Must-Try Instagram Video Ideas for Small Businesses

Hugh Beaulac

Hugh Beaulac


The days when small businesses had an option whether to have a social media presence or not are long gone. Today, promoting your small business on social media platforms is a must.

According to recent research, 80% of customers research a small business before purchasing social media and therefore 60% of small businesses invest in social media marketing. 

Choosing from a variety of social media platforms, most small businesses lay a bet on Instagram. As a result, the number of small businesses on Instagram is growing, which means it’s important to stand out from the crowd. 

Luckily, creating Instagram video content is one of the best ideas that help small businesses promote their products, engage potential customers in a conversation, and turn followers into customers. 

First, let’s understand your small business should use Instagram videos.

Why Should Small Businesses Use Instagram Videos?

  • Video content is getting popular among users: In the last decade, video content has become the most preferred content type among internet users who consume videos online every day. When it comes to Instagram, the amount of time spent watching Instagram videos has increased by 80% which indicates the importance of video content in-app.
  • People learn more about businesses with videos: Over 52% of customers say that watching product videos increases their confidence in online purchase decisions. Dynamic and engaging videos can include all information about your business and products, so this content type helps customers understand whether your product can solve their problems.
  • Stay ahead of your competition: Most small businesses owners believe that creating an Instagram video is time-consuming and expensive even though their potential customers crave more video content. When you use Instagram videos, not only do you satisfy customers’ needs, but you also beat the competition.

Simply put, video content should be an important part of a cohesive marketing strategy for your business as it has many benefits that allow your small business to grow. But before we dive into Instagram video ideas for small businesses, let’s learn more about the common types of Instagram video content you can produce.

5 Types of Instagram Video Content

The popularity of Instagram video content is growing, so the platform offers several video formats so that every business can create the right video content for their target audience. Here are several

  1. Instagram feed videos that can be between 3 and 60 seconds in length appear on the main feed as regular posts.
  2. Instagram Story videos are up to 15 seconds in length and have a vertical format for a separate feed with ephemeral content that disappears within 24 hours.
  3. Instagram Reels are soundtracked clips that can have a length between 3 and 30-second and they appear on the main feed or on the explore page in a vertical format.
  4. IGTV, also known as Instagram TV, is a type of long-form video between 15 seconds and 60 minutes in length that appears on a separate IGTV channel of your account.
  5. Instagram Live is a type of video content in real-time that can be up to 60 minutes.

And here’s an Instagram video length cheat sheet:

Now that you know about the importance of Instagram videos as well as the main video formats you can use on the platform, it’s time to take a look at the top eight video ideas for small businesses that work best.

1. Utilize the power of storytelling to raise brand awareness

Practically every small business aims at acquiring new clients. The more clients you have, the better revenue you can achieve. However, it’s nearly impossible to find new potential clients when no one knows about your small business. 

Thus, it’s important to raise brand awareness, and creating videos that tell stories about your company, its values, principles, and products is a great way to engage your audience, spark customer interest in your small business, and drive organic growth.

Video storytelling has great power as it provides complex information and elicits emotions that create a bond between the company and its audience. Moreover, it keeps your viewers engaged, so they are more likely to watch your video.

Let’s take a look at an example from Pura Vida. The company speaks to its target audience through creating videos that tell stories about the target audience’s lifestyle that makes the right viewers feel closer to the company and therefore give their products a try.

Source: @Puravida

If you want to understand whether storytelling videos work effectively for your small business, you can create a dynamic phone number and include it in your video to track what marketing channel generates leads for your business.

2. Educate your followers on how to use your products/services

To promote your business and acquire new clients, you need to prove to potential customers that your product can solve their pain points. The best way to do it is to create educational videos. Moreover, internet users find educational videos helpful and useful. 

As specified in this report on the rise of e-learning, 67% of people believe that video content is an important educational tool, and 60% claim that online education fits their work-life balance.

To spark interest in your small business, create Instagram videos that educate your followers on how to use your products or services. For example, if you run a personal training business, you can create workout video tutorials that show your expertise while helping potential clients achieve their goals, just like Tiwara did it in the example below:

Source: @iamtiwara

Tiwara created a series of videos and uploaded them as a carousel post with the help of a video maker. He used Boosted by Lightricks (iOS & Android), which offers a wide array of templates and allows users to customize their videos with various fonts, color schemes, music, and filters that make the video content creation process easy for everyone. 

As you can see, every small business owner can create their own engaging social media videos that educate their potential customers and allow turning, interested users into paying clients.

Here’s another example of this strategy from Olivela. With an IGTV video, the company tells about the emerald trend and presents its new collection that can help fashion lovers stay trendy.

Source: @olivela

3. Take your followers behind the scenes to increase brand trust

With a great number of options on the market, most consumers choose to buy from brands they trust. One of the best ways to increase brand trust is to provide your Instagram followers with authentic content that creates an emotional bond and humanizes your brand. How? Take your followers behind the scenes!

If you create overly-polished professional videos, that’s great. But if you take your phone to create BTS videos that make your brand authentic, that’s even better. For example, you can tell more about your founders’ lives and share personal news, just like in the example below where home decor makers tell their followers about Joanna’s pregnancy:

Source: @letterfork

Obviously, there are many other ways to take your followers behind the scenes and therefore increase brand trust. Here are several ideas on BTS video content:

  • Upload a video interview with your CEO
  • Film your typical workday
  • Introduce your employees
  • Show the product creation process
  • Broadcast your offline event

4. Showcase your products in action to boost sales

The more people know about your products, the more potential customers you can acquire. Moreover, social media users research and discover products in-app. 

According to Sellfy, there are over 3.2 billion social media users out there and 54% of them research products on platforms which means you can reach over a billion potential buyers if you showcase your product on Instagram.

The best way to spark interest in your products is to showcase their variety so that you can attract customers with different needs and wants. Dynamic videos allow you to showcase your products in action from various angles so that your followers can become customers without a doubt.

Here’s how Cluse uses Instagram Story videos to show its jewelry in detail:

Source: @cluse

5. Show off your happy clients to provide social proof

Living in the era of paid ads and influencer endorsements, word-of-mouth marketing works best for businesses of all sizes and niches. Why? Modern customers crave social proof, so they pay close attention to peer recommendations and read customer reviews before making a purchase.

When you show your happy clients, not only can you increase customer loyalty, but you can also ease the worried minds of potential customers who are doubting whether they want to buy from you or not.

Check out an example of this strategy. The company added a product video and included a text customer review:

Source: @nothingnew

Want to know the best part? You can always find customer testimonial videos and record a video on a Mac to repurpose it for your Instagram account. It’s a great way to save time and effort when looking for videos with your happy customers. However, never forget to ask permission before posting this video on your profile.

6. Celebrate your milestones to acquire more clients

It’s psychologically proven that most people want to be a part of something important. This phenomenon is also known as the sense of belonging and it appears when you let your customers become a part of your business and its growth.

Another great Instagram video idea for your small business that should work is to create a video that celebrates your company’s milestones. Not only can it show your existing followers that your company is growing, but it can also help to acquire more clients as this content grabs the attention.

Let’s take a look at Olipop. In honor of its milestone of 100k followers, the company made a simple animated video to congratulate its community and organized a giveaway to allow all followers to win a year’s supply of its drinks.

Source: @drinkolipop

7. Organize an Instagram live stream to engage your followers

Your video content should be engaging to bring great results. When it comes to making videos for your small business, running an Instagram live stream is a great way to grab your audience’s attention and engage your followers in real-time.

 The main reason is that live streaming is available for a short time and it gives your viewers an opportunity to interact with your company in real-time. Thus, small businesses can decide on the live stream topic and go live to engage Instagram followers. For example, you can show your offline event, answer customers’ questions, or tell followers how to make the most of using your products.

Before you go live, make sure that your followers know about your live stream in advance and therefore can join your broadcast. The best way to do it is to announce your Instagram live with the help of an informative Instagram post, just like in the example below:

Source: @wyze

It’s important to inform your followers about your live stream in advance, so it’s a good idea to post on Instagram with SocialBee. Not only does it allow you to add this post to your social media calendar, but it also helps to put your Instagram marketing on autopilot and therefore gives you time to get ready for your live stream. Win-win!

8. Run Instagram video ad campaigns to reach a wider audience

In the last few years, Instagram has become an important marketing tool for various businesses which means the competition is getting high in-app. For small businesses, it can be daunting to cut through the noise unless you run Instagram ad campaigns. But if you want to create eye-catching ads and reach a wider audience, consider creating video ads.

Instagram advertising has a great number of features that allow small businesses to reach the right audience of potential customers with advanced targeting. Moreover, it also works as a supply-side platform (SSP) that allows you to sell to the maximum number of potential customers.

Case in point:

When Clif Bar decided to raise brand awareness on Instagram, the company made a series of short videos with branding for Instagram Stories. The right targeting allowed the company to reach the target audience. As a result, the campaign got a 28-point lift in ad recall, a 12-point lift in brand/product awareness, and a 6.8-point lift in purchase intent.

Source: @clifbar

When running Instagram video ad campaigns, you can also include clickable links and redirect reached customers to the right website page where you can generate leads to work with hooked customers on other communication channels.

In a Word

The popularity of Instagram as a primary marketing tool for small businesses is growing. Since more and more small businesses hope for the attention of the same audience, it’s important to create dynamic content that satisfies customers’ needs and keeps your audience engaged. 

The solution is to create Instagram videos that tell more about your business, market your products/services, and turn engaged viewers into customers. Moreover, there are many Instagram video ideas for small businesses that work well if you’re afraid of wasting much time and effort on content that doesn’t bring results.

So, have you ever used Instagram videos for your small business? What worked best for your company? Share your favorite Instagram video idea in the comments below.fv

Hugh Beaulac, Content Strategist at AssignU

Hugh Beaulac is a content strategist at AssignU who also works as a freelance SMM manager to help SMBs grow online. Hugh has been working in the digital marketing niche for 7 years, so he also contributes to marketing blogs and shares his tips and tricks on social media marketing, email marketing, and business promotion.

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