Instagram is prioritizing video content. What does that mean for you?

In a world where attention is becoming increasingly commoditized, everyone (and every business) is fighting for more screen time.

Amazon is dominating the search engines. Google is inserting banners everywhere they can. Facebook is encouraging clickbait-y headlines. And then there’s Instagram.

For a while, Instagram was the platform that took wanna-be bloggers to influencers. All they had to do was post decent-looking pictures at the right time. But then the algorithm changed.

Then engagement took priority, which meant those same bloggers or influencers had to prioritize engaging content in order to get traffic. And the algorithm changed again, and again, and again.

This summer, Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) shared some insight into how “The Algorithm” works and, most notably, that video content will now be prioritized on the popular platform.

As you can imagine, this did not go over well with creators and small businesses who already feel like they are fighting for screen time on the platform.

Why is video content so important to Instagram?

It can feel a bit David-versus-Goliath if you are a small business just trying to keep up with your small-budget marketing strategy. But what I want you to keep in mind is that these ‘omnipotent’ algorithms are simply responding to audience demands.

In 2017, Newswhip was already reporting that video content engagement was outdoing image posts. Now in 2021 with the emergence of TikTok and other apps & platforms, we know video is going to dominate the social media landscape.

How can you make Instagram work for your business now?

Just because Instagram is changing its algorithm doesn’t mean your marketing strategy is complete garbage! The goal of Instagram has always been (and will continue to be) to build a platform with a great user experience.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind if you want to continue including Instagram in your business marketing strategy.

1. Audience engagement is as important as ever

Ultimately, the goal of Instagram (and social media platforms in general) is to keep users coming back as often as possible so that they can feed users paid ads. Paid ads are what keep these apps free.

You can choose to focus entirely on video or continue to publish mostly images with a couple of video posts per month. The most important thing is that you are creating content that users will engage with and follow because the activity tells Instagram your account is worth promoting.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with video

The fun thing about social media nowadays is that there are so many ways to create content! Your images can be landscape or portrait. You can have a carousel of posts that tell a story or share a collection.

Similarly, there are many options available with Instagram videos (for your feed, Reels, or IGTV). Your content can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 15 minutes long. You can use voiceovers or royalty-free music. Play with the features and find out what works best for your business & audience!

3. Remember the end goal for business

Sometimes we get so caught up in the ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ that we forget about the ultimate goal of social media. As a small business, it’s important to keep in mind that ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ won’t pay your bills. Converting that traffic into sales will!

The purpose of Instagram and any social media platform is to provide your small business with an audience that will eventually turn into paying customers. If you aren’t making sales from your Instagram traffic, then perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your marketing strategy.

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Brilliant Marketing is a digital marketing agency that helps small businesses elevate their online presence and ultimately, become more profitable.