How Businesses Should Be Using Instagram Video

Instagram logo


Everyone knows the benefit of Instagram – you get to see/create brilliant photos that look professional and polished. Ok, that we understand. But now Instagram is on the video bandwagon. What does that mean for this hipster filter app now that it’s gone video mainstream? What should you expect?

instagram video

Advertisers – Lots of Advertisers

Let’s back up though. Instagram is owned by Facebook (after Mark Zuckerberg shelled out a cool billion for it last year). Facebook might be riddled with advertisements, but Instagram isn’t – which is one of the reasons its mobile experience is sleek and easy to use with wireless Internet  (which isn’t always the case with the Facebook app).

So now, a little more than 12 months after Instagram joined the Social Network, it’s got video. So Thursday, a little more than a few hours after Facebook made the announcement that Instagram had video, one company had already posted an InstaVideo.

Instagram’s 130 million users uploaded so many videos in the first eight hours that it would take you a whole year to watch them all. Keep in mind, each video is only 15 seconds long.

And it’s not going to be long before these 15 second InstaVideos become 15 second InstaAds.

Instagram allows users to touch-up and share photos

How Will Businesses Use InstaVideos?

This is the thing that businesses need to keep in mind when they make Instagram videos: Instagram isn’t Facebook. That means that the content that users are posting isn’t what they would post on other social media sites – it’s artsy, filtered – essentially make-believe.

The videos that advertisers post need to be in the same vein. So what would be some keys to success for advertisers?

  1. Treat your video like a home movie.  Instagram users will treat their videos like they do their photos – they’ll be filtered and above all – natural. If you’re advertising with an Instagram video, you have a better shot of getting views if it’s not an in-your-face, commercial-esque snippet. If it has natural sound and is in a natural environment, it’s less aggressive and more likely to get views. It’s a great option for behind-the-scenes footage that gives viewers a window into the real life creation process behind their favorite brands. This type of content feels intimate and exclusive; exactly the type of user experience that put Instagram on the map.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Well, businesses won’t really have a choice because Instagram videos max out at 15 seconds – but compare that to Vine videos and you’ve got more than double the time to get your point across. Quick product tutorials are a real possibility with Instagram, not so much with Vine.
  3. Prepare viewers for Facebook ads. So Facebook is making moves to integrate video ads into its site – apparently viewers could see as many as three ads a day. That’d be jarring, especially since so far, social media sites haven’t had interactive ads like that before. Could Instagram just be a way for Facebook to ready its users for video ads? It’s very possible.

Whether or not the addition of video to Instagram was in direct response to the growth of Twitter’s Vine, one thing is apparent – Instagram is turning from a niche social network to something very different. What once was just an app for sharing filtered photos is now an app where you can tag friends, use hashtags, upload photos and now filtered videos. Now that businesses can use the app to make their own videos and upload them to Facebook, expect to see a lot more interaction on the Facebook front.

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