Instagram has became a powerhouse for businesses to market, brand & tell their story.

Through pictures and videos brands can create visual and interactive content. It also gives brands the opportunity to communicate with their customers, and most importantly, customers the tools to compare, review and give testimonies to a product.

When I first began exploring and creating videos for my Instagram beauty blog, the maximum amount of time for a clip was 15 seconds, which was later increased to 60 seconds in 2016.

The time limit increase opened a whole new world on creating content for Instagram. Now, content creators have flexibility and better access to a platform that has convenient placement to prospective audiences.

‘In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent.’ (Instagram Blog. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2thAo6I )

As a content creator, engagement is the holy grail of beating the current algorithm that Instagram has in place. However, defeating the algorithm is a complex study for a different article but we’re left now with the question, how do you get your audience to be more active and engaged? I would like to show you three techniques for Instagram video engagement that have personally worked for me.

1) CONSISTENCY

The secret to Instagram is consistency. Consistency in everything such as, theme, niche, posting times and frequency of posting.

Creating cohesion in your feed will help communicate the story of your brand, voice and message. Being consistent with posting will boost your online presence and will get you more opportunities for being seen, but, remember quality over quantity!

taramilktea

Tara Whiteman (@taramilktea) is a travel lifestyle blogger from Sydney, Australia. She thrives to find the ‘brightest’ spaces in the world, and showcases them through colorful pictures of places, food and people. She has worked with a variety of companies such as Canon all the way to Tiffany & Co. Tara has a follower count of 1.2 million!

amrezy-blog

Amra Olevic (@amrezy) grew up in Brooklyn, New York & has a whopping 5.6 million followers. She is a socialite who is somewhat of a mystery in the beauty world. What we do know is that she has an incredible coordinated feed that has a different color scheme each month (seriously, scrolling down her feed looks like a rainbow!). She fills her feed with fashion inspo, makeup tips & pictures of her major brand collaborations.

21makeupaddictions

Caroline (@21makeupaddictions) is an 18 year old beauty blogger. She posts a new video everyday & has grown her following to 130 thousand. She is a perfect example of consistency in frequency, niche, and theme. She is also very good at the second technique I would like to demonstrate, thumbnails.

2) THUMBNAIL

A thumbnail is the picture that will help your audience decide whether or not to click onto your video. Essentially, your audience will be judging a book by its cover. Instagram gives you the option of selecting a ‘cover photo’ from your video when uploading it. A technique that I use & has also been used by others is to have a ‘WOW’ factor thumbnail.

Personally, I feel the attention-grabbing method for a thumbnail can be touchy in some situations. I disagree with those who go as far to falsely edit their thumbnail that has no relevance to the video itself, like the first example below, it comes off as inauthentic and could lose the trust of your audience. However, a healthy creative thumbnail can be funny, exaggerated or show your audience the main focus of the video.

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3) VERTICAL RATIO FORMAT

Most users on Instagram are on a mobile phone, so while widescreen videos may look great on a desktop or in a movie theatre, you’ll want to take up most of your audiences screen by having a ratio aspect of 4:5.

A great example of where you see vertical ratio format used all the time is snapchat! Snapchat has mini series, daily news & user content all in a vertical ratio format.

‘Mediabrix, a mobile advertising platform, has seen that 90% of videos watched vertically have a higher completion rate versus videos watched horizontally. “Less than 30% of users will turn their phones sideways to watch an ad, and users who do turn their phones sideways only watch about 14% of the video.”’ (IMPACT. Don’t Flip That Phone. Vertical Video is a Must for Marketers! Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2N6Fnk2)

vertical-vs-horizontal-blog

(Pictured on the left is an example of a vertical format vs a horizontal image on the right)

Vertical visuals are now second nature to most due to capturing video and pictures on the go while on a mobile device. Therefore, consumers are more likely to engage and follow through watching the content.