Last week, Instagram‘s long-awaited video option finally went public. So by now, you’ve probably updated your app, created your first stunning Instagram video, and captioned it with something along the lines of, “My first attempt at video!” Well, that was fun, right? But now what?

As many have observed, Instagram’s 15-second format allows for a lot more room to communicate than the 6 seconds available via Vine. That also means there are a lot of uses for putting this new medium to work for you. Here are four ways you can take advantage of Instagram video to promote both yourself and your work.

1. Reveal Your Process

Many creatives and brands have already been using Instagram to give the world a behind-the-scenes peek at their daily work life. With the addition of sound and motion, you can expose another level of your process. Compare seeing an image in your feed of Illustrator/Designer Jon Contino‘s hand-rendered word “brutal” to this video that reveals the metal music playing while each letter is born.

We interrupt this feed with some sheer brutality!!!

A video posted by Jon Contino (@joncontino) on

Speaking of music, musicians finally have the chance show off what they do on Instagram too. French superstars Phoenix jumped on the opportunity while recording their latest music video (for “Trying to Be Cool”) with this quick clip that lifts the curtain on their production process.


A video posted by Phoenix (@wearephoenix) on

2. Make Some Micro Tutorials

Using a 15-second video to explain something can be tricky, but if you refine your message and minimize the steps you need to communicate, you’re on your way. Instagram itself did an excellent job of announcing its new product with a video that actually shows you how to use it.

HOW takes a lighter approach to a tutorial by exposing the steps of printmaking and the final product without an explanation. If, like HOW, you have an audience of users with the same general interests this can be a great way to inspire them to experiment.

We interrupt this feed with some sheer brutality!!!

A video posted by Jon Contino (@joncontino) on

3. Come Sell Away

Sure, it feels great to see how many likes you can stack up online, but sometimes your fans want to actually (gasp!) buy your work, and Instagram video is a great way to showcase it. Lydo Elise Le uses it to show you her collection of prints available for purchase via email.

And of course there’s us. These awesome Shutterstock items aren’t actually for sale, but you can win some of them if you enter our weekly caption contest on Facebook!

4. Show Your Personality

You may have spent years touching up your portfolio, but don’t forget that people often hire candidates based not only on their work but also on their likeability. Jessica Hische may be the poster girl for excellent work that matches her flawless reputation, so take a lesson from her personality-filled posts.


A video posted by @jessicahische on

Do you have other tips for using Instagram video as a career-building tool? Let us know. We’re excited to see what you create. And if you happen to become addicted to shooting video, we’re always looking for footage contributors!