Instagram just launched a 24-hour video channel. What kinds of strategies can brands use to take advantage of this? The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
"One of the easiest things brands can take way from this is education. Spend a couple of minutes watching what people are posting surrounding big events and holidays. Get inspired on how your brand can better speak to the Instagram audience, and create a compelling piece of content to join the hot conversation."
Showcase brand culture
"Consumers love to see behind the scene brand culture -- they like brands that are more than just a product/service and a logo. Take this opportunity to create fun short clips that highlight your brand culture. Clips from the office (or even action from the shipping dock) are all relevant and interesting. The worst thing a brand could do is create commercials."
Become an early adopter
"If you're a consumer brand, your best strategy is to take part in Instagram's new focus on becoming a video and media destination. Create a content strategy around a calendar of all the upcoming major holidays and events. Develop unique and interesting video content that aligns with what Instagram is most likely going to feature in the future, and use the proper hashtags so you can be found."
Show your craft step-by-step
"We're hoping to take advantage of this new feature in the coming year. Craftspeople are popular on YouTube, and some of the work we do is cool or pleasant to watch. We're considering either posting videos with things being built by our team, or a time-lapse of our projects from beginning to end. I'm hoping it will serve as a great trust signal for our quality."
Monitor what's viral
"You can now be in the know 24 hours a day, and your business can make those micro-moments count. What is really interesting about the 24-hour Instagram video is the idea that anything can become news in real-time. Anything can become an integral part of our culture (See: Vine and "on fleek") or entertainment. It will be interesting to see how users will utilize/transform that platform -- they decide."
Do product demonstrations
"Product demonstrations are a big eye-catcher on social media. If companies are able to condense their brand or product into a 15-second demonstration video, it not only brings product awareness, but also conveys to the viewer that the product is user-friendly and easy to use. Thus, convincing the user to make a purchase or guide the user to a call to action."
Focus on quality content
"People are bored with words and love seeing what they're experiencing. With written content, people have been advised that more was better. With visual content it's the exact opposite. If you put out a half-baked, poorly-produced video, no one will ever look at your content again. It's imperative that you create relevant, well-produced quality content, or your brand will suffer."
"Build partnerships and showcase your product, service or brand by creating strong relationships with content providers that can showcase that product or service, or advertise within their current user base. Ensure you're partnering with individuals who reach your demographic, and if you're a business-to-business service, reach out and network with other businesses to create rich content of your own."
"Instagram is a great tool for companies looking to connect and engage with followers authentically. Giving people a behind-the-scenes glimpse into something they might not have access to, like a fashion show or photo shoot, allows them to get to know the faces and ideas that make up your brand."
Only post on-topic, appropriate content
"For now, it seems as though Instagram's 24-hour channel is only being used for specific holidays, news events and festivals. If brands want to jump in now, that means producing quality, timely content in a way that's relevant for your brand. While holidays and festivals are great occasions, brands should beware of potential perceived insensitivity to news events. If in doubt, don't post."
"When social media platforms like Instagram come up with new things like the 24-hour video channel, we always look at implementing strategies that make us different from the competition. Be different in the way of always making sure that you leave people with an opinion of you. Good or bad, it doesn't matter as long as you leave an impression that can't be forgotten."
Experiment with Instagram ads
"To start, you should focus on creating great content that performs well organically within your own audience. After you find your brand "voice" on Instagram, experiment with Instagram ads to lift engagement rates, drive conversions, and join the conversation around trends in the video channel."
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