How to use videos and hashtags to market your business on Instagram

As you may know, Instagram has become a strong social media network player with up to today the highest reach and engagement rate. Video marketing is also getting bigger and bigger and also shows a  high level of engagement.

So, let’s start with the different video formats and features within the application.

Instagram story

An Instagram story is an ephemeral video you share with your followers live or for a 24 hours period. Although it’s temporary, you can save your video in the app or in your mobile phone photo library to share it as a post later.

Why do Instagram stories work?

Your followers crave for new content and most importantly want to get them right away, live! So, want to give it a try and publish your live recording into your story?

To do so, let’s start setting up your story settings so that you can keep or delete them once published.

How can you set up your Instagram story, in order to save your video(s)?
  1. You need to log into Instagram and go to your profile page.
  2. Then click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner of your profile.

3. In the ‘Options’ menu, click on ‘Story settings‘ under ‘Account’.

4. You will get these options as per below screenshot. To activate an option, swipe the button next to it to right. It will create a blue button indicating you activated that option.

You will have to decide whether you want people to comment on your video(s) or disable comments. For that, you will need to tap into your chosen option to activate it. This will create a rounded-framed tick as the example below.

You may share your story on your personal Facebook account timeline as well. If you select that option, it will redirect you to log into your Facebook account app to authorise this.

Wondering where the Instagram posts are archived?

It will be archived on the app. To access these, you will need to click on the anti-clockwise quadrant at the top right-hand corner of your Instagram profile next to your profile account name.

Instagram video marketing

Are there any of your archived pictures or videos you would like to save as (semi-) permanent posts in your ‘Highlights’ section of your Instagram profile?

If so, all you need to do is:

  • click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner
  • tap the image or video you want to highlight. It will create a tick at the bottom of it.
  • Then click on ‘Next‘ at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  • After that, click on ‘Create Highlight‘.

  • Create a name for your highlight (not mandatory. Then, click on ‘Add‘ at the top right-hand corner to have it added to your profile.

Don’t like anymore your highlight?

Don’t worry, you can remove it. Just go to your profile, tap on the highlight you want to remove, click on ‘More‘ at the bottom of the screen.

Then you will have these options pop up. Click on ‘Remove Highlight‘. Et voilà!

Now that we reviewed the Story settings, let me explain to you how to create stories.
  1. Click on your profile picture to open the story option to film or take pictures.

2. You will be then presented with these options.

  • Live: if you click on this option, it will create a live video that will disappear once you end the ‘live’, unless otherwise set. Live videos can be as long as you want them to be!
  • Normal: it will create a story post which will be available to view for 24 hours. These posts will not last more than 30 seconds
  • Type: you will create a textual post viewable for 24 hours
  • Boomerang is a fast-forwarded video but will require you to download an additional application
Now, what are symbols related to?
  • The picture on the far left is representing whatever picture or video you have saved in your mobile phone photo library. If you select a video, it will only show 15 seconds of it.
  • The left-hand side flash symbol next to the rounded button is to switch on the flash
  • The arrows in a circle shape right next to the rounded button are here to decide where your camera will be pointed towards, ie either yourself or something/someone else.
  • The far-right picture of a face is to set up any embellishments, add masks, emojis or the likes
  • The big rounded button is the one you will click on to take a picture and hold onto to record a video when you select a ‘Normal’ story.
once you have recorded your picture or video in ‘NORMAL Story’, you will get these options.

At the top:

  • Sticker: you can add funny stickers to your video
  • Loudspeaker: you can adjust the volume of your video
  • Highlighting pen: you can highlight a text you added in the picture or video
  • ‘Aa’ letters: you can add text to your video or picture.

At the bottom:

  • Save: if you want to save the picture or video in your mobile phone photo library (also called camera roll) to re-post it later on Instagram or another social media site
  • Your Story: you can send your picture or video to your story to be viewed for 24 hours
  • Send to>: you can send your recording individually to any of your followers you will select

If you select ‘Live‘ story, you will get this next screen. To start your ‘live’ story, click on ‘Start Live Video’. For embellishments, you may click on the face symbol before you start your video. You also have again this setting for where to point your camera.

Once your ‘live’ story has started, you may invite someone to be part of the video by clicking on the ‘two faces’ symbol.

You can also invite one or several specific followers to watch your ‘live’ by clicking on the ‘paper plane’ symbol. Once you have finished, click on ‘End‘ at the top right-hand corner.

When your video has ended, you will be prompted to select one of these options:
  • Save: to save in your mobile phone photo library
  • Share: you can share your live video for the next 24 hours. For this, please activate the sharing option by swiping the button towards the right until it gets blue. Then click on the ‘Share‘ button.

Not happy with your live video? don’t want to share or keep it?

No problem, you can discard it! You only need to disable the sharing option by swiping the button onto the left until it is greyed out. Then click on the ‘Discard‘ button.

That’s it for the ‘live’ stories!

Instagram posts

Now, let’s move on to sharing videos and pictures as ordinary posts.
  1. To create a post, go again to your profile page and click on the rectangular framed ‘+’ button at the very bottom of your screen (centre button).

2. Then, select the photo(s) or video(s) from your camera roll (mobile phone library). Click on the relevant option. You will see other options below the preview image.

What are these optional symbols for?
  • The far left symbol representing ‘two opposite arrows’ is to select how you want the video(s) or photo(s) to appear, ie in square/portrait mode or in a landscape mode. To activate the landscape option, click on that symbol.

Normal square/portrait mode:

Landscape mode:

  • The far right symbol ‘Select Multiples’  can be used if you want to share several videos or photos in one post.
  • The other two symbols require you to download other applications. You will then tap on the videos or photos you want to share.
When you share normal posts, you need to:
  1. add a description 
  2. add hashtags in ‘caption‘ for your videos or pictures to be found by other users.

Note: you can add stickers and a hashtag to a ‘normal story’ as well.

To add a description, you just have to type your text in the ‘caption‘ area of the post. It should describe what is in the picture(s) or video(s). Keep the most important part of your description in the two first rows. The rest of the text will only appear if your reader clicks on ‘more‘.

To mention someone in the video(s) or picture(s) and this person is on Instagram, you simply type their account name in your ‘caption‘ and add a ‘@‘ sign before it.

Instagram hashtags

  1. Then in that ‘caption‘ area, type hash ‘#‘ and whatever hashtags you want your post to be found and ranked for.
  2. Unlike on Twitter, with Instagram, you can have up to 30 hashtags. The more hashtags you select, the more your posts will be viewed. However, you must ensure that you select relevant hashtags for your post. Otherwise, you will get the wrong kind of followers
  3. Keep in mind that some hashtags are banned by Instagram community guidelines, so don’t select these ones. It is often because they violate Instagram policies. Selecting them will result in your posts getting removed or worse your account suspended.
  4. When you start typing your hashtag, you will get a list of tags and the number of time the hashtags have been used. I recommend you to choose both relevant highly popular and moderately popular tags for your posts to get found. You may also create branded hashtags.

Both your description and hashtags will appear under the video(s) or image(s) you have shared. You will also see the number of views on your videos right below your video/picture.

I hope all these tips will be useful for you. Would you like to share further tips on this topic?

 

 

 

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