Social media is constantly evolving—and Instagram, with over 2 billion monthly active users, is no exception. This is why it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends.
Read on to learn more about the Instagram trends you need to keep up with in 2022.
Instagram Reels continue to rise in popularity
Instagram Reels were launched in 2020 and slowly rolled out to all users throughout 2021. This micro-video addition to Instagram was created as a competitor to TikTok, which has exploded in popularity.
Initially starting out as 15-second clips, Reels can now be up to 60-seconds long. Reels generate more engagement than regular videos on Instagram, proving their popularity and why you should be adding this content type into your Instagram strategy.
Many users will simply repurpose TikToks onto this platform, but there are many ways you can take advantage of Reels’ popularity.
For example, take a look at how Smile Direct Club worked with content creator Kelli Erdmann to create this fun reel:
Ways to use Instagram Reels
- Put together quick how-to guides on using your products or services
- Find a trending meme and add your own spin on it
- Partner with an influencer to share how they use your products or services
Link sticker gives full access to story links
Instagram dealt a big blow to those of us who worked so hard to get past that 10,000 follower threshold with their new link stickers. Now, links in stories are available to any Instagram user—even personal accounts.
Simply create your Instagram story, then tap the “Stickers” icon on the screen to access sticker options. Of course, there are questions, polls, surveys, GIFs, music and many other stickers, but you’ll want to click the “link” option. From there, you’ll paste in the target link and place the sticker wherever you want it to appear on the sticker.
Here’s an example of what this could look like:
Ways to use the link sticker
- Promote products and services, sending followers directly to your sales pages
- Tease an upcoming event or webinar and link to the event details page
- Share information about a blog post and add the link to read more on your blog
- Have influencers link directly to the products they’re promoting
Instagram Stories get even more engaging
In addition to link stickers, Instagram Stories has a number of other stickers to help engage your viewers.
One of the more recent options is the “Add yours” feature, where you create a prompt and your followers can add their own photo to the prompt by sharing it on their own stories.
Take a look at this in action:
In addition, Stories may be getting even longer. Around the end of 2021, Instagram began testing 60-second stories. While it’s currently possible to create longer stories, they must be broken up into 15-second chunks. This new feature would allow you to record or upload continuous videos of up to 60-seconds to your story.
Ways to use Instagram Stories
- Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos that might not fit in with the content on your Instagram feed
- Create stories that you can add to the highlights on your Instagram profile
- Use story stickers to engage with your audience, like creating polls or quizzes, linking to fundraisers, asking questions and more
Instagram Story ads run the promo show
If you’re looking for the best place to run promotions on Instagram, look no further than story ads. Story ads appear in between user stories, making it more likely that users will see and engage with your ads.
There are a few different objectives you can choose from for your Instagram story ads, like brand awareness, traffic, engagement, video views and conversions. Be sure to create full-sized, 1080 x 1920 pixels creative assets for your ads, otherwise they won’t take up the full screen and may not have the desired effect.
Here’s an example of an ad that isn’t full-screen. While it still has a nice design, it could have a much better impact if they’d kept the Stories dimensions in mind:
Instead, let’s take a look at this example, where the brand has chosen a full-screen ad creative. It’s much more compelling and feels like it fits right in with the rest of the stories users are watching.
Ways to use Instagram Story ads
- Create compelling videos that grab attention in the first few seconds to keep users from tapping to the next story
- Add clear calls-to-action that get your viewers to take the desired action after viewing your ad
- Test a variety of different story ad objectives to reach users at every stage of the sales funnel
Cross-promote Twitter and Instagram content
If you have any kind of presence on Twitter, you’ve likely seen link previews in tweets. However, Twitter prevented previews for Instagram links. Thankfully, the platform recently released the ability for Instagram photos to have the same kind of link preview.
Now you can share new Instagram photos with your Twitter followers as a way to increase your following across both platforms.
In addition, you can also share your tweets directly to your Instagram stories. Head to the tweet you want to share, click the share icon then select Instagram Stories from the options. It’ll look something like this:
Ways to take advantage of cross-promotion
- Seamlessly hold conversations with your audience on multiple platforms
- Share your Instagram photos to Twitter to get more reach and engagement
- Post your tweets to your Instagram story when you want to get more insight from followers
Share tweets and memes
If it fits in with your brand personality, have some fun with your Instagram account. Share memes that are relevant to your business, or cross-promote your tweets onto your feed. (We already talked about how to share them in stories, but sharing screenshots of tweets is also a popular Instagram feed trend.)
Here’s a meme from Chipotle to get an idea of what you might consider sharing:
Now let’s look at how you might want to share tweets. While you could always screenshot and crop the tweet by itself, the better—and more visually appealing—trend is to share your tweet on a colorful background.
Here’s a perfect example of what this should like like:
Ways to share tweets and memes
- Take a fun tweet that you’ve posted or a customer has posted and use that screenshot in a post
- Find a trending meme and fit your own brand’s voice into it
- Create your own memes to show off your brand personality
Let your audience shop on Instagram
Over the last couple of years, Instagram has made it increasingly easier for e-commerce brands to generate revenue through the platform. 70% of shoppers look to Instagram for their purchases, so brands want to make sure their products are as accessible as possible.
With Instagram shopping features, brands can create an entire shop that is broken down into collections, new arrivals, sale items and more.
Take a look at how one boutique has categorized some of their products in their Instagram shop:
Then, you can link to these products anytime they’re featured in an image. See this in action here:
Ways to use Instagram shopping
- Create various collections and categories that make your products easy to find
- Share photos with your products and tag the listing in each photo to make them instantly buyable
- Add new products to your shop immediately so they’re available for shoppers
Working with creators has never been easier
Because influencer marketing is so prevalent on Instagram, the Network has been making it easier and easier for brands and creators to collaborate.
One of the most important new features was announced in late 2021—the ability to search for and communicate with creators right inside the Instagram app.
Streamlining the influencer-brand relationship helps entice more brands and creators to utilize Instagram for their campaigns.
Furthermore, Instagram is testing a native affiliate platform, helping creators to earn even more revenue by promoting products and earning affiliate income.
Ways to work with creators
- Start searching for creators with a similar target audience in the partner discovery list
- Work with influencers to create stunning UGC that the two of you can share with your respective audiences
- Create (or promote) an affiliate option for creators to use when promoting your products
IGTV is no more – but Instagram video is better than ever
IGTV was Instagram’s foray into long-form video, but the idea never really caught on. So instead of continuing to support a platform that wasn’t taking off, Instagram got rid of IGTV and instead ramped up their existing in-feed video features.
Now, Instagram feed videos can be up to 60 minutes in length, allowing brands who were taking advantage of IGTV to still share long-form video content with their followers.
Ways to use Instagram video
- Interview thought leaders in your industry to provide value and educational information to your audience
- Create an educational video series
- Make sure to select a cover that matches your feed for your video before you post it
What Instagram trends are you excited about in 2022?
Instagram trends get created with influences from other networks and introductions of new features. Keeping up with the current trends freshens up your content and shows your audience that you’re not afraid to try new things.
To get inspiration on what kind of topics and posts your audience would be most interested in, keep tabs on the most essential Instagram metrics.