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Brands are moving their Instagram strategy away from single photos and videos to newer formats like carousel posts and IGTV, according to data from more than 25,000 accounts by analytics company Conviva.

While just 13% of brand posts on Instagram in 2019 used the carousel format, this has risen steadily to 20% this year and they are now more popular than single video posts. IGTV, which is the platform's longer-form video content, has also grown from 2% in 2019 to 10% this year.

A single photo remain the most common format for brands, but its share is down from 56% in 2019 to 52% in 2021. Single video posts have seen an even steeper decline, dropping from almost a third (29%) in 2019 to 18% this year.

The strategy used varies according to a brand's category, though. Carousel posts are most popular with sports brands, taking a 33% share of their posts this year, while entertainment brands lead the use of IGTV (19% share).

Conviva also finds that carousel posts have the highest Instagram engagement rate across all brand categories, particularly when they include video content. In comparison, IGTV has the lowest engagement rate.

Brands will be aiming to increase their engagement rates on Instagram as social commerce becomes more popular – almost one-tenth (8.9%) of all visits to digital commerce sites come from social media.

Using creators with personalised and aspirational content is also becoming a popular strategy for engaging specific audiences on the platform.