According to Digiday, nearly half of all mobile traffic now involves online video. Social media platforms are scrambling to keep up with this exploding trend – and with the recent addition of video to its popular image-based network, Instagram promises to become a forerunner in the movement.
Instagram currently hosts about 150 million users, uploading over 40 million images every day (DMR). Videos posted to Instagram, however, generate twice as much engagement as photos (Simply Measured).What’s more, Instagram integrates easily with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, so that videos shared on Instagram can potentially reach a much wider audience. All of these facts provide great incentive to look into Instagram’s new video feature, if you haven’t already, and to start thinking about how you can utilize all that creative potential for your brand.
If you’re new to Instagram or to video, here are a few ideas to get started.
Most people learn better by example – and more importantly, they remember what they’ve learned. With up to 15 seconds of screen time, Instagram offers greater visual introduction than many other video apps, without being too long or overwhelming. That makes it a great way to demonstrate the use of your products, answer a frequently-asked question, or even provide brief tutorials. It may be challenging to make the best use of that 15 seconds, but a quick, memorable how-to will catch more attention and make a bigger impact than text-based instructions.
There’s always a chance that Instagram is the first experience consumers have had with your brand – so put your best foot forward! Create “look-book” videos that showcase a portfolio of your work, or illustrate the kinds of products or services you offer, so that followers can see what you do. You can also feature employees, clients, or partners to display the skills and expertise that make your business great.
Are you organizing a fundraiser, or planning a spectacular sale? Let your followers know! Take advantage of Instagram video to promote special offers, new product sneak peeks, or teasers for upcoming events. Not only will your followers take a greater interest if they can actually see the development in process – or the ways they might benefit – but they’ll also develop stronger anticipation, and more likely share with their friends.
Video and images have always driven a greater social media response than text. By integrating with other networking platforms, Instagram video opens up a world of opportunity for online interaction with the right audiences. Video-based contests and polls, for example, can help drive traffic, spur publicity, and provide a wealth of user-generated content by encouraging followers to submit their own ideas. You can also use Instagram video to highlight the most creative or memorable interactions from these contests. Just remember to use hashtags wherever possible, to extend your reach and give viewers an opportunity to follow or respond.
When it comes to showing followers who you are as a brand, there’s no more powerful tool than video to reveal your “human” side. Don’t be afraid to share behind-the-scenes footage of your dedicated employees, the ways you contribute to the community, how a particular product is made, or the unique people who make them. Giving Instagram followers an “inside” look at your culture and values helps them build a stronger connection to your brand, and encourages them to become sincere advocates.
Though it’s not the first or the largest video-sharing network, Instagram is growing into one of the most engaging social media platforms out there. Its new video feature provides a fresh, creative way for brands to visually redefine themselves – something that’s rapidly becoming essential to stay visible in a mobile market.