The use of video on social media has been steadily rising over the past few years, and we’ve seen some big shifts in the trends with how video is being used to connect consumers to businesses. People are engaging more with video content than with just images or text, and even indicate that they rather watch a video about a product than read about it. CISCO even projects that the prevalence of video online traffic is going to triple in the next 4 years. This all points to one thing: if you want to stay up to date with today’s consumers, video is definitely the way to go.

Instagram is well aware of these trends and the changes in consumer behavior and that’s why they are continuously rolling out new features surrounding videos. Think about the introduction of ‘Videos You Might Like’ on the explore page, face filters on Instagram Stories and Boomerangs. These features are great for the ‘regular’ non-commercial user, but also give brands new avenues to play within their marketing. We understand that it can be a bit difficult to figure it all out in the beginning. With so much opportunity, it takes a bit to figure out what works and what’s worth investing in. And that’s why we’re sharing 5 tips today on how to use Instagram video for marketing!


1. Adhere to Instagram-etiquette

First things first: do as the Romans do. Just because a video does great on your other digital channels like Facebook, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to post the exact same thing on Instagram. Follow the rules of the game to get the most gains out of your Instagram videos and rack up as much video views as possible. While you’re allowed 60 seconds in your videos and a whopping 2,200 characters for your captions, using up all of that space may not be the best idea. Users nowadays enjoy consuming information in fun bite-sized chunks, so if your videos are too long or bombard them with too much info, you may lose their attention. Quickly.

Instead, try to get into the Instagram culture in your videos: it’s all about the visual and personality! Your video content should be the same, beautiful in its delivery, engaging with followers and easy to understand. Take Ben & Jerry’s for example, that started posting videos of easy DIY recipes you can make with their products! The videos are short, on brand, and fun to watch. A perfect mix.

Now, we’re not saying that your video shouldn’t be informative, but more so that it should be relatively simple. Think about creating teaser videos. Instead of showing audiences everything you have to offer, use your Instagram videos to entice them to seek out your more elaborate content on your website or other channels. For instance, tease a new product or service in a short 20-second video and direct your followers to visit your website for more information using a link in your bio.

Next, show your followers the sides of your brand you wouldn’t show them anywhere else. Take your followers behind the scenes and show them how things really work within your company. You can do this by creating a video that shows off your office or depicts the production process of your offerings. Instagram is very useful in showing the more human sides of brands, so you should definitely use Instagram videos to do the same. Content like this may not be appropriate elsewhere, but it definitely has a place on IG.


2. Use Instagram Stories

250 million people use Instagram Stories on a daily basis, and that’s already more than enough reason why you should jump on board and start creating stories as well. Another great thing about Instagram Stories is that the content erases itself after just 24 hours, which gives you the chance to try out some more of your riskier ideas. In other words, Instagram Stories can become your testing playground. If what you post on your Stories does well enough and gets a lot of engagement, this indicates that you could try posting similar in an actual post or even on another one of your channels.

Now that you know why you need to start using Instagram Stories, it’s time to dive into the type of video content you’ll post there. What you choose to post on Instagram Stories should still be aesthetically pleasing just like the posts you put up on your feeds, but here, it’s encouraged to be much more spontaneous and fun in your content. There are a good bit of features that you can add on to your videos like stickers, geotags, filters and drawing. So you can add even more of your personality to your content.

Even though you can be much more spontaneous here, you should still put some thoughts and planning into the Instagram videos you put up on your Stories. Create videos for your Stories beforehand and add them to your camera roll when they are ready to be uploaded. Just like when you create the themes for your Instagram feed, consider the themes you would like to show on Instagram Stories as well. For instance, we like to use our Stories at the @itspreppr account to generate traffic to the blog using small previews of the content to entice users to click through to read more. In general, you should have a good mix between quick, spontaneous videos and video content that was produced a bit more professionally.

By the way, keep in mind that the dimensions differ from the standard Instagram squares, so make sure that your stories are 1080×1920 pixels.


3. Edit Your Videos With The Best Apps

We know that not everyone has access to the same resources to produce top quality videos and we’re happy to say that you don’t always need them. Smaller brands or freelancers have loads of apps at their disposal that can help them to create professional videos that will resonate with their followers. We are big fans of Quik, an app owned by GoPro where you can easily put together lots of different videos and even add tons of different effects like slow motion and music.

Another good one is Storeo, a special app just for Instagram Stories.  This one allows you to shoot your videos for stories all the way through, it will then seamlessly cut your stories to the 15-second intervals for you. Pretty handy to have when you’re trying to share a tale with your followers! Another recommendation for you is Instagram’s own app called Hyperlapse. This one lets you pack your short video with a lot of content for your followers. So if you have a long production process, for instance, you can use Hyperlapse to show the entire thing while still keeping it in line with Instagram’s bite-sized culture. 😉


4. Use Instagram Video Ads

If there is some budget available for it, we recommend it if you go ahead and invest in sponsoring your Instagram videos. Yes, creating engaging videos with the right hashtags will help to get your brand discovered by new people who are out to explore. But… Sponsoring a video will fast-track this process! Video ads on Instagram can be up to 60 seconds long, and either landscape or square. So go for whichever appeals most to you. Plus, sponsored video ads make it possible for a brand to add links directly to the post so people can be sent straight to a landing page where they can learn even more or perform a particular action. You can also easily target the video ad to people who share the same demographics and interests as your current followers. This way, they are more likely to appreciate what you’re showing and follow you.

P.s: if you’re new to advertising on either Facebook or Instagram, we created this blog to teach you everything you need to know about getting started.

When choosing which post to promote, or how to create a new one, keep in mind to align the content with the rest of your feed. This goes back to playing by Instagram’s rules. A sales video isn’t going to cut it here. Your promoted video content should be quite similar to the other content that you’ve been posting on your Instagram feed: aesthetically pleasing, visual and immersive!

It’s difficult to give a step by step guide to an award-winning Instagram video marketing strategy, simply because there is no one shoe fits all. What works for one brand might not work for yours. But, if you keep these tips in mind, you’re provided with a solid framework to help guide your decisions when forming your Instagram video marketing plan. Many brands have begun adding more video content to their content strategy, are you ready to get on board?

 

We hope our tips will help you boost your engagement with videos on Instagram! Now it’s time to put it into practice and start Scheduling and Auto-posting to Instagram with Preppr 😉

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Header photo by Elliot Teo on Unsplash

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