The last couple of months have been pretty momentous for Instagram, with the platform introducing a number of new features like the ability to upload 60 second videos. It also confirmed some brand new functionality to come, like the change in the way it returns results to followers.
With a monthly active user base of around 400 million, the Facebook-owned site confirmed that the time users spend watching Instavids has increased by an impressive 40% over the past 6 months, and the platform is upgrading its functionality to ensure that users stay on the site for as long as possible. Allowing brands and creators to upload videos over 15 seconds long is certainly a way to keep viewers engaged for as long as possible. When video was launched on Instagram in 2013, consumption on mobile devices was considerably less than it is today. As the stats indicate that by 2020, 75% of mobile traffic will consist of video content, Instagram is already migrating its video encoding process over to Facebook’s own more robust system in anticipation.
In terms of branded content on Instagram, many brands are using it as part of their multi-platform video strategy, creating snackable content around promotions, tie-ins, and tentpole events. We have chosen some of the best branded micro-content for April that should leave you hungry for more.
Best Instagram Videos from Brands in April 2016
Burger King: April 15th was the 199th National American Sign Language Day, and Burger King took to Instagram (and YouTube) to ask its followers in the ASL community to create a sign for the Whopper sandwich. Entrants were encouraged to send in their suggestions via the hashtag #whoppersign on social media, and as part of the promotion, Burger King has pledged to create a special scholarship for students who are studying ASL.
BuzzFeed Tasty: BuzzFeed’s Tasty is absolutely killing Facebook video right now, but is also leveraging other video platforms to extend its reach and widen its audience base. The main foodie wing of the publishing giant uploaded over 137 videos to the main social platforms in April, generating the most views on Facebook and Vine, but we noticed some interesting optimization tactics from the account on Instagram.
The brand uploaded this recipe for ‘BBQ Pulled Pork Fries’ (side note: the same content generated 27M views on Facebook), but Tasty really are one of the few brands that take absolutely full advantage of the real estate they are given to play with. Just look at the length of this description! No wonder Tasty is so far ahead of the game when it comes to engaging its audience with video.
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BBQ Pulled Pork Fries Serves 4-6 Ingredients 8 medium russet potatoes 2 pounds pork shoulder 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon pepper 2 cups barbecue sauce ½ red onion, sliced 1 cup shredded pepper jack ½ cup scallions, sliced 1 cup shredded cheddar ½ cup sour cream Preparation Preheat oven to 425°F Slice the potatoes into ½-inch slices, then cut the slices into ½-inch strips. Place the sliced potatoes on a baking sheet along with the pork shoulder. Make sure that the potatoes are not touching the pork. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, then sprinkle the pork and the potatoes with the salt and pepper, rubbing them in so that they are all coated evenly. Cover the pork with one cup of the barbecue sauce, then rub it evenly on all sides. Bake for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F Remove the fries, then place the pork in the center of the tray. Bake for another two hours. Transfer the pork to a large bowl, and using two forks, shred the pork. Combine the pulled pork with the remaining one cup of barbecue sauce. In a skillet or a baking tray, layer half of the fries, half of the bbq pork, half of the red onion, the pepper jack, half of the scallions, then repeat with the remaining fries, pork, red onion, cheddar, and scallions. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream!
Ben and Jerry’s: April was an eventful month for the two guys behind the Ben and Jerry’s brand – the pair were arrested in Washington D.C. for taking part in a protest against the current U.S. democracy process. On Instagram, the company only uploaded the one video, but it attracted over 12K likes, and no wonder. A nod to 4/20 day encouraged fans to roll their own ‘Brrrito’ at one of the many stores across the USA. Ben and Jerry’s has already confirmed that it will sell weed-flavored ice-cream if or when marijuana becomes fully legalized in the States.
SNL: American comedy stalwart ‘Saturday Night Live’ uploaded over 180 videos to the 4 big social video platforms in April 2016, including 39 clips to Instagram. It’s found a successful formula for extending each show way past the broadcast date, and for re-purposing TV content for the online generation, with micro-video playing a huge part of that. Take the 2nd April show which featured Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, and singer Gwen Stefani. Both appeared in a very odd little sketch called ‘Space Shorts/Pants’ which SNL then uploaded to Facebook, and YouTube (as ‘Mafia Meeting‘), and to Instagram, where it generated over 70K views. By using its social media presence, the brand was able to extend the buzz around the sketch for days, even weeks, after.
BBC News: According to Tubular, esteemed broadcaster BBC News uploaded over 500 pieces of video content in April, generating over 80M views for current affairs and breaking news footage. Instagram was third most active platform for the brand after Facebook, and YouTube, with 126 video posts. We loved this little clip of a cuddly dog lost in space.
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7 APR: Cuddly toy Sam the dog was blasted into the stratosphere by schoolchildren in England. Attached to a special camera and sent skywards by a helium balloon he reached an altitude of 25km. Find out more: bbc.in/findsam #FindSam #Astrodog #School #Science #BBCShorts @BBCNews
Disney: Disney uploaded 15 videos to Instagram in April, and although our choice wasn’t the most watched (that went to Steamboat Cutie with over 355K views), we loved its tribute to Earth Day.
Coca-Cola: The soft drinks giant is one of first brands to take advantage of extended video length now available, and posted this 25-sec advert as part of its long-running #shareacoke campaign. The promotion, which has been launched in over 70 different countries, encourages lovers of Coke, Coke Zero, and Diet Coke to purchase cans and bottles that have been either personalised with first names, terms of endearment, or labels such as Mom, boyfriend, or co-worker. The brand is adding song lyrics to labels later this year in a bid to encourage even more purchases.
That’s it for our round-up of the best branded Instagram videos of April 2016. Want to keep on top of the most watched brands and creators publishing video on Instagram? Check out Tubular’s ranking leaderboards for the latest data.