Supercharge your Instagram with videos!
The perfect content to exploit on social media is video. Find out in the post how to create videos for Instagram!
Table of contents
On Instagram, the type of content that shows the best results in terms of communicative effectiveness, attraction, engagement, and ability to create interactions is undoubtedly video. So: how to make videos for Instagram? There is no one-size-fits-all answer or universal recipe. But there are some decisive best practices: start from a mobile-first perspective, offer value to users, make your video usable even without audio, focus on personalization e some more…
How many Instagram users are there around the world?
According to the most recent data available to us, over 1 billion…with unstoppable growth (source: backlinko.com).
And how old are they? This isn’t an easy question to answer, but according to the most reliable statistics, the largest slice is people between 25 and 34 years old (31.7% of the total); followed by those who are between 18 and 24 years old (30.2% of the total). We’re talking about the youngest segments of the population, therefore the most interesting ones, for those responsible for communication with an eye on the present and the future (source: statista.com).
You don’t have to take our word for it – we’ll look at the data in the next paragraph! Then, we’ll focus on how to make videos for Instagram, isolating the 7 best practices that we see as the most important and decisive.
Videos on Instagram – some telling data
As promised, let’s get right to the numbers, without much preamble:
- 91% of active Instagram users watch at least one video every week (source: martech.com).
- From 2013 to today, Instagram videos have increased by 80% every year (source: yumyumvideos.com).
- On this social network, video content has an engagement rate that is, on average, double that of all others (source: searchenginejournal.com).
- On average, Instagram videos generate twice as many comments as posts that only contain images (source: mention.com).
- As for sponsorships: sponsored videos generate three times as many comments as sponsored posts with only images (source: earthweb.com).
- At this point, it’s not surprising that 73% of brands and companies on Instagram post at least one video per week (in different formats, which we will focus on later in this post) (blog.hootsuite.com).
In short, we could go on and on, but the data would continue in the same direction: video is certainly the king of content on Instagram in terms of reach, growth, communicative effectiveness, and ability to generate engagement.
Now, then, to the question at the heart of this post: how to make videos for Instagram? The answer lies in these 7 best practices starting, however, with a premise.
A foreword – the 4 types of videos for Instagram
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the 4 types of videos that are supported by Instagram:
1) Instagram Stories
We’re all familiar with these types of videos, so we won’t dwell on it further than a short explanation. These are videos of 15 seconds at most, which disappear after 24 hours, inspired by Snapchat.
Pay attention to this, though: you can include direct links in Stories, and this translates into generating links and conversions. Case in point: 50% of Instagram users who visited a brand’s website did so from a direct Stories link (source: business.instagram.com).
2) Video feed
This format was introduced in 2021, replacing IGTV. Here, videos up to 60 minutes long can be uploaded, with many in-depth possibilities.
3) Live videos
This format has been hugely popular, especially in the emergency phases triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s one that will continue to be successful. Live videos also always record a high rate of engagement and interactions.
Instagram Reels are 15 to 30 second clips that came about in the wake of the great success of TikTok, especially among younger segments of users. So, what is the best format for video marketing on Instagram?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer: it depends on your goals, your identity, and your target audience. The best thing is always to know how to combine all these elements in your strategy, in a smart and functional way.
7 best practices in making Instagram videos
And now, as promised, here are the 7 best practices for those who want be successful in making Instagram videos.
1. Mobile first
Let’s start with an almost obvious point: if we talk about how to make videos for Instagram, the perspective must be mobile-first.
This is for the very simple and intuitive reason that the vast majority of users access this social network, precisely, via mobile.
A practical tip: when creating your videos, always start from the vertical format (the one most suitable for smartphones). For longer videos, however, the best format is always horizontal.
2. Offer value
From something more technical and intuitive, we now move to a more general but absolutely decisive aspect.
The digital world – especially the world of social networks – is an ecosystem where we are all constantly bombarded with stimuli. So, our attention is an extremely valuable commodity. And if we decide to invest our time (a few seconds or a few hours) viewing videos, we want that time to be valuable.
We don’t want to be treated only as “consumers” to be directed to immediately purchase a product or service. We want to be informed, entertained, and urged to learn something new. We want, in short, to receive added value.
When a brand becomes aware of all this, the increase in views, engagement, and interactions is almost a natural consequence.
3. Start with a strong hook
We already pointed it out in the point above: the great challenge of digital communication, and therefore also of video marketing on social media, is to gain attention.
A now-famous study conducted by Microsoft showed how online users, on average, end up losing attention after just 8 seconds (source: time.com).
And this very short period of time is decisive when reasoning about how to make videos for Instagram. In these few seconds, the user decides whether to continue viewing (until they get to the eventual call to action), or to move on to something else. What is needed, then?
Again, there is no universal recipe. It depends on identity, the goals of the video, the target audience. But there are some elements that certainly work: direct questions to the viewer. “Likes” that create suspense and anticipation. Callbacks to current events. Provocations and surprising opening words.
4. Pay attention to audio…even if silent
Another specific but decisive aspect concerns the audio of Instagram videos. Here, we have a very direct suggestion: the absolute necessity is to make the message understandable even when it is “silent”. In short, if there is someone speaking, you must include subtitles as well.
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting this aspect. In fact, according to a Verizon survey of the American public, 93% of people prefer to watch social media videos without sound on their mobile devices (source: nexttv.com).
And now to the last three best practices on how to make videos for Instagram: these are the most important.
5. Schedule, and schedule on a regular basis
Let’s open this point with a basic premise: each video is part of a larger marketing campaign, which in turn fits into the strategies and image of a product (or service) and the brand itself.
It’s all about planning everything down to the smallest detail. Goals, market surveys, target audience research, competitor analysis, ideation, budget distribution; and – finally – analysis of results (which we will return to later). And, last but not least, the timetable.
It’s about moving well in advance, aiming for regular posting frequency. It is something that is rewarded both by the algorithm and by users who, in the best case scenario, will end up including viewing your videos among their regular habits.
One specification, though: having a defined publishing schedule is a must. But don’t turn this scheme into a cage: maintaining a good degree of flexibility in planning is crucial to get a grip on current events, riding on new trends and changes in sentiment that can also be sudden.
6. Embrace personalization
Here, we get into the most promising area in the present and the future: personalization. But what are we talking about?
It’s about applying one of the oldest secrets of communication to video marketing on Instagram. Which one? Knowing the target audience to tailor messages to their characteristics.
Today, it’s possible to do all of this through the analysis and interpretation of user data.
This information shapes a very detailed snapshot of one’s audience, which can then be segmented into increasingly specific micro-targets. This is the data-driven video marketing revolution!
But there is an even more advanced frontier, that of personalized videos, which can be made by relying on specialized platforms such as Babelee.
We are talking about videos built based on the characteristics of individual recipients, which can be distributed through a wide variety of channels!
7. Finally, recalibrate
Data analysis is essential to know your target audience or, better, your targets: and model your communications on them, even to the point of personalization.
But that’s not all: data also tells us a great deal about the results of a video campaign, whether small and large. They tell you what worked and what didn’t. They point out weaknesses and strengths. In short, they point in the direction to continually recalibrate one’s messages and strategies.
Because when it comes to how to make videos for Instagram, you have to be aware that there is no perfect video. But every video can be continuously improved.
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