When most people think about Instagram, they immediately associate it with photos—and it makes sense. When Instagram first launched there weren’t any options for video. It was all about using the power of images to share content. But it was only a matter of time before the team at Instagram realized that social video marketing is where it’s at. And just like that, Instagram transformed from a photo sharing app to a multimedia content marketing tool.
Instagram Videos vs. Vine
Instagram videos have been drawing comparisons to Vine ever since it launched. Both feature short bites of video that are aimed at mobile users. However, there are some key differences:
- Instagram videos give you up to 15 seconds while Vines are only six seconds
- Instagram lets you add filters
- Instagram has over 300 million users while Vine has over 40 million
Neither app is “better” than the other; they’re just different. That said, the larger audience and longer videos give marketers an added reason to try Instagram videos. The question is how do you get started?
How to Use Instagram for Video Marketing
Video on Instagram opened the doors for a lot of new opportunities in social video marketing. It forces you to come up with creative ways to get your idea across quickly. You only have up to 15 seconds to capture the attention of viewers, so you have to make every second count. Here are some of the top strategies being used by successful brands for Instagram video marketing that you can implement for your own business.
Go Behind the Scenes
One of the best ways to get started with video marketing is giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. You can show off:
- How you make your products
- What a day at your office is like
- A backstage look at a company event
Giving an inside look helps your audience feel more connected to your brand and gives you the transparency that consumers crave.
Here’s where video marketing and content marketing meet. Content marketing is all about giving out value to your audience. What better way to add value than to create a short video showcasing how to solve a common problem or just teaching people how to do something new.
You can take this a step further by using your own products in the videos you create. Sometimes it’s easier to show how your products can be used with a video instead of just a user manual. Don’t settle for static images. Go dynamic by using the power of video. Since Instagram videos are bite-sized, people are much more likely to watch them.
Promote Your Products
You have to be careful with this one. There’s a thin line between tastefully promoting your company on social media and spamming. The mistake that a lot of marketers make is that they use social media solely as a way to push their products into consumers’ faces. That doesn’t fly on Instagram though. Unlike some of the larger social networking sites that are packed with marketers, Instagram is still largely made up of casual users. Even though Instagram has started to allow advertisers, people don’t expect to be bombarded with promotional content.
Instead of creating a video that shows only your product and its price, get creative. For instance, Coca-Cola came up with a clever way to play off of the fun and excitement of the Fourth of July while keeping its products in the back of your mind. Make your product a piece of the video, not the main focus.
Created User-Generated Content
User-Generated Content (UGC) is starting to become very popular. The concept of having consumers and your followers on social media create content for your brand does two things:
- Gives you more content without having to create it all yourself
- Builds a connection between your brand and the public
There have been some very creative uses of UGC over the years, and Video on Instagram opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Costa has been using UGC to combine summer fun with its new iced coffee drinks. The company asked customers to post an Instagram video with the drink using the hashtag #shakeupsummer.
Be Funny and Entertaining
Sometimes you have have to break free and have a little fun. Remember, people don’t go on Instagram to find new businesses. It’s a way for them to pass time and be entertained. Fulfill that need by showing off your brand’s personality and not being afraid to have a sense of humor. Virgin America did just that when it was promoting its newly designed website.
Give a Sneak Peek
Sending out a press release for a new product you’re launching isn’t enough today. You have to think out of the box and get creative with each new product you release. Thankfully social media makes it easier for you to turn every new product launch into an event. And because Instagram videos are so easy to share, word travels quickly if you make a stellar video. Make sure to include a relevant hashtag in your post so that you can track your campaign.
You can add even more suspense and curiosity by just making a teaser instead of completely showing your new product. That’ll help you build momentum and interest to make your official launch an even bigger success since people will have been anticipating it for weeks.
The Rock uses Instagram videos to show short preview clips of upcoming episodes of his show Ballers. They’re just short enough to make you curious about what’s going to happen so you’ll tune in.
Do Something Amazing
Do you remember what your first thought was when you saw the Jean-Claude Van Damme Epic Split video? What was the first thing you did after watching it? More than likely you Tweeted it, emailed it or texted someone about it. That video was talked about for weeks and went viral. Why? Because it was simply amazing.
In a world where millions of pieces of content are created each day, it’s getting increasingly difficult to break through the noise. Creating a video that’s so interesting and unbelievable that people feel obligated to share it is one of the best ways you can grow your brand with social video marketing.
Tips for Instagram Video Success
A big part of the equation to be successful with Instagram video marketing is what you post. Coming up with the idea to post behind-the-scenes video is great, but it’ll only work if you execute it correctly. Here are some tips to make your Instagram video marketing campaign a success.
Make Videos Specifically for Instagram
As we mentioned, your videos aren’t going to be long enough for a 30-second commercial. That means that trying to squeeze a two-minute YouTube video you made earlier in the year into a 10-second Instagram clip isn’t the best idea. Instead, create video content that’s designed to be consumed in under 15 seconds.
Keep it short and sweet.
Don’t Always Rely on Sound
Instagram videos don’t auto-play sound. They start out as muted and users can choose to turn the sound on. Create videos that can make sense even if there’s no sound. Some people like to scroll through Instagram in class, at work or other places where having the volume on isn’t an option. They might not get the full effect, but you still want them to understand the overall concept of your clip even if it’s on mute.
Make an Impact Immediately
The first couple of seconds of your video should invoke some type of curiosity to entice people to want to keep watching. Movement is a great way to capture your audience’s eyes and make them focus. Pay attention to this clip from Lowe’s, and specifically notice how the movement immediately engages you.
Take Advantage of Endless Loops
One of the coolest features of Vine that Instagram adopted was endless looping videos. After a clip is done, it automatically starts back up again. How can you use it for your videos? A classic example is Gap.
Not only was Gap one of the first brands to use the feature, but it arguably did it the best. Gap created a mini-series exclusively for Instagram to promote its products. The clips naturally lend themselves to being looped over and over again because you can’t help but to re-watch them to see if you missed anything. And the brand also put together some clips that loop perfectly like this one.
Capture Special Events
When major holidays like Christmas, Halloween or the Fourth of July come around, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a themed video. You can also capitalize on major events like a presidential election or the World Cup. GoPro took to the streets of Brazil during the 2014 World Cup to show the futbol culture in the area using its own products.
GoPro: Brasil – For The Love Join us as we immerse ourselves into the heart of Brasileiro culture and futebol. From the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the Estadio Municipal of São Paulo, see first hand what it truly means to live, love, and play as a Brazilian. Tune in each Wednesday from June 18th – July 2, for episodes of our aventura Brasileira…
As Video On Instagram continues to develop and grow, there’s going to be even more opportunities for marketers to reach audiences. The company has been rolling out video ads to advertisers, which is going to add a whole new element to explore. But you don’t have to wait. Be an early adopter and start putting all of these awesome tips and strategies in place right now to grow your social media presence with Instagram video marketing.