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Is Instagram Video Right for Your Business?

Last week, Facebook announced a major Vine competitor by adding video to Instagram. In general, they’re very similar in that both allows users to share extremely short videos online, but Instagram has a few key differences that may make it easier for businesses to embrace:

  • A longer format. While 15 seconds is still quite short, it’s still more than twice the length of Vine’s 6-second allowance. It’s also one of the lengths allowed for pre-roll ads, which could allow some businesses looking to advertise online to kill two birds with one stone.
  • Stabilization. Instagram has added a handy feature called "Cinema" that keeps your videos from looking shaky and amateurish. Since most small businesses aren’t secretly hiding a large-scale video production team in a back office, this is a great bet for making your videos look the best they can!
  • Filters. One other departure from Vine is the presence of Instagram’s signature filters, which can help enhance the appearance of your videos.

However, 15 seconds is still an incredibly short period of time, and that won’t work for everyone.  It’s not the place for complicated tutorials or explanations, but it is a great place to tell your business’s story. You can share quick videos of something funny that happened at the office, or clips of your office helping out at a local charity event. If your office has a great view, take a quick video and post it. These types of videos are not time-consuming and they help people connect more with you and your business.

On the other hand, there are still more practical ways that quick video can help your business. For example:

  • Get long-time clients to record a quick testimonial while they’re in your office and share it online.
  • Give a quick explanation of a new book you’ve launched, or show off your article in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Introduce your clients to new staff members.
  • Get your office team to wish a loyal client a happy birthday.
  • Give a quick tip of the week. If it can fit in a tweet, then you can probably get it in a 15 second Instagram video.
  • Show off the amazing entryway or view of the new home you’re working to sell.

You can’t currently share your Instagram videos on other sites, which is a pretty big limitation, but that should change soon. After all, Vine introduced the capability only a few short months after launch. And if you’re looking to post the video on sites that are hosted on WordPress, then you’re in luck: plugins like Embedly can already help you work around the issue.

With that said, Instagram video could be a great way to help your clients get to know you better!

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