Wondering what the future of Instagram marketing will be like?

Between the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in social activism, and the introduction of new features through Instagram (hello Reels!), To call the 2020 buzzword "unprecedented" is an understatement.

With so many changes, it can be difficult to predict Instagram trends for 2021. But we have some ideas!

From a focus on ecommerce tools to short videos, we share 8 trends shaping the future of Instagram marketing:

Person seeing an Instagram role on their phone. The title of the blog is bold and in a block of text.

8 trends that will shape the future of Instagram marketing in 2021

Are you ready to plan your Instagram strategy for 2021? We assume these trends will be all the rage over the next year:

# 1: a focus on Instagram ecommerce tools

2020 was the year Instagram pushed ahead with a digital storefront for brands and creators.

With the introduction of Instagram shopA streamlined way to discover shoppable products has been made so that users can "browse stores," "select editors," and more.

Screenshots of the Instagram shop interface on an Android phone

And that's not the only e-commerce feature on Instagram's tool belt.

Over the years, Instagram released ecommerce tools like:

Why should the focus on ecommerce tools be increased as many of these features have expanded globally in the last few months?

According to a Press release in May 2020 it was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Right now a lot of small businesses are struggling and as businesses close, more and more are trying to get their business online.

Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower everyone from small business owners to global brands to use our apps to connect with customers. "

via Facebook press release

We anticipate more features will be rolled out in 2021 that will make Instagram a one-stop shop for everything from promoting to selling your products to connecting with your community.

First? Buyable Instagram roles. Instagram Adam Mosseri recently announced the latest update and we think so Instagram guides will follow:

You can start shopping at Reels starting today. Developers can label products in roles and if interested you can learn more about them inline. I am excited to see how this helps people find and share new things that they love. pic.twitter.com/vA26LF6Bpm

– Adam Mosseri @ (@mosseri) December 10, 2020

What was once a pretty photo sharing app is becoming a comprehensive e-commerce platform for brands and developers to monetize their content. We don't think Instagram will slow down anytime soon.

Create your first buyable contribution! Mark products with Later Linkin.bio to create a shippable Instagram feed that drives traffic straight to your store.

# 2: Short-form video content on Instagram is taking the lead

TikTok took the world by storm in 2020 with its whimsical, random, and creative videos. It was the perfect escape during quarantine and lockdown, and became hugely popular with a younger audience: Gen Z.

But they're not the only ones who love TikTok! Millennials and older generations also flocked to the app, and Instagram became aware of it. His answer? Instagram roles.

While Instagram roles is a new feature, Instagram users have already shown that they enjoy bite-sized content: there is more 500 million Instagram stories every day User.

The move to short-form video content could be due to shorter attention spans, ease of sharing, or the ability to go viral.

Instagram Reels allow brands and developers to create educational content, showcase their products or services, and have fun in creative ways.

In 2021 we predict:

  • Instagram continues to experiment with reels, lengthening it to 60 seconds and introducing a “duet function”.
  • Instagram is creating a more personalized Reels algorithm
  • Brands and influencers working together on Reels content
  • Brands that are more focused on roles and Instagram stories and less on IGTV
  • Check out this post for more predictions for Instagram roles!

Are you ready to create your first Instagram role? Find out everything you need to know in no time Step-by-step video::

# 3: Instagram carousel posts and memes go viral (keep going)

Instagram carousel posts and memes are definitely going nowhere in 2021.

They are the perfect Instagram growth hack as they are easy to share. And with likes to disappear, we say divisible and storable content will be even more important in 2021.

You could go down the education path like an Instagram strategist Natasha Samueland create carousel posts full of tips and tricks:

You can also raise awareness of social causes and provide instructions and next steps such as "Later Client" Future earth::

Another way to use carousel posts? Add different backgrounds with identical messages so your audience can share the aesthetic they like the most. ICI ET NU often divides posts in cream and green:

Creating educational carousel posts can increase engagement and reach as your community will likely save them (and come back to them later) or share them with their own followers.

Same goes for memes. When done right, memes provide comic book relief and entice users to share with their friends and family.

Saint Hoax does a great job with memes and carousel posts on their feed. It's a win-win for engagement (you get thousands of comments!):

Before you incorporate memes into your social media strategy, it's important to check that they're branded. Does it make sense for your brand to communicate this way? If not, carousel posts are your friend.

Just plan and Schedule carousel posts for Instagram with later in just a few clicks!

# 4: An increase in diversity and inclusion on Instagram

The rise in social activism in 2020 has highlighted a lack of diversity in influencer marketing, social media marketing, and the big brands' internal cultures.

Later interviewed four Black Content Creators about their experiences with brands and agreed that representation is important for a number of reasons.

Food blogger, Danielle Salmon This advice was offered to brands: “Research black creatives about your industry, find and get to know the ones who resonate with you. Negotiate fair terms in your contracts and offer reasonable pay that takes your budget into account. "

In 2020, brands have also taken public responsibility and promised to do better.

The Pull up to change The initiative urged companies to share the demographics of their corporate teams with the aim of implementing change:

And the 15 percent promise The initiative asked brands to commit 15% of their shelf space to black-owned companies:

Diversity and inclusion are an overdue conversation in social media marketing and we anticipate it will be a priority for many brands in 2021 (and beyond).

The goal should be to incorporate diversity and inclusion into all aspects of your business – from corporate headquarters to accessible social poststo the influencers you work with.

# 5: Influencer Marketing in 2021 is going to get a serious boost

Influencer marketing is well on its way to being one $ 15 billion industry by 2022, which means one thing: influencers are here to stay.

We assume that influencer marketing will experience a huge boom in 2021. Instagram's new e-commerce capabilities, including creator-specific tools, allow influencers to expand their network and forge long-term partnerships with brands.

An important factor to consider when predicting the future of influencer marketing? The long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the advertising industry.

With a decrease in ad spend for traditional formats like out-of-home campaigns and a Extending screen time on social mediaWe believe brands will shift their dollars to marketing online.

And this is where influencers come in.

After research by Fohr, nearly 80% of influencers reported an increase in engagement from their audience in March 2020, and we don't see that number going down anytime soon.

Influencer Marketing Covid-19: Fohr data

As brands spend more money on influencer marketing and influencers experiment with new creator tools, the influencer marketing industry is going to be an exciting place next year!

Here's a little more Predictions for influencer marketing trends in 2021:

  • An increase in ongoing collaboration between developers and brands. Say goodbye to one-time contributions and stories and welcome annual partnerships
  • A reinvention of the affiliate model with an increase in influencers tagging companies' products in their own posts
  • A strong focus on Diversity in influencer marketing
  • More and more brands are partnering with micro and nano influencers to save money and unlock their dedicated communities

Are you ready to hone your influencer marketing strategy? Get ours free strategy guide and learn how to find the right influencers for your company, increase brand awareness and increase sales!

# 6: More authenticity in Instagram captions and posts

Authenticity on Instagram was a growing trend and we expect it will continue to bloom in 2021.

This year, more and more influencers used their platforms to share less curated and filtered content and to talk about topics like loneliness and self-esteem.

The move away from "perfection" to transparency can be powerful: Rini FreyThe posts about her pregnancy and her postpartum journey often get hundreds of comments.

And authenticity is not only intended for influencers – brands have also subscribed to the trend.

Stationery company Paper smiths thanked her community for their support during COVID-19 and asked for suggestions to improve their website:

Likewise, Shy wolf candles opened with a detailed post on supply chain delays, health issues and team changes:

Being open and honest about the difficulties of running a business (especially during a global pandemic) can build a stronger, more supportive community and drive traffic to your website.

We saw growing trends in conversations about mental health, body positivity, entrepreneurship, and more in 2020 – and we predict even more open book content in 2021.

# 7: the rise of Instagram as a microblogging platform

Speaking of authenticity, we believe microblogging will blow up on Instagram in 2021.

We already know that long captions are all the rage – Fohr reported in 2019 that the average length of subtitles has more than doubled since 2016.

And many creators use Instagram as a place for longer content, such as entrepreneurs Jenny Jay Who is known for storytelling in their captions:

The long caption not only means that their community is spending more time reading (and engaging with) their content, it also encourages them to leave comments and share their own stories.

Another reason why we think microblogging will blossom in 2021? The introduction of Instagram guides.

It's still a new feature, but as Instagram adds more features like save, there could be a strong use case that guides become the focal point for educating your community, sharing recommendations, and using as a mini-blog.

And if Instagram decides to monetize it, guides could become a new source of revenue for developers and brands through the introduction of sponsored guides. Cha-ching.

# 8: A move to virtual brand activations and events

2020 was the year of virtual events, virtual conferencesand our favorite – Instagram Lives.

Brands like Summer on Fridays Those known for their personal activations to aid product launches or host lavish influencer events have had to spin during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, they switched to fun Instagram acquisitions, "At Home" Instagram Stories, and worked with them TEZZA Creating a Summer Friday Collage Kit x ​​@bytezza – perfect for home self care:

Instagram is the new place to bring your community together.

And even if the world opens up again, we predict that virtual events and brand activations will stay here. Why?

Physical location is not a problem, so you can bring all members of your community together – anywhere in the world.

For example many Pride events were celebrated virtually This year we're bringing the celebrations to those who may not have had access before.

"If you're a non-binary kid in rural America, your first time experiencing Pride just like anyone else," said the CEO and founder of The Phluid project, Rob Smith.

Another added benefit is that virtual activations can be cheaper, especially for small businesses.

You can spend more money on hosting platforms, speakers, and gifts, and less on renting out venues, grocery vendors, and decorations.

2021 is just around the corner and with so many changes it can be difficult to plan ahead.

However, with these 8 trends you will be better prepared for the future of Instagram marketing and can allocate the resources necessary for your Instagram 2021 strategy.

Ready to plan and Schedule your Instagram posts and stories? Later makes it easy – start now for free!

Written by

Monique Thomas

Monique is a content writer at Later and enjoys helping brands define their language and content strategy. She usually sips matcha or adds another book to her ever-growing TBR list. Say hello on Instagram – @mo_thom

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