Why Instagram Video Is Becoming an Essential Marketing Tool for Brands
Like Vine, Instagram recently rolled out video support which allows account owners to share content in short spurts. The big difference is that Instagram videos can be up to fifteen seconds long, more than double the limit imposed on Vine. On Vine, six-second videos loop continuously, which can make it quite difficult to create a convincing promo or advertisement. Because it allows longer videos, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most viable social marketing platforms for brands and businesses.
Of course, all of that hype is nothing without a little proof. Instagram currently has nearly 150 million active users, while Vine has about 40 million. That’s a pretty convincing number, but what are those users sharing? Is it even worthwhile to promote products and services on this media-centric platform?
According to research from Unruly, brands account for more than 40% of the top 1,000 most shared videos. Some other interesting stats are:
- The most shared brand on the platform is MTV, with a total of 84 videos in the top 1,000 – they have 134,110 shares collectively
- The most popular channels are for entertainment and clothing brands
- Nine out of ten video shares happened on Facebook, which means users are sharing content outside the platform, too
- Peanuts’ Snoopygram was the most shared video on Instagram, which garnered 26,962 shares
- EA Sports’ FIFA 14 promo was the second most shared video, with 16,499 shares
- 14 out of the 20 top ten most shared Instagram videos are from Justin Bieber, three of which have garnered a total 522,029 shares collectively
It goes without saying that Instagram is a very lucrative platform when it comes to brand marketing and promotion.
So, how does your business get in on the action? What are these brands doing to get views and ratings for their content? How are they using their Instagram accounts? That’s exactly what we’re going to explore.
The social marketing team behind MTV’s account clearly knows how to work a crowd. Instead of blasting promotional videos all over Instagram, they are having users do the sharing for them.
In a recent video, the team promoted Katy Perry’s new album in a brilliant way. They offered a quick slideshow of her cover shots from the album along with a simple call to action. They asked followers to upload a photo of their best “Roar” face with a hashtag. Featured photos will be shared on covermoment.com, in collaboration with the Covergirl brand.
In other words, MTV is letting their followers push their content into the spotlight. The higher everything ranks, the more exposure they will get across the board. It’s an ingenious plan that everyone can learn from.
Small Brands Can Share in the Success
It’s not just about the major brands, because smaller names can be just as successful on the platform. Take the industrial sweeping company Sweeperland as an example. They could easily create a campaign by uploading videos of their products in action. Better yet, they could launch a campaign that shows before and after media — promoting just how clean everything looks when they’re done. In fact, a campaign using #SweepingDisasters as the hashtag, with images of dirty areas in need of cleaning, would do the trick.
Of course, that’s merely one example. There are so many different ways that the fifteen-second air time can be used. Let’s take a look at a couple more brands using the platform correctly.
Ben & Jerry’s
The renowned ice cream company uses their Instagram account to welcome fans into their community. Take a look at this great video that offers a behind-the-scenes glance at the ice cream making process at Ben & Jerry’s. Not only does it leave your mouth watering for some delicious ice cream, it also answers a few questions you have about how they make their products so scrumptious.
Videos like these offer an exclusive source of content for followers. This behind-the-scenes content keeps them interested and engaged, and, most importantly, it keeps them coming back for more. After watching that video, it’s hard to resist looking at some of the others they have shared. That’s exactly the point.
Marketing teams everywhere can learn a thing or two from Nike. Most teams believe campaigns can only be effective when they include gimmicky promotions and blatant advertisements. A quick glance at Nike’s successful Instagram account will show you that’s not always the case. Highlighting customer experience and emotion can be just as powerful when it comes to creating engagement.
The Nike Instagram account focuses on athletes, specifically on their success. By using an uplifting tone and subtle messages, Nike has accrued plenty of content shares.
Don’t Waste Time
It’s hard to argue with a user-base of more than 150 million. There are definitely some great opportunities on the platform, and as you can see above, there’s plenty of success to be had by brands and businesses. All it takes is an effective promotional strategy — and of course time — and your Instagram video content will end up in the spotlight. What are you waiting for?