Instagram is a valuable marketing platform for small businesses, as it has more than 500 million users who access the site daily. However, if you’re only posting pictures on Instagram, you’re missing out on potential engagement.
Sprout Social explains that Instagram videos typically receive 38 percent more engagement and twice as many comments as photos. To capitalize on this interest, you may want to learn how to make branded videos for Instagram, which will help engage your fans and increase your marketing reach beyond your blog or website.
As with any type of content, you’ll get better results with Instagram videos with the right strategy in place. Before you start filming, consider what type of videos your audience would like to see. If you’re not sure, try posting an Instagram story and having fans vote in a poll.
Some common types of Instagram videos include:
- Product features: Show off items in your online store and how they’re used.
- Sneak peek: Do you have new merchandise on the way? A big conference coming up? Tease the announcement with a video.
- Behind the scenes: Give your fans a look into your day-to-day activities, then link to a post on your blog so they can learn more.
- Tutorials: Teach your fans a new skill, like how to decorate a cake or teach their dog a trick. Then, direct them to your website for more of your expertise.
You don’t have to be a videographer to post great clips on Instagram, but you do need to understand the basic technical requirements. Video posts on Instagram should be:
- Three to 60 seconds long
- MP4 format
- Portrait: 4:5 aspect ratio
- Landscape: 1.91:1 aspect ratio
Because most phones don’t automatically film in these ratios, you may need to use an editing app, such as Filmr, to make them the optimal size. Keep this in mind while you’re filming as the edges of your shot may have to be cropped out, so you’ll want to keep important content toward the center of the frame.
When it comes time to filming your video, there are a few video best practices you’ll want to follow.
1. Keep it steady and focused
Even if you have steady hands, it’s best to anchor your phone (or video camera) to avoid shaking. You can use a tripod or camera mount, or you can prop your phone up on something. Just make sure it’s secure — otherwise it may slip while you’re filming.
Ensure that your shot is focused as well. If you’re filming on a smartphone, tap the part of the screen that you want to be in focus, and monitor the clip to ensure your subject stays sharp.
2. Light it up
If you have a tight budget, your best lighting option is natural light. Plan to film outside or in a room with a lot of windows to ensure that your video is well-lit. The best times to film are overcast days, when there won’t be any harsh shadows, or the “Golden Hour,” the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset when daylight is soft.
However, you can also set up a DIY lighting kit for relatively cheap. Wistia has a comprehensive guide on how to create your own video lighting setup using inexpensive items from Amazon and Home Depot.
3. Consider audio
If you’re filming a tutorial or other clip where audio is important, you’ll want to film in a quiet space with no background noise.
Many experts recommend using an external microphone if you’re putting audio in videos, as smartphone audio isn’t the best. This might be something to consider if you continue using branded videos for Instagram as part of your marketing strategy.
Use Instagram to your advantage with the tips above to help grow your following and promote your brand with video content.
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