Instagram recently released news on their latest update, in short, saying that they’re moving away from being an image focussed platform to incorporating more video.

There was a bit of an uproar online, how would people change their strategies? How would businesses make this sudden move to video?

To be honest though, video has been around (and a part of platforms like Instagram) for a very long time. Talking about more video content has been popular in the digital marketing conferences since at least 2018, and it seems that during the lockdowns of 2020 there has been a significant shift to video in the way people consume their content.

When it comes to social media, we know that people consume the content in very different ways. We’ve got posts, Stories, slideshows, threads, live videos, Reels… there are so many ways in which you can publish your content now, across many platforms. Video has been a part of those platforms for a very long time, but it’s only really recently becoming a part of digital marketing strategies.

Let’s not panic then, when Instagram say they’re changing their focus, because the platform will remain the same – you just have more features to use and promote yourselves with. I won’t lie, Instagram are likely to boost your reach on particular platforms, especially Reels at the moment, so if you can, do think about adding video into your strategy!

With so many options, how do you figure out what to incorporate into your strategy, and where?

There’s only really one way to find out, and it’s to test. Test out if doing videos works for your audience or not – but remember, try it for a few weeks because a one-off video won’t give you dependable results. You should also decide what that success may look like before you start – is it more reach? Is it engagement? More sales? This way you’ll be able to see after a few weeks if the video content is working as you had hoped.

Testing might sound tedious, but I’ve done it myself on our own social media platforms – I know that Reels work well, and even better if you are in the video yourself. It’s a brilliant tool for more reach, and I know that IGTV works well for engagement and also adding a great element of credibility to our profiles. Video is a big part of our strategy at the moment, and I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon.

Top tips when filming your video

  • If you aren’t comfy going live, then pre-record in advance and put that up. This gives you time to relax, you can delete it, or start again.
  • Look at the camera, not at the screen – keeping that eye contact is a great way to build relationships and make your audience feel connected to you
  • Talk slowly – it is so easy to rattle off really fast, we all do it, every single one of us. Pretend the phone is a person you are chatting to, and take the conversation slowly.
  • Lighting is important, try and get a bright place with no clutter behind you for the video, and if you can’t manage that (our office is very shadow-y), there are some great ring lights or photo lighting you can pick up at affordable costs
  • If you are going ‘Live’, remember to download a copy of your video too, so you can repurpose the content, or in case the upload goes wrong!
  • Keep your phone still by using a tripod or propping it up. It can be quite distracting if you are moving your arm around, however unintentionally when filming.