Instagram Video for Marketers
In case you were camping or living in a cave last week, you’re fully aware of the release of Instagram Video. I think it’s safe to say that people are enjoying the new service, as Instagram received 5 million uploads in the first day. As an avid Instagram user myself (you can find me @isaiahadams), I was eager to get my hands on the new feature. As I became more familiar with the tool and saw how other users were using the new feature, I couldn’t help but think about how Marketers can leverage it.
Before we get started, let’s understand some of the details of Instagram Video:
- Videos can be up to 15 seconds long (vs. only 6 seconds for rival Vine)
- 13 filters are available (filters are really the reason Instagram exploded in the first place)
- Cover frames can be selected for each video (i.e., the video frame that will appear in a user’s feed). This may be my favorite feature. I can’t stand how YouTube only lets me choose from a couple thumbnails they’ve selected.
- Videos have image stabilization
We all like cool videos right? Watch this video introducing Instagram Video.
Now that we know how it works, let’s talk about why I think Instagram Video is great news for Marketers.
Create a more authentic relationship
Before Instagram Video, when brands would look to connect with their audience through video, they were held to high standards (for quality) on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. I believe that layer of quality, although pleasant on the eyes and very engaging, created a barrier of authenticity between brands and consumers. Instagram’s new video feature enables brands to show a more personable side through videos without any fancy production.
Co-create content with audiences
More so than ever, marketers can leverage the Instagram platform to co-create with their customers. I think one of the most brilliant features of Instagram Video is its usability. It’s so easy to use that it becomes addicting (speaking from experience). Marketers can leverage this by running contests that ask consumers to take a video of them using their product in a creative way and simply upload it with a specific #hashtag. Really, the options are endless. This type of interaction with consumers is nothing new, but it just became easier than ever.
Social meets video
Out of all the features of Instagram Video, this is the most exciting. YouTube and Vimeo are platforms that offer highly shareable content but lack the social element. I know you can create your own YouTube channel but even that lacks the personal element that networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have. Vine is the closest thing that’s come to social video but they missed the mark, in my opinion. Vine’s lack of dominance (as seen by everyone preferring Instagram Video over Vine the instant it came out) can possibly be attributed to its lack of integration with other social platforms. Vine, owned by Twitter, currently struggles to integrate smoothly with Twitter and has therefor been looked at as a separate social network. Instagram on the other hand, owned by Facebook, was able to integrate the two platforms seamlessly and leverage the existing audience when they launched the new feature.
Have you experimented with Instagram’s new video feature? If so, what are your thoughts?