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Instagram is great for brand building, and marketers have a variety of tools and popular Instagram marketing trends to consider when choosing it to promote their brand. Some popular types of Instagram posts include live video and reels as well as carousel posts.

Other popular trends are more personal, like ramping up your level of authenticity and sharing cool retro posts. Instagram shopping is yet another recent addition to the list of popular Instagram marketing trends.

Read on to see which of these new Instagram tools and trends are right for your brand. Some or all of them may be just what you need to level up your branded messaging and Instagram marketing efforts.

Social Shopping Features

Instagram shop features were added to the lineup of tools the company offers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These social shopping features combine listings of items that are for sale with the social aspect of an Instagram feed. People can like posts, make comments and share posts before clicking through to buy items.

Influencers can create these shoppable posts to showcase merchandise and manage inventory. Interested buyers then use the Instagram checkout function to make a purchase.

Live Rooms on Instagram

Instagram live rooms can add a new dimension to an influencer’s live videos. Instead of just one influencer speaking to followers through a live feed, the live rooms function lets up to four influencers make a feed together.

This type of live presentation adds energy to a discussion. It takes advantage of the way live video is presented in search results. Additionally, it offers the potential to reach more followers because each influencer’s followers see the live video in their feeds.

Instagram Reels

Like Instagram’s social shopping, Instagram reels is an Instagram trend that began in the past year. Reels are short videos that last 15 to 30 seconds. Reels are mainly for entertainment and are similar to TikTok videos.

Reels can, however, also be used for marketing purposes. Influencers can showcase products and sell directly from the videos. Reels can be used to increase brand awareness, and customers can feel a greater sense of trust after seeing products featured in these videos.


IGTV offers a way to create content that compares to a TV program in length rather than a shorter piece of footage. Creators gain the option to create long-form immersive video content. IGTV posts can be liked, shared and commented on the same as other types of Instagram content.

Mobile video is immensely popular, and it offers an effective way for marketers to share information and stories about products. Additionally, longer videos give audiences more exposure to a marketer’s products and messaging.

Carousel Posts

Instagram carousel posts offer another way to add visual appeal to your Instagram posts. With the carousel function, images scroll past at the viewer’s discretion. Influencers can put up to ten images or videos in each Carousel post. Followers can then click through the images or swipe up to see the next one.

This type of post adds an interactive quality and followers can comment, like or share in addition to clicking or swiping through carousels. For marketing purposes, you can add tags, captions and account information.

Features Within Stories Posts

Influencers can add a number of features to Instagram posts to make them more appealing and interesting to followers. These things can potentially also help an influencer’s posts do better in Instagram’s search algorithm. This in turn can put an influencer’s feed in front of more viewers.

These include things like Q&A stickers and live polls that encourage viewers to interact with posts. Viewers may also be more likely to interact with posts by commenting or sharing with friends after responding to a live poll or Q&A sticker.

Brand Filters

Instagram brand filters enhance the color of your images to help a viewer identify your brand as soon as it comes up in the feed. The filters add special effects and tap into the psychology of color to support your branding efforts. Colors can directly affect people’s emotions. So, colors can affect a viewer’s mood and how viewers feel about your product.

If you want your brand to be soothing, try a cool color filter, like blue or green. To add a sense of vibrancy and excitement to a brand, try a warm color filter, like red or yellow. Some of the popular Instagram filter options to consider include:

  • Clean and crisp
  • Dark and moody
  • Warm and rustic

Authenticity and Transparency

It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that everything you create needs to be perfect to be effective. However, followers appreciate when an influencer is transparent and authentic. The thinking behind this trend is that even when it’s a little messy, authentic is better than fake because it shows you’re real.

Followers can typically identify more with a real person who makes an occasional mistake or who has endearing little flaws. That makes it okay to leave an occasional mistake in a video and laugh at yourself over being less than perfect when it happens.

Celebration of Things That Are Retro

Things that are retro and familiar can be comforting, and posts with a retro flair are another popular trend in 2021 marketing. Creativity, bright colors and retro fonts all add to the effect and are expected to keep trending on Instagram. Colors and styles from the 60s and 70s are popping up in feeds, combining a vintage feel with modern touches.

Filters in the Instagram program make it easy for influencers to add a vintage appearance to images. Marketers can tap into this trend by showcasing products in beautiful images with filters and text that add a retro vibe.

Message and Reaction Stickers

Influencers can create digital stickers in the Instagram editing software. These stickers can become part of a conversation with viewers. Influencers can add prices if the post is an Instagram shop post. Influencers can also use this feature to increase viewer engagement by adding reactions or favorite quotes.