What do Instagram Stories analytics really mean for your content strategy?

instagram stories

Introducing guest author, Clare Cheyne, from our kiwi compadre Mish Guru.

Most marketers on Instagram Stories are missing out on a huge opportunity.

Before we can explain why, let’s backtrack for a second.

As marketers, we’re storytellers above anything else. We weave narratives that are as meaningful as possible to drive engagement, and to create a mutual understanding with our audience. To build relationships, to forge communities, and to create moments.

Ephemeral content – i.e disappearing stories on Instagram and Snapchat – has allowed us as storytellers to do this better than ever before. We can tell real Stories, and get feedback in real time about what’s working.

But most storytellers are missing out on the most important part of the opportunity on Instagram Stories: the data, and what it actually means for your content strategy.

giphy (5).gif

 

As the space gets more and more crowded with brands, influencers and friends alike, this will be the game changer that separates the brands that keep their audience’s attention, and those that get lost in the sea of disappearing Stories.

Because data means nothing until you can tell a Story with it. Swipe Aways and Tap Forwards and Impressions, are, at their core, meaningless until you use them to tell a Story about what’s really working – and why.

But Instagram’s native analytics only tell half the Story. Here’s the other half.

Here you can find a complete breakdown of what Instagram’s native analytics really mean, and what the implication is for your content strategy, so you can grab people’s attention – and keep it.

 

Impressions

The total number of times a piece of content has been viewed. This includes multiple views from the same user. Each piece of content in your Story will have a total number of impressions, so you can see where your audience is dropping off. Be aware that drop off rates on impressions are significantly less meaningful than they may be for reach, however. Because reach is defined as the total number of unique views, and an impression can be the same person watching your story over and over again, the drop off and completion rates become less meaningful here. Your total number of views.

Implication for content: Pay attention to your total impressions over time, and see if you can identify patterns for your content here. Are the Stories that get consistently high numbers of impressions a similar length? Are they the ones with 3-5 segments, or is 20 the sweet spot for your audience? Do takeovers work best for you, having a person host the content and guide your audience through the narrative? See the patterns over time and use it to inform your strategy going forward.

Your Impressions versus Reach per Story is also an interesting stat to look at. Here’s why: if impressions are significantly higher than reach for the same Story, this means the same people are replaying the Story – meaning your content is engaging enough to hold their attention more than once. Keep an eye on this content and see if there’s a way this can be build on in future content strategies.

 

Reach

The number of unique views a piece of content has received. This only counts one view per user, no matter how many times they’ve viewed that piece of content. This will show you the total number of unique views over the course of the entire story – your focus here should be on your completion rates, and where people are dropping off. Total number of unique eyeballs.

Implication for content: Because these are unique eyeballs, this should inform your content strategy in two ways: 1. Tracking your reach over the course of several Stories, and 2. Tracking your completion and drop off rates. Pay attention to the Stories that attract the most views, and that maintain those views over the course of the entire Story. Again, look to see where the patterns are – are they the Stories that contain interactive features like games or polls? Is it video or stills that keep people watching more? Are the Stories holding people’s attention when they’re created in real time, or is it pre-produced, polished content that the people want? Patterns of success here are important for your content and channel strategies.

 

Taps Forward

How many times people have tapped forward to get to the next segment of your story. The implication here is that your story is not engaging so users are trying to get to the next segment, the segment is too long so they’re skipping through, or the entire story is too long, so again they’re skipping through. Total number of skip-throughs.

Implication for content: It’s not engaging people, or is too long. Look at the Stories that have a high number of taps forward, take a deep breath, and learn from them – this is the stuff you’re better off not repeating.

 

Taps Back

The number of times people have tapped back to view a piece of content again – AKA replays.

The implication here is that they’re looking to view a piece of content for a second time because they’re either particularly interested in/enjoyed it, or they missed something and didn’t catch it the first time. Total number of replays.

Implication for content:  This is usually the engaging stuff that’s working if people are taking the time to replay it, so is worth looking into why so you can replicate success. If there’s a correlation between replies and taps back, this will also indicate a particularly engaging piece of content. On the flipside, this may also signify that you had too much going on for the viewer to consume in one hit – i.e. your post had too much text to be read within the time limit. Look at your content with a high number of taps back closely, and if it’s particularly busy, you may want to consider simplifying things in content going forward.

 

Exits:

The number of times people have completely left the Storysphere on Instagram from that particular piece of content. They’ve either gotten sick of watching and left, or clicked through to an external source from a swipe up link. Total number of people who have left the Storysphere.

Implication for content: Exits are not necessarily as much of a negative thing as Swipes Away, as if the piece has a clickable link or @mentions another user, this may indicate engagement with the content that’s led them elsewhere. Look for correlations between link clicks/web traffic and exits, and exits on snaps that @mention a user. If neither of these exist on a snap, this may indicate lack of engagement.

 

Swipes Away:

The number of times a user has swiped through to the next story in their feed.

This means that the user has disengaged and left for the next person’s Story. This indicates they’re still keen to watch Stories – just not this one. It’s essentially a drop off rate, so look at where this is happening in the story – if it’s on the last segment, this would just mean they’ve finished watching. If it’s in the middle of the Story, look at the piece and see if there’s a pattern of people dropping off on similar types of content over time. Total number of people who have left your Story for another.

Implication for content: The Story is either too long, or the content is not engaging enough to making them stay. Again, take the lessons from these Stories and use them to fuel your content machine going forward – even the stuff that doesn’t work is valuable if you know where to look. Caveat here: If it’s on the last Snap, it’s likely still been an engaging Story.

 

Replies:

The number of times a piece of content has received a reply from a user. This is when they watch a piece of content, and feel compelled to write a reply to the composer of the Story. Total number of replies.

Implication for content: Replies require a high level of engagement from users, and should therefore be paid close attention to what compelled them to act so you can replicate success. Was it a call to action? Was it just a snap they particularly enjoyed? A reply is high barrier, so this is a really good thing as far as content is concerned.

 

Mish Guru is a full service storytelling platform for Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Click here for more information on how Mish Guru can help you with your content.

Instagram stories have been great in generating engagement on influencer campaigns. Have a chat to one of our campaign experts to see how influencer can help spread the word in your next campaign.

 

Goodbye Insta poll, hello Emoji Slider

The Social Club Instagram Slider

Introducing the new Instagram Emoji Slider feature.

Instagram has just announced a new interactive story feature called “Emoji Slider.” The feature has brought ingenuity and originality to the Instagram platform and taken the Insta poll to a new level. It allows users to express their opinion or answer to a question using an emoji scale. All you have to do is drag the emoji on the scale either left or right, and release it on the point most suited to your answer. Once answered, you’re able to see the average response of your fellow mutual followers (much like the original Instagram poll).

With the original Instagram poll, people are given two options to choose between, like yes or no, Rihanna vs Katy Perry, Pizza vs Pasta. Now, people can express exactly how hot 🔥 they thought Rihanna’s outfit at the Met Gala was, opposed to whether it was simply hot 🔥 or not ❄️. It allows people to give a far more accurate and personalised answer. The emoji also adds a layer of emotional context and helps brands and influencers gain further insights into their audiences opinions.

To use it, first make sure your Instagram is updated (downloadable in the App Store and Google Play). Upload your pic or video, swipe up and select the scale icon from the sticker tray, just like adding a poll. Write your genius question, pick the relevant emoji you want people to answer with, and post! Now it’s up to your friends and followers to decide just how 😍 your homemade nachos look.

We reckon the feature is going to be popular for most Instagram users, especially youths and millennials. But how popular? Well, you can answer that on our emoji slider poll! 

Keys to creating an epic influencer campaign

NZ influencer @kedecc

An influencer campaign will allow your brand to partner with thought leaders who can amplify your voice and reach new audiences. One of the tricky parts, is finding an influencer who genuinely believes in your brand and provides relevant, authentic content that strikes attention and resonates with both yours and your influencers audience. Here’s a list of key things to keep in mind when creating an epic influencer campaign.

Create a genuine, authentic and transparent partnership.

Brand partnerships always work best when the brand and influencer align in values and honestly rate each others work. This is where the magic happens, as the influencer campaign becomes an authentic collaboration rather than a paid placement. When an influencer really believes in a product/brand, it will fit seamlessly into their feed. For instance, Loic Quedec (the influencer in the image above) is known for his monochromatic themed images. So when he shared a photo wearing Ice Breakers grey tracksuit (which he loves, and would wear anyway) it was completely genuine and authentic. Likewise, Social Club influencer Renee Amber, in a recent collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines, shared a dreamy picture of herself under the grapevines holding a glass of chardonnay. Since Renee’s feed is filled up with culture, travel photos and beautiful scenic shots, the advertising content was able to fit seamlessly with her feed, and generate awesome results.

Influencer @reneeamberx collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines
Influencer @reneeamberx collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines

However, if a healthy vegan influencer was to promote a fast food burger, it would stand out like a sore thumb. Their followers would call them out on it, and the fast food burger brand would get a bad rep.

Consumers are savvy, they know payment is often exchanged for sponsored posts. But, if the collaboration is authentic, they don’t mind! We have found that with the release of the new ASA guidelines, brands have questioned how it will impact their influencer content performance. What we have found is that: if the collaboration is genuine, authentic and transparent, a #collab or #ad has absolutely no effect on the results of the influencer campaign.

Influencer @kellie.pardoe Adairs Autumn Campaign

Add value to your audience with quality content

Influencers should be focused on adding value to their audience. Consumers on social media are looking to be inspired, which is one of the reasons why they follow influencers.  71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. To activate that 71%, a key question to ask is: How will this piece of content add value to and benefit the audience? Whether that’s offering a discount, providing a new insight or wowing them with amazing content. If you create great content worthy of reading, sharing and engaging with, users won’t mind if it’s a branded collaboration.

Additionally, it is important to understand who the influencer’s audience is. There are a few different factors to take into account: audience age, gender and location, all of which can be filtered for on The Social Club platform. These factors can be important when running localised campaigns or events, as well as campaigns promoting a product that is targeted at a certain gender.

The Social Club Platform Audience Filtering
The Social Club Platform Audience Filtering

Remember, the influencer is the creative

You may have hundreds of amazing creative ideas, but in the end the influencer knows their audience and what makes them tick. They are the ones who built their following after all! Because of this, it’s important to give the influencer enough creative freedom. Of course, you need to be clear in your brief on the campaign objectives, key messages, inclusions and exclusions. Influencers know what types of content perform best on their feeds and receive the highest engagements, so trust them!

At The Social Club, both our full-service team and platform can support you through all of these areas. You can use our platform to deep dive into influencer audience demographics and connect with your exact target audience. Or chat to one of our campaign specialists to develop a creative, engaging strategy that will drive results. Hit us up if you have any questions or would like to have a chat!

Instagram’s new shopping feature finally comes to New Zealand!

instagram shopping new zealand

At The Social Club, we’re super excited for the new instagram shopping feature and we know many of the brands we work with are too.

Instagram has just launched their new Instagram shopping feature in New Zealand which allows transactions to be made between businesses and users. Instagram now allows brands to have click through tags and shop buttons on their content to take users to their website where they can purchase the featured product.

With 74% of consumers using social media to make purchasing decisions, the new feature takes the entire Instagram user experience to a whole other level. For both consumers and brands, the process becomes far more direct and simplified. Which as a result, makes it easier for brands to accurately track and calculate their ROI.  

Instagram isn’t charging for the feature at the moment, since the value for the platform is in the data – gathering information on people’s purchasing habits to perform better advertising.

Instagram shopping feature in New Zealand

Currently, the feature can be used on any unpaid or organic posts selling physical products e.g clothes, appliances and beauty products. However, it will be interesting to see if the feature expands to include services as well.

For influencers, it’s a massive value add as it allows them to send direct traffic to a brands’ website seamlessly, removing the pain point of the previously clunky “link in bio”. It’s also very exciting for us, as it means we can accurately track the campaign performance.

Overseas, some brands have seen rises of between 20 and 60 per cent of their business coming from Instagram Shopping. Now, brands who aren’t on Instagram may begin to see the value as they are able to track the success of their content.

If you’re interested in giving an influencer campaign a go, you can contact one of our campaign members, or check out our platform – we always love teaching people how successful influencer campaigns can be!

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the new Instagram feature and what it means for brands, check out this article from The NZ Herald, featuring our very own CEO, Georgia McGillivray!

Micro-influencers: How Micro is getting Macro results for brands

Micro-influencer, @pipartus

Apparently, bigger isn’t always better, with the recent word through the social grapevine being:

The smaller the social influencer’s audience, the stronger the engagement.

To put things into perspective, a social influencers following can range from 1k to 100’s of millions (so pretty damn broad). Micro-influencers generally covers the 1-10k mark, and macro-influencers and celebrities tackle the rest. So micro-influencers have, for a lack of a better word, a very micro following. But those micro numbers are getting macro results for businesses, and we’ve put together a list of five reasons why micro-influencers can be the key to influencer marketing success.

1. COST

The main reason brands & agencies are increasingly willing to shift down the popularity ladder to influencers with smaller audiences, is because micro-influencers are highly cost-effective.

How? Well, it’s like hitting 20 birds with one stone. Your influencer budget could get you one celebrity influencer, or 20 micro-influencers. Not only are micro-influencers significantly cheaper than macro-influencers, but they reach a niche (generally local) audience, that is far more engaged which generally leads to a higher conversion rate and return on investment. Where possible, a combination of both micro and macro influencers works best. When it comes to price, the market is always changing, but in New Zealand you can look to spend about $100-$500 for a post by a micro-influencer, depending on factors like follower count, engagement, industry and more.

2. HIGHER AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT

Smaller audiences are not only more loyal but far more engaged (liking, commenting and sharing). To put it simply, the smaller the following, the closer their followers are to being actual friends. Which means, they generate high engagement. Once an influencer builds a larger following, their followers are further removed, resulting in less engagement.

In a strange way, it’s kinda like being at a Ricky Martin concert (or any concert if you’re not a fan of Ricky). The front row is like the micro-audience, and the back row, the macro audience. Ricky can get up close and personal, look right into the eyes of the front row, give them a high five, even sweat on them a little. As the rows go back, and the crowd gets bigger (or the followers) that personal connection, authentic engagement, and overall relationship dilutes. See what we did there.

3. BRAND AWARENESS AND EXPOSURE

As we mentioned before, about hitting the 20 birds with one stone thing. Well, it’s not only cheaper to use multiple micro-influencers, but, it also gives you the ability to reach lots of strong niches through different avenues. This will ensure your target audience is regularly exposed to your brand or product. And therefore, allow you to strategically reach your target market, and increase brand awareness and exposure. Boom!

4. AUTHENTICITY OF THE MICRO-INFLUENCER

You’ll believe your friend’s recommendation over a celebrity’s, right? Well, we hope so. It’s the same case with macro vs micro audiences. That’s because a micro-influencer isn’t a celebrity living their life in the spotlight, constantly being paid to promote every brand under the sun. In fact, most people wouldn’t recognise them if they were walking down the street. Which makes them much more relatable. Maybe they’re a friend of a friend, live in the same area, go to the same local coffee spot, maybe they’re a dog lover too.

Whatever it is, their following encompasses a much tighter, engaged circle. And with that comes trust and believability. So when a micro-influencer promotes a product they truly love, it comes off as much more authentic to the viewer. Which is key, because people are becoming excellent online BS detectors.

Picnic by micro-influencer, @pipartus in collaboration with Ngatarawa Wines

5. BULLSEYE TARGET AUDIENCE

Since micro-influencers have a niche audience that’s far more refined and specific, it’s now a piece of cake for brands to cut through the millions of Instagram users and communicate to their exact target audience. However, in order to effectively connect with the influencer’s audience, it’s important to make sure your brand or product is authentic to the influencer’s messaging, morals, and overall Instagram feed.

All in all, micro-influencers are beginning to change the game of social marketing into something, well, macro. From having authentic, believable content, higher engagement with your ideal audience, while also being a cost-effective option. It’s only logical why more and more brands, with both small and large marketing budgets, are getting on the micro bandwagon.

If you’re considering working with a micro-influencer, or any social media star – you can get set up on our platform, or talk to one of our campaign experts.

Everything you need to know about the New Influencer Marketing Standards in NZ

Noise on social media, we’ve all seen it. In order to penetrate through the noise and communicate with consumers, brands must pivot their approach from ordinary traditional & digital marketing.

That’s where influencer marketing has grown as of late, particularly in New Zealand. As consumers move their attention online, brands have followed. In 2016 online advertising spend exceeded that of TV advertising spend.

“Once brands were powerful and people were grateful, now people are powerful and brands are grateful”

Kiwi’s are using social media platforms more than ever, and at higher proportions than Australia, the US and the UK including many other countries.

Adhesion shows that of all online Kiwis:

  • 81% use Youtube
  • 79% use Facebook
  • 46% use instagram

This new space has allowed brands to deliver branded content to consumers in authentic ways by using the highly engaged followings of influencers. This begs the question, as consumers, how do we know what is advertising vs. content from a friend?

 

Change in the NZ Market

The Advertising Standards Authority in New Zealand recently announced that a new code of ethics has been formed around influencer marketing to more clearly inform consumers of the nature of content that they are consuming.

“The ASA Code of Ethics states that all advertising content controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser should be identified as such, regardless of the medium used to distribute it.”

Additionally, financial payment does not necessarily qualify content as an advertisement. Free product with controlled messaging can also be classified as an advertisement.

Our CEO at The Social Club, Georgia McGillivray, looks forward to the introduction of these standards.

“We are pleased to see the ASA Guidance Note includes guidelines for identifying influencer marketing as well as other forms of advertising. It is a welcome development for influencers, brands and agencies to gain clarity around their responsibilities. We believe these guidelines serve to validate the influencer market in New Zealand and we are excited to implement them as foundational values here at The Social Club.”

 

What does this mean?

Here are a few scenarios to help brands identify whether their content through influencers is advertising or organic content.

  1. An instagram makeup influencer receives free samples of a new product and the advertisers message to them is “Hey, here’s a sample of our new product for you to try.”
    • The influencer uses the product and uploads a positive post on their instagram feed about their experience.
    • This is not likely to be an advertisement as there was no review requested by the advertiser, or any control of the copy.
  2. The same influencer receives more product for review with content provided by the advertiser. The influencer is able to make additional comments as a part of their review.
    • This is likely to be an advertisement as the advertiser has control over the content and requested a review, even though the product was free. It should clearly be identified as such.
  3. The same influencer is provided with a caption copy and script as well as a payment for a review. The caption includes the brand’s name and a call to action to check out the link.
    • This is an advertisement as payment is involved. The call to action and brand name are likely to be obvious and sufficient as identifiers.

 

How do I maintain authenticity as a brand?

Advertising identifiers can be used in many ways, whether that is integrated into the visuals like the use of a logo, or in the copy such as a brand name.

For example, incorporating the brands name or a hashtag such as #ad #collab, into the caption helps to identify that the content is indeed advertising.

To maintain authenticity it is important that the brand & product fit the values of the influencer and their profile, and vice versa. An example of a non authentic relationship would be if an influencer who publishes a vegan lifestyle was to partner with a burger joint. On the other hand, if an avid runner was to post content wearing a major shoe brand’s apparel, the message would be perceived as authentic as well as reach an engaged audience.

Another important aspect to look at is the ratio of advertisements and non branded content on an influencers page. With a healthy ratio, their audience will remain engaged and not feel bombarded with too many ads.

Since the introduction of similar standards overseas, studies with over 86,000 influencers have found that followers tend to engage more with sponsored content than non-sponsored content across most follower ranges. This shows that authentic and high quality content remain the key for high engagement.

If you’d like to read more, click here to check out the full Guidance Note by the ASA which includes more examples on when advertisements need to be identified.

For more information on running an influencer marketing campaign and how it can help your brand, you can reach our team at enquiries@thesocialclub.co.

INCREASE THE ROI OF YOUR INFLUENCER GENERATED CONTENT

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a phrase that has stuck with us since primary school and now that piece of advice doesn’t just benefit the environment!

Influencer generated content, created for your business, can be the gift that keeps on giving if you repurpose it for other marketing channels effectively. No matter the size of your marketing budget, it’s important to ensure that all activity is offering you a long-term return on investment.

To help you reap the benefits of your influencer marketing activity long after your creators share their content deliverables, here are a few recommended ways that you can cross-promote your IGC.

OWNED SOCIAL CHANNELS

Influencers will share your brand content on their own social channels, but the amplification of their content doesn’t need to stop there. Influencer content that endorses someone’s experience with your brand offers a cheaper CPE in paid advertising and often increases a user’s decision to learn more by clicking through to your website.

Remember that 92% of consumers reportedly trust recommendations from others on social, even if they are influencers who they do not know, over content created by brands. This statistic highlights the importance of IGC to a brand’s social and digital marketing strategy.

DIGITAL CHANNELS

Curated influencer content from people who your consumers trust, repurposed for your website, enhances people’s dwell time on your site and increases EDM engagement and click-through. IGC can offer you authentic website, article or blog content that will strengthen consumers trust and subtly highlight the benefit of your brand within your customer’s lifestyles.

PAID MEDIA INVESTMENTS

IGC doesn’t just generate greater click-through rates in paid social ad units; it also drives higher click-through than brand lead content in digital display, YouTube pre-roll and in-app advertising. Above the line media using influencers in outdoor advertising is also reported to drive greater advertising recall than brand lead content.

EXAMPLE OF REPURPOSED INFLUENCER CONTENT

For a great example of repurposed influencer content, take kiwi videographer Logan Dodds Go Pro Hero6 Instagram post. We have repurposed his post by photoshopping it onto a bus stop sign, giving you an idea of just how efficient Influencer content can be in settings well outside the realms of social media.

trekker

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN REPURPOSING INFLUENCER GENERATED CONTENT

  • Always give credit, whether that is within your image, messaging or captions.
  • If you’re creating a contract, make sure to include points that address the ownership of content and usage rights. These contracts can be complicated so never assume anything! It’s always best to have agreements for this ready to go in advance of content being created & shared where possible.
  • If you aren’t sure about usage, ask. Chances are your influencer will be okay with the repurposing since it doesn’t require any more work from their end and offers them added exposure – but keep in mind that many influencers are now professionals, with hugely valuable personal brands, so don’t be surprised if they do have an additional price point depending on desired usage and placement.

Last but not least, if you are repurposing influencer content remember to always use content that has performed well. Choose a few Influencers that have had popular posts and repost them where an engaged audience can view them.

 

Snap Map: What You Need to Know

Snapchats latest “Snap Maps” only launched last week but it’s already created waves in the social-sphere. Here’s what you need to know:

Snap Maps plots the precise location of users on a world map in real time. This means it’s become a lot easier to see if your mates are hanging out together, without you.

Users are able to pick whether their location is visible to a select few, all friends or nobody at all – a setting Snapchat is calling “ghost mode”.

If you choose to be visible, you’ll appear as your Avatar on your friend’s maps. It would seem your Avatar even gets an upgrade as it changes as Snapchat monitors the of speed of your movements. For example it will update to reflect the fact that you are travelling in a car.

Snapchat’s introduction video, seen above, focuses on sharing the location of posted Snap Stories which are public. What the video doesn’t highlight is that Snap Map will broadcast and update your location to anyone on your friends list every time you open the app.

So to keep you in the know, we’ve put together a list of points below that we think is noteworthy for all you Snapchatters out there:

  • If you choose to share your location with all your friends on Snapchat, the app will remind you of that choice periodically to make sure you’re still comfortable with that decision.
  • You’ll only be able to view mutual friends on the Map.
  • Snapchat will delete your location data after a short period of time. This period of time hasn’t been specified by Snapchat.
  • If you tap on your friend’s Avatar, you’ll be able see when their location was last updated.
  • A friend’s location will remain on the Map for up to 8 hours if they don’t open the app again.

So how will this affect the influencer space? It opens the door to new location based campaigns, especially for events and physical activations. If you’re an Snapchat influencer expect to see this new function included in future campaigns.

One of the main things is to remember to be safe and always know your visibility setting!

If you have any questions about the new update, flick me an email at tony@thesocialclub.co

Instagram’s new branded content tool

Recently, Instagram came under fire for influencers using the service to post sponsored content without letting their followers know it’s actually been paid for. In fact, we only have to scroll back a couple months to the Fyre Festival incident to see what happens when a sponsored post goes wrong.

Out of all online social, Instagram definitely stands out as the platform to show off your most idealised life. We’ve slowly started scrutinising each and every post, asking ourselves whether it’s a reflection of real life or just another ad.

It would seem Instagram is actually on our side with this and working hard to better distinguish between a genuine gram or a sponsored post. Instagram’s new branded content tool means users will start seeing a “paid partnership with” subhead on posts and stories with sponsored content.

feed-aimee-volvo

Influencers can now say their goodbyes to unwanted #sponsored #ad tags and give their sponsored content a more updated professional look.

For now, the tool is only available to a limited amount of users and to have access to the feature you must use an Instagram business account.

Needless to say, it’s something we’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of on your feed in the near future.

Instagram & Twitter Algorithm Update: What it Means for You

Content shared on Instagram & Twitter will no longer appear in the order it was posted and will instead appear based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in it, and your relationship with the person posting it, much like Facebook. 

This week we have seen some major updates to two of our most loved platforms: Instagram & Twitter.

Over the last few years we have seen the organic reach of Facebook decrease rapidly from 100% right down to around 4%. The billion dollar platform have found many ways to monetize and offer users a “tailored and unique” experience, and now they are following suit with their Facebook-owned Instagram photo & video sharing service. While Twitter is not owned by Facebook, it has also released a similar update this week.

What this means as a user, is you will have your own personalised feed which will be ordered based on content and accounts you are most likely to engage with at the top.

For example, if your favourite artist (Taylor Swift) posted a photo of her performance the night before, it will be waiting for you at the top of your feed when you wake up, no matter how many of your other followers have posted in the meantime. Or if your bestfriend tweets a selfie, it will be sitting at the top of your feed rather than 40 photos ago. Make sense?

What this means for Influencers, Marketers and Brands:

  1. Provide valuable content

It is now more important than ever to be providing valuable content that your followers connect with and want to engage with. Without this, your content will be sitting at the bottom of your followers feed, and all the effort you have put into building this community will be lost!

  1. Ask your followers to turn on notifications

Instagram allows you to turn on notifications for your favourite influencers and brands to ensure you never miss a post. It’s likely many of your influencers won’t have heard or know much about this update, and they will definitely be interested in understanding why their feed has changed.

By giving a brief explanation of the updates and subtly asking your followers to turn on their notifications, you will be doing them a favour while helping your account at the same time. @shesaidyes did an excellent job of this:

  1. Engagement rate is king

These social networks are looking to make the overall user experience more engaging. Now that your most relevant posts are appearing on top, users are likely to become less worried about following too many accounts for fear of missing posts. Therefore follower numbers are likely to grow.

What this means for influencers, marketers and brands is that engagement rate will become the key for measuring what an influencer is worth as well as campaign success.

We can also expect up-and-coming influencers with small audiences but great engagement rates to become more in demand.

  1. Influencers time to shine

As it becomes tougher for brands to reach their audiences organically, they will look for other means. This will likely include influencer advertising as well as Instagram & Twitter paid advertising.

  1. Stay true to your community

Whatever you do, don’t let this update affect your accounts. Buying engagement or followers won’t help bump you up the feed and will negatively affect your authenticity. If you remain true to your followers, they will stay with you and spread your content widely.

  1. Cross-promote your platforms

The updates come as a reminder of the power of these giants. You have built a valuable audience, make sure you don’t leave it on one platform. As often as you can, remind your audience of other platforms they can follow you on. Below is a great example from @coreeylupton promoting is Snapchat & YouTube accounts via Instagram:

If you have any questions or would like to talk in more detail about what these changes mean for you, send us a message: enquiries@thesocialclub.co.