Instagram has changed its algorithm to give video content more weight. If video is your thing, that’s great news! If not, you may want to branch out a little.
This update will impact anyone using the platform for marketing, including influencers – and brands collaborating with influencers.
So, should you change your approach or is it business as usual? Read on as we discuss what’s changed with Instagram’s algorithm and how it will impact you.
What’s happening to Instagram?
If you’re an adept social media user, you might have realised that there’s something weird going on with Instagram in the past few weeks. Suddenly, your feed is being flooded with short videos and Instagram reels – even if you usually favour image-based posts instead of videos. Some Instagram users will love this, some others – including Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner – will not.
Whether you like it or not, these TikTok-like videos have become inescapable. If you don’t believe us, head to your Explore tab on Instagram. What’s the video-to-image ratio? Exactly. And do you even follow most of those accounts? Probably not. But why is it happening? Has your phone has gone crazy after so much scrolling through banana bread recipes and pictures of breakfasts?
Not really. It’s simply that Instagram has made major adjustments to its algorithm – again. In a nutshell, the Meta-owned social media platform has recently doubled down on short videos and Instagram reels.
Discovering the algorithm…
As usual, Instagram tested its algorithm without making any sort of public statement. It was only once the general public – and the Kardashians – pressed Meta to explain what was going on, that they addressed the public. In a short video, the head of the platform Adam Mosseri explained that the main aim of the latest Instagram algorithm is to give more emphasis to recommendations and full-screen experiences.
Another plausible explanation is that Instagram is trying to become more like TikTok in order to take up more market share. Whatever the cause is, it’s clear that the new Instagram algorithm will have long-lasting repercussions for influencer marketing and Instagram advertising in general. So, what are you supposed to do with your Instagram campaigns now that the rules of the game have changed? Let’s have a look.
How will it impact marketing?
Unfortunately, no one will be able to really gauge the impact of the new Instagram algorithm until a few months have passed. This is because the vast majority social media agencies haven’t had a chance to adapt to the new algorithm yet. That being said, it’s not hard to imagine what the consequences of the latest Instagram algorithm could be.
But enough diagnosing. In the social media world, both creators and agencies must adapt or die. Just because Instagram has changed the rules, that doesn’t mean we have to stop playing the game. With that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into the different ways in which the new algorithm will impact Instagram marketing.
Not unlike TikTok videos, Instagram Reels are short-form videos that feature engaging and entertaining content. This feature launched only two years ago, but it has already taken over Instagram – to the extent that Meta has re-programmed its entire algorithm to prioritise it.
In the next few years, we will most likely see more and more brands making use of Instagram Reels to promote their products. It’s not hard to see why. Because they’re so short, Reels rely on immediate recognition of a brand or personality to catch the viewer’s attention. And that’s where influencer marketing really excels. In your viewers’ minds, your product will be immediately paired with your chosen influencer – meaning your chances of increasing brand awareness will rise significantly.
Targeting the Explore tab
The Explore tab on Instagram is designed to help people find new things they’ll be interested in. It suggests content based on a user’s likes, saves and shares, showing relevant images and videos that correspond, based on the platform’s own analysis.
While it’s not a direct result of Instagram’s latest algorithm, the Explore page is becoming more and more popular. It’s used by 50% of Instagram accounts, which could grow even further with the new video focus.
To increase your chances of appearing on the Explore page, you can:
- Get involved with trends
- Make content about hot topics
- Use hashtags strategically
Creativity will pay off
There’s no doubt about it – videos require a little more creativity than images. The new focus on Instagram short videos means a bit more time and effort will be required from both influencers and brands to get content right – and get it seen.
Interestingly, this might require more creative freedom being passed from the brand to the influencer. Engagement rates on TikTok have been found to be higher for influencers compared to brands. Quite simply, influencers know what their audience wants. Too much involvement from the brand could affect how well the post performs – and reduce the return on investment as a result.
Adapting to the new Instagram algorithm
As is often the case with algorithm changes, the impact may not be as catastrophic as the initial reaction – especially that of the Kardashians. However, it’s always a good idea to prepare and adapt to the changes early doors. What is currently a small tweak could become a major shift as more algorithm changes put even more focus on video.
For brands looking to promote their products or services through influencer marketing, it’s well worth considering those who make short videos on Instagram instead of (or as well as) images. That said, you might find that the influencers themselves are making that shift already – after all, these are social media savvy people that are always on the ball.
Need a hand with Instagram marketing?
If the latest Instagram algorithm update has got your head spin, it might be time to get a little help with social media marketing. As a specialist social media and influencer marketing agency with heaps of expertise in Instagram advertising, Hoopla can provide the insight and strategy you need to succeed. Most importantly, we can help you navigate all the new Instagram algorithm updates as they’re introduced – and stay on top of your game.
To talk more about your Instagram marketing and influencer campaigns and how we can help, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 731 0048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.