Image courtesy of Reuters/Antonio Bronic

By now we’ve all heard about Instagram rolling out video functionality for its users—a big move for Facebook and an obvious swipe at Twitter’s Vine platform. But it makes sense that Facebook would want to tap into video content. According to Mist Media, the average user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video, and videos embedded in emails can increase click-through rates by as much as 90 percent.

Certainly this upgrade will mean big bucks for not only Facebook—thanks to more brands investing in the platform—but also those brands looking to capitalize on social sharing to boost their referral marketing programs. And now with two big players in the video marketing arena, the time is ripe for brands to hop on board.

Here are five tips to bring about a huge ROI from video marketing on Instagram:

1. Encourage Customer Engagement

Satisfied customers are more than willing to share their experiences with friends and family. Leverage word of mouth marketing on Instagram by reaching out and asking customers to share videos of themselves using your product, interacting with your brand, etc. Remind them to include their referral links as well—the influx of shares will mean a huge boost in sales and brand ambassadors.

2. Drive Traffic to Landing Pages

Use a short video to offer a promotion or discount, and then drive traffic back to the desired landing page through a link. If you’re looking for more referral signups, include a pitch about the benefits of your program (after crafting an effective referral value proposition, of course) to get customers motivated and excited about sharing your message.

3. Provide Value to the Community

The most important part of any marketing strategy is to provide value to your online users. Video content has always been a great way to quickly and effectively educate customers on the utility of your brand. While 15 seconds may seem short, it’s definitely enough time for a quick showcase of your company’s product.

4. Keep It Short and Simple

B2B or B2C brands with more complicated value propositions shouldn’t overload users with 15 seconds of dense content. Instead, try breaking up your message into a series of videos—that will mean more content for your brand and more opportunities to incentivize social sharing.

5. Experiment and Have Fun!

If there’s one thing customers hate about online advertising, it’s being marketed at, not marketed with. You may be “selling” on Instagram, but your approach doesn’t have to be blatant. Have some fun with your customers. New platforms require new approaches, so innovate and play around with Instagram just like you would with any emerging channel.

The battle between Vine and Instagram may just be getting started. But whatever the outcome, there’s no doubt that microvideo content is a disruptive influence in the digital advertising world—one that’s here to stay.

Is your brand on Instagram? Let us know how video content is working for you!

Image courtesy of Reuters/Antonio Bronic