With each passing year, it feels like we’re tasked with navigating which techniques are working and which are no longer effective on Instagram for our online growth. And, of course, 2021 is no different. From the head-spinning platform and algorithm changes to the flood of video content to the plummeting reach metrics, it can feel challenging to get ahead in such a crowded space.
But what if I said you could finally cut through the clutter and gain visibility quickly on Instagram by embracing a few trends that are designed to help you grow and monetize your account? In celebration of Social Media Day, Dre Fox, the CEO and founder of TimeOfDre Media, lays out three trends to embrace in 2021 to increase your visibility on Instagram. Here’s how to stand out on social right now.
Trend #1: Live Stream Series and IGTV Micro Shows
Are you comfortable on video? Now is the time to start practicing in the mirror as live and interactive content is on the rise! In an effort to monetize Instagram for content creators, Badge Milestones were implemented this summer to incentivize creators up to $500 for going live. So, you guessed it, we are going to see accounts going live more than ever.
But that’s not all! Instagram announced that IGTV will now have ads running for your viewers, earning you 55% of the revenue, which will not only allow for scooping up the Milestones for Lives, but also revenue for turning the recordings into IGTVs.
While you might not have the features yet, getting your audience engaged in these formats will pay off dividends once you are able to monetize and hit the ground running.
How to hop on this trend: Think about a weekly live series that is either educational or entertaining that may pique the interest of your audience. Begin creating this content regularly, so you can a) earn your milestones money and b) earn the IGTV revenue from ads.
The key here is that you want eyes on your content, so the more value you bring and the more interactive and engaging it is, the more money you’ll make over time!
Trend #2: Carousel Posts
Do you have an eye for graphic design and creating interesting visuals? Then this trend is for you! One of the best metrics to track for your Instagram account is how many shares you’re receiving on your content because shares equal new eyes on your page. But when you’re posting images of yourself, while you look incredible, that isn’t considered “shareable” content because it’s non-contextual to strangers.
This is where carousel or swipe-through posts step in! These engaging slideshows, ranging from 3-7 slides (example here), are highly shareable because they usually represent powerful quotes, opinions, or educational information that your audience is looking for.
How to hop on this trend: Identify what would strike a chord or set off a lightbulb for your audience and how you can break those points, steps, or ideas down into bite-size morsels. Lastly, create a simple but engaging graphic on Canva to catch the eye of your ideal follower.
Implement these into your strategy 4-6 times a month and watch your shares increase!
Trend #3: Raw and Relatable Content
This might not seem like a “trend” at all, but the truth is that attitudes on social media are shifting from polished perfection to content that’s more honest and real. The initial perception from my clients is that in order to appear professional or to be taken seriously online, you have to avoid admitting fault, showing weakness, or sharing a negative experience. But this is not always the case! People want to feel a connection with you that transcends likes, comments, and pretty pictures—a REAL connection.
How to hop on this trend: Start by getting clear on the highs and lows that your audience and people in your niche are experiencing. For example, staying healthy while traveling. Next, map out intentional, relatable content about your own struggles with staying on track, a story of how you fell off your goals on a vacation, or sharing any mindset challenges you’ve experienced on your health journey. This content, along with a less curated and filtered feed, will have you winning REAL fans in no time that see you as a relatable person, not the illusion of perfection.
Whether you dive headfirst into live videos and monetization or focus on building deeper connections with relatable content, these three trends are here to stay for the foreseeable future. And those who adopt them early will experience the best growth and visibility.
Which trend will you be hopping on first? Let us know in the comments!
About the Expert: Dre Fox is the founder and CEO of TimeOfDre Media, a Forbes and Washington Post featured social media agency located in Austin, Texas. After many years of helping Fortune 500 companies improve their social experience and brand awareness online, Dre was inspired to focus on building the brands of small businesses and public figures. Her core passion is helping people just like you, realize their dreams online.