Navigating Instagram's (slightly scary) pivot to video

Navigating Instagram's (slightly scary) pivot to video
Written by
Richard Emanuel
Published on
August 19, 2021
Read time

Did you see it coming?

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced a few weeks back that essentially, Instagram would no longer be a photo sharing app. With the explosive success of TikTok, it would be juvenile for Instagram to not make some changes—we’ve all seen the reposted content going viral on IG’s platform, of course they want a slice of the content pie.

But how does this impact businesses using the platform to promote products, educate audiences, and build communities?

Well, in the weeks following Instagram’s announcement, we’ve seen how this is impacting the content marketing strategies of our clients, and thought we’d share some tips for those whose are are still a little lost regarding this this change in platform use.

#1 / Don’t completely abandon photo sharing

A lot of people are freaked out by the announcement—we understand that, but there is still a place for still images on Instagram; especially if you’ve put time and resources into shooting them already. Please don’t send these files to the trash!

Think of creative ways you can get maximum exposure through using them, like creating GIFs if you have a few similar images which could resonate with your audience. Albums are still a great way to pump up your engagement. And UGC is still easier to capture if you're asking for photos over video.

If you're this good at Instagram, don't stop!

#2 / Higher output trumps high production

Let’s face it, Instagram—for brands, especially—has been extremely aspirational content, very clean cut, high production value, etc. But there’s a shift happening, which is likely coming from the low production value of TikTok. Communities want to see more real life content… especially on video!

That said, producing high quality video content is expensive and time consuming. Try using a well shot cover image on your lower-quality videos to keep your feed gorgeous; but don’t over think video for reels! 

Think close ups of products, showing texture, packing order, unboxing order! Just get posting.

#3 / Outsource where needed (content creators are your friends)

Again, video is time consuming and expensive—especially if you’re not a natural content creator. However, there are people who literally specialize in this!

Find content creators within your niche who you think could create content that showcases your product/services and commission them to create content for your channels. This is often cheaper than sponsored content on the creators channels, and provides you with content to share on branded channels.

We'd also recommend you hit up customers and aim to get some User-Generated Content (UGC) together. This is not just a great way to increase your content output. It also gives you an opportunity to start a conversation with your customers, offer discounts for future purchases, and build a little brand loyalty.

Bottom line—take a breath, relax, and start retooling your strategy.

Video seems like it's the future. With a high-definition video camera in the hands of almost anyone you meet, it's not a medium that's going away anytime soon. And while it may feel a little scary to see the #1 photo-sharing app make such a big pivot away from their base—it's not the end of the world. Think deeply about your goals with social media, reach out to content creators or customers, and start realigning your strategy to meet the change.

And, as always, if you ever want to chat about your content marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch.

Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels