What entrepreneurs can study from repositioning Instagram
Katie Moon, Strategist, Alpha Digital
Since going live, the head of the Instagram video, which explains that the platform will become more than a photo-sharing app, has received a whopping 2.3 million views and over 16.1 thousand comments on Insta alone.
The video on Instagram is changed
At Instagram we are constantly trying to develop new features to help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focusing on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
– Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
Most of the conversations in the comments were made by outraged and hyper-focused consumers who are upset at the notion that Instagram prioritizes videos over static images. But an update that has been an inconvenience for consumers who are stubbornly sticking to their habits is indeed a lesson and opportunity for brands and marketers alike.
Let me entertain you
Mosseri points out that in research, “the main reason consumers use Instagram is to be entertained” and that they are aware that they have “really serious competition” with TikTok, YouTube, and upstart.
In addition to keeping an eye on the competition, Instagram is proactively responding to this research by shifting the focus to YouTubers, videos, and shopping and messaging. It prioritizes features that correspond to changing consumer habits and needs, including what is known as recommendations, displaying “things in the feed you may not be following”, topics where you can choose topics from which you can more (or less) See the feed and experiment with video in the broader sense – with a view to full screen, mobile first and immersive entertainment. Ultimately, Instagram’s message is clear: it wants to be a video-powered place of entertainment and will reward the brands and creators who take this new direction.
It’s true that Instagram is not alone in this search, as YouTube just launched Shorts in Australia last week, a short-form video offering for YouTubers.
Design with meaning
For marketers working in the digital space, it has been imperative for a while now to have video as part of their content strategy. But changes to algorithms and the increasing empowerment of consumers place entertainment and deliberate content creation higher than standardized video generation.
This means creating on purpose; Production of target group-oriented, channel-oriented and high-quality content with the aim of getting the consumer to build brand affinity, convert it or simply keep it on the screen longer.
However, the look and feel of the content viewed is different for each brand, which reminds us why it’s important: prioritize in-house and competitive research, think holistically about creatives by coordinating news across all channels, and focus on to be creative by constantly testing, learning, and iterating.
To break through the noise in a mobile-first environment, we not only need to understand how people interact with content, we also need to make it memorable.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket B
Just as Instagram is “no longer just a square photo-sharing app” and doesn’t rely on any feature to reach and entertain consumers, brands and marketers shouldn’t prioritize one channel to reach consumers.
The digital media landscape is constantly evolving. We have seen a leap from incremental to exponential change, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated 10 years of digital advancement in six months. With online stores opening in a rush and physical stores closing and living rooms suddenly turning into dressing rooms, we’ve never seen a more credible argument for diversifying the way we reach and interact with consumers.
An old saying, investing your entire budget in one channel or tactic is a risk. An agile, cross-channel strategy is a prerequisite for marketing, whether digital or holistic. As it becomes more difficult for brands to meet their customers where they are, especially with the looming disappearance of third-party cookies, the responsibility rests with brands and marketers: to develop a deeper understanding of the customer journey, several real touchpoints with the Creating audiences and developing their skills to continuously engage and influence the consumer.
Embrace the wind of change
In less than a generation, social media has grown into a sociological and commercial force. It has grown from photo sharing apps and virtual communities to become an important modern marketing tool.
In the past, however, almost all major platform updates and new entrants have faced skepticism or negative user feedback, much like Instagram does this time around. From moving Facebook to retail and introducing TikTok, to doubling Twitter’s character limit, to switching Instagram from feed to stories. Despite a number of controversies, privacy concerns, and the relatively negative public opinion on aspects of social media, all of these platforms continue to dominate the online landscape.
Test and learn, always
Mosseri ends his video with the fact that Instagram has an idea of where it wants to end up in six months or a year, but that “things will often change in between”. This underscores the willingness of the app to use a test and learning model from both the platform and the user’s point of view.
Savvy brands and marketers should follow suit and include a testing and learning budget in their marketing strategy. An agile media strategy in particular can be extremely beneficial as it often requires a small media investment, a short timeframe, and real consumers. Ultimately, this approach allows data-driven marketers to test ever-changing platform features or test the effectiveness of their message or product before making any major investments in full capacity.
As the landscape evolves and the way people engage changes, marketers need to be flexible and consider the unique opportunities and insights offered to them in online environments.