Beating The Instagram Reels Algorithm: Data Driven Insights Into What It Takes To Win
Since their introduction a few years ago, Instagram Reels have completely transformed the Instagram platform. With Reels being prioritized over other content, brands and influencers found themselves shifting their Instagram content strategies. In a recent report, Emplifi discovered five popular brands who are beating the algorithm in unique, yet practical ways. Keep reading to learn more about how to incorporate their tactics into your own strategy.
Today, video content is king and social media platforms are embracing the trend. In response to TikTok hitting the social media scene, Instagram debuted its Reels feature in 2019. Instagram Reels are quick, 60-second videos to which content creators can add special effects, music, filters, and more. Due to the rising popularity of video, Instagram also adjusted their algorithm and now prioritizes Reels over other content on the platform, like photos and longer-form videos.
Keeping up with the ever-changing algorithms of today’s top social media platforms is no small feat, especially for brands looking to attract and retain a strong customer base. Emplifi, a leading customer experience platform, researched a handful of popular brands who are succeeding with Instagram Reels and compiled their data in a detailed report. Here, NetInfluencer dives into the report and highlights key takeaways for brands and influencers.
Who Conducted the Survey?
Founded in 2021, customer experience (CX) software platform Emplifi “provides brands with insights needed to empathize with customers and amplify the right experiences.” Through their proprietary solutions, the company “empowers brands to meet the fast-changing customer expectations across marketing, commerce, and care touchpoints.” Emplifi has been tracking key insights and trends within the social media space from its beginnings, with over 28 million social profiles monitored to date. Emplifi has partnered with over 7,000 brands and the company continues to assist clients with over 1 billion customer interactions each month.
Emplifi CEO Mark Zablan has more than 25 years of experience in executive roles within software as a service (SaaS) organizations. Prior to his leadership role at Emplifi, Zablan was the Chief Revenue Officer at Sitecore, President of EMEA at Adobe, and Group President of Digital Marketing Services at Experian. Emplifi is currently headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.
Emplifi analyzed five major brands who have mastered the art of Instagram Reels and made the algorithm work to their advantage. The five brands are:
The report dives into each brand’s Instagram Reels strategy and provides suggestions for how brands can implement the tactics in their own social media campaigns.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Brands should consider resharing content from adjacent brands and influencers with large followings. They should also add branded hashtags to make their Instagram Reels easy to find.
2. Brands should consider creating multiple Instagram profiles and share Reels across multiple channels. Reels should also fit in with a target audience’s overall style and aesthetic.
3. Brands should consider making Instagram Reels interactive by asking community questions and promoting user-generated content. Content from other social media platforms can also be repurposed into Instagram Reels.
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
The first takeaway comes from Emplifi’s analysis of the brand Yakima. This sporting and outdoors-focused brand frequently reshares relevant user-generated content from professional athletes and everyday people to keep things fresh and visually interesting. Emplifi’s study specifically mentioned the Reel below, which was a reshare from an outdoor sports influencer. The Reel received thousands of views and “created a bridge” between the influencer’s following and the Yakima brand. Yakima also takes advantage of branded hashtags and uses #yakimaracks consistently throughout their social media posts.
Influencers and brands looking to hack the Instagram Reels algorithm without reinventing the wheel should try to reshare relevant content whenever possible. This also gives content creators a break from creating original content and saves time while still driving up engagement rates.
The second takeaway comes from Emplifi’s analysis of the athletic apparel brand Puma. The company creates original branded Instagram Reels and features celebrity partners. Emplifi’s study mentions the below Reel, which features singer Dua Lipa modeling one of Puma’s recent clothing collections. Puma also frequently reshares influencer posts that fit in with their target audience’s aesthetic.
Additionally, Puma has a portfolio of unique Instagram accounts where they cross-post Reels tailored to different topics. Each account within the portfolio focuses on a particular niche within Puma’s brand umbrella. For example, @pumarunning is geared towards the runner’s lifestyle and features products relevant to that brand segment’s target customer. Brands looking to foster a more authentic connection to their audience should consider creating their own portfolio of accounts. Multiple channels also provide multiple opportunities for one particular Instagram Reel to receive higher engagement rates.
The third takeaway contains insights from Emplifi’s research of airline company Delta’s Instagram Reels strategy. One of the key elements included in Delta’s Reels is a question posed to their audience. Emplifi highlights the Reel below as an example, where Delta asks viewers where they would travel to if they only had one trip left before the year ends. This particular Reel received over 90,000 views and over 700 comments, which demonstrates the power these types of posts have in terms of striking up a conversation.
Another strategy Delta uses is repurposing content from their other social media channels into Instagram Reels. Emplifi mentions their reuse of tweets from their Twitter account overlaid onto a video background to create Reels. Like resharing the same content on multiple channels, repurposing content is also a great way to save time and marketing resources while boosting engagement.
In addition to these three takeaways, Emplifi also studied Reels from Mapiful and Alo Yoga. Mapiful, a custom maps and prints company, creates Reels that evoke emotions in their target audience. They also educate their viewers with tutorials on relevant topics. Alo Yoga, a popular yoga apparel brand, has an Instagram Reels strategy primarily based on resharing content from brand ambassadors. They also create Reels to promote social media contests and giveaways.
Link to the Report
The Meeting the Demands of the Modern Customer report can be found on Emplifi’s website, along with additional insights and research reports on customer engagement, marketing, and eCommerce.