You might have heard the new Instagram news. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, announced Instagram is now focusing on Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging. In an Instagram post captioned, “Changes coming to video… We’re no longer just a square photo-sharing app….” Mosseri points to their primary competition with Tiktok and Youtube and says they will be leaning into video, and we’ll see changes consistently over the next few months.
What does this mean for you? Whether you’re a content creator, e-commerce store, artist, or anything in between, it means you might want to up your game when it comes to video. While Instagram is an excellent platform for video with Reels, IG Live, and IGTV, it’s not the only video platform.
Let’s dive into 14 tips to keep up with this trend and create great video content across all platforms.
1 . Know Who You Are and Why People Follow You
Regardless of what you’re posting online, you’re going to build trust and create an engaged community if you know exactly what you offer and who you’re speaking to.
If you “know who you are,” you can answer these questions:
What do I offer?
Why do people want or need it?
What are my goals?
How am I different than others in the industry?
You can get much more specific, but these three questions steer you toward the content you create.
You want to know why people follow you so you can zero in on it. Do they follow you for outfit inspiration? Entertainment? To keep up with your tour schedule? To learn something? Your content ideas will come much easier when you know what people want to see.
Plus, creating video content isn’t possible without confidence, and gaining confidence comes from knowing who you are and that people enjoy what you are saying.
2. Know Your Audience
Always remember this marketing tip: If you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one!
Getting to know your audience is simple. Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and Facebook have ways to see your audience demographics. Plus, never be afraid to ask your audience! Run a poll on your Instagram story, ask for comments under TikTok videos, or create a survey to send via email.
Some of the most important things to know about your audience include:
What do they want?
What are their fears?
What do they value?
Take it from Steve Jobs who said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
3. Ease Into Video Content if You’re New
Instead of panicking and wanting to go from 0-100 with your Instagram Reels, ease into video. If you’re uncomfortable on camera or have never posted a video before, you can’t expect yourself to start posting confidently and consistently.
Instead, start small with Instagram stories (those disappear after 24 hours!) or if you need an even smaller step, try out a boomerang of your face. The more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it.
HINT: Your audience wants to see you!
4. Do Your Research
The best part of video content is you can get a lot of inspiration with a bit of scrolling. By scrolling through hashtags and similar accounts (on Youtube, TikTok, or Instagram Reels), you can see what they’re posting and how those posts perform.
We aren’t suggesting that you copy others. Instead, take the ideas and questions they’re answering and put your spin on it. If needed, credit the account that had the idea first.
5. Map Out Goals and Ideas
Any content you create comes easier and performs better when you’re clear on the ultimate goal.
Example goals for video content:
X number of comments
X number of shares
X number of new followers
X number of email subscriptions
Keep in mind five new followers and 100 views are better than one new follower and 1,000 views!
6. Use Captions
Using closed captioning on your videos is a great way to make your content more accessible for the hearing impaired. While this is reason enough, using captions can also lead to more views and longer view time.
While Instagram has just recently created automatic closed captions, other platforms have provided this service for years. If automatic captioning isn’t available, most platforms make it easy to add text to a video to write your captions.
Take a look at these statistics:
80% of U.S. consumers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available
Facebook reports adding captions to your video can boost view time by 12%
7. Don’t Worry About Your Setup (or Lack of)
Try not to fall into the mindset that you need a tripod, great lighting, and several different outfits to make great videos.
Your setup can consist of a phone and something for the phone to sit on, and you’re golden!
8. Experiment With Different Video Types
You might know what your audience likes to see when it comes to photos, but do you know what they want from your videos? Maybe not!
The options are truly endless when it comes to video. You can opt for short 15 second videos or longer videos with Instagram TV or three-minute TikToks. Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages.
Along with the length of the video, you have options for content.
Here are some popular video types:
Before and after
Behind the scenes
There are tons of options, and some can be more than one. Experiment with different options and find what your audience responds to best!
9. Focus on Valuable Content Instead of Going Viral
Like other content, you’re better off focusing on consistency and value over quantity and a viral-driven mindset.
If you’re looking for longevity and success online, building a community is critical. When creators are hyper-focused on going viral, they’re not paying attention to small progress they’re making, and they may stray away from who they are or what their loyal audience is hoping to see.
10. Get Help (Outsource + Apps)
If you’re not an expert on video or content creation but want to hop on the trend, you might want to enlist help.
Outsourcing your video editing can take the headache away and ensure a professional look. If you’re ok with creating and editing, there are plenty of apps to help you make the perfect video with music, text, and more.
11. Try Different Things
Trends come and go. When it comes to video creation, one day, a song or dance might be viral, and the next, it’s old news. While it can be valuable to do your version of trends, it’s best to do what your audience enjoys and responds best to.
One way to test out ideas or video types is to create different forms of the same video content.
Topic of video content: Behind the scenes of my small business
Goal of video content: Questions in comments
Video option # 1: 15 second time-lapse of me working with music in the background
Video option # 2: 60-second video with 5-10 clips and voiceover
12. Take From Other Successful Content
Don’t be afraid to repurpose!
Grab a pen and paper and look through your content. Build a list of video content ideas by going through your website, social media, and other content to find what people loved best. Take the main idea and details of that content and spin it into a creative video.
Here’s an example:
Old content: Instagram post sharing top 10 foods that help minimize bloating
New video content: Play a viral song in the background and hold up each of the 10 foods to the camera.
13. Be Consistent
Consistency helps build trust and prove your authority. Not to mention, it builds your confidence!
Choose a consistency that works for YOU. If someone is posting five times a week, that doesn’t mean you have to. Choose a posting schedule that works for you, and stick to it!
14. Don’t Forget a Call to Action
These tips can help, but without a call to action, you won’t see as much success. You can create a call to action in the video text, in the caption, or both.
Some examples of call to action include:
Comment X if this was helpful!
Follow me for more about X
Like and share
Save this for later
Don’t Wait to be Perfect
Are you overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? Start today, and start messy! You don’t have to be perfect, and the best way to learn and get an idea of what to post is to get started. As we mentioned, you can start small and move to longer-form videos when you’re ready.
Video is taking over the online world. There’s no doubt you’ll see success if you jump on board.