Understanding Instagram’s algorithm and what classifies as important content is crucial to building an effective social media marketing strategy. The Instagram algorithm ranks content based on captions and engagement metrics to distribute the best-suited content to the corresponding profiles. Why is this relevant to your marketing strategy? To utilize social media successfully, it’s important you know how to optimize your content to its optimal potential and further your account reach.

Instagram’s Algorithm is Constantly Changing

Over the years, Instagram has introduced new and exciting features to entice people to join their social network. One of their most popular features, Instagram stories, has been a big hit amongst the platform’s users. Consumers can add images, videos, boomerangs, reels, and more to their stories to showcase their content to new and existing followers. While both Instagram stories and feed posts engage with viewers, each avenue can have a tailored strategy for posting to your followers.

How to Tailor Your Posting Strategy to Stories or the Newsfeed

First, let’s dig into the difference between feed posts and stories in order to help you determine which approach is best for your business. Feed posts are commonly used for information sharing, new product/brand launches, and finding accounts related to your interests. The Instagram feed is best for reaching new audiences and hooking them with curated and relatable content. If the goal is to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and attract new followers – feed posts are the golden ticket.

While feed posts are carefully curated and aesthetically pleasing, Instagram stories are oftentimes rawer and less polished. Stories allow you to experiment with your followers and learn more about how they engage with your authentic content. Due to the “here today and gone tomorrow” nature of the 24-hour time limit, viewers tend to consume story content more rapidly than feed posts. The key to creating engaging stories is curating consistent yet compelling content for followers to consume. On top of that, stories can be utilized to reshare images posted on the feed and direct followers back to a landing page. Additionally, you can group stories into a highlight on your profile to target specific areas of interest that followers can look back to for insight. Instagram stories allow accounts and brands to showcase their creativity and style while still connecting with other businesses and customers.

You’re probably wondering – which one matters more: Instagram stories or feed posts? The answer is that both have a purpose. Audiences on Instagram are still consuming content in both feeds and stories; however, Instagram stories continue to be on the rise. Because people appreciate the authenticity and timeliness of Instagram stories, it is important that businesses incorporate a strategy for showcasing relatable content in this avenue. Likewise, using Instagram stories to share creative and authentic content that leads consumers back to a carefully curated feed is more effective than opting for one over the other and why you should continue to use both, as feed photos will always remain relevant for businesses reaching new audiences. Why? Because when a new potential follower arrives on your Instagram page, you’ll need to hook them with an exciting profile and feed full of relevant content – and then keep them with engaging stories.

Where to start? Begin by establishing an aesthetic or color scheme that fits your brand and the products/services you want to showcase. Once established, aim to develop images, graphics, videos, and GIFs that align with your brand’s online presence.

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