Using video in Instagram Stories has a ton of potential for brands and businesses. Videos create a unique opportunity to offer valuable information and expertise and connect with your audience.

But how do you create an effective video that’s only 15 seconds long?

Below are 4 ideas for videos you can create for Instagram Stories that don’t require any special knowledge, expertise, or equipment.

1. Showcase your product or service

Videos are a great way to show your audience what your product or service can do. You can create tutorials, demonstrations, videos of customers using the product, or behind-the-scenes videos. Even better, you can produce these videos using nothing but your smartphone — no professional equipment or know-how necessary.

The tricky part is figuring out how to work with the format of 15-second clips. Here are a few ideas for how to make the 15-second limit work for you instead of against you:

Use time-lapse

Many smartphones have a time-lapse video mode that records images at a slow interval rate, which makes the video play back a lot faster than in real-time. Use this mode to record your video, or use a video editor to speed it up so it fits into 15 seconds. This may not work very well for demonstrations where the viewer needs to understand what’s going on, but it could be a cool way to show a process.

Use SuperZoom or Boomerang

Instagram has 2 native features you might want to try. Boomerang turns a short clip into a kind of loop, while SuperZoom creates a close-up using a dramatic or funny filter and music effect. You can use these to focus on your product or an object related to your brand — they’re a lot more fun than still images.

Here are some new features that Instagram recently added to Boomerang:

Combine clips

If you just can’t accomplish what you need to in 15 seconds, you can break your video down to 15-second clips and post them together. You can post up to 100 Stories at once, so this gives you plenty of time to work with!

One way to do this particularly effectively is to create a different clip for each step of the video. For example, if you’re creating a makeup tutorial, make one short clip for each step. You can add text to indicate what product you’re using or share any application tips. Then combine these clips into a series, making sure to keep them in chronological order.

Using templates — like those you can find in apps like VideoBoost — to add text, music, and cool effects can take this style of video up another level.

2. Share tips

You can use Instagram Story videos to share tips or important information related to your product or service. This both provides value to your audience and positions you as an expert in your field.

Making a video like this is super easy when you use templates from an app like VideoBoost on your smartphone. You can use your own footage or choose stock footage, and then add text and other elements to make a video that looks professionally produced — with very little effort on your part.

3. Talk to your audience

A straightforward video of you speaking directly to your audience may be a simple concept, but it can be very powerful. It gives your audience an opportunity to connect with you personally and get to know you better.

All you need to do is use your smartphone camera to record yourself talking and giving a quick tip or pointer. You can even do this directly in the Instagram app using hands-free mode. (And if you want to keep the mood light, you can add cute filters!) Remember that Instagram Stories are made to be viewed in vertical mode, so capture your video while your camera is vertical.

4. Post user-generated videos

What could be easier than using content other people have created for you? Offer your customers free samples or incentives in exchange for creating a short video of themselves talking about or using your product or service. Then, all you have to do is download their video and repost it to your Story!

Action Items:

1. Experiment with time-lapse, SuperZoom, Boomerang, and combining clips to create a video that showcases your product or service.
2. Use VideoBoost to make a video sharing a quick tip.
3. Record yourself sharing useful information using the front camera of your smartphone.
4. Offer customers an incentive to make a quick video review or tutorial with your product.
5. Upload these videos to your Stories and watch your engagement skyrocket!

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