Instagram Video-Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Cecilia Nysing
  • Entrepreneurs must now produce more video content to effectively market themselves on social media.
  • The founders of Goop, Banza, Good American, Drybar, and Megababe shared tips at a recent event.
  • Emma Grede, the CEO of Good American, said you should obsess over what your community is saying.

As Instagram and Facebook attempt to look more like TikTok, business owners must now produce more video content to effectively market themselves on social media.

“Everything’s about video,” Brian Rudolph, the cofounder of the vegan-pasta brand Banza, said during a panel at the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Summit on July 19. “Be willing to accept that these things are constantly evolving and adapting.”

Insider spoke with Rudolph; Katie Sturino, the founder of the beauty brand Megababe; and Alli Webb, the cofounder of the salon chain Drybar, about how their companies are adapting to video. Gwyneth Paltrow, the CEO and founder of Goop, and Emma Grede, the cofounder and CEO of the Kardashian-backed jeans business Good American, also shared their insights onstage at the conference. 

Four of the founders have built million-dollar companies: CB Insights, a business-analytics platform, valued Banza at $32.2 million in 2017; Good American is worth $130 million, according to Fortune; Helen of Troy, a publicly traded consumer-product developer, acquired Drybar for $255 million; and The New York Times Magazine reported that Goop was worth $250 million in 2018.

Megababe declined to share revenue numbers, but a company spokesperson said it sold over 1 million products last year and has been profitable since launching in 2017.

Here are the entrepreneurs’ social-media-marketing tips for business owners. 

1. The format may change, but the message stays the same

Before Instagram prioritized video on its platform, Banza found success in reposting some of the dishes its 247,000 followers cooked with its products and shared. “That model doesn’t work at the moment,” Rudolph said. “What’s resonating most is original video content.”

The brand evolved its approach with one team member focused solely on creating and testing video content. Even though the format has changed, the company’s overall messaging, which Rudolph describes as “relentlessly positive,” has stayed the same. 

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously — we make chickpea pasta after all,” he said, adding that the brand focuses on the fun-loving role it plays in customers’ lives. “We always joke that our brand would be like Jimmy Fallon: It’s just the type of person that you want to hang out with.”

2. Push through the uncomfortable

For some business owners, the transition to video content can be challenging, but Sturino encourages entrepreneurs to use it as a forum to share more personal information. 

“They wanna know who’s behind this brand,” she said. “Why am I paying maybe a dollar more for something because you’re a small business?”

It might be uncomfortable at first — it was for Sturino, who wasn’t sure anyone cared about her life. “When I first started, I felt that it was all very narcissistic to share your day with someone, but actually people are interested,” she said. “Push through the uncomfortable.”

3. Show your product in action

Drybar pivoted during the pandemic to meet women where they were spending more time: at home. So the brand did more DIY tutorial videos for its 528,000 followers, incorporating its styling products and tools. “We really pivoted to help women be able to do their own hair,” Webb said. 

The founder also suggests finding ways to stand out in saturated markets. For example, she’s an investor in the humidifier brand Canopy, which has found success marketing its products for the beauty benefits of hydrating skin and improving makeup application. 

“When you’re trying to cut through the noise, what is everybody expecting about this product or service?” Webb said. “Then I’m going to do the opposite to stand out.”

4. Double down on what brought customers early on

Paltrow has built Goop’s brand — backed by 1.7 million Instagram followers — on the premise of unconventional wellness tips. Goop is often the first to try the latest, quirkiest beauty or health product on the market, like a vagina-scented candle or snow yoga.

But even a celebrity-led brand has to face the challenges of fickle technology. “All of us are trying to find customers in a post-iOS 14 update world. It’s gotten a lot more difficult,” Paltrow said.

Regardless of the platform, she’s learned to tap into what’s resonated with her audience since day one. “Focus on what brought those early customers and double down on that,” Paltrow said. “One of the things that brought a lot of our customers in was an open line of communication that was honest.”

5. Pay attention to what your customers are saying

Grede is so invested in her Good American customers, she reads every review. 

“Being obsessed with what your community is saying about the product is really, really important,” she said, adding that it helps steer the brand into making good decisions.

Since the brand is helmed by a Kardashian, social media is the most powerful tool to tap into what customers want. So when Good American noticed that some of the brand’s 2.3 million Instagram followers were wearing its bodysuits as swimwear, it hopped on the opportunity to create a swimwear line. 

“The community was telling us, we listened, and now it’s the second-biggest category at Good American,” Grede said. “Lead the community into thinking that they’re part of the decision-making process; they will lead you down a really fortuitous path.”

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