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Social Media and UGC

Video On Instagram: Best Practices For ROI-Driven Ecommerce Brands

Video is the most popular form of content with consumers today. It’s convenient, mobile-friendly, and gives you the space to get creative with your message.

A visual platform like Instagram is naturally the perfect place to share your brand videos. But for ROI-driven ecommerce brands like yourself, it’s important to know the best practices to really see results from your Insta videos.

If you want to increase ROI from your Insta videos, read on for the Instagram best practices that you need to know.

Recommended reading: Will Your Number of Instagram Followers Matter in 2019?

Meet Instagram’s technical standards

While you should absolutely take the creative reins when you’re creating your Instagram video, you should still adhere to the platform’s technical recommendations — they’re there for a reason, so use them!

Facebook recommends uploading the highest resolution video you can source. Your ad will almost always be viewed on a smartphone, and the higher your resolution, the clearer it will appear on smaller screens.

Bear in mind that video file size is capped at 4GB, which will limit your resolution. Find the full recommended specifications here.

Takeaway tip: be careful with your text-to-video ratio. If your customers wanted to read reams of copy, they’d go to your blog. Use no more than 20% text in your thumbnails to boost engagement and ROI.

Scale video creation with UGC from your most passionate customers

Let's face it: video can be tough to create, especially for social media. It needs to look authentic without appearing over-produced. Striking that perfect balance is difficult to scale. Or at least, it was.

With UGC, you can scale videos from your most valuable customers while maintaining quality engagements with your customers. Collect stories that your customers post that mention your brand and reuse them in different marketing channels like Facebook ads or in your own Instagram story.

Takeaway tip: Scale your video creation with UGC to drive more sales and convert your social media audience faster.

Embrace captions for watchable videos with value

While you should exercise caution with your in-video text, using captions is a good way to boost your video’s ROI by adding value.

How many times have you been on the bus and accidentally played an Instagram video at an embarrassingly loud volume? More often than not, your customers will be watching your videos without sound to avoid such a predicament.

Consequently, you should use captions where appropriate to make your video worthwhile to viewers. Without them, your videos will be meaningless and customers will simply skip past them.

Takeaway tip: before uploading your video, have other people read your captions to ensure they are slow enough to comprehend. And remember to use contrasting colors so they’re legible.

Use the optimal video length to keep customers hooked

Instagram let brands upload videos up to a minute long (although this extends up to an hour for IGTV). However, just because you can share videos that length, it doesn’t mean you should.

Research by HubSpot suggests that 30 seconds is the optimum length for holding your customers’ attention. Any longer, and you risk losing them. This is especially true for mobile-first design — short and concise is the name of the game.

Of course, this will affect how you create your ad. Data shows that attention drops off rapidly for Story videos, while feed videos hold it for longer. Consequently, you should get your brand and primary message in as soon as possible.

Takeaway tip: if you’ve got a detailed message that you want to convey to your customers, use your feed videos to pique curiosity. Add a link in the caption or your bio so your viewers can read on in more depth on your website.

Make use of Instagram’s many video features

Instagram has rolled out dozens of cool new features for its various video platforms of late, from quirky GIF stickers to product tagging and polls. For brands, this is a veritable playground.

For ROI-driven ecommerce brands, the product stickers are the most enticing. Tagging products in your Story lets you create dynamic ephemeral video ads that grab customer attention as they browse so they can buy your product right there in the app. It’s slick, seamless, and can boost your ROI considerably.

Looking beyond product stickers, you can find countdown stickers (to build hype for product launches or special offers) and question stickers (great for engaging your Insta community or doing market research with a difference).

Takeaway tip: Instagram’s Story stickers give brands the freedom to flex their creative muscles, and product stickers are great for driving ROI from social. Create hype for a product with countdown timers, then use product stickers to let customers buy your latest release without ever leaving the Instagram app.

Don’t put your CTA front and center

Common sense tells us that placing a call-to-action at the end of a video ad is the right thing to do. You use your video to build up to a command, and your CTA compels your customer to act, right?

Not so with Instagram videos. Best practice for Instagram CTAs is to place them smack bang in the middle of your video. Use it too early, and your customers will be repelled by your overly-promotional tone. But add it too late, and it’s likely that they would have scrolled past before seeing it.

Placing your CTA in the middle of your video capitalizes on your customers’ piqued interest, and gives you the space to build on it afterward. According to Wistia, these CTAs report a 16.95% conversion rate, compared with 3.15% for those at the start, and 10.95% at the end of videos.

Takeaway tip: cover all your bases by placing a CTA in the middle of your video and in your video caption. This ensures any dithering customers are chased, boosting your video ROI.

Instagram video is popular and versatile, but you shouldn’t go in half-cocked. Use the tips above to inspire your Insta video strategy and create content that delivers real ROI for your brand.

Pixlee TurnTo Contributor

Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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