The rise in video marketing has been authenticated: Instagram rolled out a new video feature on June 20 to accolades, and businesses are taking notice. As consumer behavior changes, brands are adapting their digital strategies to account for the huge growth in video watching on the part of consumers.
Instagram’s new feature
Instagram’s wildly successful picture-taking app introduced a video-taking and sharing feature to rival the industry leader, Vine. In its first day, Instagram reported 5 million video uploads, a staggering number even in light of their existing customer base of over 100 million users.
In light of Instagram’s success with video, the big question for marketers is not whether Instagram will outpace Vine, but rather, the “right” question is, does your client’s budget allow for video marketing?
Marketers need to consider the impact that Instagram’s move towards video has for businesses, and in particular, video marketing. Marketers and their clients who dismiss the importance of recreational apps may discredit the need for video—and even Instagram—thinking that homegrown video won’t have an effect on revenue—or even content strategy for that matter.
Savvy professionals, however, see that the rise in video—even heavily shared videos of cute cats and rising-star wannabes—has an effect on a business’ interaction with consumers, as well as consumer behavior.
Instagram and video
Take a look at the Instagram video features. Instagram:
- Allows users to take videos that are 15 seconds in length.
- Offers editing tools.
- Includes a stabilization tool that allows users to create professional-looking videos.
Some businesses have already adopted the tool, including brands like GE, eBay, the Gap, Jeep and Burberry, along with numerous celebrities—evidence that Instagram video is a useful component of a social media strategy. It also offers proof of consumers’ ever-growing interest in online video.
What it all means for business and strategy
Should businesses adopt a video strategy, whether that means employing Instagram or professional video-marketing tools? Experts generally believe that video on Instagram has the potential to affect the future of business video marketing. Here’s how:
- Engagement – With its 130 million users, Instagram offers businesses access to a considerable user base. By comparison, businesses that use Vine access a community of 13 million users. In general, marketers should note the success of video-sharing apps, and consider how that affects consumer engagement with brands.
- Viral capacity – A review of already successful videos shows why videos are ripe for sharing and going viral. For example, Hubspot declared Corning’s “A Day Made of Glass” the best B2B viral video, scoring over 22 million views. In essence, the video tells a meaningful story, while instructing viewers about the product’s benefits.
- Consumer behavior – Instagram’s evolution from pictures to video reveals how consumer demand is influencing the market. More people are viewing videos on mobile devices and computers, and watchful marketers will incorporate business video into their social media and marketing mix, giving video the attention it deserves.
- Traffic – Video on Instagram can direct consumers to longer videos on a website, free reports, or a landing page, attracting more visitors and potential customers.
The new standard
The buzz around Instagram’s video feature has the potential to take the industry by storm. Global digital and social media director Rachel Tipograph of Gap is excited about the engagement factor that video on Instagram presents, since Instagram videos will also post on Facebook, its parent company, with the potential to reach Facebook’s 1 billion + users. Evidence of higher social sharing is already cropping up, with Simply Measured reporting that Instagram videos show double the number of shares as Instagram photos, and “significantly higher” engagement compared to Vine videos.
Putting it together
Marketers should study how bite-sized videos shared on platforms like Instagram can integrate into broader video strategies, and become a part of a comprehensive content marketing plan. Certainly, businesses that utilize Instagram may run the risk of getting lost in the “noise” of the thousands of shared videos; however, opting not to harness video, which can increase brand awareness and consumer engagement, puts businesses at risk of becoming obsolete—or at the least, not being heard.