2020 Instagram Marketing: Strategies for the New Decade

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Entering a new decade sounds like serious business. It definitely is. We know it, you know it and Instagram knows it. That’s why we need to get a hold of the trends that will make (or break) every brand’s Instagram marketing strategy in 2020. 

Once we dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on our resolutions’ list, we took a deep-dive into the tactics and features that will transform Instagram marketing in 2020. And we’re ready to share. So, take out your pen and add these tips and tricks to your resolutions’ list. They will certainly come in handy.

Get a hold of the trends that will make (or break)
every brand’s Instagram marketing strategy in 2020!
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Goodbye “Likes”

As the New Year comes in full effect, it’s time to kick old habits and let the resolutions kick in instead. And, believe it or not, Instagram has quite a few resolutions for 2020. The most important one is letting go of its core feature: “likes”. Or, better said, it plans to hide it. Instagram is already hiding likes in the USA and during the upcoming months the platform will be implementing the new standard for all users.

The decision comes as a result of the decreasing number of posts users upload per week. Instagram’s logic is that by eliminating the daunting “like’ counter, users will become more open to share content. Currently, most Instagram users cherry-pick content that they know will get the most likes. However, this superficial strategy doesn’t do anybody any good: influencers don’t get to showcase their authentic selves and brands hold back on sharing as much as they would like to.

Without the number of likes out in the open, Instagram marketing in 2020 promises to be less superficial and more focused on delivering genuine content. And more of it, for sure. 

New Metrics for Influencers

With likes out of the window, brands and social media managers will have to look elsewhere to assess the effectiveness of their collaborations with influencers. At the same time, not burdened by the weight of their “likes”, micro-influencers will have a fair chance at leveling the Instagram playfield. No more vanity-stats!

The value of a collaboration with an influencer can now be estimated by looking at demographic data (location, age, gender), impressions and reach. Beyond the news feed statistics, brands have another way of glimpsing into metrics for influencers: Instagram Stories analytics. Although these stats are only visible to the user in case, brands can ask for reports that contain the info they’re interested in (e.g. swipes and taps).

A mistake you should avoid at all costs is replacing the “likes” metric with the follower count. Remember that Instagram is more than meets the eye, and the most relevant interactions happen behind the front page. So look behind the curtains and you’ll glimpse at the real show.

Bigger, Better Captions

In 2020, Instagram pictures will still be worth a thousand words, but your captions should also aim to account for a few more sentences than in previous years. The most current post engagement statistics clearly make a case for longer, more meaningful captions. In fact, the longer captions trend has already been set by some of the biggest influencers in the realm of Instagram. Take for example yogi Adriene Louise, one of YouTube’s most successful Yoga teachers. Her captions average 200-300 words and are built as micro-blogging bites.  

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. In fact, the evolution towards more nuanced captions has been long announced, due to the rise of influencers and micro-influencers.

Let us explain.

You see, there’s a certain mystique around the lives of influencers. What makes them so unique and likable is their openness and their willingness to be vulnerable in front of the whole world.

Long gone are the days of brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsers who remained on their high, unreachable pedestals. Today’s influencers give us the promise of human connections and genuineness by sharing some of the most intimate parts of their lives. And this kind of openness can only be achieved through words. Thus, the longer captions. 

IGTV in the Spotlight

IGTV has been with us for a while, slowly growing and gaining more terrain. In 2020, it has the potential to play a significant role in your Instagram marketing strategy, especially if your brand is a pretty looking product.

For those who’re still not sold on the idea of IGTV and think of it as just another version of Instagram videos, we have a few words of advice: reconsider. Okay, one word of advice.

Although Instagram Stories will continue to kick-ass in 2020, IGTV is a whole different breed that allows for more strategic planning and long-term brand building. For those Instagram accounts that already have a strong following, IGTV has the power to draw in audiences to build brand affinity.

We’ll give it to you straight: not many brands have yet adopted IGTV (only 16% according to recent studies), and that’s because it’s not a channel for everybody. But if the stars are aligned in your favour, and you’re rocking an awesome-looking product or a cause that can tell meaningful narratives, then you should definitely go for it!

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further than Michelle Obama’s IGTV initiative. She intends to create a IGTV series that will tell the stories of four first-year college students. Now that’s something to look forward to.

Instagram Stories Are Here to Stay

Instagram trends come and go, it’s true. That’s what happened with Instagram LIve, after all. However, Instagram Stories aren’t going anywhere. They are here to stay and, what’s more, they are going stronger by the day. In 2020, Instagram marketing strategies should definitely include a good chapter of stories. Their authenticity, easy-goingness and non-clinginess is refreshing. We’ve said it before in our Instagram Stories long guide and we’ll say it as many times as necessary!

Brands have picked up Instagram Stories either on their own channels or through influencers, and they seem to be making the most of it. According to stats from Instagram officials, one-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from brands. The industry that goes at it hard is, without a doubt, fitness, followed by fashion and retail. 

TikTok, It’s Time!

With a growing community of 1.5 billion monthly users, TikTok has taken over the world of social media music clips. And you can bet that Instagram is watching the Chinese giant’s every step. Not only that, but it has even launched Reel as a response. Although available for now only in Brazil, Instagram has big plans for Reel, and you too should keep an eye on it. 

While TikTok is a feed social media app, Instagram plans to use Reel as an add-on for their Direct Messages or even stories, according to TechCrunch. That means they will be able to explore new territories and even open new opportunities. So, get ready (mentally) for when it Reel will also become available in your country.

The guys at Samsung have already gotten on board, by launching Sero TV at CES, a TV that automatically switches from landscape to portrait to accommodate Instagram Stories and TikTok videos. Isn’t that something?

Tl:dr: Instagram marketing in 2020 

  • As Instagram hides the “likes” counter, the average number of posts per week per user will grow.
  • With the “likes” metric becoming a thing of the past, influencers will be ranked by other more sophisticated metrics such as demographics, impressions, reach and Story stats.
  • Longer, more meaningful captions will contribute to Instagram marketing success.
  • IGTV series will help brands build awareness and conquer new territories.
  • Instagram Stories will continue to be a big thing in 2020.
  • The reel will go head to head with TikTok. Who will come out victorious? 

Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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