Each year, there are many social media predictions made by social media marketers on what’s going to happen in the industry. But you cannot predict everything that goes in or out of online society.
For Instagram, some of their newest features were clearly responses to the ongoing pandemic, fueling new and maintaining old connections. Today, we’ll be highlighting some trends on Insta to keep an eye on as you improve your strategies this 2021.
1. IG Livestreams gets longer and longer as time goes by
Livestreams was first introduced in the year 2016 and has evolved into a way for businesses to expand their marketing reach and the ability to broadcast in real-time. In the last year 2020, we experienced a spike of high interest in doing live streams to continuously connect and conduct announcements or events digitally.
Live videos have been extended from one hour to four hours at maximum and now appear on the Explore page. Going Live on Instagram might seem overwhelming at first, but with proper and constant planning for strategies to do successful live videos, it’s best to have a solidified marketing approach that will really drive your results.
Use Instagram Live:
Plan shared live streams with other Instagram accounts and creators
Use the Q&A sticker to answer questions live
Introduce a new product or service
2. Generate revenue through Instagram
No longer relegated to shopping for products from businesses. In the year 2020, Instagram now offers several ways for customers to convert without leaving the app. This was extended to all business accounts, offering customers a way to save, purchase, and checkout in the app. To support Shop, product tags are available not just on posts but also in stories and Live broadcasts.
Instagram beefed up its support for creators in 2020, a trend that might continue into 2021. With the introduction of video ads in IGTV, creators can receive 55% of the cut. Watching an influencer’s live broadcast, supporters can purchase badges in three different price levels.
Ways to generate revenue through Instagram:
Set up Instagram Shop for your business
Use product tags in your posts and stories
Partner with creators as part of your influencer marketing strategy
3. Digestible, short graphics in carousel posts
Creating Instagram graphics has never been easier. Carousel posts include up to 10 posts and accounts of all kinds are using it for education. Topics range from mental health to racial justice to relationship advice and everything in between. To properly segment and sort carousel posts for content curation, make sure you have a reliable tool to get things organized and ready.
Ways to use carousel graphics:
Pick a topic you’re passionate about and turn educational tidbits into slides
Find apps that have ready-to-go templates
Turn your established infographics into slides
4. Summarize or educate with Instagram Guides
Instagram worked with companies and creators to put together self-care Guides that might help alleviate grief or anxiety while sheltering in place. Since then, Guides have been introduced to everyone and have been used in a variety of ways.
There are three types of guides:
Places: recommend places in your city or elsewhere
Products: recommend or introduce your favorite products
Posts: recommend posts that you’ve created or saved
Each guide has a small section at the top where you can summarize what it’s about. These also live on your Instagram profile page as its own tab, right next to the IGTV tab, so they’re another way to highlight your most important evergreen content similar to Stories highlights.
Ways to use Instagram Guides:
Introduce your product lineup
Show off your favorite businesses in your area
Create informative articles on any topic your brand is passionate about
5. Be creative and reel out your silliness
Instagram Reels were inspired by Tiktok’s features of easily creating short and quirky videos with fun music. This was introduced the just last year of 2020. Reel videos are limited to 15 seconds and offer you the ability to string multiple clips together into one video. These tend to be casual and a little bit silly.
Another good thing about Reels is that it’s shareable and when saved, lives in its own tab on your profile page and might show up in the Explore page. Be sure to plan out all your creative ideas before you make a Reel.
Ways to use Instagram Reels
Put together quick how-to guides on using your products or services
Find a trending meme and add your own spin on it
Partner with an influencer to share how they use your products or services
6. Accept an Instagram challenge
Challenges aren’t exactly a new thing on Instagram but they’ve certainly exploded during the pandemic, likely due to extra time on creators’ hands. Challenges might include the word “challenge” in them but one thing they all have in common is their own hashtag.
Challenges spread quickly like memes and follow a set of guidelines or rules. Each one leads to one or more posts and is a fun way of mixing up your content.
Ways to use Instagram challenges
Follow popular video creators to find the current trending challenges
Start your own brand challenge
7. Support small businesses & non-profits with stickers
Stickers in Instagram Stories have been around for a while but new ones are being continually added. Because small businesses are having a tough time with ever-changing dining guidelines, Instagram introduced new ways to help support them. Each sticker allows the viewer to click through for an action.
Ways to use supportive stickers
Add your preferred delivery service to your profile page to make use of the Order sticker
Promote your favorite cause and help them reach a fundraising goal
Collaborate with other brands by creating a series that promotes your favorite small businesses
8. You don’t have to be afraid to act casual
Instagram brand accounts were not as beautifully curated as they used to be due to the spillover of memes and challenges from both Tiktok and Twitter. This was a good thing though, as creating content for this pandemic is quite challenging, which means, photos and videos can take on a more, quirky, casual, and fun tone. Take note that when you curate content, you should plan ahead with a proper marketing strategy to produce more engaging content.
Ways to be more casual on Instagram
Take a fun Tweet that you’ve posted or a fan has posted and use that screenshot in a post.
Find a trending meme and fit your own brand’s voice into it.