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It’s here! Video for Instagram. Now what?

Video for Instagram gives personal users a fresh, creative way to share special moments of their lives, but is there any reason this could help brands?

The short answer is yes.

Even though Instagram video is still in its early stages (launched recently), there are many exciting reasons advertisers can use this creative tool. Here are a few.

  • Video Length. Unlike its rival Vine, videos will have a 15-second length compared to 6 seconds. Additionally, it is now expected that Facebook will be rolling out video Facebook ads in the fall for surprise, 15-second videos. (Note: This timeframe is also commonly used in YouTube pre-roll video ads.)
  • Untapped Audience. Instagram users have only been exposed to photos and now the use of video will allow advertisers to share content in a new and longer way.
  • Social Sharing. Just like with photos, videos can easily be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr, allowing for extended reach to other social accounts.

However, there are always drawbacks. The following additions would help advertisers use the platform to its full potential.

  • Shareable Links. Currently, there is not a way to link out to external content from your picture (or video) post. Even if you add a URL, it does not become a hyperlink. This means that marketing through Instagram is only good for impressions of your pictures or videos of your brand, requiring users to use a separate application to get to your services or products.
  • An Instagram Ad Center. Even though this has not yet happened, the fact remains that Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook, as a business, needs to find new avenues to bring in more money through advertising. Instagram provides a wide open opportunity. I expect to see something roll out by the end of 2013. 

Despite the drawbacks, Instagram video is setting the stage for a great new way for marketers to reach an untapped existing audience.

How could your organization use Instagram Video to expand your reach?