Instagram is constantly changing, updating, and adding new features or improving and altering its algorithm, so it can be difficult to stay up to date.
As a business owner or content creator, it can be challenging to not just stay abreast of the changes but to then understand how these changes can be used effectively in a marketing context.
Here, we discuss some recent Instagram updates and how they can help your marketing reach.
If you have spent time learning or working with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), keywords are something you would be familiar with.
For those who haven’t, SEO keywords are words or phrases that relate to your business or industry, used to optimise your rankings in search engines.
To give you an example, some core keywords or phrases for Stead Lane are:
Previously, Instagram strongly prioritised hashtags in their algorithm. However, the platform has slowly moved away from this and now offers the ability to look up keywords in the search bar. Accounts with these keywords or phrases in their account name, bios, or posts will appear for relevant searches.
If you haven’t yet, now is the time to revisit the fundamentals of your Instagram profile.
Whilst it isn’t that simple to update your brand’s name or @handle (unless you are planning to rebrand!), you most definitely can tweak your bio and start to adjust your copy within posts.
Try to incorporate more keywords and phrases that users would search to find businesses like yours. You can take inspiration from your current SEO strategies, or if you don’t have one, reach out to speak with our Digital Strategy Team.
This is a great opportunity for businesses to create quality, relevant and thought-out captions to take advantage of the algorithm. Whilst hashtags are still a useful feature on Instagram, this change allows you to curate your top hashtags to ensure relevancy and greater cut-through.
Instagram has steadily changed its algorithm to prioritise and boost video content. With the introduction of IGTV and more recently, Reels, the algorithm and explore structure have been favouring creators who regularly post this type of content.
Creators have noted more longevity and views and reach when posting reels and IGTV videos, with or without hashtags. Reels are especially being pushed by Instagram’s algorithm, making them one of the most important types of content to be creating as part of your content strategy.
In general, video content can be a great way to engage with your audience and sell your products or services.
Make sure to adjust content depending on which form you choose. Reels need to be short and snappy (60 seconds maximum) whilst IGTV can be longer and more in-depth.
Businesses can be reluctant in creating video content. However, Reels are geared for more informal and casual content creation. It can be shot on a phone and as long as the footage isn’t shaky, you are good to go!
Guides are a new function that has quietly been introduced to Instagram. This is the platform’s answer to competing with blogs. Guides are written posts where you can create longer written work and establish a deeper understanding of topics.
You asked for it and it’s happening. We’re expanding our Guides feature – meaning you can now curate and share products, places and posts you love no matter where you are. pic.twitter.com/hupLQOKzKn— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) November 17, 2020
Guides are separated into 3 categories:
For each type, you select the posts you want to use and Instagram will generate a structure for you. Guides are a great way of reusing or keeping older content more relevant. As this feature becomes more widely utilised, users can look for your guides as a go-to resource for information about your company, products, services, or expertise.
Integrating these new features into your content creation will help to increase your reach and views on Instagram.
As with all social channels, Instagram is ever-evolving and it’s important to stay updated to take advantage of its algorithm. We know this can be a lot, especially when you are also working on your business.
As part of our digital services, Stead Lane offers social media strategy, monitoring, and content creation. We can use our expert knowledge to bring your goals to fruition. Let's chat!
No matter what changes you make to your website, your SEO, paid advertising or social media, you need to be willing to adapt to how your audience is responding to these changes. The best way to follow these responses is by tracking your performance through an abundance of different tools.
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