Today’s episode discusses Instagram features in review and what we can expect in 2022 from IG as a blogger or influencer.
IE 259: Instagram Features & What to Expect in 2022 as an Influencer
Before we dive into the content, be sure to grab your free download of my Instagram Engagement Guide. This guide will set you up to be an IG expert when creating and sharing the content you create for your audience.
Instagram has been the focus of much of the content I have provided through this podcast in 2020 and 2021 and that will not change in 2022. There is simply no better platform than IG to get yourself in front of your people and set yourself up as the expert they need.
Does Your Audience Know You?
First and foremost, you have to know your people and what they need from you. I say it all the time, but if you don’t know your audience and what problems they need you to solve, you won’t know what type of content to create.
And if you don’t know what type of content your audience needs, your business will not grow. It’s really that simple.
Far too often, I see bloggers step out of their niche in the hopes of going viral by sharing trending content. But if you go viral for sharing something that has nothing to do with your niche, you will attract the wrong audience.
If you want to use trending video, use the idea but create something that matches your brand.
A Review of 2021 on Instagram
In July of 2021, the CEO of IG stated that the platform was “no longer a photo-sharing app.”
This was an extremely frustrating statement for many bloggers, and I understand why. You spend hours on your food photography or DIY home decor photos. But this is not the end of the world for you. There are ways around it.
In episode 257, Brock Johnson talked about how a food blogger can continue to grow their business using IG Reels. In 2021, Reels were the fastest and best way to succeed on IG, especially if you used them correctly.
Be prepared for Reels to continue to be the best way to grow your business and reach your audience in 2022.
Another thing we saw in 2021 was that your feed grid no longer had to be perfect.
We were always told that your feed needed to be perfect, with beautiful symmetry and cohesive colors. But now we’re told it’s unnecessary to have that ideal grid. You want to have good photos, but they don’t have to be 100% perfect.
Carousel photos were also a great way to reach your existing audience, and I expect them to continue to do so in 2022.
Experts say that carousel photos are being shared more, engaged with more, and are the best way to establish yourself as that expert as your audience interacts with them. Use your carousel photos to explain a solution to a problem from start to finish.
Reels are meant to draw people to your account; the feed and carousels are more for your existing audience. But what about Stories?
I talk about Stories so often that my people already know how important they are. IG Stories are the best way to reach the people who already follow you but want to know you better.
And in late October of 2021, IG added a link feature to Stories that is available to everyone, which eliminated the need to have 10K followers to add links. So, now it doesn’t matter how many people you have; this levels the playing field.
One of the great things about IG is that it is the best platform to engage with your audience by using DMs personally. And in 2022, it will still be vital that you use DMs and encourage your audience to talk to you there.
In 2021, I taught you how to use the Poll feature to get your people into your DMs, and you will continue to focus on that in 2022.
If you want to work with brands on sponsored content, being able to show them that your audience engagement is high in DMs will get you further than having a swipe-up feature ever would.
In the past, IG Lives were only available for 24 hours after publication. Once the 24 hours were up, the Live went away just like a Story. But in 2021, that changed, and Lives are now saved in your IGTV.
The great thing about that is that your audience can go back and consume more of your video content as they desire to learn more about you and what you can do for them.
And I have to add that if you’re going live randomly and without a plan, that will in no way benefit your business. Stay on brand.
Build Your Email List
If you’ve been building your brand on Instagram for the past few months or years, I want you to focus on growing your email list in 2022. Find ways to get your audience from IG to your list.
It is dangerous to build your entire business on a platform owned by someone else. IG crashed more than once in 2021. If your whole business was dependent on Instagram, you were probably sweating bullets when it was down.
IG is rented property, and rented property isn’t a place to build a business. You need to own your property. An email list, you own. Nobody can take it away from you, and if a platform crashes, you can still get in touch with your people.
If you can get someone into your DMs, you can offer them a free download and send them the link to it, which will go straight to your email sign-up.
Set Yourself Up as an Expert
I mentioned earlier the need to set yourself up as an expert on Instagram, and that will continue to be vital in 2022.
I can hear some of you now, “But Jenny, I’m not an expert in anything! I just create recipes.”
I can tell you without hesitation that every blogger has something that sets them apart. I have worked with bloggers and entrepreneurs for years now, and there are no two alike. So what you need to know is what the thing is that sets you apart. What is your special sauce?
If you don’t know, ask your friends. Ask your family. Ask your husband or kids!
Your life experiences and circumstances have created the person you are. You have faced problems and found solutions that your audience needs. Use your unique voice to offer them the help they need.
2022 Is the Year of YOU
Friends, if you are still here and still standing, you have survived a pandemic. You have managed to hold a business together while helping kids with online school and possibly having a spouse also working at home.
You’ve not had family support or gatherings with friends to hold you up. You’ve been stuck in your home without a break. And you are still pressing forward.
The way you have handled the past two years has shown you to be an expert in many things, and others need your help and your voice.
2022 is the year to be yourself, to let the real you and everything you have learned shine through.
You are an influencer entrepreneur. And nothing can stop you. Now, move forward, step into 2022, and use your voice for good. Help someone solve a problem. Inspire others to invest in themselves by your example.
The world needs you, friends. Don’t let them down. Don’t let yourself down. We can do this together.
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