Instagram’s recurring novelties result in regular surprises from the app. The app that counts 1,2 billion active users per month as of 2021 is constantly innovating to build the loyalty of its users and keep its place among the 10 most used social media apps.
The Hivency Influencer Marketing Platform provides you with an overview of the 5 trends and opportunities to apply to Instagram this year to help you optimize your influencer marketing strategy.
Instagram Shopping: The rise of Social Commerce
If there is one trend to watch out for in 2021 on Instagram, it is social commerce. Social networks are all in the process of becoming centralized shopping channels for consumers and a few months ago Instagram implemented its own online shop functionality.
No matter what industry you are in, the Instagram Store is an opportunity to showcase your products and reach your consumers quickly. As Instagram explains, “Stores are an immersive, full-screen virtual storefront that allows businesses to develop their brand message and encourage the discovery of their products, all within a native shopping experience.“. Brands are therefore able to identify their in-stock products in their Instagram posts to assist the consumers in their buying process.
As part of an influencer marketing strategy, a brand will be able to promote its online shop through influencers. For this type of communication, micro and nano-influencers are particularly effective, as they make it possible to segment messages by location, audience, and age groups. After testing your product, the influencer will share his or her opinion via publications or stories, which will redirect followers to your brand account and thus to the shop.
Good to know: it is currently possible for some All-Star influencers (i.e. celebrities) to use product tags with a redirection to the Instagram shop on their collaboration posts directly with their own branded products.
Screenshot of a post by Kim Kardashian.
Live Shopping on Instagram
Since the beginning of 2020, Lives have been on the rise on Instagram: challenges, shows, meetings, interviews… Brands and influencers have created many formats together to entertain Instagram users.
So what exactly is Live Shopping on Instagram? This is a feature that allows you to shop directly during an Instagram Live. Brands and content creators alike can tag their products during the live video, allowing viewers to buy or register products they like. Instagram Live shopping users can also highlight a particular product or showcase up to 30 products. Another great opportunity for brands to collaborate with influencers and promote their products.
Instagram guides: storytelling in the spotlight
The “Instagram Guides” feature has been available since November 2020. The Instagram Guides format is very close to that of a blog and is yet to be used to its full potential by brands in their influencer marketing campaigns. Guides allow grouping together in a single space different Instagram posts. These posts typically have a common theme.
Currently, there are 3 types of guides:
- Places: to recommend places that correspond to the brand’s universe or in relation to its main audience;
- Products: with this type of guide, a brand can share the products listed in its online shop, and list its categories by theme;
- Posts: to group posts with a common theme. For example, a beauty brand could create an in-depth skincare routine in Guides by grouping the posts showcasing the relevant products. A fashion brand could create a Guide with gift ideas. Any brand could list a collection of posts created by their influencers.
When you’ve been collaborating with influencers on Instagram for a long time, to the point of recruiting ambassadors, new opportunities are presented through Guides. You could ask your ambassadors to create a Guide with the posts they did in collaboration with you. To be more creative, you could suggest integrating one of your product posts into a different Guide. The possibilities are multiple with this functionality. You just have to offer your influencers the possibility of being creative with your products (or your brand) so that they can create impactful content, based on storytelling.
Tip: In addition to your influencer campaigns on Instagram, do not neglect other features or channels that are less trendy at the moment, for example, the blog. Indeed, besides Instagram, the blog format is and always will be a safe bet. Influencers can better describe your products and/or services they have previously tested, which allows you to improve your referencing, obtain authentic reviews, but also to boost sales. Moreover, the influencer will usually promote their content on their own Instagram account. All in all, a winning combo!
Instagram Stories and Reels: features you can no longer do without
Reels are already a must-have on the influencers’ side, and it is essential for brands to make this functionality their own by 2021. Created by Instagram to compete with TikTok, this feature quickly became a hit on the app. Why did it become a hit? Quite simply, because this short format (30 seconds maximum) appeals to the users of social media and lets them exploit their creativity.
For a brand, the first advantage is that it can present its products creatively with music and also highlight them via a storyline imagined by the influencers with whom it collaborates. The Reels tool also makes the shopping experience more fluid, since the influencers can tag the brand’s products on their posts and direct traffic to the shop. It is an effective way to boost sales, increase followers and gain visibility. In addition, Reels remain in the feed for a long time, and it is possible to import videos directly from your smartphone. This simplicity speeds up the content creation process.
Tip: Reels are currently mainly used by brands to present products and share opinions (to promote transparency in particular), but many other actions can be planned, conceived: revealing behind the scenes of the brand, presenting employees, launching challenges, sharing educational content and consumer reviews, etc. You can also ask the content creators you work with to help you come up with ideas for actions to implement.
Still in a video format, Stories will also continue to be acclaimed by brands for their collaborations with influencers. Feed posts are less and less popular because in Stories it is possible to give more details about the product, to collect marketing insights from influencers’ followers, notably thanks to question stickers and surveys. Interactions with Internet users are encouraged and today, contests are also simplified via Stories.
Instagram Dashboard: a new tool for professionals and content creators
With the main goal of enabling professionals, brands, and influencers to track and analyze the performance of their accounts, Instagram has just announced the creation of a dashboard. Users will be able to obtain all the information and statistics concerning them and discover a section dedicated to badges as well as another for brand content and monetization functionalities. Instagram will also give them access to information especially created to help them use the social network through tutorials, among others… Be it for brands or influencers, the Instagram dashboard will help ensure the success of influencer marketing campaigns and identify areas for improvement.
Photo credit: Instagram
This social network is definitely not done surprising us and there is no doubt that some novelties will soon see the light of day, like the last one announced by Adam Mosseri, which is the possibility to do live shows with more than one person. The opportunity to bring together your faithful influencers, followers, and consumers. Stay tuned!
You now have all the keys to maximize your influencer marketing campaigns in 2021 thanks to these 5 latest Instagram features. To go further and find the right influencers, you can call upon a micro-influencer platform like Hivency. With Hivency’s Smart Matching, you will receive lists with pre-filtered profiles that resemble your consumers without having to search for them. Tailored support will also be provided to ensure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns, both operationally and strategically.