A source has leaked to TechCrunch that Facebook will soon unveil the addition of video to their popular and recently-acquired Instagram product. This comes on the heels of a publicized invitation to a June 20th event in which Facebook will launch a "new product." If you compare the growth of Vine to the flat-lined Instagram over the last 30-60 days, it's not surprising that Facebook would want to jump-start usage on their once darling photo-sharing service. Here are three ways marketers can prepare their strategy should video be added to Instagram:
1. Review Your Current Instagram and Vine Strategies
If you've been sleeping on either Instagram or Vine, this news won't be mean much to you. If you are using Instagram and realizing some success in the form of engagement, analyze what it is about your content that makes it successful. Once you understand what your community responds to, ideate on how new video content can also be ingrained with those qualities. If you've established a certain photographic voice or persona, your Instagram videos will need to adhere to it.
It's unlikely that video on Instagram will make use of the 6-second, start/stop format that Vine is bulit on. If you're using Vine, make sure you're taking full advantage of that functionality - rather than simply posting one-shot videos (videos without cuts). The most successful brands on Vine are able to tell entertaining stories through stop-motion, scene changes and lots of movement.
2. Avoid a Forced Channel Migration
If you're utilizing both Instagram and Vine, it's likely that you have two very different communities. Obviously your Vine followers are interested in seeing videos from you, but will your Instagram followers be? If Instagram does indeed add video, it's important not to simply transfer or duplicate your Vine activity to Instagram. You could alienate your Instagram followers and neglect those on Vine. Instead, keeping doing what you're doing on Vine and dip your toes into the "instavideogram" waters to test the response. Given the unique 6-second format on Vine, it's likely that you can manage two very different micro-video strategies at once.
3. Consider Assigning Dedicated Responsibility
Given the mobile nature of Instagram, consider delegating management to one trusted staffer - preferably someone with an artistic eye and who is in the thick of the action within your business or organization. This will allow you to produce and broadcast content quickly without the barriers and bottlenecks common among other video productions. Spontaneity tends to breed creativity!
Even if the June 20th announcement doesn't end up being the announcement of video on Instagram, it's likely that someone will step up to compete with Vine. Marketers who care about video on the web should be ready!
UPDATE: Video on Instagram is now live!