2020 will remain a unique year of its kind The pandemic has spared no sector, forcing profound changes in the way we work, communicate and even consume. The health crisis and its consequences have dramatically changed the relationship between businesses and consumers. Marketing must now live with the changes induced by the pandemic. Regardless of whether, health crisis or not, marketing remains a highly evolving field due to the regular emergence of new technologies and communication tools.
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Instagram has undoubtedly become one of the most powerful channels for companies, being a social network in constant evolution and growth since its launch. In addition, it started the year with more than 1 billion monthly active users and what’s more interesting is that 80% of these users follow at least one brand on this social network. This makes it clear that most companies must give it importance and draw up a good content strategy using this platform.
Instagram started as an application to upload images, but today it is an entire ecosystem that allows us to perform multiple actions. Do you know the importance of uploading Instagram Stories? Why are Instagram Reels relevant? We’ve come up with an article covering 10 Instagram marketing trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2021 (and beyond).
10 Instagram Marketing Trends in 2021
1. Influencer marketing moves to stories
For 78% of businesses, Instagram Stories play an important role in their influencer marketing. Indeed, 88% of influencers regularly use this feature and 63% of them admit to having published more stories in 2020 than in 2019
For many brands, Instagram Stories opens up the world of creativity and visibility as these are displayed at the top of the home page. Unlike News Feed posts, they don’t experience the organic reach drop.
Stories allow you to generate traffic on your website thanks to the “Swipe Up” function. If you work with influencers with more than 10,000 followers, they can drain their audience to your product sheets, landing page, or social networks.
2. The use of Reels
Since its launch, Instagram Reels has grown in popularity with Generation Z. With these videos of 15 seconds or less, this format is establishing itself as a direct competitor of Tik Tok.
There’s no doubt, Reels are one of the 2021 Instagram trends. In addition to bringing a touch of freshness and dynamism to your content, these videos are highlighted via a dedicated tab, but also in Explorer. What to boost your visibility!
Finally, the Reels function is a guarantee of creativity. With its palette of editing tools, you can create engaging content very easily. Augmented reality, music, timer, entertaining filters — every brand can have fun creating educational, fun, and quirky clips. The goal is to show another facet of your brand, more humanized, in tune with the times.
3. The advent of brand filters
Instagram is one of the social networks that offer the most possibilities in the world of Digital Marketing. Data confirms this: it is the second most used social network, only after Facebook, and the one with the highest growth rate.
However, Instagram is a network in which all the weight falls on the image, which makes the codes it uses very different from those of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. How can you do Instagram marketing, beyond sharing pretty photos? One of the most original ways to do it is through Instagram filters or effects.
Given their potential, these filters are one of Instagram’s top trends for 2021 and businesses won’t hesitate to use them as a marketing tool.
If you are embarking on creating such a filter, consider promoting it through your stories, influencers, or even a contest! The more you encourage your followers to use it, the more popular it will become.
4. In-app shopping
70% of shoppers use Instagram to discover products. Each month, 130 million users click on posts with shoppable links.
Aware of its potential, the platform regularly innovates and optimizes this functionality. This is evidenced by the launch of Instagram Shop, in 2020. It is a shortcut in the navigation menu that makes it easier to buy from brands and designers. It allows users to browse stores or collections, view a selection of products recommended by publishers, and discover buying guides. This makes it much easier to find inspiration and buy directly in the Instagram app.
5. Using Carousel
Since its launch in early 2017, the carousel has grown into one of Instagram’s most popular formats. Its use has increased by 19.4% in 3 years. Today one in five publications uses a carousel.
This trendy format allows you to show your product or services from all angles.
You can use the carousel to promote a new product by presenting it in several situations, share “before and after” results, offer personalized recommendations to each segment of your clientele, highlight the opinions of your customers, tell a story, make a tutorial, present an event, and give a list of tips
6. IGTV as a means to market
Instagram has announced plans to allow ads on its video platform, IGTV. The social network has also promised other extensions and features that will be rolled out in the coming months. Developments that position IGTV as a must-see Instagram trend in 2021.
Additionally, IGTV content creators will get the same percentage of ad revenue as Youtubers. Will Instagram become a competitor to YouTube? But what is certain is that this novelty will open up the possibilities of influencer marketing! Influencers who have hitherto favored YouTube for their videos may turn to Instagram.
7. Colour Gradient Design Trends
There’s no question: Color gradients are one of Instagram’s biggest design trends right now. Very popular for memes and quotes, gradients reinforce the graphics of certain visuals or serve as a support for educational content. For 2021, however, we can expect the downgrade trend to continue, to energize the feed. The objective is to highlight important or educational content, but also to diversify the general design of the feed. This helps capture the attention of users and prevent weariness.
8. References to the real world
You don’t have to have many lights to know that when you see an aesthetically perfect photograph, there is a lot of history behind it. And we are not referring to the work of professional photographers, but to the images that a large part of our society uploads every day to Instagram. There are already many who joke that, in many cases, it is about the social network to show a happy life that you do not really have.
If you use Instagram, you probably feel identified with the absurd reality that more than one has tried to simulate. Or maybe you just feel a little relief knowing that deep down, no one is perfect. Not even on Instagram.
9. Nostalgia and retro takes a hold of trends
Retro-marketing is taking hold of Instagram. This trend is to give a nod to the free expressionism of the 60s, with groovy typefaces and bright colors taking center stage. Expect to see the past appear again in your present, to brag about the future. Re-editions of products, advertising campaigns, or slogans will appear in brand strategy. However, if nostalgia takes hold of 2021 marketing, it is bound to take hold of Instagram. It will be interesting to see how brands combine the modern world with the ‘good old days.
10. Back to the authentic and to the “no-edit” posts
The days of high-quality editing and image polishing are long gone. The “no-edit” is the Instagram trend everyone is coveting in 2021. Stop eloquent filters and excessive retouching. This trend towards minimal editing goes hand in hand with the rise of authentic content on Instagram.
Consumers want to identify with the brands they consume. They are looking for companies that communicate like them and know how to be honest, even vulnerable. Perfection does not exist, it is counterproductive to believe otherwise. When you value the good and the bad, the difficulties and the victories, your brand immediately becomes more likable in the eyes of its audience.
How to Market Successfully Through Instagram
With over a billion users, Instagram is undoubtedly the new home for brands that want to make an impact on social media. The emphasis is on clean, high-quality visuals, and therefore makes it an ideal place to showcase products. Since February 2018, it has also become a place where you can sell your products. Brands are able to tag their products directly in photos and stories and bring customers directly to the product page in question.
We will see how to turn your Instagram account into a real store, and give you some keys to make the operation a success.
1. Tag an image or carousel
Tagging an image or a carousel is the perfect way to enhance your photos. If you have invested in a high-quality product catalog that makes your products look original, take advantage! Your first sales should not belong.
2. Tag multiple products in one message
Encourage your followers to explore your store and increase the usefulness of each post. Multiple articles mean multiple chances of catching your customer’s attention. Space your tags between them. This will make navigation easier and minimize any confusion.
Another advantage of tagging multiple products is that they are displayed together on the product page. When a user clicks on a tagged article, the other articles appear under “Also featured in this post”. This increases the visibility of any item you tag, which increases browsing and shopping possibilities, as well as up-sales.
3. Make sure your tags are attached to the right products
Items you tag in photos must be items from your Facebook product catalog. For brands whose items have similar names, be sure to mark the correct items. Purchasing on Instagram is better because it’s more direct. If you send your customer the wrong item it’s like shooting your own foot off. Get into the habit of checking all article tags the same way you spell check your caption.
4. Create a consistent shopping experience
As Instagram changes into an expansion of your digital store, you have to allow customers to feel consistently good with it. The transition from clicking an item in your Instagram shopping post to the product page itself should be seamless.
Although variety is also good, clean background images also work for Instagram product images.
Optimize your Instagram account. Now is the time to choose the correct profile photo. Your profile picture is the first impression of your new visitors. Therefore, keep your image consistent with your brand and visual guidelines. Consider using your business logo or other familiar images. Instagram profile images are automatically cropped into a circle, so leave space around the corners of your image.
5. Use descriptive hashtags
Users can follow hashtags, and therefore have more opportunities to come across your products. If used properly, hashtags can improve your visibility enabling you to reach new potential customers! Research the hashtags that competitors and influencers use, and add them to your posts.
It’s not difficult to sell your products on Instagram. After the tedious step of importing your catalog to Facebook and validating it by Instagram, the rest is done by itself. This is a great opportunity to increase your turnover!
Instagram social network users are looking for high-value content and relevant posts. The key to success is therefore to reach the right audience without spreading yourself over too large an audience that will not necessarily understand the message you are trying to convey. The image quality of your illustrations is crucial, so take care of your content to appear both believable and interesting.
Jenn Pereira is the Marketing Head of Removal.AI, an AI powered-technology used to edit and remove background from images. This tool also comes with a free basic photo editor that allows users to create graphics, social media banners and images.
She loves to write about motivational and inspirational content for photographers, creatives and designers. You can read her work at Medium.
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