Building Connection with Video on Instagram: IGTV, Live, Instagram Stories, and Reels

Have you wanted to try using video on Instagram, but you’re just not sure what you should be posting on IG Stories, IGTV, Live, or Reels? Video is one of my favorite things about Instagram. On my own Instagram, @epartnersmarketing, you can see that I have quite a few IGTV episodes, videos, and I do Instagram Stories every day.  

Why is video taking over? Video marketing builds a connection with the “know, like, trust” factor really fast. Viewers can see you. They see your facial expressions and mannerisms.  Your personality shines through. 

Building Connection with IGTV

Instagram TV is like a YouTube channel, but for Instagram. You’re probably wondering, “Why would I want a channel on IG?” This type of video lets your Instagram followers see you in a different way. 

What should the IGTV episodes be about? If I get the same questions in DM from different people, I make an IGTV to answer their question. Another way I use IGTV is to promote upcoming specials. I share information on IGTV so they can watch it on their own time. I also use IGTV to share projects from start to finish if they are over 2 minutes long. It’s nice for people to watch 1 video instead of 3 tiny videos about the same topic.

When someone sees that you have an IGTV episode they are going to press on your profile. Then they are going to click on the IGTV tab. Then guess what?  They’re going to binge watch your episodes just like on YouTube. 

So don’t be scared by asking yourself, “What if people don’t like it?” The right people will like you. The right people will like it. That’s what matters!

I recommend the videos be between 2 to 3 minutes. Five minutes is pushing it.  Ten to 15 minutes is long.  An episode that’s between 15 minutes and an hour is way too long. I’ve watched some IGTV episodes that were 15 minutes to 30 minutes long and want to pull my hair out because they took forever to get to the point. 

Check out my FREE IGTV guide.  It includes 20 different post ideas to get started. 

Building Connection on Instagram Stories

I love Instagram stories! I used to think about Instagram stories as just sharing your work, your day, behind the scenes, and a few quick chit chats. After listening to Angie Lee, she’s an Instagram guru, my perspective changed. She says, “Your Instagram Stories are like your own reality TV show.” So cool, right? OK, I can be myself! I can be me. You can be you. I share candid moments of my life? I’m really allowed? YES. 

Since learning this I’ve started to share more than just my thoughts on design, marketing, and PR. I mean I’m not a living text book. LOL. 

Now, I share parts of my life outside the office. I’ve shared some DIY, home decor, and just being silly with my daughter. I’ve also shared some beauty looks. 

What does this have to do with my business? Your customers are people. They want to know you.  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “People like people. People like people like them.” They’re curious about what you may have in common:

  • How you decorate your office/house
  • Where you like to shop
  • How you celebrate
  • What’s it like where you live?
  • What did your pet do today?
  • What do you like to cook/eat?

You don’t have to humble brag. You don’t have to show them your whole purse or shoe collection. That’s not what they’re looking at. They’re curious about you.

I make beautiful brands and websites. People are curious about where I make these beautiful things? I share with them my office. I’ve shared it clean, messy, under construction.  My most popular post RIGHT NOW is a behind the scenes working at my desk. Crazy, right? It was a IG story that I shared on my feed. My Instagram stories allow me connect with my tribe on another level. Some of my stories were car chats. Those do really well BTW. Why? It’s very casual. That’s why cooking Stories by non-chefs are doing so well. Everyone is at home cooking and they want to know what YOU’RE making. 

You think your life is boring, but your life is so exciting to someone else! 

Building Connection on Reels

You can have a lot of fun with reels! People are multi dimensional, right? So in Reels you don’t have to be serious. You can let your hair down. You can share a side that you’ve never shared before. All that matters is that you’re smiling and having fun. That will make them feel happy too. 

Some Reels Ideas:

  • Dance videos
  • Transformations
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Videos with music and text boxes explaining something
  • Voice-Overs
  • Something cute, fun, or silly
  • Tik Toks *Brownie Points*

Just an FYI: I reached WAY more people with reels than any other form of content. My most popular Tik Tok reached a little over 500 people. My most popular reel reached over 6,000. 

Building Connection on Instagram Live

What makes going live so special from the other video options on Instagram? You get to interact with your audience, and whoever else decides to watch, in real time. You can be by yourself . You can also have one or a few other people join you during the livestream, like a virtual panel. It’s really interesting. 

I’ve noticed that Instagram Lives usually have a central topic:

  • Breaking down a topic
  • Teaching them how to do something 
  • Promoting an upcoming event, product launch or collaboration,
  • Live streaming an Event in real-time
  • Going Live while at an event
  • Answering burning questions about a topic you have expertise in
  • Collaboration with brands/influencers 

I used to go live on Periscope a lot, but switching over to Instagram was different. So, I didn’t do it for a few years. In the last few months I’ve started going live on Instagram again. 

Wondering how to get real people to attend your live instead of just talking to yourself? Try some of these before you go live the next time: 

  • Share in stories that you have a live coming up
  • Share a post on your feed about the upcoming live
  • Ask question with sticker in stories
  • Do a poll in stories to see what they want to know in the live
  • Send an email about your live and request questions

This helps you know EXACTLY what your audience wants to hear from you. 

A live should be 15 to 30 minutes long. When working with clients, I tell them a live shouldn’t be an hour long. Why? If you’re a successful, busy person you don’t have time to go live for over an hour. Definitely not two hours.  

You want to create a sense of scarcity so people value what’s scarce.  That’s why people love designer purses and luxury cars. They’re supposed to be rare, right? You have to think that way with your time.  

That’s why Instagram Stories do so well. Your audience only sees 15 second snippets of your life at a time.  These snippets keep them curious and wanting to see more. 

Here’s a cute graphic to remember: 


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Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson is the CEO and Creative Director of E-Partners Marketing. She helps entrepreneurs attract the customers and opportunities they want with marketing, design, and public relations. Brand strategy and clarity are her calling!

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