It’s been a long time coming, but Instagram is finally catching up with social media industry trends. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri already announced at the beginning of the year that the social media platform’s priorities in 2022 will shift, with a heavy focus on video, messaging, creators and monetization, and increased transparency. If your business depends on Instagram for sales, lead generation, or brand awareness, then don’t roll your eyes just yet. A simple shift in your Instagram strategy might just help you take advantage of these changes.
What? No More Photographs?
Instagram is updating its algorithm to focus more on video and go head-to-head with TikTok. Does that mean that Instagram is no longer an image-sharing app? Far from it. But the time of gaining a considerable following with low-quality snapshots is long gone, if it were ever here. Now would be the right time to up your photo quality. Instagram users are getting increasingly choosy about what they like or share. So, it’s important to create eye-catching content with a good story, pixel-perfect composition, and bold color. If your industry or niche doesn’t translate well to photographs, then think of creative ways and unique angles to make the format work for you. A one-time consulting with a digital marketing agency could do wonders here.
Be that as it may, you are going to want to invest less in photos and more in video, if you want to appease the algorithm gods. Engagement is at its highest on video-based posts.
Create More High-Quality and Engaging Video Content
Instagram is about to retire IGTV, but you should definitely shift your focus to Instagram Live, and Reels for your video efforts. Similar to TikTok, Instagram reels are video clips up to 60 seconds long. The way to make your Instagram Reels stand out is by adding production value. Edit multiple clips together and add music, sound effects, and motion graphics to create content users will want to see from the beginning until the end. Make sure your content is relatable, no salesy. It’s all about the viewer’s experience first. Don’t forget they come for information and entertainment, not necessarily to spend their money.
Post During Peak Hours
The algorithm updates also empower content creators and their connection with users and followers. In other words, Instagram wants to put the social back in social media. So, the classic rules of engagement are still valid. Post during peak hours. Knowing when your personal target audience is active and general peak hour information is key here. Google search “best times to post on Instagram” for your location. Fine-tune this strategy by checking your analytics and seeing when your audience is online and at what times you get the best engagement. Test this by posting a few times at different hours and on different days and see which posts yield the best results. Post regularly. Use hashtags. But above all, engage with your followers. React to their comments or posts, share Instagram stories with question stickers, emoji sliders, or polls. Ask questions and encourage your followers to comment. Messaging is one of the four priorities in Instagram’s 2022 strategy, so we can expect increased functionality to engage with followers, soon. Keep your eyes peeled!