Creating engaging video content on Instagram is one of the most important things you can do for your brand. But with over 100 million photos and videos being uploaded on IG each day, it can be hard to stand out in the crowd.
How do you make videos that get more follows, likes, and shares? While it’s not easy to make stellar content, it is a lot easier than you think to boost your engagement.
All you need are a few marketing hacks and a few tips ripped from the pages of your old psychology book, and you can skyrocket the engagement on your next video.
The first step is pretty basic, but it’s so important. Planning will ensure that your concept is developed, that it speaks to your audience, and that it grabs attention.
Everyone thinks that they plan. But they don’t really. Most people just brainstorm, which is NOT the same as planning.
To plan properly, you must:
- Do market research (your IG target may differ)
- Develop multiple iterations of your idea (brainstorming)
- Storyboard your script (plan the shots, angles, timing, etc.)
- Get feedback from colleagues and consumers (the KEY step before content creation)
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to create your content, whether it’s a shoot, a GIF, or an animation.
It might seem like a lot of work, but planning right will save you a lot of time and money compared to winging it. Plus, your video will turn out a lot better.
Tell a Story
How do you get users to care about your video content? You have to trigger their brains to enter “care” mode. And you do that by telling stories.
Stories make us feel good. They make us feel comfortable. And, they create tension—we want to know how it will end (so we’ll keep watching your video!).
When humans hear a story, it actually triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin in the brain. This hormone boosts feelings of care, compassion, and trust. It also builds a connection.
To sum up, by telling a story, you can create a deep connection with a consumer while building trust. Plus, you give them a reason to watch your video to the end. What’s not to like?
To tell a successful story, you can:
- Create a narrative within the video (like a movie)
- Share real customer stories
- Make the viewer the main character and position your product as part of their life/narrative (MOST EFFECTIVE)
The first 2 seconds are the most important part of your video. Instead of fading from black, jump into the action right away.
The average IG user spends less than 10 seconds looking at each post. And if your post is an ad, they might spend even less time considering whether to watch or not.
You’ve got to appeal to psychology to command scrollers’ attention. There are certain things that grab our attention like no other. They include food, fear, and sex.
Leading with something that triggers one of these brain areas will automatically stop a user from scrolling.
For example, if you manufacture smart locks, your video is more likely to be engaging if it begins with a burglar breaking into a house than if it starts with a woman forgetting her keys and unlocking her door with her fingerprint.
Both of these stories demonstrate the benefits of the product. But the only one captivates an audience by playing on its fears.
Just because you’ve got a user to stop scrolling due to your amazing hook doesn’t mean that they will continue to watch.
As we said before, the average user spends just 10 SECONDS on each post. If your video is longer than 30 seconds, they might get bored and bail. Even users that engage and comment on video content on IG tend to watch for just 26 seconds.
So, you should probably cap your content at 30 seconds or less. Remember that you don’t need to compete with all the other content out there. You just need to create the optimal piece of content that sends your message in the time you have.
Having said that, longer content is not always bad, especially if you’re planning to post to IGTV. But, if you want people to watch it, you better up the production value and make it damn good.
Luckily, you can do that pretty easily with stock video. You can get some amazing HD or 4K stock footage for a decent price and captivate audiences in your long-form videos. You can also reuse it in snippets for shorter videos and stories.
Video on Instagram: More Bang for Your Marketing Buck
Did you know that video content on Instagram gets 2x more engagement compared to other social media platforms?
If your content isn’t getting the engagement you’d like, IG isn’t the problem. You need to up your video marketing game by planning well and using the tips above to execute with psychological precision.