Why Instagram Will Be The King Of Social Media In 2014 (And How To Leverage It)

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origin_8242629466Instagram has gone from a selfie platform to a storytelling platform overnight. It’s quickly challenging the social media trifecta of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn through photo sharing in a mobile world.

Instagram gives brands an opportunity to tell their story through visuals. From the time we’re kids, visuals have played a significant role in our ability to understand and connect with stories. Whether it was a picture book our elementary teacher read to us or the colouring book we got for Christmas, visuals have forever allowed us to better understand a story and connect with it.

In marketing, storytelling is an art that needs to be considered and applied like a science. Storytelling is the glue to building stronger relationships with your audience and being unforgettable. It’s stories that are shared, remembered and passed on from one generation to the next. In a world filled with noise, it’s important that brands embrace storytelling as one of the best ways to cut through the noise and stand out.

In 2014 Instagram will continue offering brands an opportunity to achieve social media success while becoming a more mature platform for marketers. I’m confident that this will be the year where more brands start to leverage Instagram and achieve success. We’ve already seen brands from boring industries leverage content marketing tools like Instagram and that trend will only continue.

Here are a few reasons why Instagram will rule in 2014:

Social Becomes More Visual

It’s impossible to predict the future without considering the actions of the past. If you look at the last twelve months, there has been a significant increase in the number of photos shared on social media. With channels like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook putting more focus than ever on photos and visual assets, it’s clear that this is where the future of social lies.

On Twitter, images are now showing up directly in your newsfeed instead of forcing people to click a link to view the photo. While Twitter & Facebook have battled back and forth this year over where Instagram fits into the mix, I think 2014 will be the year both sides come to an agreement that Instagram can enhance the user experience on Twitter.

Sponsored Posts Become Mainstream

Instagram has already rolled out their approach to ads with companies like Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s expressing positive results. Similar to most advertising platforms, they measured success by gauging the amount of reach they achieved through instagram along with qualitative metrics surrounding the ability for users to recall the campaigns. While these advertisements will continue to develop and drive success in 2014, sponsoring posts by influencers is where I see Instagram really growing as a marketing tool.

There are thousands of power users on Instagram who influence culture and the buying behaviours of their networks. Identifying these people and paying to have them post about your brand is something that will become very common place in the upcoming year. I spoke with many brands and startups leveraging this tactic at a reasonable rate with a great return.

Instagram Hasn’t Peaked Yet

This is only the beginning. We haven’t seen the true marketing power of Instagram yet but 2014 will be the year. The landscape is ready and marketers are finally starting to understand how they can use a tool like instagram to tell their story and connect with their audience in a more compelling way. I’m excited to see how Instagram continues to grow and how they react to the Snapchat comparison as they continue to shape the photo sharing industry.

If you’re not yet on Instagram but are intrigued by the potential, check out the Ultimate Guide to Instagram and let me know what in the comments what you think is next for instagram:

 

photo credit: dbctuning via photopin cc

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Ross Simmonds
Ross Simmonds is a digital strategist, public speaker and entrepreneur. He's currently writing  Stand Out: A Content Marketing Guide for Entrepreneurs which highlights how businesses can use content marketing to drive meaningful and measurable results
Ross Simmonds
Ross Simmonds
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  1. My daughter loves it and actually yesterday she was asking me why I don't take advantage of it (she is 14). My daughter hopes to start a YouTube channel and has been following people like Shay Carl and Miranda Sings for awhile now, then she confessed to me she has more followers than I do on instagram, she laughed and said "yeah dad I have 7,000 followers how many do you have?" lol
    My recent post Snowy owls in New England – Another beautiful sighting in Westport, MA

  2. I'm a bit surprised to see this article on a site that created a petition against Facebook. Why on earth should marketers put their trust in another Facebook property?

  3. Ross, as a tax attorney I have not used Instagram yet. I do have a presence on the other sites you mention. Do you think Instagram would be of value for me especially since pictures can only do so much for my profession where words and concepts are my stock and trade. What do you think?
    My recent post Small Businesses: 8 Great Year-End Tax Planning Tips and Tricks: A Must Read

    • rsimmonds902 says:

      Hey Steven – Thanks so much for the comment! I think as a tax attorney you could use Instagram effectively but it might not give you the best bang for your buck. Blogging is still a huge opportunity for businesses and in your industry, I think educational content could be where you do the best.

  4. PS: Ross, I just looked through your slide share. Very, very well done. I learned a lot about Instagram and how it works and the strategies to pursue. Thanks.

  5. I quite using Instagram as they have a rights grab for all the images posted there. They can use them for whatever they want without compensation to you. If you're an iPhone user I highly recommend Pressgram. Much better and is giving Instagram a run for it's money.

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