Instagram recently added support for short videos, making it yet another channel for business marketing. Is it effective? As with other marketing channels such as YouTube, email, or even business signs, it depends on how you go about using it.
What is Instagram Video?
Instagram is a popular photo (and, now, video) sharing social network. For photos, Instagram is known for its filters which instantly change the appearance of photographs. For example, you can use a filter to give a photo a vintage, polaroid-like look or change a color image into a sepia-toned image. Instagram videos, which are limited to just 15 seconds each, can also be manipulated with Instagram's video tools. You can quickly transform short video clips into mini works of cinematic art. Even a seemingly boring video of office building signs can be enhanced to have a cinematic quality.
How is Instagram Video Being Used for Business Marketing?
Businesses have discovered video in general as a valuable marketing tool. For example, posting videos on landing pages and within blog posts provides marketers with an additional SEO opportunity. Not only can their pages or posts potentially rank for specific keywords, video adds yet another component valued by search engines.
Since Instagram video is short, it can also be highly effective. Internet users have short attention spans. They may not be willing to invest more than a minute or two in watching a business video. However, with just 15 seconds at stake, they're more likely to click the play button.
Businesses are using Instagram video in several creative and not-so-creative ways. Some really do post videos of business signs and office building signs while others create elaborate 15-second animations. In some cases, the videos are meant to turn a static photo into a short clip with movement. For example, if your "about us" webpage has a photo of your business signs, adding an Instagram video of your office building signs swaying gently in the wind could bring that photo to life without being overly intrusive to viewers.
Short tutorials are also becoming popular on Instagram Video as are mini portfolios by artists, photographers, and designers. Product videos, demonstrations, customer testimonials, promotional offers, and company tours are also commonly used by businesses.
Why Use Instagram Video for Business Marketing?
Businesses are using Instagram Video for business marketing for several compelling reasons:
Reach – Instagram is a hugely popular social media site. By posting videos on Instagram, you could potentially reach a wide audience. In addition to Instagram itself, users often share videos via other social networking channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest which further expands your potential reach.
Ease of use – It's easy to snap a short video using a smartphone and Instagram. Not only that, Instagram includes easy-to-use video editing software that can quickly transform a mediocre video in a thing of beauty.
Engagement – Perhaps the best reason of all to start using Instagram for business marketing is to increase engagement. While it may be fun to shoot and edit videos of your business signs, it's even more fun when you can get your customers involved. For example, you could hold a contest asking customers to post videos of them interacting with your products or posing under your office building signs.
Video is a relative newcomer to business video marketing. It has the potential to make a difference. How will you put it to good use?
Sita Cole is the author of this article about using different marketing channels for business marketing. She is a creative marketing manager and is an expert in designing business signs. Connect with her over at Google+ for more information or question about marketing.