Instagram is the hot platform of the moment, but what many users – and businesses in particular – have found when trying to connect with people on Insta is that building an audience can be difficult.

People are more selective on Instagram, with the lessons of Facebook and Twitter dictating new habitual behaviors. When Facebook and Twitter were new, everyone connected with everyone – you sent a friend request to all the new people you met at a party, and you followed thousands of profiles on Twitter in the hopes that they’d follow you back. Many people, on Twitter especially, have built massive audiences this way, but users who did this also found that their feeds ended up being rubbish, a steady flow of random updates from folks they could barely remember.

The result is that people don’t follow as readily on Instagram – which poses a new challenge for brands, making them work harder for attention. The benefit, however, is that once you do win over new followers, they’re far more likely to become customers, because they’re following based on actual interest in what you post.

So how do you do it? How do you win over more resistant Instagram audiences and build an engaged following?

That’s the focus of a new report from parent company Facebook, which provides insight into what users are looking for from brands on Instagram, and includes tips on how to take action based on their findings.

First off, Facebook notes the rising potential of Instagram, with 57% of the 21,000 people surveyed indicating that they’re now using the platform more than they did a year ago, and 44% saying that they’ll use it even more in the coming year.

Facebook Instagram study

That likely comes as little surprise, Instagram’s added half a billion new users within the last two years, while Instagram Stories, originally launched in August 2016, just this week hit a new milestone of 500 million daily users. It’s clear that Instagram is getting more attention – though it is interesting to note the propensity with which current users are planning to go back to it, underlining the potential.

But a particularly relevant finding of the study for marketers is that many users are actually going to Instagram to connect with brands.

“When we asked people what they associated with Instagram, some of their top responses were that the platform allows interaction with celebrities and influencers. Additionally, 2 in 3 respondents (66%) told us that Instagram is a platform that allows interaction with brands. These interactions might take the form of a snack company using polls in Instagram Stories to let fans vote on a new chip flavor, or a fashion brand reposting photos of chic #OOTD posts.”

Granted, interaction with family and friends was another key reason for people to use the platform, but the responses do indicate that Instagram users may be more open to brand communications than they are on other platforms.

That’s particularly relevant when you consider that Facebook has been actively working to boost interaction with friends and family members in order to increase in-platform engagement. The findings for Instagram almost reflect the opposite, with users coming to see content from influencers and brands, and welcoming such within their feed – when they choose to follow those profiles.

In terms of overall usage, younger Instagram users are more likely to come to the platform daily, which is largely reflective of broader digital platform trends.

Facebook instagram study - daily usage by demographic

That, too, is no surprise, but it is interesting to note that despite the differences in older brackets, a lot of those users are still coming back to the platform daily. If you’re looking to reach younger audiences, definitely there’s value there, but older users are still fairly active. There’s a broadening range of people on the visual platform.

So how can you reach these people – what do Instagram users expect to see from brands on the platform?

Respondents indicated that they want to see the following types of marketing content:

Facebook Instagram study - marketing expectations

Short and well-targeted, with specific creative designed for Instagram. That makes sense, given the visual nature of the platform, and the focus on eye-catching content. If you are looking to utilize the platform, you need to familiarize yourself with what works, and not just in terms of posting like-baiting inspirational quotes, but in regards to creating content that both works to promote your business, and connects with what your target audience responds to.

Given the aforementioned habitual changes, building an audience on Instagram is not easy, it’s not as simple as liking every post from every person who engages with a certain hashtag, or using the old ‘follow back’ approach to build up your numbers. Both those strategies may work to some degree, but whether the people you’re reaching are within your actual target audience is another question.

The best way to approach Instagram is to go in with a strategy. Research the platform, look at what others in your niche are posting, what their audiences are responding to, scan through the relevant hashtag lists to see what people are posting. Once you’ve got a handle on what you should be sharing, set out an adequate time frame for results, then stick to a schedule and build up response data.

It takes time, but with the right focus, you can tap into the rising Instagram stream.

You can read Facebook’s full “How to Connect with New Audiences on Instagram” report here.

Have you wondered why so many people are creating their own Facebook Live videos and shows?

Doesn’t it seem like a lot of work and pressure, just to broadcast 30 – 60 minutes of video content?

What if I told you that a single one-hour video that you broadcast live to Facebook will generate dozens and dozens of pieces of content that you can use to fuel your content marketing efforts both on your blog and on every other major social network?

And what if I told you that the combination of two or more of these tactics could have a multiplying effect on your audience, traffic, leads and sales?

Want to learn more? I thought so.

Start at the Beginning: Facebook Live

It’s worth noting that I’ve chosen to recommend using Facebook Live, as opposed to Instagram or YouTube or Twitter live video. There’s a specific reason for that.

When you begin a live video on Facebook, Facebook will “build your audience” by notifying your Page followers and placing your video into the feed of an increasing number of people whom Facebook believes may be interested in your content. And as each new viewer tunes in and engages with your broadcast, they increase the potential for that video to be seen by others.

For example, if I react to or comment on any Facebook post, the people connected with me on Facebook may see that activity, and therefore the post itself, in their feed, even if they aren’t already following the original Page or profile that created the post.

This means that the more people you get watching and engaging with your Facebook Live video, the more will be eligible to see it. This is a virality factor that either isn’t present at all, or isn’t as effective on other platforms. Getting likes and comments on your YouTube video won’t bring you more viewers, and sharing videos within YouTube still isn’t a thing. Same with Instagram. Twitter is somewhat better, but it still lacks the concurrent usage of Facebook.

In other words, can you assume that a good portion of your audience is actually using Twitter at the same time you are?

The other brilliant reason for broadcasting via Facebook Live, which my friend and colleague Stephanie Liu teaches, involves the use of Facebook Ads. As you get more and more people to view your videos, not only are you building a captive audience for your live broadcasts, but you’re also building an audience that you can target with Facebook Ads. If you’re utilizing live video to build ‘Know, Like & Trust’ (and you should be), targeting those audiences with relevant ads and offers can be a brilliant play.

So that covers the strategy behind using Facebook Live. If you want help with the tactics behind a successful broadcast, Stephanie Liu has a tremendous resource for you. What we’ll be covering through the rest of this article is 100% tactical after your Facebook Live.

Note that for the purposes of this article, I will assume that you’re going to do a regular weekly Facebook Live video, and that you’re going to interview a guest expert each week. You may choose to broadcast less often, broadcast by yourself or with a co-host, or even have a panel of people. They’re all equally viable options.

Tactic 00: Featured & Crossposted Videos

Ah, well, there’s a couple of things I forgot to mention which technically aren’t additional pieces of content – they still leverage that original Facebook video – but, damn, these are cool.

First off, every Facebook Page has a ‘Videos’ tab where all your most recent videos are listed. Just like on YouTube, you can also organize them into playlists, so consider the kinds of videos you’re creating, and how your audience might benefit from having them organized in what way.

But there’s one other really cool feature in the ‘Videos’ tab, and that is… well, ‘Featured’. Featured Video, I mean.

At the top of your ‘Videos’ tab, you can choose to display a single video the full width of the column. Take advantage of that real estate.

Sure, you can put a video about your business there that’s super boring. Or, you could rotate in some of your most exciting live videos.

Featured Videos on Facebook

Second, you can leverage partners with other Facebook Pages and crosspost your videos to those Pages.

Crossposting is not the same as Share – when a video is crossposted by another Page owner, they essentially create a new post with that same video on their Page.

In addition to getting your content in front of their Page audience, you also get the benefit of aggregated metrics, and as the video owner, you can check out the combined statistics for views and engagement.

Videos can be crossposted both while live and after the broadcast

Videos can be crossposted both while live and after the broadcast – it just depends on what the other Page owner wants to do, and wants to let you do. When we broadcast one of our 360 Marketing Live videos, we automatically crosspost the live broadcast to each of our respective Facebook Pages, adding exponentially more reach and potential.

Tactic 01: YouTube

Once your Facebook Live broadcast is finished, download the video file and upload it to YouTube.

Every other week, Stephanie, Jenn Herman, Amanda Robinson and myself have a live broadcast we call 360 Marketing Live. Once it’s done, I grab the video file and log into YouTube and our 360 Marketing Squad channel. There’s an upload button in the upper right that I can click, select my video file, and begin to upload.

A 30 to 60 minute show is going to generate a rather large video file, so be patient here.

While the video is uploading, you can change the title – don’t use the default file name – as well as enter a description. Typically, the title of your Facebook Live and show description will work just fine here.

Select tags for your video that are appropriate for the content (TubeBuddy is a great help for this) and, when the video has finished uploading, select a thumbnail image – this is a single frame from the video that YouTube viewers will see before they begin watching. It’s a good idea to upload a custom graphic that has the show title on it. I always create such a graphic to pre-promote shows and use them when creating Facebook Events. The same graphic works great for the YouTube video.

You can choose to add the video to an existing playlist, and even tweet it out for some additional exposure, then click on ‘Publish’.

download the video file and upload it to YouTube

PRO TIP: Go into your video settings, go to ‘Transcripts’, and review the automated captions that YouTube has created for your show. You can then download the entire text of the show as a text file. You can probably guess how we’re going to use that later.

That’s your first major repurposing.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1

Tactic 02: Slideshare

Y’all know that Slideshare is owned by LinkedIn, and is one of the most effective platforms for sharing and driving business. Ana Hoffman used Slideshare to drive a quarter million views, and you can too.

The trick with Slideshare is that your content needs to be an infographic or a presentation file, like Powerpoint.

“But wait, Mike – I thought we were talking about video.” You’re right, Barbara, we are. Here’s how it works.

Open your Google Drive account and create a new Google Slides file. If you’re going to do this regularly, I would absolutely recommend customizing a template for yourself so you can keep your presentations branded easily. (Note you can absolutely use Powerpoint or Keynote for this step if you prefer.)

Create at least two slides for your presentation – an initial title slide and a closing slide. Feel free to add more if you wish, but your video is going to exist between two distinct slides, so you don’t necessarily need more than two.

Save your presentation as a PDF file.

  1. Sign in to SlideShare.
  2. Click ‘Upload’ and select your new PDF presentation file.
  3. Fill in the relevant details and publish it.
  4. Click ‘Edit’ under the presentation you wish to add the YouTube video to.
  5. Click the ‘Add Youtube Video’ tab at the top of the page.Edit your SlideShare Presentation to insert a YouTube video.
  6. Enter the URL for your YouTube video.
  7. Select the placement of the YouTube video within your presentation.
  8. If you wish to insert another video, click ‘+Add another video’.
  9. Once you’ve inserted all of your videos, click ‘Insert & Publish’.

The videos will now appear in your presentation.

To select the correct URL to insert into a presentation, copy the YouTube video URL from your browser’s address bar (when you’re on the “watch” page on YouTube) and paste it into the given space.

If you have a specific call to action within the video, that last slide is a great place to reinforce that, particularly if there’s a link you wish them to follow. (Quick Tip: if you use Google Slides and save to PDF, links will still work. If you’re using PowerPoint you’ll need to edit the PDF using Adobe Acrobat.)

Additional Pieces of Content: 1

Next, pull that video file into iMovie or Camtasia or whatever you prefer to use for video editing, because you’re going to work some magic now.

Tactic 03: Podcast

Save the audio as a separate MP3 file, which you can then use that to power a podcast. You can start a Libsyn hosting account for as little $5/month, and start uploading your audio files there. For most Facebook Live broadcasts, the audio will require minimal editing. It’s great to have an “intro” and an “outro” for your podcast – standard bits of audio that you’d splice onto the recording that add branding and standard information to every one of your podcasts. You can also choose to edit out any technical issues, or unnecessary conversation that might have occurred. And then you’re done.

You can actually launch a podcast and make it available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play with as few as one single episode, however I’d recommend that you have at least four episodes in the can that you can release weekly, or even drop all at once, ensuring constant activity. Podcasts, like Facebook Live broadcasts, benefit greatly from a regular schedule that your growing audience can rely on.

When you set up your Libsyn account,you simply create a feed for your podcast, including the title and description of the show (the entire show, not just one episode), and then set that feed up to distribute new episodes as soon as you upload them.

This tactic actually results in three pieces of content, thanks to the use of multiple distribution networks.

Additional Pieces of Content: 3

Tactic 04: Audiograms

Are you familiar with audiograms? You might have seen them on LinkedIn, where they seem to be extremely popular right now – they’re essentially videos, but instead of using actual video footage, there’s usually a static graphic with an audio wave line moving in accordance with an audio clip of someone speaking.

Here’s an example, a clip from an interview with Mark Schaefer:

In this typical audiogram, we have a relatively audio short clip, plus whatever information we want to include on the graphic. People enjoy listening to the recording, and you can provide them with a link to the Facebook Live or blog post, or wherever you’re looking to drive traffic. And these audiograms can be uploaded to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest.

The beauty of audiograms is that they’re incredibly easy to make. You can create audiograms for free using Headliner.app.

  1. Upload your audio file (up to ten minutes of audio – I prefer to edit out the clip I want to use before uploading)
  2. Select the audio you wish to use
  3. Choose your aspect ratio and select a background image (which I just make using Canva)
  4. Customize with different wave appearances, automatic captions, and more

While most audiograms are made square, you can choose landscape or portrait for use in, say, Instagram Stories. In fact, once you finish your audiogram and download it, you can easily convert it into another version, and size to easily repurpose the same audiogram elsewhere.

With Headliner, you can pull out one or more clips from your Facebook Live and share them out as quick segments. These might be quotes, answers to questions, or even funny moments from your show. The possibilities are endless.

Let’s assume that you find one great answer from your guest and create a one minute clip and audiogram. You can upload a square version to Instagram, landscape versions to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and portrait versions to Facebook Stories (personal, Pages and even Groups) and Instagram Stories (if you splice the Instagram Story video using app like Clip).

Additional Pieces of Content: 8+

Tactic 05: Twitter Videos

If you can upload an audiogram video file to Twitter, you can certainly upload regular video.

In fact, Twitter supports up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds of video content – that’s a golden opportunity to find a great soundbite, intro your interview, or share a funny segment.

Again, your video editing software is your friend here, as it will make it super easy to find the clip you want to share and edit it out.

But, before you create that 2:20 clip, consider some of the other networks you might want to share that to, as they all have different requirements.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 06: Facebook Feed Videos

We started with a Facebook Live Video – so why am I about to suggest sharing segmented versions of that same broadcast back to video?

First, not everyone tuned into your live broadcast, no matter how popular it was, so sharing it or segments of it again just makes good sense.

And it’s possible that you might want to leverage your personal profile, Facebook Groups you’re a member of, or even other Pages you control, to share some key takeaways from that Live broadcast. One masterful technique I’ve seen utilized is to schedule a Watch Party for a Facebook Live after it’s aired, within a Group, giving your audience another opportunity to watch and engage with your content.

Plus, there’s a big difference in commitment between watching your one hour broadcast and watching a 60 second clip. Your audience might really appreciate being able to ’snack’ on part of the video before deciding to watch the whole thing.

So while you can technically upload up to an hour and twenty minutes of video, you don’t need or want to here. Just consider sharing whatever video segments you create, and you can even spread them out over time. Agorapulse, for example, will help you to schedule video content to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 07: LinkedIn Feed Videos

The same video segment(s) that you created for Twitter or Facebook will work great for LinkedIn, and you can upload up to ten minutes of video to the professional social network, so length won’t usually be an issue.

PRO TIP: Remember how I mentioned earlier that you can download the captions for your videos from YouTube? Headliner automatically does the same thing for your audiograms, but what about these shorter clips? Headliner can help with those too – just choose “Video Transcript” instead of “Audiogram Wizard” for your new project.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 08: Instagram Feed Videos

So far you’ve created one or more video clips that can be shared to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Since the video was originally recorded in 16:9 ratio (landscape), those segmented versions will work fine on those networks. Now, however, you do need to create a different version of that same clip.

Instagram’s feed is all about the square. Within your video editing software, simply look for the option to change the aspect ratio of the video(s) you created. This will likely give you a selector you can use to make sure the visible area of the video makes sense.

Note that in addition to being limited to 1:1 aspect ratio, Instagram feed videos can be 60 seconds maximum. Be careful to stick to that within your editor, as Instagram will simply cut your video at 60 seconds, whether it’s finished or not.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 09: Instagram Story Videos

Creating video segments for Instagram Stories is a bit more challenging since it’s a 9:16 aspect ratio or ‘portrait’ style (no, you can’t just rotate your video 90 degrees). One option is to use the square version and it will simply appear centered on the screen with colored space above and below. Or, if the original recorded video allows creatively, you can try cropping it to 9:16. This generally only works if there’s a single person speaking who can still be framed within that box.

Either way, this is another great place to share quick segments, up to 15 seconds. If you use the Clip app (or similar) that I mentioned earlier, you can splice your longer video into 15-second segments, then simply upload them in order. Instagram followers will be able to watch them in succession easily.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 10: Pinterest Video Pins

Did you know that Pinterest supports native video uploads? Up to fifteen minutes of video, in fact – so while it’s not enough for entire shows, it’s definitely long enough for a fun segment.

You can upload any of the versions you’ve created so far, particularly if you managed to create a tall portrait or square version of the video.

Pinterest Video

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

Tactic 11: Quote Graphics for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

It never fails. When I have a great guest on a show, I’ll ask questions and they’ll start sharing the knowledge that’s in their head, and end up saying extraordinary things. Sometimes those things might be just a sentence or two, yet they’re simply brilliant.

Those statements can make for great quote graphics.

As you’re editing and re-listening to your interview, watch out for those one-liners and make note of them. Then you can open Canva and make one or more quote graphics. You can have these templated in advance, so that all you have to do is enter the text of the quote and the interviewee’s name.

I recommend landscape graphics for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, square graphics for Instagram, portrait graphics for Pinterest (and Stories).

Additional Pieces of Content: 5+

Tactic 12: Blog Post w/ transcript & notes

So far you’ve already created a tremendous amount of content out of that one video, but you’re about to pull it all together. The blog post is the one piece of content that will live on your website – your property – so it’s remarkably important and worth taking your time on. But fortunately, it won’t take you too long at all.

There are a number of ways you can go with the blog post version of your Facebook Live in terms of what content is actually included:

Easy Option – Use the title of your show, embed the Facebook Live video, and copy & paste the transcript from YouTube. Whip up some graphics in Canva and you’ll be all set in a matter of minutes. And there’s nothing wrong with this approach. But if you want your content to perform better long-term, you could spend a few more minutes and try the…

Moderate Option: In addition to everything outlined in the Easy Option, consider adding a summary at the beginning that’s based on your initial show description. Explain what the show was about, who was on it, and what you covered, letting your audience know up front what they’re going to learn and why it’s worth their time. This will encourage more people to keep reading, and/or watch the embedded video interview. Or you might choose the…

Advanced Option: This choice requires more time and effort on your part, but it will absolutely pay off. Instead of just a quick summary at the beginning, you’ll walk through all of the major discussion points from the show and draw them out, pull quotes, and share conclusions. You’ll create a piece of content that could easily be read on its own, without the video or transcript, and be just as easily understood.

Note here that no matter which approach you take, you’ll embed the Facebook Live video, not YouTube or any other. This is because as readers find your blog post, some will choose to watch the video. Each new viewer may choose to Like or Comment on the Facebook post, which they can do right from your blog post. Remember how we outlined earlier the benefits of getting engagement on your Facebook posts? Well that’s true, no matter how old the posts are or where they’re embedded.

Getting readers to engage with your embedded Facebook Live videos will push those videos back Into the News Feed.

Again, this goes back to the benefit of using Facebook over other platforms – it’s simply better for growing an audience. And as Facebook Watch develops, there’s even greater potential in the future.

Always include at least one image with your blog posts, as well as links to any individuals or resources mentioned in the post. If you’re leveraging the podcast channels, you can also embed the Libsyn player, and encourage readers to subscribe to your podcast if they like the audio version.

Additional Pieces of Content: 1+

In addition to the Facebook Live Video itself, and any crossposting you might have done, following these steps will give you at least 25 additional pieces of content.

The YouTube video, podcast and blog post can be edited and published relatively soon after the broadcast, while the additional content and social posts can be spread out over time – months. You can choose to let the social posts stand on their own, link to the Facebook recorded video, or link to the blog post. I tend to prefer to have all roads to lead to Rome the blog post, but that can vary depending on your specific goals and CTAs.

A version of this post was first published on the The Social Media Hat blog.