How to Use Instagram Video in Your Marketing

You probably are already aware of the good marketing results some small businesses are getting by using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy.

Most often, businesses post pictures of their products to engage their customers and potential customers. Here I want to move away from the standard picture posting and talk a little about video.

Video is to online marketing what banner ads and photo galleries have been in earlier days. By now you may be using YouTube to post your company videos.  It’s certainly become a popular marketing and branding tool. But here I want to help you explore ways in which Instagram can become part of your video marketing strategy too.

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 next step…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:

Tease new products or services

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 neighbor, capture one of these moments. Or illustrate a harmless prank others might emulate. The ALS ice bucket challenge is a perfect example of how people enjoy being entertained.

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. (Dogs and babies are hits too.)

Give 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.

Try a Fiverr cartoon, animated graphic, whiteboard presentation:

Come up with an idea for an animation, head over to, 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.

Look forward to seeing you on the small screen!

Want more Instagram resources? Go to our new Instagram 101 page for advice on getting started, secrets to success, and plenty of great examples.

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.

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