Today, Instagram is more than just a personal photo-sharing app. It has become an inclusive platform with creators and brands making the most of it! And that’s why we thought it was time for us to guide your journey to making it big on the social platform with Instagram video marketing!
While Instagram did start as just a square photo sharing app, it gradually supported video posts, followed by IGTV, and now reels!
“Video is driving an immense amount of growth online for all the major platforms right now, and it’s one that we think we need to lean into more”, says Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri
Changes are coming to video on Instagram 📺— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
According to HubSpot, about 93% of marketers say video is an integral part of their marketing strategies. This includes content creation on a number of platforms - Instagram being one of the main platforms.
Infact, if you think about it, Instagram today is flooded with videos in the recommended feed. From content created by users like you and me, to businesses who are trying to showcase their products and services using the engaging format.
Considering how close to 90% of people on Instagram follow a business, and the switch to video-preference, it’s safe to say you can’t do without this content format anymore.
But creating videos is easier said than done. So in this article, we’ll not just walk you through what and why it is important, but how you can get started with it too!
If you want to know how Shopify can help you sell on Instagram, explore this page.
What is Instagram Video Marketing?
Instagram video marketing is a form of content marketing wherein a brand or a business uses video content to promote their products and services. Video marketing can help serve many purposes, including engagement, branding and even sales, depending on your business objectives.
Why video marketing on Instagram?
According to a report by Wyzowl, 87% of video marketers say that video has helped increase traffic to their website and close to 80% of them say video has directly helped boost their sales.
Ever since Instagram added its first video post feature back in 2013, there has been an 80% increase in the time spent watching videos on the platform every year. Think about the amount of time you spend on Instagram scrolling through Reels every day and you’ll know what we mean.
It’s safe to say that videos are the new way of consuming content for most of us. Well, not just consuming content, but also engaging with it if you go by these numbers:
Source - Mention
It was also found that around 50% of people will visit a website to make a purchase after watching a product/service video. If you ask our Shopify Experts, they’ll tell you how big this percentage is when it translates into your store visitors, potential buyers and actual sales.
You can learn more about Instagram video marketing for small business and its importance for eCommerce businesses in this article: How to Build an Audience and Drive Sales with Persuasive Video Marketing
Now, when you’re creating videos for Instagram, it also includes knowing about a couple of different formats supported by Instagram. This is important because each of the Instagram video formats are different not just in terms of the dimensions and features, but also what you can do with it to best represent your deals, discounts or even product highlights.
Instagram video formats - Types of videos you can post on Instagram
1. In-Feed Videos
These are basic videos that are posted like how you would normally post feed photos. They can be upto 60 minutes long and have an aspect ratio limit of 4:5. You can even create a carousel of videos, including ten at a time.
This Instagram video marketing format is well-suited for showcasing multiple products in-use, either separately or in correlation with one another. You can also use the format to show a little BTS behind the products, leading to the product.
Pro tip: Always try to create a storyline and keep these videos short for maximum video engagement on Instagram.
Instagram TV (IGTV) can be considered a Youtube clone, but with vertical videos only. With a stand-alone application and also an in-built feature for it, this video format lets you upload videos for as long as or more than 60 minutes on Instagram. Call it the long-form video format!
This video format is great for introducing your team, showing your audience who you are, how you work and making them virtually meet the team. It also gives you ample room to launch a collection in entirety and also show the process behind it, without having to worry about a time limit.
In fact, since it is a long-form video format on Instagram, you can even create detailed how-to or tutorial kind of videos for your products.
Note: Instagram recently announced that they will be merging IGTV and feed videos into one format. You will still be able to upload these videos in the same way from your camera roll. They are also introducing a few new features like trimming, filters and people, and location tagging to videos. To learn more about how to make Instagram videos, read here.
Unlike IGTV and more in sync with the videos we’ve all once browsed on TikTok, Instagram Reels are short 60-second videos. Instagram offers a set of editing tools that allows users to create multiple video clips, add filters, a caption and stickers to make this video marketing format more engaging and on-the-go.
You can use this video format for sneak-peeks, quick look books, sharing customer testimonials, share a day in your life, or anything and everything you’d like your audience to know about you. This is also the one video format that gets the highest video engagement on Instagram.
4. Video Stories
Stories are ‘short, fun and immersive videos’ that aren’t exactly posted on your Instagram feed.
They can be around 15 seconds long and should have an aspect ratio of 9:16. There is no limit on how many stories can be posted. These videos will be visible to your audience for 24 hours. Post that, they can also be added to the highlighted stories section on your account if you’d like to keep that information or piece of content available to your followers at all times.
Video Stories are a great way to get all your other content formats noticed, considering how over 500 million use and watch Stories every day.
You can also use these to conduct polls, question-answer rounds, surveys, give shoutouts to customers and more. They help you boost video engagement on Instagram!
5. Live videos
Instagram Live is a video marketing format that lets you ‘broadcast’ a video to your followers in real-time as a part of Instagram Stories. It is a feature that is currently used by 100 million people every day for different purposes.
You, as a brand, can use Live Videos to host a session with your followers, wherein you actually ‘talk’ to them, take their questions live and engage them with your brand on a deeper level.
While videos are the way to go, they do have a name for being ‘difficult’ or ‘tricky’ to create. For most brands, coming up with ideas and concepts, and creating videos may seem overwhelming….even expensive!
But it really doesn’t have to be. Let’s tell you about a few Instagram video ideas that are easy to create!
Easy Instagram video buckets to create more engaging content
As a D2C brand, you may feel all too conscious about getting in front of the camera or shooting products yourself. Or maybe you’re just not sure what aspect of your business or product your audience would like to see.
To make things easier, let’s take you through a few video ideas for Instagram that will help you present your brand and its products in the best way possible.
Oh, and we guarantee that your audience is going to love watching these Instagram video content ideas!
1. Brand storytelling
Your brand story can act as an organic marketing strategy to help boost your sales. Storytelling has become an absolute necessity in marketing today.
Now, combine the goodness of a good story with the perks of video marketing. An unbeatable strategy right there!
You can create Reels, post videos or even IGTVs of why and how your company came into being, who helped you start it, and what pushed you to make it happen.
Storytelling is the art of representing your brand or product to your audience in a way that feels more organic, and is more engaging for audiences. You can use your brand or product story to pull your target audience to purchase your products/services instead of pushing a sales pitch on them.
Here’s an example from Avimee Herbal, sharing their brand story and how it all began in a short video format. They use a little text on the video as well for a better narrative:
2. Behind the scenes
These videos can be a great way of letting your customers know what goes behind making the product, and ensuring that their purchase is delivered to them on time.
You can share stories and/or Reels about the processes involved in sourcing the materials, resources, and so on. You can also use this as a way to showcase the people in your team, some of the more interesting highlights of your product etc.
For instance, Cosmix is known for its natural range of health and wellness products. They use videos to share what goes behind the scenes in the making of their products. This let’s their audience see them in action and earns them brownie points for being transparent.
It is quite essential to let your audience know how to use your products/services. You can create a bunch of videos showing this. These don’t have to be super-elaborate either - just the basics should do too, to drive video engagement on Instagram.
A study by Wibbitz showed that how-to tutorials are actually the most preferred and watched type of video content. It also helps your customers make the most of your product and get better results with them.
Here’s another example from CosMix, showing how their energy mixes can be added to regular food items for easy consumption. The quick video instantly adds a sense of ‘this is doable’ to their products, and also creates a better experience for the customers.
4. Special announcement videos
A great way to plug video marketing into your strategy is using it for special announcements like an offer running on your website, bundle packages, limited edition products or even milestones for your brand.
Share how the consumer stands to benefit from the deal or discount you’re offering, what added value are they getting or maybe just how others are loving that offer using a few testimonials from customers.
The Good Thing uses a simple video to announce their bundle offer. The slight animation on the video makes it all the more engaging to consume, as compared to a static image doing the same.
5. Live videos
According to studies and surveys, “People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live”. So if you’re looking at boosting interactions, this is the one idea you can use to drive video engagement on Instagram.
If you’re not sure of what video content to create, simply go Live on Instagram. Let your followers know that you’re taking questions about the brand, the products and anything else that they want to know about you.
Once the Live is over, you can make a video or IGTV post out of it, depending on the length of the session.
Here’s an example from Okhai, sharing their live video with Juicy Chemistry, talking about something that the two have in common - Women Leaders. Showing the faces behind the two brands and a collaboration of this kind, is a great way to engage your audience, give them something to relate with and win their trust.
6. Product videos
You can also simply show your product pictures in different placements.
These could be actual videos or just photos patched up to make a video as well. The idea is to give your followers a ‘sense’ of how your products look.
You can post these as in-feed posts, stories and Reels regularly with a fixed template, thus making the process a lot more speedier!
Take a look at this simple video from Tiger and Twig. They use it to show how flowy the material of their new shirt collection is, all without having to spend too much time making the video itself!
7. Time sensitive videos
Stories work great for this.
Let’s say you decided to have a surprise midnight sale for just one night - you can create around it and persuade your customers to make purchases. You could even create videos on topicals and trends as well.
For example, if you’re someone who has a fashion and clothing brand, and a color just went viral after the fashion week, you could create a video lookbook!
Don’t forget to add stickers, tags and the required link to these stories though!
8. Customer testimonials
Ask your customers to share video testimonials or how they style the purchase. It makes for authentic content for your brand and you can create so many posts out of it! Now you can do this by simply reaching out to them and requesting for the same, or using an app like VideoWise to pull in videos from across the web from users who are reviewing your products.
You’re probably wondering why you didn’t get started with creating videos any sooner. We get it!
Now if you’re wondering how you can get down to making more of these videos, let’s share a few resources and tools you should bookmark or keep handy. Let’s answer all your questions on how to make Instagram videos with this section.
Tools to create more videos for Instagram
Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive. But our goal is to equip you with everything you need to get started with Instagram video marketing as soon as possible!
1. Shopify Video Maker
A free tool that we equip Shopify stores with, the video maker helps you create stunning videos out of product photos in minutes. All you need to do is choose a template that matches the content you want to share, add your images, the text you want to display and voila, we take care of all the creation!
If you’re looking for more video editing apps, here’s a list of the best ones we found!
2. Free stock websites
Yes, free stock websites also have videos apart from the high-resolution images you have been getting from them all these years. All you need to remember is to pick a video that suits the intent and the content you want to share, or compliments it. Here are some of our favourite free stock video websites:
Alternatively, you can use Burst by Shopify to find free, high-resolution images that can be patched together to create videos.
Wondering how a free stock video would look like on your feed? Well, here’s an example of the same from The Good Thing. They use a free stock video, combining it with some text and their logo, and an informative caption, to make it their own!
Another tool that makes creating graphics - static images and videos really easy, is Canva. You can use the free tool for creating videos in different dimensions and use its extensive library of templates, elements, animations and effects to create videos.
4. GIF websites
We’re sure you didn’t see this one coming. Well, GIFs are actually categorised as videos on Instagram when you create posts with them. If you’re up for some fun, you can actually download a few GIFs from free websites and tie it all in with good content.
But before you do, here are some of the best practices that will help ensure that you’re on the right track.
Instagram video marketing tips and best practices
With all the Instagram video content ideas and format understood, it’s time to get to work. Here are some Instagram video marketing tips we have gathered from what the best of brands are doing for more video engagement on Instagram.
1. Set clear objective for video marketing
Before you even begin, remember that your time and resources are precious. If you’re going to invest them in an Instagram video marketing strategy, they should add to your end goals in some way.
It can be something as simple as gaining more visibility on Instagram, boosting your audience engagement and educating customers about your products and how they can be used.
But you could also use all Instagram video ideas to boost viewer loyalty, generate click throughs to your Shopify store and even drive sales.
To be able to set the right objective for video marketing, ask yourself:
- What is it that I want to make a video for?
- How is this video going to help my audience?
- How is this video helping promote my product?
- What is the intent of the video (more reach, educate, promote, etc)?
- How am I going to create this video?
2. Understand resolution and aspect ratio limits
Different types of video formats come with their own dimension, resolution and aspect ratio specifications.
For instance, stories and reels support a 9:16 aspect ratio while in-feed posts have a limit of 4:5. These Instagram video formats may require a little more thinking through.
Learn about the dimensions based on the type of video you plan on creating. Here’s a guide to it that you can use: Instagram Video Sizes.
3. Give the video a storyline
There’s no point in randomly curating a video and publishing it. You need to brainstorm and think about what effect this particular video should have on your audience. Make this a part of the process of creating an Instagram video marketing strategy.
Accordingly, plan the storyline and execute it. The better your narrative is, the more likely your audience is to connect and engage with your Instagram video.
4. Prioritize visual aesthetics
Remember, Instagram is a very visual platform. So keep your video ‘looking good’. You can even choose to create a theme for all your videos using the effects available on the platform.
Avoid clutter as much as possible. Use the right colors, alignments and backgrounds.
5. Clear presentation
While displaying your product in the frame, make sure the product is in focus and other elements in the video don’t distract people from it. This also impacts the Instagram video formats you make use of.
Instagram marketing for small businesses is important. But so is presenting products in the right way.
6. Give it a human touch
People like to buy from people. So, show them the face behind this amazing brand. Share your story, your ups, downs - it really helps!
Doing so will let your customers connect with you and in turn, your brand! Video engagement on Instagram is important, or your efforts go in vain.
7. Always add a good caption
Provide detailed descriptions of the product/services in the caption of the video you’re posting - irrespective of the format you pick.
Include a catchy first line to get the user ‘hooked’, use emojis to make the rest of the caption fun. Consider caption-length limits, add necessary hashtags. These are just some of the many things to consider while drafting a smart caption.
No matter what Instagram video formats you make use of, always make your captions impactful!
8. Keep an eye on the trends
As much as you want to be reachable to your target audience, you also most definitely want to remain relatable. You can do so by making the most of what’s trending at the moment.
You can use trending audio for your reels or meme templates for your stories to achieve this. Using trending audio or formats also increases the chances of your content getting discovered, based on the video format you choose.
To keep track of trends, you can also use social listening while creating an Instagram video marketing strategy.
9. Set up Instagram shopping
The idea of being on Instagram and making the effort to create videos, is to actually get people to buy from you. You need to make it simpler for the audience watching your videos to buy from you as well. This is where you need to set up Instagram Shopping.
By doing so, you can tag products on your Instagram content, reducing the buying cycle a shopper typically needs to go through - visiting your store, searching for the product and then making a purchase.
10. Experiment always!
It is obviously going to take multiple trials to figure out what works best for your audience. So, don’t shy away from experimenting.
Try it all and let your audience tell you what they want to see more of in your Instagram video marketing strategy.
11. Track progress
Remember how you set some objectives and goals for yourself before creating videos? Don’t forget to see how much you have been able to accomplish through this content format.
A few metrics that you should look into on Instagram to track the progress of your videos include:
- Number of views
- Number of accounts reached
- Amount of engagement
- Number of likes
- Increase in followers
Want to learn more about metrics and how to track them on Instagram? Read this nifty guide by Buffer.
Now, let’s start with Instagram video marketing!
People don’t really want professionally-shot, scripted videos anymore. They just want videos that are visually-pleasing, provide a better understanding of the product/service while also seeing an actual ‘human’ behind it all!
There is no right or wrong here.
Experiment and get going - make mistakes and find your way up!