Today’s Top Instagram Marketing Trends That are Set to Work in 2021 as Well
We’re not far from ushering in 2021, and that means new and emerging marketing trends are on the horizon as far as social media platforms are concerned. Due to the way these platforms have transformed digital marketing, both content creators and marketers are waiting with bated breaths for the new marketing tools and tweaks that are set to be added to their long list of existing features. The platform arguably generating the most hype is Instagram.
Then and now
Instagram users account for approximately one-third of all the users across all social media platforms. That speaks volumes about Insta, which emerged as a simple photo-sharing app in 2010. Over the years, several features have been gradually added to the platform. Many of them are, in essence, marketing tools that have resulted in ‘Instagram marketing’ becoming an elaborate subject. Brands, both local and global, have benefited from them, and so have beginner and advanced content creators and influencers.
Today, Insta’s a colorful universe of its own, filled with an endless array of photo and video-based content, created by the most talented influencers from around the world, who are followed by millions. These influencers, along with the brands that support them, rely heavily on the prevailing Insta marketing trends to reach out to their audiences and gain more Instagram followers and likes.
While some trends tend to change from time to time due to feature upgrades, some remain intact for longer periods. In this blog, we’re going to talk about some of Insta’s top marketing trends from 2020, which are pretty much going to be around in 2021 as well.
The Stories will live on
Back in August 2016, Insta launched its ‘Stories’ feature, which was basically a carbon copy of Snapchat Stories. The feature, across both platforms, allows users to share photos and incredibly short videos (up to 15 seconds long).
While there are numerous subtle differences in the feature when compared across both platforms, Insta’s Stories has managed to edge out Snapchat’s version. The two biggest reasons for Instagram Stories’ success are the rapid rise in Insta users and the simple nature of the feature on Insta, which became quite convoluted on Snapchat thanks to too many new sub-features.
As a marketing tool, Instagram Stories has worked like a charm, particularly for influencers. Since the feature’s launch, it has become one of Insta’s most attractive elements and is set to be the crown jewel of influencer marketing in 2021 as well. Many experts estimate that 2021 will see a drastic decline in the number of regular Instagram posts and a skyrocketing of Stories posts.
Live will be alive and kicking
Instagram Live was announced back in November 2016, hot on the heels of the Instagram Stories launch. While the ‘Live’ feature on Insta is similar to live broadcasting features of other platforms, what sets it apart is its ephemeral nature. An Instagram Live video disappears forever once its broadcast comes to a conclusion.
Even though Instagram Live hasn’t hit the heights that the Stories feature has, it’s still a solid marketing tool that brands have benefited from, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen Live usage soar by a whopping 70%. Live allows for real-time engagement between brands, influencers, and their real Instagram followers, making it ideal for conducting Q&A sessions.
Some other types of live videos to have trended include product launches, collaborations, and giving audiences behind-the-scenes footage, which has all facilitated quite a fair bit of transparency. It’s safe to say that given Instagram Live’s marketing potential, it’s a feature that’ll be used heavily in 2021 too.
IGTV content will become more popular
The IGTV app allows Insta users to upload long-form videos. While viewers need to install the app to view the videos, the regular Insta app promotes IGTV videos in the form of minute-long trailers. Launched in 2018, IGTV is still relatively new compared to the Live and Stories features. However, as the popularity of long-form video content is fast gaining ground on Instagram, IGTV is here to stay.
It’s not even been three years since IGTV made its entry, but its benefits have already been felt, as content creators and brands have used the app to further their social media marketing ambitions. From repurposing video content that’s been previously posted elsewhere to creating elaborate tutorial videos, IGTV has given Insta users new ways to connect with their audiences.
Many influencers have their very own IGTV shows as well, just like your regular TV shows that are broadcast at the same time every day/week. While IGTV is yet to climb the heights that YouTube has, the fact that it’s well on its way up certainly can’t be doubted.
In-app shopping is bound to grow thanks to Instagram Checkout
It’s been quite a while since Instagram allowed users and businesses to share shoppable posts. There’s a full-blown Instagram Shop within the app as well that allows users to browse through a wide range of products.
While shoppable posts and Instagram Shop definitely added a different dimension to the platform, what really will revolutionize Insta is its Checkout feature, which was launched back in March 2019. Checkout allows users to make purchases without ever leaving the app, and it has transformed Insta into something more than a social media platform.
Checkout has worked like a charm for brands that are heavily reliant on visual content for promoting their products. For such brands, Instagram is now a combination of a marketing tool and an e-commerce portal. In 2021, the success of such brands is sure to inspire many others to take advantage of Checkout and further the in-app shopping experience for Insta users.
Carousel posts will continue to trend
Carousel posts on Insta are nothing new. They were first introduced in 2015, and allowed users to share up to 5 images in one post. However, over the years, they’ve undergone significant changes. For starters, Insta users can now share up to 10 images through a single carousel post, and they can also include video.
Carousel posts allow brands and influencers to create compelling and detailed posts, and the feature has certainly worked out. According to statistics, one out of every five Insta posts today happen to be carousel posts. But why exactly are carousel posts so popular with users?
The simple reason is that brands get to share detailed information regarding their products through them. A single carousel post can contain a ton of information that would have otherwise been difficult to include in a solitary post. Simply put, it’s the best feature for detailed product demos and numerous brands also use it innovatively to showcase positive customer reviews and encourage audience engagement. The result? More Instagram likes, followers, and most importantly, brand growth.
Fundraising for social causes will gain more ground
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen numerous industries hit hard, with countless brands worldwide having reported losses amounting to millions of dollars. To try and ease things out for such brands, Insta has launched a fundraising feature.
The feature allows both individual users and brands to raise funds for a number of eligible causes that include funds for communities in distress, crisis relief, business, education, medical needs, and more. For now, the feature is available only for Insta users living in Ireland, the UK, and the USA.
However, in 2021, we can expect the feature to be introduced in more countries as more and more individuals and businesses start raising money for the causes they support. Even though the feature is still in its nascent stages, it has already been used to raise funds for important social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Naturally, more brands would be willing to come forward in support of social causes. Think of it as Insta’s very own version of corporate social responsibility.
With no end to the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, the use of social media platforms like Insta will only keep increasing as 2021 gets underway. It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring Insta influencer or someone with more experience; the fact of the matter is that as long as the threat of contracting COVID-19 remains, more people are going to go digital. So, it’s time to take advantage of the possibilities, no matter how testing they may seem. Brand success on Insta has a lot to do with consistency and quality, so aim for both and get started.
The six trends we’ve covered in this article are certain to stay strong and relevant in the Insta universe in 2021. However, it’ll also be really exciting to welcome certain new features, which are sure to come our way, even though the folks at Insta have been tight-lipped about it so far. Combined with these older trends, we can only hope that the newer features and trends can work wonders for brands and influencers, both big and small on the platform.
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