Over the past year, Instagram has skyrocketed in the ranking of the social media platforms a business should run on. The visually oriented platform is known for its high engagement, and social videos are just as important here as they are on other platforms. Brands are now focusing on how to increase their Instagram video views. There are several proven methods to increase your Instagram video views, backed by data and case studies.
- Choose suitable hashtags.
- Optimize description.
- Post video during peak hours.
- Run Instagram video ads.
These methods do not include buying Instagram followers or Instagram video views because that doesn’t work and could harm your account.
Select relevant hashtags
Instagram, like Twitter, relies heavily on the use of hashtags, and the hashtags you attach to your Instagram videos can directly influence views. A smart hashtag on its own can be enough to entice users to watch your video. More importantly, the right hashtag will help you expand your reach and can potentially connect you with new members of your target audience using the search functionality.
Brands can also use hashtags to create videos on trending topics. There are many searches on these topics and they can get you noticed very quickly. We don’t recommend creating videos only about trending topics, but sometimes using this strategy can help you quickly increase the number of video views.
Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without one. In 2015, the top posts from top brands averaged 2.5 hashtags per post. And believe it or not, 70% of the most used hashtags on Instagram are branded hashtags.
See also why hashtags might not work.
Optimize your description
Instagram is and always will be a highly visual platform. When we browse channels, we pay attention to images and videos. However, there is a common mistake that brands make – they don’t use descriptions to attract users. This is especially important when watching videos. The description can really convince users to watch the video instead of scrolling through it.
There are several ways to optimize descriptions that have been shown to increase video views:
- Your description should be long enough to generate interest, but not so long that users don’t feel the need to watch the video. This is similar to the title of a blog post. Keep this in mind, video offers more context than a still image. However, numerous studies have shown that there is no specific best header length. Check out what works best for your audience.
- If the caption is long, put the most important and interesting thing in front of the “see more” button. Use line breaks to break up a long heading into more manageable chunks.
- Use hashtags for more engagement (as discussed above).
- Mention and tag relevant users, especially influencers; this can significantly increase your visibility – by an average of 56%. One case study by Tommy Hilfiger found that video views were 3 times the average for tagging and tagging an influential person.
Publish your video during peak hours
While Instagram’s algorithm has had some impact on when users see our posts, scheduling videos to air during peak hours can still make a huge difference. Since most of the interaction occurs with Instagram content very soon after it is posted, knowing when your audience is most active can significantly increase your video’s views. Once you have a solid first round of engagement, Instagram will increase your video’s reach, driving more views even further.
That’s the problem; you will need to find out what the peak post times are for your specific audience. In fact, it can vary widely from brand to brand. According to one study, for example, the best time to post on Instagram is Monday.
However, all studies have something in common. While the exact times may vary, there is a general rule that posting messages during the day and evening gives the best results. If you test different times closely, you can easily see peak hours throughout the day.
Run Instagram video ads
Instagram ads are not regular posts, and they cost money. But it’s also a surefire way to get more Instagram video views quickly. If you have a video that you want to show as often as possible, a video views campaign is the best option. Thanks to Facebook’s amazing generic ad targeting system, Instagram ads can help make sure these views are coming from relevant users.
Instagram ads have been exceptionally effective since its release. Tech company LG proved this with its Instagram video ad campaign reaching 16 million relevant users and over 1.7 million interactions. While these are very large numbers (and were probably very expensive to obtain), small and medium-sized businesses can replicate these results at an appropriate scale for their brands.
Instagram has historically had higher engagement than other platforms. Its e-commerce brand ads have a higher average CTR than Facebook.
Keep in mind that Instagram ads usually cost more than their Facebook counterparts, so keep a close eye on your ad spending.
Tell us, how do you promote videos on Instagram? Share your ideas in the comments.