5 Brands Using Instagram Video to Create Engaging Visual Content

Instagram is all about capturing and sharing the world's moments using images.  

With the introduction of Video, the power of Instagram's static visual moments have come to life with the ability for brands to create 15- second video “stories”.

In this post, I take a look at 5 Brands using Instagram Video to Create Engaging Visual Content.

These brands are using videos to do what Instagram does best – to take us on a journey, by giving us short visual stories that act as a sneak preview to a bigger picture.

What is Instagram Video?

Instagram Video allows us to upload up to 60 seconds of video footage. Users can also use the inbuilt video editor that allows them to take video from within Instagram (or stitch together shorter segments of footage), giving their videos a unique “edited feel”.

The famous Instagram Filters can be added to any video, with a choice of the cover image that will appear in the Instagram newsfeed. Boom!

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Instagram video is bringing motion to the popular image-sharing app.

5 Brands Rockin' Engagement with Instagram Video

#1  Jamie Oliver

Celebrity Chef, Jamie Oliver, has embraced Instagram and uses it in such clever, engaging ways. You can't help but check out his posts.

Jamie was already rockin' it with images on his Instagram account, but when video was introduced, Jamie took his cheeky, personable nature from feature-length TV shows to short Instagram videos.

Whether it is a behind the scenes frolic through his garden, a short video showing you how to make a simple salad dressing, or a sneak-peek into recipes in his books or websites… Jamie uses Instagram Video like a pro:

How to make a salad dressing…

or a sneak peek of his latest Valentines Day recipes on the website…

…or a crazy cool picnic in the snow…

 #2  Styling You

I mentioned how Stylist Nikki Parkinson (Styling You) uses Instagram Video in this post.  Now I want to show you another example of how she takes her community with her, for an “over the shoulder” sneak peek.

In this case, Nikki uses Instagram Video to show a preview of the new Autumn-Winter range at Department Store David Jones:

Note that Nikki is always referring her community back to her blog – with a short reminder that there is “more on her blog”.  Her Instagram fans will often click through on her profile for more.

Instagram is not a link-heavy platform, but it does allow one link on your profile. It is wise to keep this main link for your website or “home base” so if you have something happening on your blog, you can simply mention it in the comments.

#3  Corcoran Group

What I like about the Real Estate Agency, The Corcoran Group is that they have a commitment to consistency of branding across a number of platforms (including Pinterest and Google+). They don't just showcase their houses for sale, they showcase the city of New York.

It was no surprise to me that they would be rockin' it on Instagram, and using Instagram Video:

….the Corcoran Group take us behind the scenes to meet the owners and their homes:

The Corcoran Group are an excellent example of how to showcase real estate for sale while also showcasing the city itself.  Dotted amongst these clever, short Instagram Videos are snapshots of places to be and places to eat.

Every real estate agent could take away tips from Corcoran!


#4  Now This News

Now This News does a great job of packaging up news stories into short previews on Instagram.  Want more?  Head over to their website.

Note the consistency of branding and style for all NowThisNews InstaVideo updates:

 #5  @RachelRyle

I saved the best one for last. I have been known to get caught in an Instagram Video Vortex watching Rachel Ryle's Instavideos.  She is an illustrator and animator. Instagram Video is a perfect medium for her to showcase her work.

Many of Rachel's videos are fun, highlighting her skills as an animator, but she also takes us behind the scenes to show work she is doing for brands, such as this quirky video for Silk:

and because I can't decide which ones to show you, here are a few more.  Enjoy!

Take Us With You

Instagram is not about being self -promotional or talking about your products or services.  It is about taking us on a journey – a mobile journey – and giving us a sneak peek into what makes you tick – your life, your business, your customers and clients and yes, you can showcase your products and services, but do it in a fun, non-salesy way.  

Give an exclusive sneak peek, or a tour of your new office, show us behind the scenes of your office party, or what you get up to in your “down-time”.  And be creative with it.

If you are a restaurant, show the process of cooking your newest signature dish.

If you are a hairdresser, don't just show before and after shots, show a “go-to-woah” video of a new style being created before our eyes.

Are you a big name brand?  Give a “human” side to your brand with Instagram video – introduce us to the people behind the products or services.

Got a crafty business?  Show us how to make something, step by step.

And remember – follow the brands mentioned above – because they get it, they really do.  If you look closely at their video vignettes, you will be inspired to make your own.

Are you ready to make Instagram video magic?  Go for it…and don't forget to leave a comment below with a link to your Instagram Video Creation below.  What is your favourite InstaVideo in this post?  


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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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  1. Fiona Lucas

    Another brilliant post Donna. I love the research and effort you put in to find really great examples. Thank you!

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Fiona – it was lots of fun finding great example for this one – I am a big fan of Instagram Video and think there is soooo much potential for it!

  2. Mike Gingerich

    Great post and resource Donna!! I’m sharing and will see you in a few weeks!

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Mike and thanks for sharing! I love instagram – if you get creative with it, there are so many cool things you can do. Looking forward to seeing you in March! Can’t wait for #SWWM14!

  3. Instagram Videographer

    Great opportunities for videographers. From restaurants to real estate… it’s Amazing!!! View my new Instagram biz @15secondvideoproduction

    • Donna Moritz

      Awesome idea guys – I love a good niche! I am sure you will do well!

  4. yTravelBlog

    Great tips Donna. We’re attempting to do more instavideos at the moment. To be honest right now we’re not raving fans of instagram. We’re trying to get our enthusiasm for it. Many of our followers are US based so the challenge for us is most people don’t see our photos as we’re asleep when they’re awake. 🙂 We might grow more of an enthusiasm for it, but Pinterest rocks our boat a little more so our focus is there!!

    But, you;ve inspired me once again

    • Donna Moritz

      Ah good point – the time zones are a bit of an issue (early morning here I find is the best time to match the States but even then they have so many time zones it is a bit hit and miss)….and we need our sleep! However, video in general is a great medium for your content so at least you can post your youtube videos to Pinterest. I still am surprised at how many people don’t post videos to Pinterest! I have no doubt that Pinterest will be continuing to rock your content boat for a long time yet!… but if you ever get any time on your hands (ha ha) I agree, Instavideo would be fun.

  5. Antonio Calero

    Great article Donna. Do you think Instagram videos will kill Vine, or there is room for both platforms?

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Antonio – hard to say – I wrote an article about Vine and the potential for short videos when it came out, and then not much later Instagram Video was announced and my initial reaction was “oh, there goes vine” but I guess we shall see…. it definitely is easier for Instagram having an established platform…

      • Antonio Calero

        LOL: same happened to me. My post about Vine was my most popular (Mari Smith gave it some promotion) and a few days later Instagram Videos arrived… oh well, time will tell 🙂

  6. Paul Fleming

    Excellent highlight of brands getting it right. Same goes for personal users – my followers love watching and feeling part of the videos I share, especially my slow motion captures and time lapses. All shot and edited on an iPhone. I’m @LoveThyWalrus on IG

    • Donna Moritz

      Hey Paul – just followed and now I realise I have heard about your images before – you are a brilliant iphoneographer! Just beautiful. Great to connect with a fellow Aussie… Are all of your photos on the iphone5 or do you use a DSLR as well? I will definitely feature your slow motion capture/time lapses on a future post – just awesome! Can you recommend any posts (maybe your own) where people can learn how to do that on an iphone?

      • Paul Fleming

        Oops, totally missed your reply! Sorry!

        About 90% of my shots are iPhone. I have a Nikon D5100 that I blow the dust off occasionally for night shots, or daytime depending on what the client needs (images for their use etc).

        As for video, I’d be happy to share some tips. I know it’s four months late, but if you want to shoot me an email we can go from there lovethywalrus@gmail.com

        • Donna Moritz

          Hey Paul – no problems, I will, but let’s catch up at SoMeT too.. I am going to miss the walk (thanks virgin for making my plane late… ugh) but will be there from the Tuesday night (late) onwards! I will chat to you by email – and thanks for the reply…

    • Donna Moritz

      PS I love Canada (and Tasmania) so I am going to get caught in a vortex on your Instagram account sometime today, just sayin’.


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