Back to Specialty Food News

How to Increase Growth, Interaction Through Reels, Videos

Specialty Food Association

During last week's SFA Maker Prep webinar, Jeff Fierberg of SORA Digital, a media production company, spoke about Instagram and what food businesses can do to tailor content with audience engagement and storytelling potential in mind.

His webinar, called How to Increase Growth and Interaction Through Reels Videos, and More, broke down the core and reasoning behind the ever-changing Instagram algorithm, and highlighted the “game” that all businesses must play to succeed in the space.

“One of the things I hear a lot, whether you are a small brand that is just starting or a big brand with a huge marketing budget is Instagram has changed quite a bit,” he said.

According to Fierberg, the drivers of this change are varied but include Meta wanting to incentivize brands to use paid advertising on the platform, a data privacy change that affected Instagram's profitability and how it operates, and daily users' growing interest in video content. The tool Instagram uses to elicit change is the same tool brands rely on to connect their content with users: the algorithm.

The Instagram algorithm, a series of constantly changing processes that decides the content that is shown to its users, has undergone many changes that have affected every area of marketing on the app and has changed the definition of organic growth, but leveraging specific tools can make it easier for a brand to resonate with their community.

One of the most useful ways for small businesses to create engaging content, Fierberg advises, is to deliver user-generated content, which can include sponsored content from influencers or digital agencies or innovative content from staff members. As an example, Fierberg showed an Instagram Reel, a short vertical Instagram video, in which staff members of Momofuku visited various locations across New York City where its products can be found.

Fierberg also highlighted the importance of not only getting user-generated content, but also repurposing it by cross-posting it to other platforms, building a media library, and thinking of fresh ways to reuse the same content.

“We can take the authenticity of user-generated content, something as simple as someone scrolling through the homepage of the app, which in our industry can be as simple as someone doing one of those unpack grocery videos or a recipe video, and we can layer on top of it our own branded messaging, as simple as adding a caption and a small…branded tag at the end," he said.

Fierberg highlighted that brands don’t need to worry about producing only high-quality, expensive content to facilitate growth: simple, meaningful solutions often resonate just as much, if not more.

He also gave the following tips when creating Instagram Reels:

• Make them authentic and have fun with them

• Mix low and high production value, when possible

• Reels don’t have to be video. They can also be photos, gifs, or slideshows, but must always be vertical

• Make sure to cross-post on TikTok

• Reels features can help improve algorithm scoring

“The whole reason we play the game is because on the other side of the algorithm is a human—a human we are trying to connect with.”

To learn more about how to market a specialty food brand on Instagram, watch the webinar on demand in SFA’s Learning Center.

Related: How to Ignite an Integrated Media Program; Slideshow: Industry Voices From the Maker Prep Webinar Series