Instagram’s recent announcement that it would be changing the way a user views his feed has created quite a flutter with marketers. The algorithm that governs the feed of Instagram would behave more like that of Facebook, wherein the feed would be customized as per the habits of the user. According to Instagram, this change has been necessitated due to the fact that as of now most people are missing out on about 70% of their feeds. Instagram is of the opinion that the change in the algorithm will now deliver feeds that are more relevant to the user as it will be based on what they are really interested in.
This step seems to be a relevant one, keeping in mind the platform’s exponential growth that has seen its user base rocket to above 400 million in a record time. However, many people have severe reservations and more than 190,000 have petitioned that Instagram should retain its chronological feed style, as otherwise not only small businesses would find their reach severely limited but also undermine the democratic nature of the feed. It is unlikely that Instagram will go back on its announcement regardless of the vociferousness of the opposition so there could be a lot of impact on brands and marketers. Some likely issues:
Growth in the Number of Followers
The major problem faced with the chronological feed model is that with the growth in the number of followers, the feed becomes unusable to a large degree due to the clutter. Because Instagram is intent on not only making the overall experience relevant and more engaging for its followers but also to organically grow the platform, the only way this can be done is by filtering the posts as per the interest of the users. The impact of this strategy is that users will now be able to follow accounts that they really like, and these accounts, in turn, can grow much larger. However, marketers will no longer be as certain that their posts are being viewed by all their followers, so the actual count of followers that is the benchmark of account popularity currently will no longer be as relevant.
As of now, it is not quite possible to tell how much the changed algorithm will restrict marketer’s reach but if you go by what has been seen in the case of Facebook, organic growth can become far more difficult. Even in the matter of measuring reach, the total number of followers will tend to become irrelevant, and an increasing number of followers will actually begin to follow more Instagram accounts of their choice. You can learn how to get on top of these marketing challenges by tapping the expertise of the digital marketing team at Instamacro.
Engagement Will Be Even More Vital Than Before
When marketers are faced with an algorithm that prioritizes content based on what it perceives your interest to be in, it becomes all the more imperative for content to be really engaging. If they really want to compete effectively, they will need to focus on creating content with an appeal that will lead to a greater level of engagement. Since marketers will no longer have the assurance of guaranteed reach, there will be a lot of pressure on creating content that is relevant to the target audience and locks them in time. It is expected that overall reach will be dependent on the degree of engagement that the content has rather than just the sheer number of followers.
Influencer Demand Will Rise
Because marketers are likely to find it increasingly difficult to get across to their target audiences organically, they will need to explore other methods. This means that the importance of influencers will rise dramatically. There will also be a greater emphasis on identifying influencers who may have lesser numbers of followers but with a higher level of engagement. Marketers will prefer to work increasingly with influencers with a higher level of engagement so that they can connect better with their followers.
Author bio: Marsha Burton heads the digital marketing initiative for a lifestyle product brand that has been creating waves with its innovative designs. Marsha has extensively interacted with Instamacro to position her brand better on Instagram and other social media platforms.