Check out this 15-second video lululemon just launched on Instagram for a community event called #SeaWheeze. The video is polished yet simple and the soundtrack really makes it work. (Hit the arrow to play it.)
Augmenting the in-app video capability introduced in late June, Instagram has rolled out a way for us to upload 15-second videos that were shot and edited in other applications. Are brands excited? Why, yes, yes, they are. For one thing, Instagram has a huge user base (100 million+) and for another, lots of big-budget advertisers already have 15-second TV commercials on hand. The Dos Equis dude, for example, continues to find new ways to remind us in 15 seconds that we should stay thirsty, my friends.
But will it work to just plop existing TV ads onto Instagram? Nope. 1) TV ads look like TV ads and will bore Instagram audiences, and I believe “IG-ers” will feel the TV gorilla has invaded their quirky, private enclave. And 2), more importantly, this new medium opens an entirely new way for brands of all sizes to exhibit creativity and personality. “We’re excited to create content specifically geared for Instagram, and also share those must-see moments from our product-education videos and coverage of community events,” said Sarah Hearn, social-media manager at athletic clothing company lululemon. “Instagram is where our community stories come to life, and just like we consider a beautiful photo for Pinterest, now we have the space to think about video on a more consistent basis.”
Give the Flipagram app a whirl. It lets you make slideshow-style videos from your Instagram images and add a sound track. Above is a quick “flip” I made about our pooch, Rocky. While you can make longer videos and share them on Facebook, keep them to 15 seconds for Instagram or you won’t be able to upload them.
And don’t think about them as commercials; use the power of video to build personality. Shoot snippets of life at your organization like behind-the-scenes, tips, how-tos … these are all popular formats with visitors and bring in fun.
So how can you use squared-finished, short-form videos to market your organization? Jan at The Westlawn Inn could post quick interviews with her chef or musicians, or share how Bartender Will makes his awesome Cosmos. Kim, who works with the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation, could use videos in an anti-bullying campaign, and Lauren could use them to amp interest in an event at Pompano Citi Centre. Lisa could use them to show a time-lapse of one of her art projects, and Ginger could record a series of quick how-tos on getting your book published. I’ll definitely be using them this fall in our social media marketing at the UVa Women’s Center.
And remember, you aren’t necessarily launching a new Instagram platform that you have to groom, promote and maintain; you can post these videos on Instagram or YouTube and then embed them on your blog or social media channels. Here’s a pictorial post on how to make Instagram videos and here’s how to embed one on your website.
Have fun and let me know what you come up with!