When creating videos and marketing your brand or content on Instagram, there are several things you’ll need to know. Obviously, you’ll want to understand the community standards and how to use the platform effectively. You’ll also need to have general knowledge of algorithms and what kind of content works for your audience. Beyond those basics, though, take some time regularly to learn what changes are coming down the line and what other Instagram creators are doing. While you shouldn’t copy other creators, it’s important to produce content that will have a place in the current trends. Here are a few things you can prepare for in 2022 to help drive your success on Instagram.

Creator trends for content and format

In addition to the increased availability of cool features like augmented reality (AR), there will still be a strong demand for short-form videos. Instagram’s 2022 trend report even indicates 1 in 3 users in the teen demographic are “excited to see more dance challenges in 2022.” Brands that participate in these challenges will have increased engagement with this young audience. Since TikTok is the OG of dance videos, you might start there to find the most popular songs that creators are using right now. Then, kick off your own dance challenge to expand your base.

As a stark contrast to dance challenges, we expect social justice and activist content to continue its strong rise. Younger generations are increasingly contributing to campaigns that matter to them. Instagram’s massive reach helps to spread awareness for important causes. If your brand is connected to politics, justice, charity or non-profit organizations, this year will be an excellent time to connect with activist creators.

More ways to monetize

With tools like Subscriptions, users have more ways to monetize.

Today, the world has settled into shopping from home. In 2022, in-app shopping will continue to surge. Brands that sell products in-app will see increased sales – particularly with Gen Z audiences. If you have a product line or fandom swag available, enable shopability and start making more money on Instagram. If you don’t have merch yet, this is probably the best year to start selling some.

Also, subscriptions are being tested with a small number of creators. They will set their own prices and have a clickable subscribe button for followers. This sounds like a game-changer for the entertainment segment and it will probably take off quickly. Watch for this to open up in 2022 and be ready to launch your own subscription-based extra content.

With tools like Subscriptions, users have more ways to monetize.

Big wins: sponsorships, partnerships and collabs 

We can’t ignore the massive success creators have experienced through collaborating with other creators and brands on Instagram. You shouldn’t ignore it either. In 2022, more avenues will open up to make collabs, sponsorships and partnerships easier than ever. For example, Instagram has already created a space designed to connect brands with creators. A new affiliate plan is rolling out to help creators earn income on whatever they promote, as well as “Support Small Business” stickers for your content.

Here are some big hitters and brands they’ve worked with:

  • Zach King (24.5 million followers)
    • Chipotle, BMW, Kind
  • Lele Pons (47.2 million followers)
    • EyeBuyDirect, Tarte Cosmetics
  • Manny Gutierrez (4 million followers)
    • Target, Sephora, Boxycharm, She Glam
  • Bretman Rock (18.1 million followers)
    • Michael Kors, EA Sports, Klarna, Crocs
Bret Rockman in black and white suit with black and white Crocs shoes
Bretman Rock’s posts include a tag for the sponsor and the photographer he collaborated with.

Nano creators will take the cake

Nano creators with smaller audiences of around 1,000-10,000 followers can interact personally with their fanbase. It creates incredible engagement rates, often 10 percent or more. These followers are highly loyal and more likely to make bigger, more frequent purchases based on the creator’s advice and recommendations. The cost of a single sponsored post with a high-profile celebrity would pay for dozens of collaborations with nano creators. Small, personal marketing is shaping up to be an effective strategy for big businesses. This should open many interesting opportunities for niche creators at the nano level. For example, Dunkin Donuts leveraged nano creators in their recent rebranding campaign to draw in younger consumers. About 25 posts in the campaign reached over a million followers and received fantastic engagement levels.

The ever-changing algorithm will keep you on your toes

One thing that’s always consistent about Instagram is that it’s constantly changing. Creators need to be adaptable, especially in 2022. We’ll likely see the decline of organic traffic continue to drop in the coming year. Boosting posts, targeting audiences and tracking impacts will be even more necessary. If you’re not well-versed in these areas, we suggest you dive in. You’ll notice other changes that you can leverage to your benefit too. With the return of chronological feeds, options for Favorites, collaborative albums or interactive engagement, you will definitely see many changes this year. All you have to do is figure out which 2022 trends and updates you can benefit most from and run with them.