Instagram has exploded in popularity. It’s become a crucial part of effective social media strategies. And, now is the perfect time to hop on board the train and use this platform to promote your site’s videos. Here are eight inspiring ideas for ways to use Instagram to pique your audience’s interest.

Why Instagram?

You may be leery of investing time in Instagram; many brands are still figuring out how to use the site. Instagram is for lifestyles, making the site somewhat of a marketer’s dream. As a business, Instagram shows followers how a brand fits seamlessly into their life; pictures and videos are the proof.

Essentially, Instagram is a scrapbook. With that scrapbook, you have the opportunity to tell the story of your business, express your culture, and make your brand more personal. Just as exciting is the opportunity to communicate these ideas in a creative way. For example, these very corporate brands are using the site to do some very personal, creative things.

Another reason? Instagram is part of the hashtag nation, making it easy to make your brand part of trending topics and searchable. Hashtags are another way to focus in on engagement and use social media as a way to have out-of-the box conversations with customers.

The last reason is closest to our heart. Instagram video is exploding. The app is a light-hearted way to make fun, short videos that can become an extension of the videos you’re already publishing online. Over five million videos were made in the first 24-hours of the release of Instagram video. That was months ago and the app is continuing to bloom.

Endless Possibilities

We’ve narrowed down eight of the best ideas of what you can do with just a few seconds, an open mind, and an eye for innovation.

1. Short and sweet testimonials

Take it to the street and film happy customers vouching for your brand. Splice those 15 second shorts together and you’ll have an honest, grassroots video of customers touting the benefits of your product or services.

2. Demonstrate your impact

Instagram isn’t just for brands to sell. It’s also the perfect opportunity to show how you give back. All you need is a smartphone to start making videos. The cost-effective set-up is a cheap way to communicate your organizations impact in a big way. This video from Charity Water quickly shows just how simple it is to put a face to a mission.

3. It’s a wrap!

And a launch! And a big project update! In the middle of a highly-anticipated project? Keep your customers’ interest peaked with teaser videos. These snippets provide just enough information to keep viewers hooked, while still shrouding your project in a little mystery.

At the end of the journey, reward your audience with a wrap video. Great branded social media content makes an audience feel like they have a personal relationship with a company or public persona.

This video from Jamie Oliver is a great example of using the app to make progress videos that shrink the divide between brand and audience. This video from the Yankees puts you right in the batting cage before a game.

4. Short demos

A few seconds are all you need to demonstrate your product, or at least the first few steps! With the right footage, you can build a truly sensory experience for your audience like Starbucks does in this video. Start on Instagram and use hash tags in the video description in order to reach a larger audience then lead them straight to your site to watch your full-length videos.

5. Ask me anything

Instagram videos are an easy way to crowdsource an interview. Field questions on Facebook or Twitter and post your Instagram responses like this segment from Allstate. Put all the videos together with some easy editing and you have an interesting interview full of content that’s relevant to your customers.

6. Behind the music

Or scenes. The portability factor of Instagram video is huge. Have you been hesitant to bring equipment into your office or factory? A few minutes and a phone is all you need to give a short factory tour, briefly (and interestingly) show how a product comes together, or reveal why you have the most fascinating office. Ever.

Dogfish Head put together a video showing the beer elves (bottling machinery) putting beer into bottles. Again, tease the viewer with just a short sample of your “behind-the-scenes” footage and, using a call-to-action, lead them to your site to watch your full-length videos.

7. Crowdsourcing

Behold these gems from Target. Flawless integration of crowdsourcing that integrates the brand’s quirky and stylish commercials.

8. Express yourself

Finally, Instagram videos are a great way to simply support your brand identity. Lululemon was one of the early adaptors of Instagram video. This video is somewhat of a “classic.” And, never to be outdone with social media branding, Red Bull has used the app to add to their continuum of edgy, groundbreaking advertising.

We want to know how you’re using Instagram for video marketing. Have some ideas for teaser videos you want to share? Tell us more below, on Facebook, and on Twitter @sproutvideo!