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Instagram Algorithm Explained: How is Your Content Prioritised?

Analytics Unify Jun 26, 2023 2 min read
A photo of the instagram app in the ios app store.
Digital Marketing

In today’s digitally-driven world, social media platforms have become a vital tool for businesses to connect with their target audience. Among these platforms, Instagram has emerged as a channel for sharing captivating visuals, engaging stories, and building brand identity. As a digital agency, it is crucial to understand the mechanics behind Instagram’s ranking algorithm to optimise your clients’ content effectively. In this article, we dive deep into Instagram’s ranking system, exploring the factors that influence content prioritisation and offering insights to help you elevate your social media strategy.


Understanding Instagram’s ranking algorithm


Instagram’s ranking algorithm is designed to display content tailored to each user’s preferences and interests. The goal is to ensure users see the most relevant and engaging content, creating a positive user experience. Here are the key factors that impact Instagram’s content ranking:


  1. Interest: Instagram assesses a user’s previous behaviour, such as the accounts they follow, the posts they engage with, and the content they search for. By analysing these interactions, Instagram determines the user’s interests and prioritizes content that aligns with their preferences.


  1. Recency: Timeliness plays a vital role in content prioritization. Fresh content tends to receive higher visibility, as Instagram aims to provide users with the latest updates from their favourite accounts.


  1. Relationship: Instagram prioritizes content from accounts with which users have strong connections. This includes posts from family, friends, and accounts they frequently engage with, such as liking, commenting, or direct messaging.


  1. Usage: Instagram tracks how users interact with the platform, considering factors such as the amount of time spent scrolling through the feed, the variety of content they engage with, and how often they use the app. This information helps determine the content that is most likely to captivate the user.


  1. Following: The number of accounts a user follows directly affects the breadth of content available in their feed. Instagram aims to present a diverse range of content from different accounts, ensuring a well-rounded user experience.

Optimising your content strategy


Now that we have uncovered the underlying factors driving Instagram’s content ranking, let’s explore some practical strategies to optimise your content:


  1. Consistent branding: Develop a strong and recognisable brand identity by using consistent visual elements, such as colours, fonts, and filters. This helps users easily identify your content amidst the sea of posts on Instagram.


  1. Engaging captions: Craft compelling captions that accompany your visuals to encourage users to stop scrolling and engage with your posts. Pose questions, share stories, or provide valuable insights to ignite conversations and foster a sense of community.


  1. Authenticity matters: Instagram values genuine interactions. Encourage your audience to engage with your content by responding to comments, asking for their opinions, and showcasing user-generated content. This fosters a sense of trust and loyalty among your followers.


  1. Strategic use of hashtags: Use relevant hashtags to enhance the discoverability of your content. Research popular and niche hashtags that align with your target audience’s interests to expand your reach and attract new followers.


  1. Post at optimal times: Experiment with posting at different times to identify when your target audience is most active on Instagram. This increases the likelihood of your content being seen and engaged with by a larger number of users.


Understanding Instagram’s ranking algorithm is crucial for businesses aiming to succeed on the platform. By leveraging the factors that influence content prioritisation, such as user interests, recency, relationships, usage, and following, you can optimise your content strategy and increase visibility. Head to our TikTok profile to watch our video on how Instagram ranks each placement, and our recommendations for your Instagram strategy in the future.


To learn more about all things digital marketing, check out our blog.

Written by
Analytics Unify The Agency

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