The Instagram algorithm is undergoing a dramatic update that will soon affect the way online markets promote offers on one of the biggest social networks around. The update itself is very simple, it reorders images and videos in users’ feeds based on their interests. The reason for the update according to Instagram is that users miss 70% of the posts that show up in their feeds, meaning they only see 30% of the content posted by users and brands they follow. The social network will try to make the above 30% as relevant as possible.
This change is likely to result in the loss of opportunities for new brands and businesses to appear in users’ feeds and in reduced exposure for businesses that successfully penetrated the feed in the past. In short, if you have built a base of followers for your healthy lifestyle account by simply posting something every half an hour, now your posts will have higher chances to get lost in the abyss of visual content. Promoting your own account on Instagram won’t be the same. Although at this point Instagram is not the leading marketing platform like the rest of the SMM platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are still in the lead), the amount of fresh, active users is increasing daily and so is the marketing potential of the network.
There is a variety of opinions in business and affiliate circles on the recent update; some think that the change will have an adverse effect on marketing activities and that Instagram will discriminate business pages in favor of personal ones (which is what Facebook is often accused of). Others argue that the impending algorithm won’t hurt marketers if they create content that is truly relevant and engaging for users.
At the end of the day, it’s another change that the online marketer will need to adjust and get used to.
Similar updates have happened previously and quite frequently in the last few years, which is the reason why the DNA of online marketing has become much more adaptive and flexible.
It seems that this is just another step in the evolution of social networks that are becoming less organic and more engineered to follow Facebook’s lookalike audience system. Currently, the new feed is at the beta-testing stage and Instagram has even announced that no irrevocable change will happen without general approval. Will the users’ behavior change following the modification of the algorithm? Only time will tell. Before changes are implemented on a large scale, however, you have time to readjust your marketing strategy.
Owners of popular accounts have already reached out to their followers asking them to turn on push notifications for new postings. While it might not help you grow your following, it will let you keep the audience you already had.
In regards to adjusting your affiliate marketing strategy with Instagram, the key aspect to focus on is creating engaging content. If you have previously produced posts that have earned organic followers, now you should double your efforts. The good old “content is king” rule proves to be working yet again. In all other respects, Instagram will remain an effective marketing channel, which you shouldn’t overlook when developing your marketing campaign strategy.
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