10 Instagram Trends Marketers Need to Know for 2019

Instagram reached a whopping 1 billion monthly users in 2018, and there’s no sign everyone’s favorite photo-sharing app is slowing down. Of all the trends to consider, this striking number may be the most important: Instagram now has a multibillion-dollar global reach that makes it possible for advertisers to access their target markets with ease.

In 2019, experts predict that even more users and advertisers will flock to Instagram. So, what will be the Instagram trends marketers need to know in 2019, and how can you put yourself in a position to capitalize on these trends?

Let’s take a look at 10 burgeoning Instagram trends for the new year that will help you position your brand for greater success:

1. Say Goodbye to Photos and Hello to Video

According to a Pew Internet study, 95% of Instagram users also use YouTube. That suggests a link between what Instagram and YouTube users come online to enjoy: visual content. In the Instagram feed, movement is more likely to catch the eye than a static image, so when considering ads and other important marketing messages, think of video first.

As you shift to creating more video content, don’t forget the visual effect of gallery view. You can create a recognizable, branded “look” on your page by deploying consistent design across your photos and videos.

2. Stories Are Instagram’s New Queen Bee

Instagram first established itself as a photo-sharing website, but it has grown more and more into a multimedia platform. Case in point: more than 400 million accounts now use Instagram Stories every day, according to Instagram.

Why should this stand out among other Instagram trends? Because Instagram Stories are highly engaging (and because they require a user to seek them out), they make an especially effective platform for advertising.

You may recall our post on 19 Instagram Stories ad ideas: The key is to emphasize striking visual elements that capture user attention, as you can with Instagram story templates from Shakr:


3. Hashtags Continue to Matter (Even If You Barely See ‘Em)

After all these years, hashtags still make a difference for your content’s discoverability (even if the tags seem to be hidden in the corner of an Instagram post). Many users deliberately seek out specific hashtags on a regular basis, while others click on hashtags to find similar visual content.

Brands have caught wind of this, with some 70% of all hashtags coming from branded content. That means the latest trends and tags on Instagram continue to drive relevant traffic to individual posts. As for how many hashtags to use, data suggests you’ll get the most mileage when you include about 11.

4. Instagram Is Perfect for Global Marketers

It’s tempting to think about marketing from the perspective of one country and one marketplace. But 80% of Instagram users are from outside the United States, suggesting a global appeal of which every brand needs to remain aware. You can use Instagram marketing to expand your audience and grow. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for 2019:

  • Emphasize visuals. Visually stimulating ads with bright colors and lots of motion can garner interest despite language barriers.
  • Focus on buyer needs, not location. Don’t think about buyers from a strictly geographical standpoint. Instead, ask: Do I know what they want? In the case of Bloom & Wild, they realized that they found most engagement on social media from video advertising, so they emphasized these ads and saw bouquet orders increase by 62%.

The sky’s truly the limit when it comes to reaching new customers.

5. Instagram Ad Revenue Is Set to Eclipse $10 Billion in 2019

According to eMarketer, Instagram’s ad revenue may be as high as almost $11 billion in 2019, with 30% of all social media users joining the platform. According to eMarketer analyst Cindy Liu, that growth has been fueled by the following:

  • Instagram Stories
  • Live video
  • Geostickers
  • Face filters

These features help engage Instagram’s users and provide brands with avenues in advertising to capitalize on this engagement.

For example, Waterdrop utilized Instagram ads for an 8.3x increase in website visitors and 24% increase in sales by utilizing visual elements through Instagram Stories:

Source: business.instagram.com

Once Waterdrop was able to access Instagram’s design templates, it increased its reach and drove more sales, simply by embracing the same tools that have helped Instagram increase its growth.

6. Brands Will Use Striking Color to Make a Splash

It’s not enough to slap your own design onto Instagram Stories and expect that they’ll convert. The experience of companies like the Health Coach Institute suggests that it’s important to work from a rich palette of colors that will help your advertisement stand out from the other video and story content available on the platform.


Health Coach Institute employed lively, vibrant colors that fit in neatly with their brand and intended message. That’s an important visual element that goes beyond simply appearing in Instagram Stories; it’s important that you work with a design that can facilitate your specific brand and the message you want to get across. In the case of the Health Coach Institute, remaining “on brand” helped drive a 30% increase in advertising ROI.

7. Influencers Will Become Even More Important

Influencer marketing has been around as long as social media advertising, but in 2019, influencer-brand partnerships will be more prominent than ever before. Influencers have become celebrities and business owners in their own right, and you can start to plan a long-term strategy with influencer partners.

If you want to maximize your results, it helps to know the ways to make the best possible use of influencer marketing, including

  • identifying the right influencers by using tools like BuzzSumo;
  • sticking to Instagram guidelines, including requiring that endorsers disclose the sponsorship; and
  • getting the most from Instagram’s sponsored settings, including tagging a sponsorship partner on branded content.

8. Catalog-Style Content Will Capture Consumer Attention

More and more, social media platforms like Instagram seem to be moving toward catalog-style content. Not only are they driven by visual media like live video and Instagram stories, but these platforms also actively encourage brands to engage customers by curating a list of products as companies might with a print catalog.

Source: business.instagram.com

9. Instagram Won’t Shy Away from Advertisers

With some social media platforms, the temptation is to hide or “sneak in” advertising. Instagram’s increase in revenue throughout 2018 demonstrates that it’s possible to have a close relationship with sponsored ads without ruining the user experience.

With the knowledge that at least 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business, it’s possible to use sponsored ads in the form of Instagram Stories, videos, and pictures to enhance your ROI. The most effective brands are able to merge their business content with engagement from users, as is the case with Adobe. Consider how Adobe regularly curates content generated by its users and gives them credit:


Instagram won’t shy away from brand loyalty — and neither should you.

10. Instagram Will Continue to Enhance the Possibilities of Video Dimensions

Just when you think you’ve got a solid grip on how to create an effective Instagram ad, you might find yourself introduced to a new type of ad. There’s no predicting what Instagram will add to its platform in 2019, but it is possible to keep up with the trends.

One way is to continually engage with your Instagram account. Don’t let your campaigns lag and your sponsored ads go unmonitored. When a change happens, you’ll discover this change right away rather than logging in one day, only to be surprised.

You should also continue to browse the Shakr video-design template library for anything you might need to create your own visual Instagram-based campaign. There you will be able to select anything from 1:1 videos to templates specifically designed for Instagram Stories. As the Instagram trends of 2019 unveil themselves, you’ll be ready to handle whatever the platform throws at you.

Also published on Medium.

Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Shakr

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