How Instagram will payoff in 2017

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The popular image sharing application has proven itself to be one of the most influential platforms in the digital world. It has transformed the lives of people who have leveraged its key features. Photographers and fitness entrepreneurs especially have been using Instagram to boost their business. Recent Instagram updates have evolved the platform into a powerful tool that can be used effectively in E-commerce as well. If you run an ecomm business, Instagram can elevate your revenue several notches higher once you get a decent amount of Instagram followers.

Here’s how:

Instagram Stories

In August, Instagram launched Stories, which was in no way similar to Snapchat Stories. Except that photos and videos will vanish after 24 hours. And you can use a range of filters or add text and drawings to your content. And the name. The name is pretty similar.

The idea behind the update seems to be that Instagram users tend to post their very best photos, but not their everyday snaps. As Instagram said in the announcement, “With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day – with as much creativity as you want.”

The product launch came out of an Instagram trend directed by users: the rise of ‘finstagram’. The term stands for fake Instagram, where people create a secondary account to share content that they wouldn’t want on their main account. Primary accounts have to play by the unwritten rules of Instagram like you must post a filtered photo of smashed avocados at least once a week.

So Stories aims to change the way people use Instagram, which is a pretty bold move. Stories allows you to tag people in updates, add a link to your content (useful for brands directing people to their site), and it even supports Boomerang.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it launched as a separate dedicated app once it is established, like Boomerang, Hyperlapse, and Layout. It allows users to not become confused by a bloated app.

Instagram Shopping

In a recent update, Instagram trialed shoppable product tags with 20 fashion brands, allowing the tagging of certain items in a photo. This presents a much more seamless shopping experience for the user. Rather than having to find a link in the bio, users will be able to click a tag for a detailed view of the product. The shopper can then continue researching the product without leaving the app. If the user wants to continue with the purchase, a Shop Now button will take them to the product landing page on the businesses website.

This update makes a lot of sense.

Social selling hasn’t quite taken off yet, but it could make money for the networks so there have been various attempts to make it work. Instagram, along with Pinterest, is a very visual network and shopping would seem to fit the platform well. I expect to see shopping options extended if this initial offering takes hold.

Importance of social media marketing is immense in this day and age. When it comes to Instagram, it is an amazing marketing platform which can take advertisements to a higher degree. Social media has become an inherent part of our lives. Not millions but there are billions of users over social media. Instagram is part of it and statistics show that the growth of Instagram is higher than other social media platforms. People will only buy if they know about you. Reaching out your audience is a necessity. Given the popularity of Instagram these days, getting in touch with your targeted audience is easier. Instagram will also enhance the interaction levels with your customers.

  1. It is completely visual

Most importantly, Instagram will help businesses to emotionally connect with their customers completely through visual means. It is free of mess. Instagram can allow businesses to bridge the gap between them and customers through purely visual content. It has forced them to tell stories through pictures and not words. Concision will help you reach pinnacles of success.

Increasing ad options for brands

Instagram has various options for brands wanting to advertise on the platform, but I expect these options to gradually increase as the year progresses.

Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past that until a product reaches one billion users it isn’t a “meaningful businesses,” and that “we’re not going to try to monetize” until then. The sentiment seems to be that overly aggressive advertising makes the service less attractive to users and restricts growth.

Once you’ve hit 1 billion users a critical mass has been reached that makes it too inconvenient to migrate to a competitor. At this point, we should begin to see more ads and advertising options available to brands.

Much of this article was originally posted by Kit Smith on BrandWatch here.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.