Today, Instagram has about 1 billion users. For a business, this means many new potential customers you could engage with video. There are several ways you can use video on Instagram: add it to your profile, use Instagram stories, or use the newest feature, IGTV. In this post, we’ll introduce you to these three features and give some examples on how you can use them.
Instagram is the big social media platform where you can really reach the millennials. 18-29 year olds are the primary users, with 59% of people using the platform falling into this age category. But with it’s 1 billion users, all types of businesses can take advantage of the popularity of the platform. It’s of course up to you how much or little you want to focus on Instagram. For example, for many B2C-companies, the main target audience might be more likely to spend time on Instagram in search for inspiration than, let’s say, on Twitter or LinkedIn. But how to use video on Instagram?
1. Videos on Your Profile
If you have an open profile, anyone can visit it and view your posts. But the videos and photos you post to your profile, will only appear in the feed of the people who follow you, unless you add a location to the video or use hashtags. If you do, anyone who search for that specific location or hashtag can see your videos.
Because the nature of the app is to scroll until you find something appealing or interesting to look at, you should try your best to make videos that have great hooks: something that will grab the viewer’s attention from the very beginning. The “hook” in your video can be an attention grabbing text, such as a short statement or a question, or it can be visuals. And remember: the videos you post to your profile can be maximum 1 minute long, so you need to keep it short and sweet!
Your videos should also always have a call-to-action, whether that is to make people sign up for something, just for inspiration or to drive audiences to your website. If you have a longer version of the video that lives on another page, you should specify in the post’s copy where the audience need to go to watch the full video. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t let you add clickable links to the copy, but you can easily add it to the “bio” on your profile.
2. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories has over 300 million daily active users, and more and more people are spending their time on Instagram stories rather than in their feeds.
Instagram stories gives your business the opportunity to post well-produced videos, but it is also a nice tool to use for posting videos “as you go”. You can for example show your followers what happens behind the scene in your business, make them a part of events where you’re participating or hosting, promote new products or services, or simply inspire them. This feature really lets you post “in-the-moment” videos.
An important thing to keep in mind is that the videos you post on Instagram Stories can be no longer than 15 seconds each. But the good news are that you are actually able to post several short videos in a row. So if you publish several related clips in a row, they will be connected.
At the end of June this year, Instagram made a big leap in positioning themselves as a true competitor in the market of platforms providing long-form content, when launching the new video feature, IGTV. The new feature is easily accessible from within the Instagram app, and Instagram describes it as “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators”.
A great thing about IGTV is that all videos are shown vertically, really optimising the videos for mobile screens (which honestly is where most people use Instagram anyways).
With IGTV, you can post videos that are up to an hour long. This means that while you can post shorter videos for the feed or your story, you can post the longer in-depth stuff, such as tutorials or longer demo videos, to your IGTV channel.