Instagram is a giant. At the moment there are some 800 million users on the platform who share nearly 100 million posts daily…
So if your brand isn’t leveraging Instagram, then your social media marketing strategy will never live up to its potential. But Instagram is no longer just about the pictures. They’ve now branched out with a feature that allows you to post short videos. Many marketers, especially in the B2B space, didn’t capitalize on this feature when it first launched because Instagram videos were restricted to a mere 15 seconds. However, starting in 2016 they’ve since been extended to one minute (and in the future Instagram may even allow for longer vertical videos that top out at an hour). This is a welcome change for marketers, as it will allow you to create a more robust Instagram video filled with even more vital info about your product or service. However, here are some tips on how to leverage Instagram video as it currently exists, in order to boost your brand…
Keep it light
Instagram is a young person’s platform, and their video feature is just an extension of the same spirit that appeals to all those 18-29 year-olds. So even if you’re a B2B company, you can (and should) feel free to take risks with your Instagram videos so long as it’s all in the spirit of fun!
There are plenty of examples of B2B brands that have done just that. Zendesk may be a cloud-based customer-service company, but that didn’t stop them from indulging their inner quirk with a short and sweet (just 16 seconds) Instagram video. It uses the fractured domestic relationship of an astronaut and a diver as a metaphor for improving relationships between businesses and customers.
But that’s not the only one. For inspiration on thinking outside the box, check out this list of B2B brands that created effective and unique videos to promote their business.
Utilize Instagram for explainer videos
Instagram videos are tailor made for explainer videos. The best and most effective of these videos clock in at around 60 seconds (the IG video time limit).
As for your strategy, consider creating something that goes beyond live action. Animated videos are great at conveying the complex and esoteric tech concepts that are so often the bread and butter of the B2B world. They can literally illustrate the key features of your product or service in a way that is easily digestible and fun for your target audience.
Consider the details
Like with any social media platform, there’s little details that define its features. Regarding Instagram videos, consider that the default position for playing is silent (the user has to tap the screen to enable sound). You’ll want to focus on strong visuals anyway, because that’s the nature of the feature, but consider complimenting your Instagram videos with bold animations and text rather than audio cues. Also, this is a great way to communicate your branded statement or CTA and make sure that it lands!
So, to recap, be sure to cater to the silent auto-play audience. Eschew dialogue-heavy Instagram videos in favor of slick visuals and bold captions.
Don’t overlook Stories
The little brother of Instagram videos is Instagram Stories, a Snapchat-like feature that allows Instagram users to share photos and videos that automatically delete after 24 hours. Instagram Stories should be a part of any marketers’ social media strategy.
Stories is also a fun tool because you can use it not only to share videos that reach your target audience, but they can be used for recruiting purposes as well. Brands today have a challenge in appealing to millennial workers, as this is a generation who like their careers as fun as they are challenging. Unlike generations past, millennials want a rewarding social experience as much as they want a paycheck. That’s why company culture videos are ideal for Instagram Stories.
Take the example of Taboola, a content recommendation company. Taboola’s Instagram feed is all about promoting their fun-loving company culture. You see it in their Instagram photos, but they also shared a video showcasing their welcome ceremony. It’s a short, fun little tidbit that’s tailor made IG Stories as it humanizes the company and shows that it focuses on people, not numbers.
Just like with Instagram photo posts, you can rely on hashtags to boost the reach of your Instagram videos. The same hashtag best practices apply here, as the hashtags should represent a brief description of your post while tagging your target audience via relevant keywords. You’ll have the standard limit of 30 hashtags per post, but use them wisely and always make sure they appeal to your audience. Do this right, and you might just see 12.6 more engagement with your Instagram videos than if you didn’t use hashtags.
Check out Hopper HQ’s All-In-One Guide To Instagram Hashtags #️⃣
The most important takeaway of Instagram videos is that they are geared for clips that are short, sweet, and above all else, fun. Make sure your Instagram videos hammer home a single overarching message and that they do so in a lighthearted way! Don’t be scared to use graphics, animations, and whatever other effects tricks might help pack a visual punch. Remember, this is Instagram, not LinkedIn, so check the analytical mindset at the door and let your imagination run wild.
Guest Author: Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services – Elevation Marketing
An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multidiscipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving.