You’ve probably already noticed that a lot is changing with Instagram this year. In an effort to compete with TikTok, the Instagram algorithm has gone through a major overhaul and is now heavily favoring video content, especially Reels. The social giant is even testing an immersive full-screen version of the app that will more closely resemble the TikTok experience. If your business was doing well using Instagram’s classic static photo posts and now you’re wondering how to stay relevant through all these changes, here are a few ways to adjust your content and keep those leads rolling in instead of scrolling away.
Start bringing more video into your content calendar. There’s no reason to panic if most of your business on Instagram is driven by static image posts, because photos can still be an integral part of a viable Instagram strategy, but in order to keep the new algorithm happy you’ll need to start diversifying the ways you share content. You can experiment with combining images into Reels slideshows, which are now preferred to classic carousel posts, but you’ll also want to incorporate more actual video when you can, especially vertical video that fits into the 9:16 Reels aspect ratio.
Understand how photo posts will change. Square images used to be the instantly recognizable hallmark of an Instagram post, but as the platform has shifted more toward the vertical content of Stories and Reels, photos are starting to follow suit. For the moment, 4:5 is still the tallest aspect ratio accepted for photo posts, and square or even landscape photos can still be incorporated into posts, but as Instagram enters the testing phases of a more immersive vertical experience, the way photos are displayed will change. Captions are starting to be layered over the bottom part of vertical photos, with a dark vignette to make the text legible. Meanwhile, landscape orientation photos are now starting to get letterbox bands on the top and bottom, filling the rest of the screen. If you want to make the most of the screen space for a static photo post, stick to a slight portrait (vertical) orientation and keep the main area of focus away from the very bottom of the photo, where the caption and vignette will cover the image.
Focus on engagement across the board. The updated algorithm takes post engagement into account more than ever before, so if you’re looking for ideas to start creating more video content, focus on clips that are fun and encourage feedback. Give your audience a tutorial on how to use your products, show creative uses that people might not have thought of, and mix in a variety of company culture videos, communicating your brand values and introducing your team to your viewers. If you’ve already started to build a following on TikTok, you’ll find the approach very similar – that’s because no matter which platform you’re on, authentic connection will always yield a better result than a cheap sales gimmick.
It can definitely be scary when social platforms make major changes, but with the right help you can stay ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation – we’ll give you an honest assessment of your current social strategy, along with some personalized tips to help you fine-tune your approach and bring in more leads.
COGO Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.