Instagram Marketing Algorithm: Its Importance to Your Business

Instagram Marketing Algorithm: Its Importance to Your Business

Published on 18th of April 2024

The Gram is one of the top platforms for marketing digitally, and for good reason.

Over the years, Instagram users have experienced changes in the app’s features. The company went from only regular-feed posts to adding features like IGTV, Stories, Highlights, and Reels.

These extra features are not the only component that changed; the method Instagram uses to display content also changed from chronological to algorithmic.

The Instagram algorithm is a form of content ranking that changes every day, based on the inflow of posts and user interactions. It aims to show users the content they value most based on their past activities on the platform.

The algorithm helps Instagrammers discover posts from friends, favorite influencers, and brands easily on their feed. For businesses, that means the more you post relevant content, the better the chances of your followers seeing them.

Instagram can achieve its goal of having more committed users who will spend a lot of time on the platform, all thanks to the algorithm. In achieving this, IG has helped tons of businesses get noticed by showing more brand-posted content to users.

As a business owner, the only way to benefit from Instagram’s algorithm is by understanding its working process and applying certain tactics to make your marketing strategy most effective.

How the Instagram algorithm works

Every time a person opens this app, the algorithm organizes pieces of content for the user and determines the following factors:

Instagram decides all these by recording the user's previous searches and views, then going through the available content and predicting the ones they’ll most likely find interesting.

The company gave six criteria for determining how the algorithmic ranking system works.

The Instagram algorithmic ranking system and its importance to your business

  1. 1. Relationship

    The algorithm determines this by looking at people who have previously viewed your account; Instagram believes the person will likely be interested in your content again.

    Proactive audience engagement on your business page (follows, user's search, direct message, comments, tags, and user's saved posts) is a good indicator of a meaningful relationship.

    For a business that has built a committed audience on the Gram, this ranking factor will be beneficial.

    If your main feed, stories, reels, and highlights content are consistent, high-quality, and engaging, you’ll have a chance of being ranked highly on your followers' feeds.

    They get to see your content more often, so your campaign will be seen by numerous viewers.

  2. 2. Interest

    The algorithm works to give users what they desire. It does this by tracking what each person has an affinity for—the frequency of search for particular content, the time spent viewing a post, the likes, comments, etc.

    Using this factor, Instagram can detect that a user likes fashion products more than kitchen utensils. The app knows how to get sci-fi book content to sci-fi fans or beautiful dog videos to pet lovers.

    So, the chances of your post getting viewed by relevant audiences are high, as long as you have appealing content. A business that doesn’t have a specific niche or consistent voice tends to rank lower when it comes to interest.

    If your brand has products or services in different niches or industries, it’s advisable to create separate accounts for them. This way, the target audience for each product/service gets to see your relevant branded content.

  3. 3. Timeliness

    The algorithm works by ranking more recent posts higher than older ones.

    All posts relevant to a user show on their feed, but they’ll likely go through the highly placed posts before getting distracted and the page refreshes. With this in sight, viewers are inclined to see more recent posts.

    So, if the last time you posted any content was 5 days ago, they might not see anything from you while your active competitors keep popping up on their feeds and stories.

    For a business, the easy way to include this factor in your marketing strategy is by studying your metrics. Find out what time your followers are most online.

    This timeframe is when you should post your content, so it ranks higher on most feeds. Remember to also post unfailingly.

  4. 4. Frequency of use

    If you post content now, a follower who comes online between now and the next 30 minutes is likely to see your post ranking high on their feeds.

    The same post will rank way lower if the person opens the app five hours later. This is because of the backlog of posts within that period.

    A follower that frequently uses the app (more than ten times a day) will likely see all your posts, compared to a follower who opens the app once or twice a day.

    But as a business, considering this component of the Instagram algorithm can be difficult. It’s still possible, and a way to go about it is to post at least once every day and during the high-impact hours.

    Anyway, you can't keep posting on your page throughout the day because it will overwhelm your followers. Instead, utilize your Instagram stories, highlights, and reels; they foster frequent posting.

  5. 5. Following

    For businesses, this is a tricky part of the algorithm because it’s too dependent on the user.

    Instagrammers who follow fewer people have a higher chance of seeing your content, and vice versa.

    So, to leverage this, target audiences with fewer followings—or just work on the other ranking factors.

  6. 6. Session time

    Followers who spend more time on your feed are more likely to see your business content over and over. You should ensure your posts are engaging, timely, and interesting to your followers; that’s how they can rank highly.

    When the content is placed highly on the feed, no matter the amount of time a user spends on the app, the person will likely see it.

Final thoughts

Instagram’s algorithm helps users view the most relevant content, and businesses with high-quality visuals tend to gain more visibility through it.

Every marketing strategy’s goal is to grab the audience’s attention and gain their trust. You need fans who will devote time to view your content and purchase your business offering. The algorithm helps fulfill that purpose.

Article by Blastup

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