How to Leverage your Brand with Instagram’s Newest 2021 Update
The head of Instagram recently announced that the social media platform — originally for sharing photos — is now much more than a square-photo app. In his June 30, 2021 update, Adam Mosseri emphasized the team behind Instagram is always looking to build a new Instagram feature that helps users to get the most out of their experience while on the platform. Mosseri also noted they’re focused on building new experiences in four key areas which include Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging. Read on for how this may affect your digital marketing agency’s strategies moving forward.
In terms of creators, Adam Mosseri noted, “I’ve talked to a lot of creators and how they make a living. This has to do with individuals and institutions across different industries.” This comes after another recent Instagram update, introducing a new “native affiliate tool” that will allow creators on the social media platform to discover new products that are available to purchase on Instagram to then share with their Instagram followers, earning a commission.
Placing a high importance on creators also means influencer marketing will become more prominent, which is a key opportunity for brands to partner with a content creator that increases their brand awareness and targets new consumers. The Digital Marketing Institute notes, “Not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, 40% had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. If consumers feel confident about an influencer’s recommendation, they are more likely to make a purchase. Brands are able to piggyback on the trust of influencers.”
The second Instagram update Adam Mosseri discussed was regarding video content, more specifically surrounding the Instagram Reel feature. “The number one reason why people use Instagram is to be entertained. There’s some really serious competition right now – TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger.” The platform is now transitioning to be an app where video content is if not more, just as prominent as a photo sharing app. Additionally, taking advantage of newer features such as Reels, has been noted to increase reach, as the Instagram algorithm will favor content that is utilizing its newest features by placing it on the Instagram Explore page. Creating an Instagram reel for a brand can often be one of the best ways to captivate new potential customers and spread awareness through a captivating way. With the average attention span of just eight seconds, reels are the perfect form of video content to keep the attention span of targeted audiences. Additionally, Instagram reels allow for a better entertainment experience with the added features of music and text to make your brand stand out and create a much more memorable experience for users.
With the Instagram shopping feature quickly evolving, Adam Mosseri touched on this Instagram feature in his update noting, “The pandemic shifted or accelerated the shift of online commerce, and we’re leaning into that social media trend.” As businesses continue to face the challenges of selling online as they shift their business models during the COVID-19 crisis, Instagram introduced shops as an “immersive full screen storefront that enables businesses to build their brand story and drive product discovery.”
Instagram shops present an opportunity for an immense amount of growth for brands of all industries. This feature gives users the ability to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying. Additionally, collections in shops allow a brand to customize the shopping experience, and administer products into themes that tell their story. Showcasing a brand’s products on Instagram not only saves the user from navigating through to a website, but also creates a convenient shopping experience that increases the chance of additional purchases.
Finally, Mosseri touches on messaging, stating “How people connect with their close friends in the last five years has changed a lot, and has moved primarily away from feed and stories.” The Instagram direct message feature, also known as DMs, has evolved into much more than just simple messages between two users. Now, the app offers group chats, video hangouts, chat themes, and more.
Brands can utilize this feature to benefit their experience for customers in many different ways. This allows for a convenient way for customers to contact a business, but also drives more brand awareness as it fosters more trust with customers. Additionally, making the time to respond to daily messages improves your social customer care and response rate, thus leaving customers feeling heard, valued, and more likely to refer your brand to people they know.
What this means for your business
Though it may seem like an overwhelming amount of new updates and features, Instagram is evolving to support both brands and creators to foster an enjoyable experience on the platform overall. With effective organic social strategies in place, Instagram and other social media platforms will allow your brand to stand out and connect with new users who more often than not, turn into customers. Contact our Power Digital social media experts today to learn how we can help grow your brand to its fullest potential.