Have you tried Instagram video yet? With the boom of social media and video sharing platforms like Youtube, Vine, and Instagram, consumers have developed an appetite for shareable videos. A common misconception amongst small business owners is that video marketing is too costly of an endeavor, yet with Instagram’s free 15-second video editing app, SMB owners now have an invaluable tool to engage their audience with.
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app for smartphones that lets users take photos and 15 second videos, apply color filters (like sepia) to them, and share the content instantly on social media networks like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
Instagram also gives users a web-embed code, allowing you the ability to embed Instagram videos anywhere online. Not only can you capture and edit your visual content on the app itself, you can also import images or videos from your phone’s media library to edit. For a tutorial on how to post video on Instagram, check out this post.
Video marketing has been proven to be an effective channel to communicate a business’s values and product information with. Using the Instagram app, you can create visually appealing marketing content without sophisticated and expensive equipment. The app presents the SMB owner with a huge opportunity to leverage the meteoric rise of video marketing to drive engagement and sales for their own business. So what are the potential gains for incorporating Instagram video into your marketing strategy?
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Beyond the app’s community of over 130 million active users, Instagram allows users to connect their existing social media accounts to the app, making it easy to immediately upload your videos unto multiple social media platforms. This means your reach extends not only to app users, but also to the audiences of the five social media platforms that are connected to Instagram.
Instagram has also enabled web embedding for its content, allowing you to share your videos with non-app users and use it elsewhere online, for example, on your business website and/or blog.
Instagram video’s editing capability can make regular cell phone quality videos look cinematic. The app features 13 different color filters, video stabilization ability, and an automatic straightening tool that will help even those without a creative background to create beautiful and high quality videos. The photo-editing app is also incredibly easy to use so even those without tech savvy can create shareable content for all your marketing channels. As this video from fastcodesign.com demonstrates, even a video of a mundane backyard can have a “cinematic” feel.
You can upload videos anytime and from anywhere. This allows you the flexibility to capture a diverse range of videos. Show a personal side to your business by capturing behind the scene moments, fun scenes around the office, or customer interactions. You can also shoot videos from job sites to add to your portfolio, do product demos, or capture a video showing how a product is made.
Vine, the other mobile video editing app allows users to film 6 second videos while Instagram videos gives users 15 seconds of film time. The additional length of time gives business owners much more creative leeway.
Instagram user rachelryle shows you just how much you can do with 15 seconds of film .
Google rewards videos with high placement in search results so uploading videos onto your website is a surefire way to increase organic search traffic to your business’s website. Things like videos improve the user experience have a positive effect on your website’s search rankings. An additional benefit of uploading and embedding Instagram videos onto your website and blog posts is the increased amount of time a visitor will spend on your website. Time spent on your site and bounce rate are two factors that help Google and other search engines determine the quality of your site- so the longer a visitor stays on your site watching videos, the higher your site will rank in search engines.
1. Capture behind the scene moments. Fans love getting a behind the scenes look at how businesses operate. It’s a great way to showcase how unique your business is and connect with fans on a more personal level.
Burberry’s first Instagram video gave fans an exclusive behind the scenes look.
2. Create a contest: Grow your fan base as well as increase your social media engagement by having a video or photo contest. Ask them to take creative videos of them using your product and tagging their content with your username. You can also create a special hash tag for your fans to use to help you find their content more easily.
Shuttershock used Instagram Video to promote their weekly giveaway.
3. Produce a short DIY or help video: If there are frequently asked questions about your product, a short video explanation is a great way to engage with your customers. You can also film a short demonstration. Show off different ways customers can use your product to create fun and educational content for your marketing channels. It’s a great way to attract new customers as well as engage with current ones. If 15 seconds is too short for a full explanation, shoot a series of videos for your audience instead.
4. Show the process: Filming the process of how you make or curate your products gives customers insight into how much work is involved and builds loyalty. Your videos can also serve as inspiration to fans as well.
How filmed a printmaking tutorial for fans.
5. Create a portfolio: Work portfolios aren’t just limited to artists and graphic designers. If you’re a landscaper, showcase your work by shooting a video onsite. You will not only have interesting content for your website and social media platforms, but it also lends credibility to your business by showing off the quality of your work.
Artist Lydaux shot a simple Instagram Video to promote her prints.
6. Showcase happy customers. Record brief testimonials or take a video of happy customers in your store. Depending on your target market, video testimonials can carry much more weight than written testimonials or reviews.
7. Project a lifestyle: Capture the videos that fit in with the lifestyle of your target demographic.
8. Promote special offers: Take advantage of the 15 seconds of face time to personally promote your event or offer. If you’re a local business, use hashtags to promote it to your local community. For example, if we were promoting an event in Boston, we would just #Boston so that a larger audience would be able to discover our content and promotion.
10. Unveil a new product or service: Launching a new product or service? Take a demo video or shoot a video that explains the benefits of the product.
Instagram videos can be a great marketing asset for any small business owner. This valuable tool can help you create a lot of interesting marketing content with a little exercise in creativity. Try it out and see how your audience engages with it.