12 Instagram trends to watch for in 2022

updated September 1, 2023
Reading time9 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Instagram may have been created as a social media to share photos, but since its foundation, in 2010, many things have changed. Instagram trends show that video content is on the rise, and so is the option to buy directly from the platform.

The several features offered by the app nowadays provide a huge amount of possibilities. When we talk about digital marketing strategies, companies need to invest in having an updated profile, with valuable content on Instagram, since it has become one of the main social media platforms. 

According to data provided by Instagram, 90% of its users follow at least 1 brand profile in the app. 2 out of 3 people affirmed that Instagram enables the interaction with brands, and 50% said that they feel more interest towards a company when they see its ad on the platform.  

1. Video content

IGTV icon

Many years have passed since Instagram has made posting videos available on the app, after it, the stories conquered the users, in 2018, IGTV was created, and in 2020 we had the boom of the reels. It’s visible how video content is gradually gaining more space and popularity on the platform.

 According to the  social media app, by the end of 2021, videos are going to represent 78% of total mobile data traffic.

Different from reels and stories, IGTV gives you the opportunity to post longer videos, such as vlogs, and interviews. The content is produced to be mostly consumed on mobile devices, so it's recommended to record the video vertically. 

Using IGTV is an opportunity to nourish engagement, and straighten the relationship with your audience. Now the users can have a preview of the video on your feed, among the other posts, which allows you to call more attention to this type of content. You can also enjoy functionalities such as tag products.

2. Reels

The image shows 3 smartphone screens displaying reels.

Inspired by TikTok video format, Instagram launched reels in 2020, allowing users to create short entertaining videos. Recording dancing choreographies and funny videos have become very popular in reels, which brands are using as well. 

Instagram provides several filters and edition effects besides other tools, it's an opportunity to create more casual content that people can relate to and quickly watch.

Another advantage of the reels is the potential it has to reach a wider audience because they can be uploaded to your feed, stories, and the Explore Page, enhancing the possibilities to be seen by users who don't follow you. 

3. Carousels

Inserting a sequence of photos and/or videos in the same post: that's the carousel format, which is a promising Instagram trend for 2022. 

Engagement is one of the main goals with Instagram posts, and the carousel helps with that since the simple movement of swiping to see all the content is seen as a type of engagement. 

And when it comes to making the algorithm understand that your content is relevant, to show it to more people, the engagement rate is important. So, by posting a carousel you can increase your chances to appear on your followers’ timeline among the first posts. 

The carousel format is also an opportunity to display products. You can create a carousel with different products and tag them with a shoppable link or show the same item in different angles, for example.

4. Nano influencers

Nano influencers are on the spot of advertising agencies and marketing experts. They may not have a high number of followers but they usually present a high engagement rate and a high power of influence to their audience. Brands can achieve specific market niches by developing more focused campaigns through partnerships with them. 

5K to 10K is the average number of followers that usually a nano influencer has, which enables them to interact with their audience in a closer way. This creates a trust relationship that has a valuable conversion power when they recommend a product, service, or brand. 

When influencers with over 30k followers normally have an engagement rate of around 2%, with nano influencers it's about 7 to 10%. 

5. Authenticity

People are looking for relatable content, when they go to Instagram they want to be able to see themselves on the posts and not perfect unreal images, and that has to do with brands' profiles as well.  

By developing authentic content, you have the opportunity to speak directly to your audience's pain points, showing that you understand them, and fomenting trust. Posting less polished content, instead of high-produced ones is an Instagram trend opportunity to give a face to your brand that is closer to your customers.

It's possible to do that, for example, by posting behind-the-scenes stories where you can show your company's office routine or the production of your products. Nothing of highly edited videos and images, in this case, but something spontaneous, which gives the impression that you just took off your smartphone and started recording. 

6. Instagram live

The image shows an Instagram live

Lives have become very popular during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it's an Instagram trend that promises to continue growing. It provides the chance to interact with your audience in real-time, creating a unique experience. 

Brands have been using this feature to launch products, make interviews with experts on their sector, where the spectators can send questions during the live,  or to broadcast an event, which can make their followers feel part of it. 

Certainly, there are many ways to enjoy this feature, which is also a tool to increase credibility, boost engagement, deliver authentic content, and allow your followers to get to know more about your products, services, and your company. 

During Black Friday, many companies made live streams to present their sales offers and gave special discounts to people who were watching it, serving as a strategy to gain more followers, and to convert leads into customers. 

7. AR features

In the image there are 3 smartphones each one shows an Instagram filter

If you are among the millions of people who check Instagram stories daily, you probably have already seen some of the augmented reality (AR) features the app has, which are also available for creating reels.  

Popular examples are the filters used to alter the user's appearance by adding make-up and funny elements or changing the background. Many brands have invested in creating their own filters, helping to increase brand awareness and reach a bigger audience, and even allowing the customer to try on a product through the filter. 

Mark Zuckerberg's announcement about investing in the development of the metaverse, and creating the brand Meta, which unites his apps and technologies under one company, reinforce that AR is a trend to be watched. 

8. Cause marketing

Generation Z wants to buy from companies that have strong values, which are vocal about important social justice issues and worries about environmental preservation, showing their support, and which actions they implement to be sustainable.  

You can use Instagram as a means to transmit your company's beliefs,  highlight that your brand is aware of the social rights debates happening at the moment, and wants to be part of the change. Being neutral about highly significant issues can have a bad impact, being prepared to position yourself is important.

But, don't make the mistake of thinking cause marketing is about only making posts, users can easily detect when you are faking it, and it will be worse. They want to see companies that are really engaged, remember that authenticity and transparency are fundamental.  

9. Instagram shopping

The image shows 3 smartphones screens with Instagram shopping features

Since Instagram has included the feature to add direct links to buy a product in the stories and posts, the app has been increasingly used for its selling opportunities. Instagram is no longer only a display, but it has enhanced its conversion sales power.

It's much easier for the users to finalize a purchase by just clicking on the link and being directed to the product's page. To improve the experience, even more, the platform has recently launched check out on Instagram.

The feature enables users to add the payment and shipping information in the app and finalize the purchase without having to leave Instagram. It's also possible to save your data for the next purchases. 

10. Use of memes

Who doesn't like to laugh at a good meme and share it with their friends, right? The memes’ engagement power is certainly one of the reasons to make them one of the Instagram trends for 2022. 

You can use them to connect with your target audience in a funny way, helping them to relax, and promoting interaction at the same time. But, before starting to share any meme, make sure you understand its real meaning and search for ways to connect with some characteristics of your company, product, or service. 

11 Direct messages

Influencers and companies are encouraging their followers to send more direct messages instead of only liking a post. For example, in the stories, many of them ask for people to react by sending an emoji.

They also often insert a question box, which is a valuable tool to initiate an interaction, and know more about your leads and customers too. DMs allow you to have a more personal conversation with your leads, which can be an opportunity for your sales team to close deals.

But, to stimulate your followers to write direct messages, it's essential to always check the inbox, and have a short lead response time. Otherwise, if your followers send a message and aren't answered, you can make them feel like they don't matter to your company. Be careful with that. 

12. Explore Page

The image shows the Explore Page from Instagram

The Explore Page has arisen as a valuable tool that allows users to discover new interesting content, and also as a possibility for creators to reach more people. According to Instagram, 50% of their users access this page as a way to find more posts. 

The posts that appear on each user's Explore Page are related to their interests and most consumed content type, which helps you to be found by potential customers since they are already interested in your topic. 

Instagram trends are valuable assets to make the most of the platform features and grow your business through it. Develop a marketing plan which includes strategies for publishing stories, videos, and reels on Instagram.

But, remember, it's important to keep consistency and deliver valuable content, which speaks directly to your target audience’s pain points. Your Instagram profile must be updated regularly, create a schedule for posting, and always analyze the metrics to see what can be improved.

This way, implementing Instagram trends can help you to grow on the platform, increasing visibility, engagement rates, and selling more.

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