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Instagram’s Content Head Talks Creating Video For The World’s Most Popular Social Account

On the third episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to Instagram’s New York offices in Manhattan to…
Instagram’s Content Head Talks Creating Video For The World’s Most Popular Social Account

On the third episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to Instagram’s New York offices in Manhattan to sit down with Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, their head of content who runs the @instagram account on Instagram, the most popular social media account in the world with over 317 million followers. They discuss building a content team within Instagram, how to create stories that will resonate with arguably the most diverse audience ever, and how they’ve used Storyhunter to hire crews and directors of photography for their IGTV series #Advocates, #DoYouFollow and #Hidden Gems.

This is part 1 of a 2 part series with Jeffrey. The second part will go live next week, focusing on the best ways to create videos for Instagram as a creator or as a Storyhunter filmmaker.

We also are proud to announce the launch of the series as a podcast, available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Be sure to listen, rate and review!

Below are edited highlights of the conversation:

Authentic Stories Perform Well On Instagram

“Instagram is really focused on letting people connect with the people and things that they love. And that’s what we focus on for @Instagram on Instagram. It’s all about identifying people who do really cool things on the platform and telling their authentic story.”

Fuse Trending Topics/Themes Into Your Content

“It’s nice to peak behind the curtain and see what things work and what are the trends and the types of content that really resonate. Whether it be skateboarding, or whether it be makeup & beauty. Being able to take those metrics and see what works in terms of content is really exciting for me.”

Series Need to Have Clear Themes

“People want repeatable franchises and series, which we started around June of this year. We might have told a story about a potter from Portugal on Wednesday and then one about a BMX biker from Kentucky on Thursday. And people loved the content but were also wondering why they were seeing it. So we built clear buckets that have underlying themes that can be repeated on a weekly basis.”

Consistent Scheduled Content Gets More Engagements

“Having a repeatable format for a [IGTV] series is very important. If I know that this series goes up every Tuesday, I’m excited about it, and I’m going to go there every Tuesday and feel like I have a personal connection with them. This can be through comments, sharing or one of the new features that are on their way that will make IGTV a more engaging place.”

Teams Don’t Always Have to Agree

“We don’t always agree, but we have a pretty democratic process. We understand that we’re driven by a mission and we have our values and we stick to those. It’s very important to embrace that and be able to say ‘We’re all here because we agree on these things. This is our guiding principle, our North Star. We shouldn’t deviate from it and if we do, we need to have a discussion about why we’re doing that.’”

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Previous episodes of The Rough Cut:

Season Three:

Kate Whitney, Director of Digital, Pernod Ricard

Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media, The Hershey Company

Season Two:

David Weinstock, Chief Creative Officer, RF|Binder

Bonin Bough, Founder & CEO, Bonin Ventures

Mary Kate McGrath, Chief Content Officer, Gallery Media Group

Barri Rafferty, President & CEO, Ketchum

Stacy Minero, Global Head of Content Creation, Twitter

Ari Halper, Chief Creative Officer, FCB New York

Mickey Meyer, President of Network, Group Nine Media

Season One:

Courtney Coupe, VP of Content, Great Big Story

Stone Roberts, VP of Global Video Strategy, Refinery29

Jason Beauregard, Head of Studio, VaynerMedia

Zahra Rasool, Editorial Lead, Contrast VR

Warren Cohen, Head of Video, New York Post

Greg Gilderman, Global Head of Video and Editor-in-Chief, Weather Channel

Jamie Bolding, Founder and CEO, Jungle Creations

Craig Duff, Video Journalism Professor, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism

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By Jake Watkins, Content Marketing Manager