I'm no stranger to video. I've used it many times to grow my Instagram quickly in the past. There's no doubt that video is here to stay and it can rapidly increase your social media account following. In today's episode I discuss if it's really necessary in order to be successful. Certainly it's a great tool for reach and potential new followers but how you use video can impact your account both positively and negatively.
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It's a fact creating and posting video on social media increases your reach and likelihood of growing your account much faster than photo ever will. But does generating a higher following quickly with video equal success? That is what I'm discussing on the podcast today. Hey there. I'm Jane Monteith well, hello there, my friend. And welcome back to another episode of The Curious Creator podcast. Today, I'm going to be chatting about social media and specifically to video and the need for, or what we think is the need for video creation in order for us to grow online. And I'm really going to speak to Instagram in this case because I, myself I'm primarily on Instagram. It's my main platform of choice. And I chose Instagram because of the fact is so expressive in the way that you can share your content. Now, obviously there's been a lot of turmoil over the last little while with regards to people, really wanting Instagram to go back to the original format, which was sharing photographs. That's what the platform was originally intended for. And now they've been really forthcoming in saying that they're going to be focusing most of their attention towards videos. Very, very similar to TikTok. And I know many folks are saying that Instagram has indeed become a TikTok. And with that many artists or creatives have decided to jump ship. They've moved to different platforms. They just don't want to feel pressured in having to create video in order to reach their audience. As well, the algorithm always seems to be changing. We've gone from the original chronological feed to a suggested feed that everybody disliked. And of course now we've gone back to chronological. So we're constantly changing our strategies and changing our methods for posting in order to reach people and to grow our account. So with that in mind, the question becomes, do we really need video in order for us to be successful on Instagram? And I want to use the word successful. In replace of rapid growth with video. Because that does not necessarily equate to success. I want you to keep that in mind because we tend to really get wrapped up in the numbers game, that follower count. And we assume when we see an account with a high following that they're automatically successful because they've used video to exponentially grow their account. But that's not always the case. So you really want to ensure that you're using video in the right way that aligns with your goals. And when it is done correctly, then it's certainly more beneficial than posting photos. And i will attest that lately my photos have certainly taken a downturn on my account. But I think it's cyclical. Just like anything. When the algorithm changes, everybody gets frustrated. Everybody feels as though their performance on the platform is tanking. And we feel as though it's just crickets. Like nothing is happening, no matter what we're doing, nothing seems to be working. Now that the feed has gone back to chronological order, it's actually taken a toll on my account personally. Because I did better when it was a suggested feed, because I actually did quite a lot of video and I have done a lot of video. I've built my account really around creating videos. So even before everybody felt as though they needed to create video. I was already doing that and yes, it's definitely proven. I totally agree that in order to reach and generate a higher following that reels or video content is necessary. However there are many artists that I know on Instagram who have a quarter of the following that I have and hardly post any type of video content. Sure they do a little bit, but most of their feed is photos and they are extremely successful. I also know the other extreme of artists who are doing very, very well, who create video nonstop. They have hundreds of thousands of followers and yes are successful in their own, right with what they're doing. So it all comes back to So success again is different for everybody, but at the end of the day, I think we all have to agree that if an account has a million followers and they're posting video every single day, but they're not making any money then obviously that isn't successful. Does it matter how much video then that they're creating. It's really not working. So you really have to think about your content. What is your goal for your post? Who are you as an artist? What is that role on Instagram? And there are different types of artists on Instagram which then dictate the type of posts or content that they are then putting on the platform. So just because of one artist is posting video every single day. Doesn't mean that you should be posting video every single day. You are you. And that is your power. Nobody can be you. So you need to be you. You need to be the authentic self and you need to then create content that aligns with who you are and what you do. Now, as I said, I've done a lot of video in the past and not just on Instagram. I've been on TikTok. I really don't like tic talk. I've tried I will say, though, it's very easy to have your content go viral on that platform. In fact, I think after my second or third video post on TikTok, I had over a million views. Well, again, that's great. It went viral, but I didn't do the right things in order to drive traffic or just know my audience well on TikTok. So I took a step back from that and it's just, it's not my cup of tea. I prefer to just stick with one platform. We are, of course human. We can only do so many things on so many platforms. So I'd rather put my energy into one platform that I can still cross promote out into others. So when I'm creating content, I can then, multipurpose that content and use it elsewhere. But Tik TOK is not my platform of choice at the moment. I've been on YouTube. I actually still have a YouTube channel. I have not posted on YouTube for quite a while. Which is really sad. I should really try and do a little bit more on there. I think I have a 40K subscriber base on there, but as I said, it's been awhile. I'm also on Pinterest. Now I love Pinterest. I like to cross promote which is wonderful to drive traffic back to my website or wherever I want it to go. But Instagram, as I said is my platform of choice. And over the last several years on Instagram, I've done a lot of pivoting. So I've been around the block, so to speak. And with that change in direction also means a different audience. So once again, it's really important that you think about the intent or end goal for your post, because that really does dictate. The type of content you're going to be putting out there. It's really easy to become overwhelmed in thinking that you've got to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else and do the same thing. But it just means you're going to become more frustrated with yourself when you take that direction instead of taking the one you initially intended. As well, it may not necessarily align with your values and who you are as an artist. So sit down, take a few minutes and clarify with yourself who you are as an artist or who you think you would like to be. Because there are many different roles on the platform. And to give you an example you could be an artist influencer, you could be an artist who teaches art online or you could be an artist who creates and sells their work. Once you have that part figured out, then you can create content with confidence. So if you do indeed choose to create video. Then at least, you know, your content is going to align with your goals because you know, your role. As an artist on the platform. And let me give you an example of that, or actually more of an example of how, what you're creating and posting doesn't align with who you are as an artist. So, as I said, when I started building my account on Instagram, I created a lot of video. I saw a lot of great traction and I really began growing my account quickly. It made me realize the importance of video for social media growth, but the problem or downfall that I had was getting caught up in creating video for the sake of getting followers. You really want to grow this big following on social media, but as I said earlier, that doesn't equate to success. And what tends to happen is that you begin creating video for entertainment purposes only. And when you do that, you end up attracting the wrong kind of people on your account. They're only there to watch your videos, they want to be entertained. Nothing more. And at the time, this is exactly what I was doing. So it was in a bit of a crossroads. And doing a number of different things that was really confusing me and my audience. Luckily I realized that and I pivoted a little bit. My art took a back seat. And I ended up working with some art brands like Michael's arts and crafts, as well as Pebeo and created some paid partnerships, which were wonderful and really allowed my creativity to shine through because I truly do love a lots of supplies, lots of materials. I love experimenting. If you know me and you follow me on Instagram, then you know, wholeheartedly that is something that I love to do. So it worked out really well for quite some time until I pivoted again. But that's just an example I wanted to share with you of how video can attract either the right audience or the wrong audience, depending on your goals. So again, you really need to think about who you are as an artist and your goals on the platform. Now, maybe you haven't, you had decided on direction. Maybe you don't know what you want to do or how to grow on social media. This then could be a viable option for you, especially if you love experimenting, you love lots of different mediums and you love to create It's an avenue you could pursue working with other brands and being paid to post art content. And if that is something you can see yourself doing, then all the more reason to post the type of video I just mentioned. It aligns with your goals and will end up attracting different art brands to your account that you can then begin building those partnerships with. Now side note here, obviously it takes time not saying this is an overnight thing. And as soon as you start posting these types of videos, brands are going to come running. That's definitely not the case. You really need to be consistent and committed to that style of video. As I said, it's a lot of work. It takes a lot of energy. So you really need to decide if that is the direction that you would like to pursue. And if you have been posting these valuable craft style videos and brands notice that, Don't just accept brand products in exchange for posting on your account. I don't know why some of the bigger brands still assume that reaching out to an artist and offering product in exchange for posting content on your account is acceptable. It's not, it's not a good situation to be in. Obviously, if you already have a reliable income stream coming in and you use products from a brand that you're loyal to and you choose to post content for that brand. Then that is perfectly okay. That is your own decision. And I certainly have favorite products that I use and I choose to place those on my account. And that brand doesn't pay me. But that's my decision. I have another reliable source of income coming If this is something that you're looking to do as your main source of revenue, you're not going to create content for this brand that as I said, takes time and effort in exchange for free advertising on your account, because that is essentially what it is. That brand would not go to a newspaper and take out a half page ad and assume it's free. No, of course not. You have to pay for that advertising in that newspaper. Well, that brand has to pay for that advertising on your account. Because at the end of the day, your time and their products do not pay the bills. And if you want a super pro tip. And want to be perceived as extra professional, then make sure you have a media kit ready to go. That details all of your cost breakdown for posting, whether it's on the feed or in your stories. All of those things as well as your stats on all of your social media channels if you have more than one. So that is just one direction you can take as an artist on social media and really use video to your advantage. And I will say that process style videos, meaning you take a concept and show a specific process. And it take people through a story that they get value from then those are the videos or the reels that do really well. As far as timing is concerned. I think that's a bit of a game and an experiment, whether you choose to do a 15 second reel or over a minute, then that is something that you have to really play around with on your own personal feed, because what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. But you don't have to do lengthy process videos. You can still do something very simple as an artist who is just looking to get out there and draw some attention back to their account. It can be something fun and really, really quick. Now, as an example, yesterday, I posted on my account, something really silly. But it was a way for me to be able to showcase my latest piece of art. And I did a funny 12 second reel where I acted like a mannequin on a turntable holding my art. You know, there's so many different trends out there right now. One is turning around with your art, whatever it is, you can get really creative and still have fun and do it very quickly. You don't need your video to go viral but it's still important to utilize video well and get it out there so you can gain some of that extra reach that you wouldn't normally get from photo. I also want you to keep in mind that consistency and showing up every day is what wins the race. Take your time, do the right things. Stay true to you and stay in your lane. Don't just jump on the bandwagon and do what you think you're supposed to be doing, just because everyone else is doing it. You want everything you're doing to align with who you are as an artist. And if you choose not to post video, just because your account isn't growing fast, doesn't mean to say it's not growing in the right direction. Even if you're growing slowly, if you're posting the right type of content, then you're attracting the right audience. And that is what is most important because at the end of the day, Those are the people who are going to want to spend money on you and your art. Well, I hope these experiences and insights I've shared with you today have allowed you to understand some of the roles that video can play both negatively and positively on social media. As well as your own role as an artist and some of the directions you can take on the platform. So remember to stay true to yourself and create content that aligns with who you are with your values and your goals. Because in the long run, you're going to be a much happier artist. And that is going to show through to your community online. Thanks so much for joining me on today's episode. I hope you found value and don't be a stranger. Feel free to drop a comment on my latest Instagram post. I'd love to hear what you're up to and what you think about this podcast. And if you feel as though what I've shared today is going to help one of your fellow creatives then please feel free to share this episode with them as well. Until next time stay creative and stay curious bye for now.