Instagram may have started out as a photo-sharing platform, but it’s now known as one of the top destinations for short-form video content. Some publishers in particular have mastered the art of Instagram video, and consequently built an avid following, millions to billions of views, and quality engagement rates. For brands and video marketers interested in upping their own Instagram game, here are five examples of brands currently finding great success on the platform, and thoughts on why their audiences can’t get enough of their video content.
On Tubular Insights, we talk a lot about BuzzFeed properties like Nifty and Tasty and how well they perform on platforms like Facebook and Instagram in terms of video success. But their parent company also has something to brag about. On Instagram, BuzzFeed boasts 2.6 million followers, and many of its video posts are meme-based, or feature celebrities.
It’s most-watched clips since the inception of its Instagram account feature well-known names like Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, and Ryan Reynolds. But BuzzFeed’s most-watched Instagram video ever follows the mini-adventure of an intoxicated Chrissy Teigen as her husband John Legend removes her jewelry for her. The clip, saved from Teigen’s Snapchat account, has pulled in 1.8 million views to date.
Women’s lifestyle brand Refinery29 is another media publisher worth paying attention to as its Instagram strategy is providing impressive results. Refinery29 currently boasts 1.5 million followers on the photo-sharing platform, a figure which accounts for almost 20% of the brand’s total social reach.
Refinery29’s audience has similar tastes to that of BuzzFeed’s in that content featuring celebrities is key to pulling in loads of video views. Many of the brand’s most-viewed Instavids of all time include stars like Emma Stone and Beyonce (apparently, including the “Single Ladies” singer in Instagram clips is a sure-fire way to get more views). In fact, Refinery29’s most popular video of all time compiles funny clips of Stone in celebration of her Oscar win for La La Land; that Instagram post claims 1.3 million total views.
With just over 2 million followers on Instagram, Teen Vogue is doing quite well for itself on the photo-sharing platform. Teen Vogue attracts views based on its fashion- and celebrity-based content. On the whole, though, Vogue’s clips tend to be more comedic than those of BuzzFeed and Refinery29’s, with short, meme-style GIFs addressing topics well known to the brand’s readers, such as the joy of shopping and the bond between best friends. Teen Vogue’s most-watched video of all time, however, is a serious clip of 231k views and features Kendall Jenner posing as the woman from the vintage “We Can Do It!” poster to bring attention to the importance of women voting in the 2016 U.S. election.
Black Jaguar-White Tiger
When you move away from Instagram publishers who specialize in pop culture and lifestyle content, you end up with a brand like Black Jaguar-White Tiger. The animal-based publisher routinely entertains more than 6.2 million followers on Instagram, who account for roughly 70% of the brand’s total social reach. One of the brand’s most popular Instagram video uploads is this clip of a sleeping serval named Roberta. Cats, of course, are always a win on the internet.
An analysis of top Instagram publishers wouldn’t be complete without exploring a sports media brand’s strategy. And few sports brands do better on the social platform than the National Basketball Association (NBA). The basketball brand has over 22 million followers, 25% of its total social reach online. The NBA’s high view and engagement rates can likely be attributed to the fact that most of its clips are replays of key moments from games, and therefore enticing to basketball fans who may have missed seeing the event live.