Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, 500 million of which check the platform every single day. It was also the platform where consumers spent most of their time during 2020. With such a large and active user base, it’s easy for businesses to get lost in the crowd. That’s where trends come in.
Using Instagram trends can help brands build an effective Instagram marketing strategy and create great content audiences will want to engage with. By getting audiences excited about your content, you’ll keep ahead of the competition.
So, what are the current Instagram trends that will help you create a slick Instagram marketing strategy?
IG Trends 2021
Instagram Trend #1: Authentic content reigns
Since 2019, Instagram has seen a gradual shift to users preferring unfiltered, authentic content from both brands and Instagram influencers. This is set to continue over the next year. Social media users have become experts at determining whether content is genuine or not, so autnethic content still needs to be eye-catching and tell a story.
Instagram Trend #2: It’s all about Stories
Since their launch in 2016, Stories have become a staple to many brands and influencers. Nearly 90% of Instagram users post Stories, and nearly 80% of brands say that Stories have a huge impact on influencer content about their brand (around 90% of influencers publish Stories, and a further 63% say they’re going to use Stories more in the coming year). Instagram Story trends can include filters, videos and pictures.
Stories offer many engagement tools that brands and influencers can use including polls, emoji sliders, stickers, Q&As and more. Accounts with more than 10K followers are entitled to the “Swipe Up” feature, that can guide users directly to an external link. This allows brands to create more specific story content rather than having to constantly change the link in your biography to match your active marketing campaigns.
Instagram Trend #3: The rise of Reels
Reel’s is Instagram’s answer to the popularity of TikTok. It lets creators film and edit short-form video content of 15 seconds, and is available in over 50 countries. Reels is a great option for influencers who already have a large following on Instagram to join in the TikTok-style content, trends and challenges without having to rebuild a following on another platform.
Brands can post all types of content on Reels, from entertaining to educational. In addition to this, Instagram is currently testing Reels ads, so this is something brands can consider for future marketing.
Instagram Trend #4: In-app shopping
Instagram has unveiled its ecommerce capabilities, allowing users to shop in-app. Available through the “Shop” tab and brand profiles, users can browse products and checkout within Instagram. Users can also shop from native in-feed posts and live streams.
A new Instagram update includes a new “Drops” section within the Shop tab. Brands can apply to be featured and will be able to release a select number of new products to drop on the app.
Instagram Trends #5: Live content is in demand
The popularity of Instagram Live skyrocketed in 2020, which is unsurprising considering it was an easy communication method when jailed by various lockdown restrictions. It allowed users to stay connected when they were most isolated. Due to the popularity, Instagram has developed its Live capabilities to include Groups (of up to four) and ecommerce.
Instagram Trends #6: Branded AR effects and filters
Branded effects and filters have been popular across various platforms for some time (think Snapchat and TikTok). They have been used by brands across industries, including beauty brands letting users try on lipstick shades to fashion brands showcasing their new sunglasses to ice cream businesses letting users “eat” their new flavour. Branded effects are engaging and fun for users to create shareable content with.
To go hand in hand with authentic content, relatable influencers are popular choices for brands to partner with. Instagram users are actively seeking to connect with influencers that showcase a lifestyle similar to their own. Nano and micro influencers generally have an incredibly high engagement rate because their audiences feel hyper-connected and engaged with their life.
Instagram has just announced a new affiliate program that will help creators earn money by commissions. Influencers with the best connection with their audiences will likely benefit most from this new feature.
Instagram Trends #8: IGTV is evolving
IGTV is Instagram’s long-form video feature and it has been announced they will be able to feature ads. IGTV content creators will be given the same ad revenue percentage as YouTube creators, positioning itself as a firm competitor. IGTV also gives creators the chance to use more professional editing software to create high-quality content.
While social media platforms favour original and native content, it is becoming increasingly popular for influencers to repose content (memes, TikTok challenges and special effects) from alternative social platforms. Instagram has adapted well by allowing users to use new features and letting users create the same type of content they have been cross-posting.
Instagram Trends #10: The Explore Tab
The Explore tab lets users easily discover more content so they are enticed to stay within the app. Instagram uses this tab to publish lesser-known content. More than 200 million Instagram users use the Explore tab daily to find new ways to entertain themselves in-app.
Trends on Instagram change frequently and are typically influenced by trends on other platforms. An Instagram feature that is growing increasingly popular is Reels. As they begin providing bonuses for creators and testing ads, it is likely that Reels will continue to grow in popularity.
Is Instagram still popular in 2021?
In 2020, Instagram was the social platform where social media users consumed the most content. Thanks to its ability to keep people connected all over the world through entertainment and education, it is guaranteed that Instagram will continue to be popular in 2021.
Is IGTV worth it in 2021?
IGTV is Instagram’s long-video format. It allows brands and Instagram influencers to create longer videos to entertain their followers. They can be created using professional editing software and then be uploaded to the app.
Whether you use IGTV is dependent on your business, audience and budget. It is a great way to showcase a new range, host interviews or share informative content.
What’s better: Reels or IGTV?
Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok. It allows creators to make short-form videos that last around 15 seconds. IGTV lets users post long-form videos to the app.
Both have their advantages, but it depends mostly on what you want to achieve. If you want to engage and entertain by creating digestible content, you should use Reels. If you want to inform audiences, you should consider IGTV.