Instagram, a powerful weapon to promote your videos and VOD projects
Instagram is one of the most popular platforms of our time. It allows you to promote your company, your project, through short videos (excerpts, trailers …) or photos (posters, backstage …). This social network is a very effective promotion channel. Also, easy to federate your audience around a content marketing strategy, and very simple to set up. In a study conducted by Instagram [#], the time spent watching videos on the platform has increased by more than 40% (2016), and that’s was at the time when IG’s “stories” was not as popular as now (ephemeral photos and videos).
If you are still hesitating to start on Instagram, this article will present you the right tricks to boost your video content, and hopefully will change your mind !
Let’s start with some figures
Instagram in the world is :
- 600 million active users per month
- 400 million active users per day
- 95 million photos and videos posted per day
- 4.3 billion ❤️️ generated per day
The strength of the American company is based on its powerful network of users and its notoriety, ranking it well above competitors like Snapchat for example. We can also think that its purchase by Facebook helps it prosper… Note that on Instagram, the big brands get an involvement rate 58 times higher than on Facebook, and 120 times more important than on Twitter. The potential market is therefore not negligible for your business.
HOW TO START PROMOTING your VIDEOS / VOD & SVOD offers on Instagram
To create an account, it’s easy as ABC ! Simply download the application on your mobile / tablet and choose your username and password. Try to choose a simple name related to your working field (the name of your movie, your channel …). Pimp your profile with a photo (can be your logo) and write a small biography (less than 150 characters) with a link to your website or your OKAST platform. The biography is the only place where it is possible to have a clickable link !
>> HAVE A BLASTING BIO
+ Be concise but impacting. Use attractive terms like “Share our INSPIRING videos”, “Download our FREE guides to boost your incomes” etc…
+ Identify your followers (acquired or future). Using the example above, “to boost your incomes” means that you are offering a VOD / SVOD offer.
+ Boost your audience with well-chosen calls to action “Get a 50% discount”.
+ Emojis. 🎥 👉🏻 Yes it is a simple way to quickly catch the eye on your bio ;)
+ A link to your main platform. This link can be shortened if necessary on websites such as BITLY. But you can also put your e-mail address or your username for whatever social networks you’re on, to maximize your followers’ engagement.
[BONUS] Liktree : optimizes your traffic by creating CTAs directly linked to your account. So, in a single link found in your bio, your followers can directly find all your social networks, online shop or your OKAST platform for example ! You can also see how many times the links have been clicked and customize the color of your CTAs (all that within the free version).
WHY USING VIDEO ON INSTAGRAM ?
52% of marketing professionals believe that video is the type of content with the best ROI (Return on Investment). Indeed, it helps to develop a certain confidence and proximity with your customers. Why ? Instagram is suitable for short formats (up to 1 minute) and allows you to highlight the true values of your company, offers exclusive content to your customers or gives a more friendly view of your activity (behind the scenes, team meeting …). Do not hesitate to show the human side of the company. The more your community sticks to your posts, the more they will want to commit to your projects (and therefore to buy them). Thus, 64% of consumers tend to buy / rent a product or service online after seeing a video of it. What’s more, adding a video to an existing campaign generates more positive spin-offs than if it were only photos.
So, you understood that videos on Instagram are a cash cow to increase your ROI :)
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO CONTENT ?
Be creative : Instagram directly starts videos on your followers’ newsfeed. You must catch their attention in the first 3–5 seconds of the video. This can result in an attractive title and an original video thumbnail. It is also wise to keep the corporate identity used on your website or OKAST platform so the customer easily identifies your business.
Do not bet only on the sound of your video : although it will automatically start, the user has to press play to have sound. If you have a message to deliver, think about subtitles !
Generate “stories” : willing to counter his growing opponent -Snapchat, Instagram now offers ephemeral contents. This new feature makes possible the balance between “too many or not enough posts” (you still have to publish with moderation ;) ). In this way, you remain active without becoming too invasive in your followers’ environment.
SMALL BUT USEFUL TOOLS TO GENERATE VIDEOS :
- Boomerang : between a GIF and a photo, it generates mini-videos of approximately 1 second that are read in one direction then the other (yes, boomerang, captain obvious) in a loop. [Available on the App Store and Google Play]
- Hyperlapse : allows to create time-lapses (accelerated videos) directly thanks to your phone. You can choose a filter for your video, accelerate it up to 12 times its initial speed and add a little background music. [Only on the App Store]
WIN MORE FOLLOWERS
Think about your publishing strategy. It is important to keep a certain coherence in the sequencing of your posts, but it is up to you to develop your own strategy (frequency of posting, colors, etc.). Reposting some of your clients’ publications is also an idea not to be ignored, since this will inevitably increase your followers’ involvement. Doll up your contents (visuals and captions) by inserting calls to action that will dictate exactly to your followers what you want them to do. For example : “copy and paste this link into your browser” or “double tap if you agree”. A ton of catchy phrases can be used to generate likes, comments or shares. The more you work on your images and your caption (containing calls to action), the more your followers will be engaged.
# Follow strategically. Your first baby steps on the platform are to follow people in the same environment as yours : influencers, actors, directors, even your competitor ;) . In 30% of cases, when we follow someone on Instagram, the person follows you back. Be careful not to follow too many people at once, especially if you unfollow them right after, Instagram does not like it :( . There are websites able to identify for you the best influencers, such as Buzzsumo (Charged) or Launchmetrics (Charged). However, a good hunt on social networks or on the Internet can be just as effective ! Time consuming, certainly, but free ! Don’t hesitate to contact them because sometimes they can help you without necessarily waiting for something in return !
# Use the right hashtags : this step is essential to optimize how your contents can be discovered. Indeed, your content will be pushed to the right people helping you gain followers. Use only “#” related to your sector, your company and your target audience. The abuse of popular hashtags unrelated to your publications will make you a spammer.
. Create your own hashtag associated to your company or project. In this way, your followers will easily spot you in the crowd.
. Spy on your competitors’ hashtags (see if you can use them or if you choose a more offensive technique instead)
. Identify influencers in your area and use their expertise !
. Dig into the hashtags working for you (by clicking on them), you will find inspiration by exploring them ! You will also be able to check if the term was matching your thoughts (we have surprises sometimes …).
. Instagram Gurus say that 7 is the most profitable number of hashtags in term of interaction. Even if the maximum allowed is 30 #, it is not recommended to abuse ! You can build up a large list of keywords, in which you can pick some and update it with the trending words.
# Link your Instagram account to your different social networks : you will find more easily your fans on other platforms you belong to !
# Give discounts on subscriptions, coupons or free tickets for the première of your movie. Two options are available for you:
_ Write discount codes directly on a photo, by also adding them in the caption.
_ Organize contests by pairing with influencers of your activity so that they also share the competition on their profiles. Impacts ? Double visibility, word of mouth, additional traffic generated, but especially important gain of followers. The simple and effective rule is based on the formula: “Follow @YourCompany + @YourPartner and identify at least XXX friends in comments”. Be careful, your contest shouldn’t last more than 2–3 days.
INSTAGRAM AND ITS ALGORITHM
Yes algorithms govern our World. Well at least our social networks. Let’s try to break the code of Instagram’s, and put your video projects under the spotlight. Just keep in mind that this algorithm works in two ways. The first part will be applicable to your thread composed of the people you follow (and sometimes, sponsored content). The second one will be the “explore” tab of the application and will put you on the top of it, if you follow our advices.
# 1 COMMITMENT -> POPULARITY OF THE POST
The different types of engagement are based on likes, comments, number of views of your videos but also the shares in private messages.
The more a publication is liked, the better it will be ranked on your Instagram newsfeed and will also be offered to third parties who may be interested. So do not hesitate to share your contents to your loved ones in private messages, or to like them with your personal account. A little help from your family-friends is important in your first steps on Instagram. It will give you credibility when you start publishing your first content. These new subscribers are also free followers, also energy-taken free. To generate commitment from your fans, comment back, like their publications from time to time, subscribe to accounts that Instagram suggests to you … In short, be active !
# 2 RELEVANCY -> CONTENTS YOU’RE INTERESTED IN OR YOU INTERACTED WITH
The publications appearing on your thread will be highly correlated with your interests, the relationship with the person who publishes and the date of publication of the photo / video. So if you’re going to like or comment on videos from the same sector as yours, the algorithm will push your content to people interested in the common theme in the explore tab. Smooth !
# 3 RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS -> FREQUENCY OF INTERACTION
When you interact a lot with a profile you follow, its publications will often be placed first. So you’re better able to see the content of your best friends appearing first in your Instagram newsfeed. You are thinking “Yeah, that’s normal”. But since Facebook bought Instagram since 2012, obviously there are many data exchanging between the two platforms. Meaning, they know precisely the relationship or if the person is a fan of your Facebook page, only by analyzing the frequency of your exchanges. It works exactly like Facebook when your best friends are at the top of your conversations or you can see all of their publications without going into the limbo of the newsfeed.
# 4 TIMELINESS -> HOW RECENT THE POSTS ARE
The algorithm will order the publications chronologically on your newsfeed (not surprising, right ?).
# 5 SEEKING PROFILES -> THOSE YOU OFTEN HAVE A LOOK AT
Contents published by your regularly-checked profiles will come at the top of the thread. It also has a potential snowball effect in followers who have these same people in “favorites”. Your publications will be pushed forward as in # 1 and # 3. So concretely, if you often see your competitors’ profile, you are more likely to appear in the “explore” section of the followers of your competitor. So if you want to be featured in the mosaic, i n t e r a c t !
# 6 DIRECT SHARES -> WHAT YOU SHARE IN PRIVATE MESSAGES
These actions feed the algorithm on your interests and those you share them with. Obviously, Instagram takes advantage to learn a little more about the relationships with the person with who you are sharing contents.
# 7 TIME SPENT -> BY POST
Instagram is able to analyze the average time spent by publication and to come out with conclusions about what you like. You will, therefore, benefit from watching videos of accounts that have value to your eyes in order to be once again, pushed to the right users.
To these 7 factors are added other elements such as the frequency at which you open the app or how many hashtags are stuck to the image or video. Do not hesitate to use the “explore” tab, which gathers all your current and past behaviors. Instagram’s algorithm is not simple to understand, but remember that the more you interact with people with the same interests as your company’s, the more your videos will be given to the right target.
The following examples are based on paid advertising campaigns in order to develop reach. That is to say that their goal was simply to develop the classical audience thanks to Instagram which is a platform allowing an easy segmentation of the audience (thanks to hashtags).
TV LAND :
The American television channel, launched in 2016 an advertising campaign made up of videos to promote its series “Teachers”. The fact they chose animated content made possible the increase of impressions by 16% and the unique scope by 7%, without affecting the budget ;). Putting videos in their advertisements also promotes advertising memorization (24 points for TV Land), brand awareness (+ 21 points) and increases the purchase intention (4 points).
DIAMOND FILMS :
During the promotion of the film Macbeth, the efforts of the Argentine distributor have been focused on Instagram, the only media channel used during the campaign. Thanks to this all in, ticket sales almost doubled compared to what was expected by cinemas.
→ The main objective of the campaign was to target an audience passionate about the epic genre while proposing a change of register of the classical Shakespeare.
The project consisted of three short videos produced by their studio :
- The first video (about 10 seconds), sported a message like “Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it.”
- The second one contained more scenes, extracts showing that it was an epic film.
- The last, released shortly before the end of the campaign, just revealed the date release in theaters.
The target of 18/35-year-old interested in Games Of Thrones, Michael Fassbender or House of Cards; has generated more than 211,000 views per video, boosting sales in cinemas.
The US channel (premium subscription) used Instagram to promote the second season of its original Outlander series, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novel. The campaign wanted to encourage the fans of the show to watch the second season premiere.
→ The goal was also to reach fans of the successful novels and even those who were not familiar with the Outlander universe.
A series of three videos has been launched with the Time, Life and War themes, the plot of the series. They focuses this campaign on women over 21 in the US. The result ? A rise of 6 points of the fame of the show, an increase of 4 points in advertising memorization, all this within a target audience of 15 million people. Not bad !
It’s not easy to get settled on Instagram. It takes time, and can ask to think about a real marketing strategy. But that seems worthwhile, and your followers will give it you back a hundredfold :) Each network has its very own specifity ! To optimize the growth of your audience, be heard on as many social media as possible. Get more familiar with Pinterest in this article :)
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With love, the OKAST Team.