Have you heard enough about Instagram video yet? Seems like every article I’ve read has been about how Instagram has 100 million users, video is really neat, and how Vine sure is in trouble. We know that Instavideo is great for businesses. We know Lululemon, Burberry, and Tony Hawk were the among first brands making video. I’ve seen very few posts of utility that offer some suggestions about what businesses can do to use video successfully. So, I’d like to try and fill in that gap a little bit with some ideas on how I think Instavideo could be used by brands. Without further ado:
*A quick note: not all of these will be applicable to your particular brand or business, but use the list to start brainstorming ideas!
10 Ways to Use Instagram Video for Business
1. Show the process.
Does your company have a unique process when making the product? Obviously you don’t want to be giving away trade secrets, but let’s consider the Tony Hawk brand. How neat would it be to see the creation of a skateboard from the cutting, painting, and assembly process? By showing the process of how your products or services are made, you give your audience another angle in which to view your product. Think along the lines of the television show, “How It’s Made.” People enjoy watching things go from raw materials to finished product to their doorstep. Why not show them this process for your brand?
2. Show how your product is used.
Showing how your product is used can help customers get a feel of what to expect when they buy it. For a lot of my online purchases, I try to find real-world images or videos for the the product I want to buy. Often times these are product reviews, but are very helpful in my decision making process.
3. Show alternative ways your product can be used.
There are a lot of products that have alternative uses than what the manufacturer intended. For example, did you know that toothpaste can be used to buff out scratched CD? Why not highlight these features to show how versatile and useful your product is? You might have to do a little research to see how your customers are using your product in different ways, but the payoff could mean more engagement and customers for your brand.
4. Offer customer support.
Customers have questions and complaints, and good customer service embraces them as opportunities. Take your customer service to video and offer a direct response to questions and complaints. This shows that you value your customers and adds a very personalized touch that humanizes your business. The best part about this is that you can monitor Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and all manner of social media platforms and post video to all of them effortlessly.
5. Go behind the scenes (and be a little silly).
Show everyone that your company is actually full of people, not autonomous robots without souls. You can do quick employee interviews that share what their role is in getting the customer their product, or even a quick blurb from the big bossman or CEO. Showing real people, especially being a little silly, also humanizes your brand and helps your audience feel more connected. Be fun, cheeky, and authentic. Why not post short, funny clips of an impromptu Nerf battle, or a harmless practical joke? Use common sense, though. Licking taco shells might be a funny practical joke, but will definitely cost you your job (and valuable brand equity).
6. Offer additional information.
Your product has features. What stands out or makes it different? Is there any information about your product or service that might be interesting? For example, did you know that Silly Putty was created solely by accident? Focus on one feature or tidbit at a time. This is a great way to educate your audience about what you offer.
7. Capture those enjoyable moments.
Sometimes it’s not about your brand or company. Just offer something nice. Ebay showed a great example of this when they posted a video on the beach. Is it time for a coffee break? Why not capture that moment of pouring a hot, fresh cup of coffee from the French press and pan to a nice handwritten message to savor the little things?
8. Show people enjoying the product (naturally).
This piggybacks off #7. Share video of people genuinely enjoying what you offer. Fans at a sports game cheering. Someone driving off in their brand new car with a beaming smile on their face. Capturing smiles, laughter, and enjoyment are powerful reinforcement for your customers and potential customers.
9. Get testimonials.
With your customer’s permission, get a quick video asking them about their experience with your product or service. Make sure to tag the person (if they use Instagram), and encourage others to post their experiences, too. Be aware, however, that you do not have control over this conversation, and if your brand, product/service, and social media efforts aren’t viewed as genuine you might experience some negative comments or backlash. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even negative comments are opportunities. Jump back to #4 and address any issues that come up!
10. Thank your audience, or highlight specific members.
Remember that you’re nothing without your audience and customers. Every now and again, give them a custom message thanking them for listening. There are a lot of ways you can use this. Give them a first glimpse of a new product coming out. Offer them a unique discount code to say ‘thank you.’ Don’t make it always promotional, though. Sometimes just a heartfelt ‘we appreciate you’ is enough.
These are just some examples of ways you can use Instagram to support your business. There are plenty more, so be creative and experiment. Get in the mindset that you’re acting as a reporter. You’re telling the story of your brand and your customer’s through video. You’re trying to engage them and delight them with your brand. If you can’t offer something of value, then it’s not something your audience will care about.