Instagram is changing its algorithm and user experience. Kylie Jenner isn’t happy about it. She once critically wounded Snapchat by saying she never goes there anymore. Now she’s created a PR issue for the platform. But the changes to Instagram go far beyond pissing off a Kardashian.
Instagram is now outwardly saying video is better. They’re prioritizing it over the their heritage approach of photography. They’re also testing features that are much like TikTok. This is largely because TikTok is beating them at the game of creating stickier user experiences. Instagram can’t continue to dominate the social media platform usage among a certain population if the Joneses have built a better mousetrap. So they have to keep up.
And these changes change the way influencers and creators have to approach their roles. It also changes the way brands need to think about influencers.
Katie Stoller has been watching the algorithm changes, and Kylie Jenner’s reaction, along with the rest of us in the space. She’s an influencer marketing and public relations consultant and pro. I invited her to come on the show to talk about the layered complexities of the influencer space, how to design the right solutions for brands and clients when its hard to know what size influencer, what type of creator, what type of content and such will work.
But I invited her to do that the week the Kylie Jenner re-post of a meme begging Instagram to let Instagram be Instagram, so our conversation had to include both.
Katie is of like mind. She’s a public relations pro by trade, even worked at some of the major PR firms over the years. She’s currently handling influencer marketing for Fiat Growth, a Silicon Valley based investment and growth company largely in the FinTech space.
Our conversation will be very useful for those of you on the brand and agency side to better understand the complexities of building smart influence approaches, but then we’ll also get into this Instagram UX and algorithm discussion. Katie was the guest, but she asked me a few questions and I jumped out of character a bit to wag my finger at some folks.
An entertaining discussion is here for you today.
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Katie Stoller on Winfluence Transcript
[00:00:00] Jason: On this episode of Winfluence. Whether you like it or not from a performance standpoint for that app or website, that social media network, it is a better algorithm because it serves the user, not necessarily what the user wants, but what’s gonna make the user stay there.
There’s a difference between being an influencer and actually influencing. I’m Jason falls. And in this podcast, we explore the people, companies, campaigns, and stories that illustrate that difference. Welcome to Winfluence the influence marketing podcast.
Hello again, friends. Thanks for listening to Winfluence the influence marketing podcast. Instagram is changing its algorithm and user experience. Kylie Jenner isn’t happy about it. She wants critically wounded Snapchat by saying she never goes there anymore. Now she’s created a PR issue for the big IG, but the changes to Instagram go far beyond pissing off a Kardashian. Instagram is now outwardly saying video is better. They’re prioritizing it over their heritage approach of photography. They’re also testing features that are much like TikTok. This is largely because TikTok is beating them at the game of creating stickier user experiences. Instagram can’t continue to dominate the social media platform usage among a certain population.
If the Joneses have built a better mouse trap, so they have to keep up and these changes change the way influencers and creators have to approach their roles. It also changes the way brands need to think about influencer. Katie Stoler has been watching the algorithm changes and Kylie Jenner’s reaction along with the rest of us in the space.
She’s an influencer marketing and public relations consultant. And pro I invited her to come on the show to talk about the layered complexities of the influencer space, how to design the right solutions for brands and clients. When it’s hard to know what size influencer, what type of creator, what type of content and such will work.
But I invited her to do that. The week Kylie Jenner repost a meme of begging Instagram to let Instagram be Instagram. So our conversation kind of had to include both topics. Katie is of like mind she’s a public relations pro by trade even worked at some of the major PR firms over the years, she’s currently handling influencer marketing for Fiat growth, a Silicon valley based investment and growth company, largely in the FinTech space.
Our conversation will be very useful to those of you on the brand and agency side, to better understand the complexities of building smart influence approaches, but then we’ll also get into this Instagram UX and algorithm discussion. Katie was the guest, but she asked me a few questions and I jumped outta character a bit to wa my finger at some folks.
An entertaining discussion is here for you today. As always, before we go there, we have to thank Winfluences presenting sponsor Tagger. It is a complete influencer marketing management solution. With Tagger, you can find, engage, hire, collaborate, review, and measure all your influencer marketing efforts. Heck just being able to have one place to do outreach and email your respective creators outside of your regular inbox. So you can kind of put on blinders and focus on the campaign at hand when doing your outreach, that alone makes the tool worth it, but it does a little bit of everything you need it. I could go on, but you know, I use Tagger every day. You know, I love it.
You should check it out too. It might be right for your brand or agency. Go to jason.online/tagger to get that free demo. See if Tagger is right for you. It’s free folks. Just go do the demo, check it out. That’s jason.online/tagger. The complexities of building smart influence marketing and me losing my temper a little bit with Instagram winers.
My conversation with Katie Stoller is next on, Winfluence.
Katie you came up through the big, uh, PR agency path. I think you’ve been at Ogilvy catchman golden. So you’re missing Edelman for the golden sombrero, but tell everybody what you’re doing now and where you fit into the influence ecosystem these days.
[00:04:16] Katie: Yeah. So I started out in the traditional PR world pitching media, like everybody else, I towed the line between like new PR and old school PR my first internship, I was literally cutting magazines and using a glue stick to put them in a book.
So I had a little bit of that old school taste, but yeah, around 20 15, 16, I really. Changed transition and went straight into influencer. That’s when everything was kind of ramping up. And now I lead the influencer team over at Fiat growth. We’re a growth consultancy based outta silicone valley. And we mostly work with FinTech companies.
That’s kind of our specialty, anything related to growth and getting more users for apps and different services in the FinTech space. So it’s really exciting, really fast paced. And it’s fun to kind of flex a different muscle than the old school kind of PR agency.
[00:05:06] Jason: True. So we come from similar pedigrees. I’m a PR person by trade, I suppose. And I’m curious if you find it odd or perhaps even off putting, when you’re talking to people about, or maybe listening to people who talk about influencer marketing or working with influencers as something that oh, PR doesn’t do that. That’s not a PR function to me. That’s like saying someone who drives a van doesn’t know how to drive a car. Does that ever surface for you?
[00:05:32] Katie: Yeah, I think I’m pretty good at kind of like bringing it back to PR because when you, at the end of the day, these people are just storytellers and that is like quintessential PR. So there’s this like new wave of fresh graduates that grew up in the TikTok world that I don’t think understand like the ethos behind why we’re at, where we’re at.
Like the whole recent influencers became popular was because people were really engaging and good at telling stories online. And they got these followings and they’ve been loyal, but I agree with you. And I think this is what you’re saying is just that everything really does kind of trickle back to that, like mentality of storytelling and messaging and all the things that we do in traditional PRs.
And I, I think I’m pretty grounded in that. I haven’t had anyone like super challenge me on it, but I think the industry, as it becomes more automated in AI, it is getting away from that like original way of how it started.
[00:06:24] Jason: Yeah. Pulling the humanity out of what we do is irritates me. So AI has its role has its purpose.
I see it it’s applications in a good way, but it bothers me when they’re like, oh yeah, the computer will do it for you. No, the computer doesn’t build relationships. If anything, it destroys them.
So exactly. But anyway, that’s, I’m, I’m gonna get off on a tangent if we go there. And I think I was probably really referring more to the, uh, I guess this is the grumpy old man. Get off my lawn attitude that I have because I’ve been around the business for a long. The youngsters who come up and say, oh, I’ve been involved in influence marketing since it started in 2016. And I just laugh and just be like, oh wow, you’re cute.
But anyway, let’s get into the mechanics of things, because I think the people who are listening, whether they’re on the brand side or whether they’re at agencies or whether they might even be creators or talent managers out there listening, I think as people get more and more into managing influence campaigns and strategies on the brand and agency side. The world of influence marketing becomes very layered and confusing very fast. So you are a consultant that helps brands plan and implement influence campaigns. But it’s not as simple as reaching out to a list of influencers and convincing them to, to agree anymore.
Take us through all the different places you go and people you have to orchestrate to pull together. Good stuff.
[00:07:41] Katie: Yeah. Well, I’ll start by saying that our role with influencers has drastically changed from even like 20, 21 to now. Like, I don’t know if it was the pandemic and just, you know, we’ll go into the algorithm conversation later, but just things changing.
It used to be where most influencer marketing programs. And tell me if you agree with this were very transactional. It was like, mm-hmm we find an influencer, we negotiate a fee, they post and we sort of move on. Maybe they do like three posts for us for the year. Maybe it’s more of an ambassador program, but for the most part, it’s like a transaction.
And then you like sign kind of say goodbye. What we’ve seen at Fiat and, you know, friends in the agency world is that is like not really happening anymore. Like there was this like end to that whole thing. Like, it’s kind of very different now.
So at Fiat, because we’re a growth agency and we care about numbers and conversion rates and all that, we really approach influencer very differently now. Every single program we do for the most part has some sort of like brand awareness top of funnel beginning, but the majority of the program is really to feed UGC creative content for the performance team to then amplify and really get eyeballs on. And that goes back again to the algorithm is just organic reach has been such decline that doing these transactional influencer programs just don’t really do anything anymore. I mean, unless you’re working with someone with the name recognition, Celebrity level some macros where influencers have more of that, a recognition, and then paying the big bucks up front. You’re just not getting enough eyeballs for it to really make sense. So that’s kind of how we position things now. And it’s changed the way that I structure programs.
I used to have sort of a system I’d, you know, use my networking agency or networking group whim, shout out to whim, Jesse Grossman. And they’re amazing. That’s a great way to cast people. Or I go out to my manager, friends. I know you’ve actually talked to a bunch of them on your podcast and kind of start that way and build this like white glove as I call it kind of influencer program. But now that we’re doing a lot more nano UGC content and pumping it out a little bit faster, I’ve been working a lot with more of these like nano and micro agencies to help me cast, cuz I can’t really do the white glove picking at the rate that we need to get content out. So it’s just a very like transitional period, I think right now, influencer marketing. And I think we haven’t even like seen what’s gonna happen. Yeah. Like I think there’s so much more to come.
[00:10:07] Jason: It’s interesting. And, and I definitely have seen in the parallels, in the stuff that I do and the people that I talk to from what you’re describing there.
And for the longest time it was, let’s just get a bunch of influencers to post about us, the sponsored post approach. Thankfully in my personal opinion has kind of died down a little bit. Then it became no let’s build these longer term relationships with influencers and engage them for a year and really engage their audiences and do something really meaningful.
And that was, you know, hot for a little while. And now to your point, it’s much more of a, Hey, we’re just gonna outsource our creative to influencers and content creators, and then we’re gonna put, paid, spin behind it because we want to get a lot more eyeballs and use them as a creative resource, which is a perfectly valid and smart approach.
I think the magic of it all happens when you’re doing a little bit of all of those things, where you’re testing, maybe some influencers with some sponsored posts, just to see if there’s some organic reach and reaction from their audience. Then you migrate the ones that work really well into longer term relationships, where you’re really engaging them in building something meaningful in a partner.
But then you’re also turning to the micro and nano influencer tools and saying, Hey, I just need 150 people to create some really good content that I can pull in and use as my social media content and or my online media spend creative. And so when you orchestrate those things together, that’s where I think you, you really get the magic and you get the value out of influencer marketing as an investment.
But I love the fact that you touched on and real quick to go back for anybody who doesn’t remember. Jesse Grossman is with whim women in influencer marketing. So that’s the networking group she’s talking about. And we talked to her on the show probably more than a year ago. Now I probably need to have her back on, but it’s good for you guys to reach out to if you’re a consultant or someone in the space and you want to connect with some other folks.
But I love the fact that you talked about the different recommendations out there because when I’m working, I feel like when I’m working with a client, my biggest problem to solve is just knowing what direction to go in, in terms of Is this micro? Is this nano? Is this celebrity? Is this a longer term engagement? Is this a short term, put out a fire? Do I reach out to talent managers and do a casting call for kind of creator recommendations? Do I reach out to a managed service and outsource some of that work? And then if I do get into a need for a celebrity, there’s a whole different set of people at talent agencies and managers and publishers. This stuff just requires a lot of legwork. And I don’t think people always understand that, right?
[00:12:28] Katie: 100%. It is an art and a science, and it is not something that it can be 100% automated. Like I get these sales pitches every single day from these new tech companies that are like, give us your budget, tell us the brand and we’ll shoot out, you know, a plan.
And I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. That’s like, just not how it works. Like I love how you broke it down. Like in a lot of our clients, we do stuff like that. We’ll start with a couple sponsored posts. We’ll kind of see how those perform test iterate, you know, see what’s working. See what doesn’t. Throw in some nanos here, throw in some ECG and really it’s, it turns into this, like you need like a year runway to really get a good idea of what’s gonna work for a brand.
And it’s all based on their goals. I mean, we all know this from any marketing job, but everything is based in gold. So if it’s really a top of funnel, brand awareness play, you probably don’t need to like scrap through a bunch of nanos. Do a bunch of paid and really like focus on the storytelling and working with the right people and maybe having them post every month or every quarter.
But if you’re really only concerned about conversion, I have a couple clients who are like, we truly do not care about brand awareness. Like that’s just not in their scope of what they need. Then we really, you know, hit heavy on the paid because we really need to like push those conversions. So yeah, it really depends on budget goals needs, and then people like you and me that have lots of years of experience doing this to craft that perfect mix.
[00:13:47] Jason: Yeah, I have a client right now I’m working with and they said we want to drive conversions and we want to use this certain group of celebrities. And I’m like, well, okay, you can want to do that, but I can tell you, you’re probably more than likely gonna waste a lot of your money. Because those mega and celebrity influencers are gonna post about you once or twice based on your budget.
And you’re gonna get a little bit of a swell of conversions there at the beginning, because there’s gonna be an awareness play where people are curious, but then it’s gonna taper off into a long tail. And you’re not gonna be happy after two or three months. Instead, let’s take half the money that you’re gonna have to spend with those folks, spend it with a hundred micro nano influencers who are gonna post about you once a week for six weeks and reinforce that message over and over again.
And now all of a sudden you’re gonna start to see the needle move on those conversions. So it’s really about to your point taking the goal of breaking it down and saying what subcategory of influencer and what subcategory. Content and engagement and type of content that they’re gonna create is actually gonna work for you.
And there’s just lots of layers to it. And it’s pretty, pretty complicated.
I’m curious, do you prefer when you’re trying to find, and you’re working with content creators on behalf of your clients, do you prefer to work with creators directly or do you prefer to work with talent managers? What’s the good and bad to both sides?
[00:15:07] Katie: I feel like there’s talent that are literally tremendously horrible to work with. I mean, there’s some talent that it’s usually not to like completely stereotype, but it’s usually like newer up and comers. The people that have been doing this for a long time, like, especially when it’s like their career are.
For the most part, very buttoned up. They understand deadlines. They understand the pressure that like I’m under. I like someone that understands kind of the PR world and they get that, like, I’m not just asking for this date because I pulled it out of thin air it’s because my client has 900 other things that are laddering up to this post.
But new like TikTok talent is difficult, cause a lot of them are like young kids. This is their first kind of go at anything, any sponsored posts. I hate when I’m like the first, sometimes I’ve had that, where I reach out and they’re like, oh, you’re the first brand that’s reached out to me. And I’m like, okay, red flag. And managers for the most part are easier to work with.
I usually expect a little bit more of fee increase just knowing that they are better negotiators for the most part, so it depends, I mean, I don’t really like have one route that I plan to go down again. It’s like, whatever’s best for that client. I’ll kind of like use my different tools and my tool. But there’s some amazing managers out there that like totally get the brand side.
Obviously their loyalty is to their clients, but they understand the game and how to kind of make it work for everyone. And that’s kind of how I sort of like to think of myself. I’ve, you know, managed influencers on the side over the years and I understand the plight of what they go through as well. So I think those are the people that really like master this industry are the ones that really get all the different sides and are sympathetic and empathetic to. Everybody involved in these negotiations.
[00:16:44] Jason: Yeah. Amen to that. We’re talking to Katie Stoler, who is an influencer marketing consultant. She’s knee deep in this business. We love. So when we come back, we’re going to peel back the lid on a can of worms that Instagram opened and Kylie Jenner has basically dumped in our laps. So the algo changes and what we can do about them. That’s next. Don’t go away.
Back with influencer marketing consultant, Katie Stoller, and this week, or at least the week we’re recording this, some of the promised changes to the Instagram user experience started to find their ways to people’s apps. And a set of users are not happy about it. Kylie Jenner is among them. She reposted a photographer’s meme calling for Instagram to keep Instagram, Instagram.
And in this era of self-righteous protests on social media, there’s a petition with 300,000 names on it. And every everything Katie take us through why people are pissy about this.
[00:17:40] Katie: Okay. So I’m gonna start with my personal opinion, not sure if anyone cares about my own personal opinion, but I just feel that this like push towards short form is challenging.
And the reason I feel that way, I’m a working mom. I have two little kids, a three year old and a one year old, the privilege it would take for me to sit down and watch. Even 20 minutes of video is like basically impossible. I don’t have time to be listening and watching something. I’m either scrolling on my old school, Instagram looking at pretty pictures or I’m listening to a podcast or back in the day was on clubhouse all the time.
But that’s how I think of social media. For me personally, either audio or visual, this push towards TikTok and everything being in the TikTok realm of like really needing to listen and see is hard for people and I’m act kind of surprised that it just took off so crazy because I can’t even think of really the demographic that can just sit and do that for hours and hours.
I get gen Z has a lot more time on their hands than a working mom but that’s my own personal, like, thought about it. I did a LinkedIn post about this like months ago and it picked up a little steam, but I was like, maybe I’m sort of like unique at this. Until this photographer, I should probably have grabbed her name, but she posted this little meme petition about keep Instagram, Instagram, like, let’s keep it the old skin, Instagram, exactly what I just described.
There’s still images that we’re used to and the way that we all like loved using it for so many years and the way that people became so big and built brands on it, it’s almost like, why are they. Messing up something that was working so well. So when I saw Kylie Jenner reposted it, I felt kind of like vindicated.
I’m like another huge person is agreeing with what I’m saying. And I actually saw yesterday, Amanda, from not skinny, but not fat, who I loved reposted James Charles, the makeup artist who has like millions and millions of followers also went on this like rant on the Instagram, like announcement that they’re now changing things around again with video.
So I wanted to get your take because I am like flabbergasted personally that we are just doubling down so hard on it. And from a brand perspective, like still images, just to loop this back to brand, still images. Like it wasn’t like something that needed to be fixed. In my opinion, like we were getting engagement on still, still images.
There’s I worked on food brands for many years. Like there was such a benefit to like these beautiful photo shoots with food. And the fact that everything now has to be video is just kind of crazy in my opinion. I dunno. I wanna get your take.
[00:20:04] Jason: Well, first of all, let me circle back real quick. Titi is the name of the, uh, photographer and she is Illuminati I L L U M I T A T I.
I I’ll put a link to her stuff in the show notes. So Tati is the one who started that keep Instagram, Instagram, and I absolutely hear your point. I have not been a big fan personally of the short form video content myself, but, here’s the crux of it all. And this is why Instagram is doing what they’re doing.
And this is why basically they’re gonna tell us to sit down and shut up and mind our business because they’re not gonna change this. What they are looking at is how much time people are spending on their app and on their site. How much time people are spending on their app and on their site looking at individual pieces of content and what content performs well, they want their site to be more sticky.
So people are there longer so they can serve them more ads so they can make more money. So that’s not gonna change. And the reality is video is more engaging, creates a stickier experience. TikTok has changed the game because they figured out the algorithm. Whether you like it or not from a performance standpoint for that app or website that social media network, it is a better algorithm because it serves the user, not necessarily what the user wants, but what’s gonna make the user stay there.
And that’s the biggest. Advantage of tos algorithm. So when any competitor out there develops something that’s good. Like when Instagram opened up Instagram stories, guess what Facebook did they added stories? Guess what YouTube did. They added story like features, right? All of these people imitated Instagram, this is no different.
Somebody beat Instagram to something. And now Instagram’s saying, oh crap, we gotta catch up and make that better.
So they’re changing the algorithm. They’re also testing and changing, potentially changing. If the test works the full screen experience. So you’re not gonna have the. Instagram, you know, white background and your feed scrolls in the middle.
You’re gonna have the full screen experience like you do on TikTok, because again, Instagram saying, Hey, does that experience Trump hours? If it does, then we need to migrate to that. That’s just keeping up with the Jones’s in the social media software and user experience world.
The simple facts are, and we’ve been seeing this trend for more than a decade. Video is better. Moving dynamic, audio and video is way better than still images. That doesn’t mean still images aren’t effective. Doesn’t mean still images don’t work. It just means they don’t work as well in terms of capturing and keeping people’s attention.
Instagram’s president CEO, rather Adam Messer did a video yesterday. Now let me take a quick aside. I think it’s absolutely hysterical that he posted his video on Twitter. That made me laugh for a good 10 minutes, but that’s an entirely different podcast episode.
So I’m gonna digress and skip past that. But Adam Moser, the CEO, Instagram posted a video trying to kind of calm everyone down.
And he explained these things from Instagram’s perspective and social media users being social media users. There are certain people who are reacting, like it’s a conspiracy theory in the world’s coming to an end shut up. It’s how software happens. All right. What he said was the full screen experience is a test.
It’s only gone out to a certain percentage of users. If the full screen experience works and we see better stickiness and whatnot from it, then we’ll migrate it out to everyone else. And that’s just how Instagram’s gonna be and we’ll get over it. The second thing that changes is the push toward prioritizing video.
And as I’ve explained, the statistics consistently over a decade or more have told us, video’s better. It’s a stickier experience. We’re just gonna have to deal with it. Now we’ll get into what implications that has on influencer marketing here in a second. The algorithm change, which is becoming more TikTok, like is again, keeping up with the Joneses and making sure that they’re creating a stickier experience.
Ultimately at the end of the day, Instagram doesn’t care. If it’s users, don’t like it, they care that they can keep them there longer and serve them more ads. And so that’s why this is happening. And that’s why it doesn’t matter how many hundreds of thousands of signatures are on this thing. Instagram’s not gonna change, right? Because they are beholden to shareholders first, not users.
[00:24:17] Katie: Totally.
I totally agree with that. And the stickiness concept is so true. Cause when I do have those five minutes to go on TikTok, it’s like, I cannot get my finger off the app. It’s like this like addiction that takes over you. And it maybe that is why I sort of stray to one or the other visual or audio.
Cause I know I just don’t have the time to sit there all day and my brain is like, don’t get started with it. But I will say one thing that maybe pokes a little bit of a hole in what you said. People not wanting it to happen. And I’m curious, what’s gonna happen with this, but Kylie Jenner is like the last person you want against you on anything related to anything.
I mean, she’s got 351 million Instagram followers.
[00:24:56] Jason: Yep.
[00:24:56] Katie: So the social media today wrote. Covered the story a couple days ago as this came out and they wrote that when she put out something about how Snapchat, like, Hey guys, I never go on Snapchat anymore, their stock just like tanked. And it was like the end of Snapchat.
I mean, obviously Snapchat still exists. There’s a user base, but it totally like tanked the popularity of it. So I’m curious if Instagram is sort of like, oh, what are we gonna do? Kylie reposted this. And if it’s gonna make a difference, and I agree with you that they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do and whatever’s best for ad dollars. That’s the direction. But the fact that it’s picking up steam actually did kind of make me sit there for a second and be like, are they gonna address this?
[00:25:35] Jason: You definitely have a valid point. What Instagram has on their hands is not a user experience. Problem. It’s PR problem. Yes. They’ve got, you know, a major user out there that can have.
Fact on your user base as a whole not liking what you’re doing. So they do have a PR issue they need to solve. And maybe I’m a little bit contrarian when it comes to the celebrity nature of the fact that Kylie Jenner could say something bad about Snapchat and it affects their stock prices is re-freaking-diculous. I mean, this is a reality TV show star, all respect to her and the businesses that her money has been able to create, because I don’t consider her necessarily a great entrepreneur. She’s somebody who had a lot of money and was able to throw it because she was a reality TV star and good for her.
That’s a, a path to success, but I have a hard time sort of thinking that she has, or anybody from a reality show background has the ability to affect financial markets and the financial standing of companies. It just bothers me. Yeah. But that’s the reality of the world we live in. It really is.
So she can say Instagram sucks. I’m never going there again. And a bunch of people will stop using Instagram. I’m a little bit skeptical that that’s going to be the end of Instagram or have that big of an effect, especially. When you look at the fact that Instagram is part of meta, it’s part of Facebook, it’s a lot bigger than Snapchat and ha they have a lot more resources and whatnot.
[00:26:57] Katie: Yeah.
[00:26:57] Jason: And they have a lot more other Kylie Jenners on the platform that are probably gonna chime ’em in, on the other way.
[00:27:02] Katie: I think from the like PR perspective, like what you’re saying, I think what it’s doing is just riling people up more. Like, for me, it gave me a little bit of feeling of like vindication that like, you know, I wasn’t alone in this like, idea that this video takeover is being so forced.
And I think that’s where influencers are getting really frustrated. It’s that they’re being told how to create content. Now they’re not given the option. It used to be, create some stories, do some photos a week, once a week, you know, do a live here. And they’re like for right now, if you’re an influencer trying to grow or trying to even sustain.
If you’re not pumping out two or three reels a week, you’re not gonna be gaining followers or even keeping followers at this point.
[00:27:39] Jason: So I have really two questions here. The algorithm impact and prioritization of video. If you could no longer count on your content as a creator slash influencer, if you can no longer count on your content, reaching your followers, because it’s at least being crowded out by recommendations.
And if you’re not doing video, then you’re not gonna be in the recommendation set. So our content creators now like brands being squeezed to start supporting their organic content with media spend, and how does that change things?
[00:28:11] Katie: Well, that’s kind of like a complicated question and I, I’m not like super, super deep into the paid side of all of everything, but I do know that when influencers just go on Instagram and boost their own content, it does very little, unless they’re doing a very complicated media buy the same way brands do where it’s flighted out over months. There’s a budget put to it. There’s someone with a spreadsheet assessing every single day of performance. From what I’ve heard, just doing the like lazy kind of boosting is not benefiting anyone. So. Unless you’re someone in the millions of followers and you have a team and you’re dedicated to kind of amplifying your message via paid, which I don’t think is a stupid strategy.
If you’re big, you know, to keep kind of sustaining that following and that reach go for it. If you have the resources, I think of someone with 20,000 followers that doing this kind of on the side and gets, you know, $2,000 brand bills here. And. I don’t think they have the ability to really fully commit to that.
But I do think that that’s towing the line again, of like taking this app from an organic fun social media app to like, is it gonna be a point where people under 50,000 followers are gonna need a media team? I mean, that, to me, that’s kind of crazy, but maybe we are moving sort of in that direction.
[00:29:26] Jason: Well, we may be, and it may also be that really smart content, creators and influencers are gonna go to brands and say, I can only do a brand deal if you have a paid media spend to put behind my content.
[00:29:36] Katie: Yeah.
[00:29:36] Jason: Because the algorithms are squeezing us out. So you need to support what I’m doing with paid. The brands have been bringing that paid strategy to the table and saying, Hey, we wanna engage with you and we know that we want to get more eyeballs on the content. So we’re gonna put a made paid media spin behind it.
It might be that that flips. And now the creators are saying, in order to do the brand deal, you have to have a paid media budget because we’re all fighting against the algorithm. And it’s always about money and Instagram slash meta slash TikTok slash whoever they’re all about driving ad dollars. And that’s what we have to do to keep our content out there.
I don’t like it because again, that’s an algorithmic technology money. First change that takes the relationship and the humanity and the engagement out of the equation. But this is the world we live in. And when these platforms are all about making money, they’re gonna squeeze until they can make as, as much as possible.
[00:30:27] Katie: Totally. I mean, I remember, I don’t know if anybody listening remembers this, but I remember I followed one of the Kardashian random channels. I think it was maybe for a store dash back in the day. And all of a sudden, one day I went on my Instagram feed and I was following Kourtney’s pooch and I was like, I’ve never even heard of pooch I’m like, what is this?
And I got like, all, like, it was like that feeling you got when like. Someone like robs you. I was like, wait, what? Like, who went in my, my phone? Did my husband get my phone? Like I was so confused and I realized they did a bait and switch. They took an old Kardashian account and turned it into Courtney’s and it was this like, violated feeling.
And that was the first time I ever felt like I’d lost control of my feed now, you know, flash four, that was five, six years ago. Whatever. Now you go on your feed and I’m like, who’s Bob who’s Sally. I don’t know who anybody is. And I’m just like, It’s crazy that they’re telling us who we wanna see. And I will say, I have gotten some like recipes.
I’ve gotten some like cute kids clothes served to me that I actually am interested in. And that I’m like mad that I’m, I’m actually like joining the content I’m like off the AI got me again. But it’s like, it’s just crazy that in these past couple years, Instagram went from this curated list of things that you chose to follow for a reason to.
Now it is telling you. what you enjoy. And I just find that, that shift insane and also kind of
[00:31:48] Jason: Google and I don’t disagree with you, but I will circle back to 20 years of watching these social technology platforms. The user is always in control. So you can say. Hide recommendations. You can say, I consider this spam.
You can give the platform feedback for your experience that gets it back to what you actually want. And the problem is, is most users either don’t know that, or they don’t do that. Mm-hmm . And so if you want your feed to be different, you can feed that machine so that it knows your feed needs to be different so that you can enjoy the experience.
But. In general, we either don’t know it or we’re too lazy to do it. And in our defense, if you will, from a user perspective, Instagram, shouldn’t put us in a position where we have to do it, but they do, because again, they have to make money or this free little entertainment platform we have goes away. So control your feed,
Katie. Thank you so much for tackling this with me. Where can people find you on the interwebs?
[00:32:52] Katie: So I’m most active on LinkedIn, just under Katie Stoller. I have an Instagram, but it’s not very exciting for anyone to see. It’s mostly pictures of my kids, but yeah, follow Fiat growth. Uh, it’s just Fiat growth.com. If anyone is interested in learning more about performance affiliate marketing, we’re one of the top shops out of Silicon valley.
Uh, mostly work with tech companies again, but, definitely reach out if you’re interested and thank you, Jason so much. This was such a, I, I, the second I saw that Kylie Jenn post I’m, like, I gotta talk to Jason about this, so I’m glad we go over it all.
[00:33:24] Jason: Yeah, that was fun. Hopefully people won’t get pissed at me for disrespecting Kylie Jenner a little bit, or I’m just not a big fan of reality TV stars.
I wish her all the success in the world. It’s not a gender thing. It’s not a, you know, I don’t think she’s unintelligent. I have a thing about the Kardashians and reality TV stars. So please don’t cancel me because I don’t like Kylie Jenner.
Yeah, my little piece on Kylie didn’t quite come out as graceful as I’d hoped. Sorry about that, folks. Didn’t mean to offend her or anyone else. My point really, was that the fact reality show stars can have market impacts on entire social media platforms and large companies in my mind is just ludicrous has less to do with Kylie and more to do with reality television, which in my opinion is a cesspool of idiocy.
But as I said, I don’t have to like it. That’s the world we live in now. Que será, será. Links to the relevant articles in such. We mentioned as well as the photographer who started the whole Instagram protest are in the show notes at Winfluencepod.com. Scroll down, find the article click through and you can navigate from there.
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