Another new year means that it’s time to stop and consider your social media marketing strategies! Today we’re taking a close look at Instagram marketing, and everything you should consider heading into the new year. Many of the traditional Instagram tactics still work, but there have been some changes to note, and some new things to try. Instagram is more effective than ever in the B2B world, so we encourage you to take a look through and see what you can use.

Study the New Hashtag Search API

Late this year (in December 2018) the old business hashtag search option on Instagram will be gone forever. It will be replaced by a brand new version, with a lot of different rules. You can read all about them here, but here are a few things to know:

  • Businesses can now search for only 30 hashtags each week. Weird but true.
  • Businesses can no longer access any personal, identifiable information, and cannot comment on any hashtagged objects.
  • Businesses must go through a review process before they will be able to use this search process.
  • Obviously, these are significant changes for businesses that relied on hashtag searches, and will require new strategies heading into next year.

Start Using More Vertical Video (for Instagram)

We know it sounds weird, because the advice for the last several years has been to take video in the more professional landscape mode. This is still good advice for platforms like YouTube, etc., where the quality bones remains significant. But over on Instagram, vertical video is starting to take off: It’s most likely related to creating and watching video on phones, where vertical video makes more sense.

So if you’re taking Instagram videos next year – and you should try using at least a few – take them in vertical video. It’s now a more friendly format for Instagram, and could even please the Instagram algorithm more.

Look into an Instagram Chatbot

Chatbots are becoming increasingly handy on social media, allowing you to provide a lot of automated information for visitors: This is a particularly effective tactic for B2B companies, where clients visiting your Instagram are also likely to have a lot of questions about products, the company hours, and so on.

Due to this trend, if you are significantly invested in Instagram, we suggest you make setting up an Instagram chatbot one of your primary social media goals for 2019. You can read more about how this should look, but it’s a relatively simple process.

Introduce a Longform Video

IGTV, Instagram’s new TV service, is a great place for longform videos. Elsewhere on the internet, especially in social media longform videos longer than several minutes are frowned on due to everyone’s general impatience and attention spans. IGTV is a new place where you can post longer content with fuller explanations – and still have it be effective! So if you have content that makes for a great in-depth video about your brand or products, plan to put it on Instagram next year and reap the results.

If You Haven’t Done It Yet, Post an Instagram Story or Two

Instagram stories are a highly effective way to show events and connected photos on the platform. People like watching them, especially when learning more about a business! If that sounds complicated, don’t worry! Studies have shown that the optimal length for a Story is only about 7 pieces, so it doesn’t take too much effort to get started. If you haven’t tried any Stories before, make 2019 the