Small Business Guide to Instagram Video

Small Business Guide to Instagram Video

We’ve said it a million times and we’ll say it a million more—EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE ON INSTAGRAM. The proof is in the puddin’. As one of the fastest growing platforms, it has over a billion active users. While Facebook still holds the throne as the largest social media platform, every business, large and small, can benefit from having an Instagram.

Small businesses especially. Instagram is essentially a free way to market, it just requires the time and effort. You don’t need a million dollar marketing budget to be successful either, all you need is an iPhone camera, a strong brand message, and the care of making quality content. That’s right, you can’t just snap a video and upload it with a filter and expect to go viral.

So, how do small businesses get in on the action? Video! What are the best practices for optimizing video for the platform? Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

SHOW, DON’T TELL

Instagram was created as a visual platform, so long captions explaining how a product works or the best attributes of a service are out the window. As heartbreaking as it is to hear, no one reads anymore. Attention spans are fleeting and unless you already have an engaged following that cares what you have to say, captivating photos and videos are necessary.

Video formats such as how to, product demos, and even behind-the-scenes perform well for this audience. There are millions of videos to be discovered on the Explore tab within the Instagram app for inspiration. Baking videos, “oddly satisfying,” DIY and, of course, puppy videos do keep the attention. Basically, anything with a before and after an element is popular and a formula you can rely on.

ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT

Instagram is known for having some of the most highly engaged users. On an average day, users share more than 95 million photos and videos. And these posts yield a total of about 4.2 billion likes in a single day.

And if they aren’t sharing content of their own, they’re engaging with others. If they love a brand, they are likely to follow them to keep up with new releases, announcements, and get to know the brand persona.

Encourage comments and questions in your video to spike conversation in the comments. This should be as direct as, “If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!”

TO SQUARE OR NOT TO SQUARE

That is the question everyone is wondering and the answer is: it depends! If the video is being uploaded to the feed, then square away. But with new formats such as Instagram Stories and now IGTV, vertical is something you need to keep in mind when creating content.

THINK IN TERMS OF SHAREABILITY

When creating content, put yourself in the audience’s shoes. What would resonate with you? Would you share this on your own feed or timeline? If the answer is no, then rethink your strategy.

For example, at Socialfly we have found that quotes do particularly well on Facebook across all industries. No matter the brand posting, if a quote resonates with someone they are likely to share it.

You can reach people you may have not normally attracted to your profile by getting shares. It’s a metric that should be valued when reviewing the data on the content you’re posting. This is why every brand wants to create the next viral video and get the traffic to their page.

Small businesses should be utilizing all the tools Instagram has available. When creating a video for Instagram Stories, cover it in polls, questions, GIFs, and stickers. It brings your brand personality to life and engages your audience.

Need help creating video content for your brand? Contact Socialfly Studios to see how we can help or tweet us @Socialfly!

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