Think about the popularity of video content over time. From the first silent film of the early 20th century to the advent of virtual reality, video content has reigned supreme over all other forms of media. Given its spectacular evolution, it comes as no surprise that video content still remains the most popular art form.
But video isn't just for entertainment - it can also boost your brand awareness and earn you some new customers in the process.
How Video Content Drives Business
In the United States alone, more than 70 million people
watch videos every day. Video content accounts for almost 75% of all online traffic. Spending on video content marketing has increased four-fold, from $2 billion in 2011 to $8 billion in 2016.
It didn't take long for Instagram to catch on to the trend back in 2013, when they introduced 15-second videos for the first time. The limit is now 60 seconds. Last year, Instagram added a new feature for video posts. Now you can see how many people have viewed a video, which can give you an idea of how effective your content is.
Here are just a few things Instagram video can do for your business.
Boost your website traffic by up to 55%.
Embedded video content has the potential to increase your site traffic by more than half. Add a video to your landing page, and you have an 80% higher chance of converting first-time visitors. If video content performs so well for your website, there's no doubt it will perform well on Instagram, too.
Make your business appear more trustworthy.
Video customer testimonials are more effective than text testimonials. Why? The viewer can physically see the person and identify with them. Anyone can write a 5 star product review. In fact, businesses pay petty cash for them all the time. It's much harder for someone to fake a video testimonial.
Instill confidence in your viewers.
The most successful businesses today are so big that it's hard to fathom. Some have several million employees. That's why it's refreshing when a business owner makes a video where they're just talking to the camera. If you're a business owner, you should have at least one video where you introduce yourself to your customers and discuss what your business is about and what you hope to achieve. Showing your Instagram followers the face behind the logo is important for building brand awareness.
Tips for Creating Effective Video Content
If you're a business on Instagram, you probably already have an Instagram for Business
account. (And if you don't, you need to upgrade. Otherwise, you won't know as much about your post reach or the demographics of your Instagram audience.)
Once you've upgraded, you're ready to start posting quality video content. Here are some tips for creating video content that attracts new customers, retains existing ones, and promotes your brand.
Use a quality camera.
These days, most smartphones have decent quality cameras, and are a lot more user-friendly compared to their Canon counterparts. If you don't have a good camera, or don't have the time to learn how to use one, consider hiring a professional videographer to record your video content. It'll cost you a pretty penny, but it will save you some time and effort.
Keep it short.
If you're posting it on Instagram, it has to be short - less than 60 seconds, actually. We're living in a society full of distractions, you need to get - and keep - a potential customer's attention within the first five seconds of your video. Don't make it feel like a stuffy, staged advertisement. There are enough of those in the world already.
Create a schedule.
Find a good balance between video and photo content. Photo content is quicker to create and easier to post, but you shouldn't skimp on the video content for those reasons. Create a regular schedule for posting videos. After all, delivering fresh, consistent content to your followers is key for boosting your brand.
Figure out your own style.
Just like everything else you post, your video content should stay true to your brand. Try to find topics that reiterate the message you want your brand to send. Don't forget to add your logo to the beginning of your video.
Optimize it for mobile.
Nearly half of all video content on the web is viewed on a mobile device. Even though Instagram is optimized for mobile, chances are you'll be cross promoting your video on your other social networks, too. That's why it's important to have a high-quality camera and good video editor.
Be genuine, and don't hard-sell.
Your video content should show your followers how your product or service can benefit them. No one wants to watch a video where someone is practically screaming at them to buy something. Studies show that hard-selling is an ineffective marketing tactic because it's aggressive and intimidates potential customers. Just be authentic.
Provide a demonstration.
Even if your product is easy to use, you should create a demo video showing your customers how it works. Not only will this provide customer support for your existing customers, but it also increases your conversion rates. Customers are four times more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it. Demo videos can also double your conversion rate. People who watch product demos are almost twice as likely to purchase the product compared to those who don't watch.
Promote your video with paid ads.
With an Instagram for Business account, you can pay to promote certain posts. You should sponsor at least one of your videos - ideally your best one - to maximize the post reach and gain new followers. And keep in mind that live video is considered exclusive content, so make sure to plan some live-streamed content every now and then for maximum effectiveness.
Almost a century after it was first invented, video content is still king. It's also an effective marketing strategy, and has been since the early 1940s. Statistics show that our love affair with video content will last a long while yet. If you're a business on Instagram, you need to take advantage of that. After all, what business owner wouldn't want to increase their site traffic and gain new followers and customers?