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Should marketing managers still use Instagram?

Instagram has made another leap forward in its transition to a video platform. But is this an opportunity or an obstacle for business marketing?

When Instagram’s Adam Mosseri appears on social media feeds, his message is rarely received well. 

The CEO’s most recent video has been criticised by top social media influencers, drawing disapproval from Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigan and Kylie Jenner to name a few. Mosseri’s videos, usually explaining Instagram’s future trajectory, don’t just have big implications for users but for marketing managers using the platform as well.

Videos like this one have become a bit of a meme over the last few years. Despite how often Mosseri has appeared, the focus of Instagram’s future usually stays the same: video, video, video.

The reason is as simple as the message: TikTok.

Change often means opportunity. But is it actually worth it for your business to ride the wave and use Instagram videos as part of your business marketing strategy? 

Obstacles vs opportunities

On the one hand, videos have been massively prioritised on Instagram for some time. You might notice that your IG videos are getting far more exposure than your pictures. That’s because Instagram has been pushing videos, especially Reels, to more people as part of its attempt to motivate users to help in its transition to a video platform.

Great, you might think, if videos mean more exposure, let’s make videos. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. 

The current prioritisation of video content might give videos a boost in the short-term, but as the app completes its attempted transformation into a TikTok-style platform, videos are unlikely to get the same boost relative to other posts. After all, once everyone’s making videos, Instagram will be unable to reward everyone for doing so. 

Instagram for business marketing

For most businesses, marketing on Instagram could have diminishing returns as the transition to video platform takes place. 

Creating videos takes time – planning, filming, editing – and they’re increasingly likely to get lost in people’s feeds once Instagram’s transformation into a video app has been finalised. There’s also reason to believe that your organic content is going to be increasingly unlikely to reach a wider audience.

This tweet says the quiet part out loud. At the end of the day, Instagram is focused on growth, not on utility, and not on the user experience as anything other than means to that end. 

This likely means that Instagram feeds will become a place for larger businesses to promote and advertise, while users will connect with their friends through their stories and DMs. In the long-run, that doesn’t leave much room at all for most businesses looking to achieve growth using the platform.

The future

Instagram is changing and the path forward for business marketing might lie elsewhere. Email marketing, for example, is still 40x more effective in generating clients, and allows you to own your audience in a way that is becoming increasingly impossible on Instagram.

As marketing managers look to the future, success may ironically lie down more traditional avenues. 

More help

Want to get in touch about building a social media marketing strategy for your business? Drop me an email at [email protected].

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