6 Easy Ways to Incorporate Video into Your Instagram Strategy to Increase Reach and Engagement

Instagram Advanced Tips

Bella Foxwell

Bella Foxwell

Incorporate Video into Your Instagram Strategy

2022 is the year of video. Whether you’re a business owner, content creator or freelancer, video is a must if you want to get the most out of Instagram in 2022.

Mar 8, 2022
Update on
March 8, 2022
07 MIN.
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2022 is the year of video. Whether you’re a business owner, content creator, or freelancer, video is a must if you want to get the most out of Instagram in 2022. 

But if Adam Mosseri’s announcement that Instagram is ‘no longer a photo sharing app’ had you panicked, fear not. You don’t have to change everything all at once. You can still share photos, while finding ways to incorporate video into your Instagram strategy to increase reach and engagement. 

Keep reading to find out 6 easy ways to do just that:

Expert Lives

One of the best ways to build authority and convince followers that you’re the right person or business to help them is through regular Instagram Lives.

Why do I love Instagram Lives so much? Because they’re fast to make and require minimal effort - especially if you’re flying solo. 

If you’re a Live newbie, aim to keep content to 10 minutes. That’s the ideal length to maintain engagement and prevent people dropping off. Short attention spans and minimal patience for rambling, mean it’s imperative you make your point quickly. The more succinct the better. 

As for the subject matter, this is your opportunity to flex your expertise and show off your capabilities. Here are some ideas to maximize every second of your 10-minute Live:

  • If an Instagram post performed particularly well, expand on that topic in a Live
  • Host a Q&A using questions submitted by your audience
  • Bust common myths or misconceptions about your industry
  • Provide value with three tips or nuggets of wisdom

Now I know I said Lives are fast to make, but they still require a bit of planning. Once you have your idea sorted, the next step is to outline what you’re going to say. It should look a little something like this:

  • Hook - How are you going to grab people’s attention and keep them watching? If your Live is about the benefits of using a copywriter, open with something that will make your viewers take notice. For example: 

“The main reason you’re not getting clients through your website is not because it’s not pretty enough. It’s because your dream clients can’t see why they need your services. The copy doesn’t convince them.”

  • Then outline 3-5 talking points maximum - you’re not going to read these out word-for-word, they’re just there to act as prompts
  • Call-to-action - how you finish your Live is almost as important as how you start it. Don’t let your insightful wisdom or eye-opening myth busting end without an invitation to continue the conversation. Tell viewers what they should do next, whether that’s downloading your lead magnet, sending you a message, or checking out your latest offer

Now that you have your outline, the only thing left to do is to give your audience the heads-up. This brings me nicely onto my next piece of advice: try to schedule a series of Lives instead of hosting one-offs.

That’s because it’s incredibly difficult to build momentum and increase viewership with one-off Lives. Conversely, if you set up a schedule ahead of time and stick to the same day/time each week, people will learn to expect your Lives. They’ll get excited. They’ll hit the ‘Reminder’ button on your posts and start tuning in on a regular basis. 

And with every Live, you’ll notice the viewer numbers increase, which will give you the confidence to keep going. Win-win! 

Tip: Don’t worry if your Live views are low in the beginning (or even the first few occasions). This is totally normal! And a small, intimate audience is no bad thing. It allows you to pour into those individuals and answer their questions directly. This is a great way to nurture followers and nudge them closer to conversion. See, low Live views aren’t so bad after all!

Collaborative Lives

Going Live with a fellow business owner is a fantastic way to leverage their audience and get a ton of new, relevant eyeballs on your account. 

To maximize the potential of this content type and start seeing results, draw up a list of dream collaborators, create a schedule of Co-Lives and build hype for these in the same way you would a solo Live: use the ‘Reminder Post’ feature. Better yet, create a collaborative Reminder post with your guest that gets posted to both of your accounts (that’s double the reach and engagement for half the effort!).

And remember: the best collaborations are those with structure. Make sure you and your guest have a set of pre-agreed talking points or questions to run through, and why not make the most of Instagram’s new ‘Practice’ feature? That way you can check everything looks and sounds ok ahead of time. 

Instagram Stories

In 2022, Instagram Stories remain one of the best ways to convert warm followers into clients.

Unlike Instagram Live, Video, or Reels, Stories offer more of an immediate, ‘in the moment’ connection with an audience because they disappear after just 24 hours. With that being said, I don’t recommend you share Stories the “old fashioned way” if you want to convert more followers into clients.

“The old fashioned way” = posting a random selection of photos and videos to Stories throughout the day. This might make sense to you because you’re living those experiences. 

But to your audience? 

This content has no narrative arc or structure. A photo of your morning coffee, followed by a post re-share from an account you love, followed by a testimonial from a client doesn’t provide a satisfying beginning, middle and end that will keep people watching all the way through.

And watching all the way through is key if you want to increase viewer retention and boost your position in the Stories feed. Before you implement the new strategy below, first figure out your existing viewer retention rate. 

Here’s the calculation: 

Retention Rate = (Reach # on last Story slide * 100) / Reach # on first Story slide 

Use this calculation on the most Instagram Story you shared (you can find Reach metrics inside Insights) so that you know what Retention Rate you’re aiming to beat next time.

Now for the strategy. 

Allocate Story ideas to certain days of the week. For example:

Monday = Educational (e.g. 3 tips)

Wednesday = Personal (e.g. day-in-the-life)

Thursday = Promotional (e..g a rundown of your services)

Friday = Testimonial

Get into the habit of outlining your Instagram Stories ahead of time so that you can ensure there is some structure. For example:

Idea: 3 tips to increase engagement on Instagram

  • Slide 1: Frustrated with your Instagram engagement? Here are 3 tips to get it back on track
  • Slide 2: 1) Revisit lapsed conversations in the DMs
  • Slide 3: 2) Spend 20 minutes today engaging with the people who commented on your most recent posts
  • Slide 4: 3) Include an engagement-driving sticker in your Story
  • Slide 5: Which tip are you going to implement today?

5 slides (photos/videos/coloured background with text) is the perfect amount for an Instagram Story. With that length and a clear beginning, middle, and end, you’ll soon see your viewer retention rate increase.

Pro tip: One of the best ways to boost engagement on Instagram Stories is to regularly use stickers like the poll, quiz, and question sticker. The trick is to make it really easy for people to interact and one of the best ways to do that is with a vote and the poll sticker. 

For example: “What should I order from the cafe today: oat latte or hot chocolate?” A simple, non-offensive question like this will garner lots of interactions. Just make sure to follow up with everyone who hits the poll sticker - and ideally with a question, so you can continue the conversation and give your engagement a much needed boost.

Personal Instagram Video

Photos on Instagram aren’t dead - they’re just less important than they were a few years ago. With that in mind, one simple way to incorporate more video into your strategy is to replace personal content - like photos of you, your team, your studio - with a video. 

I love this example from the matcha brand, Golde. Instead of sharing a simple photo and detailed caption about their business journey over the last 5 years, they jumped on Live instead and saved it down permanently as an Instagram Video. 


That’s a great way to reap the benefits of Instagram Live (push notification sent to your followers, an intimate connection with a small group of people) and get an extra piece of content that lives on your grid after the Live ends. 

Another easy way of sharing more Instagram Video on your feed is to bring to life a photo using Canva. I did exactly that with this post here. 

I added a screenshot of some client feedback to a static photo of me, animated it using Canva, and these were the results.


This post was one of my best performing in terms of Reach for the entire year and all it took was a simple tweak to turn it from photo to video.

So next time you’re planning some personal posts, consider turning them into an Instagram Video instead. It’s a super simple way to increase reach and engagement. 

Trending Instagram Reels

It’s no secret that Instagram Reels are one of the best ways to get discovered in 2022. Thanks to Instagram’s heavy focus on this content type, hundreds of business owners, freelancers, and content creators are experiencing massive growth off the back of short-form video that capitalizes on trending audio. 

If you want to do the same, the first step is to keep an eye on what’s trending. You can do this by browsing the Instagram Reels feed once or twice a week, browsing TikTok’s Discover page, or using sites like Tokboard.

If you can find a trending sound that less than 10k Reels have used, you stand an excellent chance of getting picked up in the algorithm. The way to spot a trending track is with this little symbol: ↗︎

For maximum engagement, keep your Reels to a length of 15-20 seconds, open with a juicy hook (that is immediately visible from the start), and add short text annotations so people know what they’re watching. Don’t forget that all-important call-to-action at the end, which is going to encourage people to continue the conversation or hit the follow button. 

Evergreen Instagram Reels

We’ve talked about how to incorporate trending Reels into your Instagram strategy to increase reach and engagement, but what about evergreen Reels?  

I’m so pleased you asked 😉 

Evergreen Reels are Reels that aren’t trend based. They’re not tied to a trending song, sound or dance, so there’s less risk of them becoming outdated. So what kinds of ideas suit evergreen Reels? Here’s a few of them:

  • An educational Reel that features you and your voice (versus tips shared on the screen to the backdrop of trending audio)
  • Behind-the-scenes (of your office or your process)
  • Day-in-the-life
  • Client testimonial (ideally with them talking about their experience in their words)

As you can see, one of the key differences between trending Reels and evergreen Reels is that we get to hear your voice.

This is a big deal, because while trends can help you grow, they do little to show off your USP. And in an incredibly saturated market, it’s your voice and the way you deliver your insights and expertise that will help you stand out. Rather than adding your expertise as text annotations on screen, communicating this verbally will accelerate the know, like and trust factor with people.

Video coach Virginia Kerr is an example of someone who does this brilliantly. She uses Reels in the traditional sense, spending 10-15 seconds chatting face-to-camera to share education, inspiration, and personal experiences. 

But Virginia doesn’t simply hold the phone out in front of her and talk. She employs some age-old editing tricks to increase viewer retention and engagement. These include: adding b-roll, switching up angles, including jump-cuts, using background music, and incorporating a line-up of different characters.

All of these elements make her Reels incredibly engaging. One of her Reels series in particular increased her reach and following exponentially: People Pleasers Express. 

In this series she plays the role of the hostess and the customer. The hostess asks the customer how she “can help you say no today,” and then proceeds to give advice on setting boundaries and putting a stop to people-pleasing tendencies. 

Conclusion

Now that you’re armed with 6 easy ways to incorporate video into your Instagram strategy, it’s time to get creating!

Just remember the video golden rules: a great opening, 1-3 key takeaways, and a clear call-to-action. Those are essential no matter what type of video you share.

Bella Foxwell

Bella Foxwell

Copywriter @Iconosquare

Hey! I'm Bella. Super curious about any new feature released on social media platforms. I do have a preference for Instagram, even though each platform has its specificity ;)

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