Riding on the coattails of Snapchat’s sudden success, Instagram has decided it’s high time to expand their video options.
Now, even regular users can post videos up to 60 seconds in length, instead of the extremely limited 15 second videos that were the previous standard. This move was made on the heels of the widely unpopular announcement of their algorithmic curation update, similar to what Facebook does to determine what will appear on a user’s Facebook feed.
Some say opening up longer videos is a way to win back upset users, but others note the spike in video consumption Instagram has been experiencing in the last six months—the number of people watching on Instagram has increased by 40 percent, according to Engadget.
The time for longer videos is definitely now, never mind the underlying reasons. This is also great news for smaller brands that weren’t able to gain access to longer video advertisements before.
Making Longer Instagram Videos Work for You
If you’re not already running videos on Instagram, now is a great time to jump in. Like any sort of content marketing, it’s going to be really important that you focus on what you’re putting out there as much as how frequently you’re putting it out.
These tips should help you develop content that really inspires your Instagram fans:
- Don’t skimp on editing apps. While it’s not difficult to create high quality Instagram videos, it is important you have the right tools to ensure that you’re putting the best videos possible out there. Look for an app that will allow you to create videos with different screen ratios and high definition quality. You’ll also want to be able to customize the color balance, transitions and music.
- Keep your aesthetic consistent. Test some design plans before posting anything to your video feed. Keeping your aesthetic consistent helps your audience recognize your brand at first glimpse, plus it can help to convey subtle messages about your brand image. For example, if your goal is to project an image that will attract outdoorsy types, you’ll want to use imagery that reflects their interests like scenic views and natural colors.
- Use an editorial calendar to plan your content. As with any type of content marketing, it’s important that your efforts don’t repeat themselves or stray too far from your message at any given point in time. Planning ahead can help prevent this unfortunately too common problem, especially if you’re working with a team of people who may be building Instagram videos independently of one another.
That all said, remember that you don’t have to film a 60-second piece simply because you can. Your Instagram video can be anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds, so if a 30 second video makes more sense for what you’re doing, go with your gut. Sometimes shorter videos can grab attention when everyone else is going to the maximum time simply by being different.
Content Ideas for Instagram
Like with Facebook, Instagram is largely about getting insider peeks at a brand that the general public might not otherwise have access to. It’s social, but it’s personal, too, whether those shares are written, photographed or filmed.
Here are a few ideas to get started with:
- Go behind the scenes. There’s no greater insider peek than behind-the-scenes footage. Give your fans a look behind the curtain at something they ask about all the time, whether that’s a person, a place or a location. Sixty seconds of video isn’t much when you’re snooping around somewhere fans aren’t usually allowed.
- Film some how-tos. How-tos and other instructional videos are hugely popular online. Although you can’t explain complex processes in just 60 seconds, you can define and discuss basic concepts, show how to do simple jobs and talk about how things work. You’ll want to plan ahead with a script for the best results.
- Show off on location. Not every brand can benefit from an “on location” video, but for anyone who tours or holds public events, being live on location can bring more bodies to the event. Show off the excitement in the air, as well as all the people waiting to get into the event, and your Instagram fans will be on their way to you.
- Tease upcoming events. Upcoming events, both online and off, often require longer video advertisements. These are great opportunities for double duty marketing efforts. Cut your longer video down for Instagram and tease the event using the same footage, doubling your reach for your modest efforts.
With each improvement and upgrade to the various social networks currently in play, marketers have to be ready to adjust their plans in order to remain competitive. Luckily, the Instagram video update isn’t a major change for us, but it will be a huge deal for the fans of our brands. Think like a social media maven, and produce high quality content that will be wildly shareable to unlock Instagram’s 60-second potential.