Instagram Marketing Trends And Tips You Need to Follow in 2021
It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the latest social media platform updates and trends at any given time. Instagram, in particular, is constantly changing and adding new features in an effort to respond to its user’s needs and stay ahead of its competitors. For any business, it’s important to ensure you place yourself at front of mind for existing and any potential customers. If Instagram is a big part of your business, this will mean being across algorithm updates and trends, and adopting and adapting when required. Need some assistance knowing what to look out for? Here are our top Instagram marketing tips for 2021.
Post More Reels
Instagram Reels made its way onto the scene in August of last year. Like TikTok, Reels allow users to create and share 15-second or 30-second videos - to their feed with hashtags for better discoverability; to their ephemeral Stories; or to the new Reels tab on a user’s profile. If you have a public account and wish to share your reels with a larger audience, you also have the option of sharing your Reels via the Explore page. With Reels gaining popularity in 2021, we recommend following these Instagram Reels marketing tips.
Firstly, post some Reels - and then post some more. This feature has a lot of potential to grow in 2021 and be extremely beneficial to influencers, brands and businesses alike. This doesn’t mean you must immediately start posting 10 Reels a week, but you should start off with consistently posting at least one Reel a week, and grow from there.
Next, you should prioritise posting the original version of your video to Reels, rather than sharing the TikTok version of your video (that is, if you also use TikTok). The reason we suggest this, is that the Instagram algorithm will no longer promote Reels with a TikTok watermark. Instagram also recommends that users post Reels with music found in Instagram’s library, or sounds they find on Reels. These are minor changes to make but they will make a huge difference to your discoverability.
Instagram’s “Creators” have shared some additional Instagram marketing tips for Reels below.
View this post on Instagram
Make Use of E-Commerce on Instagram
2020 saw many physical stores close temporarily due to Covid-19 restrictions. As a result of the pandemic, more and more people were shopping online, finding brands on social media platforms, and more and more businesses had to adapt digitally. In fact, more than 130 million users tap on an Instagram shopping post every month. Instagram saw this as an opportunity to release more e-commerce features to benefit both small and large businesses across the globe. What Instagram Shop does is allow businesses to add product tags to their posts, customise their shop by curating products into collections, add product detail pages, create ads with product tags, and add the shopping experience to Live videos. Businesses can promote their products to Instagram users through in-feed posts, Stories, the Explore tab and the Shop tab on your profile. Unfortunately, one feature that is not available in Australia is the ‘Checkout’ feature - brands must link their products to the website in order for their customers to make a purchase through Instagram.
If your business sells physical products and you have not taken advantage of this feature, then now’s the time to get on board. Need help getting your Instagram Shop up? We can help - get in touch!
Influencer Marketing Continues to Rise
Influencers and creators have long been prominent on Instagram. In fact, influencer marketing is on track to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022, and 79% of brands use Instagram for influencer campaigns. Even with the shift to online in 2020, and a decrease in marketing spend for many businesses, it is clear that influencer marketing is not going anywhere. Now is the time for businesses to start looking for influencers or creators they wish to work with in the long run.
For many businesses, the thought process is “the bigger the influencer, the better results”. But the truth is, in most instances, that’s not the case. If you have a small business but wish to experiment with influencer marketing, the influencers you choose do not need millions of followers to make a difference to your business. In fact, Micro or Nano Influencers with up to 10K followers have a better engagement rate and community response than influencers with significantly higher follower counts. Our Instagram marketing tips for including influencers in your strategy is to look for local influencers that align specifically with your brand positioning and speak directly to your target audience, and consider nurturing a long-term partnership with these chosen influencers, rather than opting for one-off campaigns.
Understand the Instagram Algorithm
It was only a few years ago that Instagram decided to move away from a chronological feed to, well, whatever it is now! There’s still a lot of confusion for many businesses as to how Instagram’s algorithm actually works. Businesses want to be able to nail their Instagram marketing strategy and reach as many new people or customers as possible. So here are the basics you need to know about the new algorithm plus some tips on how to get your content in front of more people.
There are 6 key ranking factors on Instagram:
Instagram’s algorithm will try and predict the content that you’re most likely going to be interested in. This is based off your past activity and the genre of content you engage with most frequently, i.e. food, fashion or travel. If a user engages with similar posts and accounts to you on Instagram, they are more likely to see your posts. In terms of ‘engagement’, Instagram has shared that the most important engagements for feed ranking are comments, likes, re-shares and views for videos.
Instagram wants to show the most recent and relevant content on your customer’s feed. So, with this in mind, it is always best to post when your followers are online and active. A quick way to do this is by heading to your in-app insights, clicking on your ‘audience’ and find your follower’s most active times.
Instagram actually prioritises posts from your friends, family, and accounts you care about. The algorithm studies your interactions to determine who is “close” to you, and who you engage with most often. For instance, Instagram will look at whose content you like (including Stories), profiles that you search and people who you direct message.
If a user spends a decent amount of time on Instagram and frequently opens the app, Instagram will show fresh, new content, most likely in chronological order. If a user checks Instagram once a day, Instagram will often display the most relevant content to that user since their last visit.
Users that tend to browse Instagram in short bursts will often see the most relevant posts first, whereas a user who prefers a longer browsing session will be sent a catalogue of fresh content from new accounts.
How many people do your followers follow on Instagram? If the answer is a lot, then the algorithm must sort through more content in order to decide what to show each time they open the app. What this means is users who follow a large number of people might see less from each individual account.
As for Instagram Stories, content that appears at the start of the user’s feed is most likely from accounts they engage with the most, whether that’s through story views, DMs, post likes and comments. The algorithm will show that user the latest Stories from their favourite accounts. We recommend consistently posting Instagram Stories that are on-brand, engaging and encourage audience interaction (i.e. stickers and questions).
Overall, the key to nailing your Instagram marketing strategy and ranking with the algorithm is to embrace any new platform features, encourage more interactions with engaging captions and Instagram Stories stickers, and make use of your analytics to see what content is working/receiving the most engagement and what is resonating with your audience. For more organic social tips, follow us on Instagram & Facebook.
Focus on Aesthetics
Instagram is an extremely visual app. Your aesthetic and the way you visually present your business is often the first thing your customers and potential customers see, and plays arguably the biggest role in determining whether they’ll follow you. It is best to create an aesthetic that suits your overall brand, however, if you want to stay on top of the graphic design trends, here are a few aesthetics to consider in 2021.
The “No-Edit” Edit
Forget over-the-top edits and bright, saturated images. Instagram users are resonating more with authentic, slightly imperfect content. This trend doesn’t mean you can’t edit your photos. But it is best to keep any changes and colour corrections minimal. It is time for businesses to embrace their real, more open and honest self.
Instagram themselves have said that text-based content has dominated and continues to dominate the platform. Posting pictures should no longer be the sole focus for your business. Users are looking to educate themselves about topical issues, cultures and industries (i.e. marketing), so aim to incorporate text-heavy posts as part of your Instagram strategy.
More video on your feed
With the rise of Reels, posting these short, fun videos is a great way to catch the attention of your audience. In order for your Reels to still fit in with your visual aesthetic, whatever that may be, you can create and add a custom cover photo before hitting publish. They are a creative way to showcase your business’s personality and brand, so why not include it in your feed?
Want More Instagram Marketing Tips?
Instagram is constantly changing and updating its features, but these top Instagram marketing tips will help prepare you for social media success in 2021. If you would like to know more about any of these tips, or you are after more specific advice regarding your Instagram strategy, feel free to get in touch with our team! We specialise in both organic and paid social media marketing, as well as a number of other digital marketing services such as SEO and website design and development.