Visual content remains king on social media, with videos becoming more and more predominant hence their importance in a digital marketing strategy.  Market data has indicated high percentages of businesses utilizing video as part of their marketing efforts (Business Insider reported that in 2020, Facebook and Instagram together will account for about two thirds of social video ad spend). This demonstrates that a large percentage of businesses and individuals are creating video content for their social media channels.  If creating video content hasn’t been a priority until now then you may want to consider incorporating it into your feed, particularly Instagram.

The idea of creating and sharing video content may seem overwhelming, how do I start?  What types of videos should I be creating?  How should I be sharing them? Social Know How is here to help you break it all down.  The following is a listing of the various video formats used on Instagram and how best to use them as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Instagram Stories or Insta Stories

These are short format videos of 15 seconds or less (however longer videos can be split into sequential clips).  Stories tend to be more casual and not overly produced.  What’s important to note here is the fleeting nature of these video (they disappear after 24 hours unless you save them in a highlight reel on your profile).  This feature allows for easy experimentation as the videos don’t live on in perpetuity.

Insta stories when used correctly are a great way to solidify your brand as an additional avenue for the audience to see your message (people are often looking at stories first before scrolling through the feed).  Creating and maintaining a consistent tone will make you identifiable to your audience and assist with your branding.

The best things to share through Instagram stories are introductions to your business or your brand, and quick and/or impromptu demonstrations.  Stories are also great for reposting user-generated content from your audience (if you are tagged in a video).

Post Videos

These are videos that appear on your Instagram feed as would a photo post.  They can range in length from 3 to 60 seconds.  Post videos tend to be (but don’t have to be) more polished or produced because they live on your profile grid.  Post videos are great tools for engagement that gets you noticed on the algorithm particularly if your video makes it the Explore tab on Instagram.

If you’re stuck on ideas for what is attention grabbing when it comes to a video for your feed, some of the best things to post include: brief how-to videos or tutorials (under 60 seconds); behind the scenes videos of your business or brand; stop-motion or time-lapse videos; and seasonal topics or current events.

Instagram Lives

This is a live-streaming option which most audiences gravitate towards (people like to see things happening in the moment).  An Instagram live can last up to 60 minutes in duration and can include sharing a live feed of an event such as a performance or conference, or it can be an opportunity for direct engagement with your audience through a Q & A session.  Live videos are also great for launching a product or service. Live videos are subject to the same 24-hour timespan as stories however they can be shared to your stories which can then be saved to your highlights where they will live indefinitely.

Instagram TV or IGTV

IGTV is designed for long-form videos ranging from a minimum of 1 minute to a maximum of 15 minutes.  A greater timeframe however means that more effort is required in the production of these videos.  Here is where audiences expect to see content that is more polished that offers a more in-depth look at something and makes a connection.  When uploading content to IGTV, Instagram allows you to post the first 60 seconds of the video to your feed which means it must draw your audience in and make them want to tune into IGTV for more.

The types of videos that work well for IGTV are: documentary videos that explore the story of you or your brand in greater detail; in-depth video tutorials; and video tours (your office, your production facility, a project that is in progress etc.).

Now that you’ve learned about the different video formats for Instagram, here are tips for best practices when it comes to implementation:

Be Compelling and Relevant

Tell your unique story but only if it makes sense to do so.  Some things don’t translate well into video format so ensure that the content you are creating is best relayed in video form and not as a photo post. Consider asking yourself these questions when you are contemplating video content: why video, why Instagram, and why are you telling this story now?

Be Engaging

Grab the attention of your audience immediately.  Most people scrolling through Instagram have a short attention span which means you must capture their views immediately.  In addition, most people will skip over what they feel looks like an advertisement so avoid videos that look like ads and ensure that your cover image is attention grabbing.

Be Accessible

Include subtitles in your videos.  This will not only ensure that your message is being shared regardless of whether it is being viewed with sound on or off, but it also makes your content accessible.

Tell the Full Story

Consider creating a video series to not only tell the full story of your company or brand but to bring it to the forefront.  Recurring video content increases your online presence and creates continuity.

Create a Trailer

When you sit down to watch a movie you always get a preview of the coming attractions.  Take this concept and apply it to your own video content. Create a trailer or a teaser video to share with your audience what will soon be released. This not only helps to create a buzz but offers additional content.  One to two trailers shared prior to the video release turns into three different posts.  If you will be sharing a live video, then it becomes particularly important to promote in advance, so your audience has all the information they require in order to tune in.

Cross Promote

Even though Instagram is one platform you can share your video through the various avenues that exist within it. Your feed videos can be promoted in your Stories, your IGTV in both the feed and stories, live videos can get shared to stories etc.   The videos created for Instagram can also be shared across other social media channels as well but be sure to offer a slightly different message each time.

Determine Your Style

Play around with different video formats (tutorials, interviews, documentaries etc.) to determine what resonates best with your audience and works best with your brand.

Instagram video content is a great tool that you should be utilizing as part of your digital marketing strategy.  All it takes is some practice a little Social Know How.  We can help field all your Insta questions along in assisting with your social media marketing needs.