Think your business can get by without using Instagram as a marketing channel? Think again.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram is the fastest growing social network. With over 200 million users, half of whom joined over the last year or so, it’s too big not to join.
Instagram is hugely popular because of its photo sharing and filtering capabilities and soon might beat Vine at its own game: micro videos. Considering that 92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others – an audience that will likely double by 2016 to 1.5 billion – and that the average American attention span in 2013 was around 8 seconds long, you should be spending a whole lot more time on mobile, micro video platforms. But which one?
1. Instagram has more users.
As of December 2013, Instagram’s audience was 150 million, whereas Vine’s was 40 million. More importantly, Vine’s growth slowed after Instagram introduced video.
2. Instagram is owned by Facebook, Vine by Twitter.
Not only does Instagram have a larger audience, it is also owned by Facebook, which has a much larger audience than Vine’s owner, Twitter. As of February, Facebook had 1.23 billion active users, five times more than Twitter’s 232 million. In terms of these numbers, you will reach many more customers through Instagram than Vine.
3. You can do a lot more in 15 seconds than six.
Although it’s easy to fall on your butt in a six-second Vine video, it’s pretty hard to create a meaningful marketing message in that amount of time. Instagram’s 15-second maximum is much more generous, and allows you to show more content.
4. Instagram has filters.
Beautiful filters are what really set Instagram apart from other networks. Not only can you share content on Instagram, but you can also create stunning images and video.
Tips for Engaging Users on Instagram
Post at Peak Times of Day and Week
Because Instagram is a mobile application, its peak hours are different from other social networks. For example, it’s not particularly popular during work hours like Facebook or Twitter are. Instead, Instagram users tend to be on consistently throughout the day.
Big brands tend to get around 24 interactions (a.k.a., likes and comments) per one thousand followers with video posts on Instagram. That should be a pretty good benchmark for your targeting efforts.
Hashtag it up!
Unlike other platforms where too many hashtags make you seem over-caffeinated, hashtags are very effective on Instagram. The golden rule for posts is 5 hashtags, which shows the most reaction.
Tips for making Videos on Instagram
What’s the purpose of the video?
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but yes, figuring out the point behind the video will instruct how you shoot and edit it. For example, if you want to make a funny video, you’ll need to have a funny pay-off at the end, and build up to that moment for the rest of the video. Do you want to show someone using your product in various locations? Or do you want to show behind-the-scenes moments making your product or at an event? Does your video need to be all in one shot, or can it have multiple ones spliced together? All of these choices will influence the direction you take.
Although you’ll likely have multiple shots, it’s wise to use one filter while shooting. This will give the video uniformity and won’t distract the viewer. For example, Ginza is a very nice video filter.
Use Unique Angles
Ask yourself “what can only I see?” This will help you create truly unique, captivating shots. Don’t be afraid to sit low or get up high, or pan up or down.
Pay Attention to Sound
Yes, sound will be a big part of your video. Unless you plan on putting a voice over or music over the entire video, pay attention to sound while you’re shooting.
Pay Attention to Light
Although low light is not necessarily the enemy, you’ll want to not hold low light shots for too long: they get grainy. Make sure to pair low light shots with brighter shots on either side that can cover them up. And if you don’t need low light shots, we’d suggest simply not taking them.
Have a range of clips already saved on your phone
Feel like mixing your footage with a cute cat? It’d be wise to invest some time in downloading images and videos onto your phone that you’ll want to include in your video but don’t need to shoot.
Guest post contribution by FIVERR.