Few of us can just throw a video up on Instagram and call it a day, guaranteed to see success from adoring fans and followers. We’ve got to be a little more strategic about our decisions, which is why we’ve put together these tips for you to perfect your Instagram video strategy.
Got a question or another tip we don’t cover here? Tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
1. Decide on your format
You might want to try your subject out in several different formats and post the one that works the best, saving the unused footage for future #TBTs or other content use— think posting on other platforms or saving for internal company use. Certain formats work better for certain things, as a rule, but you never know when you might strike gold with something new so don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Stories: Perfect for funny, less important things; behind-the-scenes moments or tours and anything less formal and polished than you would post on your main account. Stories are the best way to keep from over-posting and flooding your followers Instagram feeds to the point that they get annoyed and unfollow you.
- “Traditional” Instagram video: Instagram caps videos at 1 minute, so make sure you have something that fits well into that time frame or that cuts off at a point that makes sense and will drive your audience to want to watch the rest of the video elsewhere (your website, YouTube, etc)
- Boomerang: Almost Instagram’s version of a GIF, Boomerangs are looping videos that work well to emphasize a specific moment in time. They make what would be a lackluster still image- of an arcade game or even a product demo- more dynamic. Here’s a full post on when to use Boomerang.
- Hyperlapse: Another standalone app from Instagram, Hyperlapse will condense video at different speeds, so choose the one that makes your point without making your audience dizzy.
There are also a ton of popular third-party video apps you can test to see which your audience likes. How do you figure that out? Take a look through their profiles to see which ones they’re using, for a start.
2. Don’t overprocess
Unless it’s specifically part of your brand’s look, avoid overprocessing your Instagram videos. Choose a consistent look that’s professional, that matches your brand’s tone and that will help your fans and followers instantly recognize videos and other visual media as yours.
It’s okay if it takes a while to develop a style that’s your own, just be sure to stick to it once you do, allowing it to naturally evolve over time.
3. Use hashtags for discovery
Perfect video content doesn’t mean much if no one ever finds it. Be sure you’ve researched the hashtags you’re going to use before you use them (sometimes things have more than one meaning, are full of spam or are already in use by someone else) and that you’re using a mix of general industry hashtags and smaller niche hashtags. Get all of our best tips for Instagram hashtags here.
It’s hard to improve if you have no idea what your baseline is. Start with something like our free Instagram account checkup to get an idea of your best time to post, most effective hashtags and more. If you want to test your video effectiveness across platforms, you’ll want something like our Social Suite.
Find a product that meets your needs and helps you pinpoint what’s working and what’s not to grow your social strategy, Instagram video and beyond.