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Soon, your main Instagram feed will be a combined display of relevant image posts, Stories, Reels and Video content, all displayed in a full-screen, swipeable UI, ala TikTok, as the platform works to keep up with evolving usage trends, and stop to flow of users migrating to the short-form video app.


Instagram hasn’t confirmed this in any official capacity, but that’s increasingly where the app is headed, with its most recent experiment with longer videos in Stories essentially bringing all of its video formats into line, which will facilitate the next stage of its content merger.


Why would Instagram do this?

As noted, the rise and rise of TikTok has Instagram, and parent company Meta, entirely freaked out, especially as it eyes the next big shift, and utilizing its massive reach to usher in the ‘metaverse’, a new digital platform of immersive experiences that will ideally help Meta become an even more critical utility, in regards to eCommerce, entertainment, social tools, etc.


But if Meta continues to lose favor with younger users, which statistics show is happening, then it won’t be able to maximize this new push, because it’ll harder to gain widespread adoption of, say, it’s new AR glasses or its advanced VR headsets, as all of these new elements become a harder sell if young people would prefer not to spend their time in Meta’s apps, because they’re simply not the cool place to be anymore.

Sure, Meta could still win them over with advanced tools and features that could become the next key trend. But right now, the migration away from Facebook and Instagram is significant, and as TikTok continues to rise, that poses various growth problems for Meta, both for its immediate and longer term plans.


Which is why Instagram, Meta’s key connector to youth culture, is now looking to fight back.


So how will that look in practice?


In short, I’d expect the traditional Instagram news feed of static posts and videos to be on the way out very soon.


Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has already flagged various changes in this respect. Back in January, Mosseri noted that IG was looking to merge its current video tools to better facilitate creation, and reduce confusion in the app.


As Mosseri explained to Decoder:

“We’re looking about how we can - not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram - simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”


Instagram announced the merger of its video feed posts into a single format last month, along with the retirement of the IGTV brand, while the latest test of 60-second videos in Stories essentially now means that feed posts, Stories and Reels all now have the same video post length.


That means that you’ll soon be able to post full Reels in Stories, share regular video posts as Reels, etc. Essentially, all of Instagram’s video options are being brought into line, step-by-step, as the platform works to make it easier to post video content into a single stream.


Which is where this new test comes in.


As you can see in this new notification, shared by user Hammod Oh on Twitter, now, when you record a short video in the app, Instagram will automatically post it as a Reel, while there’s also this new note on the composer screen:


“Your video may appear in Reels, it can also be seen on your profile and in your followers’ feeds.”


So all of your videos can be displayed in the same places - while again, some users can also share the same in Stories, bringing everything into a larger pool of Instagram video posts.


Which is the key aim. TikTok’s able to highlight the best content to each user because it can pull from a massive array of publicly posted clips, which it can then display in your ‘For You’ feed, in alignment with your preferences. Instagram can’t do this, because it’s confined by the people you follow in the main feed, while it also doesn’t open to the full-screen view, like TikTok.


But that could be the next big step.


Late last month, as part of Meta’s Q3 earnings announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that re-establishing connection with younger audiences will be a key focus for the company moving forward.


As explained by Zuckerberg:

“Historically, young adults have been a strong base, and that's important because they are the future. But over the last decade, as the audience that uses our apps has expanded so much and we've focused on serving everyone, our services have gotten dialed to be best for the most people who use them rather than specifically for young adults. And during this period, competition has also gotten more intense, especially with Apple's iMessage growing in popularity and more recently the rise of TikTok, which is one of the most effective competitors that we have ever faced.”


As a result, Zuckerberg says that Meta’s teams will “make serving young adults their north star”, which will see them looking to align with younger user trends, as opposed to sticking with more traditional processes.


Instagram’s Adam Mosseri has also flagged its bigger focus on video, specifically, explaining back in July that:


“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly – full-screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video.”


Instagram, Mosseri also noted, is ‘no longer a photo-sharing app’, saying that people come to Instagram to be entertained, not to look at a digital photo album, as such.

In combination, these statements and experiments point to a major shift for Instagram, which will likely, as noted, see the platform move more towards a TikTok-like feed of all content, all in full-screen, which will give Instagram more insight into what each users’ interest are, and enable it to then refine the user experience specifically in-line with younger user behaviors.


Which will also mean major shifts in process for social media marketers - but really, given the various experiments and changes already in place, that’s happening either way.

Really, it seems obvious, even logical that this is where Instagram is headed. But it will be a big change for the app, and it won’t please everyone.


But again, as Zuckerberg explained in his reasoning for its strategic shift:

“…this will involve tradeoffs in our products and it will likely mean that the rest of our community will grow more slowly than it otherwise would have. But it should also mean that our services become stronger for young adults.”


Some older users won’t like it, but Meta’s willing to take that risk to win over the critical younger user cohort.


All of this points to major change, and as Instagram’s video tools all come into line, you can likely expect it sooner rather than later.



Prepare to shift your IG strategy in 2022.

#1 Have an online presence


Developing a social media marketing strategy and staying active on social networks is a big part of success. It will allow you to reach out to a larger audience; more outreach equals more brand awareness. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers and build a connection with them beyond your product.


Having a website will increase your chances of being found by people searching online for a nearby restaurant. Providing them an online menu will filter those who would come to your restaurant and leave if your menu didn’t have what they were looking for or the prices were too high.


The biggest platforms for social media marketing are Instagram and Facebook. However, don’t disregard the marketing potential of TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Start by focusing all your effort on one or two platforms and as your business grows over time, you can include more social media channels.


#2 Take advantage of #foodstagram


Instagram is the perfect platform to share food content. Photos of food attracts consumers online and will allow you to share and connect online.


Post high quality pictures of your menu, daily specials, take-out, and delivery specials.

Give diners a sneak peek behind the scenes and introduce your owners, managers, and staff—people connect easier to a brand that has a friendly face.

Incorporate videos within content as they drive engagement.

Stay at the top of mind (and top of the feed) by updating your story with fresh dishes and pictures of your business.


Create a personal #hashtag for your restaurant and encourage your diners to post their own pictures and tag you.


Don’t be afraid to use hashtags. Some best-performing hashtags are #foodstagram, #foodphotography, and #foodie.


Take it to a local level and create specific hashtags for your city.


#3 Encourage user generated content


User generated content is created by your customers and is all about getting people involved with creating your content. People trust each other more than they trust brands and in some cases, your customers can promote your brand better than you yourself can.


To do this:


Organize contests and challenges.

This could be posting a picture of your meal with your branded hashtag or perform a viral dance in front of your business.

Make it fun and simple.

Offers rewards for winners.

This gives you the opportunity to build a strong connection with your audience and can lead your existing customers into brand ambassadors.


#4 Use mobile apps to boost conversions


Most searches for restaurants take place on mobile devices, which is why there is a huge demand for food apps. If you are not utilizing the power of mobile apps, you’re missing out on consumers looking for food on the go.


Having a mobile app will make it easier to:


Look at the menu.

Book a reservation.

Order online for pickup or delivery.

Bonus: Start a points programs for app users to get a free appetizer, drink, or % off their food.


The pandemic has completely changed the way the restaurant business operates. Customers are turning towards food apps to order online and contactless delivery because it is more convenient. Research shows that 79% of Millennials are interested in ordering takeout via a website or app. This trend isn’t going to go away post-pandemic


#5 Add your restaurant to online business listings



The best way to get noticed by potential customers is having your restaurant listed on popular business directories such as Google My Business. Most people decide where they want to eat by a quick Google search.


Adding your restaurant is free to use, but make sure to optimize your businesses information to increase your restaurant’s chances of appearing on Google Local Finder and Google Maps. Include your restaurant name, location, category, contact information and website URL so that people can easily find your restaurant.


Being listed as a local business will increase your restaurant visibility and help you attract more loyal customers.

1. Connect With Your Customers on Social Media During a Critical Moment

We’re all dealing with the impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on our lives whether you’ve tested positive or not. We’re all taking precautions. We’re locked in our homes and our kids aren’t in school. We can’t visit our friends. We can’t eat at our favorite restaurants or go out to the movies. Sure, all minor conveniences but jarring nonetheless. This is a time to really show empathy to others and help out where you can. This is a time we all need to be sensitive — and not too salesy or pushy — but it’s a great opportunity for your brand to stand out during a difficult time. More people are on social media now while stuck at home, scanning for updates and trying to stay connected in a suddenly isolated nation. Also, use your business to contribute to area food banks or assist the elderly with their grocery shopping. And promote your good deeds with social media marketing to help build your brand. Our communities need each other now more than ever. People need support, understanding, education, resources. Social media can provide just that and can be extremely powerful if it’s done correctly. Make Sure Your Business Can Be Found Online

2. Make Sure Your Business Can Be Found Online

In case you haven’t noticed, more people are online right now than in their cars or walking the sidewalks. Search traffic has increased significantly over the past week and will continue to climb as we hunker down. We’re all glued to our computers and phones looking for updates within our community. We’re also looking for entertainment and ways to pass the time. For many, that includes shopping online. Anything online right now will be consumed more than ever before. This is not the time to be hidden online. You should be using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to climb to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) so your business can be easily found. This is not a time for a business to go into a shell and poke out your head every few days to see if the sun has come out. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is a Smart Move

3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is a Smart Move Right Now


With more people at home in front of their screens, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to use PPC marketing to connect with their customers and gain a competitive advantage. Oh, and it’s a great chance to save some money within your digital marketing budget. On average, cost-per-clicks have decreased by 6 percent across all verticals since last week.

And CPC is likely to continue to decrease in the coming week, reducing the amount of money an advertiser pays a publisher for every ad click. That gives your business another opportunity to scoop up that lost market share from others pulling back during this time. Stay Ahead or Jump In Front of Your Competition

4. Stay Ahead or Jump In Front of Your Competition

SEO helps your business increase organic traffic to your website and move past your competition. You want to be on the front page of the Google SERPs — and at the top of the list — so that when your customers search for certain keywords you’re the company they end up calling. To climb to the top of the SERPs takes time and strategic optimization strategies. If you don’t continue to optimize your website and content daily, you lose valuable ground in the search results and your free-fall could cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenue. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and do whatever is possible to keep your website updated and optimized. The level of competition within businesses will probably increase in the near future and it’s also important to remain competitive with your digital marketing strategy to help your site rank higher than competitors. What you don’t want to do is halt an SEO campaign. That can be a critical mistake for your business. Your leads and revenue will suffer. But if others choose to pull back on SEO, it’s also a perfect time for your business to push even harder to surpass your competitors. Competitors may be stopping their campaigns because of their fear of what is ahead or their current situation. This is a great time to strengthen your campaign in order to improve your rankings and potentially outrank competitors. Prepare Your Business For the Bounce-Back Surge

5. Prepare Your Business For the Bounce-Back Surge

As we noted earlier, the coronavirus outbreak should fade (just as it has in China) after a few months. That’s when normalcy returns and consumers’ spending habits stabilize. You have to remember that SEO is more of a long-term strategy. What you do today for your SEO campaign will affect your organic search traffic two months from now. Pausing your SEO campaign now could have a detrimental impact on your revenue potential two months from now when the coronavirus starts to become a distant memory. If you stop the momentum now when the market starts to rise you won’t see the results you want. Anticipate the low times, prepare and press now while others are letting up. The results will be in your favor when you will need it. Provide Opportunities for a Special Offer

6. Unique Circumstances Provide Opportunities for a Special Offer

During this uncertain time period, you have the opportunity to show support for your customer base by offering special discounts that will keep your revenue flowing. Identify your product-market fit and create a special offer. Many people are at home browsing, looking for discounts to save money during a time of unrest. It’s a great way to engage with your customers and keep a steady stream of revenue that will keep your doors open. You can push out your special offers through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and social media. Be prepared to jump into action with new strategies to help your brand come back to a ‘healthy market,’. The preparation should start today. Local SEO is now More Relevant

7. Local SEO is now More Relevant; So Are Your Online Reviews

We’ve all reduced our travel and are staying close to home. In the rare times when we do leave our house, we’re looking for nearby destinations for services and supplies. So you want to make sure your business is using local SEO strategies to optimize your website for “near me” searches. You want customers in your geo region to be able to easily find you online so they turn to you first. At a time when we’re all looking for more convenience, this gives your business a chance to provide assistance during a critical time for families. Another way to boost your local SEO during this time is to not forget about the importance of adding positive reviews. During the coronavirus, online reputation management is as important as ever because this is a great time to really connect with your target audience during a chaotic time. To provide the right service or product for people during a stressful time like this — when they need it most during this COVID-19 pandemic — is likely to be rewarded with a glowing review. Even though Google My Business (GMB) has temporarily suspended publishing online reviews, you should still push to get reviews submitted so they publish when GMB returns to normal. One way to boost your brand during a crisis is turn to a professional online reputation management company. Companies have a tremendous opportunity to improve their Google review profile during this time of crisis. Many businesses will not add reviews because of closures and lack of attention, so some companies can create a competitive advantage with a proactive approach. This is also the perfect time to start an Amazon marketing campaign to take advantage of the eCommerce surge. Now is a perfect time for eCommerce businesses to leverage digital marketing.

There has been a massive influx of consumers shopping online with recent events, causing businesses such as Amazon to hire nearly 100,000 new employees to prepare for the increase in business. Utilize digital marketing now to stand out. Inform Your Customers

8. Be Prepared to Pivot as a Business and Inform Your Customers

In a fluid situation, your business should also be fluid. This is a time that you should find ways to connect with your customers like never before. It shows empathy and keeps you relevant at a time when your business may have been impacted by people staying at home. For instance, restaurants are shutting down right now because customers aren’t dining in. You should make sure you’re offering free delivery services. Also, let your customers know you’ve increased your sanitary practices and how you’re doing that specifically. But other businesses should pivot right now, too, as we stay in. Gyms have closed their doors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but why not offer online workout classes right now? Dentists could offer online consultations. Grocery stores should offer free curbside pickup. All of these opportunities can be boosted with strategic social media campaigns. Since people are forced to be quarantined at the moment, there will be more eyeballs than ever before online so people will be consuming more digital marketing on all fronts. People will be looking to social media especially for updates on closures, new procedures for businesses and news. They will also be looking to see how brands and businesses are reacting to the current business environment. Now is probably the most important time to be visible digitally because other forms of traditional marketing will be stalled. Don’t Fall Victim to the Panic Move

9. Don’t Fall Victim to the Panic Move

How much toilet paper do you have at your house right now? If your answer is a closet full, you’re likely one of the people who flocked to the store when the coronavirus hysteria started to accelerate over the weekend. That’s not how you want to react if you want to implement a smart digital marketing strategy. You never want to make a panic move. You always want to use metrics and analyze all of the data you have available before making a decision. Knee-jerk reactions usually don’t end well in digital marketing. Take caution when quickly reacting to a sudden shift in the economy or market. The economy isn’t stopping. Homeowners still need home service providers. People still need goods and services. Money is still changing hands and consumers are still relying on Google to find people to do business with. Finish Your Digital To-Do Lists

10. Use this Down Time to Finish Your Digital To-Do Lists

Now that you’re not commuting to the office or taking in-person meetings, your schedule has likely freed up some time for you. Those marketing items that may have fallen through the cracks and been overlooked can now be addressed. Perhaps your website needs a fresh look with a redesign.


This is also a great time to have a conversion rate optimization specialist perform a CRO audit of your website to ensure your call-to-actions (CTAs) are turning leads into customers. Also, it’s an ideal time to do an SEO audit of your website to ensure you’re maximizing your optimization strategies.