Craig Sawyer

With over 300 million users worldwide, you probably already know Instagram is a major player in the world of social media. But you might not realise how important the platform is becoming for businesses and marketing pros.

At the end of 2014, Ad Week named the picture-based app the fifth most popular social networking tool, beating giants like Twitter in the rankings. And lately it’s not just the millennial generation posting selfies on the site, either. In May this year, stats on sproutsocial.com showed a hefty 25 per cent of Instagram users are aged between 30 and 49, which means disposable income by the bucket-load waiting to be spent.

Although Instagram’s advertising options are still in the testing stage, brands like Nike, Red Bull and GoPro are still using the app’s standard services to boost business. And as with most content marketing, the benefits are about more than just selling units, holidays or trainers. Users are doing all the legwork by sharing photos, tagging friends, tapping twice if they see something they like, and creating hoards of raving fans in the process.

One massive area of growth for Instagram is video. On the app users can upload 15 seconds of footage with sound. However, while businesses are seeing the benefits, many of them are using pre-existing videos without adapting them, which could be a costly mistake. The main reason is that Instagram uses a square (4:3) screen rather than a more standard rectangular shape, so brands can lose important information, whether it’s imagery, graphics or text, when their videos are cropped to the app’s smaller size. Here at Blue Juice we’ve spotted some classic re-sizing mishaps online from videos, including squished faces, missing heads and vital information cut short.

We edit videos especially for platforms like Instagram, making sure they fit perfectly when played by the end user. Want to see an example of what we’re talking about? Here is a standard, rectangular video we put together for contents of the The Kite Show.

Player for Kite Show website & viral sharing


And here is a specially edited version designed for 15 seconds on Instagram. You’ll see the screen is the perfect size, with no smooshed heads, crystal clear footage, and concise, beautifully centred text.

Watch the latest episode of The Kite Show in our apps, on Amazon Fire TV and online at www.thekiteshow.tv for free! #kitesurfing #kiteboarding #videoproduction #amazonfiretv

A video posted by @bluejuicevideo on

So if you’re using Instagram video to reach your audience, you need to make sure it’s edited professionally to ensure your message hits the spot – literally! And as with any marketing activity, videos for Instagram need to be planned carefully, with a clear objective, an idea of who you want to reach, and the right script or storyboard. As effective as Instagram may be for getting results, you’ll need to use those 15 seconds wisely if you want to make an impact.

At Blue Juice, we can create specific content from your current footage for any social media platform. Rather than simply cutting or cropping an existing edit, we select and use content and cuts that are optimised specifically for the site or app where they will be used. Visit our contact us page to get in touch.