When new social media features are released, every news outlet and blog jumps on the story. (Hey, we do it, too.) Everyone's thinking: what is this new feature, and how does it fit into my current content strategy?
And while considering new technology in your larger strategy is essential to the success of your business, there's something to be said for cannonballing right in to using new features to see if they might work for your marketing. Instead of suffering from analysis paralysis, some companies -- even "unsexy" B2B brands -- are making a splash with videos on Instagram right from the get-go. Whether you're looking for some tactical tips for making Instagram videos or just need some inspiration to get your company on board, you'll learn a thing or two from these brave and creatve companies' Instagram videos.
10 Brands Creating Awesome Instagram Videos
1) lululemon athletica
This is probably one of my favorite Instagram videos so far. One of the first brands to jump on the new feature, lululemon athletica showed off its creative and playful side in this video -- all while still telling the brand's story. It reminds me of the viral video, "Where the Hell is Matt?" from a few years ago ... but instead of dancing, the featured person is doing yoga. This video is great example of on-brand storytelling without directly shilling a product -- a key inbound lesson.
2) Today Show
Even media outlets are getting creative with Instagram videos. In this video, a couple is shown getting engaged next to Al Roker. Talk about heartwarming user-generated content! While the video is certainly adorable, the main thing you should take away is that your Instagram videos don't have to be perfectly filmed. Just tell a story, and people will love you for it. This video is shot from a shoddy angle and the sound quality isn't great, but it still engaged the Today Show's Instagram following.
3) charity: water
We can't help but admire how charity: water uses Instagram videos. This video helps bring its mission to life by telling a story of a woman who has been helped by the nonprofit. The reason we love this video is because charity: water makes the most of the technology available to it -- the nonprofit uses both the video and the caption to tell the story. Bonus: by including a longer caption, the video will be much easier to find through Instagram's search function.
4) Ben & Jerry's
Warning: if you have a sweet tooth like me, you will drool while watching this video. It's a behind-the-scenes look at how Ben & Jerry's makes ice cream ... yum. But the reason I thought this video was great wasn't because the ice cream looks delicious. It's because the video does a great job of giving a look into an often-unseen (but still interesting) part of the Ben & Jerry's production process. Videos like these are like inside jokes in a group of friends -- they can help bring a community closer around a brand.
5) Victoria's Secret
Another stop-motion-esque type video, this Instagram post by Victoria's Secret is pretty brilliant. It's fun and playful -- all without having someone in front of the camera. Take note, marketers -- you can still exude playfulness even if no one is front of the camera. A great thing to keep in mind if you or your on-camera personalities are having a bad hair day. ;-)
Finally! Our first "unsexy" B2B brand who knocks it out of the park with an Instagram video. Another stop-motion type video, this video shows how to make a DIY Ultrabook case out of sweatshirt. Though I certainly admire Intel's creativity for making the video in the first place, I think the coolest part of the video is the fact that it actually shows you how to do something -- how inbound is that? It's not just entertaining; it's useful, too.
7) Jamie Oliver
Another type of how-to video, Jamie Oliver's Instagram post is great because it's chock-full of personality. He walks you through making a simple salad dressing using phrases like "Shake it like a nutter!" and "fairy fingers." You can't help but laugh. He also gets bonus points for the unflattering -- yet hilarious -- featured still image. Another lesson for us inbound marketers here is to not be afraid of letting our brand's personality (or even our individual personalities) shine a little while teaching our audience something new.
Ever wanted to be backstage at a fashion show? Thanks to Burberry's video, you can get a glimpse. To promote its next fashion show, Burberry compiles quick clips of the location, decorations, models, and even a few pieces from its collection. This is a fairly intimate behind-the-scenes story -- which is especially impressive for a luxury brand.
9) General Electric
Since GE is a well-known B2B brand with great visual content, it's no surprise that it rocks at creating Instagram videos as well. Featuring an engine during a "water ingestion test," this video will stop geeks and non-geeks alike in their tracks to say "wow!" It's something that most people wouldn't see in their daily lives. Kudos to GE for making an awe-inducing behind-the-scenes video about a traditionally dry subject (for most people, anyway). It's an incredibly inspiring video, especially for us B2B marketers who don't have cute, tangible products to feature.
... That being said, even if you are a "sexy" B2C brand, you don't always need to showcase your products front-and-center in Instagram videos. This video by Gap, for example, is a simple drawing of a crossword puzzle with a peek of Gap jeans, yet it still conveys Gap's personality. For us, it's important to always try to think outside the box when making Instagram videos -- even mom-and-pop shops have a pen and paper at their disposal to make videos.
Has your brand tried using Instagram videos yet? If so, what type of videos do you make? If not, what kind of videos would you make?
Originally published Jul 12, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017