10 popular Instagram trends to try in 2020

Trend 1a. Image by Thanuj Mathew via Unsplash

We know that social media is one of the best ways to reach customers. Especially Instagram. Instagram alone has over 800 million monthly active users, and it’s constantly growing.

As Instagram’s global reach increases, the trends are coming thick and fast. A trend reflects what people are enthusiastic about, or what they are inclined to like or follow. While trends tend to be temporary — what's popular now can easily be replaced by something else tomorrow — they also have a huge power to influence. And in some instances, great trends stick around to become the new norm.

Following a trend is more than about riding the wave of popularity and having good timing. Following a trend is a signal boost, making your brand relevant and visible. Done well, you can harness a trend to create real results for your business or brand.

These results will be more than just a boost in your followers or the likes on your account, but real business metrics: new leads, more sales, and a strong brand and reputation.

Here are ten Instagram trends for 2020. Try one, two, or even all of them help bring your brand forward.

Table of contents: 10 fresh Instagram trends to watch in 2020

Trend 1: Instagram Stories

Image by Alice Donovan via Unsplash

It’s claimed 68% of people become more interested in a brand or product when it appears in Instagram Stories, and with all the new features, that number is sure to increase.

Try these new features in Instagram Stories:

  • You can now automatically share stories to Facebook to reach more viewers.
  • Stories About You make it easier to view, reply to and share the Instagram stories that mention your account, although to do so, you must have a Business or Creator account.
  • Stories can now feature ads or promotions. Paired with Instagram Insights, it’s easy to see which of your stories or posts are generating the most followers or metrics (from brand awareness to conversions).
  • New stickers have been added including ones to donate or support small businesses.

While not a new feature, we now have the statistics to know that 60% of Instagram Stories are viewed with sound on—just something to consider for your next post.

Tap into the trend

Use Instagram Stories to promote an offer or giveaway, or for short-form video ads.

Tell incredible stories using templates you can customize to your narrative. There are plenty to choose from, like the Yellow and Black Analog Prototype Instagram Story or Yellow and Black Trendy Digitalism Instagram Story.

Trend 2: Instagram TV (IGTV)

Image by Linda Xu via Unsplash

Securing eyeballs seems to be the aim of the game with ambitious plans to make IGTV bigger than YouTube. Even Instagram’s signature vertical videos have embraced a new format to make it easier to be seen. Now there’s plenty of proof video is no longer a secondary option on the platform.

See what’s new in IGTV:

  • The addition of an IGTV button on Explore, the page dedicated to helping users discover new content.
  • Both vertical and landscape video formats can now be cross-promoted on other sites.
  • The orange IGTV button means there’s no longer need for a separate app.

Tap into the trend

Turn still images into motion graphics. By doing so, the post will be recognized as a video so Instagram will give it a higher ranking on Explore.

Still photos are so 2019. To get attention, use a video template. Check out the Purple Gradients Animated Instagram Story or Purple and Yellow Sale Animated Instagram Story.

Trend 3: Instagram live

Image by Gian Cescon via Unsplash

There’s something extremely exciting about a live broadcast. Maybe because it’s taking place at that exact moment or the fact that anything could happen. Either way, live videos invite your audience to connect with you in new ways, offering a behind-the-scenes feel to your content.

While live videos were previously possible on Instagram, they could only be uploaded as Stories. Today, you can interact with your audience in real-time, allowing two-way communication to take place right in front of your eyes. When it comes to going live, there is no time like the present so get ready to jump on the bandwagon in 5, 4, 3, 2...

Tap into the trend

Go live during an event or party, enabling your followers to be part of the experience. Or if you want to promote a product, hype it up with some live videos in the lead up to launch.

Did you know you can host an interview over Zoom and broadcast it live? With backgrounds, you don’t even need a studio. From Mount Fuji to the zoo, you could be anywhere. Or for something more low-key, try the Professional Office Zoom Virtual Background or Beach No Video Conferencing Zoom Virtual Background.

Trend 4: Instagram Shopping

Image by visuals via Unsplash

Need a new revenue stream? Perhaps the biggest trend in 2020 is due to what’s now possible with Instagram Shopping. It’s hot to shop as Instagram provides the ability to slap a price tag on nearly anything. Not surprising since 130 million Instagrammers engage with product tags in shopping posts each month. For sellers, you can tag products in your posts and Stories, while those shopping can complete the checkout process without having to leave the platform.

Here are a few new ways to earn and spend:

  • Instagram Shopping allows you to directly purchase from creators or influences with shoppable posts.
  • Business profiles can add a direct shopping link at the top of their profiles.
  • Direct product links are also available through the Explore tab.
  • Checkout and complete entire purchases on the platform.

Tap into the trend

Not ready to buy? Save any potential purchases to your collection tab for later. Or if you have a product to sell, find out how to set up your own boutique using this guide.

Improve your sales pitch with a post that does all the hard work. Use a template to promote a sale, like the White Borders Black Round Label Sale Retail Stores Instagram Post or for a pop of color, customize the Pink and White Dog Pet Supplies Feed Ad template.

Trend 5: Engaging Instagram influencers

Image by Steve Gale via Unsplash

Influencers have been popular for some time now, however, the way we engage just ramping up. Those with a product to market will know it’s cheaper to use influencers than run an ad campaign, and given the previous news about shoppable posts, things just got more interesting. Plus, the days of backing just one horse are gone with multiple influencers being better than one.

Here are a couple of ways to increase your influence:

  • Use hashtags to leverage and unite a number of influencers. With a campaign-specific hashtag, you can promote it through Posts, Stories, Highlights, and influencer content.
  • Consider hosting an event where a number of Influencers are in attendance. Increase the impact by combining live videos with hashtags that cross over on influencer’s own platforms.

Tap into the trend

Spend time coming up with a unique hashtag, so you can easily track the metrics.

Instead of streaming an entire event, promote the highlights in an Instagram Story. Open the video with an image using the Event Icon Instagram Highlight Cover or for a graphic design, try the Fitness Dynamic Instagram Highlight Cover.

Trend 6: Instagram explore

Image by Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash

As mentioned earlier, Explore is the place for discovering the hottest new content. More than 50% of Instagram accounts use Explore every month, with more than 200 million users using the tab each day. It’s a great way to find photos and videos from accounts you don’t follow, or connect with new followers.

A key new feature is that additional categories have been added to the Explore tab. While the content suggested is still based on past likes and view history, users can now select the categories relevant for them, making it easier to search.

Tap into the trend

Optimize your Instagram profile and content to rank higher in relevant categories by adding multiple keywords and hashtags. Location tags also help people find you, as does a strong call to action.

Be discovered with a memorable icon. Replace your profile pic with a template like the Colorful Shapes Musician Collection or Blue White and Pink Nostalgia Artists and Illustrators icon.

Trend 7: Instagram stickers

Image by Katya Austin via Unsplash

We can’t get enough of the new interactive stickers as they add a whole new dimension to Instagram Stories. Nine times out of 10 polling stickers increase video views and help bring poll participants closer to brands. So consider a change in approach by inviting your followers to be part of a conversation.

Here’s what you can do with the new interactive stickers:

  • Ask your followers questions about what they’re interested in.
  • Take a poll to get a feel of what’s important to them.
  • Create a fun quiz and pair it with a giveaway.
  • Upload a countdown to an event or product launch.
  • Make announcements or request feedback.
  • Invite followers to a private Q&A or event.

Tap into the trend

Come up with three questions to put to followers, then add a poll sticker. Once uploaded to Instagram, your followers can vote and see the results in real-time. What’s really cool is that you can see in detail how each one of your followers responded.

Trend 8: Instagram authenticity

Image by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

One of the most refreshing trends we’re seeing emerge on Instagram is a move toward authenticity. Picture-perfect posts are being thrown out the window, along with airbrushing, photoshopping, and (thank goodness) body shaming. The best part about this is the benefit it brings, establishing deeper and more genuine connections with audiences.

Here are some ways to be more authentic on the platform:

  • Ditch the filters and share unedited photos.
  • Embrace everything real —real bodies, real talk, and imperfect environments.
  • Avoid staged photos. Instead be in the moment, capturing spontaneity and life as it happens.

Tap into the trend

Engage your audience by sharing personal stories or opening up conversations. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerable side.

Let your authenticity shine through with everyday posts that ditch the filters. Be encouraging of individualism with the Blue Illustrated Mixtape Instagram Post template and capture moments like this Black and White Pet Cat Valentines Day Instagram Post template.

Trend 9: Tweets and memes

Image by Charles eluvio via Unsplash

Humor never goes out of fashion but there is a new trend of importing giggles from other platforms. Posting funny tweets or pics is huge, and it doesn’t even need to be original content. The world needs to laugh so do whatever it takes to make it happen. The only thing that isn’t funny is trying to pass the jokes off as you own.

Here’s how to share the lols:

  • Find your favorite tweet and repost it, adding a design to keep the joke fresh.
  • Connect to those with a similar sense of humor by sharing memes.
  • Where possible, credit the joke to the person who wrote it.

Be on-trend

Showcase humor on Instagram using your own tweets, even better if you've gone viral.

Find your funniest tweet then immortalise it in design. Keep it in line with your feed by using colors or images to suit your style, like the Green and Purple Grid Geometric Funny Quote Instagram Post. Don’t forget to credit the source like the Dark Orange and Yellow Illustration Nostalgia Funny Quote Instagram Post template.

Trend 10: Instagram Social Activism

Image by Simon Berger via Unsplash

Social media is the place to share opinions so there’s no excuse for keeping quiet. Online activism is easier than ever and with Instagram, you can show your support for a cause that in turn, inspires others.

Here’s how to rally your followers and amplify your views:

  • Voice your opinion on everything, from climate change memes to “I voted” stickers.
  • Use a donation sticker to direct others to the nonprofit of your choice.
  • Make the most of Canva's templates to create a cause or support an existing one.

Tap into the trend

For something light-hearted, join a challenge and post the results. You can find the latest Instagram challenges here.

For a cause anyone can get behind, use a combination of templates to build out your case. Start with the Colorful Illustration Earth Hour Instagram Story to promote the message, then the Colorful Illustrated Checklist Earth Hour Instagram Story to inform people of the steps they can take. If you have an event they can take part in, try Blue Dancing Illustration Earth Hour Instagram Story.

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