How to Create the Best Videos for Instagram

How to Create Videos for Instagram

Instagram offers a big opportunity for small businesses. In fact, they have over 25 million business profiles and over 2 million advertisers, according to Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-Founder of Animoto.

Small Business Trends spoke with him about how to create the best videos for the popular social media site that’s gaining serious momentum in the business world.

“The bottom line is Instagram is a rocket ship right now,” he said. “It’s by far the fastest growing social media platform.”

He added that while it’s not the biggest (that’s still Facebook overall) Instagram has just surpassed one billion monthly active users to get the attention of the brick and mortar and digital business owner both. Animoto studied the trends and found, among other things, 200 million people visit at least one business profile each day.

Create Videos for Instagram – The Tips

So, how do small businesses get involved? What are the best practices to get video working for you on Instagram? Here are a few thoughts that should supply a framework and even allow your small business to compete with bigger players and their large marketing budgets.

Show Don’t Tell   

“Basically, Instagram is different than other social media platforms because it has emerged as the most visual,” Hsiao says.

This means certain formats like product demos, how to and explainer videos do best. Behind-the-scenes scenarios do well too.

“Anything that has a before and after element are hugely popular.”

Enact Engagement

The Animoto study also found that Instagram has 58% more engagement than Facebook. It’s another important peg to hang any business video hat on. Hsiao suggests that if you look at your videos like conversation starters rather than one-way communication, you can get visitors involved.

Encouraging comments and questions are two ways to get engagement working for you. For example, if you’re selling dental hygiene products, you can ask people if they brush their teeth in the morning or at night in the video.

There’s also a trend with younger people asking questions through the platform.

Make Videos Square  

You can’t ignore mobile if you want any small business to succeed—making videos in a square format on Instagram makes better use of smartphone screens by taking up 78% more space for a better visual experience.

Need more evidence? Hsiao points to Cup Cake Market in NYC. They ran a test and found square video outpaced the older landscape formant on Instagram with 40% more views.

Make Shareable Content

You can reach people you might not normally attract to your small business videos by making your content interesting enough they want to share it.

“We are even encouraging small business to ask people outright to share the video,” Hsiao says.

Experiment with Targeting  

Facebook owns Instagram and both have very advanced targeting tools to get your video in front of your target market. These tools allow you to be very specific with important factors like demographic and location.

Hsiao highlighted the cost-effectiveness.

“Basically, these allow you to get very specific about who can see your video and ensure that your dollars go the furthest that they can.”

Photo via Shutterstock


Rob Starr

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    You need to learn the type of videos that appeal to your market. Look at the most liked videos in your niche first and see how you can create one for your brand.

  2. It is all about engagement. The more you engage your audience, the more likely they will pay attention to your brand.

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