What Every Company Needs To Know About Instagram Video

Vine's six-second clips are great for spit-takes--but Instagram video could actually be a game changer for brands. If they know how to use it right.

Hot on the heels of Twitter-owned video app Vine’s phenomenal success comes Instagram’s latest announcement that video is being introduced to their platform. Instagram is already hugely popular, with more than 130 million users, but Vine is currently more popular than Instagram for media sharing on Twitter… although all that is about to change.

Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012, is now set to redress the balance by adding the ability to record and share videos instantly to social media. Over 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours following the release of the feature: Instagram’s video function is an instant hit with users.

Instagram facts

  • 16 billion photos of Instagram have been shared
  • One billion Likes are logged every day
  • About 130 million people use Instagram
  • 67% of top brands are now using Instagram

Video on Instagram: what we need to know

  • There are 13 filters available to choose from to add mood and atmosphere to your video
  • You can add a static cover shot that serves as a thumbnail and/or title page
  • Recording time is 15 seconds versus Vine's 6-second clips
  • Users can record multiple clips in succession
  • There is a stabilizer feature to smooth out shakiness and make the product more polished and professional
  • The usual Instagram tagging works the same as with photos.

Now that Instagram has added the ability to record and share video directly from the platform to social media, the feature is already beating Vine in the battle to attract the biggest brands. The fact that Instagram is already heavily used by brands will help the new video feature’s quick adoption by companies looking for new ways to market products and connect with their followers. According to Mashable, videos shared by brands on Instagram have twice the level of engagement as Instagram photos and significantly higher engagement than videos on Vine.

What does this mean for brands?

The brands that are already using Instagram have been quick to test out the new video function. The 15-second recording facility will be a relief to companies who have struggled with Vine’s 6-second time limit, and it opens up greater possibilities for marketing ideas that need a little more space than Vine currently provides. Of course, having the mighty weight of Facebook’s billion users behind the sharing potential of Instagram will help to persuade brands new to Instagram to explore it.

The filtering capacity which has made its photos so instantly recognizable will be of great interest to brands wishing to use the video feature for creative marketing. Its users have already been delighted with how easy the photo filters are to use, so the potential for producing artistic video clips and then uploading them straight to followers will surely be hugely popular.
Brands have certainly been quick off the mark to upload their creative video offerings.

Burberry has been a keen Instagram user, with an impressive following of over 800,000 people. The Burberry Instagram video debut took us into the world of its Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show in London. The video gives the viewer a sense of anticipation of the show, with a subtle soundtrack and vintage feel. It is well shot and beautifully edited--and well received by fans, who heaped praise like “This is BEAUTIFUL. I wish I were there”, and “This video is inspiring!” Burberry is clearly an early master of the art of the 15-second Instagram video.

Lululemon’s “Every mat has a story to tell” video shows what is possible in 15 seconds with great editing. This wonderful sequence splices together a yoga routine shot in different locations to create a smooth progression with changing backgrounds, showing how the company’s exercise mat can be used anywhere. This video works as a slick but fun piece of marketing.

Charity: Water’s take on the format captures in 15 seconds the difference the charity is able to make in people’s lives. The video shows a woman called Sarpan Gamanga who “often used to spend four hours every day walking to get water from a nearby stream.” The 15 second clip is used to show the length of time it takes to fill a container and walk to her house now the charity have supplied water facilities by her home. By shooting it in real time the charity cleverly make the point of how quickly (within 15 seconds) the villagers can access their clean water supply.

Red Vines Candy might be a small company, but they are big adopters of social media technology. The company was one of the first to upload a video, which shows a series of clips showing how its licorice “makes the day sweet no matter where it takes you.” It’s a simple and low-key look at how Red Vines fits into your daily life.

Whether your brand is using Instagram video to make short, online commercials, show behind the scenes at your company, trail an upcoming product or explain how a product or service works in people’s everyday lives, this new feature is a welcome and inspirational addition to the social, sharing world.

[Base Image: Everett Collection via Shutterstock]

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