The Key to Uploading Video Content on Instagram

The Key to Uploading Video Content on Instagram

This guide will cover how to move and upload video content onto Instagram, especially if the file is coming from a desktop computer. A brief history on Instagram as a marketing tool: In the past, Instagram has marketed itself as a digital photo archive platform. But in recent years, the app began including videos in stories and posts as publishable content. To compete with other apps like Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter, Instagram entered the digital video publication market on social media.

Because the inclusion of video on Instagram is relatively new, the process of uploading and creating content to post isn’t always intuitive. Instagram offers simple ways for video editing and publication on your smartphone device.

By taking advantage of Instagram’s platform to grow your business through video marketing, you can create a multi-sensory experience for the audience that helps them attain and retain important information about your services and brand.

The Basics

Videos can be uploaded in multiple ways on smartphones. The best file format is usually going to be MP4. Often confused for an upgrade of MP3, MP4 is solely used for multimedia content, meaning files that include audio and visuals.

Instagram caps their video time at 60 seconds. The screen allowance offers a 1080 pixel width and 920-pixel tall experience, which is useful to keep in mind as you edit and upload. This is the allowed video resolution, which indicates the number of pixels Instagram’s software permits for posting multimedia content.

Once you understand the basics of Instagram video file format and resolution, you can dive into how you can get your content on the Gram.

Moving your Files from Desktop to Phone

Publishing video content is similar on both Android and iPhone as the apps are formatted the same. However, if your video file is not already on your phone, such as if it was shot and edited professionally, you need to do an extra step. There are two ways you can transfer your video file from your desktop to your smartphone device.

One way to move the files is through email. If you have your email on your phone, you can download the video file from your email app directly to your smartphone device. The file will most likely appear in your media or photos folder. If not, accessing your device’s file folder through your settings is another option.

The second way to move the video file is to plug your phone directly into your desktop. This is done using your device’s USB charging cord, minus the little brick that actually plugs into the wall. This WikiHow article goes into more detail on how to do this on different devices. 

Publishing via Phone

Once you have secured your file on your phone, you can upload it to your profile. When opening up the Instagram app, you will find a thread of options at the bottom of your screen. The one you want to use is the plus sign.

After clicking on this symbol, you will be brought to a page that shows all the saved photos and videos on your device. Scroll through and select which one you want (a preview will be showcased above the archive of photos).

After you have selected the correct file, click “next” in the top right corner. Instagram will offer the option to use its basic editing software. You can utilize this or continue forward and click “next” again. The final page will give you the opportunity to create a catchy caption or tag any other Instagram users to finish up your post. (If another user is featured or mentioned in your video, it’s a good idea to tag them to give them the opportunity to share the video to their followers, as well.)

You should also add any appropriate hashtags at this stage. Once you’re satisfied with your post, click “share.” Now, your audience can view your content, like it, and share it with their own followers to start building you some traction and brand recognition.

The Final Product

After publication, you can view your video and edit your captions and tags. Instagram users will have the opportunity to comment and like your content. If you want to further increase your visibility, you can also consider paid campaigns to endorse your product or service.

Using Instagram is a great way to increase your business’ social media following and exposure to your brand. The app’s success and 800 million active users will provide a large potential audience for your content. 

How to Use Video in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

How to Use Video in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Video can communicate quickly and more effectively than any other marketing medium. It makes more sense to use video in your email marketing if you want to increase brand awareness and help educate your customers, especially if you have a lead nurturing system in place.

Email marketing remains one of the top distribution tactics for engaging target audiences.

However due to email marketing becoming easy and reliable to use everyone has started to use it, which means many people receiving these emails can come across looking like spam.

The end goal here is to create something that is eye-grabbing and will rope your viewer in. Here is a guide on how to use video in your email marketing.

Using Video in Subject Line

By putting the word video in the subject line you are letting people know that there is a video.  It has been proven by multiple companies that just by putting the word video in the subject line you increase open rates. People like watching something more than having to read something. An example subject line would be

{VIDEO} Learn How To Grow Your Company!

Embedding a video and using HTML

One way to share a video is to embed it into the email directly. If you want to embed the video into your email the best way to do this is to use a Youtube or Vimeo link. Embedding a video can allow a video to play directly in an email.

The problem with doing this, however, is that most big email providers don’t support embedded video. While this may improve user experience the cost of doing it is too much. There is something much easier that you can use.

Don’t use links try using GIFS.

You will want to make it obvious that what you are offering is a video for people to watch. Saying “click the link and watch the video to learn more” and inserting a link will simply not do it. Instead, offer a big enticing thumbnail image inside your email.

The image should link directly to the video when selected. For more added effect use a fake play button. This will get the point across even more.

Video playback is not supported in most email clients however ‘playing’ an animated GIF is. This will make it clear that a video is waiting for them to watch. The subtlety of the GIF will draw people to the video and hopefully want to click. That is if the GIF is enticing enough.

Send people to your landing page, not someone else’s

When a person clicks on the thumbnail image the video will not playback natively in the email. The question is then where are you going to send them? and the answer to this question is your own landing page, not someone else’s. Now, what you don’t want to happen is for a person to click the thumbnail and be taken to a page where the video does not exist or is difficult to find.

Autoplay? Or no Autoplay?

Often times people do not like it when they receive an email and a video starts playing. However, since you already told and show people that there is a video in your email this time around you will want to use autoplay. So, when a person clicks the thumbnail in your email the video should autoplay. That way it reduces the amount of steps that people have to take.

Call to Action

Like most marketing outlets, having a strong CTA or the Call to Action is super important. After someone watches your video, you want your viewers to take the next step in your sales funnel. Therefore, it is important to keep it clear and urgent, Otherwise, the viewer may not know what to do next. And example CTA would be to give you a call the number below or request a demo depending on your product/service.

How To Upload Native Videos to LinkedIn

How To Upload Native Videos to LinkedIn

“Uploading natively” describes the process of uploading content directly to a website, rather than linking content from another website. On LinkedIn, you can use either method, but uploading natively has distinct advantages. 

Put simply, sharing linked content sends traffic and engagement away from LinkedIn to their competitors.

To keep the viewers on their platform, LinkedIn provides tools to increase engagement and circulation of content that is uploaded natively, in addition to boosting natively uploaded content within their feeds and playing videos automatically.

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s built-in tools to create high-performing posts with natively uploaded content. The best performing posts utilize every available tool in a way that engages with your existing network and expands that network simultaneously.

Requirements and Restrictions

These technical specifications define the boundaries of your natively uploaded videos. Videos must be no less than 3 seconds and no more than 10 minutes, in addition to being no less than 75KB and no more than 5GB. Experienced videographers will be familiar with these constraints, and will take them into account when creating your promotional videos.

(Why isn’t the length of the video enough to determine the file size? The KB per second varies depending on the resolution and dimensions of your video.)

There is no need to upload the longest possible video. As Viveka Von Rosen writes for Social Media Examiner, “People have short attention spans, so it’s a good idea to keep your videos shorter than 3 minutes.”

For more detailed specifications, check LinkedIn’s technical FAQ.

Contextualize Your Video for New and Familiar Audiences

You can write up to 700 words to accompany your video, and that is more than enough to help your audience understand it’s context.

In one or two paragraphs, give viewers descriptions of your video and your business. Be sure to introduce yourself thoroughly so people who are unfamiliar with your business can understand the video. To describe the video, sum up the content in a sentence or two, and then add some background information that connects the video to your business.

Invite Viewers to Continue the Conversation

You should always include an explicit and inviting offer to follow up with your audience about any questions they may have about your business or the video itself.  Simply adding “To learn more, contact us here” along with ample avenues for contacting your business is a good start.

Adding prompts that can be answered in the comments is a great way to build engagement. For example, if you are promoting a spring sales event you can ask your audience, “What is your favorite part of spring? Answer in the comments below!”

Choose Your Audience

LinkedIn will automatically set your posts to “public”, visible to everyone including visitors outside of your LinkedIn network. You have the ability to change that if you wish, before or after posting.

Another option is the “Public and Twitter” setting, which can push content to a connected Twitter account when you post. Additionally, “Connections Only” will limit the visibility of your post to those connected to your LinkedIn network.

Note that choosing “Connections Only” will make it impossible for people outside your current audience to find your content, so avoid that setting for your marketing posts.

Always Allow Comments

Comments often include questions about your business or the content shared. By answering them you provide clarity to potential clients and supporters, gain trust, and boost the visibility of your posts. 

Captions or Subtitles

Using subtitles and captions allow your video to be understood without sound. This is helpful for audiences who are hearing impaired or otherwise unable to access sound at the moment.

LinkedIn doesn’t have automatic subtitles yet, but you can add subtitles to your video by uploading a separate SRT file along with the video.

I recommend Rev if you are interested in adding subtitles to your video. Contact me to learn more about video marketing on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to answer your questions or speak more about how to maximize video marketing for your business.

Video Marketing Tip #2: How to Properly Upload Your Videos to Facebook

Video Marketing Tip #2: How to Properly Upload Your Videos to Facebook

There’s a difference between uploading your video directly to Facebook, and sharing a link to another site like Youtube. This process is known as  “uploading natively” and it is a good technique to get more views and shares for your content.

There’s a simple reason for this. Facebook competes with Youtube and sites like it, so there are built-in advantages that make posts uploaded natively perform better than posts that are linked to an outside source. Facebook designs their platform that way, and displays native videos more prominently in people’s feeds.

Here is a guide to help you upload a native video to Facebook:

Start with the Title

The title can be anything you want, but it’s a good idea to include the business name and a catchy phrase that describes the content. You need something descriptive enough that someone can find it if they try to search for it again later.

Tip: your videographer can and should tailor the specs of your video for Facebook’s standard dimensions. If the video is too wide or too tall the overall quality will be negatively affected.

Description Part 1: Give the Video Context

Think of the description as an expansion of your title. You can write one or two paragraphs, one describing your business or organization and one describing the video’s content. Remember that your Facebook video may be shared with folks who are unfamiliar with your work, so make sure that you introduce yourself thoroughly.

Description Part 2: How to Learn More

Always include an invitation to learn more and a method of getting in touch, whether that is a phone number, email, or encouragement to “Direct Message” your business’ profile on Facebook. Your description should give your viewers all the tools they need to follow up with you and take the next steps you want them to take; include links to your website, other social media channels, and any contact info they could need.

Adding Tags

Tags are very similar to hashtags. A good practice is to choose the most general hashtags and reuse them as tags. Facebook uses tags to suggest content to users who have been using the tags in their own posts, so they can be effective in getting maximum exposure for your video.

Picking Out the Perfect Thumbnail

The thumbnail is the first image someone sees before they play on your video, which can be a still image taken from the video itself or a stand-alone image that you create and upload. Be sure not to leave it as the default, which may be a still of someone in mid-speech or another awkward looking image.

Subtitles and Captions

Subtitles allow your audience to understand the video without listening to the audio. However, the closed captions that Facebook creates are inconsistent and could end up confusing your audience, leading them to move on to other content. For that reason, I recommend using an online tool like Rev to make closed captions. Captions are an important accessibility feature for hearing impaired viewers. Captions are also important for viewers who can’t turn on the audio, such as mobile users on a train, for example.  

You’re Not Done Yet: Keep Your Post Relevant.

Once your video has been uploaded to Facebook, you will have ongoing opportunities to keep the video relevant. Reply to comments, answer questions, ask questions, and thank people for their support. This practice has two distinct advantages: each comment, by you and your audience, sends Facebook a cue to boost the video in people’s feeds and draws in more viewers. You also gain a lot of social capital and public trust by building a rapport with your audience and taking the opportunity to connect with people in your network.

Get in touch to share your questions and thoughts on Facebook video uploading, I’d love to answer them and talk about what video can do for your business.

Video Marketing Tip 1: Website

Video Marketing Tip 1: Website

To kick off our series on how to rock video as part of your content marketing strategy, we’re going to talk about how to get your video assets to complement and feed into your biggest online asset: your website. I’ll be sharing tips, tricks, and industry secrets to drive more business with video, so watch this space for future installments.

Branding videos can serve as the flagship of your marketing strategy and campaign, if you execute the right way. Your branding video is your handshake–it’s your opportunity to introduce your brand, company, and services to prospective customers, and you have to make a good first impression if you want a second meeting. All other aspects of your marketing strategy should tie into this essential piece. A successful brand video will put a face to your business and help potential clients relate to you and your unique identity. Here, we’ll provide some useful tips to effectively use a brand video on your website and optimize that “hello” to turn your audience into customers.  

Positioning Your Video on Your Website

You need to strategically place your brand video so that it draws the eye of the visitor on your page. You want to make sure that the video is placed above the fold on your homepage so that visitors don’t have to scroll down or click a link to another page in order to view it. Accessibility can be a determining factor in whether or not someone actually views the piece, so you want to make sure that it’s as easy as possible for your audience to reach. Remember, your viewers won’t search around for your content–you have to deliver it with a bow on top. Respect your site visitors’ time, and make it easy for them to find.

Avoid Autoplay 

While Autoplay has changed the game on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, it’s a big unwelcome distraction when used on your website. If your brand video is your hello, then using Autoplay is like breaking into someone’s house instead of knocking on the door.

 When you visit a new site and you hear noise in the background, your first inclination is to immediately find the source and stop it from playing. This feature intrudes on the experience of your visitors and greatly decreases the chances of them engaging with your content. They need to make the decision to click the play button of their own volition, and forcing them to interact with the video when they first enter your page is a poor strategy (and, to some, an offputting one.)

Choose Your Video Thumbnail with Care; Avoid the Default  

Since you shouldn’t force viewers to watch your video, you need to entice them into doing it.  Choosing the right thumbnail is vital to achieving that. A thumbnail, as the name implies, is the small still image that you see on a video before you hit play. This image is the first entry point for potential viewers, and if your thumbnail looks uninteresting, there’s a much lower chance of them actually playing your brand video.

You need to take care in selecting the still image, and not just use YouTube’s default. Choosing an image of a person in mid-speech, for example, is much less appealing than an  up-close shot of a product or demonstration. You want your thumbnail to be as eye-catching as possible, so take the time to evaluate whether or not your image is sending the right message and get feedback from others (like a video professional).

Should You Use a YouTube Link or Embed to Your Website?

Deciding on whether or not to upload a YouTube link of your brand video to your website or embed it directly depends entirely on your goals and business needs. Embedding the video onto your site has an increased impact on SEO rankings, whereas a YouTube link is much easier to upload and provides viewers with an avenue to explore other video content on your channel.

Include a Short Description Next to Your Video

Including a short description next to your brand video is another marketing tactic you can use. This provides the visitor with some insights regarding the content they’ll be viewing and might make them more inclined to click the play button. Alternatively, you can also provide a brief description of your company or simply a list of services. Any text you can add can help with your SEO, as well.

Stay tuned for more video hacks and marketing strategies, and give me a call if you’d like to talk about how to execute this advice for your own website.

Include the link to the post on embedding videos here.