Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown from a humble photo-sharing app to an essential tool for business growth and digital marketing.
With over one billion people using Instagram each month, utilizing Instagram’s reach for business is an essential strategy for success.
However, the continuously evolving nature of social media and its fast-paced trends can be overwhelming for many and keeps both users and marketers on our toes.
This is why we at Bold x Collective have generated a guide to keeping all current and aspiring social media marketers, brands, and content creators up to date with Instagram’s projected 2022 trends to help consistently drive your success on this ever-evolving platform.
Top 5 Instagram Trends of 2022
Nowadays, people expect quick and digestible information. Accordingly, Instagram has introduced “Reels”: a short-form video content option that allows users to post videos of a maximum of 60 seconds long. These videos are aggressively pushed by Instagram’s algorithm to compete directly with TikTok’s massive success in brief video content production.
Resultantly, both platforms play a key role in expanding your business profile’s reach and building your community. Consistently posting high-quality and relevant reels that target your niche is a great tactic to attract your desired audience via Instagram’s recommended feed content and users’ personalized explore page.
Much like regular Instagram grid posts, Reels also provide creators with higher visibility and potential reach. Creators can use up to 30 hashtags within its 2,000-character limit per caption as opposed to TikTok’s more restricted 100-character limit per post.
For a more detailed guide on Instagram Reels check out this blog by Bold x Collective.
2. Public Activism
As Millennials and Gen Z’s, who are both passionate about social justice, dominate the social media landscape, it is only fitting that these digital generations are now bringing activism online. After a particularly intense couple of years that has shed a light on recurring social inequalities faced by marginalized communities, many brands have taken this opportunity to express their own support and values in a divisive social climate.
With “canceling” and “boycotting” companies due to their controversial socio-political beliefs becoming increasingly common, many organizations have seen firsthand the importance of using their platform and influence to vocally and/or financially demonstrate their support for certain social movements or charitable organizations.
Social initiatives also encompass putting in place new programs and initiatives to show their support for their own members of the company impacted by the social issues that their audiences care about.
Users can show their support for causes online by reposting Instagram content pertaining to social issues. This is bringing forward a new norm and expectation for brands to engage in activism on social media.
Many younger consumers are passionate about finding, following, and shopping exclusively with brands who are vocal in times of injustice and are transparent with their policies, as this correlates with their personal and political values.
If you as a brand support a movement or contribute to any charities, don’t be shy to let it be known to your followers – show what you stand for and watch your engagement skyrocket!
3. Influencer Marketing
In Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report it was shown that 80% of Gen Z believe that content creators/social media influencers have more influence on society and culture than conventional celebrities. Moreover, projections state that 72.5% of marketers in the U.S. will likely use influencer marketing this year. But what is influencer marketing and why is it so important currently?
Simply put, influencer marketing consists of brand partnerships with social media content creators who typically have an established and engaged niche following where the influencer then promotes the brand and/or its products and services through social media.
This form of marketing parallels the concept of celebrity endorsements; however, influencer marketing relies much more heavily on the amount of trust that creators have achieved through and by their following. They are more relatable than A-list celebrities due to their smaller level of fame, which they typically achieve on the merits of their own efforts alone, making their audience trust them.
Selecting the right influencers for your brand that accurately represent your style and clientele plays a vital role in the success of your influencer marketing strategy. When you achieve this, the influencer’s followers are highly likely to show interest in your set of products or services as they received an endorsement from a creator who matches their interests.
3. Showcasing Your Brand Personality
Sharing aesthetically pleasing and high-quality pictures is great, but if you come off as too performative, your brand’s social media might come off flat and uninteresting. As social media increasingly becomes a platform to initiate conversations and develop a sense of community,
Instagram is no stranger to these changes and your brand’s account should reflect them. Be genuine and let your personality shine! Whether it be through the tone of your writing, the occasional meme, creating relatable, non-business-focused content, Instagram story questions, and answers, or even having a member of your team hop on Instagram live – there are endless ways to showcase your brand’s personality.
Similarly, avoid the constant and repetitive promotion and advertising of your products/services and focus on most of your content being fun, exciting, or educational rather than “sales”. This causes users to disengage, and this is why we believe in the 80/20 rule of content marketing.
When it comes to creating content for our clients, at Bold x Collective, we aim to produce 80% of educating and entertaining content, meanwhile only 20% is promotional.
4. Instagram Carousels for Increased Engagement
Every brand and creator seeks high engagement with their content but it’s often difficult to consistently make it happen. Luckily, carousel posts may provide a path to increased engagement.
Carousels, which are essentially a swipe feature that allows users to post up to 10 photos or videos at once, have the highest average engagement rate on Instagram of nearly 2% as opposed to approximately 1.7% for images and 1.45% for videos.
This increased engagement is attributable to carousels being more enticing for viewers by giving them a natural incentive to stay on your post for longer periods of time, as you prompt them to scroll through the carousel to view the entirety of the post.
On Instagram, engagement doesn’t solely encompass likes, comments, and follows, engagement even includes swiping through all the images and/or videos that were included which can then boost your standing on the Instagram algorithm.
Carousels are also an effective way to make informative content more comprehensive by allowing users to “swipe to learn more”, to showcase various product angles, and to show numerous photos from an event without having multiple individual postings of similar content taking over your feed.