Wondering what the future of Instagram marketing looks like? Between the pandemic, an increase in social activism, and Instagram introducing new features, 2021 is set to continue to shake up the way we use Instagram. Here are some predictions for the top Instagram trends for 2021 that are being talked about in the marketing world.
What was once an app for sharing pretty photos is becoming a full-scale e-commerce platform for brands and creators to monetise their content. With the introduction of Instagram Shop in 2020, Instagram created a more streamlined way to discover shoppable products, giving users the ability to 'Browse Shops', see 'Editors’ Picks', and more, and it's not likely Instagram will slow down anytime soon. Plus, with more and more physical stores closing, the demand is only increasing for retailers to bring their businesses completely online.
Video content takes the lead
TikTok took the world by storm in 2020 with its quirky, random videos. It was the perfect escape during lockdowns and became extremely popular not only with a younger Gen Z audience, but also millennials and older generations. To capitalise on the craze, Instagram launched Instagram Reels. While still a new feature, Instagram users have already shown that they enjoy bite-sized content: there are over 500 million daily Instagram Stories users. With Instagram Reels, brands and creators can create educational content, showcase their products or services, and have fun in a creative way.
An increase in diversity and inclusion
2020’s increase in social activism highlighted a lack of diversity within influencer marketing, social marketing, and the internal cultures of major brands. Diversity and inclusion is an overdue conversation in social media marketing and is ppredicted to be a priority for many brands in 2021 (and beyond). The goal should be to incorporate diversity and inclusion into all aspects of your business — from corporate HQ, to accessible social posts, to the influencers you collaborate with.
Influencer marketing to get a serious boost
Influencer marketing is on track to become a $15-billion-dollar industry by 2022, which means one thing: influencers are here to stay. With Instagram’s new e-commerce features, influencers will be able to expand their network and create long-term partnerships with brands. Additionally, with an increase in screen time on social media, we think brands will shift their dollars to online marketing. And this is where influencers step in.
More authenticity in captions
Authenticity on Instagram has been a growing trend, and could blossom even further in 2021. This year saw more and more influencers use their platforms to share less curated and filtered content and speak about topics such as loneliness and self-esteem. The shift away from 'perfection' and towards transparency can be powerful. And authenticity isn’t just for influencers — brands have jumped on the trend too.
The rise of instagram as a microblogging platform
Speaking of authenticity, microblogging could really grow on Instagram in 2021. We already know that long captions are all the rage. Not only does the long-form caption mean a community spends more time reading (and engaging with) content, but it encourages them to leave comments and share their own stories.
Virtual events and activations
2020 was the year of virtual events, virtual conferences, and Instagram lives. Even as the world opens again, virtual events and brand activations could be here to stay. Why? Physical location is no longer an issue, giving you the ability to bring everyone from your community together — wherever they are in the world. Virtual activations can also be more cost-efficient, especially for small businesses. You can allocate more money towards hosting platforms, speakers, and gifts, and less on venue rentals, food vendors, and decorations.