Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has evolved from an online photo-sharing app into a major online platform that empowers its users to create, edit and share their own videos in a vast variety of forms.
These videos, whether they are shared as Instagram stories, posts in your feed, or through IGTV, can add a new dimension to Instagram that mere photos simply can’t achieve. Even better, Instagram videos don’t have to be expensive, blow-out productions either.
In fact, videos shot on a lower budget can appear more authentic, and therefore more effective than high production videos. You can shoot compelling videos for your brand’s Instagram page on just your smartphone, edited on the Instagram platform itself, on a computer, or on a variety of useful mobile apps.
While photos are still the most popular kind of Instagram posts, videos now get more than 20% more interactions. As such, posting videos to your brand’s Instagram page can be a smart way to boost your overall engagement without making major changes to your marketing budget. Here are some ways to get the most out of this strategic shift.
Video for Instagram Stories
If you have an on-the-go video idea that doesn’t require editing or you have an idea for video content that is best done in real-time, consider using the Live video feature for Instagram Stories. Using the Live video feature, you can film directly in the app and notify your followers of your live stream by clicking the record button in the top left corner of your story.
Video for IGTV
IGTV is the newest way to share videos on Instagram, where individuals and brands can share longer-form videos with viewers through the Instagram app or through the IGTV app.
IGTV is best used to showcase the kinds of videos that aim to explore an idea beyond Instagram’s 60 second time constraint of stories and posts. Tutorials, interviews, episodes, behind-the-scenes clips and how-to videos are just a view examples of content you could share to your brand’s IGTV channel.
Driving Sales with Video
In addition to promoting your brand and gaining followers, Instagram videos can be used to make direct sales. WIth 60% of users on Instagram looking to find new products, tagging your products through Shopping on Instagram can help you convert video views into sales.
At the same time, use appropriate shopping hashtags so that you’re reaching more than just your existing followers with videos that truly showcase your product offering. With Instagram’s in-app shopping feature, users can complete their purchases without leaving the Instagram platform itself, so make sure that you’re set up to make sales on Instagram.
If you’re stuck for content that showcases your product offerings, try sourcing videos from your customers. Have a look at the posts and stories that they have tagged your brand in. Whether it's customer reviews or just their own video content where your product has been tagged in the video, your audience is your best source of user-generated content.
Understanding Instagram Videos
Adding videos to your brand’s Instagram platform can be an excellent way of driving engagement without overhauling your marketing strategy or breaking the bank. In fact, you’ll be glad to know that posting a video to your Instagram channel is much the same as posting a photo, with some additional specifications:
● File Size: 4GB max
● File Type: MP4 or MOV recommended
● Max length: 60 seconds
● Orientation: square or landscape
● Aspect ratio: 1:91:1
Furthermore, there are two main styles of videos that businesses tend to share on Instagram:
● Polished, high-quality videos for use in advertising and brand awareness
● Amateur videos that are designed to give viewers a sneak peek behind the curtain so that they can get to know the people that use the products, or make up the brand they follow.
Fortunately for small business owners with corresponding marketing budgets, Instagram users have come to expect the latter format, meaning you are free to publish quick and easy videos that you can make yourself.
Whether your footage is shot at your office, on location, at your latest pop-up shop, or at an event where your brand is attending, mildly edited videos filmed on your mobile device are the ideal way to let users know that your brand is approachable and authentic.
On the other hand, if your business has the resources to shoot footage with high production values (or, has access to high-resolution footage shot by a third party from an event or advertisement shoot), they are best used to capture footage that can be used and reused over time.
When brainstorming content for your videos, think of films that speak to the core values of your brand, or those that tell the origin story of your business, or branded content that showcases your product line. This kind of footage can be edited and turned into evergreen content that can be spread across all your social channels and used as marketing material for a long time.
If you don’t have a huge budget, but would like to try your hand at editing, try any of the many available video editing apps available to help you create high-quality video content from your mobile phone. Some examples include:
● Splice or Quik to crop videos, add transitions, and music;
● FilmoraGo to create edited stories on the fly, add music and filters before sharing them with your followers; and
● Clipomatic to translate all speech from your videos into captions. This ensures that your audience catches every line, even when the video is muted.
If you are worried about the aesthetic of your brand’s feed, you may prefer to use your more polished video content as permanent posts, and save your lower quality, more authentic videos for your stories. That way, they won’t show up in your feed and meddle with your aesthetic.
If you’re not sharing video content on Instagram, there’s a chance you’re missing out on connecting with a host of potential customers. Don’t be afraid to experiment with Instagram videos to see what works for you and your brand.