The Instagram saturation: how design agencies can stand out in a sea of creativity
By Elisha Bautista, Account Executive, Red Setter
With ‘distance’ becoming the defining word of the COVID era, creative agencies had to find new ways of connecting – with clients and each other – and many turned to the gift that is social media to stay in touch.
But how saturated has social media become since the start of the global pandemic, and what does this mean for your agency?
Has the pandemic saturated social media activities?
According to Up To The Light’s 2021 report, the confines of lockdown increased our desire to reach out to the wider world through digital means. It appears that social media did not experience the same pandemic stall that we did. But it didn’t experience the bump of new user accounts that might be anticipated either.
The truth is that the digital space has long been saturated with user-generated content. Viral banana breads, whipped coffees, and the anticipation for the next dance challenge were just a few of the early trend surges lost to the pandemic social archive.
A study by Digitalcommerce360 reports that 73% of existing social media users increased their social media consumption since the start of the pandemic, with 43% also posting more content during quarantine. People are online, and they are engaging.
The Instagram spike
YouGov records Instagram as the second most used social media platform next to Facebook, while Digitalcommerce360 notes that 69% of social media users have increased most of their consumption on Instagram during the quarantine – a pivot in social media behaviour that has created new opportunities for agencies and brands.
While Instagram may not be the first platform you look to for new client relationships, it’s evolved into a world of cutting-edge creativity – a visually-led platform that Founders and CEOs can use to get a strong impression of what your agency is all about. And with that comes an opportunity to create fresh, unique and scroll-stopping digital content that speaks directly to your ideal client.
IG Live – the unexpected algorithm solution
If you’ve spent time on Instagram, you’ll know that the algorithm behaves in mysterious ways. Here’s the not-so-secret secret: the algorithm loves video. In fact, we all love video. 84% of clients prefer agencies that have pre-existing video content (Up To The Light 2021 Report) and forecaster Zenith has predicted that by 2021, the average person will be consuming half as much time viewing online video content as viewing conventional television.
Here’s the caveat – clients love video content, but not unnecessary content. Most browsers scan rather than truly read, hence insightful or minute-long content hits the spot when it comes to posting on Instagram (a strategy successful LinkedIn posters practice very well).
If the answer to cutting through social media competition is video, but we dislike unnecessary video content, could hosting expert talks and thought leadership sessions on IG Live be the content creator’s new solution?
We’ve recently seen a rise in this practice through less moderated emerging rivals (Clubhouse, you glorified Zoom call, we see you). And you may be wondering, is it worth it?
Diversify, own and engage
If you’re an agency that wants to diversify ways of presenting educated and expert content, hosting an IG Live is an ownable way to stay on top of the feed and engage with curious viewers and potential new clients.
While the idea of going on a live stream can be daunting, Instagram Live is a great approach to connecting with your audience in real-time and may be a post-COVID solution to the in-person industry conference.
Not only this, but upon starting an IG Live, all videos will appear at the beginning of your ‘Stories’ line-up, putting you in direct view of any active user in that time.
No more scheduling IG photos for peak engagement times and gaining a mere traction in likes. And no more losing your ground-breaking expert content to viral banana breads.