Over the past years, Instagram has become ubiquitous and its famous aesthetic has taken the internet by storm. 100 million posts are published on the platform each day and both photos and videos are at the core of the Instagram feed.
As a marketer, you are surely aware of the fact that videos are essential to a successful social media strategy. Just take a look at these numbers:
- Videos generate twice as much engagement (comments, likes, shares) as other types of content on Instagram, such as static images and carousels.
- A video post generates an average of 150 comments versus 100.34 for a photo post.
“Oh wow. I should definitely harness the power of sharing videos on Instagram to boost my engagement rate!”
In 2016, everything changed as Instagram switched from displaying content chronologically to using an algorithm to sort posts, just like Facebook. In a way, this is when things got more interesting and challenging as users and brands started competing for rankings.
Of course the algorithm is updated regularly but what are the best ways to stand out and improve the engagement rate of your Instagram video shares, IGTV content and stories? What are the tools that can help you increase brand awareness and optimize the organic reach of your videos?
PlayPlay is here to answer all these questions... and more!
Here are our 7 key tips to master the art of sharing videos on Instagram. 👇
#1 Write an attractive caption 👀
Many users seem to underestimate the power of a good caption, but this is what will catch your target audience’s attention and encourage them to watch your video.
Whether you are aiming to communicate about your company’s positive impact or generate interest from potential new followers, make sure you always craft a catchy, informative caption when you upload a video.
Here are some of our tips for the perfect Instagram caption copy:
- Mention your main keywords early on. While captions can be up to 2,200-character long, only the first few words will appear in your audience’s feed. They will then have to tap on “more” for the rest of your copy to appear on their screen. For additional impact, make sure to mention all key elements within the first 3 lines of text.
- Ask a question. If your video post generates a lot of comments, its ranking in the Instagram algorithm will improve. And what better way to encourage your followers to comment than by asking them a question?
- Use emojis. They are an ideal way to catch your target audience’s interest in a fun, visual way. According to a Quintly study, the most engaging Instagram posts contain at least 4 emojis. Give it a go! 😄
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
You probably already know that clickable URLs cannot be added to your captions, which makes it slightly harder to drive potential customers to your website. If you do wish to direct them to a specific landing page, be sure to add its URL to your profile’s bio and mention it in your caption. “Link in bio” is a very popular phrase that you’ve probably seen many times already.
If you are working with e-commerce, remember to use the Shopping feature and to tag your products in your post so your followers can purchase them easily. 🛍
#2 Use hashtags wisely on your video post 🧠
Hashtags are more powerful than simple keywords as they allow users to easily access content related to a specific topic. It also increases the potential reach of your post by allowing users who do not follow you to find them while searching for hashtags.
Therefore, hashtags are an essential tool for a successful video marketing strategy on Instagram. According to SocialInsider, adding hashtags to a post can increase its reach by 37%. Just make sure to not use too many of them when you share your next video!
While hashtags are a great way to optimize your ranking on Instagram, using them too much can have negative consequences. A video post that includes too many hashtags might actually see its engagement rate decrease. We recommend using 4 to 5 relevant hashtags and focusing on those (see Mention & Hubspot). Stick to just 2 or 3 hashtags when posting a story.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
Focus on niche hashtags (with less than 10,000 posts that have used that hashtag) and avoid hashtags that are too generic as your video just won’t stand out among millions of other posts.
Avoid using spammy hashtags like #follow4follow, #like4like ou #followback at all costs as they definitely won’t add any value to your post and your account. Instead, create your own branded hashtag and use hashtags that are related to your industry to reach a qualified audience.
There are two ways to find the best hashtags to use:
#3 Tag and mention relevant Instagram accounts 🎯
Another efficient way to increase the reach and shareability of your video post is tagging other, bigger accounts either by tagging them on the video or by mentioning them in your caption.
This has two main benefits: first of all, the users you’ve tagged will be notified and are likely to check out your video post (boom, additional views!). They also might interact with your post and even share it with their own audience.
This is especially relevant when posting stories as sharing a story you’ve been tagged in is quick and effortless. That’s a pretty clever hack, don’t you think?
However, tagging tons of influencers really isn’t a magic trick to increase your engagement rate. The aforementioned Mention & Hubspot study has shown that posts with over 5 tagged accounts usually receive less likes.
To use tagging efficiently, be sure to only tag accounts that are linked to your industry as your posts are more likely to be valuable to them. Select an influencer from your field, one of your company’s partners or a team member that is an expert on the topic of your post.
#4 Add geotags to your video posts📍
If your products or services have geographical relevance, geotags are an easy way to increase brand awareness, find local customers and encourage potential customers to visit a physical location. Make sure to tag your location when sharing a video on Instagram, and encourage your customers to add your own geotag when sharing content about your company.
Just like hashtags, a geotag can increase the discoverability of your Instagram posts. By clicking on a location tag, users will be able to see other posts that were tagged at the same location. This works especially well for businesses like stores or restaurants and is an easy way to get closer to your audience.
To geotag your post, either use the mobile app or Facebook’s Creator Studio (which will let you schedule your posts on desktop) and click “Add location” when preparing to share videos on Instagram.
#5 Share your video post at the right time ⏰
After analyzing 12 million posts, Mention & Hubspot noticed that posting between 9am and 11am generates higher engagement rates. However, this does not necessarily mean that there is one perfect time to share a video on Instagram.
To find the ideal posting time, share videos whenever your own followers are active.
With a business account, you can easily see when your community is active by visiting the Insights tab and tapping on “Total followers.” You will then access the “Audience” tab. Just scroll down and your community’s Most Active Times will appear. 💡
#6 Use stickers when sharing Instagram stories 🤳
Stories are one of Instagram’s best assets. Launched in 2016 (The Year Everything Changed, remember?) this ephemeral, Snapchat-inspired format allows you to share videos that are authentic, spontaneous, and visible for 24h only (unless you add them to a Highlight, that is, but more on that later).
Instagram users have widely adopted this format. Just see for yourself:
Therefore, stories are an essential way to increase your brand’s visibility on Instagram. To optimize engagement, make sure you use the native interaction tools and features that Instagram offers: Quizzes, polls, challenges and more are useful stickers that will make it easy for your audience to interact with your content.
Don’t forget to share your own Instagram videos as a story after posting them to increase their reach. Just tap on the paper plane icon at the bottom of each post.
Lastly, you should also use the Highlights feature to extend the lifespan of your stories. This is also useful to give potential new followers an overview of the type of video content you usually share, all while allowing your current followers to rewatch your stories if they want to do so.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
Did you know that Instagram’s algorithm pays close attention to how often users interact with your stories? If a user interacts with your stories frequently, they will be among the first stories to appear on their feed when they open the Instagram app.
This is why it is essential to catch your audience’s attention several times a day. Instagram actually recommends posting 6 stories per day.
#7 Find an impactful title for your IGTV videos 📲
If you are a die-hard Instagram user, you already know about IGTV, a dedicated platform or tab for longer videos.
Just like YouTube, Instagram’s “TV” allows you to share up to 1 hour of video content (whereas the video length on a normal post cannot exceed 60 seconds). IGTV was designed with mobile usage in mind as videos should be vertical. This is a great platform to share your own vlogs, tutorials or backstage videos of your events with your mobile-friendly audience. An impactful title and description can hook audiences in.
An impactful title and description for your video content can usually hook audiences in on a social network. However, note that on your IGTV channel, you can use a title, but not a description/caption. To improve the discoverability of your video, make sure to:
- Write a short and convincing title. Stick to 18 to 20 characters max.
- Include relevant keywords as they will allow users to find your videos while searching for content.
- Add the name of your company to your title for branding purposes.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
When sharing videos on Instagram, the thumbnail or cover image is the first thing users will see, so make sure it gives an excellent first impression.
You should select a fun, attractive visual that is also vertical. If you are no Photoshop expert, Canva is a great free tool that will definitely do the job!
To add a personalized thumbnail, go on Instagram’s Creator Studio, click “Post on IGTV” and upload a personalized cover image. On mobile, you can also import your thumbnail very easily.
Thanks to these 7 tips, we are certain that the engagement rate on your Instagram video shares will skyrocket 🔥
And if you are looking for an easy-to-use tool to create awesome videos, just give PlayPlay a try. You can use our tool for free for 7 days, so why not give it a go!