10 Ways to Use Instagram Video for Business

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With more than 500 million active users, Instagram continues to beat it’s chest as a leading hub for internet activity. If you’re an entrepreneur or marketer, then chances are you’ve already started developing your presence on the platform. However, with the help of video, there are countless ways to keep things fresh as you tap into this massive stream of social media users.

Instagram offers an array of highly versatile video tools that provide a multi-prong approach to serving your business. It’s easier than ever to create great videos whether you’re using a video production company or just the best smartphone in the office.

You’ll simply need to get creative, experiment, and learn what strategies are most effective for your type of audience. Whatever approach you take to telling your brand’s story, it’s important to understand that posting a few pictures of your products is only the beginning. Let’s dive into it.

1. Create short overview videos.

Telling your story is essential to creating an online identity for your brand. Figure out what makes your business special, useful, or inspiring then share a video emphasizing your mission. The key here is to make a short but memorable statement about who you are and what you do.

“We’ve seen a rapid rise in our clients overview videos that are featured not only on their websites but across Instagram. It used to just be B2C brands but now B2B brands are starting to find more traction with video,“ says Mike Clum, founder of Clum Creative, a video production company reaping full benefit of Instagram’s video capabilities.

Other business types might go into detail about the quality of their products or unveil their company’s customer service philosophy. Regardless of what angle you choose to promote, be sure to keep your Instagram messaging authentic and true to your brand. It might seem like you’re simply creating a commercial for social media but adding in a bit of personality is likely to make a lasting impression.

2. Interview someone on Instagram Live.

Instagram Live is an instant portal to the eyes of your audience and using it to host talks with influencers can be a great way to grow an audience. If your company is selling menswear for instance, it might benefit you to interview a stylist or Instagram model with a relevant following.

Think of topics or questions that will get people excited and prepare to answer them in real time.

Public discussions with key people in your industry could position you as a thought leader in the space. Best of all, providing this style of content will attract Instagram users who already have a passion for the type of goods or service you’re providing.

It’s the perfect opportunity for you to develop or take part in the culture surrounding your brand. For best results, avoid making these interviews seem like an infomercial. There won’t be a need to force interest if people are genuinely interested in the conversation.

3. Go behind the scenes.

Use Instagram Stories to give people a peek at the human side of your business. Share videos of life in the office or a visually interesting manufacturing process. Capitalizing on events such as holiday parties or business trips can serve as a window into what your company is currently up to.

Content like this is useful for showing potential employees why they should look forward to joining your team. If you have an appealing company culture, it should be proudly put on display to make you stand out from stuffy competitors who are all work and no play.

Consider referring to Tip #2 and experiment with interviewing your own employees. Have the art team describe their approach to design or share a video of your customer service rep answering frequently asked questions. Don’t be afraid to let your employees get creative or silly. As with many of the strategies you’re finding here, behind the scenes content ultimately works best when you’re true to who you are.

4. Share customer testimonials.

Hopefully at this point in your career there are people you have pleased through good service. The next step is getting those happy customers on camera to explain how your company made a difference for them. Testimonials are an essential part of your word-of-mouth marketing strategy and it can translate to the web. Don’t leave people guessing what your service is like when you can have those answers floating right through their Instagram feed.

Gather clips of satisfied customers sharing positive stories and add them to your Instagram Highlights. Feature speakers from different demographics to appeal to multiple target groups within your audience. Another simple but effective option is providing customers an incentive to share a video review on Instagram and tag your business. You can later download and repost the best of these videos to your own account to keep the love train going.

5. Utilize Boomerangs.

Boomerangs are short action focused clips made by playing rapid-fire photos forward and backward on a loop. The feature offered directly through Instagram allows you turn simple movements into creative eye-catching videos. It’s a good way to bring attention to something that normally wouldn’t be visually interesting. Additionally, it provides a change of pace from posting standard photos on your feed or story.

Creating a good Boomerang is a matter of finding the most satisfying visual effect your line of work can offer. An ice cream shop for example, could create a boomerang of Chocolate ice cream being dispensed and un-dispensed into a cone repeatedly. In the context of marketing, Boomerangs serve as an easy but effective tool for driving engagement. It’s all a part of the larger strategy to keep your social profile colorful, unique, and interesting.

6. Establish an IGTV presence.

IGTV allows users to watch long-form vertical video from their favorite Instagram creators. It’s technically a standalone app but can also be accessed right though Instagram. Unlike typical Instagram videos that are limited to one minute, IGTV videos can be up to an hour long. Users can explore videos from their followers and whatever is trending on Instagram.

With IGTV, creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — meaning your business can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel.

It’s a pretty new marketing feature and far from replacing tactics such as YouTube marketing, but for the moment it’s another interesting outlet you can use to get branded content in front of your fans or customers.

7. Provide free tutorials.

Direct access to customers on Instagram presents a unique opportunity to educate your following. Create video content that helps people navigate robust areas of your business. Regularly offer instructional videos for getting started, finding what they need, and maximizing their experience with your brand. Tutorials are also a great way to raise in-depth awareness about features your product or service now offers.

Take things a step further by using Instagram Live to hold an instructional webinar. Providing a walkthrough of your affiliate program or giveaway increases the odds that people will participate.

The live chat feature is perfect for instantly educating your audience and answering questions. Practices like this will save your customer service team a ton of time. Don’t limit these types of videos to Instagram, they’re bound to be useful on your website and other social media outlets.

8. Make video announcements.

Filming a big announcement is an optimal way to spread the word about a new product, location, or achievement. Be sure the video features a clear call to action and somewhere for your customers to go if they want to learn more or purchase. Build excitement leading up to the big news by releasing short teasers on your Instagram story or feed. Depending on the magnitude of the announcement, you could even manage to attract free press or go viral.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box with this one. Try turning highlights from your annual report into a short animated video.

Use a tool like Animoto to make simple slideshow videos easily. Sharing stats or normally dull information in a compelling way could attract attention and bring awareness to parts of your business that are normally overlooked. Whenever you add video into the mix, you’re maximizing the engagement surrounding your message.

9. Develop a paid advertising strategy.

You should already be well aware of this one as a marketer but it’s worth mentioning here just in case. Instagram allows you to target customers with visually immersive paid video ads up to 60 seconds in length.

Combining these videos with supplemental photos allows you to leverage high-performing carousel ads. Additionally, ads can now be inserted into Story feeds enabling you to tap into the 400M+ accounts using this Instagram feature.

The best part of using paid advertising on Instagram is the highly customizable targeting options. Audiences can be targeted based on location, interests, demographic, and more. You can even target based on consumer behavior on and off Instagram. As creepy as it might sound, these in-depth options are extremely useful for reaching the exact audience you want.

10. Entertain your audience.

Our final strategy is more of an overall philosophy for creating video content on Instagram. When creating a video to advertise a product or educate your customers, remember to put yourself in the shoes of the viewer and ask yourself if you would watch this. Invest in costumes, animation, or whatever you can afford to create truly compelling content. If you’re on a tight budget, use make the most of something simple and affordable like your office dog.

Try tapping into current trends if you want to reach younger audiences or show that your company is in the loop. It can be a risk but when executed correctly it can totally shift the perception of your business for the better. Every video doesn’t need to go viral but your messaging is going to be much more effective if people aren’t bored or jaded by an overly commercial tone. Find your company’s authentic voice and work from there.

Instagram’s video tools provide small businesses a unique opportunity to gain momentum and visibility. As you tell your company’s story from different angles, be mindful of analytics which will help you improve at this as you go. With careful planning, a strong video strategy on Instagram will not only develop a healthy following but it will solidify your company’s digital presence.

About the author

Neal Hallenbeck

Neal Hallenbeck is a graduate of Adrian College. He is a freelance writer, media critic and computer game designer.

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