User generated content is becoming more and more popular. Surely, Hollywood’s blockbusters are still drawing tons of attention and making obscene amounts of money but the much shorter, on a budget productions of everyday internauts using their mobile phones and whatever props they have in their home are also increasingly trendy.
This, of course, constitutes a wonderful opportunity for businesses to promote themselves, increase their customer base and consolidate their unique brand. Entrepreneurs can benefit most from the many advantages of video, especially with Instagram’s 2018 decision to offer IGTV channels for users to upload filmed material.
The platforms are separate and even though IGTV is similar to Instagram stories, offering the possibility to add a swipe-up call to action in the videos, the main difference is that IGTV content remains indefinitely on the channel on which it was posted.
Here are some tips on how to boost your online business through IGTV.
Use older content to reach a new audience
IGTV is still rather new so odds are that you have already tried various other channels for marketing purposes. This is a great opportunity to give new life and meaning to already published video material.
You can look back on what you have already uploaded on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo or any other platform and either simply move the content to your IGTV channel or make something new out of it – a collage, a ‘then and now’ material or a whole new containing only bits of your personal visual archive.
If your older videos were shot horizontally, you’ll have to edit them so that they fit a vertical format. There are a number of apps that are designed at doing just that and they all offer comprehensive tutorials on how to make the transformation.
Make short informative videos or tutorials
If you are looking to promote a digital course, IGTV is the best place for you to offer samples. People getting a taste of something delicious (like a hot pretzel, for example) will almost certainly end up buying the whole product.
This doesn’t work only in the food industry. If you have designed a good course and have confidence in it, give some of that valuable content for free in order to enlarge your audience and get people talking about what you are selling.
Starting conversations is a very good way to gain visibility and “how-to” videos are not only popular but known to get people discussing their own experiences.
Build social proof with customer testimonials
It’s one thing to get written feedback from your customers and another to get them to say it to the camera. There is a high level of authenticity on user-generated reviews that is unparalleled by other types of publicity.
Luckily, we live in a time when people are more eager than ever to show themselves on social media so it shouldn’t be difficult to convince at least some of your younger subscribers to film themselves talking about your product.
In order to get as many such testimonials as possible you can set up a competition or offer some manner of incentive to those who rise to the challenge of being in the spotlight.
Forge an online community with recurring episodes
Have you noticed how popular book series are? Not to speak of TV shows that go on season after season. There is something very appealing about recurring entertainment events. People enjoy predictability and consistency so if you want to have an audience that will always be there on a certain day at a certain time, post something worth their while.
You can be as creative as you like, try various genres, do cliff-hangers, invite influencers, take the motivational route or simply go with relevant, informative films about your audience’s interests and likes.
And don’t forget to add calls to action and invite your viewers to give their feedback.
Answer questions directly
As with testimonials, talking to your customers in writing is not the same as the online version of ‘face to face’. If you want people to really be inspired by your product then you should show your absolute confidence in it and your willingness to take in the feedback and build on it.
You can take some of the recurring questions or worries of potential or existing customers and answer them in videos.
It’s important to also tackle sensitive issues or negative feedback as this will show that you are truly committed to what you are offering. Your confidence in what you are selling will convince them to buy.
One last tip
You may want to start with shorter videos and see how your audience responds to those before launching into lengthier ones. Keep in mind that attention spans are dwindling so focus on the material being relevant and engaging.
So: lights, camera, action! And keep it vertical.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.