Instagram is currently one of the most popular social media apps amongst the audience, and people call it the new Facebook. However, I believe it has surpassed what Facebook was as an organic platform.
Instagram has more or less been divided amongst users who blog/vlog their lives and people who leverage it as a marketing tool for their businesses, personal brands, hobbies/passions, and more.
In fact, this year, the platform boomed as a space for marketers and content creators. So I thought it’d be interesting to shed light on some factors that gave rise to this boom. Here’s a list of top Instagram marketing trends we saw in 2021.
People are leveraging reels for pretty much everything these days. What began as the go-to tool for content creators also became a space for businesses to showcase their products, passionate artists to share their talent, and in general, market anything and everything within a matter of seconds.
IG stories gain the most traction on the platform and are second to only IG Reels. Launching new products, engaging and interacting with the audience, hosting contests and giveaways, and so much more can happen on stories due to its versatility. As a result, stories continued to gain more traction in 2021.
Insta Reels has given rise to many content creators and influencers across various niches. As a result, brands quickly collaborate with suitable influencers to promote their product with quirky posts, IG lives, Reels, and more. In fact, brands have become quite fast to capitalize on moment marketing with creators and influencers who would suit the niche.
In 2021 we also saw IG shopping surge. The IG Shop feature allowed brands to create a visual shop that showcased their diverse products. This gave rise to numerous small and indie businesses across niches such as fashion, stationery, merchandising, and more.
People started including purchase links on stories, ‘Tap-to-shop’ the product, and numerous other features to boost their business.
IG launched numerous new updates and features on the app that have supported content creators and small businesses. Some of the most popular features that came out in 2021 were:
- Collab Feature: This allowed people to send collab requests to each other and post the same piece of content on both pages with somewhat ease. Both collaborators of the content piece (reels or posts) will be sharing the view count, like count, and comment threads.
- Link Stickers: Until quite recently, only accounts with more than 10K followers could use the Swipe Up feature to redirect people to websites. However, Instagram dropped the Swipe Up feature and replaced it with Link Stickers. The best part about this was that anyone could leverage the Link Stickers to redirect people to websites, irrespective of their follower count.
- ‘Add Yours’ Sticker: The ‘Add Yours’ Sticker was released recently and instantly became popular amongst the audience. People could share their favorite moments and even help small businesses via this sticker. Furthermore, it also eased how photography competitions and giveaways were being hosted.
These are some of the most popular features Instagram rolled out this year. However, there are many more such as increasing the Reel duration and Live duration, Badges for Live, and more.
Overall if we had to look at all the features, we could see how Instagram is trying to create an ecosystem that helps anyone and everyone become a content creator, an influencer, a business owner, etc. while also ensuring that they get monetary benefits from these features either directly or indirectly.
Yup, you read it right. There is a spike in the amount of humorous content on IG in the form of memes, Tweet screenshots, and more. As a result, brands have started leveraging similar formats to create more engaging content and make it relatable to the audience.
On a much higher level, this has helped brands humanize themselves, where you can see them talk to people like they would in person.
There is no end to IG challenges and trends. By the time you get around to catching up with one trend, it’s not a trend anymore, and there’s some new challenge people are indulging in. These include transformation videos, dance choreographies, playing with lights, and so much more.
Needless to say, businesses, content creators, and influencers are harping upon these as well to build their own brands.
As mentioned earlier, brands are more humanized thanks to all the features that IG provides. They are trying to make their pages and the platform a two-way street for conversations. Stickers such as Quiz, Ask Me Anything (AMA), IG Polls, etc., enable people to interact with the brand, have conversations with it and connect better.
From the business and marketing perspective, brands are leveraging these features to understand better what their audience and customers are looking for, thus enabling them to grow their business in that direction.
The IG Live feature has enabled people to create Live Rooms where multiple people can have conversations viewed by the followers live. Brands and businesses leverage these features to promote their business, launch their products, cover events, etc., and collaborate with suitable influencers.
You might often come across events at a company being live-streamed, or content creators having conversations about their work, influencers vlogging their experiences, and so on.
Although these guides were first launched in 2020, they’ve gained an enormous amount of traction only in 2021. These guides help creators and businesses provide useful information to their customers and audiences about their products or art, or essentially anything that requires you to go more in detail than just have superficial engagement.
These are some of the most common Instagram marketing trends of 2021. If you see, there’s a pattern Instagram is following. It is building an ecosystem where people come for entertainment, shopping, business, etc., thus leading to a far greater usage than just you following your friends to know updates about their life.