In an age where consumers are inundated with content, it is vital to find ways to capture their attention. To match the growing prominence of videos on social platforms, brands must focus on tailoring content to fit the users of each platform. Though similar content thrives on pay-to-play platforms like Facebook and YouTube, the rules of Instagram are different, thanks to an ever-shifting algorithm.
While Instagram’s algorithm for who sees what is a mystery known to few, evidence shows that content explicitly related to products does not perform well. In Gartner L2’s Video 2019 report, only 42 of the top 100 videos on Instagram focus on exhibiting products, compared to 77 on YouTube and 64 on Facebook. Additionally, fictional and plot-driven advertisements also do not work on Instagram: though 34 and 9 of the top 100 YouTube and Facebook videos employ plot-driven advertisements, none of Instagram’s top videos do.
The content thriving on Instagram mainly centers around inspirational or emotion-inducing real-life footage, such as sports tricks or wedding proposals. In fact, such footage comprises 60 of the top 100 videos on Instagram, while less than a quarter of both YouTube and Facebook videos are. This may be due to Instagram’s primarily visual nature, where users have a higher bar for content and a shorter attention span.
Merely copying and pasting videos into different social platforms is not enough, best-in-class brands adjust the content they post to match the audience of each.