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It’s official “Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app”

While it should come as no surprise to us – Instagram is officially “no longer a photo sharing app”. The growing popularity of reels, IGTV  and rising of competitor platforms has prompted a seed change in the core functionality of this social media behemoth. While it won’t be the immediate end of selfies and curated aesthetics, now is still a good time to rethink your content marketing strategy and the impact it will have on performance media.

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, is one of the chattier social media CEOs and his latest IGTV has left lots of us stepping up our video production and re-thinking how we plan and create content for social.


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How exactly is Instagram planning to make the move to video-centric social media experiences?

Making things better for creators

The idea is that power is taken from larger institutions who have previously been the main beneficiaries of the algorithm. Instead, the channel will reward individuals creating interesting content that keeps users entertained.

Improved Instagram Shopping

With the pandemic accelerating ecommerce, Instagram has had to lean into the trend. And they’ve been doing so for quite some time. From live shopping links to the new ‘Drops’ feature – allowing brands to create a buzz around new product drops ahead of launch.

Expanding Messaging capabilities

We’re likely to see new ways to message people through the channel. We can see this in the latest update to our inboxes with Rooms – allowing us to video chat in groups. Not a million miles away from our favourite worst lockdown 1.0 app: Houseparty.

And that leads us on to the crux of Mosseri’s announcement, which is all about video.

Creating content for video-first channels

Video drives huge volumes of growth across all channels. We see it every day. Whether we’re producing more content for Instagram Reels because we know it gets higher engagement, or adding video assets to ad campaigns because we know it increases click through rates. There’s no getting away from it: video content has to be a fundamental part of your growth strategy.

And Instagram knows this better than anyone. With the primary goal to keep users entertained, they’re focused on prioritising video content that’s: full screen, immersive and mobile-first.

After all, there’s big competition. TikTok users have trebled over the past year. As a result, 44% of marketers are planning to invest significantly in the platform. And YouTube is still the second biggest search engine in the world. 

Our social media exec, Emily Fisher, explains how a shift to a video-first content strategy changes the way she plans content:

Beyond growing engagement numbers, there are plenty of reasons to invest in video when it comes to Instagram content. Sharing video is not only a great way to inspire your audience, but it gives you the opportunity to share complex stories that a single image cannot do. Whether you’re trying to build brand awareness, promote your products, entertain or educate your audience, video content is a much better way to tell your story.

And it doesn’t have to have high production levels either. This type of content can be made at a low cost with little filming experience and production equipment. The more authentic the video looks, the more likely users are to engage. It looks a lot less like branded or ad content, which is always a win from the user’s perspective.

As an agency, we will be planning and creating a lot more video content for our clients. On average, we aim to increase the percentage of video assets for each client to around 70%.  At any opportunity, we will create video content over static images, using stories and reels to leverage their power.

What about video production?

Not only does prioritising video change the way we plan and schedule content, but it changes the way we think about production. Because if photography and static graphics aren’t going to cut the mustard, we have to get clever with the video assets we have.

Harry, our Digital Marketing Assistant, shares 5 tips on how to edit engaging video content for social:

Social media platforms have seen a seismic shift in consumption habits within the last decade, across all formats. As smartphone capacity increases for video, recently seeing an introduction of HDR 4K, the ability to make engaging video content has never been easier.

That being said, how do you stand out from the crowd? Video content apps such as TikTok, IG Reels and Youtube Shorts have seen a massive surge in popularity and in turn, encouraged shorter viewer attention spans.

5 tips on how to edit engaging video content for social media:

1. Prioritise your narrative

Emphasising a narrative while editing social content prevents your video from appearing too promotional and corporate. This more emotive angle helps to keep viewers engaged.

2. The 3 second rule

The faster you can communicate and capture your viewers attention, the more likely the algorithm will push your video. With the sheer volume of content available, you want to intercept the infinite scroll.

3. Focus on framing

Using the rule of thirds when shooting/editing content for social media helps direct attention to the main element. Learn how to apply this in YouTube’s handy guide.

4. Use jump cuts

Editing out those milliseconds of dead air will aid you in creating a snappier piece of content that’s more direct. Every second counts.

5. Utilize captions and subtitles

Captions are a sure way to communicate your message and make your content more widely accessible. Besides, users largely scroll through their feeds on mute – 85% on Facebook.

Working closely with ecommerce brands, we’re always looking to keep things growing. And video has a crucial part to play – from growing an online community to translating that community into sales.

To find out how you can use video to reach your objectives, get in touch.


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