Instagram video

Eight seconds. Maybe even three. Possibly one tenth.

Whatever your context, one thing’s for certain: you have but a slither-of-a-minute to make a great first impression.

Of course, the same can be said for Instagram vids. Punchy, top shelf content earns you extra followers, bolsters your brand, and increases traffic to your website.

But, hey... not sure how to get there? No worries – we’ve got you covered.

1. Use your opening seconds wisely. Very wisely

How many minutes would you estimate the average human spends on a daily basis deep within their Instagram feed? If your brain suggests something along the lines of “uh, about 30”, you’d be spot on.

According to stats released by the company itself, Instagram users spend between 24 and 32 minutes each just scrolling. That’s huge.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that all published content needs to be engaging enough to compel users to Stop the Scroll. Avoid slow or abstract openers, focus on moving images (so people know it’s a video and not a still), and don’t forget the sound factor: including well-matched music in your video content can have a huge impact on engagement.

2. Work backwards

It’s painfully simple, but as the old saying goes: how can clients be sure about our product if we’re not sure about our product?

Always consider the message. What do you want to say with this content? Why? Whatever you do, consider your message/takeaway first, then work backwards from that.

When you’ve got your message clear, write it down. If you’re a visual learner, make a mind map. What content-related choices are you going to make to achieve clarity of that message? Think images, colour palette, scenery, lighting, language... speaking of which:

3. Add words

Broken phone? Noisy tram? No time to find your earphones?

Aside from being a major tool of accessibility for the hard of hearing, captions are just downright handy because they broaden the contexts in which your content can be accessed and understood.

Adding words to your content can also help emphasise key messages or branding. Put simply, using the right language in your videos is a choice that opens doors.

Don’t overcrowd with text, or forget about good quality audio though. One isn’t a substitute for the other.

4. Consider branded content.

The meaning of ‘branded content’ might seem obvious (on-brand content, anyone?) but there are extra layers of meaning here.

‘Branded content’ refers to content that doesn’t involve traditional advertising. It might include images, articles, podcasts, interviews, short stories or films... the list goes on. The look and feel of the content adds value without explicitly aiming for sales via the use overt sales tactics.

Have you ever sat down to consider what branded content might be applicable to your business? What images, feelings, emotions, colours, and shapes do you associate with your brand? If you’re not sure, have a brainstorming session. Accompanying beer/wine optional.

5. Get a handle on Stories

Feeling a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to Instagram Stores? Never fear.

Stories is an inbuilt content format option on Instagram that lets you create posts (including video) that last for 24 hours before disappearing from the feed. Because of their ephemeral existence, they’re great for behind-the-scenes content, takeovers, and providing your clients with live, raw, real-time experiences.

6. Incorporate a strong call to action (CTA)

Here’s some stuff. Liking what you see? Click here to learn more!

Here’s some stuff. *...crickets*.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand which of these scenarios embraces the better messaging. Why present your clients with a bunch of awesome content with no guidance on what to do next or where to take their interest, especially after you’ve worked so hard to hook them?

When crafting your content, consider how language (visual or otherwise) is designed in order to prompt the most immediate possible response from your client. What choices can you make in order to will your client to act? Try a ‘learn more in our bio/profile’ tag which will direct your client to any clickable links you house there.

Remember: Instagram won’t allow clickable links in captions or comments. They’ve gotta go in your bio/profile.

7. Test. Test. Test.

Think you’ve nailed it? Think again.

Make sure you get an opinion other than yours on the suitability, effectiveness, and overall strength of your digital content. Want to engage new audiences? Phone a friend who’s never before been interested in your brand and gauge their reaction to what you’ve developed, or intend to develop.

In an age of multiple perspectives, it’s important we consider exactly that in what we create.

We always love to chat and help our clients develop ideas, so if you have an Instagram video in the pipeline and need some advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch!