5 Trends Shaping the Future of Instagram Marketing

Wondering what the future of Instagram marketing looks like?

2019 is just around the corner, and with Instagram changing so often it can be hard to plan ahead when it comes to budgeting, resources, or learning new skills.

From vertical video to A/R filters, watch our free video to learn about 5 trends shaping the future of Instagram marketing:

Instagram Trend #1: Vertical Video

Remember when vertical video used to be a bad thing?

If you recorded a video on your phone and posted it to Facebook, you would get a ton of comments saying “turn your camera around!”

But that’s all changed, because not only is vertical video now acceptable, it’s now a huge Instagram trend.

Vertical video is everywhere on Instagram now: Instagram live, Instagram Stories, and IGTV.

But as Instagram’s vision for the future of video pushes forward, vertical video is moving to other platforms too: you can even upload and embed vertical video on Youtube and Vimeo now too!

Clearly, vertical video is not going away, which means that now is the time to learn how to create and edit vertical video so you can be ready for 2019 and the future of Instagram marketing.

Even if you work with a video team, learning basic video production and editing skills now will help you in your social media career.

It’s still valuable to know how to edit a longer video into bite-sized clips for Instagram posts or stories, and you can use apps like Inshot or Storeo to boost the production value of your stories.

How to Create Vertical Video for Instagram:

When it comes to creating vertical video for Instagram, you have a few options:

  1. Shoot vertical video on your phone, or flip your camera around to record in vertical
  2. Shoot widescreen videos on your camera, and then shoot a vertical video at the same time on your phone
  3. Shoot wider shots on your camera and create landscape or vertical video by cropping in post-production

There’s a big difference between planning for vertical video, and uploading a widescreen video to your stories or IGTV and just hoping the crop works.

When you plan for vertical video, you’re able to ensure that your subjects are centred, that no heads or faces are cut off, and in general vertical video is a lot more engaging, which will keep eyes on your content for longer and result in more views.

If you want to learn more about how to create vertical videos for Instagram, we recommend checking out this blog post from the video experts over at Wistia.

How to Edit Vertical Video for Instagram:

I’m not going to lie: editing vertical video for Instagram is not easy.

But if I can figure it out, then so can you! All it takes is a little practice, and most of the time wasted was spent trying to find the right apps that actually worked.

For editing vertical video, you also have three options:

  1. Edit vertical videos on your phone: unfortunately, the iMovie app on your phone doesn’t edit vertical video, so that option is out. I recommend using an app like InShot or Bolt which will help you create vertical videos specifically for Instagram’s 16:9 size.
  2. Edit in iMovie on your computer: if you want to add layers, text, or graphics to your vertical video, then iMovie is a good option. You will have to rotate your video clips and edit “sideways,” and then flip your video in Quicktime once you’ve exported it (see step-by-step details here).
  3. Edit with professional video software: if you’re a video pro, or you have a video team, then using a professional video editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro is a good option for you!

If you want to learn more about editing vertical video for Instagram, check out our blog post here that takes you through each step and gives you all the video dimensions you need to know.

Instagram Trend #2: AR Filters for Instagram Stories

A major theme of Facebook’s F8 conference this year was the focus on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which sounds like a far-off, futuristic technology. But did you know that you likely interact with augmented reality every day?

Instagram’s cute face filters are actually a great example of how augmented reality can fit into our lives and create fun, magical experiences.

Creators, influencers, and brands will be able to create their own custom Instagram filters using Facebook’s AR Studio.

We’ve seen a couple brands use A/R filters on Instagram Stories already, namely Rihanna and Kylie Jenner. These face filters are only available to their followers, and people can unlock the filter by following Rihanna or Kylie.

Rihanna created her own sparkly filter to help you shine bright like a diamond in your selfies. The filter promoted her annual Diamond Ball and was used to raise awareness for the Clara Lionel Foundation.

Kylie’s had a different purpose, which was to help people find the right Kylie Cosmetics lipstick shade. You can “try on” the lipsticks in your Instagram Stories camera, which may entice you to actually purchase the product.

The filter also worked as a “pretty filter,” giving you more defined eyelashes and making your cheeks rosy.

You can also try on the filters if you see one of your friends using the filter in Instagram Stories, which means the Instagram AR filters are basically designed to go viral, and are a huge growth opportunity you should keep your eye on!

Instagram Trend #3: Offline Events Designed for Instagram

This year, a huge Instagram trend was brands taking influencers on vacation.

Why? Because it was an easy (yet expensive) way to create epic Instagram content that not only generated a lot of likes, but sold a lot of products too.

Companies like Revolve, Benefit, and Boohoo are taking small, highly curated groups of Instagram influencers on vacations to benefit from their significant and relevant followings. They’re creating an experience, cultivating the new cool-girl lifestyle, and inviting audiences to follow along on the adventure (and buy everything the influencers are wearing).

But outside of influencer marketing, we’ve also seen an explosive rise in “museums” curated for the perfect Instagram shot. There are countless articles written about this trend, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Venues like Museum of Ice Cream and Color Factory have toured the United States, attracting thousands of visitors who are happy to pay for a fun time and the Instagram likes that come along with it. 

We’re also starting to see some brands blending those two experiences together by creating branded, real life exhibitions for their customers.

For example, Refinery 29 Rooms was a branded pop-up tailored to their millennial audience, and included many opportunities to not only interact with the brand, but post about in on Instagram too.

It also aided in helping them grow their brand and readership through the viral nature of sharing with your friends on Instagram.

So, how does this affect your brand’s Instagram marketing?

Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors into your store.

Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your event or in your store, and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.

They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!

The Toronto cocktail bar Her Majesty’s Pleasure is a great example of this. By adding a cute neon sign and a couple rotary phones in a well-lit spot, they were able to turn their bar into an Instagram destination.

Their decor is specifically created to attract their target market of millennial women, and because of the viral nature of women sharing their photos at their location, they’ve grown their Instagram to 26,000 followers, which is very impressive for a small business!

But you don’t have to be a retail location to create real world experiences for Instagram: the indie beauty brand Summer Fridays teamed up with LA’s Instagram hot spot Alfred Coffee to create custom branded sleeves for their cups.

The sleeves have cute, on brand quotes, and include their branded hashtag too. This is a great way to increase brand awareness, promote your Instagram, and work with local businesses!

Instagram Trend #4: Shopping on Instagram

So far in 2018, Instagram has released a lot of shopping features, and there’s no slowing down in sight.

In addition to tagging products in Instagram posts, you can now tag products in stories and shop recommended products through a new “shopping” tab on the Explore page.

make sales from Instagram

I recently sat down with the social media managers behind three leading Instagram brands, and asked them what feature converted the best for them: tagging products, swipe up in stories, or shopping through the link in their bio.

And surprisingly, they all had different answers!

It turns out that right now, there is no leading Instagram feature when it comes to making sales from Instagram, and since every audience is different, it’s important that you test each feature to find out what works the best for your account.

Now is the time to test and find out what shopping converts best for your account, so you can start 2019 with a solid Instagram sales strategy.

Clearly, shopping on Instagram is proving to be an effective sales channel, so what other features can we expect in the future?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Instagram created some way to allow influencers to tag a brand’s products in their posts too.

But don’t expect everyone to be able to tag products: my prediction is that this would be similar to Instagram’s paid partnership feature, where brands can add and approve specific influencers.

Instagram influencer marketing is booming, and brands are always looking to prove the ROI of Instagram posts, so it makes sense that there would be new features to track the success of Instagram posts and influencers.

If Instagram shopping continues to perform well, you might even see Instagram shopping becomes it’s own app, too! We’ll have to wait and see…

Instagram Trend #5: Instagram Stories Ads

Last but certainly not least, a major Instagram trend for 2019 will be Instagram Stories Ads!

With 400 million people watching Instagram Stories every single day, and the cost of Facebook advertising increasing, it makes sense that brands would want to find a new, cheaper channel to advertise on.

And yes, advertising on Instagram Stories is growing, but it’s still relatively young.

Now is the time to start testing different Instagram Stories formats to find what works for you, while it’s still relatively cheap and before your competition starts!

Like Instagram Stories, creating vertical content for stories ads can be challenging. Here is a great example from Revolve that requires only a little bit of effort to make it look organic for the channel:

instagram trend instagram stories ads

Instead of creating a new image or cropping a photo specifically for stories ads, they just added a banner at the top and bottom with co-ordinating colours. Using text, emojis, and mentions makes the ad look more organic and natural, too.

Remember, when people are watching Instagram Stories they are used to seeing casual content from their friends instead of highly-produced videos, so if you don’t want people to swipe past your “ad,” try testing organic, less filtered visuals.

Instagram Stories ads are going to be huge in 2019, so you can expect more strategies and content around this Instagram trend in the months to come!

Want to stay up-to-date on Instagram in 2019? Subscribe to the Later newsletter to get the latest Instagram features and trends right to your inbox:

Written By

Taylor Loren

Taylor Loren is the Head of Marketing at Later. She was named a LinkedIn Top Voice for social media marketing, and you can follow her writing on LinkedIn or connect with her on Instagram at @taylor.loren.