Until as recently as 2015, there were very few platforms where you could share your work or find an audience for it. The venues which were available to all of us were either very crowded or had entry barriers—we’re looking at you, dear YouTube.
Thankfully, those days are long gone.
The market for online video content has grown dramatically over the last few years, thanks to the proliferation of the internet and smartphones. As a consequence, dozens of video sharing applications have been launched by both established and new players in the market. These apps allow you to upload your work and build an audience for it. In fact, some of these apps also give you the option of monetising your hobby using these apps to supplement your income.
In other words, you can now grab your smartphone, make a video, upload it on a video sharing app, where millions of people are ready to jump on it. If you’re good at it, you’ll gain hundreds of followers and likes within days.
The most challenging part of this road to stardom is identifying the video-sharing app that best fits your needs. You need an app that allows you to publish content and lets you grow as a content creator. The availability of dozens of video sharing apps in the app store doesn’t make this easy.
There was once a time when you had nothing to choose from. Today, you’re spoilt for choice. In such situations, going with the most established player is the best choice because that minimises the chances of failure.
When it comes to video-sharing apps, there’s nothing more established and trustworthy as Instagram, which has proven to be a partner in the growth stories of thousands of creators and businesses around the globe. That it is the most widely used video-sharing app in the world doesn’t hurt either.
Let’s talk about Instagram briefly before we get to the specifics.
Instagram allows you to put out content in the form of mobile video for your followers. You can make a profile on the app and build a followership. Suppose you like making videos of yourself dancing, mimicking artists or lip-syncing to the latest songs, or you are a fitness enthusiast who makes workout videos. In that case, this app can help you reach a huge number of people — millions perhaps — without much effort.
Once you have built a large followership on Instagram, you can look for endorsement deals with big fashion houses or find clients for your personalised workout regimes. The presence of both business and content creators on the same platform makes such collaborations easy.
Instagram has multiple advantages apart from the ones we’ve already told you.
Advantages of Instagram
You can upload both long and short videos on Instagram. Unlike many other video sharing applications available on the app store, Instagram provides you with multiple options when it comes to the length of your videos. If you believe in making long-form videos filled with details, you can upload videos as long as 60 minutes in the IGTV format if you meet the criteria. If you like short video clips, choose between reels and shorts, two of the most popular video formats on the video-sharing app. You can also use this video-sharing app to go live.
Instagram is already the most popular video-sharing app with millions of users around the world. Its worldwide presence, which is not the case with many other video sharing apps, is one of its best advantages. You can share a video with audiences in Europe, North America and Asia with just one click.
You can use Instagram to find people who share your hobbies, follow their work and learn from them. If you grow as a content creator on this video-sharing app, you can also collaborate with the same people to reach new audiences and grow your followership on the application. Learning new skills and finding inspiration for your work becomes easier on Instagram as it uses advanced analytics and a complex algorithm to show you content that is relevant to your body of work, and matches your hobbies and viewing patterns.
The video-sharing application also comes with a backend chatting option which you can use to reach out to other creators on Instagram for collaboration or talking to your followers. You will no longer need to write long, formal emails or request people for their mobile numbers. The app provides you greater privacy than many other video sharing platforms by doing away with the need to share email addresses, phone numbers, and other contact details.
Instagram also has hundreds of inbuilt tools which can help you make your videos more professional. For example, you can add filters while uploading your videos to make them look cinematic. There are options of adding light and sound effects to your videos to make them look and sound more attractive.
Once you’ve uploaded a video, Instagram’s algorithm takes over and makes it available to millions of people across the world. Unlike many other video sharing platforms, you do not need special marketing tools and techniques to circulate your videos. Instagram will do the job for you.
With Instagram taking care of all of this, you can focus on what you love the most — creating quality content for your audience on the app.
Instagram can be overwhelming for new users, especially those who do not know how to use it and which features fit their needs the best. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. We’re now going to talk about the various features you can use for sharing your videos and how you can use them to grow as a creator.
IGTV or Instagram TV is meant for long-form content that you can’t put in short videos. If you’re someone who packs in many details in your videos, this is the ideal feature for you. It allows you to publish long videos, so you’ll not have to compromise. You can pack as much detail as you want without worry.
You can organise your IGTV videos into a series. Suppose you’re making multiple videos on fitness or Italian food, or trying your hand at standup comedy. In that case, you can arrange your content in the form of binge-worthy series, which can be watched video after video, with each video forming an episode. This way, you can cultivate a loyal audience for your content that will turn up every Saturday to watch your content.
You can post both vertical and horizontal videos on IGTV, so you don’t need to worry about that part. Create some binge-worthy content now.
As its name suggests, Instagram Live gives you the option of connecting live with your followers and engaging with them in a two-way conversation. This is important because, at most times, video sharing platforms have only recorded content. Recorded content gets boring beyond a point—a creator knows that. To retain your followers, you will have to engage them with love conversations. Instagram Live serves that purpose.
You can host question and answer sessions using this Instagram Live feature. Instagram provides a specialised template for such sessions with dedicated spaces for questions and answers, making your job easier. The other thing you can do on Instagram Live is invite guests for an interview or conduct a panel-style discussion on the latest developments. You’re allowed to invite up to three people. You could also open the space for your followers, who can join you for live conversation. If you’re discussing a serious topic that requires slides or pictures, Instagram Live allows you to use those elements.
The best thing about this feature is that you can save your live video in IGTV format. If you save a live video, it will remain in your feed forever and continue to bring new audiences to you as its circulation grows. It does not require any editing. Your followers can replay the video whenever they want. What could be better than that?
Keeping your audience engaged is important, even on days when you’re not making new videos for your page. The Stories feature on Instagram is meant to serve precisely that purpose. With stories, you can keep your audience interested in your content by giving them a sneak peek into what you’re working on or the highlights of your daily life. If they like the content, they also like the creator, and they’d love to look at behind the scenes footage — raw, uncut and unedited access to your daily life behind the camera.
The best part about the Stories feature is that the content you share with your followers through it vanishes in 24 hours. You can, however, choose to save in your profile as a highlight for as long as you want. The other thing that makes the Stories feature stand out is that you can keep the updates flowing through the day, and they will appear in chronological order, telling your followers what you were up to all day like a story. It’s called Stories for a reason.
Your stories can help new people discover your content and feed, which in turn can help you grow your audience on Instagram. If you post stories regularly, your followers will come back to your profile or feed every time they log in to check the latest update and, in the process, watch other content as well. It will help you grow your engagement naturally, without spending a bomb on ads.
By using Instagram’s Stories feature, you can avoid spamming your followers with multiple posts a day. Keeping your Instagram feed will become easier if you use this feature. You can post the pictures and videos which are not good enough for your feed as stories and let them vanish from your profile in 24 hours.
The feature becomes particularly important when you’re going on a trip and want to share the moments of your adventures with friends and family with your Instagram followers. Posting multiple videos of your activities during the trip can push down your valuable content and make it difficult for Instagram users to discover it. You can use the Stories feature instead, and save some of the content in highlights.
Instagram’s Stories feature also allows you to take questions from your followers and transparently respond to them. Through the Stories feature, you can conduct polls among your followers and seek their opinion on, among other things, what they’d like to watch next and what clothes suit you.
Lastly, you can make announcements for your followers through the Stories feature. You can tell them what you are working on and when you plan to publish it. If you’re taking a break for a few days or planning to go on a vacation, you can inform your followers through the Stories feature. Your followers are more likely to come across your stories than watch your posts.
As we said, Instagram’s Stories feature opens up endless possibilities.
Reels is Instagram’s latest video sharing feature. It allows users to create short and entertaining videos, anywhere between 15 seconds to 60 seconds long. Using Reels, you can make and edit videos, with the option of adding audio, special effects and text using the creative tools that Instagram provides.
Among other things, you can create reals as teasers for your longer IGTV videos or for announcing a panel discussion you’re hosting using Instagram Live. You also have the option of using the Reels feature to make quick tutorials and DIY videos.
All video platforms push the content that is created using their latest features on instagram stories. Instagram is no different. It provides visibility to the creators who are making reels consistently. If you’re looking to gain more engagement and followers in a short amount of time, this is the feature you should be looking at. If you’re consistent and lucky, you’ll soon be an influencer with a hundred thousand followers on Instagram and dozens of endorsement deals.
Go to the Instagram application on your phone, swipe right from your home screen and start making reels with some trending music in the background. Now, wait patiently for the Instagram algorithm to do its job — it always works.