With over one billion active monthly users, it's no wonder that so many companies are using Instagram to connect with customers. This visually-compelling app has become a household name since its introduction a mere decade ago. While other applications have come and gone, Instagram reigns supreme.
That being said, the rising popularity of Snapchat and TikTok have forced Instagram to adapt to the demand for video content. Here are some strategies for incorporating video into your Instagram content marketing.
Strategies to incorporate video into your Instagram Content Marketing
Know Your Video Types
Before you start drafting video plans for your content calendar, it's important to understand the various formats available. As Instagram tries to compete with similar platforms, they've incorporated a versatile array of video creator options.
In-feed videos are shown in the grid with static images. These videos can only be up to 60-seconds in length and lack the full-screen ability that many other options on this list possess.
The benefit of in-feed videos is that they break up the grid while fitting in with the overall aesthetic. In-feed Instagram videos can be horizontal, vertical, or square.
Reels are Instagram's answer to TikTok videos. These clips can range from 15-30 seconds long and can be integrated into both your regular feed and the Reel feed. Reels can also be shared to your story and piggyback off other creators' content.
Instagram Reels have a vertical (9:16) format with a recommended 1080 x 1920px resolution.
Instagram Stories consist of 15-second clips that can be run together for a longer piece. These clips disappear after 24 hours unless saved as a highlight or archive. Stories are ideal for sharing a blend of both photos and videos and showcasing user-generated content (UGC) without interrupting the feed.
Stories are largely viewed as a more casual, conversational tool within Instagram. You might use these to highlight special events that will no longer be relevant tomorrow.
Instagram Stories have a vertical (9:16) format with a recommended 1080 x 1920px resolution.
IGTV promotes longer, pre-recorded videos. This type of video post is meant to be more polished and informative. You would use this type of post for a webinar, tutorial, or impassioned speech about a relevant topic that can't be shortened for the feed.
The first 60 seconds of your IGTV clip will show in the feed, then invite people to continue watching.
IGTV videos have both horizontal and vertical capabilities (9:16 or 16:9) and are capped at 60 minutes.
Finally, Instagram Live allows you to create an off-the-cuff live video that promotes real-time engagement. You can use this video to interact with audience during a Q&A or to host a webinar or event.
One of the benefits of going live is that it sends a notification to your followers the moment you click the button. This feature helps circumvent the algorithm and put your content in front of the intended audience.
Live videos have a vertical (9:16) format and are capped at 60 minutes.
Set Clear Objectives
Once you have a better idea of the types of videos you can incorporate into your Instagram content strategy, it's time to set clear objectives. Some companies prefer to stick with one type of video, while others use a blend to achieve their desired results. The best mix ultimately depends on your unique business goals.
For example, Instagram Live tutorials and webinars are a fantastic way to nurture leads and build upon an existing relationship. These videos can help move prospects through the sales funnel until you're ready to fight for a conversion. Conversely, Reels are a great way to partake in trending challenges and introduce your brand to new people.
When setting objectives, it's essential to consider what your ideal customer wants to see. Use performance metrics and insights to determine which content has the highest engagement and goal completion rate. Then, adjust your strategy accordingly.
Cross-Post Across Platforms
One of the overarching benefits of using video marketing the simplicity of repurposing the content.
As such, video creators get a higher ROI in comparison to static content. If you see the latest trends for Instagram marketing in 2021, you'll notice that many content creators use TikTok to funnel users to Instagram and vice versa. This trend is largely in part to the ease of cross-posting between platforms.
As a video marketer, you can use informative clips from Facebook live webinars to create in-feed Instagram videos for #TipTuesday.
You can download your TikTok videos with the click of a button and post them as Reels for a cross-platform approach that reaches different audiences. In essence, you can extend your reach further without extra work.
Follow Formatting Best Practices
Creating your content with the right format in mind will improve your video's quality and minimize the need for extensive edits. While users are more amenable to amateur and mobile videos, businesses should still dedicate time and effort to producing high-quality content.
It's also essential to understand the expectations from one type of video to the next. Posting a quick update in your story from a mobile device is expected to be quick and casual. Conversely, creating a brand feature on IGTV is expected to be more professional with quality editing techniques.
Create a Long-Term Content Calendar
Outlining a longer-term content calendar will help your team plan, create, and execute their video marketing efforts. As video creation takes more planning than photography, it's important to work ahead.
Outlining a long-term content calendar and determining how video content will be integrated with static content is essential for consistency and growth.
Create a Fast-Action Plan
While the long-term plan is essential for success, it's also integral to create a short-term plan for an opportunity. Partaking in viral trends is a fantastic way to incorporate video into your Instagram strategy and capitalize on the organic traffic.
Develop a fast-action plan that allows your brand to create video content on the fly, adjusting your long-term calendar as needed.
Shoppable posts are one of Instagram's most innovative features for brands. These posts allow brands to reduce customer friction by leading interested prospects directly to a product landing page. This process circumvents the need to direct people to the link in a bio page, making it easier to convert.
Use shoppable posts on your stories and in-feed videos to drive traffic to your sales page. This strategy is an effective way to use a passive sales approach, rather than pressuring customers to buy. As Instagram is all about authenticity and connection, your audience will love this balanced approach.
Remember to Add Closed Captioning
Instagram has always been a mobile app. As such, you can expect the majority of your users to consume your content while on the go. If you're creating video content with the user experience in mind, then closed captioning is necessary.
Consider it this way: your ideal customer is riding the subway to work in the morning. They scroll through Instagram and see a video on your feed that catches their eye. However, they don't have their headphones and can't hear what's being said. Thus, they scroll past without consuming your message.
Now consider that scenario with closed captioning. The messaging is clear because the viewer can read it without audio. As such, they watch the entire video (improving your engagement rate and interaction with the algorithm) and toss alike your way. In essence, closed captioning is a must for Instagram video marketing.
Keep these strategies and tips in mind when incorporating video into your Instagram content strategy. Learn from your insights and analytics, and create quality content that resonates with your audience.