4 Ways to Make Instagram's New Algorithm Work for You

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing, Social Media

  • Date:

    April 06, 2016

4 Ways to Make Instagram's New Algorithm Work for You



Content Marketing, Social Media

Public Relations Account Manager Ashley Moran found agency life through a college internship. She moved to Cincinnati to work for the company full-time after graduation and stayed in the city for six years. She once convinced a local anchorwoman to dress as a gorilla to give the news. A Pittsburgh native, Ashley is a fan of the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates and big sandwiches.

Instagram recently announced that it will follow in the footsteps of its parent company, Facebook, by introducing an algorithm that prioritizes paid content.

This isn’t a new concept in the social world, but it’s one worth talking about. As popularity for a social platform grows, so does the amount of content users have to scroll through. And, we all know that attention spans aren’t what they used to be. By implementing an algorithm, the platform helps serve users content that interests them – thus keeping them glued to their phones a bit longer.

So what does this mean for your company’s content strategy?

For starters, you should prepare for the change and start allocating a portion of your yearly media budget to social (more on that later). Here are four tips to help your stellar content shine in a paid social world.

1. Know your audience.

You can’t engage with a potential customer if you don’t know who she is. Before you start drafting your content, do your research. You’ll need to know more than her age and geographic location, too. Thinking about her interests and buying behaviors will help you figure out how to tell her a story that she can relate to and enjoy.

Instagram’s new algorithm takes relationships, timeliness and interests into account. So, users will still see content from friends and family rise to the top, followed quickly by content that aligns with their interests. If you know your audience and can tailor content to fit their needs, the algorithm should be a benefit.

2. Content will always be king.

It’s been a buzz phrase since 2008, and it’s not going away anytime soon. No matter the distribution method, the content you serve needs to be attention-grabbing. And remember, attention spans are dwindling. Every post you create should tell your audience a story. It should make them want to start a conversation with you or learn more about your brand.   

3. A picture is worth a thousand words.

And video is worth 10,000. Words are no longer enough to keep your customers interested. Continue incorporating vivid, relatable images and videos that tell stories instead of solely spouting calls-to-action, and your content will perform even better than before – especially when it’s coupled with the targeting options available to social advertisers.

4. Embrace change.

Though the thought of spending money on social advertising may be a bit overwhelming, it’s becoming a necessity. Early adopters – those who embrace the change – are sure to capitalize on the long-term benefits of reaching customers where they spend the most time online. By taking advantage of paid opportunities on Instagram early, you’ll be able to tweak your content strategy and better optimize your budget before other brands follow suit.