Worth sharing. It’s our mantra and the core of what we do. We think this is a conversation worth sharing. In the last few months, our team has recognized a shift in performance across organic Instagram content and brands, agencies and creators are all talking about it.
What we are Seeing:
Across various industries, we are recognizing a trending shift and decrease in content exposure, (aka reach, impressions and engagement) as a result of the Instagram algorithm update. Some of our brands are recognizing that a very small amount of a creator’s audience is actually seeing the creator’s content. (Everybody take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay…). Although brands and creators haven’t shifted their copy, content or hashtag strategies, they are recognizing that performance is shifting and the Instagram algorithm update sure is messing with their jam (reminder: with change, comes opportunity).
There’s various theories and rumors about what this Instagram algorithm change means for brands and how you can defeat the algorithm. Most notably, various graphics have surfaced around on social media declaring that organic feed post content on Instagram exposure is directly related to (in this order) post saves, sending a post in a DM, commenting and liking. I know what you are thinking… seriously?! We have heard that experts are recommending that to compete with the algo, brands and creators should post 3-4 reels, 1 in feed post, 1 in feed video, IG TV, go live and do stories….oh, and that’s just for one week.
What this Means For You:
- The days of “likes” and “follower count” as the primary measure for success were already waning and now this was their last hurrah. Also, gone are the days of just one single feed post doing the job. Let’s push the boundaries here and test out content on feed, stories, reels, live, IGTV, etc. While Instagram currently has very few performance metrics available for these new features, we hope to see them soon.
- Continue to evaluate campaign performance from a holistic perspective. Identify methods for measuring performance that drive conversions. (psttt we have tools for custom tracking!)
- Creators and brands need to experiment with different content formats. Specifically Reels, Instagram live, Instagram Guides and IGTV will continue to be pivotal in leveraging content on Instagram.
- Now more than ever it’s important to utilize tools (casual flex on our first-party data API integration and analytics tools) to learn more about the audience, cadence, and authenticity of creators when identifying the right partners for your brand.
What we Recommend:
- Revisit your goals: This sounds like a no-brainer, but we recommend revisiting your goals for your brand, and how your campaigns all ladder up to that goal. Revisit and reset your strategy based on the audience and desired goals of each platform, then build relevant KPIs to measure and track success.
- Test and optimize your content across platforms: This is a great example that while, yes Instagram is a powerful tool, there are others out there. Enter TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Clubhouse, Blogs…and goodness knows there could be a new one next week!
- The Reel Deal: Reels have proven success in increasing content exposure and engagement. Also test out Instagram Guides and build out in-app content hubs of your favorite products, places and posts!
I was recently speaking with a creator who shared that since she started posting to Reels all her engagement is through the roof and has consistently out-performed standard feed posts.” – Partnerships Manager, Taylor Liddle
- Have Fun with Features: There is an influx of available Instagram stickers, but the most efficient ones for driving engagement are the poll, emoji slider, and question stickers. We’ve heard first-hand from Instagram that they are looking at ways to simplify their offerings and are strategically investing heavily in the new things they launch and believe in.
- Promote with Paid: Everybody likes guaranteed deliverables, and if you are feeling anxious about the uncertainty with the algorithm changes and want guaranteed results, we recommend promoting organic content with ads on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram to guarantee clicks, impressions and even app downloads. Especially with TikTok, we’ve found huge success in teaming up with a large number of creators, and then amplifying that content with paid support. Similarly, with Instagram, we can deliver content to a very specific audience who is most likely to take action. Check this case study out!
- Be Strategic and Realistic: Powering content consistently and efficiently is important, but those are crazy and somewhat exhausting expectations. Utilize software to tap an extensive network of creators and scale content to meet the demand.
At Popular Pays we empower creators and brands to create something worth sharing. (read: Continue to create Meaningful Content). Don’t worry, we are right with you and want to help you defeat the algorithm, but it’s more important that you are sticking true to your brand. Creators, spend more time creating and less on spending all of your energy trying to maintain visibility. Create good content that you love, share what means most to you and connect with people who you want. Trust us, Instagram also wants to make it easy for creators to own their connection with their audience and give you the right tools you need to succeed.
If there’s anything we know for certain it’s that algorithms change and platforms evolve, however, meaningful content will always resonate. Mic drop.