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How To Use Instagram Videos For Marketing Campaign Success

Published: October 26, 2015

When Instagram first launched, the app was all about sharing “instant photos” (hence its catchy name!). But somewhere in the midst of all the photo-based excitement, Instagram launched its video sharing module….positioning Instagram to compete with Vine, Facebook and even YouTube itself as a video marketing powerhouse. In this post, learn how to capture and use your own Instagram videos to improve results from your marketing campaigns.

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

Instagram: Strength in Videos

YouTube + Google may technically still be capturing the lion’s share of user eyes, but increasingly this data is meaningful on paper only. The truth is, more and more companies today are turning instead to Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Google’s own Google+ for video sharing and marketshare building.

In fact, video has become such a critical element for Instagram users that Instagram offers a Cinema feature for iPhone 4s and higher to keep handheld mobile video images from shaking.

Optimizing Video Length

Before launching in to your how-to tutorial, it is worth having a brief discussion about video length. YouTube, of course, permits videos of any length – even full feature films are not uncommon on the site.

But today’s users rarely have time or attention to stay put in front of a screen for more than a few minutes….which means the optimal length for a marketing video is getting shorter and shorter.

Here is how the major players stack up:

– YouTube: 60 minutes, 120 minutes…take your pick.
– Facebook: Up to 2 minutes is permitted.
– Instagram: Up to 15 seconds is permitted.
– Vine: Up to 6 seconds in permitted.

You will notice that Instagram is neatly juxtaposed between its two biggest competitors. There is a quantifiable reason for this. As of 2015, attention spans are averaging around 8.25 seconds. So Instagram chose a length that will favor success for especially compelling videos – how compelling and successful will be up to you!

Two Methods to Share Instagram Videos

There are two ways to share a video on Instagram and both have their strengths. In fact, due to the social nature of Instagram video sharing, you will want to use both methods in the Instagram video portion of your marketing campaign.

Here are the two methods:

– Share a spontaneous video you shoot on the spot.
– Share a pre-recorded video saved on your mobile device.

How to Share a Spontaneous Video to Instagram

Here are the steps to capture and share a short spontaneous Instagram video:

  1. First, open your Instagram app and log in to your account.
  2. Tap the circle (bottom center of your screen) and then the word “video” (bottom right corner of your screen). This opens the video camera.
  3. Point your device screen at what you want to record and press and hold the large red circle. Be sure to hold the circle down until you are finished recording.
  4. You can now preview your video, save it or delete and re-record it.
  5. Now return to your “library” (bottom left corner of your screen) and click on the video you just shot.
  6. Add any desired filter, location and/or caption, select where you want to share it to (Instagram only or other linked social accounts).
  7. Finally, click the blue “Share” button (large blue band across the bottom of your screen) to share your video!

How to Share a Pre-Recorded Video to Instagram

Here is what to do to share a pre-recorded video to Instagram:

  1. First, open your Instagram app and log in to your account.
  2. Now tap the circle (bottom center of your screen) and then the word “video” (bottom right corner of your screen) to navigate to your device’s video library.
  3. Tap the video you wish to share then click the “Next” button.
  4. If applicable, tap on the small icon of scissors to edit the length down to 15 seconds or less.
  5. Add any desired filter, location and/or caption, select where you want to share it to (Instagram only or other linked social accounts).
  6. Finally, click the blue “Share” button (large blue band across the bottom of your screen) to share your video!

Ensuring the Success of Your Instagram Video Campaign

Because Instagram is a social network at heart, your goal is to connect with other users via your content. Storytelling is a huge part of success on a site like Instagram, and 15 seconds is plenty long enough to tell a compelling story!

The latest data indicates about 400 million users have Instagram accounts (2015). This is a LOT of eyeballs to capture!

Here are the steps to take to be sure your videos get lots of eyeball time:

Use your hashtags. Instagram is one of the few sites where more hashtags is actually better. 11 hashtags or more per post is ideal.

Be personable. Introduce the person(s) behind the videos. Tell a story.

Make it fun! Give stuff away, conduct polls, hold contests…make it enticing for viewers to keep checking back to see when you have new videos posted.

Follow back. Following the folks you want to have following you and tagging them in your posts is a great strategy to start building a connection.