Living in the 21st modern century, we’ve all heard that a change is the only thing that is constant, and that’s never been more true than in the digital marketing world. The social media is constantly changing and evolving, what ever it’s the demographics, the latest trends, the memes or the new algorithm updates.
As a marketer, you need to stay on top of these changes, so in order to help you, we will discuss a few trends that defined 2020. In order to stay ahead of the curve YOU need to ensure that these Instagram trends are going in your social media strategy.
- Instagram TV or IGTV takes over the stage
When IGTV first launched, it wasn’t quite clear how it was performing or what it would bring to marketers’ Instagram strategy.
However, after a few changes and updates to the Instagram platform as a whole, IGTV is still alive and well, and will likely continue to rise.
First, Instagram has added an IGTV tab to their Explore page navigation, giving users even more opportunities to find videos and content creators they’re interested in.
Next, Instagram added the option to include previews of IGTV videos within a user’s regular feed, helping people to discover accounts they follow that are also creating long-form video content. All you have to do is toggle the on button for this feature when you publish a video.
Not only that, but the platform has also allowed for landscape video content, making it even easier to share existing video content your brand has already created. While their initial venture was to increase the creation of vertical video, things like this need baby steps. Adding the ability to upload horizontal video content gives even more content creators easier access to IGTV
So what does this mean for your brand? It means that you should absolutely consider adding IGTV to your Instagram strategy. Creators are seeing more and more views on their IGTV videos, making it a great tactic to test for your business.
Ways to use IGTV:
- Share existing video content, including in landscape format, to reach a greater audience.
- Create vertical video content specifically for IGTV.
- Consider creating an IGTV series that your audience will love.
- Share previews of your IGTV videos to your feed to reach more viewers.
- Instagram stories are on fire
Since their creation in 2016, Instagram Stories have been fast growing, reaching 500 million daily active users by early 2019. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop.
In fact, the company is only making it easier to share your stories with more and more people, adding in the option to share all of your Instagram Stories to Facebook automatically, so that your friends and followers can see them as well.
The share feature exists for both personal Instagram profiles and business Instagram profiles, and is a great way to cross-promote your content so that you can reach a greater audience.
Instagram has so many great features to take advantage of within your Stories as well. Add music, make them interactive – we’ll touch on this more in a bit, incorporate animated stickers and more. Instagram is still expanding the functionality of Stories on daily basis.
More and more brands are focusing on story content even more than content for their feeds, and you should do the same. While feed content becomes less necessary – consider sharing content to your feed 2–3 times each week – you should be updating your Stories daily.
Ways to use Instagram Stories:
- Cross-promote your content to your Facebook Page.
- Take advantage of the tools inside Stories, like fonts, coloring tools, Boomerangs, stickers and more.
- Once you reach 10k followers, start linking to your website content regularly to boost traffic.
- Instagram shopping
Instagram has incorporated enough shopping features that the platform can almost become an entirely new revenue stream for your e-commerce business. And when over 130 million users are tapping to view Instagram shopping tags on photos each month, this is definitely a strategy you want to be using.
If you have an online shop, you can get started by setting up your shop with Instagram.
Instagram has added so many features to improve shopping on their platform, like the ability to tag products in your posts, tagging products in your Stories, and even checking out and completing entire purchases on the platform.
There’s even a Shopping tab on Instagram’s Explore page, making it even easier for users to find products to buy.
Ways to use Instagram shopping:
- Tag a product anytime it’s referenced in an Instagram post or Story.
- Enable in-app checkout so your followers can easily buy from you directly through Instagram.
- Incorporate the promotion of your products even further into your Instagram feed strategy.
- The memes are taking over the internet, including Instagram
It’s always interesting to see content and ideas from social media platforms make their way onto other platforms and feeds, and this has become exceedingly popular with tweets and memes.
Instagram isn’t always about having that gorgeously curated feed anymore. In fact, there are several accounts dedicated specifically to memes and other brand accounts that bring them into their marketing strategy.
But what has taken Instagram by storm and will continue to be a trend as sharing screenshots of tweets in your Instagram posts and Stories.
These can be your own tweets or another user’s tweets, but be sure to include their Twitter handle and tag them if they’re on Instagram to give the creator credit.
Tweets on Instagram all tend to have the same look – a small screenshot of the tweet centered in a square background using one of your signature brand colors.
This can be a great way to share other expert opinions in your industry, bring a bit of humor and re-share some of your top content or best replies from fans across networks.
Ways to share tweets on Instagram:
- Share opinions and thoughts from experts in your industry.
- Bring a bit of humor into your feed with a casual feel that still invokes your brand colors and style.
- Create a pattern in your Instagram feed of tweets and memes versus product or stock photos.
- Easy find content in your explore tab
Instagram keeps making it easier and easier for users to find new accounts to follow, which is a great thing for your business. More than 200 million users visit the Explore tab each day, helping your brand be seen by even more people.
As we mentioned before, there are tabs for “IGTV” and “Shop,” but you can see in the above example that there are other categories too, like “Nature,” “Decor,” “Travel” and more.
The content on each individual user’s Explore page is catered directly to their activity on the platform, so you need to ensure you’re marketing to your audience correctly if you hope to find a space in your target customer’s Explore area.
Ways to get on the Explore page:
- Post your content at the right times.
- Interact with users relevant to your industry.
- Use compelling and appropriate calls to action.
- Interaction, Interaction, Interaction
Interactive content is huge right now for brands on many channels, not only trending on Instagram, but the platform does make it incredibly easy for you to jump on the bandwagon.
Instagram Stories includes features like polls, quizzes, questions and more to give your audience the opportunity to interact directly with you and your content.
This is a fun way to get your audience’s thoughts and opinions. You can add interactivity just for fun, or you can use it strategically for market research and to gather ideas for future products, services and launches.
Ways to use interactivity:
- Create a countdown until the end of a giveaway
- Add a poll or question sticker to get your audience’s opinions
- Test your audience’s knowledge with a quiz
- Allow your audience members to join a private Q&A chat
- Authenticity in Instagram content is the number one factor for success
Instagram isn’t all about the flawless photos and hyper-curated feeds anymore–to an extent. It’s becoming more about real life, and what things really look like.
While many brands and influencers still ensure they have a gorgeous and cohesive feeds, more and more users are posting photos of real life, like bad days, behind-the-scenes fails, untouched photos and the like.
Brands are starting to incorporate a sense of authenticity into their own Instagram strategies as well. Whether it’s sharing unedited photos, messy workspaces, having real people behind the brand chat on Instagram Stories or focusing on writing conversational captions, authenticity is winning out again and again.
Ways to be authentic:
- Use diverse, untouched models in your product photography.
- Share real, behind-the-scenes content showcasing life as a CEO, social media manager, freelancer or other roles in your organization.
- Focus more on connecting with your audience than curating a flawless Instagram feed.
- Start incorporating content like memes and tweets for a relatable feel.
- Use a carousel post to keep your feed beautiful while still providing behind-the-scenes images after a user swipes.
- Instagram goes dark.
If you’re on Android or iOS 13, dark mode must be enabled in your phone’s settings for it to be active in the app.
How to activate dark mode:
Android : Tap or your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile. Tap in the top right. Tap Settings, then tap Theme. Select Dark.
iPhone: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap Display & Brightness, the third option on the third list of items.Under “Appearance,” you will see two options: Light and Dark. Tap Dark. Launch Instagram. Your app should now be in dark mode.
There are always new and updated platform features, so it’s important to keep up with what Instagram trends today are.