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Are static pictures or video better with Instagram?

The rise of video over the past 10 years has been incredible. There’s no doubt that the growth of smartphones, apps, streaming services and Youtube had a lot to do with this growth. As for Social Media, it really had more to do with the rise of influencers on social media platforms. The challenge in creating video comes down to your brand strategy and sales goals, not to mention the time it takes to properly produce great stories.

You have to be careful not to be too “salesy” on Instagram. After all, people love Instagram because they can absorb content through visual storytelling. A great alternative to video is the use of Stories. You can add sound, motion and let users slide through multiple images. The Stories feature can sometimes feel like a mini video.

You also need to have a solid distribution strategy. If you don’t have a solid following, then organically posting a video to your social media pages will not deliver any results. This is especially true for small businesses who don’t have influencers promoting their brands. The best thing you can do is to create a budget for running ads with those videos. Last but not least, making a case for creating videos for your product or service really depends on what KPI (key performance indicator) or metric you’re considering. Variables include:

  1. Target Audience: if you’re selling to women chances are they’ll be more engaged with a video, whereas, most men will not be willing to stick around long enough to watch a video (unless you’re selling sports)
  2. Industry/Vertical: if the product you’re selling is as exciting as a house, tech gadget or sports car then people will definitely prefer to watch a video. However, if you’re a B2B company selling a service like Accounting, HR, etc. then you’ll probably find out very quickly that the subject matter works better with static images paired with though provoking copy
  3. As for the KPI you’ll want to determine what you want from your content. Do you want to generate traffic to your website, do you want to sell products on Instagram, do you simply want to increase your follower base, do you want to generate leads, etc. Once you’ve figured out your goal you can determine what’s best.
  4. Paid vs Organic will also vary in results
  5. Live video typically does better then edited video
  6. Another element of video is whether you make it super organic or super professionally. Some products or services may perform better if you hire a pro. An example of this would be a house. If you’re a realtor you’re not going to take a chance on recording a video on your smartphone and then try to edit it using Youtube.
  7. If you’re doing video make sure you add text/caption. Many people will watch a video with their phone on silent.
  8. Consider the cost of both and how you’ll repurpose that content on your website and across other channels like Youtube, Facebook, etc.
  9. Last but not least, TEST-TEST-TEST!!!
  10. Once you’ve tested make sure you spend time analyzing the data. Even if the campaign is having success you’ll want to know why, how and who is consuming your content.

Alex Oliveira

I’m Alex. I’m a dad, husband, an entrepreneur and an information junkie. I am a passionate guy — I love business and I really love helping business owners turn their passions into profits. I’ve spent the last 10+ years helping clients advance their businesses and brands through dynamic interactive marketing campaigns. I always welcome a challenge and am relentless in the pursuit of innovative marketing strategies that actually work.