Instagram launched to the public in October of 2010. After nearly a decade, the application has gone through vast evolutions while attaining far-reaching popularity.

Today, Instagram has over 600 million users that access the application daily and more than 95 million posts shared each day, making it the most powerful social platform for any business. Many believe social media users are passive operators, meaning they rarely seek solutions to their problems through social media. However, 60% of Instagram users harness the platform to seek and discover new brands, products and services. Instagram users not at all passive, they’re active. And whether your business is a law firm, a nonprofit, a restaurant, an accounting firm or a hospital, Instagram is a crucial medium to have a compelling presence.

So how can your business capitalize on the popularity and the commercially motivated mindset of Instagram?

In a single tactic: visual storytelling.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they view it in a video compared to 10% when they read it in text according to Insivia. If your business invests time and money into promoting on Instagram, relying solely on static image ads and posts will let you down.

Which do you find more engaging?

Video content allows consumers to have a more complete idea of what your business is like and what it’s like to be your consumer. Incorporating video in your social strategy will substantially improve the likelihood of your ads making a lasting impression on your potential consumers.

Here are some key tips to help your business increase ROI when using video on Instagram.

Create a Professional Account

Make sure your business’ IG account is a Professional Account. This connects your business’ Facebook with Instagram and allows advertising across both platforms and provides analytics on your content.

Here are the steps to make your business’ Instagram a professional account:

  1. From your existing Instagram profile in the mobile app, tap the menu bar in the top right corner, then select settings (If your business does not have a profile yet, create a new personal profile on Instagram and follow the prompts)
  2. Choose Account, then click Switch to Professional Account
  3. Follow the prompts to connect your Facebook Business page, review your business’ contact information, make any changes and tap Done

How to Link in Posts

On Instagram, typing a URL in the caption of your post will not link anywhere. The only official way to link directly to your Instagram content is to pay up. Linking your posts allows you to capture contact information from Facebook and Instagram, drive traffic to your site, increase awareness of earned media placements, boost your reputation and sell your products and services.

Here are the steps to set up a Facebook + Instagram campaign:

  1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Select Create
  3. Choose an objective that supports Instagram as an ad placement from the following table
  4. Select Continue
  5. Fill in the details for your ad set
  6. At the placements sections, you can choose Edit Placements and select Instagram to have your ads appear on Instagram. If you select Automatic Placements, your ad will run across a variety of Facebook Placements, including Instagram, to give you the best value for your campaign
  7. Select Continue

If you don’t want to pay, you can always add the link in your business profile’s bio and direct your audience there.

How to Add a Call to Action in Stories

Adding a Call to Action (CTA) in your Instagram stories helps generate traffic and educate your audience about your business. In order to add a CTA, you need to generate a URL to the page you want users to navigate to, put it in your story post and write out the action (i.e. swipe up, double tap or click here).

Note: Adding a large URL is tricky. Use Bitly to shorten your URL.

Fit the Environment

Whether the video should be square, vertical, or widescreen, it’s crucial to match Instagram’s default dimensions with your visuals. Feed posts should be square or widescreen, while story posts and IGTV content should be vertical dimensions (1080×1920). This allows the content to coincide with the context of Instagram, so it looks like organic content.

The First 3 Seconds Count

Instagram users quickly sift through their feeds, and businesses must make video content that encourages users to stop scrolling. The first second of your video should have enough movement that even with the sound off, viewers know immediately it’s a video. If the first few seconds are static or subtle, you won’t grab attention and users will scroll right by.

Wait Until Users are Connected to WiFi

When advertising with video on Facebook or Instagram, select the option to show ads only to customers connected to WiFi. This will help you avoid subpar viewing experiences where videos are slow to load.

Optimize Your Landing Page for Mobile

Instagram is accessed overwhelmingly from mobile devices. If the call to action on a video ad leads to a landing page, the landing page absolutely needs to be optimized for mobile.

Businesses continue to rely on Public Relations and Marketing firms to guide their visual storytelling – to learn more about how Marx Layne can enhance your business’ digital presence, click here.