Instagram marketing is evolving as businesses of all sizes experiment with new ways to gain followers and likes, and ultimately improve their bottom line. But no matter how dedicated an Instagram watcher you are, there's one shift underway that you've probably missed, mainly because it's wildly counterintuitive.

According to the company's own in-house marketing experts, your feed is probably way too good looking.

Wait, what? Despite the weirdness of this statement that's just what a pair of Instagram representatives told a recent seminar for fashion brands, Quartz's Marc Bain reports.

More flaws = more followers

The problem, according to Instagram's experts Eva Chen and Virginia Nam, is that marketers are currently deep into a beauty arms race. Spurred on by their competitors' gorgeous feeds, more and more businesses in all industries have upped their game, producing flawless shots to populate their accounts. Consumers are starting to tune out all that perfection, according to Chen and Nam. What stands out these days are flaws.

"The highly curated feed has lost its effectiveness, Chen explained, simply because it has become the standard, stripping it of distinctiveness," Bain reports.

To recapture attention you need to go back to basics and channel the less curated vibe of Instagram's early days. "You can, of course, still share your pretty pictures. But Chen and Nam suggest also showing people images that feel genuine and not staged," writes Bain. Alternatively, "provide context around something, like an event, that lets followers feel they're getting a view others aren't."

If such raw and unscripted content makes you nervous, Chen and Nam suggest trying out Instagram's new Snapchat-like Stories feature, which lets you share content that eventually disappears from your profile.

Of course, as Bain points out, Instagram has an interest in promoting its new feature, so marketers should definitely not take this advice as the gospel truth without testing it out. But this approach does have the advantage of being both easier and more human than perfectly staging each shot, so experimenting with a rougher look to see if it works for you business will at least save you time. So why not give it a shot?

Are you burned out on perfectly staged, unrealistically perfect Instagram feeds?

Published on: Sep 13, 2017