2016 Instagram Trends & Advertising – Looking Back and Moving Forward


If you are using Instagram for your business seriously, you know that there is a lot to keep up on in the ever-changing field of social media marketing, specifically on Instagram. And, even though it seems all the rage is on Snapchat, the fact remains that marketing on Instagram is one of the best ways to reach millions of users – users that are engaged with your brand.

In this post, we will dig into the most popular trends on Instagram so far this 2016, as well as what role Instagram advertising can have in your business.

Let’s dig in.

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Instagram Trends

What are Instagram Trends?

According to Sprout Social, Instagram Trends are highly popular editing, photography, color and content styles that swing or progress in short periods of time. Trends that have been popular in the past have been:

  • Airplane views
  • Angel Wings
  • Inflatables
  • Doughnuts
  • Ice cream cones

These trends can come and go as fast as they arrived.

Why is knowing current trends on Instagram important? If you are in business, you are trying to reach your target customer. By knowing trends, you can use them yourself on your Instagram page to attract followers. Being aware of them means you have insight into what people are looking for on Instagram.

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Finding Instagram Trends

You can easily find the current trends on Instagram by doing a little research. You are able to search people, places and hashtags to find new content. Check your favorite brands, celebrities or leaders in your niche market. View their posts. What type of images are they posting? What hashtags are they using? This is a good place to start. If you can find the most popular hashtags on Instagram today, you can insert yourself in the most popular places on Instagram, and GET NOTICED.

Below we will outline some of the current types of content trending on Instagram so far:


Instagram Stories – In our last post, we highlighted the new feature, Instagram Stories. As you may have heard or checked out for yourself, Instagram Stories are pretty much the same as Snapchat. Social media is moving more and more toward experiencing small moments in real time. Instagram stories opens up tons of possibilities for businesses to engage with their audience. A few of those ideas can be found in our post.




Boomerang App – Speaking of moments, Instagram also has their own app called Boomerang which records 1-second clips and loops it. As you may be reading, marketing is trending toward video, and live video, so short video clips are more interesting to viewers, and most importantly not too complicated and hard to digest. Boomerang is a creative way to show beautiful pictures and videos of your brand and company.




GIFs on Instagram – Much like the Boomerang app, GIFs and live photos create short, seconds long videos, that serve up interesting and unique content to your Instagram feed. 2016 is fastly becoming the year of moving photos.




Instagram Feed Themes – Another trend that businesses are using is to create a common theme among their posts. This means that your images and videos follow a similar theme and/or repetition throughout your Instagram profile. You can do this by creating a common color palette or style, and/or share a “story” on your Instagram. As always, using great images will attract a wider Instagram audience.




Integrating Instagram on Your Website – Another trend businesses are following is using Instagram as their entire website, or part of it. Some businesses are using Instagram as their sole website, with a link in their bio with information to purchase. At GoIMU.com, we include our Instagram feed on our homepage, and encourage our website visitors to follow us. On our Instagram accounts, we post images that reflect our brand, and point our viewers to a link in Bio that offers our latest free guide or resource.





Slowly Instagram is catching up to Facebook’s status as a prime advertising channel. While catching up with Facebook’s 1.55 BILLION users will be a tough feat, Instagram sure is giving it an amazing effort – reaching 500 million active users this year. In February of this year, Instagram reached 200,000 advertisers on their platform. (source: www.marketingcloud.com) Instagram will eventually catch up to Facebook and Twitter in the social media advertising space. In the coming year, the percentage of companies on Instagram is expected to jump from 32 to 48 percent. By 2017, eMarkter predicts that Instagram will surpass Twitter.


Using Instagram properly for your business ultimately means you will have better reach, thus growing a highly targeted audience. People love Instagram – if you serve them pleasing images that they enjoy looking up, hopefully you will be lucky enough to gain followers and have them share your content.


Image: Techbleach.com

The most important things you should remember when considering using Instagram ads is the latest changes the social giant has made. The first change this year is that Instagram has updated their algorithm to be like Facebook. Instead of displaying posts in chronological order, Instagram is now dictated by Facebook-esque algorithms which track Instagram user’s behaviors and prioritize posts based on how those users interact with other users and posts.

As a business, (and an advertiser) this means that your daily content needs to be of more quality, than quantity. In addition, this means Instagram ads may become a necessity for your reach on Instagram to stay afloat. No matter what trend “bandwagon” you want to jump on, it’s important to know and stay up to date on what your audience is doing on Instagram. If you follow these trends closely, you will stay in front of your audience. This only can mean good things for you and your business.

Do you have any favorite Instagram trends this year? Let us know.


Intentional Marketer University (IMU) is a professional home business online marketing institution where home business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers get help on subjects such as: Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Creation, and Leads to Sales Conversions.

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