not be a brand new change in behavior, brands and marketers can expect that moving forward curbing the spread of misleading or deceptive content via Instagram will become a bigger priority.
If you need to change your practices, do so. If you’re not sure if you’re guilty of this, it’s time to do some introspection.
In short, brand accountability is only going to become more critical. More and more social media users are starting to hold their brands to higher standards on social media. Users have no issue with calling out brands that they (used to) love out in the open on social media.
Moving forward, ensure that you communicate where you stand on different social issues clearly and tactfully. And, when doing so (or rather beforehand), ensure that you assess your own labor practices. Just like users want their brands to be more authentic, they also demand more transparency and honesty.
- Representing Diversity Will Get (You) More Limelight
Adding to our previous point about brand accountability, diversity and inclusivity will also enjoy more attention in 2023. Ensure that you treat minority groups fairly and not just members of your own target audience, but also your own employees.
Create inclusive content by ensuring that everyone is represented. This applies to both your visuals as well as your messaging.