Be prepared. You’re about to lose as a marketer on Instagram. This new 1 minute update for Instagram video is not necessarily a bad thing thing if your brand understands how to use the 60 seconds effectively, but undoubtedly it means that many brands are about to splurge content onto Instagram which would be better suited for Facebook and YouTube.
Fundamentally, if you don’t understand or simply don’t care that your customer interacts and gives their attention on Instagram in a very different way, putting out more video content is going to hurt your brand rather than help it. See, although sponsored ads have always allowed longer form videos, they were so few and far between it didn’t make much difference for the viewer. The nature of Instagram has always been quick bitesize content which is easily and quickly consumable, that’s why the 15 second rule has worked so well. People want the visuals fast and effectively as they scroll by at 50 mph, and they won’t be waiting around 1 minute unless the content is truly compelling and built specifically for purpose. That’s why so many brands are about to lose in a big way on Instagram, and you should not be one of them.
However, there is an upside here but it’s going to require some creative thinking. If you can create a concept which is specifically built for the Instagram 60 second feature, you will actually see the benefit of this update. Think about a 1 minute question and answer show or “Top Tips” content pieces. I can well and truly see smart news networks utilising this new format and producing hourly reports to go out on Instagram with the latest headlines. Restaurants are another big winner if they can harness the correct creative. #foodporn has been one of the most prolific hashtags to ever exist and when you add video to that, you know what’s going to happen… Where 15 seconds was just long enough for some stop motion shots and short recipes, 60 seconds will allow great food brands to really engage their users and grow their community.
As a brand and content marketer, you cannot fall into the trap of thinking that because there is increasing parity between these social platforms in terms of features and time limits, that you can simply push the same content out. So next time you are designing content, ask yourself first: “Where this content is going to be displayed?” As these social platforms have matured, so have the consumers and they expect certain types of content and react in different ways depending on the platform they are using. It’s not to say you can’t use all platforms to support your mission, but do it correctly. For example, if you have a new piece of video content coming out, put the trailer on Instagram, the behind the scenes on Snapchat, a picture with an overlaid caption on Twitter and the actual final content piece on YouTube or Facebook. Therefore it’s crucial that you observe how your customers use the platform and if this piece of content fits into their day or simply disrupts them. Keep this in mind before you jump all over the new Instagram update and you should be one of the few brands who really benefits from this new feature!