As a content creator or live streamer, you no doubt already have an Instagram account, along with Twitter and Facebook. While it is likely true that you are already posting in a bid to get noticed among the never-ending feeds of content, are you posting the right type of content?
While it is a good practice to tell your audience when you are going live, did you know that according to a recent study by Mention, Video posts receive 38% more engagement than image posts? There is a reason more, and more creators are leveraging video on Instagram as part of their strategy to drive viewers back to their channel.
To get ahead of the competition, here are a few clever hacks you can use to help you make the most of your Instagram, even when you are not streaming. It's all about cleverly recycling your content, and posting it meaningfully to grow your channel. Here are a few simple hacks to help you make the most of your content, and easily repost clips on to Instagram.
Finding the right type of content
If you are going to go to the trouble of reposting your stream clips to Instagram, it's vital to ensure that what you are posting is engaging. First and foremost, targeting is everything. One good example could be putting together a short thirty-second moment, of something funny that happened on stream. For gamers, maybe you are playing a survival horror, and something jumped out at you, causing you to react. A moment like this can be instantly enjoyable to new viewers, giving them a taste of both the type of games you play and your personality. For non-gaming content such as a webinar or vlogging, clipping together a segment that is both short and succinct, can prove to be alluring to viewers, wanting to go back and watch your archive, video or subscribe to be notified the next time you go live.
Outside of simply posting to Instagram, stories can also be a great way to drive viewers to your channels, as they provide a more immediate and engaging way for you to showcase your content to viewers. Selecting a few choice clips, and posting them as a story can be a great way to inform audiences of the type of content you are making.
Picking the right tools for the job
Selecting the right tools for the job is everything, and when it comes to creating highlights of key moments from our stream there are a few ways you can do it. If you are streaming with OBS one of the best practices you can do is to start writing down time stamps, using a pen and paper while you are streaming. This way, you can easily make a note when something cool happens on stream, and then go back to it. If you have viewers, and stream on Twitch, you can also ask viewers to clip the moment, for you, so you have a healthy amount of content to review.
Alternatively, if you use XSplit Broadcaster or XSplit Gamecaster, you can assign a hotkey to insert cue points into your broadcast. Cue points can be a handy way to identify critical moments during post-production.
Speaking of post-production, and selecting the right tools, it's worth downloading a video editor so you can easily import your recordings and clip them. There are a few different choices out there, most notably Adobe Premiere, which is an industry-standard for professional non-linear editing software. Alternatively, you can also check out XSplit Express Video Editor, a free and quick solution for editing clips in seconds.
Once you have selected your software and captured your recordings, its time to start editing, a good rule of thumb when reviewing your footage to post to socials is to try and find two or three key moments, and then experiment with regards to the duration and of course, the caption.
Picking the right tools for the job is everything, so make sure you choose an editor that allows for easy clipping and exporting.
A quick guide to aspect ratios
When dealing with multiple platforms, and mixed media, complications can arise along the way, especially when it comes to aspect ratios of your content. If you are uploading gameplay footage, there is a good chance that it is captured in 16:9, meaning that when you upload it to Instagram, you will have to either sacrifice screen real estate (by uploading the clip with borders) or zooming in on a portion of the clip. Keep this in mind when uploading your content. A good rule of thumb would be to always show the clip in its original aspect ratio unless there is something specific you want to zoom in and focus the viewers' attention to.
Creating a PC to Mobile Workflow
When saving your clips, and trying to upload to Instagram from a desktop, you may find the experience limiting. This is because Instagram does not offer a proper way to upload content from your PC easily. While there are workarounds in the form of a few third-party apps, its generally recommended to instead upload your clip to Instagram via a phone or tablet.
The reason for this is simple; native mobile Instagram apps are far superior, offering the full suite of filters, badges, and captions. So how can you quickly transfer your finished clip from PC to your mobile device? While using a 3rd party messenger service can be convenient such as What's App, or Facebook Messenger. Quite often, the clip will be highly compressed, sacrificing quality in favor of file size.
A more convenient alternative would be to upload your clips to a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive, or Dropbox. Both offer space for free, with their mobile apps downloaded, it can be a convenient way to organize and upload clips from your phone easily.
When posting, timing is everything
So you have your finished clip, and you are ready to repost it to Instagram! Before doing so, consider that timing is everything. According to Sprout's recent 2019 study of the best times to post on Instagram, daily on weekdays (Tuesday to Friday) between 10 am - 3 pm generally nets the best positive results.
This pocket of high engagement can prove to be a great testbed for trying out different clips to measure what has the best results. So consider initially testing 2-3 clips across the week, and utilizing hashtags. Choosing hashtags is important for ensuring your content is targeted towards the right audience, for a list of some popular hashtags take a look at this handy study from earlier this year by Oberlo. Incidentally, the most popular hashtag on Instagram is #love!
Building an audience is a long-term goal
The purpose of reposting your stream clips to Instagram is really about maximizing your channels, your brand, while also having an opportunity to recycle footage already shot. Despite these tips, though, it would be unrealistic to assume that you can build an audience overnight. Like live streaming and content creation in general, consistency is key, and by regularly uploading your content to other channels off of Twitch or YouTube, you stand the best possible chance of attracting new viewers and raising your profile. So if you are already streaming or uploading YouTube videos, why not give it a try?
TL;DR List of Tips and Tricks
- Add cue points to your live streams to find the best moments to highlight
- download an editor to easily cut together your clips, start with some initial 30-second segments.
- When you have exported your clip, use Google Drive or Dropbox to easily access and post to Instagram from your mobile or tablet device.
- Timing is everything, weekdays between 10 am - 3 pm generally gives the best results.
- Building an audience takes time, post consistently, and don't give up! Experiment and find out what works for you.