Instagram is and will most likely remain the place where new ideas and products gain the most recognition. In order to stay relevant, and maintain its focal point in topics around social media, Instagram is frequently adding features to the app. If you’re interested in learning how you can gain more reach and better promote your work on Instagram, then check out these 8 Instagram marketing trends for 2021.
#1 More Instagram Stories
If you’re on Instagram then chances are posting Stories is one of your go-to marketing strategies. The feature is great for posting your latest work, making announcements, sharing behind-the-scenes, the post-production process, and more.
The feature is oftentimes seen as the backbone of social marketing. Posting a Story is the key component to reaching more people and keeping engagement strong. As a photographer, you shouldn’t disregard it. Consider even adapting the tactics influencers are using in order to share your photography with the world.
Set yourself apart by posting cool projects, using vibrant colors, or personally interacting with your audience. It’s all about getting creative.
But, what are you gaining out of Instagram Stories?
In terms of influencer marketing, eight out of ten brands (78%) have stated that Instagram Stories have had a great impact on the spread and reach of their brand. More people are prone to posting a Story due to the extensive reach they receive but also to the feature’s short-lived nature.
In addition, the Stories algorithm is easier to understand. A great amount of focus is placed on timeliness and account relevancy. Basically, accounts that interact with your account more, whether it be through likes, comments, DMs, or reactions, will have your stories appear at the front of the list.
Did you ever wonder why people repost their most recent feed post in their Story? Because that’s the way to reach more viewers and get the most interactions! But, keep in mind — also for Stories there is a ‘best time to post.’
To learn more about the Instagram algorithm and finding your ‘best time to post,’ take a look at the Cherrydeck Instagram Guide.
#2 Augmented Reality Filters
Going hand-in-hand with the increasing use of Stories, the next trend in our list of Instagram marketing trends for 2021 is Augmented Reality (AR) filters.
We have all seen Stories, or made Stories, where an AR filter was included. From experimenting with different make-up shades to seeing how a vase would look in your home, 2020 became the year of this technology.
In mid-2019, Facebook’s Spark AR Studio launched the AR feature. Since then 1 billion people worldwide have created their own effects. And, we aren’t just talking about private users, but also brands, influencers, photographers, and others.
In 2021, there is still endless potential to be discovered in this outstanding feature. And we believe that it will continue to grow into various fields and professions.
#3 The Usage of Reels will Skyrocket
A feature that is still seen as considerably new is the Reels feature. Reels started to gain traction in August 2020 and are estimated to become TikTok’s direct competitor in 2021.
With Instagram Reels, users can create short 15- to 30-second videos which will then appear on their own tab. Every interest is covered in Reels, but the feature can be especially interesting for photographers and videographers with experience in visuals production and editing. It’s a great chance for creatives to take advantage of old work and start repurposing it for the format!
In 2021, this feature is (without a doubt) bound to grow even further. Due to TikTok’s impressive growth and the similarities presented in it, a comparable path is expected.
A great advantage of Instagram Reels compared to TikTok is that Instagram users who have already built an impressive following, will not have to start from scratch to see results.
But, how do you leverage Instagram reels?
There are great benefits from the incorporation of Reels into your marketing strategy. For starters, Reels are a great way to stay connected with your audience in a quick and fun way. Through the time restrictions, Reels have to be quick and to the point, making it the best communication method for a fast-paced world.
On the other hand, they are a great tool to reach new audiences very very fast! If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Instagram, is that new features are always pushed further. So by using Reels, you’re getting a little help from the algorithm. Isn’t that great?
For many brands, Reels are developing into a modern form of commercialization. For others, Reels are the new it-way to share compelling stories.
Pro Tip: If you want your Reel to achieve an exceptional amount of views, share it on your feed (and not just on the Reels section)! 😉
#4 The Re-Birth of Instagram Live
Over the years, Instagram Live has been a feature that has gone back and forth in terms of its success and usage. As countries worldwide went under lockdown in 2020, many saw Instagram Live as the best way to directly communicate to different people.
In April 2020, Instagram Live skyrocketed to 70% usage in only one month. This because Instagram Live broke the barrier between the host and the audience, enabling real-time interaction and conversations.
The feature can be a great way to present a new product, give a behind-the-scenes look at a project, or just engage in conversations with creative people all over the world. As we look to 2021, there is no doubt that a return to normal life is still in the distant future, so it’s time to stay creative and seek different options of socializing and hosting events.
#5 Setting the Tone with IGTV
With the most successful Instagram features being video-based, such as Stories, Reels, and even the old Instagram Live, it is no surprise that IGTV is now making its comeback too.
One of the main reasons for this comeback is that now Instagram allows users to make money with IGTV.
How you might ask? The answer is short and sweet — ads! The adoption of IGTV started in 2020, however, in 2021 this adoption will increase to an all-time high.
The incorporation of ads makes this feature much more attractive for content creators. It’s a win-win situation as you are not only taking an opportunity for sharing your work and brand, but you are also doing something for your bank account! Numerous reports have shared that content creators using IGTV are earning the same percentage of ad revenue as YouTubers.
IGTV combines the authenticity of Instagram Live with the long-lasting feel of Instagram Reels. As a creative, you can share your perspective on the creative industry on IGTV, conduct interviews, or show your followers well-composed behind-the-scenes. You can set your IGTV apart by incorporating the ‘Series’ feature and growing your videos just like on Netflix!
#6 In-App Shopping
Online shopping is in popular demand, so why not set up your own shop on the most popular app out there too? The shopping feature on Instagram will be one of the trending features to watch out for in 2021.
While the words “shopping” and “Instagram” are not necessarily associated together, they are a rather successful combination. Research shows that an estimated of 70% shoppers use Instagram as the preferred platform for product discovery.
Additionally, 130 million users learn more about specific products by tapping on designated shopping posts every month.
What would a photographer be selling?
Although ‘Shoppable Posts’ and the ‘Shopping’ tab are pretty new features, that doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant for photographers.
Especially in a time where there are a lot of uncertainties flying around, it is important to set yourself apart. How? As a photographer, you can sell prints of your outstanding work, copies of your photography book, camera accessories, and much more. Simply post an image of the product on your feed and add a tag (just as if you were tagging a friend).
Not only will you have a new source of earning money, but you will also increase your reach on Instagram.
Do you want more reach and engagement on your Instagram profile?
Discover the Cherrydeck Engagement Groups.
Get daily authentic engagement from other peers in the creative industry and grow your account.
#7 Social Cause Feature
In July 2020, Instagram launched a fundraising feature where users can create fundraising opportunities for businesses, causes, and anything that is important to them. The feature was launched as a response to the economical effects brought forth by the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the feature was first launched, users on Instagram and Facebook had funded more than $100 million USD for those that were most impacted by Covid. This new feature is the latest form of digital activism.
Whilst fundraising and helping people in need is a great way to make a positive impact on the world, it is also a great way in which you can inform your followers what is important to you.
We no longer live in a time where a good business idea or outstanding creative talent ensures that people are interested in seeing your work. From supporting movements to helping the ecosystems of the world, consumers place great value on seeing the good that a brand/individual does.
You can include this call to action in Stories, Instagram Live, and Posts. To add a link to your donation site, simply add the link to your Cherrylink!
#8 The ‘Explore’ Tab
Now, you may have learned a lot about the new features and tabs on Instagram. However, the old ‘Explore’ tab is not one to take for granted. In 2021, this is still the go-to place on Instagram where users can find interesting content that is not yet known to them.
Every day, more than 200 million users access the ‘Explore’ tab in hopes of finding new, cool things — regardless of the category. Much like the other features, Instagram is constantly refining the ‘Explore’ tab in order to make it truly unique to each user.
In the last year, we have seen extreme changes to the way in which we search for things on Instagram. When you first click on the ‘Explore’ tab, you see various categories under the ‘Search’ bar, from IGTV, to travel, to decor, and more, the shortcuts allow you to find the content that interests you most.
However, just because the ‘Explore’ tab is more structured with categories than ever before, it doesn’t mean that your content will appear.
So, how do I get my content to appear in the ‘Explore’ tab?
Now while the content that appears is different for every user, there are a couple of things that you can incorporate to increase your chances of getting discovered. Here are our 5 pieces of advice:
- Find and use the appropriate hashtags
- Figure out what your best time to post is
- Include your location in order to reach local followers
- Include a call to action to ensure you get more engagement
- Engage with those commenting
While these tips don’t ensure that you will be seen on someone’s ‘Explore’ tab, they are a couple of steps in the right direction. Also, keep in mind that photographers often times use specific hashtags in order to be filtered out and seen by those who are relevant.
Summing up, here are the top Instagram marketing trends for 2021 mentioned above:
- More Instagram Stories
- Augmented Reality Filters
- The Usage of Reels will Skyrocket
- The Re-Birth of Instagram Live
- Setting the Tone with IGTV
- In-App Shopping
- Social Cause Feature
- The ‘Explore’ Tab
With these Instagram marketing trends for 2021, you are finally ready to start taking the social media world by storm. By incorporating these, you will be able to gain a strong following and have your work seen.