How to Boost Instagram Video Views with Influencers, Community

by Gabriele Boland
September 12, 2016
Courtesy of NewsWhip

This guest post was originally published on the NewsWhip blog.

With video growing more prevalent on every platform, here are the must-know content trends for successful Instagram video.

Instagram has been making big moves this summer. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say, and Instagram has adopted several of visual platform Snapchat’s features, including Instagram Stories to match Snapchat Stories.


Last month, we looked at four quick things to know about successful Instagram videos. In the six months leading up to April 2016, the time users spent watching video on Instagram increased by over 40 percent.

With Instagram Stories featuring prominently at the top of the feed, this number will likely grow.

Top Video News Publishers

We looked at the top news publishers on Instagram in June and July to see how publishers were engaging their followers amid the shift to an algorithmic news feed.


This time, we’re examining only how these publishers fared on their video content. The data comes from NewsWhip Spike.


The top publishers were the same; however, Bleacher Report and ESPN beat out National Geographic for engagements. Bleacher Report drove nearly 11.9 million likes and comments for their Instagram videos from August 1st to 28th.

Of course, this could also be due to the sheer number of video these sports publishers are putting out: 238 (Bleacher Report) and 180 (ESPN) to National Geographic’s 20.

Per video, National Geographic drives an average 4,539 comments and astounding 447,372 likes.

BBC News breaks into the top five as the only general news publisher, though Fox News and CNN join them in the top ten.

What works on one platform doesn’t necessarily translate to the other. Video on Facebook is a different animal than on Instagram. When we looked at Instagram last month, we saw the top videos were fairly short, captioned, had accompanying text caption for context, and were often square.

Since we already looked at the video tactics, let’s examine some of the content trends driving engagement.

Human Interest Stories Resonate

The majority of the top ten videos from general news publishers were human interest pieces, both negative and positive.


This video from CNN drove over 29,000 likes, and 6,600 comments, on a small child Syrian refugee.

His name is Omran. The image of him, bloodied and covered with dust, sitting silently in an ambulance awaiting help, is another stark reminder of the toll of the war in #Syria. He is young — one witness puts him at four, perhaps five years old, but his chubby arms and legs and the way he clings to the man who pulled him from the rubble of his bombed-out home suggest he is still a toddler. #Aleppo, in northern Syria, has been besieged for years during that country’s civil war. Thousands of people have been killed there, and many lives have been upturned. Omran’s family are among them. Sometimes a video is worth a thousand words. This haunting, heartbreaking imagery of a young Syrian boy is a vivid reminder of the horrors of war.

A video posted by CNN (@cnn) on

The simple video gives viewers a glimpse into the realities of the Syrian conflict that CNN does significant reporting on. It humanizes what might otherwise be another story about far off places, and far off people.

Other videos were less solemn. This video of a cop pulling drivers over to give them ice cream on a hot day drove over 24,000 Instagram likes and comments.

Tagged: audience engagement community influencers instagram instagram video social metrics social video

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