Do you struggle to create engaging Instagram videos? Wonder how to easily post and schedule that content for maximum exposure?
If so, you’re not alone. In a recent Tailwind customer survey, we found that knowing what to post and how to easily share it to Instagram is a top challenge.
And while it may feel overwhelming, Instagram isn’t a platform you can afford to ignore. With over 400 million active users consuming video content before making a purchase decision, Instagram is where your business needs to be.
Yet, knowing how to create, post, and schedule videos to Instagram is easier said than done. Not only is it tough to know what type of video to share, but when, and how often to post your Instagram videos.
To get you started, we’ve put together a step-by-step video strategy. Plus, we’ve included a template you can plug right into your video process.
Ready to dive in? Read on to learn the exact steps to creating awe-inspiring Instagram videos that build buzz around your brand!
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STEP 1: Know Your Instagram Audience Needs
Within this first step, you’ll learn how to plan and create better content by learning what your audience is already responding to.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of video content will inspire your Instagram audience, we’ll solve that right here and now.
You’ll begin with research, getting a better understanding into what type of video your audience is interacting with.
Because as you know, each social platform is different. Facebook may respond well to educational videos, but that doesn’t mean your Instagram audience will as well.
To begin, you’re going to get to know your audience inside and out. Learn what motivates and drives them, encourages interaction, and causes them to take action.
To do that, take the time to get to know their NEEDS:
- Naturally Motivates: What naturally motivates and inspires them?
- Energizes: What energizes and encourages them?
- Excites: What gets them excited, talking, and sharing with others?
- Desire: What do they deeply desire to know, do, and learn?
- Story: How does your brand story resonate and remain relevant?
Once you gain clarity, you can begin to craft video content around those topics. Instead of shooting one-off videos, you’ll speak to the exact needs of your audience while tying it to your business goals.
And as you provide specific solutions for your audience, you’ll start to win the conversation around your product, service, and business. Take Taco Bell as an example.
Certainly they’re not the only restaurant offering tacos. And yet, they were the only brand to start a petition for a taco emoji.
Because yes, believe it or not, there was a day when we existed without a taco emoji.
But think about that opportunity. Another brand could’ve easily taken it and run with it, stealing Taco Bell’s thunder… but they didn’t.
Not only was Taco Bell listening to their audience, but disrupting the market, and becoming a catalyst for change at the same time.
To learn the answers to the questions above (your audience NEEDS), let’s dive into two research options, plus a BONUS way to get answers fast.
Then I’ll share how you’ll put this data to good use.
Your first (and most manual) option is Instagram Insights. As a business account, you have access to valuable data.
To get there, head to your profile and click on the “burger menu” or 3 dots to the right of your profile name. Click on “insights – Content – See All.”
Instagram will auto-sort your content by engagement from highest (best) to lowest performers (worst).
Scroll through each post and look at 3 key areas: type of media (post vs. video), topic (business vs. entertaining), and topic (promotional vs. educational).
What you want to learn is what that top type and topic is.
- What’s the flow of content, the message, and the voice?
- Is there an outlier or a theme within your top performing posts?
Once you find that common thread, you can translate those posts into additional pieces of video content.
For example, you’re a pet supply store and wrote a post about your new puppy potty pads along with a brand image.
Ok… so this isn’t a potty pad, but it is a really cute dog doing Yoga.
Nevertheless, the idea here is to put a new spin on that topic with video. Focus on the benefit, the solution, and the transformation in your video.
As a dog owner, I can say without a doubt that your video showing me how quickly I can stop my dog from wetting in the house would equal an INSTANT purchase.
You see, what you’re working towards is a hypothesis around their particular needs. Instead of going with your gut or worse yet… guessing at what they want, you’re looking to data to tell the story.
Your alternative to manually sorting through that data is to head over to Tailwind. Inside you’ll find, “Post Inspector” where you can analyze the performance of every Instagram post (yes, since the beginning of time!)
Instead of scrolling through an endless feed of content, Tailwind has done the heavy lifting for you. Here you’ll see a breakdown of your top performing posts based on like and comments.
Run through the same process you did above to get to the bottom of your top performing posts.
BONUS: As you do this, you can automatically reschedule content that’s proven to engage your audience.
Oh wait, you thought you could only post something as a once-and-done to Instagram? No way! Recycle your top performing content to capture the attention of a whole new audience.
Alright, so now that you know what your top performing content is, what competitor content is resonating with our audience, and how it specifically solves your audience NEEDS, it’s time to get clear on your content.
STEP 2: Perform an Instagram Video Content Brainstorm
Before you hop behind the camera or begin to create any type of Instagram video, you need to work through content topics.
What will you talk about, what problem will you focus on in each video, and what’s the solution you’ll share?
You also need to get crystal clear on core differentiators. What makes your Instagram audience want to choose you over the competition?
The questions below will help you figure out:
- Your unique expertise
- Your core differentiators
- Your specific solution
- Your content topics
These questions will help you formulate copy for months of unique Instagram videos. Sound too good to be true?
By the time you’re done, you’ll have topics that attract search engine attention and position you as the expert in your field.
- What qualifies you as an expert within your industry? List 3-5.
- What one thing do you do better than anyone else?
- What are the 3 biggest problems your company solves?
- What proof do you have that you’re the best?
From here, you’ll take those answers and add them into Frequently Asked Questions from your community.
What are they asking that you can answer in video format? Think about how sharing your exact process would help solve their problem.
To find your FAQ, look to your website, blog, social media, send an email survey, or go to your customer support team and get feedback.
The key here is to take those questions, align them with your audience intent (what are they really dying to know) and then put them into a video format that’s easy to digest.
Plus, when you optimize the headline, you give your content the chance to rank for keywords you want to be known for.
Here’s an example of what that recently looked like for the Tailwind content team.
FAQ: How do I get verified on Instagram?
Blog post and video content: How To Get Verified on Instagram
And here we sit on Page 1, Position 3 for the term, “get verified on Instagram.”
Pretty powerful strategy when you create content designed for your audience intent, right?
STEP 3: Design Your Instagram Video Content Plan
Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about your audience, the types of content they’re interacting with, and what drives engagement, it’s time to design your video content plan.
Here you’ll take your current learnings and create an Instagram video content plan (something we’ll drop into a calendar in step 6) to keep you consistent and agile.
As you know, your Instagram strategy has to be fluid. Features and media types are constantly changing, so your strategy will need to adjust.
But the one thing that will remain the same is how you want your video content to connect with and make your Instagram audience feel.
With a consistent video Instagram plan, you can gauge that, control it, and iterate upon it as you determine what’s working and what’s not.
It also adds structure and focus to your content as you plan ahead, instead of playing from behind.
If you’re not sure where to get started, below is a simple 3 step video content plan where you’ll identify:
- The goal of your Instagram video content
- What type of video content you’ll share
- A simple way to plan a massive amount of content
Instagram Content Checklist
1. What goals do you want to achieve?
Make sure these roll up into your overarching social media goals. Do you want:
- All of the above?
2. What are the top 5 topics you are or want to be known for?
For example, if you’re a fitness expert, you might focus on:
- Weight Loss
Now you’re going to take those topics and treat them as a guide for daily, weekly, and monthly video content creation.
3. What video content will you share to attract the right audience?
Once you know your goals and the type of content your audience is looking for, it’s time to tie that to the purpose behind your videos.
In order for your audience to find your videos valuable, each one needs to answer one of these questions:
- What someone would need to know if they just met you?
- What someone would need to know to take next steps with you?
- What someone would need to know to hire, work with or do business with you?
If you’re a local coffee shop, use Instagram video to highlight your latest coffee blend, drink special or barista.
We’re voyeurs by nature and want to get a look inside your company, culture, and process.
What makes you tick, what makes you different, why should I care about you vs. Joe’s Coffee down the street?
If you’re a cyclist, use Instagram video to take your audience along on the ride.
Highlight places you’ve been, sights you’ve seen, what life is like from your vantage point.
Because here’s the thing, how you see the world is unique to you.
When you take something as simple as riding a bike and make it relatable and interesting to even those that don’t, you create massive connection on a human level.
And that is a scalable strategy. Not something made up or fabricated around someone else’s likes or needs.
The key to all of this is to use Instagram video to create conversation, momentum, and buzz around your brand by sharing what you know matters most to your audience.
What can you do, say, show that will dramatically improve their life or business?
STEP 4: Create Your Instagram Videos (Editors, Apps, Tools)
How are you feeling at this point? Hopefully it’s energized and enthusiastic about your video content strategy.
You’ve come a long way in a short time and now you’re ready to start creating videos. Choosing the tools you’ll use is an important part of the process.
If you choose apps that are difficult or come with a steep learning curve, you’ll find yourself frustrated, overwhelmed, and eager to quit.
I’ve tested almost every app out there and find the ones below to be the easiest to get up and running with very little effort. Plus, they’ll help you customize and brand your videos in no more than a few steps.
Let’s first talk about the different types of video content you can create.
With Instagram video, you have several choices:
- Instagram Live
- Instagram Stories
- Recorded Video
Depending on which type you choose will determine the tools and apps you want to use.
From video posts to ads, Life Lapse helps you create compelling stop motion content.
Use it to highlight your team, share a behind-the-scenes moment, spotlight a product or share a visual “how-to.”
Import your own videos or pull from Wave’s 200-million stock video and image library. Combine multiple clips with your own to get the look and story you want.
One of my favorite features is the ability to instantly change the aspect ratio of your video to 30+ popular sizes, optimized for every social platform.
Are you a content creator? With Anchor, you can take that content and transform it into video content.
As a podcaster, it’s an easy way to turn each episode into video posts or Story’s in the click of a button. Plus, it takes the transcription and adds that to your video.
Upload, merge, and edit your videos, including stickers, text, filers, and more. For Instagram, they even include a few additional features:
- Blur border for photo and video
- Colored border to make it square ready
- Move video/photo inside the square
Shoot your video and import it to CutStory where you can add text, music, stickers and more.
CutStory will then cut it up and save in your smartphone’s Camera Roll as fragments of 15 seconds or any other length in chronological order.
Love collages? We do too! And what better way to use them than turning a static image into a dynamic and captivating video?!
Drag and drop your favorite images and videos, choose your collage template, record a voiceover or add music, and share.
STEP 5: Post (And Schedule) Your Instagram Videos
Whew! Look at how much you’ve accomplished in your video content planning?!
This last step is going to make posting and scheduling Instagram videos super simple.
We all know the amount of time it takes to create, post, and engage an audience on Instagram. But what you should see now is that with a:
- Audience strategy
- Content strategy
- Design strategy
Your time spent on Instagram will dramatically decrease!
And with that comes the final way to pull your Instagram video strategy together. This is the one critical element to removing any further barriers between you, your business, and Instagram marketing success.
It’s your posting and scheduling strategy!
Sure, you could do this the old-fashioned, manual way and spend all day on Instagram waiting for the exact right moment to capture audience attention
You can use Tailwind to show you the best times to post and schedule your content in advance. And the best part? You can batch your content so it fits into your daily, weekly or monthly content workflow.
- Login to your Tailwind Account and choose your Instagram Business Account (Haven’t signed up? Start your free trial now!)
- Go to “Publisher” and click on “Your Schedule” – “Generate New Smart Schedule.”
- Choose how often you want to post and the time of day you’d like those posts to go out.
- Voila! You now have a customized schedule to auto post to Instagram. Need to make changes? Don’t worry! You have complete control over the dates and times your content posts to Instagram.
- Click on Publisher – Drafts – Create New Post to upload your video content.
- Add your description and hashtags to ensure your post gets seen. Not a pro at using hashtags? Use our Instagram Hashtag Finder to see what’s popular, trending, and active in your industry or niche.
- Add your location if applicable and click, “Add to Queue.” BOOM! You’ve scheduled Instagram video to auto post to Instagram.
It’s not enough to simply post videos to Instagram. If you want to continue increasing the effectiveness of your channel, it’s imperative that you track and measure your performance.
Use Tailwind’s Instagram Analytics and Reporting feature to analyze and measure how your Instagram audience responds to each post. Dive into what’s working and iterate on what’s not.
And one final word on your Instagram video strategy… if all of the above feels like too much to take on at once, that’s ok.
Baby steps will get you where you want to be as long as you consistently take them.
Get out there, start sharing, and most of all, have fun creating, posting, and scheduling videos to Instagram!
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