In early July, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, made a startling declaration about Instagram:
Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app.
Instead, Instagram will start giving more exposure to video content now more than ever.
In fact, a portion of your recommendations will come from videos of people you don’t follow — and videos that aren’t even sponsored. Just free, suggested content that is relevant to you, based on what you like, follow, and engage with.
The reason for the change, according to Mosseri, is that there is “an immense amount of growth online for all of the major platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube.”
In order to maximize your return on Instagram, whether that’s with time, money, or both, here are some tips:
Content is (still) king.
Tony Robbins says we do nearly everything for one of two reasons: To avoid pain, or to gain pleasure. What are your followers’ pain points, or what are they gaining from following you? More specifically, perform research to find out your ideal follower’s wants and needs.
Explore a variety of video content.
First, let’s talk about video type. Full-screen video, immersive and entertaining video, and mobile-first video (i.e., mobile-optimized video) are all types worth exploring. It’s unknown at this time which is going to be preferred by Instagram moving forward (if that’s even a designation they’ll make), so be sure you optimize your chances for success by deploying all of them.
Next, consider that video is like written content in many ways, including the type of posts that tend to go viral. These include:
- Top tips
- Step-by-step tutorials, “how to” posts
- “Best of” lists
- Do’s and don’ts
- Share lists
- Personal stories/teachable moments
- Inside scoop
- Share an offer
- Ask Me Anything (see below)
If you’re a shy person, or own a company that is producing content on a budget, start with stories.
Let’s face it: If you’re an introvert, producing video can take a lot out of you. (I’ve been known to rest after recording a video myself.) And, if you’re a company owner, the cost of producing high-quality video content on social media can leave you upside down on direct ROI for months, if not years, depending on the size of your niche, audience size, followers, etc.
That said, one great way to dip your toe in the proverbial waters here is to start with stories. Stories are far shorter, typically less edited on smaller accounts, and don’t stick around for more than 24 hours (unless, of course, you want for them to, in which case you can save them to your profile). Stories with video will also be emphasized moving forward, according to Mosseri.
AMAs (Ask Me Anything) works well.
Another easy way to create video content that is engaging to your audience is to hold an AMA, or Ask Me Anything. These typically work best when done weekly.
In Summary: Follow this content plan.
- Post video, or at least work on video-based content. Ideally, posting should occur every day, but every other day (about 4x per week) is also acceptable.
- Respond to all direct messages and comments. One of the biggest mistakes content creators make is spending dozens of hours researching their ideal followers and creating amazing content geared towards them, and then, when one of them finally reaches out, their message goes ignored for days. And, ultimately, you lose a follower, or at least some of the enthusiasm of a follower. Be sure you respond.
- Follow 5 additional accounts.
- Engage with other creators’ posts and stories. I deploy Jack Canfield’s Rule of 5: 5 simple things that move you forward, every single day. Post 5 thoughtful likes/comments on a major account in your desired niche, whether direct comments or interacting directly with someone in the comments.
- Do an AMA on your stories.
- Check insights to find out best-performing posts. This includes both shares and likes.
- Identify key influencers within your niche.
- If you have a website, monitor how many backlinks are coming to your website from Instagram.
If you want top-notch digital marketing strategy, or have questions about your own digital marketing strategy, reach out to us at AEK Solutions for a free, no-obligation Q&A session. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable growth online by embracing a rapid-experimentation, funnel-based approach. We also utilize creative and technology, such as geotargeting, customer experience management, and moments of influence testing to develop solutions to specific digital marketing issues.