4 Striking Ways Brands Can Increase Visibility In Instagram’s New Feed

Want to increase con­sumer inter­est and engage­ment on Insta­gram? Fol­low these four best prac­tices to ensure your Insta­gram con­tent stands out.

Ali Tajsekandar By Ali Tajsekandar from Wishpond. Join the discussion » 2 comments

Insta­gram recent­ly announced they are test­ing a new algo­rithm for their time­line that will change the way users expe­ri­ence the plat­form. Insta­gram will move (much like Face­book has) from a chrono­log­i­cal pho­to feed to one that pri­or­i­tizes con­tent. This news has struck fear into brands that, until now, have had an easy time reach­ing audi­ences through their Insta­gram posts.

Brands are legit­i­mate­ly con­cerned that Insta­gram’s new algo­rithm will result in less con­tent reach­ing con­sumers and that a dip in organ­ic reach will force them to acti­vate paid con­tent to com­pen­sate for the loss. How­ev­er, this isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly the doom and gloom many brands are mak­ing it out to be. There are some best prac­tices that a brand can take to ensure their Insta­gram con­tent stands out now – and when­ev­er the new changes roll out.

1. Content Is Still King

Because Instagram’s changes are sim­i­lar in nature to how Face­book adjust­ed their News Feed a cou­ple years ago, we have the ben­e­fit of hind­sight in how exact­ly these changes will affect a brand’s expo­sure. What we’ve learned is that the old adage of “Con­tent is King” is still very much applic­a­ble to a brand’s engage­ment and pres­ence on social. Instagram’s algo­rithm isn’t being planned to pun­ish brands. Its very nature is ask­ing brands to pro­duce high qual­i­ty con­tent that, if suc­cess­ful, may reach an even larg­er demo­graph­ic of view­ers than a tra­di­tion­al chrono­log­i­cal time­line. By pro­duc­ing well-received con­tent, your cur­rent fan­base will con­tin­ue to like, com­ment on, and share your posts, sig­nal­ing to Insta­gram that this con­tent is worth shar­ing at an even high­er vol­ume. Ulti­mate­ly, this ensures that the 30 per­cent of brand con­tent a con­sumer does see is the best 30 per­cent pos­si­ble. One brand that has con­sis­tent­ly proven they under­stand this con­cept is Ben & Jerry’s. While the brand is eas­i­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ed through the con­tent pro­vid­ed, no post is ever the same and the per­sona is casu­al, fun, and fresh. Ben & Jer­ry’s have gen­uine­ly fun­ny cap­tions and cre­ative posts that make you want to keep scrolling through their feed; and they stay true to their Ver­mont roots and con­stant­ly show­case the beau­ty of their state and part­ner with caus­es that suit their tar­get audi­ence. Most impor­tant­ly, they draw on user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent to show­case the strength of their con­sumer base from around the globe.

2. Build A Community Through Contesting

Instagram’s new algo­rithm will like­ly increase the suc­cess to be had with con­tests and pro­mo­tions. The new algo­rithm will ben­e­fit engaged con­tent, so run­ning con­tests, which fea­ture unique hash­tags and user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent will boost the over­all per­for­mance of these cam­paigns. User-gen­er­at­ed con­tent also pro­vides a workaround for the algo­rithm: by hav­ing users post brand asso­ci­at­ed con­tent and repost­ing that con­tent on your own brand chan­nels you’re expos­ing that con­tent to two unique pho­to streams and organ­i­cal­ly dri­ving likes and shares. One busi­ness that under­stands the pow­er on Insta­gram con­tests is Wed­ding Wire. The com­pa­ny fre­quent­ly asks their fol­low­ers to enter hash­tag-dri­ven cam­paigns that also offer the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enter through user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent. Wed­ding Wire then reposts that con­tent on their own account, build­ing a brand per­sona around their com­mu­ni­ty and organ­i­cal­ly rais­ing the inter­est and engage­ment in the con­test.

3. Bite The Bullet & Pay Up

It is extreme­ly like­ly that organ­ic post reach on Insta­gram will drop. While high qual­i­ty posts will keep your fans engaged and con­test­ing will draw in new users, paid posts will become even more rel­e­vant in this new land­scape. You’ll need to design paid posts cam­paigns that will help you reach your ulti­mate goal. Paid con­tent should direct view­ers to opti­mized cam­paign pages, where brands can track the engage­ment of this con­tent and hope­ful­ly gen­er­ate a new cus­tomer either through an ecom­merce expe­ri­ence or an in-store pur­chase.

4. Analyze The Results

Track­ing how well your con­tent per­forms and the rate of your fol­low­er growth and engage­ment will allow you to adapt your Insta­gram mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy over time. This will be vital when it comes time to devel­op­ing future cam­paigns and track­ing how Instagram’s changes affect your over­all growth and engage­ment. Met­rics such as over­all fol­low­er count and growth, hash­tag men­tions, and exter­nal link redi­rects can be valu­able in under­stand­ing fol­low­er behav­ior. You can also use post per­for­mance data to under­stand oth­er fac­tors, such as the best time of day for your audi­ence engage­ment. Keep­ing a record of your brand’s Instagram’s per­for­mance will high­light the most promis­ing con­tent, which will allow you to post more con­tent of that nature, there­by increas­ing post per­for­mance and like­ly post vis­i­bil­i­ty in the new Insta­gram land­scape.

Key Takeaway

Yes, the change to Instagram’s feed will affect how brands show­case them­selves on the plat­form. But it isn’t the end of the world. Just like Face­book before, brands will have to refo­cus their efforts on Insta­gram and make a more con­cen­trat­ed effort at show­cas­ing the best con­tent they have to offer.

Ali Tajsekandar

Written by Ali Tajsekandar

Founder & CEO, Wishpond

Ali Tajsekandar is the Founder and CEO of Wishpond, a startup in Vancouver, BC. Wishpond's marketing platform incorporates lead generation software with marketing automation into one easy-to-use complete marketing suite.

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