With more than 800 million active users as of September 2017, Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media networks. While it falls short of Facebook’s 2.07 billion users, it’s particularly popular among millennials — a coveted demographic for countless business owners. According to a report by eMarketer, nearly two-thirds of U.S. millennial smartphone users will use Instagram by 2019.
When Instagram was initially released in November 2013, it only supported photo content. It wasn’t until April 2016 when the app added support for videos. Since then, video has become a core component of the platform. As a business owner, you can use this to your advantage by uploading and promoting videos on Instagram.
#1) Follow Length Guidelines
You’ll probably notice that most videos on Instagram are short. This is because the network has limits to how long videos can be. Videos used in stories, for instance, have a limit of just 15 seconds, whereas videos used in Instagram profiles can be up to 1 minute long. Live video, on the other hand, can be up to an hour long. Refer to these guidelines when creating Instagram videos.
#2) Humanize Your Brand
As revealed by Social Media Today, Instagram videos are most effective when used to show a brand’s human side. Check out Coca-Cola’s profile, for example. The well-known beverage company frequently publishes photos and videos showing real people enjoying its products. In this video, carolers sing about holiday retail shopping while holding bottles of Coke. It’s genuine videos like as these that create a strong connection with Instagram users.
#3) Post Videos During Peak Hours
Of course, you’ll generate more views for your Instagram videos if you publish them during the platform’s peak hours. According to Huffington Post, the two best times of the day to post new content are at 2:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m., whereas the worst times are at 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Following this posting schedule will help your videos reach a much larger audience, which is essential for a successful video marketing campaign.
#4) Consider ‘Silent’ Videos
You should consider producing Instagram videos without sound or music. Videos on Instagram play without sound by default. The user can enable sound, however, by clicking a button. And if a user enables sound, Instagram will remember this setting the next time he or she watches a video. Nonetheless, some brands create silent videos to ensure their message is properly conveyed.
With that said, you don’t have to make all of your Instagram videos silent. On the contrary, it’s best to experiment with a combination of both silent and non-silent videos to see what works best.
#5) Add #Hashtags
Don’t forget to include hashtags in your Instagram video posts. Research cites by the social media marketing service provider HootSuite found that Instagram posts with four to five hashtags generated an average of 22 user interactions, whereas posts without hashtags generated just 14 interactions.
While not a requirement for posting videos on Instagram, adding hashtags will almost certainly increase its exposure. You see, hashtags help Instagram — and other social media networks — categorize and curate content. By adding relevant hashtags to your videos, users will find them more easily — boosting your videos’ views and driving traffic to your business in the process.
#6) View Metrics
Assuming you have an Instagram business profile (hint: you should), you can view metrics for the videos posted on the platform. This includes total videos, likes, impressions, reach and engagement. The latter three, however, are only available for business profiles. By analyzing these metrics, you’ll have a better understanding of what works on Instagram.
#7) Create Professional-Quality Videos
Consider professional videography services to produce videos for your business’ Instagram account. Sure, you can produce videos simply by turning on your smartphone’s camera or using a webcam. However, a constant flow of low-quality videos such as these could create the impression that your business is small and not well-established. By mixing in professional, high-quality videos, you help establish your brand as an important player in your industry. If you want to reach a large audience and generate a strong response, invest in professional videos for Instagram.
#8) Paid Video Ads
Finally, you can use Instagram’s paid advertising service to turbocharge your video marketing efforts. Since the network is owned by Facebook, you can actually promote Instagram videos using Facebook Ads. Video ads display in Instagram users’ feeds, where they are marked with a “sponsored” tag. Some of the requirements for video ads on Instagram include a max file size of 4 GB, minimum resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels, one to 60 seconds long, 1% aspect ratio tolerance, and no more than 30 hashtags in text.
Instagram video ads also support a variety of objectives, some of which include views, conversions, traffic, lead generation, brand awareness, engagement and store visits. Check out this article to learn more about Instagram video ads.
Following these eight tips will help you succeed when posting videos on Instagram. Keep in mind, however, that Instagram is just one of many social media platforms that supports video content. You can also post videos on Twitter and Facebook.