Video is a top priority for some of the biggest brands, who want to get the most out of posts and ads on social networking sites. So on Monday, when Instagram released tips on how to create the most sharable video, marketers were prone to listen.
Since launching video and new video features such as ads and fast-motion Hyperlapse over the past year, major advertisers have been experimenting with the format. Banana Republic was among the first to put a sponsored video—of a designer sketching an outfit—on the Instagram app, which counts more than 300 million users.
"We are really pleased with the result from our ads on Instagram. It's an exciting way to have an active dialog with customers—both existing customers and new ones who start following the brand—all sharing great feedback," Aimee Lapic, Banana Republic's svp/gm of customer experience, said in an emailed statement. "Instagram offers a dynamic way for Banana Republic to share our evolving style and aesthetic in a creative way that's unique to this channel."
Instagram is still an evolving platform, and for now, it's mostly a vehicle for brand awareness rather than direct sales. It also lacks the targeted sophistication of Facebook, but its user base is surging. And brands like the fact that whatever they post there shows up in followers' feeds, unlike on Facebook, where an algorithm determines who sees what.
Video is of growing importance on Instagram, too. The Gap, which owns Banana Republic, recently launched a Web series on the platform ahead of its spring line. That's just one example of the expansion of original content.
And this week, Instagram shared video tips for brands. Here are four ways to make the most of the 15-second, autoplay, looping format:
1. Think silent
Don't forget that sound does not autoplay, so think like Charlie Chaplin and create action that's not necessarily dependent on audio.
2. Get moving
The video does autoplay, so get to the action right away. Don't linger in the opening with a still scene.
3. Set the pace
You only get 15 seconds, but the videos do loop—playing over and over. Use every frame of those 15 seconds with deliberate care, and think about how the pace affects the story and tone.
4. The right perspective
Pro tip here: A low camera angle can make the subject look intimidating, so give the viewer an elevated camera position.