Once upon a time, Andy Warhol declared that in the future, everyone would have 15 minutes of fame.
Well, I'm not sure about 15 minutes, but Instagram seems to have figured out a way for anyone to increase their brand's exposure, 15 seconds at a time.
In case you missed it, Instagram has added videos to its offerings (called Video, perfectly enough). And in true Instagram style, once you've taken your video, you can then apply one of their filters to give it an artistic, professional appearance. You can also splice several segments and use a stabilizer to smooth out any shakiness. And in a pretty cool move, you even get control over which frame from your video becomes its cover image on Instagram.
This is fantastic news for brands of all sizes. Without adding a whole new platform to master and schedule(*whew* and thank you, Instagram!), it adds some pretty impressive new marketing tools to the toolboxes of social media marketers.
How can you use Instagram to leverage your brand's 15 seconds of fame most effectively?
#1 – Use a hashtag
A hashtag is a way to tag your content so people looking for that kind of content can find it more easily. For example, a keyword that is only a word long could be a great hashtag. You could ask your followers to post images related to your product or service and to mark them with a hashtag to keep them all together. You might even make a contest out of it. Using hashtags strategically in Instagram is especially helpful now that Facebook is incorporating hashtags into its service as well.
#2 – Put some thought into your video
Recording anything is just too easy – and it won't help your brand stand out in a positive way that invites people to like your content and engage with you.
Using Instagram effectively requires you to know your brand well. Know your story, your values, and what's important to you as a brand. More than just showing off your products, it's your story that needs to be told in those 15 seconds that are yours courtesy of Instagram Video.
#3 – Narrow your focus
It's easy to think of a video as telling a story – but maybe that's not the ideal way to use Instagram video for your brand. Perhaps the opposite approach – zooming in on a detail of your business – might tell your story in a more innovative way. Maybe there's a detail of manufacturing that is interesting or has artistic value. Look at your business operations from a different perspective – who knows what you might discover!
#4 – Keep it simple
It's easy to get spooked by incorporating video if you're convinced it has to be difficult. Sometimes the best videos are the simplest. Write your message on a piece of paper and record it, frame by frame, connecting them to make an eye catching video. You don't have to have a bunch of technological tricks to look good on Instagram . In fact, given its artistic style – it's probably better if you don't make an Instagram video too slick and over produced!
Have you discovered any brands using Instagram videos well? Link to them in the comments so we can all learn from their examples.