Even as an Instagram content creator, you might not know that the average engagement of influencers per post is only 1.42 percent.
If that figure is not looking promising to you, consider the 0.98 percent median across all industries. Content creators are faced with the challenge of pulling out all the stops if they want their posts to reach and attract their target audience.
One of the best ways to get their content across is via Instagram Recommendations.
To leverage this feature, the first step is to understand the latest Instagram recommendation and community guidelines.
In this post, we talk about Instagram Recommendations, its value to creators and how to use it for greater reach and engagement.
What Are Instagram Recommendations?
An Instagram Recommendation is a photo or video post on the Instagram Explore page, Accounts You May Like and the Reels tab. Usually, these posts do not come from accounts that a user follows. But Instagram (IG) shows them anyway to help people discover new content and communities.
Instagram uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other advanced technologies in its algorithm to ensure that the recommendations they make are relevant and valuable to users. So much like Google and Facebook, they personalize recommendations by factoring in user preferences, behaviors and usage history.
Since the algorithm gets updated regularly, Instagram marketing agencies, brands and influencers should review or watch out for changes in the Instagram community guidelines and other Instagram guidelines to ensure that every promotion on Instagram can get recommended.
How Recommendations Help Brand Promotion on Instagram
Instagram started as a photo-sharing social networking site before introducing Instagram TV (IGTV) in 2018, later replaced by Instagram Video in 2021. As the number of monthly users grew, it became one of the most important digital marketing channels for businesses to run social media marketing campaigns.
Here are two reasons why more companies today are partnering with Instagram marketing agencies to develop an Instagram content plan.
1. Showcase Products
Usually, Instagram content ideas aim to showcase or promote a particular product. Apart from merely making a post, any user can also access a feature called Instagram Guides to create curated content, such as:
For travel and hospitality-related businesses, “Places” is of utmost importance. “Products,” meanwhile, helps showcase products.
To this day, Instagram Guides remain underused. So when generating Instagram content ideas, the Instagram content creator or Instagram marketing company should take advantage by using this feature to gain a competitive edge.
For companies to have Instagram Guide, they must first have an Instagram Shop. In general, these are the steps taken to create a shop.
• Meet eligibility requirements, such as being located in a supported market, having an eligible product, owning a website where products are sold and compliance with various agreements, policies, terms and conditions.
• Convert the account to a business or creator account. Once the business account is up, fill in the relevant business information, such as an address, phone, opening hours and link to the website.
• Connect the business or creator account to a Facebook Page. Note that a Facebook Page Shop is not necessary.
• Upload product catalog using the Catalogue Manager found in Facebook Business Manager. This catalog should contain a list of products, inventory and descriptions. For large organizations, this process is tedious, with hundreds (or thousands) of products. So most of them rely on integration with an e-Commerce Platform Partner or Instagram marketing services.
• Submit the account for review. Once approved, turn on the Shopping feature. From the Instagram business profile, tap on Settings > Business > Shopping. Choose the product catalog to connect to and then tap on Done.
The advantage of using Instagram shop is that it helps simplify buyer journeys. For example, creating a gift guide and linking the products to the product sales page in the shop is easy and convenient. Direct links, in this case, help increase conversion rates because customers do not have to go through other steps that take time.
2. Expand Reach and Boost Customer Acquisition
The whole point of an Instagram content strategy is to increase the number of followers and reach. Paid ads remain the quickest way to generate leads. But even better is if posts get recommended and appear on the Instagram explore page.
Instagram recommendations are free. Also, like search engines, Instagram uses an algorithm to recommend posts to users who might be interested in seeing them. So, in essence, the posts reach an audience that likely belongs to the target customer segment.
Another thing to consider about recommendations is that non-followers might see them, which means some users may become followers or customers by visiting the product sales page.
How To Be Eligible for Instagram Recommendations
All users need to follow the Instagram Community Guidelines. But because non-followers may also see recommended posts, the standards for eligible posts are much higher. This way, Instagram can reduce the likelihood of recommending posts that a broader audience may find offensive or inappropriate, especially those that have not signified that they want to see such posts.
So besides the Instagram Community Guidelines, the posts must also follow the Recommendation Guidelines.
Generally, content and IG reels ideas that depict violence are against Instagram brand guidelines. Likewise, promoting regulated products like vaping and tobacco is not allowed. Sexually suggestive or explicit images and videos, including people in see-through clothing, are also prohibited.
Posts that violate Instagram guidelines are automatically flagged and removed using technology and human review teams. In severe cases, Instagram may also prevent an entire account from appearing in recommendations. Usually, this happens due to repeated violations.
Best Practices for Instagram Content Ideas and Making Reels on Instagram
These are practices that an Instagram content creator can consider when generating content and IG Reels ideas. Make use of these tips to increase the chances of getting recommended.
1. Post Original Content and Post Consistently
Avoid uploading reels that are already posted or any unoriginal or aggregated content, for that matter. Rather than reusing someone else’s content, a better option is to share a worthy reel or post on Story. For best results, upload original photos/videos, as users would appreciate them more.
Note: Brands can collaborate with others by using Instagram’s Collabs feature. This strategy allows a single post to be shared with the collaborators’ followers.
Another thing to remember is to make regular posts and schedule them according to the target audience’s timeline. Like Facebook, the posts that appear on the timeline are recent, among others. So regular postings at a time when the most target users are online increase the chances of the posts being seen.
Remember, only posts the audience sees have a chance to achieve their desired results, including engagements. This process can be made easier and more effective by using social media tools like HootSuite or partnering with one of the reputable Instagram marketing agencies.
2. Generate Engaging IG Reels Ideas
When making reels on Instagram, ensure that they follow Instagram brand guidelines. Not only that, but they must also be a part of the broader Instagram content strategy.
Keep these elements in mind when creating videos:
• Use high-resolution 9×16 vertical dimensions without borders so that the video can be seen full-screen on smartphones.
• If texts are used, ensure they do not take up too much space and cover a significant portion of the screen.
• Keep videos short, as they can only get recommended if their length does not exceed 90 seconds.
• The first three seconds matter, so make it count. Otherwise, users may ignore the video and go to the next post.
• Besides the subject, produce videos incorporating the company’s Instagram brand guidelines or identity to enhance brand recognition.
• Consider using the services of an Instagram marketing company for professional video production.
3. Enhance Promotion on Instagram by Increasing Search Visibility
Like search engines, keywords matter, so any Instagram content plan must include research and analysis of analytics. Here are tips to follow:
• Instagram matches the search results with the search query using text. So include relevant keywords when making a post.
•Profile names that match the content may get a boost in search results.
• Include primary keywords in the bio to enhance search visibility.
• Add relevant keywords and hashtags in captions, not comments.
Be Eligible To Get on Instagram Explore Page
The key to benefiting from getting recommended is to be eligible. That means ensuring every photo and video posted is compliant with Instagram guidelines.
Also, follow the best practices discussed in this article to attract more followers and potential customers. Including keywords, for example, can help increase search visibility.
For more information on how our Instagram marketing services can help drive users to your product sales pages, contact us at 866-908-4748. Our social media marketing specialist can discuss the various digital marketing strategies that can drive your sales and provide excellent returns.
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