June 25, 2013

Instagram and the Importance of Online Video Marketing

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One of the biggest tech-related stories from the past week is the addition of video capabilities to the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is an online social networking service that allows users to post photos and video. Although Instagram is popular for personal use, it also has important relevance for business. The addition of video is reflective of an increasing market that should not be ignored.

Instagram has created an impressive following since it debuted in 2010. According to the co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, the service has hosted 16 billion photos and has 130 million users each month. Instagram video comes as direct competition to Vine, a Twitter owned video app. Vine was released in January of 2013 and enables users to post and share six second video clips.

Here’s a look at Instagram’s new video capabilities: Instagram users can now press a movie camera icon which creates videos that can range from 3 to 15 seconds in length. The app allows the user to edit together multiple clips. After the video is taken, the user can customize the footage by choosing from 13 unique video filters. Another powerful feature is “Cinema” mode, which helps stabilize shaky hand-held footage. In total, these features mean users can quickly create high-quality video products.

There are endless recreational uses for Instagram’s new capabilities, but what can your business learn from the addition of video? Big-name brands like Nike, Burberry, Michael Kors and General Electric have already started experimenting with advertising through Instagram video. It is too early to determine the long-term effectiveness of Instagram specific marketing but the take-away is clear.

The development reflects the dramatic increase in web-based video consumption. According to ComScore analytics, 89 million Americans watch 1.2 billion online videos every day. This means that in the five short minutes it takes to read this article 20 million more online videos will be watched. These dramatic numbers show that it is important for your business to integrate video into its online marketing strategy. Although Instagram video itself may not be a direct marketing solution, it illustrates the growing trend.

Online video is an invaluable resource for increasing your audience and boosting your sales.  E-commerce company Invodo reports that 57% of consumers were more confident in their purchasing decisions after viewing product videos. Video allows consumers to quickly gain important information about products they are interested in. It increases purchasing because it gives consumers the ability to experience a product or service in a way that text descriptions and photos cannot provide. Additionally, Invodo reports that 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. Video content is important because it can directly increase your sales and also build widespread attention for your company.