Practical Ecommerce

6 Retail Brands Using Instagram Video

Instagram, the photo-sharing app that is owned by Facebook, recently launched a feature that allows users to take 15-second video clips. Instagram presumably did this to counter rival Vine, which has grown quickly since its introduction in 2012.

Retailers have already jumped on the Instagram video bandwagon and found creative ways to promote their brand and products. Here are six examples.

1. Lululemon

As part of its #justmymat hashtag campaign, Lululemon, a retailer of athletic apparel and equipment, was quick to embrace the new feature. This video shows a woman performing a workout while different location scenes appear in the background. Similar to Vine, Instagram makes use of stop-motion animation techniques.

2. ReStockIt.com

Office supply retailer ReStockIt.com has released the first-ever Instagram video series. Called “Revenge of the Interns,” the humorous series shows ReStockIt’s seven interns being mistreated by their bosses.

ReStockIt uses Instagram as the publishing tool and Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to share the video series. It is also on the company’s blog.

3. Swarovski

Crystal maker Swarovski launched a video contest using the hashtag #InstaSparkle. Followers were asked to submit a video that captured a sparkling light reflection through one of its crystals. Contest winners receive a piece of Swarovski Nirvana Jewelry.

4. Topshop

Fashion retailer Topshop showcases products via Instagram video. A company spokesperson stated that the first video received more than 2,000 likes within a few minutes of airing. Other fashion clothing retailers such as Burberry, Gap, and Urban Outfitters have also incorporated the new feature.

5. Sabo Skirt

A smaller retailer, Sabo Skirt, recently started using Instagram to promote its products. This “behind the scenes” video shows a new print design being created.

6. Zappos

Shoe retailer Zappos— known for its social media efforts — has one video to date in its Instagram portfolio. The video is tied to the hashtag #lacostecrochunt and makes creative use of stop-motion animation.

Instagram versus Vine

Here are some of the ways Instagram video is different than Vine.

  • Video length. Users can record up to 15-seconds worth of video. Vine is limited to 6 seconds.
  • Video filters. Instagram offers 13 filters specifically for video. Vine offers none.
  • Cover image. Users can select their favorite scenes to use as a cover image, which must be clicked in order to see the video. Vine videos play automatically.
  • Video editing. Video editing capabilities are built-in to the app. Vine offers no video editing.
  • Video play mode. Instagram videos play once then stop. Vine videos loop endlessly.
  • Facebook viewing. Instagram videos submitted to Facebook can be viewed in the newsfeed. Vine videos can only be viewed by clicking out of Facebook.
  • Video embeds. Both Instagram and Vine provide HTML code for videos to be embedded on web pages. However, Vine adds a JavaScript file that may complicate embedding on all content management platforms.

Tips on Using Instagram Video

Instagram lists five video best practices on its blog.

  1. Share experiences. For retailers, this could include showing behind-the-scenes footage, similar to what Sabo Skirt has done.

  2. Driven event engagement. Merchants could create videos leading up to a special sales promotion, for example.

  3. Create consistent content. Many retailers routinely post images to Instagram. The blog encourages bringing video into the mix.

  4. Make content discoverable. Use hashtags to make videos easier to find and share.

  5. Utilize filters. Instagram’s 13 filters allow for even more creativity when producing video content.

Paul Chaney
Paul Chaney
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