3 Instagram updates to consider when building your content strategy for 2021

Social MediaCategory
7 min read
Maryam Shaheen

Social media platforms became a crucial part of our marketing programs that we need to consider when building our social and content strategy for 2021. And as these networks aim to increase the number of daily active users, content streamed by users and related ads and the revenue generated, they are continuously working to develop new features. These features help to make the user experience irresistible and increase users’ loyalty.

In this article, I will discuss with you 3 Instagram updates you should consider when building your content strategy to increase the growth of your startup.

Coping with the new Instagram updates will give your followers a better experience with your business.

Let’s start!

Instagram: the choice for your content strategy

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. It is the most popular social network worldwide, especially among young adults. It is currently used for shopping, product/service marketing and visual content posting.

Sell your products using Instagram Shopping and check GoDaddy’s A to Z guide to selling on Instagram.

Since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, many updates and new features were added. By 2020, the biggest change so far happened was Reels.

1- Reels:

Instagram reels for your content strategy

In August 2020, Instagram rolled out its Reels offering influencers, brands, and fans alike the opportunity to create short 30-second videos.

The new Reels tab replicates a TikTok - like experience in which you can automatically open a video posted by any public account. This reflects Instagram’s bid to offer creators more exposure and push the short-form video format.

Unlike TikTok where 41% of the audience are aged 16-24, Instagram’s largest demographic group is aged 25-34, making up nearly 34% of Instagram users. Undeniably, Instagram's presence can be felt amongst many age groups and different types of content that vary from dance, cooking demos, makeovers, animal videos and social media challenges!

But, what does this mean for your content strategy?

This year, the goalposts have moved. You may need to reconsider your 2021 Instagram content strategy and start posting more short videos. Some of my suggestions are:

  1. Make a video about ‘Top 10 things to do’ with your product.
  2. Participate in social media challenges where relevant.
  3. Use popular video trends and hashtags to show your brand.
  4. Answer customers’ questions in an FAQ format in a short video with a nice music cover.
  5. Use Instagram stories to engage your company’s fans.

However, while this feature is being made available across 50 countries, including the U.S., India, Brazil, France, Germany, the U.K., and several others, it is still not available in the MENA region. Digital marketing specialists are positive that it will be available soon, so keep it in your plan for your content strategy and check how the following brands are already going viral with Instagram Reels:

For more, you can check the 3 Instagram content ideas guide for winter from GoDaddy.

2- Shop:

Instagram Shop for your content strategy

Instagram Shop gives the user an easier way to connect with brands and creators and discover products they love. It is your chance as a business owner to present what you offer in a creative and new way.

Using Instagram shopping tags, the new shop tab collects all products that already exist. This way, your followers who have strong potential leads can browse products simply by a click.

You can create your own store and add your products, prices, and more.

Why Instagram shops? And what does it help in your content strategy?

Well, you are already including posts about your products in your content strategy, maybe for awareness or to generate more leads, right? Why not make it easier for your potential customers to buy these products?

Now, Instagram made shopping much easier within the app, where the user experience is less complicated than any other e-commerce alternatives.

Therefore, you must include a variety of content options for Instagram in your strategy. Some ideas for what you can do:

  • Sharing shoppable Instagram Stories: use the Product Sticker Feature.
  • Sharing shoppable Instagram Live Videos: use the Product Sticker Feature.
  • Sharing shoppable Posts: tag your products in your Instagram posts.
  • Using Hashtags to gain exposure.
  • Adding your Product Catalog to your Facebook shop too.
  • Tagging multiple products in a single post.
  • Running Instagram Shopping Ads.

Many brands are already using this feature and already have great exposure to customers, such as:
Huawei Arabia: 

Instagram Shop Huawei Arabia

IKEA Saudi Arabia:

Instagram Shop IKEA Saudi Arabia

Sephora Middle East: 

Instagram Shop Sephora Middle East

If you are still not sure about using the Instagram shop, check the following facts:

  • 50% of Instagrammers follow at least one business.
  • Instagram helps 80% of Instagrammers decide whether to buy a product or a service.
  • Instagram users spend an average of 53 minutes per day.

Related articles: 5 tips to use Instagram for Business in 2020

3- Guides:

Instagram Guides for your content strategy

Instagram Guides are the new visual-written content. It allows creators to share tips, resources and other longer-form content in a dedicated tab on their user-profiles. Additionally, it provides followers with the ability to view content with a magazine-like experience.

This feature represents a new content type on Instagram that will be used in a variety of forms by users for many reasons and goals.

For now, there are three main types of guides that you can use:

  • Places Guides: you can add any place by searching in Instagram places tags and then choosing public posts that have been posted and tagged this specific place.

Or, from your public posts, search places and posts that are also tagged to a specific place and add text, titles and more.

This type of Guides is particularly suitable for public figures, restaurant reviewers, travel blogs or trip guides.

Travel bloggers can now talk about their memories, trips and adventures by attaching pictures from their posts.

  • Product Guides: you can add any product from any shop that offers products on the Instagram shop!

As a business, the Product Guides can help you in:

  • Marketing your product where anyone can add your product to their guides, talk about it and about their experience with it.
  • Making product tutorials and talking about how to use the products, how to most benefit from them and share some tips.
  • Creating a menu for your restaurant.
  • Posts Guides: you can now build a guide from your existing public posts or other public accounts’ posts that you saved from your favorite accounts on Instagram.

This feature will allow you to gather more than one post in a guide and speak about them as a group, as well as give a summary. You can check the guide I built on my Instagram account to talk about Apple’s last conference and the announcements around it.

What’s special about the guides is that they are aimed to give you a way to post longer-form content that’s not just a photo or video. It can also be shared across Stories and in Direct Messages, expanding their reach even further.

Also, when users press on the pictures inside the guide, they will be directly moved to the original post, which means more reach, impressions and engagement on your posts! This is a key element that you must add to your content strategy.

Related articles: Content marketing tools to boost your business

Summing up

Instagram has proven to be a powerful marketing tool for businesses that are looking to expand both their visibility and reach. Remember: your content strategy should include all relevant social media channels for better exposure.

In this article, I covered Instagram updates that you should consider while building your content strategy. I mentioned some examples and advice on how to use these updates and make creative content out of them.

If you’re keen to see more examples, you can always search for more on how businesses are coping with these features and gaining benefits from them. And don't hesitate to contact me for any further consultations.