The purpose of this article is to teach you how to get started with Instagram video marketing and video creation in general.
It’s no secret that the demand for video content on Instagram is huge.
Year after year, the platform has experienced an 80% rise in user time spent on watching videos.
And from a marketing standpoint, 53% of marketers see Instagram videos as crucial to their strategies.
But despite these amazing statistics businesses struggle to get more video views.
Fortunately, there are proven methods backed by case studies and data that you can use to increase views on your Instagram videos.
Let’s have a look at them:
1. Use Relevant Hashtags
Instagram relies massively on the use of hashtags, and the type of hashtags you add to your videos can directly influence your views.
Attaching a clever, relevant hashtag to your visuals can be enough to motivate users to view the video.
The hashtag feature can even expand your reach and connect you to new people belonging to your target audience who are searching for content on the platform relevant to your brand.
You can also use hashtags to get in on trends by creating videos related to trending topics.
Such topics attract a lot of queries and can give your brand visibility quickly.
While only creating videos based on trending topics isn’t recommended, you can employ the method occasionally to boost video views.
Asides from visibility and views, here’s what Instagram data shows.
Posts with a minimum of 1 hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without any tags and in 2015, top posts from major brands had at least 2.5 hashtags for each post.
Take, for example, Zara’s successful #iamdenim video campaign.
The genius hashtag created a sense of authenticity for the brand’s videos for “real people for real people” collaborative design project by focusing on the individual wearing it not the product.
The outcome of this campaign was massive engagement rates inclusive of video views and an increase in follower count.
2. Description Optimization
Descriptions are particularly crucial to influence video views as the write-up can motivate people to watch your videos rather than just scrolling past them.
Here are some tested ways you can optimize video description to boost views:
- Make your description long enough to provoke user interest but not too long. Write it like how you would an article title. Numerous studies have however shown that there is no one-size-fits-all length for captions. You’ll need to study what works best for your target audience;
- Write the most compelling and intriguing content before the “see more” link if you have a long caption. And ensure you use line breaks to divide long captions into visually appealing sections;
- Include hashtags as seen above ;
- Tag/mention relevant members such as influencers as this can drastically increase your video visibility by approximately 56%. This influencer tag strategy was used by Tommy Hilfiger to increase its posts views by 27.4 million impressions after tagging relevant influencers to its content.
3. Set Scheduled Videos
Even though changes to the Instagram’s algorithm have altered when certain users see your posts, scheduling videos to be posted at particular periods you’ve identified as peak periods of your audience activity on the platform can greatly affect video performance.
Most engagements on Instagram content happen right after its posted, so knowing when your audience is active will help increase your views.
The specific time users will be active will vary based on who your target audience is and will differ from brand to brand.
For instance, one study showed that Monday was the best time to churn out content on Instagram while another study revealed Monday as the worst day to post content.
Despite these conflicting studies, there’s one consistency both studies agree on and it’s that posting in the evening and afternoon yields positive engagement results.
A great way to test for activity periods is to repost similar content at different times.
Then observe the time that has the highest level of engagement.
With careful observation, peak periods will be easy to identify.
4. Take Advantage of Instagram Video Ads
Instagram video ads aren’t free and they’ll cost you some cash but they are a great way to get quick video views.
If you have video content you want to raise awareness about, running a campaign for “video views” is a surefire way to attain the needed visibility.
Instagram ads use Facebook Ads pinpoint targeting system and will ensure that the views your video gets all come from your target audience.
The ad system of the platform is exceptionally effective and has been proved repeatedly by both top brands and startups.
There are many ways of personalizing videos, that are relevant to one of your audience groups. If you want to skyrocket your brand, it might be a good idea to consider hiring a web design company.
On LinkedIn, you can create even personalized videos, using adaptable fields like name or location – scraped from the LinkedIn profile.
One of such top brands is Lionsgate UK. The company proved the effect of running an Instagram video ad campaign for their movie “La La Land.”
Their ad resulted in a massive increase in movie viewing intent from the target audience as well as a rise in brand awareness.
5. Buy Video Views
Data shows that 53.4% of marketers state that Instagram videos are valuable to their strategies.
And this is partly because 70% of users on the platform watch Insta-stories daily.
However, getting the attention of these users is tough for most brands even though it doesn’t have to be.
With websites like iDigic, Instafollowers & Blastup, you can easily buy genuine video views.
Well, aside from being the quickest method, purchasing video views will make your videos more compelling, as other users will want to watch your content because high viewership means a lot of people found your post worthwhile.
Ad campaigns by top brands may be intimidating to small-medium scale businesses the results can still be replicated on the respective scales of brands.
Instagram has also had better engagement rates than other social media platforms, which solidifies the effects of video ads results.
6. Edit Your Videos on a Computer
iPhones and Android smartphones can capture high-resolution shots, but video editing mobile apps still lack certain features that video editing software provides.
Pre-editing your Instagram videos with video software will enable you to create visuals that have 1:1 aspect ratios, or add some stunning effects.
The videos will come out looking more professional because you can create smooth transitions between separate shots; add intros and a lot more!
Think about the importance of music in a video, the significance and impact it can have (affects 50% of the video experience).
Once you have chosen the right music, you can start editing: great video editing software you could use are apple’s final cut, Adobe premiere cut, Filmora, and iMovie amongst others.
If the budget allows, you can choose a video production company. Most companies didn’t have an unlimited budget but have successfully implemented video marketing in their campaigns.
The answer to how much a corporate video production project costs can be extremely vague because depends on many factors.
No matter the size of your budget or what your business does, marketing videos can work for you.
7. Include Behind the Scenes Videos
An intimate, authentic, and deeper look into something we appreciate and cherish can be an amazing experience.
That’s why your followers will find including “behind the scenes” video thrilling as it goes deeper than the surface, and scratches a curiosity itch. This ultimately makes your audience feel distinguished and special.
The New York Times played this card to its benefit when the brand took its fans behind the scenes at a dog show and gave followers a more satisfying view.
8. Take Advantage of Instagram Stories
Now at over 1 billion active users, video content has certainly been a major catalyst to the rapid growth that Instagram has experienced, as more than 500 million users use Instagram stories every day.
The snap-chat-like feature allows you to create video and photo sequences that disappear after 24 hours of being posted.
And for the myriads of business profiles on the social media network, that’s great news, because approximately 1 in 5 Instagram stories receives a direct message and when a prospect reaches out to your brand on the platform, that’s a lead.
So by creating compelling short videos via Instagram stories you can increase your video views and also compel users to inquire further about your brand.
9. Repost Videos
If you aren’t getting enough views on your Instagram videos, you could try reposting them.
Sometimes it isn’t that your videos or captions aren’t compelling enough but just that some of your followers missed out on the video when it was posted.
Creating and posting new content on your account is great, but occasionally you can take the time to recall the minds of your followers to awesome content you’ve once posted.
Every few months or monthly you’ll get new followers who may not have gone through all your videos, so reposting them is a great way to bring their attention to stellar content they missed.
A great time to use this method is during live events, talks, or meetups.
For instance, if you’re running an event or a member of your brand is giving a live talk at an event, that would be a brilliant time to repost your video content.
This is what Eventbrite has been doing for some time now with remarkable results.
Eventbrite reposts content (including videos) from Instagram users who attended their events alongside a hashtag #EBevents every time there’s some sort of program involving their brand.
Using this strategy the brand garners massive video views because the visuals are reposted at trendy periods when users are all about the brand and its event.
10. Have a Call to Action in Your Comments to Motivate Audience Interaction
Engaging your audience is marketing 101, regardless of how spectacular your video is if your target audience does not take a step to purchase products or get into the sales funnel then your video marketing efforts come to naught.
Adding a call to action in your video description will motivate and move viewers of your videos to engage with it, like posting a comment, navigating to your landing page, or any other relevant action you wish for them to take.
11. Connect Instagram to Your Other Social Media Accounts
Linking your Instagram account to your other social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can increase the number of views your videos get.
If you already have massive followings on other social media platforms, it’ll be a wise step to take advantage of it and link your Instagram account to them.
So that whenever you post a video, users on other platforms can also view and interact with it.
Your other social media profiles may have the same number of followers as your Instagram but the following is often made of completely different people.
Some of your followers on the other platforms may not be aware of your Instagram account, and will only be aware when you link your Instagram account to the other platforms.
You can also link your Instagram account to your website.
Everyone that visits your website and is interested in your brand will visit your page and view your videos when they see your Instagram account linked to your webpage to know more about your brand or have closer contact.
Videos help increase engagement and lead. If you are using video as a key part of your business marketing toolkit, you need to improve your video results.
Research even shows that 56% of Americans believe social media makes customer care easier to access.
Here’s an example with Dominos of how accessible you become to consumers:
12. Interact with Your Audience
Reply to questions in the comment section of videos you post, this will increase the attention of viewers on your content.
Interacting with your target audience is proof that you value them.
When they know you value them they will willingly engage with your videos and tag other people.
Also, take out time to like and comment on posts made by members of your target audience.
This will increase the awareness, recognition, and visibility of your Instagram account and lead to more views for your video.
13. Tag Brands
Another way of increasing your Instagram video views is to tag brands in your videos.
If you are using the product of a popular brand in your video or if you mention the brand in the video, ensure you tag them.
When you tag a brand, you gain access to their audience, their audience will see your video and proceed to follow you and engage with your posts.
If your video is very good and beneficial to the tagged brand, they may repost it.
14. Tag Locations in Your Videos
When you tag your location, your video will be visible to all who are searching for that location.
Data shows that posts with a tagged location have 79% more engagement than posts without a tagged location.
Location tagging should not just be restricted to when you are traveling; you can tag the location of your business as well.
You can also add a location sticker to the videos you upload on your Instagram stories.
For example, Dhariana Lozano tagged New York to her location like this:
And this was the result:
Her Story got added to the New York location Story which brought her 3X more views.
When viewers tap the sticker, it will redirect them to the search results page where they will be able to access your profile and view your other videos.
Tagging locations doesn’t just increase the views your videos get, it also increases the number of customers you get in your offline stores.
When people visit your business location and take pictures, they will be able to tag the location on the pictures or videos and as their friends within the same location see the post, they will be inclined to visit your location and do business with you.
15. Post at Peak Times
Peak times are times where most of your followers are online.
The engagement rate on any content posted on Instagram is higher when you post within the period that your target audience is active online.
The Instagram algorithm looks at how recent content is performed to decide what posts to display to viewers.
That is why recent videos will most likely rank high on the feeds of your audience.
Instagram algorithms also consider the engagement rates of every post when ranking it for users to see.
To ensure that the majority of your target audience engages with your content, you need to post at peak times.
Once the first round of engagement is solid, Instagram will display it to more people.
Peak time varies from brand to brand. The perfect peak time for one brand may be the worst for another brand.
You will have to discover what the peak posting time is for your specific audience.
Even though there is no general peak time, some studies suggest that posting from 10 am to 3 pm may yield more engagement.
Here’s an infographic from the study:
Finding the peak posting time for your target audience isn’t hard; you can use tools such as Squarelovin to know the time a large percentage of your target audience is online.
When you discover the time the largest percentage of your target audience is online you can begin posting your videos at that specific time.
If you are unable to adhere to this posting time, You can automate your posting using tools such as OnlyPult.
You need to try new posting times occasionally; this will enable you to know when there is a change in the peak posting time of your target audience.
If the new posting time generates more engagement than the peak time you are using, you can adopt the new time.
Instagram video marketing offers insane benefits for your brand but the right strategies must be implemented to harness the platform’s potential. Follow the tips in this guide and see your video views rise drastically.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.