9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Instagram for auto is part of a social media subset that is ever changing. It's hard to put your finger on exactly what strategies to employ in any new medium, and this one requires a special kind of mastery and apps, too.
It's also hard to find imagery to talk about imagery.
Sometimes, though, you find an image so obscure that you have to find a way to use it. This public domain image of a fisherman is that thing for me today. I'd like to apologize in advance to our blog editor, Schock, for my attempt to tie in this picture of a fish with my post on Instagram for auto dealers.
If you are the original artist, please reach out. I would love a signed copy to mat and frame. Please. I'm an adult and need to decorate my house accordingly.
Instagram for Auto: A Big Fish
My mom used to harass me about always rushing to the next thing. Years ago, I became immune to the phrase “Slow down!”
She'd call it restlessness; I'd call it looking to the future. And that wasn't the first time we had different opinions. I remember the amount of consecutive years in high school I wore all black to picture day. Mary-quite-contrary, indeed.
In all seriousness, Instagram for auto can be a lot to take on — especially video posts. And so right now I feel like my mom with her disclaimers:
- Know your staff. Yes, you can make Instagram videos work in your favor, but do you have the staff to create them? Do you understand the voice you want your messages to have? Is someone ready to step up and head the project?
- Do it well. Instagram videos aren't something you want you do halfheartedly. Is your dealership prepared to produce the high-quality content needed for video? Do you have the hours free to craft video messaging?
Sometimes I see people embrace something new too quickly without understanding the undertaking it will involve. Anything new requires significant buy-in.
Sometimes it makes sense to embrace a new platform. Sometimes it doesn't. Instagram for auto is an example of the stormy gray area that can occur. It might be a good idea for one auto dealership, and it might be on par with that one time I had dreadlocks for another.
Photos are one thing, but automotive Instagram videos require the investment of more man-hours. To execute a video properly, there is editing time that also needs to be involved.
Video is an easy way to invoke emotion through your message, too. Once you're ready for the time commitment, explore community messaging.
For example, Honda has been posting videos to remind people not to text and drive — a popular sentiment, sure. But these shorts stand out among the noise.
The Biggest Things to Note
Instagram videos can be only 15 seconds long. It's not a lot of time to work with, but you can make it count (see Honda post above).
The aspect ratio for videos is the same for photos — anywhere between 1.91:1 and 4:5. We recommend using the 1:1 (square) format to take up as much screen real estate as possible. This is something to be aware of when you're shooting video on your phone; if you're shooting in landscape mode, the sides will be cropped off in your Instagram post.
Review what makes a good video post and ad on Instagram, and channel your inner cinematographer. This is your brand image, after all! Make it count.
Having the correct resources available beforehand are a plus. Luckily, you have us. We have an eBook written about Instagram specifically for the automotive market.
I'm only going to brag a little bit, but we're those people who are addicted to learning. We chase down the newest trends in automotive marketing mostly because we want to help our clients make educated decisions on what's right for them. Less work for you, more fun for us!
Then we write cool eBooks about it — and they're free.