Technology changes: it's pretty common. The only issue is a lot of creators exclusively use Instagram for their networking and digital marketing. I really, really highly recommend that everyone get a website with a blog as their baseline for their integrative marketing strategy, but in the meantime, we want to make sure that we hold space to cover some of the ways that Instagram is changing for creators, and some helpful strategies moving forward for using the platform. Written by Stephanie Crumley, this is an article she wrote for her own Digital Marketing brand named Sigil Marketing.
You might be clicking on this post because you're freaking the heck out: no more like counts, on Instagram? What?!?! What is this world coming to?! Well, they've been threatening it for quite some time, and now in countries such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Italy and Ireland, the program is live.
So, the question is why. Why are they doing this? There are a lot of reasons I'm sure but these are some of my biggest takeaways. First and foremost, there's a lot of money being made on a free platform by likes. Specifically, influencers. They want to make it significantly harder for influencers to generate more money through their platform. They want to be able to pick and choose the influencers that thrive, making it a smaller pool. I don't know if you've noticed that the algorithm is uh, shit? It's because they are constantly changing it making it more difficult to predict what works and what doesn't. It also ties into creating a more cohesive feed that's more e-commerce friendly. It's going to be about e-commerce on the feed, that's for sure. Basically, Instagram wants you to find different ways to engage more authentically with your following, and not doing it based on a like count.
Gone will be the days of looking at your like count to measure if your audience loves or hates your content. You cannot adjust strategies by likes anymore. My beautiful creatives, yes, you that's dry heaving into a paper bag because that's what you do, I want you to go do something lovely for yourself and come back later. Because I'm here to give you a few different tips on how to deal with this transition (and maybe even thrive?)
Engagement is the New Like
I think we all knew this, but didn't want to think this was the case because it can be so hard to be a conversation starter, but here you are. ENGAGEMENT IS THE NEW LIKE. You have to delete likes from your roster of key performance indicators, and start thinking about other metrics available to you. Because don't worry, there are so many available! Comments, DMs, shares, these are your new metrics. Well, they're old metrics, but now they have more meaning. Make sure to create content with this in mind. When you're making content, what can you say to solicit a response from your audience? What do they care about? Being aware of your target audience members as people is going to be the key to all of these things.
Stories are Important Now, and Only Going to Get More Important
Do. Not. Skimp. On. Stories. I repeat. Don't skimp on the stories. Ever! For some reason, people think that the posts on the feed are more important. I argue that they are not. The way that Instagram works now is that you are going to drive more traffic to your feed through your stories. If you aren't making an impression with your story content, people are going to flop right past you. But if it's fun and they are staying tuned in, there's a significant chance they're going to click on your profile, and they're going to feel even more compelled to comment on your feed because they feel like they know you better (because they've been immersed in your brand content on your story. They know your cat! Your dog! Your partner! Your favorite place in the woods!) So, get on that. Post every day. But not too much, don't go too wild, like posting thirty to forty frames. An average of ten to twenty is more than enough.
Learn About Your Target Audience
To be more successful, you can use targeted ads to boost your posts. But you can't just use a lookalike audience, or just close your eyes and select an option without thinking about it. Do you actually know who you're trying to reach? Do you know their likes or dislikes, who they are, what they do, and why they like following you? That's going to be K E Y for mobilizing in Instagram moving forward. So, get to know your audience. Figure out who you are talking to, and well...talk to them!
If you're looking to learn more tools for your business, feel free to check out Sigil Marketing's website, blog, or Instagram. If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org