Bloggers and companies alike are turning to video content marketing as an efficient and highly efficient content tactic. With roughly one billion monthly active users on Instagram, it’s no wonder why. Demand for quality video content is on the rise, and many influencers, as well as bloggers, flock to Instagram to strengthen their online presence and drive more traffic. But simply posting videos as part of their digital marketing strategy does not guarantee results.
To ensure you’re approaching your Instagram video content in the right way, here’s a breakdown of the different Instagram video formats, and the best practices for creating engaging Instagram video content. Let’s dive right in!
Instagram video is available in five formats:
- In-feed video posts
Live videos allow bloggers, companies, and influencers to attract new followers around the world. This tool doesn’t just allow them to create a broadcast, but it’s also a means to interact with audiences and engage with followers in real-time.
The best thing about live streaming to Instagram is that there is no need for extensive planning. You can answer questions, create polls and promote products without significant preparation or spending money. In other words, you get leads, sales, drive engagement, and speak directly to followers for free! If you want to give it a try, these are the nuances to keep in mind:
- Don’t stress yourself out about making mistakes during live streaming. It’s ok to think about what you want to say, especially if you’re responding to questions from your audience as part of a Q&A. Remember, you can make the session as casual as you want it!
- Invite other co-hosts. Share your screen time with bloggers, influencers, or media personalities in your niche and host a Live session together. Having co-hosts will bring another dimension to the conversation, as well as remove some of the pressure off you.
- Find the best location to record your videos. Are you filming indoors where you won’t have a lot of light? Make sure the lighting is good enough for your followers to see a clear picture of you. Also, avoid recording audio in a reverberant room to prevent echo from making it onto the recording. Otherwise, your live streaming is going to be annoying for anyone watching it.
- Instagram Live is a great way to let your followers know you a little better. Earn more credibility for you by showing your audience “behind the scenes” of your life.
The world of Instagram is constantly changing. Thus, if you want to target the younger Gen Z users, create short Instagram video content using Instagram Reels for business. This feature is very similar to TikTok, allowing users to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, AR effects, and various unique tools.
There’s also the option to share Reels with your followers on Feed, or to dedicated groups. This can be a useful feature if you want to test your latest content with a specific audience.
Reels give users new ways to create content, discover new content on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator reach new audiences on a global stage.
The idea behind these short video clips (often 15 seconds or less) was to allow users to share “moments” of their day quickly and easily. These could be in the form of a slideshow that stays on your account for 24 hours and then disappears. The coolest part is, IG Stories are low-pressure, easy to make, and enable you to test different video formats. Plus, you can always pin the most popular ones to your highlights reel.
Instagram Stories are increasingly becoming an integral part of any marketing strategy. Creating Stories you can engage your existing audience with selfie videos or behind-the-scenes content, and reach new audiences by placing tags (e.g. hashtags, geolocation, and tagging other accounts). Additionally, you can use Stories for limited-time sales and promotions.
Below you’ll find a few tips to help you maximize the business success of your videos on IG Stories:
- Don’t try to be perfect when creating new content. IG Stories is all about sharing fun, spontaneous and ephemeral videos that will only be visible for the next 24 hours. Stories don’t limit your creativity so you can tell more about yourself, promote products/services or just share personal opinions on controversial subjects. Remember, don’t go totally off track if you use Stories to promote something!
- Some Instagram users prefer watching Stories with the sound off, so it’s better to write captions to let people know it is time to turn on the sound.
- Improve your engagement with Instagram Stories stickers. While stickers enable you to add some pizzas to your video, they can also be a valuable tool for growing your engagement, building credibility, or making e-commerce sales. Make the most of them to complement your Instagram video content!
- Put multiple videos in IG Stories. If you want to tell your followers an in-depth story, create a video on your phone and then edit it into separate 15-second clips. However, try to keep it to under a minute though, otherwise, users might switch off.
- The shorter, the better. If you’re planning on targeting Millennials and Gen Z, keep your Stories short and your snippets little by using apps like Boomerang. The app allows you to capture short clips which loop back and forth when played. All you have to do is to choose your subject and press the button.
IGTV (Instagram TV)
Launched in June 2018, IGTV enables users to create videos longer than typical Instagram Stories and posts. Videos that users upload to IGTV must be at least one minute long, with a maximum of 15 minutes when uploading from a mobile device. Use an Instagram app or the IGTV app to upload videos.
IGTV Best Practices:
- Again, users tend to scroll past when watching a lengthy video, such as 10 minutes. While it’s better to keep videos between 3–5 minutes, the average user will only watch about 3-10 seconds.
- Thumbnails and the proper video dimensions are crucial. To make your videos more engaging and keep your audience watching, they must be cropped correctly.
Instagram video posts
When it comes to creating longer Instagram videos, there are advantages and disadvantages. You get one whole minute to make something more detailed and in-depth, and that’s great for storytelling. At the same time, people’s attention spans are getting shorter every single day, so it would be a bad idea to produce longer videos just for the sake of filling up time. Make clear and concise points to keep viewers engaged and use fewer words that could weaken your video.
Here’s how to create perfect videos for the Instagram feed:
- Focus on the main point. Don’t try to several topics in one video. Set measurable and attainable goals, come up with a theme and tone for the video, and stick to it!
- Opt for eye-catching, colorful visuals. While Stories allow using quick and unedited content, longer videos have to look a little more high-end. Consider using Adobe Spark, which allows you to easily combine video clips, photos, and icons into one engaging video. It also enables you to add sound and text overlays!
- Don’t forget about captions. When you upload your video, spend some time adding an engaging caption to connect with your audience and explain your content a bit. This supporting element works in much the same way as photo descriptions. Include emojis and appropriate hashtags in your caption or in a comment straight after you’ve posted your visual content.
Instagram Video Content Best Practices
There are five different video formats on Instagram, each of them has a different purpose, and specs. Below you’ll find best practices for creating engaging Instagram video content.
Create videos for mobile viewers
Since Instagram is a mobile-friendly social media and many users access it with their smartphones, it’s best to record videos in a vertical orientation. However, if you planning on creating longer video content, the horizontal video may be a better fit. Viewers can turn the phone 90 degrees for a full-screen viewing experience.
Hook your viewers
As a general rule, you have just three seconds to convince a viewer that watching your Instagram video is worthwhile. Or exit out of Instagram Story. Give users a reason to keep watching. Whether it’s promotional videos or a “how-to guide”, find a way to offer instant appeal.
Create Value for Your Viewers
If you want to grab your viewers’ attention in the very beginning you need to provide some kind of value. It could be either a captivating conversation, a lecture, or just a funny video that makes people laugh. At the same time, your content could be both informative and thought-provoking.
What your viewers will get should be clearly visible from the very start. Before setting out to create a video, come up with an idea of the real value to users. If you promise them something from the first second, you’ll likely see more views, engagement, and shares.
Track Trends on Instagram
It’s a no-brainer, Instagram is constantly experimenting with materials and formats. While new features appear literally all the time, to stay on top with the evolving trends, you need to make sure that you understand what’s available on social network right now.
Instagram boasts some of the best engagement levels, but different users will engage more with specific types of content. Experimenting with various content types will help you to figure out what really speaks to your audience.
When you try a new content type, say Reels, ask for feedback from your followers, and get them to let you know what you’d like to see more of.
Understanding Your Audience
At the same time, don’t waste your time and money by creating videos that nobody watches. Get to know your audience with their wants and needs and, then, craft the specific tone of your messaging.
If you haven’t identified your target audience yet – do it, outlining all of the information you can gather, including their gender (majority), location, age, and other essential facts. Once you know who your ideal follower is, you can begin producing content that’s appealing to them. Not to mention, use hashtags that will help users find your posts.
One can’t build a loyal audience on Instagram without posting regularly. You need to create a posting schedule so that your followers know exactly when to expect new video series. Use scheduling software to make sure your video content is published on time.
Find your best time to post on Instagram, when your followers are most active. Check your analytics but keep in mind that your schedule will not work for all groups of people. Make your Live videos accessible even when they are over and share new episodes widely so users don’t miss them.
Reach New Audiences With Cross-Promotion
There are lots of ways to maximize your discoverability on Instagram. Add popular hashtags, geotags, tag relevant accounts. Use popular stickers in Stories. Or simply pay to get results.
Once you’ve tried all the tools above, plan cross-promote your Instagram video content. Share your videos on Facebook. Tease an upcoming Instagram Live on TikTok. Pin your images on Pinterest.
Promoting your content on other social media sites will get you more views, drive more engagement and, potentially, bring more link clicks.
The Bottom Line
Instagram is an amazing social media network for promoting your products/services through visual content. Hopefully, this post gave you a good overview of how to create amazing Instagram video content, and the best practices you can use for creating engaging content!
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