What Women Don’t Want

Mukta Lad has over 13 years of experience in writing, with a special focus on advertising, marketing and media. She has extensively covered the Indian advertising and marketing communications industry as a trade media journalist and is currently the Assistant Editor at Brand Equity.

In a country that expects marriage and kids to be non-negotiable aspects of a woman’s life, you’ve chosen to go solo and live life on your own terms. What are the questions you get asked in this regard (and that you wish people would stop asking!) and how do you respond to these? 

Me choosing to walk out of my marriage and live independently has been a lot of privilege coming together – the privilege of being financially independent, having a well-paying job, no children, the agency to live by myself and have the lifestyle I want, supportive parents who’ve raised me in a progressive environment, and a now ex-partner who has been nothing but amicable and understanding throughout this process; not once has he tried to be difficult or delay any legalities. 

Any one of these privileges, if missing, would have made my life look completely different. I feel it’s important to acknowledge this at the outset. It’s much easier to chart the course of your own life when you have so much going for you. 

In terms of the questions I get asked, they are mostly a combination of the following and some random advice. I’ve taken the liberty to put together a bit of an advisory: 

“OMG are you okay?”

Yes, relax. I’m getting a divorce, not a death certificate. I understand people’s concern, and that it can get awkward when someone says “Oh, XYZ and I aren’t together anymore” but there’s no need to be this dramatic. 

“Are you happy?”

I genuinely love this question. It’s the perfect way for someone to gauge where someone is at mentally with their separation/divorce/break up and decide further course of conversation. 

“How much alimony are you getting?”

I’m not getting any alimony, thank you. And even if I were, why would I discuss the financial nuances with anyone and everyone? 

“Are you marrying again?”

Perhaps start with ‘have you gotten your divorce yet?’ If I marry right now I’ll also have to serve a prison sentence for having two husbands. Kindly stop springing this question. A person who’s getting out of a marriage or has just gotten out of one might not want to answer questions about returning to the very same institution. If you must know their thoughts on marriage, maybe an ‘Are you open to ever marrying again?’ might be a more sensitive variation. 

“Sign up on dating apps already!”

Finding yourself suddenly single can be disorienting. While some people may want to find a partner immediately, others might want nothing more than casual sex. And some others might just want to be alone for a while as they process the end of a long-term relationship. There’s no saying who’s ready when. Friends and well-wishers should stop pressurising people to date/hook up with people on apps. We know apps exist and we’ll do it when we’re ready.

“Don’t commit quickly!”

To me, this is really bizarre advice. When I met my now partner on a dating app six months ago, we decided to be together exclusively in about 2-3 weeks after we met. Questions from friends ranged from “Why did you commit so soon?” and “Keep swiping nevertheless” to “You should have played the field first for a while!” As if partners are refrigerators you might get a better deal on if you wait for a couple of months. Or is there a Big Billion Sale for boyfriends no one told me about? 

We know people mean well, but it’s also not our burden to think of everyone’s intent behind the unsolicited advice. And no one wants to feel judged – like it’s ‘uncool’ to commit but casual sex is ‘cool’. It’s all cool to whoever’s deciding, just stay out of it! 

What are your thoughts on the depiction of women in advertising today? In what way would you like to see it (the way women are depicted) change? 

I could write a book on this. I have been covering advertising for a while now and there’s so much that needs to change when it comes to depicting women. Having said that, advertising also reflects society and its mindsets, so well, it’s natural it’s not going to become ideal overnight. 

My biggest bone of contention with women’s portrayal in ads is the absolute lack of understanding of the everyday woman. She’s either a sanskaari mummy toiling for the well-being of her husband and children since dawn (wearing a full-sleeved salwar kameez) or she’s straddling a Bullet and going off on long bike rides. There seems to be no relatable in-between for the everyday woman – the one who manages her home, feeds her family but also holds a full-time job and looks after the elderly in her house. As if her routine struggles and rebellions aren’t ‘cool’ enough for TV.

I did a story recently for Women’s Day, where one advertising veteran I quoted said, “The worshipping of a woman’s many roops is a burden she carries. You can make lots of cute ads about lazy fathers but never an ad about a forgetful mom.” I think this sums this up very well. That it’s always nice to see women doing virtuous things on screen as far as possible. If she’s doing ‘rebellious’ things – the other end of this stereotype, it’s to make a statement, of course. And don’t forget to show she has coloured hair, tattoos, multiple piercings, a bike, a drum kit, and an electric guitar to complete the look.

Instagram saves are the super likes

Over the years, Instagram’s algorithm has undergone several changes to give its users the best user experience while using the app. It has stopped showing posts on the feed in chronological order, offering only the content they think users will love the most on their feeds. For brands and content creators relying on organic interactions, it has become a challenge to gauge the kind of content their users want. However, there are certain elements of the Instagram algorithms that help brands to determine their success in engagement. One such metric is the Instagram ‘saves’.

Saves was given the super-like term by James Nord— Fohr CEO. He says, “Saves has become an incredibly powerful way to see how engaged an influencer’s audience actually is.” Instagram saves are a key signal for knowing how the Instagram algorithm works – the more the saves on your post, the more people it will be shown to. That’s why focusing on getting more saves is a great way to grow your Instagram account. 

What are we talking about? 

Instagram changed for a whole lot of people a while ago! But not for all, as most of us are not even aware of this new algorithm. What are we referring to?

It’s the SAVE feature a.k.a super LIKES!

Let us dig deeper!

Instagram ‘saves’ have been around for a while, helping us save posts for revisiting later. They are no more just a bookmark icon below your posts. Instagram has promoted ‘saves’ to a new; very important position. 

In our last blog, we spoke about the 6 key factors Instagram algorithm uses to rank posts on feed. Although not one of the key factors yet, ‘saves’ is said to be the 7th one soon.

Currently, according to the algorithm ranking, the more saves your post gets, the more likely it is to be shown on the explore tab and higher on your audience’s feed. 

Why are ‘Saves’ bumped up to a higher position?

Saves are a strong indicator that your content is relatable to your audience. So much that they find it valuable enough to save it. When someone saves your content, it tells Instagram that it’s high-quality content and that it should probably be sharing it with more people so everyone can benefit from it.

Along with that, Instagram is experimenting with removing likes on posts in many countries. As this new change is being considered, other engagement metrics like comments, shares and saves are gaining more focus.

The new engagement rate calculation has also changed.

= (Likes + Comments + Saves) / Impressions x 100 

Let’s get to the “How to” factor.

Are you looking for ways to get more saves on your post and save it from falling prey to low ranking? Our research says that these are the following reasons audiences are currently saving posts.

  • IGTV videos, long-form video content they want to watch later
  • Reel challenges, to hop onto the trending challenges
  • New/Creative post types
  • Review/Recommendation posts to remember 
  • Inspirational/Motivational quotes

How to tap on these reasons and gain ‘saves’?

#Tip1: Infographics

If you have information that sparks people’s curiosity, they may want to save it for later viewing. Thus infographics! Heavy on information, infographics make it to the ‘saves’ list as users want to check back on it or save it for later use.

#Tip2: Captions

When you’ve got the image right, it’s time to get the caption right. The best thing to do is to write a long-form caption that truly encapsulates the spirit of the post whilst giving out genuine information. Writing a caption with new and valuable information gets you ‘Saves’ from your audience.

#Tip3: Quotes

You can easily turn quotes into visually compelling content that gets saved again and again. Make sure you choose quotes that are relevant to your business and industry. Don’t go crazy with your content strategy, consider mixing it up so your feed looks intentionally curated. Instagram is a great place to find inspiration.

#Tip4: Videos

Long IGTV videos with a product review or a movie recommendation will definitely make it to the save list. You can repurpose videos you’ve posted on YouTube and Facebook into IGTV videos. Short tips and listicles are always great for sharing, so share your blog posts into the video as well and let your audience save them.

#Tip5: Reminders

Sometimes, your users may forget to save the posts they like. Simply add a reminder on your image/video or in your caption reminding them to save the post for future reference. If you’re not sure what to do with the likes and comments, include a call to action in your post caption. It serves as a pleasant reminder to your viewers that your information is worth saving when done right.

Track your Saves!

You obviously want to know whether your efforts have reaped the benefits. Won’t you?

Saves are not reflected on the post. However, there is a way to check them – The page insights!

Follow these steps:

Insights > Content tab > Feed Posts > See All > Filter option > Saves.

There! You have it.

The secret to getting more saves, among other things like replying to your posts’ comments or building a relationship with your users, is to create content worth revisiting and convincing your users that it would be useful in the future.

Top 5 Video Editing Apps for Instagram Reels

Short videos have become a rage in recent years. With Instagram Reels becoming popular, the demand for video editing tools is more than ever before. So, if you are a budding Reels creator looking to crack the code, here’s our pick for the best video editing tools to create those crisp and engaging videos.

  1.  Inshot   

First on our list is Inshot. It’s among the most popular Reels video editors out there. The ability to have custom ratios, variety of fonts, effects and music, makes it a must-have tool to create those perfect, vertical Reels. 

What we like

  • It has a huge list of video editing features like creating a slow-motion video, time-lapse or flipping videos. 
  • The drafts can be saved. This means you can pick from where you left without the hassle of starting all over again. 
  •  You can add animated stickers, emojis and custom images to your reels. 

 What we don’t like 

  • You need to get a paid version to remove watermarks from your videos. 

2.     Adobe Premiere Rush

It’s another popular choice for creating Instagram Reel or any other short videos.

Why we like it

  • The app has standard video editing tools like trimming, shadow, adjusting exposure.
  • The app has an intuitive UI, options for video aspect ratio, motion graphic templates and many more useful features.

What we don’t like

  • The free version allows you to export only three videos in a month, which can be a bummer if you’re someone who uploads regularly. 

 3.       FilmoraGo

FilmoraGo is another popular video editor app for creating Instagram Reels available on Android and iOS both. It supports various aspect ratios and has all standard video editing features to make your Instagram Reels look professional. 

What we like  

  • It has some great video effects that you’ll not find on other editors.
  • It will give a professional look to your videos.
  • It has pretty good fonts and overlays.  
  • It supports voice-overs. 

What we don’t like

  • It puts watermarks on videos, so you’ll need to subscribe to the premium version if you want to remove the watermarks.

4.       YouCut

If you hate watermarks just like us, YouCut is the app for you. It’s a free editing app that brings you features like multiple custom ratios, fonts, cool video effects – all important for creating high-quality Reels. Additionally, it also allows you to import your own music, or you can pick from their library, which is a bonus. 

What we like 

  • It adds no watermark to the videos, which is a big yay!
  • The app has a library of royalty-free music.
  • It allows you to change the background, play with different fonts and also lets you choose the aspect ratio. 

What we don’t like

  • This app is only available for Android and not iOS.

5.       KineMaster

KineMaster is our final editor on this list. It comes with all the amazing video editing functions you need in an app to make your videos stand out.  

What we like 

  • It allows you to apply filters, add music, voice-overs, transitions, and custom fonts. 
  • It allows you to combine multiple videos, images, and texts. 

What we don’t like

  • You will have to buy the premium version if you don’t want watermarks on your videos. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

How to effectively market on Instagram with a constantly changing algorithm

2021 has brought in a new change in the Instagram algorithm and marketeers are all looking for ways to crack the magical code to still be able to market effectively.

Well, here’s the good news, you can actually use it to your advantage!

Figuring out how the algorithm works will help you find ways to get the best out of your campaigns. So let’s start by understanding what this change entails and how it can be used for your brand’s benefit. 

The Change

Instagram is very closely reviewing our content and controlling the organic reach on our accounts. It takes help from the past behaviour of our followers, audience and our own activities to do this.

It is primarily controlling the following features with the latest algorithm:

  • The Audience (Who will see your post)
  • The Reach (How many will see your post and which posts will make it to the explore tab)
  • The Priority (Which post will make it to feed and in which order)

Basically, creating a scenario where the best content wins!

Factors that influence the change

Here is a quick breakdown of the 6 key factors that influence the algorithm on feed posts. 

                   Sources: Hootsuite, Later, Buffer and Sprout Social

An easier way to explain this is, Instagram is controlling audience behaviour on two feeds, one being the timeline where people see posts from their followers and the second being the explore tabs where they see posts from people they don’t follow. Along with this, audiences’ behaviour on these feeds, such as comments, likes, saves, shares and the time they spend on a post is also tracked. 

Therefore, the posts we create have to show content that is engaging, relatable, and high quality.

By considering these factors, our campaigns and marketing strategies can stay far from becoming prey to the algorithm.

Instagram’s response to audience’s reaction on the change

Instagram stated that what shows up first in your feed is primarily based on your own activity.

However, this is perhaps Instagram’s way to gain more screen time from its audience. If you are active and people tend to spend a lot of time engaging with your posts, Instagram rewards you with the ‘Explored Trophy’.

Rising above the change 

The new algorithm has left people with questions on how to maximize engagement taking the change into account. Not just that, but also on how to create a campaign that works wonders despite the frequently occuring algorithm changes.

However, an additional point to be considered is that a drop in engagement is not always due to the change in algorithm.

Here are some strategies that give the Instagram algorithm exactly what it wants.

  • Embrace the latest features
    Instagram will always reward the accounts supporting their new features. So do not hesitate in trying them all out.

  • Post Consistently
    Instagram does not check whether accounts are posting consistently before ranking your posting. However, a consistent presences helps build a good connection with your audience.
  • Post when you’re audience is online
  • Post good quality, aesthetically pleasing photographs
    It’s an established fact that good content ranks high on your audience’s feed. And you may have experienced this yourself, that visually striking content attracts your audiences’ eye and makes them hit like.

  • Post hashtags effectively, stop using old hashtags
    Include hashtags on your posts that ensure your posts are searchable. The more eyes on your posts, the better it is.
  • Go live more often
    Instagram Live generates a notification to your followers and puts itself ahead of your followers’ story feed which gives you good visibility.

  • Cross-Promote on Instagram
    To help increase your algorithm ranking, cross-posting on Instagram is a quick and easy hack. You can strategically cross-post your IGTV on your reel or your feed post on your story to get better reach.

The ever changing algorithm is easy to tackle when you adapt, strengthen your campaign strategy and of course, remember that quality content always wins.

While you get to experimenting with the new algorithm, here’s a small takeaway, ‘save is the new like’. We will be showcasing a comprehensive research on this metric in our next blog, stay tuned!