Instagram Video: What is the Marketing Potential?

On June 20th Instagram unveiled the newest feature for its photo-sharing app: The addition of videos up to 15 seconds using 13 different filters. As evidenced by YouTube’s huge success, video sharing has become a major medium for sharing products and connecting with others. So how is Instagram’s new video feature any different from existing video programs such as Vine? And will it open doors for new ways to reach targeted audiences with interesting, dynamic content? While it’s impossible to tell which technologies will flop and which will¬†meteorically rise, Instagram’s take on video sharing holds the promise of great marketing potential for several reasons.

Access to Instagram’s 100 million members. An obvious advantage to using video sharing on Instagram is a connection to the vast number of people who already access the program regularly. Like Facebook, Instagram offers a diversity of demographics constantly hungry for new content to share, like and promote. Every marketer hopes for “viral” content that will spread organically, friend to friend, providing widespread exposure with minimal investment. Instagram’s already rapt audience is ready to facilitate the spread of videos–given that the videos are interesting, creative, funny or cool enough.

The use of Instagram’s widely popular filters. One of the features that distinguishes Instagram from prior picture sharing sites is its use of filters that allow users to brighten, fade, saturate and just generally personalize their photos. Put simply Instagram allows users to make ordinary photos look extraordinary–whether that be tinged in vintage hues or blurred into artistic obscurity. Similarly, marketers now have the ability to easily create video content that reflects the brand or campaign image through the use of filters. With endless possibilities that do not necessarily require professional graphic design abilities to manufacture, Instagram’s video feature opens doors for highly creative, cost effective content.

Instagram’s 15-second cap on video content. It can be hard to communicate an effective message in 6 seconds–which is exactly what Vine requires. Because Instagram offers lengthier content, brands have the ability to string together a video clip that tells a complete narrative. At the same time, 15 seconds falls short of a full television commercial length, reminding its creators to keep content succinct, clean and to the point. Because of shortened attention spans and the constant inundation of information, Instagram’s 15-second videos may be the perfect length to draw audiences in without overstepping the fine line towards every marketer’s dreaded consumer reaction–boredom.

What do you think of Instagram’s video sharing? Is the sky the limit?

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