Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there today. Over 800 million people actively use it every single month. That is wild – that’s not even including all the bot accounts that leave really weird and annoying comments, right? And one of the things that made it as popular as it is, is video.
And if you are using Instagram for business then it has literally never been a better time to build a community around your product or your brand on the Internet.
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In this blog post I am going to show you how to start using Instagram for growing your business and connecting with your audience to build a community.
Now I will be the first person to tell you that I am not an expert on Instagram but I have been using these tools and my engagement has been getting really impressive. I will also say that in order to use some of the tools that I’m going to talk about, you will need a Tailwind account and a Business Instagram account so they can work together. I think the important thing to remember is that if you have 100K followers, but only 100 people like your posts, you have no engagement. Your account is DOA. It’s not reaching anyone. But if you have 750 followers and 150 likes on each post, that means your engagement is 20% which is really good for organic reach these days. All I’m saying is, don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Getting the swipe up feature at 10,000 is a good goal but after that, who cares.
Now if you are judging a success or expertise based on someone’s follow her account then you can definitely go visit my profile and see that I am not even close to being an expert.
And the reason I bring this up is because I have had a very long fear of using Instagram as a tool to grow my business. But maybe you can relate to that?
It always stressed me out and I always felt like I was doing it wrong. Getting traction never seemed to work. And I didn’t like how often the content I created seemed to go unnoticed.
And what I have discovered in the last few weeks is that I’ve been creating the wrong kind of content – which is why the people I want to respond are not responding. And that’s my general lack of using video because recording myself is sometimes scary. If I’m being honest, it’s probably the number one way that I’ve been holding myself back from creating a community that I wanted to see online.
What I want you to take away from this blog post today is these very new beginning steps that I am only just trying out myself and see if you can apply them to your own business. If you’ve been using Instagram for a while, or if you have thousands of followers already, this may not be the blog post for you. But if you just started your Instagram account or if you’ve been struggling to get past those first couple hundred followers, and then this blog post might be exactly the answer that you’re looking for.
I’m going to show you in this blog post how to get used to recording yourself, and then I’m going to explain how to get people to keep coming back to your account (because if they only see it once then they’re not really a fall or they’re just a person). Next, we’re going to talk about a little bit of the technical aspects of what goes on to creating quality content. And then at the end of this post I’m going to share with you how to create great content without going crazy, which is super important to me because creating content takes up a lot of time.
How to get used to recording yourself
My first step in getting ready to record yourself is to remove all sense of ego from the process. The content that you were creating is not for you. It is for the people that you were here to help. That means it is your duty to show up for them. However you can. Even if you feel like you’re not at your best, because your audience is going to see you at your best. And they need you.
So just remember that this isn’t an about you.
My second step to get used to recording yourself and watching yourself on video is Practice recording yourself on a Facebook live either in a group or on your page. Or maybe on YouTube first if you’re not really trying to command a following there. I really love this idea and what I have done in the past is:
- I pulled up the window for FB live or Youtube
- I set everything up
- I hit the go button
- and then I minimize the video screen so I don’t actually have to watch myself.
This allows me to talk to the camera and not have to worry about whether or not anyone’s watching me. If I mess up then it’s OK because I don’t know that anyone cares and it’s just me learning how to talk in front of a camera. I also will sometimes read off a script that my audience can’t see because it makes it easier for me.
And my final step for you to get used to recording yourself is to move to your stories on Instagram, and tell a story. If you want to get really crazy with it, turn it into a 30 day challenge for yourself so you get real comfortable, really quickly.
Telling stories that engage your audience
Telling stories that that engage your audience can be really easy and fun. Basically you just need to do a little bit of pre-planning, and I’m going to show you how to do that right now.
First think about what your days going to look like. Are you going to the beach are you going to the store or are you just going out later at home and make out with your dog. Just thinking about your day. Maybe you are traveling, or going to your kids baseball tournament, maybe you have some big event coming up and you are preparing yourself for it you have a lot of behind-the-scenes things that you’re getting caught up in.
Whatever it is I think about three or five scenes of what you expect will happen during this event.
There is that first in the preparation. The second seen the action. And the third seen the climax or finale. Now of course you could use a lot more filler in there you could add several scenes in between the start and the action, or between the action in the climax, and actually the climax is not the same as the finale so you’ll definitely want to put that transition scene in there as well.
And if you know what these general scenes are you know that you can be prepared to record for them or immediately after them so that it’s happening in real time for your audience. If you don’t want to be super intrusive about your life you can record along the way and then upload them later with whatever edits that you deem necessary.
Now this works really well for the Instagram stories feature it’s kind of exactly what they’re looking for, right?
But if we are talking about a video for your Instagram feed then how can we use the same concepts to create an engage viewing. Well it’s simple. Use the design of the three grids to decide how often that you want to post your video so maybe it’s every other block maybe it’s every third block maybe it’s every fourth block. Whatever it is, keep your pattern and people will learn to expect story time from you.
Keep In Mind some of the Tech Aspects
When you are creating a video content for Instagram it’s important to keep in mind some of the technical aspects. The videos in your feed it can only be up to 60 seconds, and the file size can only be up to 4 GB. Whatever you record on your phone it probably won’t be that big but if you’re transferring video from a DSLR or a computer file it might be bigger than that, so you need to just be aware of the size of your file that you’re trying to upload.
IGTV has a whole other set of rules if you’re considering that route.
Tailwind has an amazing guide that covers all a lot of this information especially around the technical aspects of what size your videos should be and the length.
Instagram finally released an update to their stories feature, where you can now record longer than the 15 seconds and it will upload the video into multiple pieces for you. That means if you need to record a 17-25 second video, it will split it up into two videos. One thing to keep in mind is that if you put tags your hashtags or moving pictures onto the first video you’ll want to continue them on to the subsequent videos because they won’t copy over.
But that is a great way to get people engaged with your stories, to bring them to that first video and leave them wanting more.
The easiest way to create content for Instagram without going crazy
So now you know how to get used to recording yourself for Instagram by going live on Facebook or YouTube, by hiding the feed until you get used to the idea of talking in front of the camera. You also know how to create stories that will get people to come back because they’re interested in what’s going to happen next with you. and we covered some of the technical aspects of creating videos for Instagram, so now we’re going to talk about how to create content for Instagram without losing your damn mind.
I love to batch my content. When I have decided that I am going to talk about a topic, I come up with four or five additional topics related to that umbrella topic, and then record all of them. And for that I am specifically talking about podcasting but it works for Instagram as well.
So here’s how this would work; I have a very real experience to share with you here. The first five episodes of best life hustle podcast are actually based on my four pillars of self care. Each episode is broken into one of the pillars, and the fifth episode is really about my experience with chronic illness.
And the really cool thing is is that once those scripts were written, they were all recorded and scheduled and posted in the same day.
And if you are using the Tailwinds Instagram feature then you can do that too, and you can do it with video. Tailwind has recently introduced its new feature that allows you to auto post not just your regular Instagram photos but video now as well, which is huge. If you don’t already have a Tailwind for Instagram then you can sign up here and get a month free trial. Tailwind for Instagram has a lot of amazing features, and I would say the auto posting a video is definitely at the top of things that I look for when I am looking at for a scheduling software for Instagram.
Imagine being able to outline a story record it and then upload it over the course of one or two hours, schedule it – and even better – use their amazing Hashtag feature which allows you to pick in the absolute best hashtags for your post and then automatically puts them in the comments for you so that it doesn’t ruin your beautiful text. How much simpler and easier and enjoyable would Instagram be for you if you had one tool that handled all of this for you?