Buckle up, because a lot is about to change on Instagram over the next 12 months.
Creator-inspired content is set to inform how we post, vintage-like features are making a comeback, and we will see more boosted content appearing in our feeds.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Ready to get ahead of the curve? Keep scrolling to learn 10 Instagram marketing trends set to change the game in 2023.
What Are the Biggest Instagram Marketing Trends for 2023?
Here are the 10 biggest Instagram marketing trends you need to know in 2023:
- Bigger Focus On Reels
- Return Of Nostalgic Features
- Creator-inspired Content
- Brand Partnerships and Affiliate Marketing
- UGC Creators
- Video Memes
- New Forms of Content Creation
- Boosted Content
- Live Shopping
- Brand Personalities
Trend #1: Bigger Focus On Reels
Ever since Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, laid down the law and revealed that all video posts would become Reels, the platform’s focused even more on the format.
This comes as no surprise considering Reels are a major discovery and engagement “hack.”
And with fierce competition from both TikTok and YouTube, I expect the platform to continue to prioritize Reels in the new year. As well as reduce the reach of standard image posts.
So, if you want to start incorporating short-form videos into your Instagram content strategy, 2023 is the perfect time.
Trend #2: Return Of Nostalgic Features
Disclaimer: This might seem extreme.
Ever find yourself longing for a simpler time? The days of MSN, MySpace, Facebook circa 2008, and a photo-first Instagram?
Well, Instagram introduced a ton of nostalgic features in 2022 that replicate revered parts of our favourite bygone platforms, including Notes (MSN), music in feed (MySpace), and Group Profiles (Original Facebook).
Which can only mean one thing: photos are going to make a comeback. Yep, you heard that right!
If you look back on 2022 the “Make Instagram Great Again” campaign was launched against the platform (supported by members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan), resulting in a direct response from Adam Mosseri himself:
Ensuring that the platform would stay committed to supporting photos and dial back suggested posts, Mosseri also later shared during an AMA that Instagram isn’t “looking to gut reach for photo-based accounts… I think we’ve rebalanced things.”
So while there’s no denying that the platform will continue to prioritize Reels, you might also see a rebalancing of photos on the horizon.
Trend #3: Creator-inspired Content
When it comes to content ideation, no one does it quite like creators.
They’ve cultivated hyper-engaged communities who interact with their posts, click through their links, and support their business endeavours (hello, the rise of creator-founded brands!).
In short: they’re the trendsetters of Instagram.
And they know exactly how to tell a story, whether it’s via a photo dump or a Reel using a relevant song:
And brands are taking notice. They’re quickly adapting their content to weave in elements of how creators film and edit their clips together:
“Creators have always been at the forefront of trends, but in 2023, we’re going to see more brands draw inspiration from how creators film and post, and then weave that into their content,” notes Later’s Social Media Manager, Christine Colling.
“The brands who succeed will come across as more organic and less promotional — similar to popular creators,” she adds.
So if you’re a brand or business, keep an eye on the creator community! And creators? Keep leading the pack.
Trend #4: Brand Partnerships and Affiliate Marketing
In 2023, show me the money. 💵
I believe that Instagram is going to increase the financial incentives for creators to cash in and turn their passion into a living.
This will make brand partnerships and affiliate marketing on the app much easier for everyone to get involved in with features such as Collabs, the Creator Marketplace, and affiliate tools.
In order to compete with other platforms, Instagram will need to become the go-to destination for creators to connect with brands, showcase the products they love, and earn a commission from the sales they inspire. This will see Instagram compete directly with Youtube, TikTok and other platforms in the battle for the internet’s hottest talents.
And in 2023, Instagram will continue to roll out new and innovative features to support the creator economy.
Trend #5: UGC Creators Rise Up
ICYMI: UGC creators are on the rise!
The hashtag #ugccreator has over 52K posts (and counting) on Instagram.
Why? Because unlike historical UGC (user-generated content) where content is created organically by a brand’s followers, a UGC creator creates content that looks like UGC — but it’s been paid for.
“Since the creator doesn’t have to worry about engaging their own audience, there’s a lot less pressure around growing on the platform. And from the brand perspective, it’s a cost-effective solution to get more content,” shares Later’s Social Content Lead, Lindsay Ashcraft.
So in 2023, I’m hedging my bets that brands will be jumping in on this particular type of creator, and paying for more “authentic” content to drive sales and traffic.
Trend #6: Video Memes
Memes will forever be a recipe for instant success — but in 2023, video memes are where it’s at.
Video memes are just like static memes — something abstract, funny, or cute paired with a relatable sentiment — but in a more dynamic and engaging format.
“Video memes allow for the jokes to go a little deeper and tell more of a story. It also keeps your audience on the post for longer, as they wait for the next piece of relatability,” says Ashcraft.
Trend #7: New Forms of Content Creation
If you want to stay relevant on Instagram in 2023, it’s time to expand your digital identity.
Translation: embrace the platform’s range of futuristic-like content creation functionalities.
Instead of images and video, think more along the lines of AR, 3D posts, Avatars, and why not explore an NFT or two?
“Remember how hesitant brands were to start prioritizing Reels? Now, they’ve become a staple in most social strategies.
The same goes for these new Instagram features. Currently, I’m seeing the voice effect feature on Reels take off. This is “adding a whole new layer to videos,” says Chantal Hermetz, Later’s Social Media Specialist.
“My hot take? Be one of the first to hop on these features before the bandwagon gets too crowded,” she adds.
In 2023, expect the platform to become a space for experimentation, with new ways to connect with your audience. Test, have fun, and see what sticks.
Trend #8: Boosted Content
You know how the saying goes: When in doubt, boost it out!
Since Instagram has decided to scale back some of its e-commerce tools, I think that users will begin to see more brands that will be stepping up their boosted spend in 2023.
So while boosted content isn’t exactly new-year, new-me, it is a surefire way to extend your reach and improve visibility on the app.
The end result? Your content being seen by a wider audience, more engagement, increased conversion — win, win, win.
Trend #9: Live Shopping
Live Shopping isn’t exactly a new feature, but as of late, more users are going live.
And while the platform is allegedly moving away from some of its earlier iterations of shopping features, Live Shopping is here to stay and will continue to grow.
According to a report, live commerce is set to account for upwards of 20% of all e-commerce sales by 2026.
This presents a ton of opportunities for brands and creators to shine!
From product demonstrations to contextual styling tips — it’s like your very own QVC-inspired shopping experience.
The takeaway? Live commerce is about to go mainstream, so don’t be surprised when your Instacart receipts reach new heights in 2023.
Trend #10: Brand Personalities
Gone are the days when Instagram was solely for sharing aesthetically-pleasing pictures. Now, the app is home to something much more impactful: community and conversation.
So what does that mean for brands and creators in 2023? In a nutshell, it means it’s time to bring your personality to the table.
Whether it’s showing up on Instagram Stories, bringing your voice to Instagram captions, or getting creative on camera, it’s all about building a stronger sense of community and encouraging engagement.
The takeaway? As Instagram evolves, so too, should your strategy on the platform!
Instagram is an immersive communication channel, and if you want to succeed in 2023, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, get in front of the red light, and let your personality shine.