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Chained to the algorithm: the hidden cost of relying on Instagram.

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Relying heavily on a single platform for customer growth & engagement can be a recipe for disaster - it’s worth to diversify your marketing tactics and invest in your own CRM.

Instagram algorithm changes: focus on video

Instagram’s algorithm changes shared by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, back at the end of 2021 announcing the company’s ‘doubled-down’ focus on video and the growth of Reels, are having a significant impact not only on individual accounts and creators, but more worryingly for business accounts. Many businesses rely on the social media platform to build customer relationships and engage with their audience, grow brand awareness and increase their sales – and those who have relied mostly on Instagram to grow & retain their customer base, have been suffering since the platform’s focus has shifted to video.

Why is Instagram pushing Reels?

Reels were first introduced in the summer of 2020, clearly as a direct response to TikTok’s success and rapid growth, and as a way to compete with the new app. TikTok, initially popular with a smaller and younger audience, has catapulted to worldwide success with users from different generations, backgrounds and organisations sharing content ranging from personal to pure entertainment all the way through to educational, all presented through easily digestible videos that are anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes long. (TikTok has recently cranked up the max video length to 10 minutes).

Instagram, which originally launched as a photo-sharing app in 2010 and remained as such for over a decade is now shifting focus heavily to video & Reels. Reels are shown on Instagram users’ feeds and explore pages and have a much higher reach than photo posts. They can be filmed and edited to trending sounds in the app (it’s worth noting majority of those trending sounds are dictated by what is trending on TikTok), or if you have the time, skill and resources, they can be filmed & perfected prior to uploading to the Reels editor within the Instagram app.

Impact of Instagram’s video strategy on businesses

For a lot of businesses, this shift towards video content is a challenge. Business owners ranging from one-man teams to large, established businesses are struggling to keep up. The reason? The cost and time as well as resources and skill it takes to create video content regularly to keep up with Instagram’s (ever-changing) algorithms.

A variety of businesses, mostly in the B2C sector, have relied on Instagram for many years now to grow & engage their customer base. By sharing photos of their products and services with carefully crafted captions (a skill in itself!), and beautifully curated feeds they have grown a loyal community of followers. The community following was especially important to small local cafes, restaurants & small businesses who worked hard to grow their following and post engagement, which drastically dropped after Instagram started prioritising Reels.

Creating standout video content

Creating images & captions that engage customers & followers is no small feat - creating engaging high-quality videos is a whole other ballgame for businesses who do not have the skill & resources to create the videos inhouse, or simply cannot afford to outsource their video content creation.

At Wurkhouse we know the value & importance of video. It’s a fantastic way to stand out in a sea of competitors, increase brand awareness, capture a potential lead’s attention or share valuable content with your audience. We also know what it takes to create high-quality videos, so we understand that not every organisation will have the resources to create videos often, yet alone to producing weekly or daily reels to keep up with Instagram’s algorithm.

This is why we need to stress the importance of not relying on one external social platform to grow your customer base and manage customer relationships., especially one like Instagram, that can be fickle with their algorithm updates and changes.

Social media marketing is just one aspect of Digital Marketing. It’s important to diversify your marketing strategy to reach your target audience who may not be on social media.

Importance of your own CRM

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management software that can help you track your customer & business data and nurture your customers and leads to increase sales and grow brand loyalty.

Investing in your own CRM is the first step to be able to successfully diversify your marketing strategy and automate + optimize a lot of your marketing activities.

The key benefits of a CRM are:

  1. Better insights & reporting on your best performing campaigns + sales
  2. An organised & secure customer database
  3. Access to a variety of marketing & sales tools in one place
  4. Increase in sales
  5. Increased customer satisfaction

More reasons to consider a CRM are here.

One of the best & leading CRM’s on the market is HubSpot which also happens to be completely free, and therefore a great match for businesses who may have not had a CRM before or those wishing to try out a different one.

Free HubSpot features include contact management, ad management, email templates, reporting dashboard as well as landing pages and forms, live chat & basic chatbots, Messenger, Slack, Gmail & Outlook integrations, deal pipelines, quotes and more. You can add 1,000,000 contacts, unlimited free users, and your free access has no time limit.

For larger organisations or those needing a more advanced system, there are also options to upgrade to premium HubSpot hubs which can offer more advanced features & tools which can be a better fit for certain organisations. If that sounds like you, contact us to discuss your needs.


Diversify your marketing efforts

With the help of a CRM software, you can easily diversify your marketing efforts across email, web, other social platforms and online advertising.

Email marketing is a great way of nurturing your leads to make their first purchase with enticing offers (“Subscribe to get 10% off”) or treating your existing customer base to exclusive deals, priority access and valuable content they may be interested in to keep them engaged. From a study of 1,000 small business owners, email marketing was ranked as the second most effective medium for building brand awareness. (Campaign Monitor, 2019) with the number of global email users set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024. (Statista, 2020) making it a valuable channel to put your effort into.

Having your own CRM with your customer database can also help you target new customer more effectively when you do online advertising as it will allow you to create lookalike audiences – audiences similar to your existing customers, which makes them more likely to be a better fit and therefore want to engage with, or purchase from your business.

A CRM can also help you track the success of your campaigns and see which channels or which content is proving the most effective vs which ones may be not working so well. This will help you allocate your time and resources more efficiently to get the best results.


The key takeaway is that relying on a single social platform with no other marketing activities and no CRM of your own, can be a very costly risk to take and one you can avoid by implementing a strong & diverse marketing strategy and maintain your own customer database.


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