Reels, Stories, IGTV, Live & Feed: Why Instagram wants all formats to be used

Photo from JACQUELINE BRANDWAYN on Unsplash

The number of available Instagram formats has gradually expanded. With the introduction of Instagram Reels in particular, another content format is available that requires a completely different approach. But do you really have to use all the different formats on Instagram? What influence does the use of reels or stories have on the organic performance of posts in the feed?

Positive effects through the use of all Instagram formats

Since there have been discussions about algorithms in social networks, Often there is also talk of certain formats being “pushed” by Facebook, Instagram and Co. This was the case, for example, with the launch of Facebook Live and the introduction of Instagram Stories.

It looks similar with Instagram Reels and here, too, it is assumed that reels are given preference by Instagram in order to speed up the format to establish.

Shortly before Christmas, Rachel Reichenbach published her findings on Rainylune from a conversation with a” media expert “from Instagram, which was precisely about these questions. We are also often asked how often new content should be published on Instagram and which formats work particularly well.

First things first: Of course, functioning well is always relative and depends on the respective objective. The fact is, however, that Instagram accounts should no longer focus on individual formats. The days when the focus was on the Instagram feed are over since the triumph of Instagram Stories. It’s about the addition and combination of individual formats.

A good example of this is the visibility of reels and IGTV videos, which are also shared in the feed. This is also a great advantage of content distribution on Instagram. While IGTV videos initially got stuck in the IGTV app and in the Explore area, they now have significantly greater visibility in the feed.

With Reels, the visibility is even greater, since the format unites with the Reels tab owns their own area within Instagram.

Posting regularly on Instagram is important. The requirements (or wishes) on the part of Instagram may surprise you. Compared to Rachel Reichenbach, the “media expert” summarized the posting frequency as follows. It’s a lot.

Optimal posting frequency on Instagram (… according to Instagram)

The recommendation is as follows:

– 3 posts for the Instagram feed per week

– 8 to 10 Instagram stories per week

– 4 to 7 Instagram reels per week

– 1 to 3 IGTV videos per week

That is 16 pieces of content per week, which are divided into four different formats. Does that coincide with your activity on Instagram?

At this point, a distinction must be made between how companies, media and creators use Instagram. For some media sites, the 16 pieces of content per week is definitely not a lot and the amount of content published is significantly higher. But it gets interesting when it comes to distribution. 4 – 7 reels per week are rare and even more rare in companies. In reality it looks like that many companies have not yet created and published any reels at all.

There are also some accounts on the creator’s side, which with the frequency and the distribution of the formats to a higher level Number of content coming. But this is not the standard, but rather the exception.

As is so often the case, the decisive point is not the quantity. Content quality is crucial. There’s no point in posting 20 pieces of content a week if it’s not entertaining, informative, or helpful. So when you’re working on your content strategy for Instagram, quality is always paramount. It’s not about publishing a certain number of posts. Especially not if the quality suffers.

But if you have an abundance of content and can distribute it to the different formats, then this will be rewarded by Instagram.

The use of reels affects the organic performance of all formats

As soon as Instagram introduces a new format, it should of course also be used and consumed. Logical. It becomes interesting when a new format is not used and this affects other formats. According to Rachel Reichenbach, Instagram accounts that publish reels are rewarded. This also means that those who do not publish reels will not be rewarded by Instagram.

From the point of view of Instagram, this is quite understandable, since the pressure from TikTok is high and reels have to be a success. At least this is the current situation.

One can get excited about this now, or deal with the situation. Firstly, by publishing your own reels, or by living with the fact that Instagram currently prefers the reels and your own content may be less visible in the feed. These are always snapshots and as soon as reels are established, this can change again.

Anyone who conducts social media marketing must always be guided by the rules and developments of the individual platforms. That is just part of our job and that makes it so varied.

Publish content regularly at the same time

While we deal a lot with the optimal times for social media posts, regularity is also an important factor. This is not about three posts a week, but about posts or IGTV videos on the same day and at the same time.

Series formats are very suitable for this. Instagram has also published its own feature for series formats, with which you can structure IGTV videos and highlight them in your own Instagram account. But even without IGTV and ongoing episodes, constant posting at defined times according to Instagram is recommended.

However, it is important: when and how content is consumed still depends on your own followers. In addition, the algorithm means that content is consumed at very different times and not when it is published. Nonetheless, series formats are ideal because they not only stay in the user’s mind better: they stay inside (“there is a new video every Wednesday”), they also offer a variety of opportunities to communicate topics more deeply and more intensively.

Conclusion: Use different Instagram formats, but don’t get crazy

The use of different Instagram formats is part of a modern Instagram strategy. Creators and companies will always have a format that suits them best. Be it in relation to the results or also to the implementation. Nevertheless, it is very important to deal with different formats and to embrace new developments on Instagram. Stories are a good example of this and have long been established in companies. At Reels, the development will be similar. So deal with the format and produce reels that attract the attention of your target groups. Whether it’s one reel or four a week is of secondary importance.

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