Wondering how to optimize your Instagram strategy for 2022 but overwhelmed by all of the changes?
In this article, you'll discover the four primary Instagram changes happening in 2022 that you need to know about and tips to adjust your strategy accordingly.
Key Instagram Changes That Impact Your Marketing
Marketers are accustomed to the constant evolution of social media platforms and other digital marketing sites. Staying apprised of the changes is part of the job and implementing the changes into your strategies sets you apart from your competition.
Each year, Instagram rolls out changes to improve its user experience. Users need to understand these changes, but more importantly, marketers need to understand them.
There are four pivotal updates you can expect this year and each will have an impact on your marketing strategies:
- The user experience
- Increased focus on Instagram video content
- Monetization for influencers and content creators
- Security and controls
Whether these changes affect your clients' marketing plans or your personal Instagram marketing plan, thoroughly understanding how to adapt to them makes you a better, more effective marketer. Keep reading to learn how to use these changes to your advantage as a digital marketer.
#1: New Home, Favorites, and Following Feed Views
The user experience is Instagram's number-one priority. Ensuring users have an easy and enjoyable experience in the app is paramount.
The platform will be rolling out significant changes to improve the user experience this year.
First, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has announced that Instagram will be rolling out different view options on the home screen, which will give users the ability to toggle back and forth between them. By giving users control over their view, they can customize their Instagram experience so it works specifically for them.
Here's a rundown of the different views:
- The Home view will be organized by what the algorithm thinks you'll be most interested in, and will include recommendations for accounts you don't currently follow but might want to.
- The Favorites view will show posts from a list of accounts you don't want to miss seeing content from.
- The Following view will be a chronological feed of content from accounts you follow and won't include recommendations to follow different accounts.
So how can you use these changes to your advantage as a digital marketer?
Use the Favorites view to curate a list of accounts whose content educates and inspires you. Add accounts from big names in your industry and publications that produce informative content about your industry. This will ensure you're regularly seeing content that educates and informs you.
Likewise, curate a list of favorites for brand accounts you manage. You can utilize the Favorites view in two strategic ways.
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First, make sure that your favorites include accounts that you want to strategically engage with.
For example, if you're managing a real estate brokerage account on behalf of the brokerage, adding their brokers to the Favorites tab will ensure that you're being fed their social posts so you can continue to engage with them. Add centers of influence or prospective strategic partners who you want to engage with to your Favorites view to stay in the loop on their content and elevate your own engagement tactics.
Second, utilize the Favorites view as a lens into the competition and industry leaders. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on what competitors and industry leaders are up to so you can stay apprised, in the know, and inspired.
Reaching Users' Favorites and Following Views
Because users have more control over the accounts they see in their feeds, it's crucial that your posts deliver value, entertainment, and education. If your content strategy is full of promotions and generic tips, users likely won't add your account to their Favorites list or even choose to follow you.
So how can you make your posts more alluring and exciting for users? How can you become one of their favorite accounts?
Instagram users want to be entertained, educated, and inspired. They want quick answers to their questions. They also want to see aesthetically pleasing content that's also authentic.
As a marketer, you can check all of these boxes by creating a content strategy that includes a mix of both aspirational and authentic content.
Here are some ideas to help you create stories, reels, and feed posts that deliver value every time so people are more likely to follow you and include you in their Favorites list:
- Show people what it's like behind the scenes in the production, shipping, or stocking of your product.
- Walk people through a day in the life of your target customer.
- Answer FAQs in real time.
Pro Tip: Your content should include branded colors and fonts and use minimal text.
#2: Increased Focus on Instagram Video Content
Mosseri announced in his 2022 Priorities video that Instagram will be moving away from a primarily photography-based platform to focus more on video content.
You've likely already incorporated video content into your marketing strategies but may have been confused about whether you should produce IGTV, Reels, or feed videos. Now, all video will be kept in one place so there's less pressure to optimize one type of video over another. However, you'll still need a mix of formats to market effectively.
Content Planning for Short-Form Video
Instagram is investing heavily in Reels, which likely means it will prioritize quick and entertaining video content. Here are some Reels content ideas:
- Product demos
- Behind the scenes
- User-generated content
- Contests and giveaways
- Before and after
As an example, the real estate agent below filmed a behind-the-scenes peek for a hot new listing hitting the market and shared it to Instagram Reels to increase reach and exposure.
One of the most popular in-app Reels features is Remix. Instagram announced that users can remix all video content on the app, not just reels. This means you can take any public video clip on the app and remix it to include your own video on half of the screen or a different video clip.
Interested in creating a remix? Here is a step-by-step tutorial.
First, find a reel you'd like to remix and tap the three dots at the bottom right. In the pop-up menu that appears, select Remix This Reel.
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The reels creation window will pop up with a camera window on one side of the screen and the original video you want to remix on the other. You can record your video by tapping the shutter button (or upload a pre-recorded video by tapping the image icon in the bottom-left corner).
As you record, the original reel will play alongside yours. Tap Edit to see a preview of your reel. You can also add filters or stickers if you'd like.
When you're finished creating your remix, share it. The person who created the original reel you've remixed will be automatically credited.
Instagram launched the Remix feature to allow more collaboration, further reach, and optimized engagement. Similar to TikTok Duets, Remix allows marketers different ways to post and leverage content, reach an influential account's audience, and boost engagement.
Here are a few ideas for Remix content:
- Reaction remix: Take a product debut and remix it with your genuine reaction.
- Dancing duets: Dance alongside your favorite artist.
- Lip-syncing: Have fun by lip-syncing and “singing” alongside another influencer.
- Feedback: Want to connect strategically with another profile? Remix their reel and give them some honest feedback on their product or service (they'll get the notification).
Sourcing content to remix for your brand account is one strategy to optimize engagement and leverage content. But you may also wish to allow others to remix your video.
To enable the remix function on your own videos, tap the three-line icon on the top-right corner of your Instagram profile and select Settings from the pop-up menu.
Next, select Privacy and then scroll down to Reels and Remix. Turn on Allow for Reels and Allow for Videos.
Taking these steps allows others to create reels that include part or all of your videos, which can increase reach and exposure for your brand (or brands that you manage).
Content Planning for Long-Form Video
While Instagram is prioritizing shorter video, longer-format videos are still especially useful in certain industries and niches because they let you answer user questions in more depth. Here are some instances where you might use long-form video on Instagram:
- Interviews with industry experts
- Tutorials or how-to videos
- Product or service demos with more detail
- Case studies
This long-form @therefineryleadership video is full of valuable insights and information on leadership in the banking industry. It packs lots of value into one sitting session for the user.
#3: Stricter Consequences for Unethical Marketing
Instagram wants to give users as much control over their experience in the app as possible. That includes letting them manage what they see and who sees their information and content.
In addition, Instagram is launching two notable features to protect its teenage and young adult users' experiences:
- The Take a Break feature: Users who opt into this feature are reminded to take a break from the app after a set amount of time. The feature then prompts the user to breathe, write down their thoughts, listen to a song they like, or work on one of their to-do list tasks.
- Increase in parental controls in the app: Parents will have more accessibility to see how much time their child spends in the app and will be able to set limits.
These new features serve as a reminder to businesses that they're creating content for humans who'll potentially support a brand in some way. So you need to be aware of these new controls when creating and curating content, especially if your target audience is young adults.
The content you publish should be authentic and transparent. Don't exaggerate the results of a product or service, don't make unverified or misleading claims about competitors, avoid using stereotypes, etc.
To underscore the importance of ethical marketing, Instagram recently announced that it will be stricter with accounts that contravene the platform's community guidelines. A post that's reported for breaking the guidelines will be deprioritized by the algorithm, meaning it will live further down in the feed and fewer users will see it.
In addition to posts that include misinformation or come from accounts with a history of sharing misinformation, the newest update allows users to report any post that includes hate speech, bullying, or incitement of violence.
#4: Monetization via Subscribers
Do your clients include content creators or experts/thought leaders in their field? What if you could help your clients generate revenue from their marketing content?
For example, if your clients have brand partnerships that qualify, the Instagram Affiliate Program makes it easy to shop a creator's account while the creator (your client) makes a commission on each sale.
Instagram is making additional changes to how influencers and content creators can monetize, most recently testing a Subscriptions feature.
Enabling this feature will let users pay to subscribe to your client's account in return for access to subscriber-only live videos and stories. Subscribers will also get a badge next to their name so when they comment on a post or send a DM, your client will know the comment comes from a subscriber. Instagram is working toward making it possible to take subscriber lists to other platforms and websites.
You can use these new monetization features to your advantage by teaching your clients about these features and facilitating their use in your own marketing. Demonstrating the use of these features to your audience shows what you could potentially do for them.
It seems that every day Instagram announces a new feature or test and you may feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up. The Instagram updates we discussed above are four pivotal ones to note for 2022 so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Get More Advice on Instagram Marketing
- Build an Instagram sales funnel that works.
- Use Instagram reminders for marketing.
- Save time managing Instagram ads.
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