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Ever since the invention of moving pictures in the late 1800s, video has enthralled audiences. It’s no wonder that, more than a century later, viewers are hungrily consuming videos in their newest habitat: social media. 

Video has been gaining steam on social media platforms in the last few years as more services expand their video options. A platform like Instagram began as a photo-centric app, and it has evolved to incorporate various video types. 

As of 2020, Instagram reports that more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile a day. That makes Instagram an essential platform to build your following and your business. 

You don’t have to be an experienced videographer to benefit from using Instagram video. Anyone can learn the basics — all you need is creativity. With the right Instagram video ideas, you can engage your audience and boost your eCommerce store. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should use Instagram video
  • What makes video attractive to users 
  • The different kinds of videos offered on Instagram 
  • Instagram video ideas 
  • Extra tips to make your videos better 

Why You Should Use Instagram Video 

While YouTube is still the primary video hub on the internet, other social media platforms have jumped on the bandwagon in the last few years. Mark Zuckerberg even called video a megatrend in 2017. 

In their 2020 “Not Another State of Marketing Report” HubSpot found that video was the primary form of media used in content strategy. Statista reported users spent roughly 50% of their time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter watching videos in 2019. 

Moreover, brands are also seeing higher engagement on their video posts. 

On Instagram specifically: 

Your business can get ahead of the curve and reap the benefits of adding Instagram video to your marketing strategy

What Makes Videos Appealing?

Instagram video ideas are wide-ranging. Videos can attract customers with in-depth storytelling or compelling graphics. Done right, they can be bite-sized pieces of entertainment that are funny, thought-provoking, visually stimulating, or adorable. 

Think of the success of Buzzfeed’s cooking brand Tasty. There’s something so soothing about watching a simple, sped-up video of hands making a chocolate, peanut butter lava cake. 

Tasty’s popularity has taken off, with videos amassing billions of views and diversifying into product lines and cookbooks. 

Moreover, a video is more interactive than a still photo. It helps a brand display its products in action. 

GoPro uses Instagram product videos to celebrate its brand and show its camera’s potential.

Videos do the heavy lifting for a user. In the time it takes to read a product description, a user can watch a 15-second video that is more likely to help them understand the product better. 

Compared to stand-alone imagery, video also allows for deeper story-telling. Instagram video ideas can include a post explaining your mission statement or another highlighting your passion projects. 

Dove uses Instagram videos to showcase its work with the Boys and Girls Club of America and initiatives like The Dove Self-Esteem Project.

Options for Instagram Video 

  • In-feed
  • Advertisements
  • Stories
  • Live
  • IGTV
  • Reels 

Instagram has multiple options for videos, and it is continuing to add more. In August 2020, it announced Instagram Reels to compete with the growing success of Tik Tok.

Each video type varies in length, time on profile, orientation, size, and features. In-feed videos stay on your profile, while Stories disappear after 24 hours. At publication, videos can last from one second up to 60 minutes. 

It can seem overwhelming, but choosing the right video is about your goals. Depending on what makes sense for your company, you can have multiple Instagram Live video ideas but never bother with Stories. 

If you want to create lasting, beautiful content, then doing a video post on your feed will achieve that goal. If you want to share a snippet of your day, a story will do just that. Or maybe you want to connect with viewers in real-time, so doing a live stream is the best choice. 

Don’t be afraid to play around and see what suits your e-commerce store best. 

Instagram Video Ideas

  • How-to videos or product showcases
  • Storytelling or interviews
  • Customer-centered content
  • Personality building content
  • Listicles
  • Behind the scenes videos
  • Special announcements or product launches 
  • Event live-streams or videos

People get easily intimidated by video. But if it moves or makes sound, then you can make it into a video. 

Instagram video ideas don’t need to start at square one. See what your top-performing content is, and brainstorm ways to make it into a video. You can expand on any photo or turn any blog post into a video. Get creative, and remember: If you’re having fun, then your audience will too. 

Make Your Video Informational 

Use video as an opportunity to show how your product works or what problems your product can solve. Plus, how-to video tutorials are the most popular videos on Instagram. 

Video allows you to show off what your product is capable of with just a little imagination. Brainstorm creative Instagram video ad ideas that will inspire your customers.

Use Instagram product videos to help your products come to life. 

Tell a Story in Your Video 

Every business has a story, whether it’s how you created your company or how your product has helped people. You can also interview your employees or do a Q&A about your company. 

Social media is meant to connect people, and stories help form that connection. Relate to your customers, and let them get to know you better. 

Create Customer-Centered Videos

You can also get customers involved in your Instagram videos. User-generated content is a great way to engage your customers and cultivate content for your social media. 

Testimonials can also showcase your company’s biggest fans, who can help convert more users.

Use a Video to Show Off Your Personality

Let your followers know what sets you apart from the rest. Instagram videos give you a chance to show your company’s personality. This will help humanize your brand and attract like-minded customers who will appreciate your offerings.

Even with the best Instagram video ideas, if you lack personality, users might not be back. 

Show What Happens Behind the Scenes 

People love to get behind-the-scenes insights into how companies operate. Peel back the curtain and give your users a look into how the sausage gets made.

Make Video Lists 

Don’t forget, videos can also be graphics. Posting a listicle in a video saves your users the time of clicking through a series of images. Listicles are a fun, easy way to make a video your customers will appreciate. 

Highlight or Live-Stream Your Events

Not every person can go to your events, even if they want to. Use social media to keep your audience engaged with videos from your events. You can even live-stream to make users feel like they’re there.

Use Video to Make Special Announcements or Launch Products

Don’t limit your big moments to a single photo. Hype up your announcements with a video product launch or breaking news for your business. 

Tips to Make Great Video Content

Once you choose your Instagram video idea, here are a few more suggestions to optimize your content. 

Choose a Compelling Thumbnail Photo 

Remember to select a still photo that will make your video attractive for users to watch. If this video will be in your feed, choose a picture that will blend well with your other posts. Avoid any blurry images or unattractive, mid-sentence screengrabs.

Make Your Videos Shoppable 

Your ultimate goal is to sell products, so make sure your posts are shoppable

If you’re showing off your products, ensure users have an easy way to buy. The more accessible a “buy now” link is, the more likely you’ll make the sale. 

Add Video Captions and Text

It’s best practice to make videos generally more accessible. But, captions are useful in situations where it’s better to have the sound off, like waiting in line at the grocery store or watching a video in your office. 

In 2019, Verizon Media found that 80% of people who use captions are not deaf or hard of hearing. The same report found that 80% of users will watch a video to the end if captioned. So do yourself a favor and take that extra step! 

Watch the Speed and Length of Your Videos 

The sped-up tutorial is all the rage, from crafting and cooking to restoration and building. A video in real-time might seem like a snail’s pace to your viewers. This isn’t a set-in-stone standard, but something to keep in mind.

Also, be aware of video lengths. Track which videos have more views, and play around with the ideal duration that will entice your audience.  

Add Interactive Elements in Your Video

Instagram lets you add various stickers to your videos, including questions, polls, and GIFs. Facebook found an 83% increase in engagement on posts that used stickers.  

If you ask your audience a direct question, it gets them more involved in your profile. 

Instagram videos can be a lucrative marketing option for businesses. Video gives companies a chance to show their personality and post entertaining content for their customers. 

While there are many options for Instagram videos to post, the right kind depends on your company’s personal goals. Choose your favorite Instagram video ideas, like a tutorial or Q&A, and see how video can help your company grow. 
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