With over 70% of Americans actively engaging on social platforms, it's no longer a question whether a business needs a social presence. Instagram alone is one of the most downloaded apps in the world, second only to TikTok in 2021. But with ever-evolving features and nuances of content, demographics, and user behavior, trying to crack the right marketing mix for your brand and audience can be overwhelming. Helping brands grow organically on social media over the past 4 years has taught us a thing or two about the power of a quality content marketing strategy and how to implement upcoming trends into current campaigns.
The Human Touch
First and foremost, an overarching trend for 2022 is a demand for increased authenticity.
“People have grown weary of generic promotional content on social media,” says Nina Pearl, Social Media expert for Être Girls at SLTC. “What I love most about social media marketing is that it offers brands an opportunity to be more human–to connect with their customers in a deeply personal way through unique and creative content. In my experience, brands that embrace this opportunity have seen the most success.”
The digital age has ushered in an entire demographic of consumers that are more informed than previous generations, able to do their own research easily, and incredibly skilled at identifying inauthentic messaging. Make sure you check in with your marketing team to ensure that your actions on social media (and beyond) align with your company values.
The Content (Creator) is King
Since the beginning of the pandemic, consumer desire for authentic communication from the brands they engage with has only grown, making influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) an imperative part of any Instagram growth strategy. The concurrent rise of social commerce due to the pandemic-driven surge in eCommerce and consumer desire for reduced friction at checkout has resulted in a unique opportunity for influencers to impact every stage of the marketing funnel.
Instagram has already started testing a native affiliate program, allowing creators to earn commissions based on in-app purchases while giving brands the ability to leverage them for awareness and conversion strategies. Micro and nano influencers will be increasingly important this year, delivering high engagement rates with relatable content that speaks to niche audiences.
The Reel Deal
If you haven’t already started implementing reels into your Instagram strategy, 2022 is the time to do it. The head of Instagram Adam Mosseri took to Twitter late last year, stating that Instagram is “no longer just a photo-sharing app, and will consolidate all of our video products around Reels to grow that product.” Reels are the perfect medium for creating educational or behind-the-scenes content that engages your audience, and can even be used to showcase your products or announce special offers to increase your reach organically. Looking for Reel inspo for your business? Check out some of our work for Relish and NuFun Activities
The Organic Panic
It’s no secret that Instagram operates on a pay-to-play model, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on organic growth tactics. The best growth strategies will employ both organic and paid tactics. Implementing a solid content strategy, doing proper hashtag research, and writing copy that encourages engagement are imperative to any organic strategy. Mastering the basics of audience targeting while testing messaging and imagery will increase reach and conversions for boosted posts. But most importantly, consistency is key.
“There’s really no magic shortcut to organic growth on Instagram,” says Andrea Kafure, Social Media and Creative Direction expert for NuFun Activities at SLTC. “Social media has to be social. The more you post and engage within your community, the more they will engage with and share your content as well, allowing your following to grow.”
The Social Commerce
Social commerce gained traction during the pandemic and has quickly become the preferred way to shop for younger generations. Instagram has always been a visual-first platform, making it the perfect place to showcase your products. Updated features like shoppable posts and product tags allow your customers to find more information on your products, add to cart, and even check out–all without ever having to leave the app. Live shopping events have also been on the rise, allowing you to promote and sell products while engaging with potential customers in real-time.
If you are a brand or a company looking to hire a team of category growth experts to support you as you scale, we would love to speak with you. Please contact us here to book your discovery call with SLTC. You grow, we grow. Let’s grow together.