How To Create Short Videos For Social Media Sites Like Instagram

Instagram LogoBy Mark Micheli
Co-Founder, Reel Partners Media

“The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video,” according to digital media expert Gary Vaynerchuck. And he believes the best place to post that video is on social media channels, like Instagram, because right now video stands out there and can get the attention it deserves.

Attention spans are short on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms so the videos have to be short. Instagram only allows 15-second videos. Already major companies, such as Zappos, Lyft, Target, Toyota, and GE are posting videos on Instagram to build their brands and to sell. But the beauty of social media is you don’t have to be a large national or international company to get attention there.

More and more smaller businesses are finding Instagram videos to be an effective marketing tool. Reel Partners recently completed a series of short, 15-second videos for a client to help market a luxury apartment building in New Haven, Conn.

Lure Them In With Mystery

These videos don’t have to explain everything. In fact, keeping an aura of mystery is sometimes the goal. They usually act as one part of a larger marketing campaign: one that draws attention on social media platforms and reels in potential customers by making them curious about something. Check out some of these 15-second Instagram videos to see what I mean.

We modeled our 15-second social media videos for the Corsair Apartments in New Haven, Conn. after the GE video (above). It shows a series of quick changing images, set to music, and ends with a call to action: visit our website to learn more.

The marketing campaign for the Corsair Apartments is one built on promoting the site’s history as a major manufacturing center. Many different things were built on the Corsair site over the years, including women’s corsets, carriage locks, and the Corsair airplane, which helped win WWII. We created a full two-and-a-half-minute video that tells the story about that site. And to supplement that on social media, we created a series of 15-second “Made In New Haven” videos: the perfect size for Instagram. Below is an example of one of them:

Step-by-Step Video Editing Tips

So how did we do this? Here are some step-by-step pointers for editing your 15-second video and posting it on Instagram:

  1. Once you have your video clips, import them into your video editor (we use Final Cut Pro X)
  2. Customize your video properties to 640 x 640 (the square ratio for Instragram images) and choose the H.262 codec. This codec will ensure your video looks great while keeping your file size low.
  3. Edit your video as you see fit. Don’t forget to add music. (There are several sites that provide royalty-free music, even for commercial use. Or you can choose to purchase music for your video.)

How to Post Video to Instagram

Now comes the tricky part: posting your video on Instagram. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Save your edited video to Dropbox. If you don’t have an account, open up a free one on your desktop or laptop and then download the Dropbox app to your smartphone. (Alternatively, you can also save the video to your desktop and then email it to yourself.)
  2. On your smartphone, open up the Dropbox app and save the video. This should automatically save it to your smartphone’s camera roll. (If you emailed the video to yourself, open it up on your smartphone and then save it to your camera roll.)
  3. On your smartphone, open Instagram, locate your video in your camera roll, and post it.

Video marketing is evolving rapidly. Try to keep up so that only your competitors are left behind.