Instagram social media marketing trends you need to know in 2023
It might seem like Instagram has been around for forever, but it’s actually been just over 10 years. Find out what’s happened in that time and which trends are worth watching out for in future.
20 minutes read
- Wait! Isn’t Instagram dead? Nope—it’s still alive and kicking!
- Ones to Watch: Instagram Trends in 2023
- Ready, Snap, Post! Put the Instagram trends into action
Instagram seems like it’s been around forever. It’s our go-to app for stunning snaps to inspire, envy, and enjoy. But the ‘gram isn’t just for fun. With over 2 billion monthly users—and on track to reach 2.5 billion this year—, it’s a fantastic connection point for brands to connect with their audience. In other words, it’s an amazing opportunity for businesses to get creative and boost their profits. Of course, if you’re ready for this, you already knew that. So let us tell you something you didn’t know—which Instagram trends should you look out for in 2023?
As platforms like TikTok continue to grow in popularity, it might be easy to think that the classic, Instagram is dead. This is far from the case. In fact, it could be more useful than ever. So buckle in and join us as we cover:
What to expect from Instagram in 2023?
Which features do marketers need to pay attention to this year?
What’s the best way to make your Insta campaign eye-catching and oh-so-successful?
Wait! Isn’t Instagram dead? Nope—it’s still alive and kicking!
Don’t be misled! Instagram is still a powerful force in the world of social media. Yes, TikTok has its charms, which you can read more about here, but Instagram is a classic for a reason—the aesthetic, among any other benefits. Still don’t believe us? Let’s take a run through the history of the social media giant (now owned by Meta).
When Instagram started, the platform grabbed everyone’s attention INTSAniously, hitting 1 million users by the end of its first year. Putting the main focus on photos and images over text content allowed Instagram to claim a knock-out victory over other social media platforms. However, after the charm of Instagram's novelty soon passed, the platform creators had to take steps to support its popularity, and keep on innovating.
The platform implements various business and analytics tools for on-platform sellers and reached the mark of 400 million monthly users in 2015. This is the first foray into business tools for Instagram and followed the natural trend of companies looking to get more involved with the platform. Such tools, like business profiles, allowed a level of legitimacy and increased functionality to operate.
Instagram switches from a chronological feed to an algorithmically ordered one, hitting 600 million monthly users the same year. Upgrades were also added to support analytics, new business profiles, and even the ability to turn a post into an ad. Handy, right?
Carousel posts have arrived! Now users can add up to 10 photos—more to share. Although the rest of this year was pretty quiet, this significant update allowed businesses to show more of their products in one post. For example, think of 10 pairs of shoes, all in different colors.
IGTV is here. Think of it like YouTube, but vertical. IGTV allows the platform's users to share video content. Its vertical format plays off Instagram’s placement as a mobile-first platform.
The 2020 year started with a bang for Instagram, the platform was thriving and new features were planned. It started with an extra inbox tab (very helpful for businesses) to help companies manage their communications. Then, when the pandemic hit, Insta responded quickly and helped make staying home to stay safe a trend with stickers that could be shown in posts and stories.
As business was increasingly online, Insta expanded again to allow companies to deliver gift cards, donations, and orders via their profiles—a much awaited feature. This was later improved by the introduction of Insta shops, which allow users to sell directly in the app.
Enter Reels, Instagrams own version of TikTok videos, which aimed to allow users to share quick and “fun videos to share with friends or anyone on Instagram”.
In response to companies’ needs for more analytical tools, the Professional Dashboard is rolled out. Once again solidifying Insta as an e-commerce platform.
In addition, 2021 also saw the addition of a recently deleted feature and cross-app messaging (as part of the Meta merger). Live Rooms (aka hangouts for up to 3) were also introduced.
One of the most significant updates was the upgrades to Reels insights that allow companies to get feedback on their SMM projects right in the app.
More updates followed, including tracking data analytics, language support tools, audio tab, a swipe up link on stories, and collaboration options, among so many others. It’s safe to say that 2021 was on fire for the Instagram team.
Roll on 2022, the year of the Avatar. No! Not just the blue one, the digitally rendered AI type. Even in early 2022, the platform had already introduced based avatars.
This was followed by March and April’s success with enhanced and detailed tags that allow users to more easily navigate the app.
By May, NFTs had already hit the market and it wasn’t long before they made their way to Instagram. Later in the year, new map updates allowed users to find content on the go—a handy way for local businesses to reach out. Around the same time, the app rolled out dual features and new reels templates making it easier than before to generate content with the platform.
Instagram continues its competition with YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and other social media platforms for the hearts and minds of their followers and it does it quite effectively.
To recap. In 2021, the platform reached 1.21 bln of monthly active users and it’s expected to reach 1.44 bln monthly active users by 2025. In 2022, it was among the four most popular social media platforms in the world, fourth only to Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Instagram preserved its position as the second most commonly used social media platform for doing business, leaving YouTube, let alone TikTok, far behind and yielding only to Facebook.
So, what do you say, is Instagram dead? If you agree with us that it’s only just starting to show its potential, join us as we explore the Instagram trends of 2023.
Ones to Watch: Instagram Trends in 2023
While Instagram remains one of the most preferred platforms for marketers, it can be challenging for them to keep up with the latest Instagram innovations. Every year, the platform introduces more upgrades than Beyoncé gets Grammys. No cap.
And although Adam Mosseri and his team are putting much of their effort into making the app more user-friendly—the latest announced feature to be implemented is the simplification of the navigation menu — it’s still difficult for marketers to stay on top of the latest Instagram trends and leverage them to their full potential.
We’ve gathered the most promising Instagram trends that will be beneficial for brand development on Instagram in 2023 and that are worth your attention. Let’s find out what’s so special about them.
#1 Make Reels a priority
We’re moving to the era of quick and easy-to-consume content. That’s why it’s no surprise TikTok rocketed in popularity. Instagram patrons couldn’t overlook this or underestimate the power of short videos from TikTok. So, it didn’t take long for them to launch a similar feature on their platform.
Just like TikTok videos, Reels are short, vertically filmed clips devoted to anything but mostly to social media trends like jokes, dances, parodies, etc. Many of these trends come from TikTok and quickly take root on Instagram.
The natural question arises here: Why does TikTok content not stay on TikTok? The answer is simple—Instagram offers much more variety in content. Apart from TikTok-style videos, you can also create behind-the-scenes videos, make videos from photos in your profile or Stories, post feed videos, and so much more.
For many content creators, there is no question of which platform to give their preference and they simply choose to have their cake and eat it too—aka use both. You could adapt this practice for your brand promotion —get inspired and share the content on the two platforms, slightly modifying it to the required formats. Moreover, it’s a good idea to encourage your followers on the TikTok platform to follow your Instagram as well as post your Reels to your Facebook page to increase your brand reach.
#2 Watch out for new content and features
Although Instagram is intensely promoting the Reels feature so as to not lose the market to TikTok, other types of content also continue evolving on Instagram—and this is very cool. Some of them have been on the platform for some time already while others have appeared just recently.
One of the most exciting examples is the opportunity to create interactive content. In 2018, Instagram offered Instagram users a closed beta program to experiment with Augmented reality (AR) filters on Instagram stories. Today, it has developed into a full-fledged feature that allows the creation of engaging images and videos by adding imagery layers in the foreground or background. e.g. here is how Coca Cola engages their Indian followers to celebrate the Diwali festival together.
Instagram polls aren’t new for the platform users and lots of creators have been utilizing poll stickers in their Stories since 2019. Until recently, the stickers included only two answers. In 2022, everything changed and Instagram developers added up to four options to the poll. Now, businesses can learn more about their followers and find out about their preferred products, opinions, values, and much more.
You might have heard that the founder of Meta, who also owns Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg is obsessed with the idea of the metaverse. Although the metaverse by Meta is largely classified as under development, Zuckerberg has already started building and integrating parts of the future metaverse into the existing projects and one of them is Instagram Avatars.
Instagram Avatars are 3D representations of real Instagram users. Instagrammers can create their own customizable avatars with their own outfits, facial features, and more just like we did in the old-style yet loved by many Sims games. You could also create an avatar of your brand and use it as a mascot in your profile stories and direct messages on Instagram. The feature is in its inception, though Adam Mosseri promises that there is a lot more to await in the future.
#3 Check out UGC creators
Brand followers can also be content creators in their own right—and this is something that shouldn’t be ignored. For the users, it’s also an amazing way to express their love and loyalty to a brand as well as to attract more attention to their persona. Brands love UGC content as it allows them to encourage their followers to convert into leads much faster—it’s not a secret that online reviews have a considerable impact on consumer purchase decisions.
It often happens that brands would often love to have more UGC content but can’t get it from their followers. At this point, some brands resort to a little marketing strategy and generate it with the help of UGC creators. UGC creators are professionals who generate content that looks as if it’s authentic UGC content created by the brand followers.
Opting for UGC-creating services, brands manage to neatly plan their marketing campaigns and naturally highlight a specific product. Apart from product promotion, lots of businesses use UGC content creation services to raise brand awareness or increase sales. Note. It’s important to disclose any paid cooperation, otherwise, you could risk the wrath of the platform and your followers.
#4 Make use of Instagram sales
Instagram holds the position of the second world popular platform for doing business for a good reason. Instagram creators have been honing their selling features for years. In 2020, they expanded their shopping options allowing businesses to add the Shop feature right into their profiles. And in 2022, they gave businesses the power to sell their products through direct messages as well.
Apart from that, companies and influencers can create shoppable posts by tagging certain products in posts—Stories, and Reels—and even use Instagram checkout, which has its own dedicated payment gateway called Meta Pay for quick, secure, and simple purchases. After all, seamless in-app payment is sooo in this year.
There are also numerous options businesses can use to promote and sell their products on Instagram and the best part is that most of them are free.
#5 Add Story links
A common practice both for businesses and general Instagram users is to put links in their profile data, in Stories, feed posts, and more. It’s a quick way for businesses to promote their pages on other social media platforms or advertise their e-commerce platform. However, when adding links to Stories, they can look out-of-place and fail to suit the Story and brand vibes.
Instagram creators took care of this with dissociable links and offered Instagrammers a simple yet cool feature—customizable links. These are the links that you can add as various stickers to your Stories, adjusting them by form, color, and special effects. All the info of the link with none of the mess.
What’s more, the users can edit the link by changing it to a text link in third-party programs and adding the text link to the sticker. This way, you can add one more call to action in the form of a link in your Stories and encourage your followers to tap it.
#6 Instagram SEO is here to stay
You’ve heard about web page SEO, used to optimize pages and searches online, helping brands to rank high in search engines, such as Google. Surprise! Surprise! You can do the same to your content on Instagram.
With optimized SEO posts, your content will stand a better chance to be found on the platform. And not only that! Essentially, you can optimize any internet resource for better search. But how to go about it and hit on the # trend before your competitors do?
Social media platform optimization means that you organize your content and hashtags that way so it’s easier for people to find them. For this, many businesses opt for some handy helpers such as Awario, a social media listening tool. The tool searches through tons and tons of information around the web or a specific social media platform and provides you with the most commonly used keywords across your business niche.
You can use the selected keywords to clearly and concisely describe what your business is about in your Instagram bio, use them as hashtags in Reels and posts as well as create catchy descriptions for your Instagram posts. With well-arranged SEO, your page and content will appear more frequently than your competitors in Instagram searches and, therefore, will be recommended more often to other Instagram users. Don’t wait! Find the right keywords and tags for your brand today.
#7 Partner with the right brands the right way
Collaborating with industry and niche influencers isn’t something new for Instagram marketers. Advertising content through creative collaborations with those who people listen to and admire has always been an effective method to expand the audience and increase brand awareness. But what if a particular brand itself takes the role of an influencer worth collaborating with?
The previous year the trend of branded content partnerships was just starting to go viral across Instagram and we expect that this year it’ll come in full force. This all started when Instagram allowed tagging another account in a post or Reel so that the content appears for both accounts. As a result, more and more companies started partnering and endorsing each other. Just have a look at this great example of HP and ELLE collaboration, the two companies have “launched first sustainably printed fashion magazine” and announced about that on Instagram as a part of their marketing campaign.
Ready, Snap, Post! Put the Instagram trends into action
Instagram is a non-stop developing platform that is fiercely and meritoriously battling for its leading position in the social media market niche. Therefore, Instagram creators persistently upgrade their platform with the latest and most exciting features.
Even for professional Instagram marketers it can be quite challenging to keep pace with all the innovations Instagram offers. Despite so many changes and upgrades, brands should always discover and try to adapt to the latest Instagram implementations. This way, they ensure that they are naturally integrated with the Instagram community and effectively perform on this platform.