Was Instagram versatile from the start? NO, Instagram was initially launched as a photo-sharing platform only and Instagram marketing was an unknown subject. The features of posting videos and stories came later. And slowly, Instagram became one of the most competitive social media platforms.
The introduction of IGTV videos gave the brand marketers a new way to publicize their brand.
Then came the Influencer marketing on Instagram that proved to have a significant impact on the Instagram audience.
The Instagram shop was the rescue of many small businesses and creators. It gained popularity when the COVID-19 global pandemic limited the opportunities for them. Slowly Instagram became their hub to increase their network with all its features and opportunities. And it will continue to do so.
Mentioned below are some of the Instagram features that have the most significant impact on Instagram marketing. These features have been shaping Instagram marketing since 2019. And still, in 2021, these are evolving rather than dying.
Let’s talk about these 8 trends now that shape the future of Instagram marketing in 2021.
1. How E-commerce Opportunities Shape Instagram Marketing?
The evolving trends and consumer interest in online shopping is the reason that is encouraging the establishment of e-commerce stores. Also, many platforms are introducing features that make the online shopping experience quick and easy. The increased competition is also compelling the platforms to come up with more innovative and user-friendly features.
Going with a similar flow, Instagram introduced its shopping feature on May 19, 2020. The Instagram shop allows you to easily add product tags and allow easy checkout from within the platform. As a result, Instagram proved one of the best platforms to purchase and sell products in 2021.
Below is an example of an Instagram post with a shop tag.
The majority of the people used to search the products through social media when they wanted to shop. Then they would go to the website to buy or to the nearest outlet of the brand. But now, with a single touch, they can open the required products from given links. And from there, they can purchase those items in the comfort of their homes. Thus, the utility graph of online shopping is rising day by day. All this because the main aim is to make shopping easy, safe, and approachable. And since the pandemic spread globally, the use of online shopping has increased.
Social media is helping people to establish a business on both small and large levels. Some people are running businesses based solely on Instagram. Few of them use direct contact with their audience. They do it by using swipe-up links in their stories or Instagram shops. So, they can connect with a large portion of their target community very easily and quickly.
Effect of Influencers on Instagram Marketing Businesses
Many small businesses hire influencers to advertise their product. These influencers have a huge fan following that can be converted into potential customers. However, the concept of influencer marketing is not limited to smaller brands. Many international brands are seen collaborating with celebrities that have millions of followers. They run full Instagram marketing campaigns to sell their products better using the fanbase of influential celebrities.
Online business and shopping are at their peak nowadays, and they will increase with time. It shortens the customer journey, and within a single tap, they can get access to the website needed. The primary purpose of online marketing is to make shopping easy. Instagram is proving to be the best online shopping platform as we can purchase almost everything from here.
2. Businesses and Creators Use Instagram Reels for Instagram Marketing
Businesses or creators can use Instagram reels to expand their network. With the reels, brands can guide the public or their potential customers about using their products. They can share some insights about the product-making process, inform them about their community values, and many more things. For example, if a makeup brand has launched a new product, they can use reels to guide their followers. It can be done by explaining to their followers how to use the product accurately for good results. They can even do a swatch video to show how the products look in reality.
Many Instagram influencers or fashion bloggers use Instagram reels to promote their style. It can include their makeup, dressing, products they use, and hairstyles. It is basically to explain to people about their point of difference.
People make Instagram reels and earn money by collaborating with brands providing a mutual benefit to both. If a product is not popular, any follower of that blogger can get inspired and buy it. It ultimately results in social media leads for the business.
Content creators also use Instagram reels to spread different types of awareness to their followers. For example, when the pandemic spread globally, people were not taking it seriously. So, content creators made Instagram reels and spread public awareness messages about safety and precautions. So, we can say that this Instagram feature also helps shape Instagram marketing leading its way to heights of success.
3. Use Instagram Carousels & Share Educational Content
Instagram carousels feature allows the users to post swipe-able content with the help of slides ranging from 2-10 in number. It can contain images, videos, or even both. This feature helps in posting detail-oriented educational content. For example, if you are a cloth selling brand, you can post an article from various dimensions. Each dimension is a different slide and a slide with product specifications and pricing.
Similarly, you can post a longer video by breaking it into parts and post it in different slides. Businesses will continue to use the carousel feature to provide educational and detailed content about their products and services. Customer education is half the job done for marketers.
Moreover, big accounts, influencers, social activists post long informative and well-searched information about critical social, financial, or global issues to raise awareness to better combat social crimes and criminals.
How Carousels Increase Engagement?
Now, the trend of liking has nearly died. Businesses and creators now focus on how much followers engage on their posts or save them for later use.
A business or creator can share educational content in carousels. People comment and save carousels more so they can access them whenever needed.
When people comment and save a post, they tend to open it repeatedly. Thus, it ultimately increases the engagement and reach of the page.
4. Influencers Marketing Boost
Instagram is considered the world for influencers. They are earning fame and money at the same time from this platform. Brands hire or approach influencers with maximum followers to promote their products. Just like the image shown below.
The companies give their products as PR packages to renowned influencers. Influencers then use and promote these products on their page where they have a large audience. Their favorite influencer inspires Instagram users, and they like to use or wear what they do. In this way, brands carry out Instagram marketing through influencers.
With the increasing trend of influencers on Instagram, the influencer marketing graph is continuously rising. And it will continue to rise in the near future as well.
5. IGTV is Best for Brands & Creators to Show Tutorials and How-to Videos
Instagram has always amazed its users with its continuous updates and introducing new features. One of these features is IGTV. Businesses, creators, or influencers can use this feature to promote their ideas, thoughts, or products.
All they have to do is make a video. Be it a product, a tutorial video, cinematography, or anything. They can share it as IGTV and keep the audience inspired and interested.
Let’s take the example of makeup influencers. They use IGTV to promote their different makeup looks. Likewise, a clothing brand will use IGTV to film their clothes and promote them. We can take the image below as an example.
These promotional or educational content can inspire their followers to adopt those products. As a result, it will potentially increase the brand’s sales and provide more leads as well.
6. Instagram Stories Feature Continues to be Best for Instagram Marketing
Instagram stories are one of the most popular marketing platforms these days, with over 500 million daily viewers. Many brands and marketers love this feature because of its global audience and easy usage. Stories are a great way to reach your target audience. And, not only reach them, but keep them engaged too. You can use many features of Instagram stories like “Ask me anything”, “Swipe-up”, polls, etc. There are multiple stickers, fonts and filters to make your content look eye-catchy. Stories are also a great way to update your audience about your upcoming content or product and pique their interest.
Overall, Instagram stories are a quick way to stay connected with your audience as well as promote your products and services. Nowadays, people are busy, and they usually do not have much time to explore and get detailed information about different products. As Instagram stories are concise, attractive, and informative, people can get the summarized information. So one can go through them quickly without wasting their time.
Because of all these benefits, stories have become an essential part of many brand’s digital marketing strategies. Now, to take your Instagram marketing game to a whole new level, you can schedule your Instagram stories. Let’s have a look at how you can save your time and hassle, while still staying consistent with posting your stories.
Schedule Instagram Stories with SocialBu
You can reap the complete benefits of Instagram stories by scheduling them with SocialBu. Scheduling on SocialBu can be done in a just a few simple steps. Upload the media files that you want to post as stories. Select the date and time you wish to post on. And thats it! You can schedule multiple stories as well, to be as consistent as you can.
For more details, you can check our blog, “How to Schedule Instagram Stories for Free with SocialBu”?
Another amazing benefit of scheduling your stories with SocialBu is that it offers a chrome extension. It means when you are surfing the web and like something, you can easily schedule or publish it directly as your Instagram story.
Overall, SocialBu is an easy to use tool. Other than story scheduling, it offers advanced features like dynamic automations, post insights, approvals, etc. You can be at the top of your Instagram marketing game with the help of this top-rated tool.
7. Brands & Creators Use Instagram for Interactive Content
The increased competition on Instagram has made it crucial to produce innovative, interactive, and engaging content. Only then you can attract more audience for your products or services.
Many brands, marketers, and influencers use interactive content to attract or engage the attention of their audience. They provoke them to stay connected or respond to them by asking questions, holding giveaways, creating polls, etc.
For example, brands like Kylie cosmetics and NBA football use AR filters. They use them to drive their follower’s interest in their new products and game tactics.
You can read more here, “How to use Instagram filters to increase engagement on Instagram.”
Instagram stories are primarily used for interactive content. People post their content in Instagram stories so the audience can easily approach it.
Also, Instagram has very different and unique features for online marketing. You can take polls as an example here. Almost every brand influencer and creator is using this approach. They create polls to know their audience’s preferences. But it is actually to keep them engaged and interested.
There are many other ways you can use Instagram for interactive purposes to stay connected with your audience. For example, you can have a quiz session on your stories. You can put a countdown for your upcoming project or product and much more. This is why most brands and influencers use interactive content to stay in touch with their followers.
8. Instagram Explore Tab is Marking New Heights
The use of the Explore tab is increasing rapidly on Instagram. Earlier, it showed the posts related to your watch history or what you might like. It was limited to suggestions or related to the content we have already watched. Now Instagram has changed the algorithm.
The use of the explore tab is much easier and more comprehensive.
Now users can approach the required content just by searching it. In addition, different hashtags can also be used to search the required content.
For example, even if your explore feed is full of meme content, you want to search for something related to makeup or sports, or even some celebrity. You can easily search it through the search bar or use makeup hashtags; #makeup, #football, #eurocup, etc.
Explore tab now has pre-classified categories at the top, including shopping, tourism, makeup, fashion, and more. You can click them and see relevant content according to your needs and mood. These updates have made the user experience seamless and enjoyable.
The ever-changing and evolving features of Instagram show that the platform has a promising future. Instagram reels, Instagram shopping malls, carousels, AR filters, and stories all provoke innovation in marketers. In addition, the versatility and creative options throughout the platform allow the businesses to develop more engaging, creative, and innovative content to reach a larger audience.
In short, these continuously evolving features of Instagram will keep on making it a preferable marketing platform in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the future of this social media platform is bright, and it will be the new regular place for marketers to gain more sales and make their businesses flourish.