By  Kevin D. Johnson, Jr.

Anytime a social media platform becomes a major player in their space, the onus is on the small business to adjust their marketing plan to fit into their parameters. According to an article written by Craig Smith in the DMR (Formally Digital Marketing Ramblings) Instagram has 400 million monthly active users and more than 75 million users.  These statistics imply that there are millions of possible people to tell about your product and or service. As it pertains to Instagram they allow a total running time of 15 seconds for videos. Don’t think of this as only having a small timeframe to get your message across, take the perspective that it’s 15secs of an opportunity to possibly reach millions of people.

People in the film industry have had this school of thought for quite some time. Small business owners should liken their videos to the movie industries trailer that run on television and or social media pages. I am not implying that a company should aim to only produce a 15 sec. video. That would be pigeonholing the video marketing efforts.  This could be a problematic to take this approach, if your style of video calls for a longer total running time, in order to reach your marketing goals. I say this because even though Instagram has a great deal of users they aren’t the only show in town. There are other platforms that will allow you to run your video for a much longer length of time. My recommendation is that you make a 15sec version for your Instagram page.  Don’t feel like you have to get your total message across in that 15 seconds.  Think like the filmmakers do for their trailers and select your most captivating shots and or sound bites. However, it has to be images and sound that will speak to your target market.  The key is to spark the human emotion which is the bridge to creating interest.

Don’t stop at just the video, take advantage of the description section and use crafty copy to entice people to see the full length video. Provide a call to action; such as “Click the link to see the full length video.”

Putting a long complicated URL in your description won’t get the long version of the video clicks.  The reality is that people aren’t going to take the time to try and type a bunch of difficult numbers letters and symbols in order to watch your video. Make it as easy as you can for them. A common mistake that I have seen is people putting their web address in the wrong section of their Instagram profile.

Two things to pay attention (See IG’s profile below.) to, on the left side notice the sort of computer looking icon.  That is where the web address goes. It will be hyperlinked, so if someone clicks it goes to the desired website.  The mistake is when the description section has the website information there.  This area has an icon, with a circle i in the middle.  It’s great to let people know what your company is about, but you are wasting your characters if you put the website information in that area.  A very small percentage if any people will follow your call to action.

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One action that is common on Instagram is the very popular repost apps such as Repost for Instagram. This allows people to effortlessly repost pictures as well as videos into their feed.  It also gives credit to the original Instagramer.  In the past it was more of a challenge to repost others content on Instagram, it was largely screen shot pictures.  This ease encourages people to repost more. If your 15 sec video speaks to your followers perhaps they will repost your video.  This will expand your marketing to their followers.  In turn this can increase your videos visibility as well as bring you new traffic and possible followers.

Followers equate to potential clients or customers, if the 15 sec video is crafted correctly it can peak their interest in your service or product.  This is the link to increasing revenue or at least getting people to want to see the full length video. Transactions aren’t always made immediately but the seed planting can start with 15 seconds of video.

Kevin D. Johnson, Jr. is the founder and CEO of NorthStarr Media Group; he is an educator, as well as the creator of NorthStarr Classic Apparel. Follow at @northstarrmedia.