What goes around comes around
Full motion video has come full circle. It started with silent, short-form films around the beginning of the twentieth century. Now, with the addition of video to the Instagram experience, we are back to video with no sound. And, just like the first time around, it is the modern killer app, especially for brands.
A still image captures an instant in time; a video captures an experience. But, that’s just the beginning. Here are ten ways brand marketers can use Instagram video to build and enhance their brand’s messaging.
Not only can a video be used to capture an experience, it can also promise an experience. The essence of branding is promising an experience. By controlling what is revealed and what is concealed, a brand can stimulate desire both desire for the experience they promise and the imagination of what the experience will be like. What is revealed creates desire. What is concealed stimulates the imagination.
The best thing about a celebration is the anticipation. Video is a powerful way to suggest anticipation. Savvy marketers can use the fifteen-second limit to their advantage by building in a little mystery that, oh wait, we’ll show you that another time. Just be here next Monday for the unveiling.
Hit the high points
Reduced attention spans could be something more than attention deficit disorder. They could also be an indication of an enhanced ability to process information. A fifteen-second summary may be all a certain segment of your target market needs to make a decision. Give them what they need.
The movie industry has long known the power of previews to build buzz prior to a product launch or release. It is a phenomenon that is built into our collective consciousness as a society. Leverage this prevalent use of social expectation to your advantage by presenting previews of upcoming events, products, or enhanced services.
Your access is approved
Nothing says elite status like exclusive access. Use Instagram video to give your Instagram brand aficionados first or even exclusive access to certain bits of information, products, discounts, service enhancements, coupons, or other special treatments. Give the high level of engagement of Instagram users, you can be sure they will show their appreciation by sharing on other social networks and helping you build your brand presence on Instagram.
If you really want to know
There are other places on the web where you can put how-to videos, but if you can compress your how-to segment into fifteen seconds or less, Instagram video is a natural. Even multiple fifteen-second installments can be a benefit. Your curious users can go right to the segment they need rather than having to find what they are looking for in a much longer video.
The fifty-cent tour
Marketers who want to introduce users to a new facility, a new exhibit, or other tour-able experience can easily produce it with Instagram video. Realtor estate, travel services, resorts, and other experiential venues are perfect candidates for this application.
Not everyone can sit on the front row at a prestigious event, but marketers can still convey the experience to those who can’t be there with Instagram video. Combine front-row access with hitting the high points and Instagram users will get a sense of what they missed and want more.
Opening the box for the first time on a new product that is soon to be released is an experience that is begging for an Instagram video. Set the stage for a new product launch by showing an exclusive unboxing long before the first one is shipped.
Tell me a story
Storytelling has always been a popular use of video formats. For brands, storytelling is essential. Compressing a story into fifteen seconds can make it more compelling and more universal. It is a challenge that can pay huge dividends.
Instagram’s newest app, Hyperlapse is made for those instances when filming can’t be don’t on a tripod. Using sophisticated image mapping software and an interface to the iPhone’s gyros, it achieves an image stabilization effect that is extremely effective and pleasing. This is a fantastic enhancement to Instagram video that is unmatched by any other mobile video app on the market.
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Fifteen seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time. It may be the full motion equivalent of painting a landscape on a postcard, but with proper attention to detail, the final product can be completely satisfying. It’s really a matter of including only what matters.
Instagram has given new life and a new twist to Andy Warhol’s famous quip about “15 minutes of fame.” The bad news is that it is now 15 seconds, but the good news is that you can have your 15 seconds of fame as often as you like. And, so can your brand, your product, your event. Fifteen seconds is longer than you think.