Instagram has proven to be a highly valuable platform when it comes to social media marketing. Its reach is incredible! In fact, this social media platform boasts 1 billion active monthly users, half of whom log on to the platform daily. It’s quite obvious, then, that using Instagram to reach your target market is a must.
While Instagram used to be strictly for images, the addition of video has given marketers, community managers, and all sorts of brands and businesses the opportunity to create visually stunning content to wow their audience.
Chances are you’ve already started incorporating video into your marketing strategy, which is a great first step. However, simply posting videos on your Instagram account won’t be enough in this competitive market. If you’re looking for ways to make your video content more effective, use these tips on how to make Instagram videos that stand out above and beyond your competitors.
Instagram Video Basics That Will Improve Your Marketing Strategy
If you’re posting video content on your Instagram account, then it’s very likely that you already have a social media marketing strategy in place. Of course, if your marketing strategy isn’t getting you the results you want, it’s worth going back and taking a look at some of the basics in order to maximize your impact.
Create Different Types of Videos
At some point you decided to start using video content on your Instagram feed – but did you consider the different types of videos you could include in your marketing strategy? It’s a good idea to test out different types of videos that make sense for your brand and audience. This will help you measure what type of content is more effective in terms of your goals. For example, if you only post promotional videos, give tutorial videos a shot. You may find that your followers spend more time watching these or are more likely to follow your account thanks to the variety of videos included in your feed.
Rethink Your Hashtags
By now, you’re probably tired of hashtags. If you’ve decided not to use them at all or are going overboard and using too many, it’s important that you find the right balance for your posts. Hashtags can give your videos a great boost, but not using the right tags won’t do much no matter how many you use. Creating a hashtag for a campaign or contest is great practice. For other video posts, avoid using overly generic hashtags and opt for more descriptive tags that will help your target audience find your posts. In your mix of hashtags, include some existing and relevant ones that will give your post a boost, ensuring it doesn’t get lost in the mix. Although Instagram allows you to use up to 30, you’re better off using between seven and nine hashtags per post.
Stories Are a Must
Before Instagram Stories existed, the only way to get users to pay attention to you was through posts. However, since their introduction, Stories have changed the way users consume information. Instagram users are now more likely to engage with a brand through their Stories. Video stories will be more captivating, so stick to well-made videos that are tailored to this space. Don’t forget to experiment with different types of videos in your Stories, just like in your feed. To get your audience to interact with your brand, use the different features available: ask questions, include a poll, quiz your followers, and when possible, include a ‘swipe up’ option that takes them to your brand’s page.
Best Practices for Creating Instagram Videos Worth Watching
Just like with any other social media platform, you want your content to stand out and make someone scrolling through their feed stop and give your post more than a half-second glance. With the number of posts and Stories being uploaded to Instagram on a daily basis, this task can seem near impossible.
Instead of giving up before even starting, use these Instagram video best practices to put you on the right track!
1. Focus on Your Goal
Before starting to produce any content, stop to think about what your goal is. Do you want to increase revenue, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, etc? Having a clear goal in mind will help you develop a solid video idea with a clear call to action so that your video’s message doesn’t get lost on viewers.
2. Stand Out
Creating video content for Instagram allows you to communicate with your audience in a very visual manner. To make your videos visually striking, use bold colors, keep the text to a minimum, and use animated elements to really catch their attention. You can easily create animated videos using an online tool like a slideshow maker. Add as many slides as you need and control the animation, text, images, and tons of other elements with just a few clicks.
3. Don’t Forget Branding
Just like the rest of your social media posts, your video content should reflect your brand. You want your viewers to be able to easily identify content coming from your brand. This means including your logo, incorporating your brand colors, and other elements important to your image. For short videos, consider including a branded intro.
4. Understand That Length Matters
Viewers don’t have a huge attention span, especially when scrolling through their Instagram feed. Because of this, it’s important that you keep videos short and to the point. It’s also worth noting that there are length limits for Story videos as well as timeline videos:
* Videos posted to your Instagram feed should be a minimum of three seconds long to a maximum of one minute.
* Instagram Story videos can be up to 15 seconds in length.
* Instagram Live videos can be up to 60 minutes long.
5. Tell a Story
When making video content for social media in general, don’t just make a commercial. Since social media gives you the ability to connect on a more personal level with your customers, create content that is engaging and speaks to them. Use storytelling techniques to captivate them and inspire loyalty.
Instagram Video Ad Tips to Help You Convert
Making Instagram videos is a great place to start if you want to engage your audience and get them interested in your products or services. These videos can spark some interest in those who already follow you, but you can generate even more interest and reach a wider audience by creating Instagram video ads.
Instagram allows you to buy ad space that will appear in your target audiences’ feed, or you can also buy ads that will appear as users tap through their stories. Just like with any other ad you invest money into, you first have to define your goals, plan out your ad content, and optimize the content so that it has the impact you’re hoping for. Below are some questions that can help you achieve this.
What’s Your Objective?
When purchasing Instagram ads, you can choose one of three ad objectives: awareness, consideration, and conversions. Knowing what you want to achieve with your ad will make it easier to choose a solid objective. It’s also important that you know who your target audience is, where they’re located, and other demographics and behaviors that will help you better target your ads.
Instagram Story or Instagram Feed?
Previously, ads were only featured on the Instagram timeline, but the introduction of Stories means you have two different spaces to choose from. One great benefit of Instagram Story ads is that they take up the entire screen, meaning no distractions. You don’t get a caption but the ‘swipe up’ option makes it easy for users to visit your brand’s page. Ads featured in the timeline blend into a user’s feed seamlessly and using video content can very well get them to stop scrolling. Since your post will be linked to your profile and you’re given space for a caption, users will have easy access to more of your brand.
How Should I Optimize My Videos?
For the best results, make your videos at the best resolution possible. Stick to MP4 or MOV files and keep your videos below four GB. Normal video ads should be between one and 60 seconds long, while Instagram Story video ads should be a maximum of 15 seconds long.
Sound or No Sound?
Audio can change the mood of your video, so do take some time to find the right track. Voiceovers and similar sound clips may not be worth the trouble since videos are presented with the sound off and users are given the option to turn the sound on. Because of this, your video should work and make sense without sound, but it’s a good addition just in case.
Should I Use Video Tools for Instagram Ads?
Many people put off creating video ad content because they don’t have the skills or the tools to make them. If you don’t have the budget to hire a video person, you can use an online video maker tool to get it done. These are easy to use and include tons of templates you can customize for your brand.
What Instagram Analytics Should I Be Checking?
After creating a video and posting it, you’re not quite done. The next step is to check how the video is performing, to see whether you’re reaching your objectives. From the data you gather, you can reach a deeper understanding of who’s watching your videos, if their behavior is what you expected, etc. All of this information will work to help you create more effective ads in the future.
Conquer Social Media with Striking Instagram Videos
Now that you’re better prepared to make your own video content for Instagram, you have no reason not to! Don’t let video intimidate you; use the tools available to make it all much easier and better targeted for your goals. Avoid falling behind in the game and start developing your social media marketing strategy that, of course, includes video!
Written by Roberta Camarena for Business2Community and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image provided by lalo Hernandez