Do The Upcoming Changes to Instagram Signal the Demise of Still Images in Digital Marketing?
Not long ago, Instagram was referred to as photographers’ ultimate social media platform. It started out as a pictographic platform that photographers quickly swarmed, and soon after, people discovered it was an excellent platform for engaging with potential clients. So, everyone from your friendly neighbourhood kebab shop to high-end luxury brands and aspiring actors start sharing photos on Instagram; at that time, it was a great digital marketing strategy. However, like everything else, Instagram’s algorithm is shifting or, as they like to call it “evolving.”
Over the past couple of months, Instagram has started to favour video over traditional still images. In fact, most feeds show fewer still images than they did before because videos take up much more real estate. So, the question is this: what does it mean for your digital marketing campaign? Will the latest move by Instagram stop your campaign in its tracks?
The good news is that this is a good thing and allows us to highlight why in this article.
People Now Increasingly Favor Short Clips
If there is one thing TikTok has proven since its launch, it is that short format videos aren’t a fad. Many businesses are successfully leveraging short video platforms like TikTok to get attention. However, in the grand scheme of things they are only perhaps 5% of companies using TikTok as part of their digital marketing efforts. The reason for this is that does not have many mature people, and so it’s just littered with broke youngsters looking to get their dopamine hit during a lunch break at school or when they are in between jobs.
Instagram has seen the attention the short video format is getting and wants the same for itself. The difference is that Instagram has a more mature audience, often an audience that buys luxury products and eats expensive food.
While we think Instagram can’t become a second TikTok, for businesses, they can become a better version with far more mature people, and that, folks, is where the advantage is at for those who cash in on this trend early.
Instagram’s slow move to short format videos means that businesses like yours have the opportunity to evolve with the platform. Consider that most people will look at a still image for 3 seconds but spend 30 seconds watching a video! So, your business and its products get more attention.
Below are a few things your business can do to continue receiving attention on Instagram.
Consistently Create and Publish Reels
One of the best ways to work with Instagram’s algorithm in 2022 is to focus on creating and publishing reels. Your reels can be entertaining, educational, or something that people find beautiful. This all boils down to what type of business you own or the products you’re trying to push.
Consider the value you can deliver in a short 15-second video. While Reels are arguably short, they are still longer than a still image. A good reel keeps those watching hooked for 15 seconds and tells your story. High-quality, entertaining reels have people watching it multiple times, racking up hours in watch time.
We advise that you publish Reels at least 5x times a week. The idea is to be consistent with posting quality content.
Stay On Top of Trends
You will also want to continue creating trendy content. Instagram’s algorithm loves this type of content. So, each time there is a new Instagram trend, IG users are almost always consuming it.
If you can recreate those trends, maybe putting your unique spin on it, the algorithm will take your content and shoot it to everyone who has engaged with similar trending content. Your only job is to ensure your branding or product is visible.
We have seen trends get thousands of eyeballs when done right in a matter of hours.
Make Your Stories Fun
It is imperative to get your audience involved in the experience and, for instance, run funny gifs, post polls, and stickers.
We’ve also seen videos in Instagram stories do very well as of late. So, maybe think about posting a few videos a week.
Using Hashtags Wisely
It should be said that hashtags aren’t a surefire way of getting noticed, at least not how they were many years ago. It would help if you didn’t exclusively rely on them for reach.
If your content isn’t good, even the best use of hashtags will yield nothing. Think of hashtags as a tool that can be used as part of your Instagram growth strategy.
Your Content Should Be Shareable
This means your content should be easy to share across several platforms. For instance, if you are creating Reels, that content can also be posted on TikTok. This will help expand your reach considerably.
Are Still Images Dead?
On Instagram, there will always be a place for still images. However, platforms evolve, and social media platforms evolve to suit the wishes of people who use them. The goal of social media is to keep people hooked, which is why Instagram is now switching to short format videos.
If you are going to post photos, we’d advise that you post carousels and not just one photo. This will ensure that people spend more time marveling at your post, and Instagram’s algorithm prefers those posts. The idea is to keep people engaged; the better you do that through carousels and short format videos, the more your stuff will be shown to more people. This will help extend your brand’s influence further.
If you are too busy to be consistent on Instagram, hire a social media team to handle it for you. Most social media companies can come up with ideas and automatically post without much input from you. This means your social media presence grows on autopilot.
I would re-phrase this sentence as it sounds a bit harsh towards young people! Maybe ‘The reason for this is that Tik Tok has not yet captured the 25+ demographic in a global way yet; it tends to be populated by younger people looking for light and fun content to enjoy during a lunch break or when they are between jobs’