A statement that flashed across devices around the world, Instagram recently shared that it is “no longer a photo-sharing app.”  Instead, the platform will be focusing their efforts on four key areas: Content Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging. 

Why the Change?

Truthfully, Instagram has been slowly transitioning away from photo sharing over the past several years, as seen through the introduction of Stories, IGTV, and Reels. It’s also no secret that consumers (and algorithms) have shown growing favoritism for video content across platforms, with TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube serving as the go-to for video content. Instagram (and their ownership at Facebook) knows that in order to maintain and even grow their high use rates, they need to evolve to meet the everchanging needs of their audience.

How Does This Impact My Brand on Instagram?

It is important to consider the role of Instagram within your suite of social media and app platforms. Instagram has traditionally served as a highlight reel, the place where brands and users show off their most pristine, thoughtfully curated content. In turn, this organically inspired the rise of aspirational influencers and content creators, driving consumer purchase behavior that other platforms could only dream about. And while content formats may change, the team at Instagram will be doing their best to protect this unique power of their platform. This means that, for brands, platform goals don’t necessarily need to change, but how you reach those goals should.

What Does this Mean for My Brand’s Content Strategy?

The evolution of Instagram does not mean brands should be setting up intricate video production streams or moving to video entirely, especially if these moves are not in alignment to overall marketing and communications strategy. Rather, leaders should be thinking about how these needs can be integrated into existing efforts or supported through easy-to-adopt streams. Consider the tactics below:

  • Repurpose video content created for other channels.This applies to high quality productions intended for TV and Website as well as standard quality behind-the-scenes and in-the-moment content.
  • Create video content, such as Reels, using images rather than posting a static image to the feed. This could be anything from animating a static image to creating a “photo fan,” a video that “fans” through several photos to tell a story. 
  • Partner with Influencers specifically for the purpose of creating content for your brand’s channels. Influencer partnerships don’t have to be limited to repurposing content created for their channel. Speak with influencers on retainer or seek new partners to create content exclusively for your brand’s page.
  • Use the tools you have to create short form content that highlights shoppable product, such as in-the-moment use shots. This approach has been widely adopted across the Beauty category, with brands such as Fenty Beauty and L’Oréal’s NYX leading the way.

When it comes to keeping up with social, embracing platforms changes while understanding and staying true to what works best for your brand is key. Don’t feel like you have to achieve this balance on your own – let’s talk about how we can partner to maximize your brand’s potential on Instagram and across social.