Instagram recently declared that it is no longer a photo-sharing platform. Read below to find out how to hack the new algorithm.
The End of an Era
Instagram is officially going from a photo-sharing app towards an entertainment platform. For your brand, this should be a clear indicator of what your customers are expecting from you on social media.
In the following months, you’ll be seeing recommendations pages filled with video content and varying layouts – full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video. This shift in Instagram’s strategy means you must consider changing the content you’re posting to grow your audience and brand on socials. We’re here to guide you through the changes.
Focus on Reels, but why?!
For a while, we’ve known that to compete with TikTok’s skyrocketing growth, Instagram has been favoring Reels and giving accounts that post Reels a lot of reach.
3 Key Metrics
The algorithm is starting to take into account how your Reels are performing in terms of these 3 metrics:
Views are the total number of views your Reel receives, and this metric is displayed publicly next to the play button.
P.S: Lately, Instagram considers Reels’ placements in stories: if a user shares your Reel to their story, this counts as a view towards the Reel.
Watch time is the time someone spends watching your Reel, aka how far they made it through your Reel without scrolling. You want to aim for 100% watch time here.
AVD is the total watch time on a Reel divided by the total number of video plays, including replays.
How to Capitalize on Reels?
Tip #1: Hook people with your intro.
A user’s average attention span on socials is 3 seconds, so making your intro as engaging and captivating as possible within the first couple of seconds is crucial.
So get creative, check out what other successful creators and businesses are doing with their Reels and TikTok…and then figure out what you can do to get people’s attention immediately.
Tip #2: Make your videos shorter, not longer.
Just because Reels can now be 90 seconds long doesn’t mean your Reels should be 90 seconds long. It’s easier to get 100% watch time if your videos are shorter. So see what you can do to condense your message while still getting the point across.
Tip #3: Aim to get loops.
Beyond just getting views, you want to aim to get loops.
Loops are a way to construct your videos where the viewer has a harder time understanding where the Reel begins and where it ends. Consequently, the Reel tends to play over and over again because the viewer doesn’t always notice, or, in the best case scenario, because the viewer is mesmerized by the loop.
Therefore, loops are a great way to easily increase the number of views in your video, which is crucial to benefit from the algorithm. Because remember, calculating your AVD includes the total number of video plays, including replays.
Tip #4: Adapt your photo game
We’re used to seeing Reels in this tall, vertical format. But currently, if you run into a Reel on your home feed, you must tap it to expand it to the full 9:16 ratio. Instagram is testing a new full-screen format that takes up more of your screen for both Reels and Images.
And remember, whenever Instagram releases a new feature… it pushes that feature. So if you start using the feature early on (as soon as it is officially released), you’ll likely get an extra organic push from Instagram’s algorithm.
While we encourage you to base your Instagram marketing strategy around Reels, if you must continue with static images, make sure to be ready to post vertical photos as soon as the new feature is out.