The social media landscape is ever-changing, and in late 2021, Instagram is getting some major updates and improvements—starting with video.
In two major announcements, Instagram confirms that video is still king on their platform. First, IGTV and Instagram feed videos are merging to become one Instagram Video family. Also, Instagram Stories is testing a move from 15 seconds long to a whole 60 seconds long.
With Reels still being a major focus for Instagram as well, I can confirm that adding video to your social media strategy is absolutely key! In fact, I just wrapped up our Q3 fulfillment report to send to our sponsors, and our best performing posts on both Instagram and Facebook were all videos.
Here are some of my favorite ways for you, as a motorsports racer and athlete, to use Instagram Video to maximize your impressions, engagement, and increase followers.
What each video facet does for you:
According to the @creator account on Instagram, Instagram Video is all about pulling your existing audience deeper and building a stronger relationship with them. Instagram video is simply a place for your feed post videos and IGTV’s to live together. Instead of the vertical IGTV cover photo, it will now be square. This merger allows you to be able to post any duration and any format of a video that’s not edited inside of Reels.
Use Instagram Video to:
- Tell stories about your racing career like how you got started
- Give a deep dive into a real experience you have with a product you’re an affiliate for
- Answer frequent questions sent in from your followers
- Announce a new partnership
Instagram Live still lives on (and has expanded from 2 accounts to 4). IG Live is great for making a real-time connection with your audience. What’s new is being able to schedule your live videos if you know when you plan to go live. To do this simply click on the + icon and tap Live, then on the left-hand menu you’ll see a calendar icon to schedule your next live video. You can then post about it onto your feed to let your followers know and turn on their notifications.
Use Instagram Live to:
- Collaborate with other racers or people in your industry
- Connect with a brand or sponsor to have an authentic conversation
- Give a race recap as soon as the event is over or the next day while it’s still fresh in your mind
- Host a post-race Q&A
Instagram Stories are the most powerful way to convert your fans from casual engagers to people who are truly invested in you, your career, your life, and the products you promote. Stories give an easy-to-engage-with inside look at your behind-the-scenes moments, allowing fans and sponsors to get an authentic picture of you!
Use Instagram Stories to:
- Engage with your viewers by using polls, quizzes, and question boxes
- Show behind the scenes moments at a race between rounds
- Share the connections you’re making at a convention or trade show
- Relate with your audience by sharing life between races
- Promote a product in a real-life use situation
- Preview something exciting coming up
With the addition of the new link sticker that is now available for all Instagram users regardless of follower size, use it to your advantage to drive your audience to:
- Your website
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Affiliate link for a product
- Tickets to your race
- Race footage (live or prerecorded)
- A sponsor’s website
Instagram Reels are the #1 way to GROW your audience by increasing your reach. By using trending songs and voice-overs, you can potentially connect with a wider audience from the Instagram Reels explore feed and drive traffic to your page (where all of your other amazing video content will convert them to forever fans).
Use Instagram Reels to:
- Show your personality and energy
- Share a super-exciting race moment or highlight reel
- Preview of an upcoming race recap video
- Transition from real life to race car driver
- Tutorial of how to use a sponsor’s product
- Show you getting ready for your race
- Installing parts
Next steps using video:
Now that you have video ideas racing through your mind, do you have the content to actually post it? If yes, get it scheduled in your content calendar! Start using the video editing tools available for free directly from Instagram. Or, use a video editing software app on your phone (I recommend Videoleap) or on your desktop (I use Adobe Premiere Rush and iMovie).
How and where to get racing footage to share
If you don’t have videos recorded, then start making a list of ideas from videos you’ve saved from Instagram and then plan out exactly how you want the video to flow, this is known as a storyboard. That way, the next time you’re at the track or in your race shop, you can take 30 minutes to film the different shots from your storyboard. I highly recommend getting a tripod with a ring light, here’s the one I use from Amazon that’s $20:
If you’re looking for on-track footage, you can either attach a GoPro to your vehicle (make sure it passes tech), find someone at the track to film for you, whether for free or a professional videographer, or reach out to the media department of your racing organization or the track manager and see if they have footage that they could share with you to post – you won’t know until you ask!
The price of a videographer can range from $200 to $1000 + travel expenses paid, depending on how much footage you want them to capture and edit. If you have the storyboard planned out, you can send it to a videographer for a more accurate price estimate. Say you already have some videos captured but don’t want to take the time to edit them, a videographer will be happy to compile them for you into different types of content that I listed above.
If your racing organization does film the events you compete in, they should be willing to hand over the footage for free or a small fee in exchange for the exposure. Obviously, the more time you take to film and edit yourself the less of an investment it will be. But if you simply don’t have the time but do have some room in the budget for help, I can recommend some of my favorite videographers and editors to help you out. Some of them travel to the races with other teams while others I’ve met through social media.