There are over 200 million business accounts on Instagram. That’s a lot of competition if you’re looking for your brand to stand out. However, if you keep up with some of the latest Instagram trends, you should be able to create an Instagram marketing strategy that will grab attention and facilitate growth.
Throughout this article, we’re going to cover the top nine trends on Instagram for 2023 so you can seamlessly incorporate them into your own strategies. Let’s look at each example to explore how you can emulate these trends for your own audience.
Table of Contents
- Instagram Reels still on the rise over images
- “Add Yours” Story stickers attract buzz and UGC
- Create partnerships with collaborative posts
- Social justice movements on Instagram
- Paid promotion is growing
- Shoppable posts simplify the ecommerce experience
- Memes are incorporated into social content calendars
- Engage users with carousel posts
- Interact with followers in broadcast channels
1. Instagram Reels still on the rise over images
This has been a trend since their inception, but Instagram Reels are still taking priority. Do me a favor: Open your Instagram app and scroll through the first 10 to 15 pieces of content. As you scroll, you might notice a common theme—most of the posts are Reels.
Instagram Reels launched in 2020 and slowly rolled out to all users throughout 2021. This micro-video addition to Instagram was created to compete with Snapchat and TikTok and has continued to grow in popularity. Many brands and content creators will repurpose their micro-videos across each of the platforms—TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
Instagram began prioritizing Instagram Rees over photos in 2022 and, despite recent news of content discovery becoming a focus in 2023, it seems like the platform is definitely continuing to prioritize this type of content.
However, does that also impact an Instagram account’s overall reach? One content creator even shared on her TikTok that she experimented with posting Reels to Instagram once every day for a month and she grew her follower count by 33% (from 8500 to 11.4k).
While posting Reels every single day may not make sense for your strategy, you might want to consider adding them to your content calendar more often.
Take a look at some examples of how to use Reels for your brand.
- Ecommerce plant store Bloomscape showcased three giant plants for plant parents, and linked to the products from their Instagram store.
- Fitness clothing brand AYBL shared a workout routine featuring their activewear.
- Graphic design tool Visme uses Instagram Reels to show real-world applications of some of their best features.
The takeaway: Start incorporating Instagram Reels into your own strategy to help your brand generate more reach, increase your follower count and stay relevant on the app.
2. “Add Yours” Story stickers attract buzz and UGC
There are a plethora of interactive stickers available to add to your stories, one of the newer ones is the “Add Yours” sticker.
Add Yours = a sticker that creates public threads in Stories 🤝
With custom prompts and public responses, you can share the sticker and see who responds to it in their own Stories. pic.twitter.com/C9AXiFEo92
— Instagram (@instagram) November 1, 2021
Incorporating stickers like questions, polls, quizzes, etc., into your Stories helps engage your audience and increase the amount of time they spent interacting with your account. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that they see your Stories towards the front of their feed, keeping your business top of mind.
Tap on the “Add Yours” option from the available stickers and type in a prompt. This could be something like “What are you reading?” or “Outfit of the day,” or “Your favorite feature.” Make sure the prompt is relevant to your business but simple enough for someone to want to share their own photo on their story.
3. Create partnerships with collaborative posts
Collaborative posts are another big trend that you’ll start seeing pop up more and more. This is because Instagram recently released a feature that allows users to “invite collaborators” to a post as well as to tag brands in paid partnerships, having both involved accounts show up—and publishing the post to both collaborators’ profiles.
To invite a collaborator, you’ll go through the motions of publishing your Instagram post, then tap the option to Tag people. You’ll see this window pop up below where you can either add a tag (the same way you always have on Instagram) or invite a collaborator.
Select the user you’re working with on your post and publish your post. However, Instagram won’t sow the tag or post to the collaborator’s profile until they approve the tag.
Here’s an example of what this would look like in action below, where a travel guide partnered with a local brewery to host an Instagram giveaway.
Collaborative posts will also be part of paid partnerships as Instagram also simultaneously released a feature that tags when posts are sponsored and even allows the content creator to tag the brand sponsoring the content right inside the Instagram post.
For an influencer to tag brands in sponsored posts, they’ll manage the Advanced settings part of their post before publication, scroll down to the Paid partnership feature and tag the applicable brands. Again, brands will have to approve the partnership before they’re publicly tagged in the post.
Whether you’re partnering with another brand or an influencer, take advantage of Instagram’s features to help improve your overall reach and make your Instagram content more engaging.
4. Social justice movements on Instagram
The two largest age groups on Instagram are 25–34 at 31.2% (Millennials) and 18–24 (Gen Z)at 31%. Younger generations are increasingly more interested in what’s happening in the world and which brands are helping to make the world better and more accessible.
Instagram reports that Gen Z is an activist community, and though only 30% of Gen Z are old enough to vote currently, they care about the brands they buy from. They’re following brands on Instagram that talk about social justice issues and stick up for issues they believe in. They’re following influencers who care about accessibility. And they’re making purchases from the ones that they believe in.
This means it’s okay—in fact, it’s encouraged—for brands to be open about the causes they support and the social issues they believe in. Your customers want to see it. Genuine brand authenticity goes a long way with your customers.
TOMS is a great example of this. The brand was created as a way to give shoes to children in need, giving away a free pair for every pair purchased. They’ve since increased their donations, also giving away impact grants to charities they support.
TOMS shared a 2022 roundup to showcase how much they were able to give away in donations throughout the year:
The brand’s tagline is “Wear TOMS. Wear Good.” And that resonates with customers in 2023.
In this social justice era, we’ve also seen the onset of a number of social justice Instagram accounts like @so.informed and @impact that share news and updates from the US and around the world. These social-justice slideshows help users learn and spread awareness about causes that matter to them most.
As the popularity of social media platforms grows and their user bases grow, the need for algorithms to best serve their users also grows. And when an algorithm is deciding who gets served your content, you might see a decline in reach. Because of this, Instagram paid promotions are a growing trend in 2023.
Let’s go back to our exercise from the first trend, where we scrolled down to see the first 10 to 20 posts.
If your feed was anything like mine, you saw about nine Reels, six regular posts and five sponsored posts. That means about 25% of your feed is filled with paid ads, like the one below.
While that might seem like a lot, let’s look at it from a different perspective. It also means that 25% of your target audience’s feed is filled with sponsored posts. And that if you start investing in Instagram ads, your brand can be part of that 25%.
6. Shoppable posts simplify the ecommerce experience
Instagram shopping is still extremely popular, with nearly half of all Instagram users saying they use the app and its shopping features to shop their favorite brands each week. By creating your Instagram shop catalog full of your products, you can make it even easier for your followers to make a purchase.
By tagging your products in a shoppable post, you’re creating the ability for someone to see your post and make a purchase without ever having to leave the Instagram app.
Shoppable posts will continue to be a major trend in 2023 due to how easy it makes shopping for customers. And products can be tagged in any type of Instagram post—a photo post, a carousel, a Reel and a Story.
7. Memes are incorporated into social content calendars
Who doesn’t love a good meme? According to a YPulse study, 75% of those aged 13-36 share memes. Which is why they’ve become and stayed so prevalent on Instagram.
Although brands have leveled-up how they share memes from their accounts by adding branded background colors and other design elements.
Many brands also will take screenshots of Tweets to share on their Instagram with a colorful background to fit their brand aesthetics. Incorporating memes into your social strategy is a fun trend, but make sure the trend works for your brand before jumping in with both feet.
8. Engage users with carousel posts
Instagram carousel posts can include up to 10 photos and videos in a single post. They can be used in a number of different ways to share even more content with your audience at once. Plus, one study discovered that Instagram carousels are the most engaging post type on the platform.
Create carousel posts that tell a story, such as products from a new launch or an educational slideshow.
Here’s an example of a carousel post sharing a brand’s mission and how they want to make a different in plastic use:
And here’s an example of an educational Instagram carousel from our social team at Sprout:
9. Interact with followers in broadcast channels
Instagram recently announced the debut of broadcast channels as a one-way messaging tool for creators to engage with their followers. These channels will give creators an opportunity to give behind-the-scenes or latest updates to their followers in a one-to-many messaging format for a more intimate and interactive space.
Currently, creators can send text, photo, video and voice notes but Instagram will be adding more features in 2023. The goal is to create a new way to connect with fans and followers. It’s still too early to tell if this will expand to other professional or business accounts or if it will remain just for digital content creators.
Use Instagram trends to update your strategy
Instagram trends arise from influences based on other networks and introductions of new features. Keeping up with the current trends on Instagram freshens up your content and shows your audience that you’re not afraid to try new things.
If you’re looking to further level-up your Instagram marketing in 2023, learn how these top Instagram tools can help you plan, create, curate and publish your content for a more streamlined and conscious workflow process.