Businesses looking to add video content to their digital marketing portfolio should start on Instagram. The social media platform has several options for marketers, including live video streams and opportunities for user-generated content.
Instagram is now the second most popular social network in the U.S., and businesses need to use its marketing opportunities or risk falling behind competitors. Not to mention, 80% of Instagram users follow a business account.
Now, it’s not always enough to only post photos to your feed. To use Instagram to its fullest extent, businesses must take advantage of video options available and create a video marketing strategy.
Instagram’s video options have grown in many ways since the platform began in 2010. Feed videos no longer have a limit of fifteen seconds and instead, they allow users to post up to 60 seconds of video, giving brands more time to be creative.
However, that also means they need to captivate the audience longer. Instagram automatically plays videos when someone scrolls by them, which makes the first few seconds crucial for holding attention.
Instagram users also have the option of not turning sound on so adding captions might make users more likely to keep watching.
Feed videos aren’t the only video options on Instagram. Brands also need to utilize the story feature, Instagram Live, IGTV, and story highlights.
Here are some of the different ways brands can use video marketing on Instagram.
How to Use Video Marketing on Instagram
- Showcase your brand
- Share your services
- Educate your audience
- Hold users’ attention
1. Showcase Your Brand
You want users to be able to recognize your brand in your videos. Every video you post should reflect your brand identity.
Post videos consistently and, soon enough, viewers will know it’s you in the first few seconds without even needing to check your username.
This is a great time to showcase your brand story. Using video is a more creative way to tell a story than the typical blog post.
Commercial real estate company WeWork, for example, uses brand story videos to create an emotional connection with audiences that keeps them interested in their updates.
Think of ways to make your videos unique compared to your competitors. Establishing your brand identity in your videos matters. Otherwise, you’ll get lost amongst the other posts.
Show your audience what your brand has to offer that no other brand does.
2. Share Your Services
Interest your audience in purchasing from your company by showing them the services you offer. Each video should focus on one service at a time.
Your goal is to make the video enticing enough to convince viewers to buy, or at least learn more about your brand. Consider including testimonials from past customers who had success with your service.
When you launch a new product or service, Instagram videos can be used to introduce them and raise awareness on social media.
FedEx, for example, used Instagram to promote its same-day shipping robot, Roxo™.
Videos like these introduce your audience to your new products and services in an entertaining, informative way.
3. Educate your Audience
Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply show audiences your product. Educational videos give your audience a more in-depth look at what you have to offer.
Create some video tutorials on how viewers can utilize your brand’s services. Seeing your services in action helps customers understand how they can use them in their own lives.
You can also pair an Instagram video with a blog post. If you have an educational blog that would make an interesting video, consider creating one for social media.
Video chat platform Skype uses Instagram to announce new features. The account often posts videos that demonstrate how to use new features of the app.
It can be a snippet of information, a summary or an extension of your blog. Viewers will enjoy this visual way of learning about topics they’re interested in.
4. Interact With Live Video
If you want to increase interactions with your audience, start using Instagram Live to chat with viewers. Live videos might become more popular in 2020, and Instagram is the perfect platform to start testing this trend.
Thankfully, live content is easy to create on Instagram. Just post to Instagram as if you were creating a story and select the "live" option instead.
Instagram Live videos are temporary, so Instagram will even notify some of your followers when you create one to boost engagement.
Live videos work well for Q&As, tutorials and announcements. You can give viewers the option to comment on the video while they watch so they feel involved.
Live video benefits your business by showing users the more human side of your company, which makes it easier for them to connect to your brand.
5. Post Longer Content on IGTV
IGTV works similarly to normal Instagram feed videos, except they can be much longer—up to 10 minutes for non-verified accounts and 60 minutes for verified.
Think of it as YouTube for Instagram, optimized for vertical videos rather than horizontal.
IGTV has its own app separate from Instagram, but users can watch IGTV videos on Instagram and brands can post their IGTV videos to their feed.
If you have a brand, service or educational video that’s between 1-10 minutes long, IGTV might be the option for you.
5. Promote User Generated Content (UGC)
Another way to get your audience to engage with your brand is through user-generated content (UGC).
Start by asking followers to submit videos related to your brand that you can post on your own account, whether it’s of them using your products/services or telling a story about your brand.
Create a hashtag campaign that encourages your followers to tag their videos with your brand-related hashtag. Then, look through the different tags and find videos you want to repost. If you see regular posts without video, try compiling them into a video.
Sharpie, for example, asks users to tag their account when they post creations in exchange for a feature in the account’s story.
Promoting UGC allows your followers to be creative and feel like your brand listens to them.
6. Add to Your Stories
Stories on Instagram are very similar to Snapchat stories. They only stay posted for 24 hours and they only display 15-second videos.
While this may seem like a short amount of time to make a difference, Instagram stories have many benefits. In fact, 1 out of 3 of the most viewed stories come from businesses.
Similar to live video, stories are a great place to make announcements, hold Q&As or show behind-the-scene clips. Viewers can ask questions and even vote on polls.
Another useful feature of stories is the highlights option. You can save your stories to categories of your own choosing, and people will be able to view them on your profile for as long as you have them posted.
Compile stories highlighting work culture, past Q&As, events, services and your brand identity.
When people visit your profile, “highlights” give them an easy way to learn more about your business.
Instagram Video Can Boost Your Digital Marketing
Instagram provides businesses with a number of different options for video marketing; you just have to know how to use them. Digital marketing experts can help you identify which type of video is best for your business.
Taking advantage of these video opportunities can help increase your company’s social media interactions and traffic.
Start by establishing your brand identity on Instagram with video posts. From there, you can find your own unique ways to make video marketing work for you in Instagram stories, on IGTV, or through user-generated content.