Next-Level: 6 Practical Instagram Trends to Follow in 2018

As creativity and commerce heavily intertwine, both businesses and independent artists alike, utilise Instagram’s all-new features for a whole lot more than just another selfieWith over 800 million active users on Instagram across the globe, how will you stand out?

Previously, each Instagram user would miss a staggering 70% of their feed. Fortunately Instagram’s new algorithm ensures pictures are prioritised due to relevance and not timing, which means it’s now a level playing field – you just need to know which tools to use.

Whether you’re looking to spruce your existing profile, expand your audience or start from scratch, we filter through 6 of this year’s most practical Instagram trends and how you can use each to amplify your brand.

1. Instagrids

Image by @skylargrey

In our previous blog, Influencer Marketing: 7 Tips to Attract Your First 250k Instagram Followers, we discussed the importance of keeping your theme consistent. Depending on the nature of your brand, the image format you choose will vary.

Instead of having several different images, instagrids prove a great visual aesthetic. Though keep in mind, this creative form requires ample preparation.

Typically, splitting a single image into nine squares works best. To do so, simply use an app like ‘Grids – Giant Square Maker‘.

2. Color Gradients

Image via @canvamexico

According to UX Planet, “gradients are back to rule in 2018” and for great reason. Gradients are one of the simplest yet most effective methods in creating a visually-appetising profile.

Leading by example, Canva Mexico maintain consistency as they utilise different pastel color gradients to motivate their striking layout at ease.

Whether opting for pastels or a bold duotone, color gradients are a vivacious way to inspire your next set of posts. Each colour gradient may inspire a theme, quote, mood or moment, whereby the creative freedom is all yours.

3. Story Highlights

Image via @zalorahk

With the new Story Highlights feature, now you can pin the most important stories to your profile, summarise and promote an individual personality.

These highlights appear directly below your profile photo, whereby you can add a cover photo and a story name for each highlight. For example, if you’re an e-commerce store then these highlights are particularly beneficial as item categories.

Bring your audience closer to you with highlights, which enable you to encapsulate your brand through your most important stories, additions or just favourite moments.

4. IGTV

Image via @nikehkg

Five years later, the feature all content creators have been waiting for is finally here. Instagram presents IGTV, a standalone video application, which enables you to view videos up to one-hour long from a vertical, full-screen format – an all-time first for mobile video.

This intelligent design means users will no longer have to turn their phone horizontally to watch long videos, while catering to the digital shift as people spend an average of 53 minutes on Instagram each day.

As a result, this channel empowers brands to delve into greater storytelling, amplify their audiences and attain maximum outreach. And if you’ve never used this feature before, this ‘Instagram Creator Handbook‘ is sure to help.

5. Animation

Image via @justinleduc

Within just 24 hours, an Instagram video of a giant grim reaper floating over San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, generated over nine million views.

The viral video from Art of Visuals’ creator, Justin Leduc, perfectly proves the power of clever animation in both captivating and astonishing diverse audiences worldwide.

Though Leduc is not the only talented creator to gain a mass following on Instagram, whereby the platform is filled with influential graphic designers, animators and other creatives, each showcasing their craft and capitalizing in the process.

6. Instagram Shopping?

Image by @katespadeny

Last year in March, Instagram Shopping was first launched in the United States.

Instagram Shopping, otherwise referred to as ‘Shoppables’, was recently released in another eight countries after having critically-acclaimed success for e-commerce stores.

Could Hong Kong be next?

Stay tuned! To find out more about how you can amplify your brand, check out these 5 Hong Kong Influencers You Need to Follow on Instagram or discover these four primary forms in The Rise of Emotional Marketing and how to establish brand loyalty.