By Sophia De Runtz
“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, in a video posted to his personal social media accounts, in June 2021. He spoke about upcoming changes and a new direction Instagram is taking. These changes are now starting to govern the way the app functions.
Instagram was originally born as an app for users to share photos primarily taken on mobile devices. However, with the rise of apps, such as Tiktok, and the continued growth of YouTube, Instagram needs to do what it can to compete with the excitement about short-form video, says Mosseri. As Instagram leans into the priorities of their users they can see that individuals are now turning to the app for entertainment.
Based on this information, how do we, as creators, get the most out of Instagram? Here are a few of our best tips.
- Investigate your analytics.
Instagram does an excellent job of breaking down the good stuff for you right in their app under “Insights”. Get to know who your audience is and take note of their age, gender, location and the times when they are the most active. You first need to understand who they are, in order to figure out what they want from you.
- Clarify your message.
This is the part where you think hard about how you can provide value to your audience. What is your customers’ number one pain point and what makes YOUR company uniquely positioned to solve this problem? What insider knowledge can you share with them? What are the most important details your audience needs to know to live a better life and how can you help them get there?
- Build content pillars.
Take that messaging and solidify what you want to say to your audience. We recommend picking three to five content pillars to draw ideas from. For example, pillars can be broad like behind-the-scenes content or insider tips for your industry. They can also be more specific and vary month to month, such as a new location opening or a limited time campaign.
- Lean into video and story content.
If Instagram’s most powerful people say that’s their priority, we should follow their lead. Spend more of your energy creating reels and posting on your story as frequently as possible. Don’t neglect your feed, it’s still important, but you don’t need to worry about having a static post a day (we say 2 or so per week will do).
- Create shareable and personal video content.
Reels are the place to get creative and have fun with video. Draw from your content pillars for ideas and capitalize on special effects, popular audios and always (!!!) film vertically. As for stories, raw and unedited works! When you post them, it’s great if they seem spontaneous, as if you noticed something great and just had to share immediately. Also invite your audience to join the conversation on your posts through question stickers and polls on stories and asking them to comment below.