Shoppable tags, IGTV, quiz stickers for stories, Instagram changes like the weather. And keeping track of its dynamic nature can be tricky, but doing so can make your social media strategy a winning one.
Brands that are able to keep on top of the latest Instagram trends not only gain a little first mover advantage over competitors, but they also show their followers they’re on the ball when it comes to creating cutting edge social content.
Without a doubt, the conveyer belt that is Instagram is one that’s going to keep on churning out features and creating trends. And here, we’ve broken down 8 of the most important trends to keep your peepers pointed at right now:
1. Stories, stories, stories
Ever since Instagram implemented its stories feature, the way we consume content has transformed. An increasing amount of people are choosing to tap their way through stories rather than traditionally thumb scroll the way through their feed.
With over 500 million viewers every day and no signs of slowing down, a focus on creating compelling story content is certainly a trend that’s not too late to jump on.
(Source: Social Media Today)
2. Sound on for stories
It might be down to Tik Tok’s influence, but an increasing amount of social media users are watching stories with sound on. Whilst it’s still necessary to produce content for a sound off environment, a recent study conducted by Facebook found that 80% of stories with voiceover or music performed better than ads without, and currently 60% of Instagram stories are watched with sound on.
3. Relatable Influencers
Bigger isn’t always better. People can now see through the walls of cash thrown at influencers with millions of followers. With this in mind, the days of brands only utilising influencers with unrealistic lifestyles and perfect images are slowly becoming a thing of the past. A lot of brands instead look to those whose personal values and lifestyles match their own and their followers’.
On the surface, it seems total following matters more than any other factor, and whilst it is important to attract attention, engagement is much, much more important. And micro influencers can be overlooked by brands that are planning their latest campaign.
A prime example is health, fitness and food influencer Emma P (aka @thefitlondoner). Emma shares recipes, workouts and lifestyle content, which may sound like a pretty saturated market. But she does so in an engaging, relatable, authentic way and has built a strong, engaged community because of it.
4. Authenticity and realness
Following the above, Instagram has become an important platform for influencers and brands to tackle the body shaming, non inclusive, airbrushed and photoshopped content we see posted out there.
Brands are increasingly using real people in their content, swapping out the typical ‘model’ in a bid to resonate more with wider audiences.
And you can expect to see more of this and an increasing amount of content about the world’s important issues such as mental health, the environment, body image, insecurities and the plethora of other crucial talking points.
This is something apparel brand aerie (@aerie) have done for a while now. With a bio that states: ‘Retouching free since 2014’ they use real, relatable people in their content to take on the ideals of what’s seen as ‘normal.’ And they’ve earned impressive social approval in light of this.
5. Sharing Twitter screen-grabs
Screen-grabs from Twitter are beginning to take over from the traditional quote style post we’ve been used to. Whilst some meme accounts have been doing it for years, the trend has crept into many brands’ social content calendars.
As The Verge author Megan Farokhmanesh states, “For some meme creators, Twitter and Tumblr are a canvas, while Instagram is the wall where they display their work.”
Colossal fashion retailers Boohoo are one of many brands to take this content stream on and have seen success from doing so. Using Instagram friendly, branded backgrounds with clean tweet screenshots.
This is something that’s sure to carry on, at least for now anyway.
6. More interactive stories features
The release of interactive stickers for Instagram stories have added a whole new level for brands to interact with their community. Polls, countdowns and now quiz stickers have helped to springboard engagement, with studies showing nine times out of 10, polling stickers increase video views. So the more you can utilise these features the better
And we can expect Instagram to roll out some more interactive features sooner rather than later.
7. A seamless shopping experience
It’s no secret Instagram have been trying to make the platform a place users can shop their favourite brands. And it has seen success, with studies showing 70% of shopping enthusiasts use Instagram to discover products.
Following the success of shoppable tags (130 million clicks a month), a direct buying option could the next feature we see added to the platform. Instagram have recently even been testing a beta check-out feature with some of the world’s largest brands, so watch this space.
8. Shoppable Influencers
There’s one thing all influencers have in common when promoting a product, a sudden influx of comments and DMs asking where they can get said product.
To save both influencers’ and followers’ time, Instagram has began testing direct purchases from an influencers profile. Currently, only some of the elite influencers have access to the feature, but don’t be surprised if this is something we see happening on a wider scale soon.
As you can see, Instagram’s domination of the social media world shows no sign of stopping. It continues to wow and surpass expectations on a weekly basis and is evolving into much more than a social platform. It’s not just changed the way consume content, but the way we interact with brands and the way we interact with each other. And personally, I can’t wait to see where it’ll go next.