The secrets to winning on Instagram in 2019




Gabriella Wassell

At the latest Good Relations Digital Academy, over 150 people came to hear our guest speaker Gord Ray from Instagram, alongside our own experts Director of Content Robert Anderson and Creative Director Mat O’Brien.

We still often see businesses and brands using social media as an afterthought, rather than a core part of a communications or marketing strategy. A decade ago social media was still something of a novelty, dominated by younger users. Jump to the present day and the Internet is a primary space where your customers decide whether to buy from you or your competitors. Social media has the power to make your fortunes… or break your reputation.

Gord spoke about all the exciting new features coming up for brands in 2019 on Instagram, and with 1 billion monthly users, 80% of whom follow at least one business account, this is vital advice you can’t ignore. Here are Instagram’s top tips on how to build your brand on the platform and maximise its potential:

1. Harness new features

Thought about using Instagram’s shopping tool? The clickable price icon gets 90 million taps every month, and is being rolled out on video, stories and even the explore channel, with a new algorithm identifying shopping under different ‘passions’. The list of features goes on – there’s increased opportunity for brands to get creative with polling, interactive emojis, ‘ask me a question’, boomerangs, face filters, and custom GIFs.

2. Think vertical

We’re living in a vertical world-research shows 72% of millennials don’t ever turn their phone horizontally. Ensure your brand’s content reflects this-take advantage of features like IGTV and Instagram Stories which feel super intuitive. A good example is the ‘unpacked with ASOS’ content series on IGTV, featuring influencers talking through their latest purchases.

3. Develop your community

60% of Instagram users learn about products and services on Instagram, and simple features like polls can provide invaluable insight as well as increasing engagement. You might be surprised to know a third of Instagram stories get a direct message-a significantly high engagement rate. Millennial make-up brand Glossier sees social insight as intrinsic to product development, inviting their audience to help formulate future products through DM’s and comments on Instagram.

4. The story of 2019 is stories

There’s been a huge media consumption change from newsfeed to stories. InstaStories launched in October 2016, with a staggering 100m users taking it up in the first month. Fast forward to June 2018, and there are 400m global users. Even Mark Zuckerberg said this year that ‘stories will overtake feed as the dominant medium of communication’. And stories behaviour is different: 1 in 3 stories gets a direct message, 50%+ stories are videos, and 60%+ of video posts are sound on.

To succeed, you need to ensure your brand’s content is strategically focused, creatively engaging, outcome driven and last but not least, inherently social. Proof it works comes from Meller Eyeware, who achieved a 20% higher click through rate when switching their landscape ads to vertical ads in Instagram Stories. Seize the chance to embrace your brand’s social spirit.
If you’d like to get Instagram working for your brand as you plan for 2019, please contact Holly Dedman to arrange a meeting with the Good Relations content & social team.

Check out our upcoming events here.

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