Instagram is a photo-sharing app launched in October 2010. Two years after its launch, Facebook bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Today, there are around 1.16 billion Instagram users, and the application has generated $20 billion in ad revenues. These just show the power of Instagram and why Facebook bought the platform. Being a free photo and video sharing platform, Instagram becomes a popular way for brands, celebrities, and thought leaders to connect with the community and the world. The platform has a vast array of features that brands can use to advertise their products and services. Below are 5 exciting Instagram trends for 2021.
Launched in 2015, Carousel allows posting multiple photos and videos on Instagram. The greatest number allowed is 10 images or clips. Instagrammers can view a Carousel either by clicking left or swiping up. Today, most brands are using Instagram Carousel to educate their customers and target audiences. As such, they boost the engagement rate of small businesses and increase the impression rate on Instagram. To harness the power of the Carousel trend on Instagram, a brand can do the following:
- Catalog its featured products and services.
- Create educational clips or tidbits about their expertise or niche.
- Turned infographics into slides.
Instagram Guides were introduced in May 2020. Instagram Guides allow Instagrammers to follow a curated flow of posts based on locations, products, and recommendations. It was initially available to a selected group of health and wellness advocates. Later on, it was made available to all Instagram users.
Places guides show a curated list of Instagram content within a city or location. Product guides introduce the latest addition among a user’s favorite products. On the other hand, post guides recommend posts relevant to what a user creates or saves. Brands can highlight their most evergreen content using Instagram Guides. They show right next to the IGTV tab of an Instagram feed. To boost engagement, brands can use this exciting Instagram trend to do the following:
- Create informative articles relevant to the brand.
- Introduce a product lineup.
- Show off the business locations and markers.
Instagram Shopping Tools
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned physical stores into digital shops. Instagram Shopping was first launched in 2016 with the use of product tags. But in 2020, Instagram redesigned it by rolling out product tags, stickers, and Shops. Product tags allow brands to add a link to an Instagram post. The link directs users to the product website to facilitate checkout and payment.
Shoppable stickers can be added to Instagram images and videos for viewers to see the product description and prices. By clicking the sticker, viewers are directed to an eCommerce shop where they can also checkout and make payment. Shoppable stickers can be a product name in gray or rainbow text, a shopping bag icon, or a translucent text.
Instagram Shops are like a full-screen digital store highlighting the products and services of a brand. An Instagram business profile can create a separate page for an Instagram Shop. Through Shops, Instagrammers can browse products, explore collections, and make a purchase within the platform. Today, around 130 million Instagram users tap shopping tools every month. To harness the power of this exciting Instagram trend, a social media agency Hong Kong suggests that brands can do the following:
- Collaborate with other brands to promote their Instagram Shops and product tags.
- Partner with influencers to promote their Instagram Shops and product tags.
- Start setting up Instagram Shops.
- Use product tags and stickers on images and videos especially on Stories.
Instagram Reels are 30-second engaging and fun music video clips which was introduced last July 2020. According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, Reels have increased video investment on Instagram by 70%. Inspired by TikTok videos, Reels tend to be more casual and engaging. Brands can use Reels to do the following:
- Find a relevant meme and spin it up to promote a product or service.
- Partner with influencers to create short-form videos highlighting the benefits of a product or service.
- Put up quick how-to guides of their products and services.
Longer Instagram Live Stream
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong defines Instagram Live as a real-time broadcast to connect with the Instagram community or followers. It can help expose a brand to a wider audience. This is because Instagram Live can be shared in Stories that are highlighted on top of Instagram news feeds. In 2020, the Instagram Live experience calls for a longer duration. With a 70% increase in Live views, Instagram now allows a live broadcast of up to 4 hours. Today, most brands use live streaming on Instagram to introduce their products and services. But here are three better ways to harness the power of such an exciting Instagram trend this 2021:
- Pre-announce live streams about the launch of new products and services.
- Partner with other brands or influencers to share live streams in different accounts. This can boost reach among the followers of each account.
- Use question and answer stickers to answer the audience queries live. It can be a way to educate and influence them to buy in real-time.
The Bottom Line
Instagram is still one of the top social media platforms for marketing. By harnessing the power of these 5 exciting Instagram trends for 2021, brands can ensure an increased return of investment upon marketing on Instagram.