Instagram: opportunities with Stories, Live and Shopping (Research)

Show yourself

If you want to show yourself on Instagram, you have to get started with Stories. Instagram Live offers many opportunities because very few accounts use it, and for the future you have to keep an eye on Instagram Shopping.

These are the conclusions of a study by Social Media Today and SEMRush among 800 digital marketers. Instagram has grown from a digital photo album to a platform where video, creative content options (Stories) and messaging tool for direct conversations come together.

Instagram Stories is popular

What is striking about the research is that 81 percent of marketers use Stories. With all options such as polls, questions and quizzes, it almost becomes a platform in itself. Because Stories are placed at the top of the timeline in Instagram, you quickly get the attention of your follower there. The more often your followers view your Stories, the greater the chance that the algorithm will place your Stories first in their home screen.

Instagram Live is hardly used

Another remarkable thing: only 10 percent of respondents use Instagram Live. And while we know that Facebook Live videos are placed higher in timelines and that people spend three times more time on a live video on Facebook than on other videos (and video posts on Facebook are already doing so much better than normal posts). And since Facebook owns Instagram, there is a good chance that this is also applied in the Insta algorithm.

If you broadcast live on Instagram, you will get priority on the Stories (with a striking ring). So there are great opportunities here. My advice? Do not just go live, but investigate whether your followers are interested in this. So first see if Instagram Live can help you.

Live on Instagram

“Regular” photos are still important

Stories disappear after 24 hours (unless you lock them in your Highlights). That creates a FOMO feeling with your followers, who do not want to miss the stories of their favorite accounts. That gives more urgency to the Stories than to the “normal” photos in your grid. Nevertheless, the research shows that the basic Instagram updates are still crucial for success on the platform. In that sense, stories can again be a reminder for your account and again emphasize your normal photos. Did you know that you can re-share a timeline post in your Stories again? Then you can send your regular Stories viewers to your posts with a longer shelf life.

Instagram in your strategy

Participants in the survey also answered the question “How important is Instagram with regard to your broad social media strategy?” It shows that many marketers think Instagram is important. 30 percent say “extremely important”, 35 percent “very important” and 22 percent “fairly important” (9 percent “a little important” and 5 percent “not at all important”).

In addition, 72 percent of respondents think it is very likely that Instagram will become a key marketing channel in the future.

Get started!

The report does not make clear where the marketeers interviewed come from. Nevertheless, we can assume that the exact figures do not match those in the Netherlands. Yet you see the same movements here. So get started with Stories (but don’t forget the regular photos), go live if there are opportunities for you and prepare for Instagram Checkout.