So, this will be the 25th time you’ve seen an article about the Instagram algorithm and its apocalyptic effect on your brand. Fear not, it’s not a long one.

Over the weekend, the new algorithm began to take effect, which in short means your brand’s content will be seen by less people. Much like on Facebook between 2013-2014, organic reach of content will plummet, your total number of engagements will diminish and you will see an ever increasing amount of promoted content. However, having consolidated experience with the Facebook change, we are better placed to combat the effects. In effect, Instagram is challenging our brands to deliver content excellence every time and be prepared where necessary to sprinkle a little paid media on top. With that in mind, we’ve put together a couple of best practices to make sure your Instagram remains as effective as ever.

  • Quality and Frequency – Never has the saying been truer, that every post counts. Don’t post daily if you don’t have the right content. Think twice about that post which contains and make sure that every post is demanding an interaction from your audience be that in the form of a like, dwell time on the image or a comment.
  • Know your audience – If you aren’t doing this already, I’d advise a complete audit of all your output since the start of the 2016. Go through each post, every report you’ve created and look at what posts are performing and most importantly, which ones aren’t. The better you know your audience and deliver the content they love, the more reach and engagement you’ll drive.
  • Your shop window – Instagram is your brand’s shop window. It’s your very own 4.7inch prime piece of real estate on Oxford Street. It’s vital that you don’t divert efforts away just because the returns may be a little lower. This is still THE place to show the very best and most creative imagery your brand has to offer.
  • Prepare to spend – I know it’s not what anyone wants to hear, but it’s more crucial than ever that you have dedicated budget to support your very best content on Instagram. A little spend goes a long way when the content is right, and in a crowded market place, spend on the right posts will help you cut through the noise and maintain your audience growth.
  • Collaborate – Find key influencers in your area and make sure you’re engaging with them. They will be less effected by the changes and will remain a key component of expanding your reach. If you have other partner brands lean on those relationships too. It will greatly expand your reach if you get in-front of a new but likeminded community.

So it’s not all doom and gloom. It means keep doing what you’re doing, but smarter. Higher quality, less frequency and with adequate budget to support. Instagram’s business tools land soon, so you’ll be able to measure your activity better than ever and really see the impact that it’s having on your business.