Why do we need to make videos or visual content for Instagram posts?
One can add more to the above list but it’ll come back to the same point: that humans are social animals, they have voracious egos that never seem to be satiated, and of course each normal human on this planet wants to have an ever-increasing, never-ending income.
What’s special about videos?
A picture tells a thousand words but a video goes past a million easily within a short span of time. With good videography, you can even be an influencer in two basic ways:
Influencer? But why? Refer back to the fundamental logic given. Why Instagram? Instagram is based on using images & videos to tell people your story, or whatever you may want to communicate.
SURVEY: Facebook and Snapchat are now generating over 8 billion daily video views. Millions of hours of video content are being watched on YouTube every day. As an influencer, you want as much of this cake as possible.
Videos connect with viewers very powerfully. The more attention-grabbing the video is, the more viewer interest it generates and this is more important than anything else.
So does one need to be a very skilled or expert videographer? Nope. Technology has made dunces and rookies seem good and smart, and the average Joe/Jane to seem like an expert. Examples include smart machines (CNC, robotic controls, monitored and programmed functioning), smart cars (ABD, EBD, ESC, EBA, Hill Assist, Parking Assist, etc.) smart planes (ALS), smart signalling systems, autofocus in cameras and smartphones — well, the list is endless. So in this day and age, one does not need a film degree or a studio full of expensive equipment to make a great video. A good, clear idea, slightly better skills than the average person, and a good smartphone should be sufficient.
So what are the fundamentals to shooting an impactful video to post on Instagram? Whether it’s a personal communication or professional one, the basics remain the same.
Without a clarity on this, it is futile to simply prepare content and post. Having clear comprehension of the kind of audience you’re trying to reach and the goal you’re trying to achieve will ensure that you create a video with a well-defined purpose in mind.
Tell a good story, and you can get to be the centre of attention. Do you remember who the best teachers, school friends or your favourite uncle/aunt/grandmother was? And why? Certainly, these are the ones who kept us interested in them by telling us fascinating stories. In fact, storytellers have been popular since the very first time humans began forming communities! Most best-selling authors are clearly excellent storytellers. So, always ensure to tell a compelling story where you can connect with the viewer on a personal and emotional level.
The first 5–20 seconds of a video are crucial as this is the maximum duration a viewer will spend on the video before skipping to another one. So grab the viewers’ attention immediately with brilliant colours, cinematography or animation, and a visually stunning introduction.
Think a little out of the box. Do not be in a hurry. Find a way to stand out from the crowd: be bright, be bold, and plan for plenty of razzle-dazzle.
No light, no video. There’s no shortcut here. For personal videos, one may rely on the best time of the day for natural lighting or make do with whatever assistance we get from available lighting (natural and artificial) in the environment. For professional videos, appropriate lighting or effective lighting is a must. One may have to engage professional illumination experts or engage special equipment or professionals for this. So to create a stunning, high-quality video, good lighting is a must.
Writing a story and video-graphing a story are very different yet similar. Both need a script for determining the beginning, middle, and the end of the story. This will ensure that the content has clarity, coherence, and engagement. So do a clear, written script and go over it a few times and finalise it.
A storyboard is a helpful and essential instruction guide/manual that helps you visualise how your video will progress and what types of shots you may want to use make the video more effective. Making a storyboard is easy — you can find printable templates on the web.
Sure, you can do with the smartphone you have on hand and the native Instagram app. For excellence, however, you’ll need to have, at the very least, some dedicated equipment such as a camcorder or DSLR. Studio lights, a tripod, a decent mic, and audio-recording equipment are essential to make your video look and sound its best.
Even though your script and storyboard will give your video a direction, do not hesitate to experiment with multiple takes and shots while filming. Having lots of footage is much better than having very little and having to re-shoot frequently. It’s well known that Instagram will compress your video tragically! Therefore, record it at the highest resolution possible to get the most out of the footage while editing it.
No movie is ever released without editing. What is editing’s purpose? PRESENTATION! Editing a video the right way can make it more visually appealing and appropriate for viewing. Dressing up your video is what editing is all about. Like outlined earlier, smart technology makes even the average person seem like an expert. So while anyone can film, edit, and upload high-quality visual content, it is better if we go through some editing tips and learn the skills through a trainer, online courses or free lessons. Viewers expect a very polished and professional-looking video from all influencers. Excellent editing is key to producing a polished end product.
Your post on Instagram should ideally be an audio-visual clip. A video with music, background music, dialogues, background sounds and the like is more engaging than one without them. How many times have you scrolled past a Facebook or Instagram video and been too lazy to turn on the sound? Survey says 85% of all videos on Facebook are viewed without the audio. So to grab attention, firstly design the thumbnail in such a manner that the viewers would be compelled to listen to the audio. Make some noise to tell your story more SOUNDLY!
Add some text or subtitles to your video so that a larger number of viewers (across nations) can get the message.
Additionally, Instagram of late has introduced some cool stickers to add to stories, such as the Pride sticker and the ‘Stay At Home’ sticker. These would highlight your stories and make them stand out in a different way; you can thus more accurately target your viewers by rousing their interests before they even click on your story.
Instagram is always updating and improving itself (their Reels were clearly meant to serve as competition to TikTok). Combining this user-hungry platform’s clever features with your skills in creating content leads to more fabulous results than you can imagine.