Instagram, Facebook’s mobile photo and video sharing platform, is fast becoming one of the largest web video sites. The video feature was only added back in June of 2013, but Instagram reported around five million uploads on its first day alone. As with other platforms, Instagram has its own benefits and drawbacks when it comes to marketing for your brand, so here’s what you need to know before you launch there.

Features: A Quick Breakdown

Instagram videos, unlike Youtube clips, are limited to 15 seconds in length. The short duration means you need to make your point in a clever and more creative way than traditional marketing video. You will find stabilization and other basic editing tools, such as blur correction, to clean up your videos before posting, so use these features to add professional touches to your Instagram clips prior to public release.

Don’t forget to enable sharing for your videos on Instagram. Viewers will spread your message for you if you give them the right tools. You can enable sharing for Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.


Since Instagram is largely intended to be a mobile app, previewing your video on one device isn’t enough. What looks great on the iPhone may be cropped, sized wrong or a plain mess on a device running Android. Test your videos on multiple devices before putting them up for people to view on Instagram. Viewers are likely to leave and not return if your video doesn’t load correctly and work properly the first time they decide to take a look at it.

Strategies: What Works and What Doesn’t

While there’s no guaranteed approach for Instagram marketing videos, there are some campaign types that are clearly doing better than others on the mobile video website. Instructional ones done in a step-by-step format, with each clip covering a step, work well in the Instagram environment, as well as brief answers to customer questions and visual promotions.

Customer engagement is easy to do through Instagram because of the short clip format and social media access that the website has. For instance, you can create a contest by inviting customers to submit Instagram videos that show how they use their favorite product from you. You don’t have to spend hours going through the submissions because the clips will all be under 16 seconds, but you will engage customers and encourage social media chatter about your brand.