Guest post by Ryan Harris.
Photo-sharing app Instagram, best known for vintage filters and pictures of food, lets smartphone users take higher quality and better looking photos from their mobile cameras.
Instagram is easy to use. Take a picture on your phone. Crop it, rotate it, and apply a filter. Maybe add a frame. Then upload your creation to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or Foursquare.
On June 20, Instagram got a makeover of its own when it launched Video for Instagram. The update allows users to record, modify, and upload 15-second videos.
Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kobe Bryant, and Madonna, along with millions of other Instagram users, have already used Video for Instagram. Five million videos were uploaded just 24 hours after the launch.
Hard candy booty pop up class! Getting ready in the bathroom! NY her I Come ! by @madonna
How Your Brand Can Use Instagram Video
Facebook owns Instagram, and Instagram alone has over 130 million active users. Its visibility, volume, and name recognition make it a great tool for businesses looking to grow their brand. Use Instagram with Facebook, and you have instant access to an audience of over 1 billion.
Video for Instagram provides an even better marketing platform. As TV advertisers have known for decades, videos are one of the best ways to connect with customers. They’re more dynamic, more entertaining, and more interactive.
And Video for Instagram has its competitors, including Twitter’s video-sharing app Vine, beat. Instagram has a lot more users – 130 million to Vine’s 13 million. And Instagram allows videos up to 15 seconds – the same length as a standard TV commercial. That’s a lot more air time than Vine’s 6 seconds, and a lot more space to creatively promote your brand.
Tips and Tricks
Know your audience. Instagram users are young, hip, and savvy. They’re up on the latest trends. They value clean, simple aesthetics, and they like Instagram’s vintage feel. Market your Instagram videos to match them.
Know your Instagram. Instagram provides tools to help make your videos look good. Shoot in a continuous stream or short snapshots. Adjust the color with one of 13 new filters. Choose a cover image that makes your video stand out. And you can even automatically steady shaky hands with the Cinema feature.
Entertain. Do it right, and you can captivate even the shortest attention spans with your videos. Be original – no one wants to see recycled content. Be authentic. Instagram is more about amateur art than cheesy advertising.
Stay relevant. Instagram users know it best – Internet fads can be over in the blink of an eye. So be timely and relevant. Your audience knows what’s going on in the worlds of fashion, technology, and social media, and so should you.
Video for Instagram has only been around for a short time. But many brands, from upscale clothing designers to sports teams, have already mastered the art. Check out these recent Instagram videos for inspiration:
Burberry was already one of the best brands on Instagram. But they cemented their spot at the top with their first Instagram video, a series of short scenes from a menswear show in London. The video includes snippets of music and conversation and London landmarks – and, of course, gorgeous Burberry products.
Ebay gets the simplicity of Instagram with their first video, posted the day after Video for Instagram’s launch. Captioned “Make the most of the longest day of the year,” the video shows a beach with the word “#ebay” written in the sand. A wave washes over the text, and the video pans out to a shot of crashing waves on a sunny day.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees recently posted an Instagram video of former player Paul O’Neill in batting practice. The video, which shows O’Neill laughing and celebrating after hitting one out of the park, is spot on. It appeals to baseball fans both young and old, and it perfectly captures the joy and enthusiasm of the moment.