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Should You Care About Instagram Video?

Authors: Jay Baer Jay Baer
Posted Under: Content Marketing
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In this edition of The Baer Facts, I talk with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget about Instagram video, and whether we should care as marketers.

Are We Asking the Wrong Question?

There have been lots of breathless blog posts recently that attempt to pit Vine and Instagram video in a head-to-head battle, as if we must choose in a beta vs. VHS way. This is not the case. Youtube and Vimeo (and Wistia) co-exist. Everything new doesn’t have to kill something old.

Should You Care About Instagram Video.jpgThe issue isn’t Instagram video vs. Vine, it’s the fact that the trend toward content brevity continues its inevitable and unvarying march:

Papyrus scrolls
>Illustrated manuscripts
>>>Blog posts

AOL chats
>Text messages

>Slide shows (with actual slides!)
>>Online photo galleries
>>>Instagram and Pinterest

15-60 minute videos
>3-5 minute Youtube videos
>>6-15 second Vine and Instagram videos

See what I mean? As more and more content is created, we are conditioning ourselves to want/need to consume more of it, for fear of “missing out”. But the only way we can satiate our desire to drink from the ever-growing content firehose is for that content to become steadily smaller and snackable. Further, given that we are nearing the point where more data will be consumed via mobile than via desktop, the bite-sized trend will continue.

Like a goldfish in a bowl content evolves based on the size of its consumption environment. (tweet this)

Get Shorty

So it’s not about Instagram vs. Vine, it’s about the fact that your brand – and all brands – need to find a way to communicate with brevity. You have to boil your essence down in ways that were unthinkable until recently. Two important differences, however, are in video length and looping. Instagram is 15 seconds, and does not loop (great job by TechCrunch on this feature comparison post).

And 15 seconds is no accident, as Facebook must do a better job of getting big dollars from major advertisers (as Twitter has been doing with sponsored trends), and I suspect we’ll start to see a lot of Instagram videos that look an awful lot like regular, 15-second TV commercials. I’m not sure that’s the best use of micro-video platforms, but it makes a lot of business sense for Facebook.

For the record, here’s my own first attempt at Instagram video, shot on Independence Day:


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