Video is taking over social media at large.
And Instagram is no exception.
In fact, the average consumer on the ‘gram now spends over half of their time on the platform watching videos.
This might not seem like breaking news, but it’s telling given Instagram’s reputation as a photo-centric network.
As video platforms like TikTok and YouTube continue to boom, consumers’ cravings for video content are only going to grow.
The good news is that the barrier to entry is lower than ever for businesses looking to get started with Instagram video marketing. In this guide, we’ll break down exactly how.
What makes Instagram video marketing so compelling?
Fact: videos on Instagram receive 49% more engagement than static photo posts.
Consumers today are binge-watchers, plain and simple. That’s exactly why brands are integrating video into their content strategies and racking up huge viewership in the process.
The need to create social media video is universal, and Instagram has seriously stepped up their game in that department over the years.
But what separates Instagram video from that of competing social networks? Consider below why Instagram’s video platform is so brand-friendly.
Instagram’s video formats are fair game for any brand
First thing’s first: Instagram gives brands a ton of flexibility when it comes to formatting.
How so? The platform’s in-feed video (up to 60 seconds in length) works for everything from commercials to bite-sized product tutorials. Given that 73% of business-related videos are less than two minutes long, Instagram’s native video format meets the needs of most brands right there.
Meanwhile, 15-second vertical videos are supported via Stories. Such videos require little in terms of production value and can be published in a matter of seconds.
Oh, and don’t forget about IGTV for long-form content (up to 15 minutes when uploading from mobile, an hour when uploading from the web) and Instagram Live (up to one hour) for real-time video.
Find out which format works best for different types of content by measuring your success. With Sprout Social, you can see the same metrics for IGTV and feed video side-by-side in a single reporting solution, so you can find out what types of content your audience is engaging with. Refine your strategy with data-driven answers about what types of long-form content you should be dedicating resources to.
Short-form? Long-form? Something in-between? No matter what Instagram video length you have in mind, the platform has you covered.
This is a nice added bonus for companies who already create video content for YouTube or Facebook. Repurposing your videos for the platform is a cinch and there are plenty of opportunities to cross-post your videos onto Instagram.
Instagram’s video platform encourages creativity
Creativity counts when it comes to your Instagram content.
As noted in our example section below, brands are constantly experimenting with new video formats, features and styles to keep their videos fresh.
Time-lapse videos. Color explosions. Flashy filters. The list goes on.
When it comes to creative content production, brands on Instagram are spoiled for choice in terms of what they can create.
Instagram video is accessible regardless of your budget
Despite popular belief, Instagram video doesn’t require a bloated budget or fancy editing equipment.
All you need is a smartphone. Seriously.
Even brands with massive followings create compelling videos using simple shots and minimalist editing tricks. Remember what we said a minute ago about getting creative?
5 simple ideas to help you create Instagram video
Now, let’s look at some real-world examples of Instagram video in action.
Below are five options that brands should consider integrating into their content strategies.
1. Show off your product or service in action
No surprises here! If you’re selling a physical product, producing video around what you’re selling is a solid starting point.
In-feed is perhaps the best video format for Instagram if you’re in ecommerce. Time-lapse videos and product reels are as popular as ever for showing off your products from all angles, all without any complicated editing required.
2. Conduct a how-to or tutorial video
Educating your audience is a tried-and-tested tactic for brands looking to sell via video.
Brainstorm what you can teach your audience and how you can integrate your products into the process. For example, Pulp Riot, using Instagram Live to conduct how-tos featuring their haircare products…
…and then promotes the broadcasts in their feeds so followers can watch them later.
This is a shining example of how to get more mileage out of a Live video and effectively double-dip your content.
Take your followers behind-the-scenes
We’ll say it again: if you want to create video for Instagram, you don’t need to do anything complicated.
Just look at the popularity of video via Instagram Stories for reference.
From product launches to conferences and festivals, Stories are a low-hanging way to capture footage and encourage interaction with your followers via captions and stickers. The unpolished feel of Stories ultimately makes your content feel more off-the-cuff and authentic, definitely a welcome break from “professional” or commercial videos.
Conduct a Q&A session
Another strategy for using Stories is running a Q&A session with your followers.
Not only does doing so require no equipment and minimal editing, but also offers an opportunity to interact with your fans. You can either vet questions in real-time or source them in advance.
Q&As are awesome for hyping up events and product launches. You can likewise save them to your Stories feed so followers can check them out later.
Holding these sorts of digital events signals that you want to actually interact with your fans versus just talk “at” them.
Ask followers to create videos on your behalf
Much like any other type of user-generated content such as customer photos, don’t be shy about asking followers to create video content on your behalf.
For example, GoPro uses their #GoProLiveIt to encourage customers to produce and share video creations for their weekly Stories contest. You could do the exact same with in-feed video as well.
Rather than always show off your own products in action, give your customers the opportunity to do the same. This allows you to both expand the reach of your ads via customer content and create a sense of community among your followers.
How to make sure your Instagram video marketing works
No matter what sort of video content you’re looking to create, it’s crucial that your efforts mesh with the big picture of your social strategy.
To wrap things up, let’s review some tips and tactics that can help.
Determine how video fits into your content calendar
Given the effort involved with producing video, you shouldn’t create it “just because.” Instead, think about the goals behind your video content.
For example, are you looking to drive more traffic to your store? Create brand awareness? Increase followers and views?
There is no “wrong” answer here. What matters is that the video you create has some sort of purpose behind it.
Meanwhile, consider where your Instagram video sits with the rest of your content calendar. This includes your visual content (think: static photos, user-generated content) on Instagram and the rest of your social profiles (think: YouTube, Facebook, TikTok).
This is where a publishing tool like Sprout Social comes in handy. Our platform allows you to keep all of your brand’s video assets in one place, making it easy to cross-post video when necessary. You also have a more comprehensive view of your Instagram content and whether or not it’s too photo-dominant.
Don’t confine yourself to mobile publishing
Many of the various Instagram video formats are mobile-friendly.
However, restricting yourself to mobile-only video means you’re losing out on opportunities to upload polished, professional productions.
If you’re looking to go beyond off-the-cuff videos, make sure to invest in desktop publishing with the help of tools like Sprout.
Keep an eye on your Instagram video analytics
We noted earlier that videos on Instagram are prime for engagement.
That said, videos aren’t guaranteed Likes or comments by default. It’s important to keep an eye on your Instagram analytics to assess the following as you roll out your campaigns:
- How does your video content perform against your photos?
- Which photos or videos are most popular on your profile?
- How long are people watching your videos? What does your average view count look like?
Features such as Instagram analytics via Sprout can break down all of the above to understand whether or not your videos are moving the needle.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!
What does your Instagram video marketing strategy look like?
Listen: Instagram is about so, so much more than just photos these days.
Getting started with video content is a must-do for any brand looking to grow on the platform.
And if you’re still eager for more ideas for doing exactly that, make sure to check out our guides to social media video for some more much-needed inspiration.
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