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When you want professional connections, you turn to LinkedIn. For tips and tricks, personal opinions about the newest technologies you turn to Facebook. And, when you want crazy inspirational visual content you turn to Instagram. At the moment, Instagram is kind of a big deal: everyone’s there, trying to sell their products, share their talents and grab your attention.
When I say everyone, I really mean it. More than 500 million users share over 95 million posts on Instagram every day. And, as a businessman, marketer, or a personal blogger, we all have this one question poking behind our ears: “How do I stand out?”
There are a couple of ways. For example, with brand consistency and personalization you can build an engaged Instagram following. But right now, I have something better for you - videos. Not simply beautiful videos with no drive within them. Inspiring and engaging videos, videos with CTAs, and videos that will actually bring brand awareness and value to your company.
So, there are videos you can share as a post and there are Story ads you can place. Let’s get one thing straight. Instagram users expect to see videos and are open to interaction when engaging with Stories. If you want to reach those users who would watch a video, swipe up to see more products or visit your website, a video ad within Instagram Stories would work best for you.
When a user scrolls through their feed, searching for something worth looking at, you got to compel them to stop. So, make the first seconds of your video count, make them irresistible. As CEO of Bolt Digital Natasha Courtenay-Smith said, “Don't be arty with slow openers…you want something that is bright, moves and catches attention.” Because without fast movement your users might not even know that was a video they just scrolled over.
You know that Instagram audio is muted by default. That means your users might not know what your video is about until they turn the volume on. And, you can’t just count on them turning it on every time. You got to meet them halfway. What about some text in your video? With text over your video, you can get your message across. Don’t be lazy, put your mind to work, grab your laptop and create dynamic text effects.
Hey, but don’t just go and write your whole story on a video: there’s something called “too much text.” Veronica Romney, president of LoSoMo digital marketing agency said, “A few short captions in the video will help pique your audience’s interest so that they watch the entire video and even end up playing the sound later on. Too much text, however, can be overwhelming for the viewer and make the video seem cluttered.”
Now, when you spend all of that energy of yours, trying to create a dope video, you first create a concept behind, right? Because without it, your video would have no point, no end goal. Make sure you focus on a specific theme, choose one and only one topic and most importantly a goal: what do you want to get? Whether you want to enhance brand awareness, educate your users about a specific product or anything else, define it.
The biggest mistake in creating an Instagram video is probably this one: not knowing who the visual is for. Define your target audience, know what will inspire them, what will put a smile on their faces and what will drive them to click that “buy now” button of yours. So, what I’m trying to say is, create a video content tailored for your specific group. That’s when you’ll get real results.
If your super engaging video has a call to action that leads to your website, which is usually the case, since you’re trying to capture those users and make them yours, you got to make sure your website is well optimized for mobile view. I’m not just saying it: maybe other social media channels are accessed from the desktop too. But not Instagram. The majority use the app on mobile. Imagine a user tapping on a “Visit Website” button and the directed website is not optimized well? You lose them immediately. But, you won’t lose them if you have a responsive website. If you don’t have a website or at least a landing page at all, create yours right away. Using website builders like Ucraft can make this pretty simple for you.
There might be some mixed information regarding the export settings for Instagram. So, let me clear all of that for you. Most phones can display Full HD resolutions and it makes sense to have your video adjusted to that format. Therefore, it’s recommended to export your videos in 1080p/ Full HD. That’s for the resolution.
About the size of your video - it depends. If your video is square than have it 1080 x 1080. And, if you’re posting a portrait video that would be 1080 x 1920. Pretty simple, but pretty important.
You want your video to look legit, right? Do you know what’s the opposite of that? Videos that switch from one scene to another abruptly. But then again, there are transitions that make it all better, make your video look and feel more cinematic.
And if you’re feeling lost right now, here’s a tip for you: use objects as a divider between two different scenes.
This tip is very specific but is worth knowing. When you’re placing video ads on Instagram you can show them only to users that are connected to WiFi. That way you avoid that unpleasant experience of videos loading as slow as if they’re crawling. You know that people with nature are impatient. They usually won’t wait for your video to buffer and then start playing. They’ll simply move on to the next.
Want a bonus tip? The newest update of Instagram: you can add your video to your story, write a powerful CTA on top and drive those users to watch your video. And your video views will grow from there.
Nainoa Langer, who’s a self-taught videographer, said something I can’t help but share with you. Her great advice regarding creating videos is to be different than the rest. What she does is imagine how one would shoot something specific and then shoots it in a completely different way. As she says, “creativity starts with thinking differently than you normally would.”
When you’re in search for answers, you turn to the giants to see what they’re doing and what works for them. Brands like Disney, Ford, and Lululemon use video ads and achieve different business goals. In fact, one week after its launch, Lululemon’s videos received 2 times more engagement than their photos did. Now, you want your videos for Instagram to be great. And, here’s where you start.
Kristina Poghosyan is a proud Armenian, an enthusiastic blogger. Besides blogging on topics ranging from digital marketing and web design to lifestyle advice and technological advancements, she also writes poems on Medium at night.
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