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How to Use Instagram Video in Your Marketing and Branding

By: Susan Solovic


We’ve already looked at ways major corporations are getting good marketing results using Instagram and discussed how you can adapt their strategies to your small business.

Here I want to move away from the standard picture posting and talk a little about video and give you a quick update about the social medium.

Video is to Internet marketing what banner ads and photo galleries have been in earlier days. I’ve discussed the importance of YouTube as a marketing and branding tool, as have many of the guest writers who have posted here. Instagram can be an important part of your video marketing.

Interestingly enough, I think one of Instagram’s video limitations is also one of its strengths: videos can be no longer than 15 seconds. Now, answer me honestly: Aren’t you ready to abandon many videos after around 10 seconds anyway?

The short nature of the videos should provide a hint about the best natural hook into Instagram: Twitter. If you’re already a big tweeter, adding Instagram videos is a natural…even though Facebook paid beaucoup bucks for the startup not all that long ago.

Instagram trends toward younger consumers, so keep that in mind as you plan to integrate it with your campaigns. Here are some ideas to get you started:

New product or service teasers. Think of a 15-second video as like a “coming attraction” teaser at the movie theater. Show just enough to pique your customers’ interests.

Go behind the scenes. Do you make something? If you produce something that is used or consumed, show vignettes that illustrate parts of the process. If you are in the food industry and use special organic ingredients, introduce a farmer.

Do something funny. If your business is all desks and offices, do you have a class clown, or someone who likes to prank his (it’s almost always a “he” – isn’t it?) neighbor, capture one of these moments. Or illustrate a harmless prank others might emulate.

Show your customers. Sell a big ticket item? How about a video of your customer driving away in her new Porsche? People’s favorite video subjects are themselves; second favorite: their friends and relatives.

15-second insights. We love information in bite-sized chunks; that’s why “list” blogs will be forever popular. Have an expert at your business take one small topic and deliver one useful insight. Make it a series.

Fiverr cartoon, animated graphic, whiteboard presentation. Come up with a idea for an animation, head over to Fiverr.com, find someone to render it and then post the video to Instagram. How cool could that be and all you have invested is five bucks?

When you post your videos, don’t forget to use hashtags so they will be found by the right people. Also, be persistent about featuring them via Twitter and Facebook. Don’t just promote them once, come around to them on a repeating schedule, as appropriate.

Lastly, for the Instagram update: There are new advanced photo editing tools that you should become familiar with. There might be hope for that washed out image after all…

This article was originally published by Susan Solovic

Published: September 23, 2014

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Susan Solovic

Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com and USA Today bestselling author, and attorney. She was the CEO and co-founder of SBTV.com—small business television—a company she grew from its infancy to a million dollar plus entity. She appears regularly as a featured expert on Fox Business, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and can be seen currently as a small business expert on the AT&T Networking Exchange website. Susan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia College and the Advisory Boards for the John Cook School of Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University as well as the Fishman School of Entrepreneurship at Columbia College. 

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