What Can We Expect from Instagram in 2017? Hear It from The Industry Experts!

instagram-blog2Social media marketing has evolved significantly over the last few years, and it has now become an integral part of digital marketing. Ask any Internet marketing expert, and you will know what a vital role Instagram plays in their SMM strategies. With the kind of reach and influence this platform has, it can be said with certainty that brands need their own Instagram exposure for better engagement with the users. There is a lot more that is being expected of this platform in 2017. Here, we have compiled the thoughts of many social media pros to get a first-hand feel of where the social platform is heading in the near future.

Top Instagram Marketing Predictions by Pros

1. John D. Zimmerman – “Expect improvement in Instagram user experience and data analytics”

About 50% of the brands are already on Instagram and exploring its marketing potential. This is expected to grow by up to 70% by the end of 2017. Turning out to be a must-have app for businesses, Instagram is fully focused on enhancing analytics and ad strategy this year.

As per expert research, it is expected that Instagram’s ad revenues from mobile apps may touch $2.81 billion this year. They may achieve it by offering advanced analytics tools along with continued focus on user-friendliness to business owners and marketers.

Business owners already have access to easily understandable analytics which evaluate the reach, impressions, engagement and the target audience. However, it is anticipated that Instagram may further grow in its reach and breadth of the types of business analytics.

A few other predictions for 2017 from Zimmerman are:

  • Instagram Live videos may be made savable for a day.

  • More filters and editing options may be added.

  • There can be a wider rollout of clickable links.

  • Integration with Boomerang and Hyperlapse.

  • Reply feature may be improved and may get tucked under the comment.

  • There may be shoppable tags which will get rolled to a wider group of users.

John D. Zimmermanisa social media analyst and leading technical writer.

2. Kevin Brown – User-generated content may become the standard

What we can primarily expect in 2017 is a solid shift towards UGC (user generated content). All the smart brands are already tapping the benefits of fan content by introducing hashtag campaigns and community-drive contests.

Marketers can be prepared to leverage the benefits of this shift by using adequate systems in order to allow them to share the UGC effectively. In fact, Instagram doesn’t feature a straight share function. So, permissions is needed for using users’ content.

Effective tools like ‘Tack’ will help the brands to do this process more systematically and legitimately by approving permission to get fan content posted. The end result of it may be directly related to making trusted content for a brand and community.

Kevin Brown is the founder of a company, and had won the Best Business Blog Award in US back in 2015.

3. Lee John – Instagram may overtake Snapchat

Upon monitoring the trend over the last few months, you can fully expect that in 2017, Instagram make take majority of the market share and may surpass Snapchat. While Snapchat focuses on telling stories to let the audience get an inside look at businesses, Instagram has come up with InstaStories, which makes it easier for the users to get multiple things on a single platform.

The major difference between these platforms is in the connection feature. Snapchat makes it difficult for the users to connect to others. On Instagram, you can easily connect with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, and you can also search for Instagram followerswho you would like to follow. Instagram also makes it a one-click task to post your Instagram content to Facebook.

Today’s marketers should familiarize themselves with Instagram and its various features. Instead of splitting their focus over too many social channels, marketers should pick the best ones to reap the most benefits out of each platform. Regardless of how you use Instagram, you should be trying to build meaningful connections with the followers.

Lee John is a well-known marketer who has worked for a number of leading companies for more than a couple of decades.

4. Maria DZilva – The company may offer improved functionality to keep competitors at bay

Small business owners have always found Instagram to be simply a visual platform that is ideal for industries such as fashion or food. It was barely considered as an efficient platform that can drive in traffic. The misconception mostly occurred from the lack of option to post clickable links in the content or caption. Since there is no direct re-share option on Instagram, most people thought it was impossible to make a post go viral.

However, the new features, launched over the last year, have changed the way small businesses feel about the platform. Longer videos, Boomerang, Hyperlapse etc. have the ability to switch between accounts, get shoppable images, tell stories, zoom photos and much more. On the other hand, live video streaming now makes it a much more dynamic platform for brands, businesses and influencers.

It can very well be expected that Instagram will continue to implement advanced features which may address changing market demands and customer needs. Even though paid ads have a great power on Instagram, there is still a scope for a great amount of natural engagement and organic reach. Brands should try to capitalize on this in the coming months.

Maria DZilva is an award-winning brand strategist and digital marketing consultant.

Marketer’s tips

With so many advanced things expected to happen on Instagram this year, it is essential for the marketers to be prepared with an effective strategy and budget. It is already proven that videos are going to play a vital role. So, the big thing to achieve is creation of short and attractive videos for Instagram and timely scheduling of the same.

 

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De-Mystifying Google Search Console Part 3

Last time, we were going over some of the tools that are available to you. However, we haven’t gone over all of the tools. So let’s pick up this post where we left off last time.

HTML Improvements

“HTML Improvements” is where Search Console will recommend any tweaks or improvements you can make to your meta descriptions and title tags, along with any content that it doesn’t index.

This feature is very easy to use and can give you optimization recommendations that you can take action with immediately.

html improvements screen 1

For example, let’s say I click on the ‘Duplicate meta descriptions’ link in the image above, I’ll be able to see the 12 pages that have duplicate meta descriptions. Next, I’d go into my site’s CMS and change them so that each page has a unique meta description. This report can help make sure that your site is properly optimized, making it a very worthwhile tool.

Sitelinks

Sitelinks are the sub-categories that appear under the main URL when you search for certain companies.

Unfortunately, you can’t specify which categories you want Google to display, however, if your site is popular enough and it’s internal architecture is sound then these sitelinks will occur naturally. The good news? The ‘Sitelinks’ section of Search Console allows you to remove a webpage that you don’t wish to be included in the sitelink architecture.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

This brand new tool just became available earlier this year. AMP is a way for webmaster’s to serve lightning fast, stripped down webpages that are specifically for mobile users. While site speed and mobile friendliness are ranking signals and are becoming more and more important, it seems that SEOs are slow to adopt these pages.

The AMP tab in Search Console allows you to see all the pages on your site with AMP implemented and which ones have errors. If you click on the error, you can see a list of your URLs with errors. Then by clicking on the URL, Google will recommend a fix for that AMP.

Search Traffic Tab

Under ‘Search Appearance’ is the ‘Search Traffic’ tab. This tab breaks down the nitty-gritty of your analytics information along with providing information on your internal linking structure along with much more.

Search Analytics

Search Analytics tells you how much traffic you’re getting from search. It reveals how many clicks you’re getting along with impressions that are delivered on SERPs. It’ll also work out your CTR and reveal what your average organic position is on each page. But the creme de la creme of this report is that you can also see a sampling of the queries that searchers are using in order to get to your site.

A caveat though, the data collected through Search Console is different from Google Analytics, so don’t expect them to match, however what this report is really useful for is seeing which keywords and phrases are bringing traffic to your site, as well as the traffic being generated from your individual pages.

Links to Your Site

Here is where you can see the domains that are linking to your site. Be warned, this isn’t a complete list, however it is a good indicator of where your content is appreciated enough to be linked. Clicking on the URLs on the right hand side will show you where your pages are being linked individually.

That’s it for this post, next post will be the last post in this series. We’ll be going over the rest of the analytics tools that you have available in Search Console along with the miscellaneous tools available to you.

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De-Mystifying Google Search Console Part 2

Last time, we talked about setting up your web property in Search Console as well as explaining what Google’s Search Console actually was. In this post, we’ll be continuing to break down each part of the Search Console.

Search Appearance

On the left-hand menu, there’s a button called “Search Appearance” that has a ? button next to it. If you click on this icon the Search Appearance Overview will appear and explain each element of the search engine results page (aka SERPs).

Clicking on each individual element will bring up a box explaining the element of the search result and how to optimize that element for click-through along with where to find more information within Search Console.

Structured Data

Structured data is a way for webmaster to add more information to their site that helps to inform google about the context of any given webpage along with how it should appear in search results. For example, you can add review ratings, images or star ratings to your webpage’s structured data and these may appear when your website shows up in search results. The structured data section in Search Console contains information about all the structured data elements Google has located on your site.

Additionally, if you have any errors in your structured data, this section will tell you any errors it had found while crawling your structured data. If you click on the individual “Data Types” it will show you exactly which URLs contain that particular markup and when it was detected. Then, if you click one of the URLs listed it will show you a breakdown of that URL’s structured data as well as a tool that will show you exactly how it looks in live search results.

Data Highlighter

The data highlighter is an alternative way of adding structured data to your website’s HTML. It’s a point and click tool where you can upload any web page then highlight various elements to tell Google how you want that page to appear in search results. Additionally, there’s no additional code to add, and you can set the data highlighter so it will tag similar pages automatically with the tags you told it for the page you’re currently highlighting. To learn more, click here to watch a video on it.

That’s it for this tutorial. In the next post, we’ll finish up the search appearance section, and wrap up with the basics of what you should know to be a Search Console power user.

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De-mystifying Google Search Console Part 1

In this blog series, we’ll be going over Google’s Search Console. The Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a completely free and indispensable tool offered by Google to all business owners and webmasters. While you don’t have to be signed up for Search Console to be crawled and indexed by Google, it provides fantastic insights into optimizing your site and its content for the search engine.

A one stop data repository

Search Console is where you can monitor your site’s performance, identify issues, submit content for crawling, view what searches brought visitors to your website, monitor your backlinks as well as much more. However, the most important feature of Search Console is the ability to monitor your site’s health and is where Google will communicate with you should anything go wrong with your website (i.e. crawling errors, manual penalties, malware detected on your website, etc.)

If you don’t have a Search Console account for your site, then you should get one as soon as possible. You may find that you won’t want one of the fancier, more expensive tools out there that essentially does the same thing as Google’s free tool.

All you need to sign up for Search Console is a Google account, which is something you probably already have if you use Gmail or any other of Google’s many products.

The following guide will go over the basics of what you need to know in order to work effectively within Google’s Search Console.

Adding your website to Search Console

After you arrive at Search Console, if you haven’t already, Google will ask you to add a property. Just click the big red button that says Add A Property and then input your website address into the pop-up box.

Next is verification, before Search Console can access your site, you need to prove to Google that you’re the owner/authorized webmaster for the website. There are five methods of verification for Search Console. Google doesn’t have a real preference on which one that you use, although Google does have a “recommended method” that they feel is the easiest way to go about verifying your website.

  • The HTML file upload: This method is Google’s “recommended method.” Google provides you with a HTML verification file that you need to upload to the root directory to your site. Once you’ve done that, just click on the provided URL, hit the verify button and you’ll have full access to your website’s Search Console Data.
  • HTML Tag: With this method, Google provides you with an HTML tag that needs to be inserted into the <head> section of your homepage, before the first <body> section. We don’t recommend this method, because if you make any further updates to the HTML of your homepage and the tag gets removed, your verification will be revoked and you’ll have to do the verification process over again.
  • Google Analytics: Assuming you’ve established a Google Analytics account and your Google account is the same as the one you’re using for Search Console, then you can verify your site this way, as long as the GA code is in the <head> section of your home page and you have “edit” permission.

Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to see your site on the “Home” screen. Here you can access the site, add another property (if you’re a webmaster for more than one website), and see if you have any unread messages from Google.

Getting To Know The Dashboard

The Dashboard is where you can access all of your site’s data, adjust your settings and see how many unread messages you have.search console dashboard

The menu on the left side of the Dashboard is where you can navigate to all the reports and tools at your disposal. The three graphics in the center of the Dashboard (Crawl Errors, Search Analytics, and Sitemaps) are quick glimpses at your general site health and crawlability. These act as short-cuts to reports found in the menu found on the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the screen.

The gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard leads you to your settings menu. This menu gives you access to a variety of tools, preferences, and admin features. From here you can set to receive email notifications from Google about your site health, set your preferred domain and crawl rate, change the address of your website if you’re moving to a new domain, link your Google Analytics account to your Search Console account, and set admin permissions for authorized users of your Search Console account.

settings menu

Well, that’s it for this week’s tutorial. Next post, we’ll be going over search appearance, structured data, and the new data highlighter tool.

 

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