Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | July 20, 2016

Doing Videos With Instagram

Digital video is more popular than ever and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon.  Doing videos for mobile apps such as Instagram is a marketers goldmine. The problem is many small business owners believe it is too costly or they just do not understand how to go about making their videos.  Here are some good tips to keep in mind when making digital videos, especially for Instagram.

Step 1: What is Your goal in making your video?

Before shooting your video, ask yourself what your goal is. What do you hope to achieve with this particular Instagram video?

Making an unedited video using your smartphone camera many times is all you need to do.  Just remember to capture your idea and keep it professional.  Always remember the time limits of videos on Instagram. Typically 60 seconds.

Start by outlining what it is you want to achieve, like getting the views you want. This is done by getting people to share your video and using hashtags.

Choose a goal that is achievable for your brand. If you’re just getting started on Instagram and only have a handful of followers, don’t expect 1,000 views on your first go-round.  Going forward, keep a time frame to post future videos so you can gain an audience.  Stick to that calendar!

Step 2:  Light your shoot.

You don’t need to own a top-of-the-line lighting kit to make people look great on camera. There are, however, some basic lighting tips that you can’t afford to live without. This advice works particularly well if you’re shooting a talking-head style video with a backdrop and a subject that’s standing in one place.

  • Avoid shooting video under overhead lighting.  This type of lighting creates “raccoon type eye” shadowing, which doesn’t make anyone look great. Have your subject move around until you find the sweet spot.
  • Use natural light. Does your office have a lot of big windows? Is the sunshine just pouring in every day? Stand near a window for the shot, but remember to always keep the light in front of you, not behind you.
  • Get creative with your available light sources. If your subject is looking a little harsh with your current light setup, create softer light by bouncing a light source off a reflector, like a piece of white poster board. Block out unwanted light in your space by covering your windows with some black plastic and save some cash. If your budget allows for it, spring for blackout roller shades.

Step 3: Shoot your footage.

When it comes to shooting your footage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Try to incorporate these best practices into the Instagram videos you make and you’ll be on your way to success.

  • Mix up your shots. Just like with any video, you’ll want to mix up your shots in order to capture your viewer’s attention. Grab your phone and record a number of short clips that help tell your story. If your video is longer than just a few seconds, change up your shots so your viewers aren’t just staring at the same talking head for a minute and a half.
  • Show, don’t tell.  For Instagram videos  the platform itself is a visual one, so play it up. Show them what your product actually looks like.  Don’t talk into the camera like a selfie.  Nobody cares about your face.  They want to see what your product or service is.
  • Use your judgment.  If you’re shooting a  company culture video, you should feel free to take some liberties with steadying your shot. Walk around with your phone and capture the best shots without worrying about stabilization. However, if you do plan to shoot talking-head videos, interviews, consider a tripod.  There are tripods available for smartphones.
  • Be selective.  Remember that you only have 1 minute to share your story, so save your long-form content for your site. Company culture posts tend to perform well on this platform because they fit in with the types of content other people are already sharing. Plan ahead around events and functions – if you know there’s always a company-wide outing during the summer, add shooting an Instagram video into your editorial calendar for that month. Not everything is video-worthy, but if you can come up with a fun, creative angle for what you’re promoting, video can help get the job done!


Step 4: Edit.

Now that you have all your footage together, it’s time for the edit. Editing videos within the Instagram app itself isn’t the most seamless experience, so if you’re stitching footage together or going for anything other than just a quick trim, you should edit the footage in a third-party app. Here are some apps we’ve found particularly useful:

  • Splice (Free) | iOS. This app was made by GoPro, so you know it’s legit. Splice has a five-star rating and comes equip with cool features such text overlay, video splicing, and narration, music, and sound effect functionality.
  • Magisto (Free) | iOS & Android. Magisto is a simple yet powerful editor that makes it really easy to create professional videos. Choose music, customize the theme, and splice shots until you’ve created the perfect mix.

Remember: Instagram is all about keeping things lighthearted and fun, so don’t over think it and remember your time limitations.  As you get more experienced, you can start adding various effects to your videos such as wipes, dissolves, slo-mo and other fun things.  If you are still shy about doing digital video, you can always hire a professional but as that famous line goes..”You Can Do It!”


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