Instagram is a visual platform. That’s a fact. But it doesn’t mean your brand has to limit itself to still images.
With video content, you can tell stories in new ways that are more engaging for your audience and help build trust with them.
Instagram video content is currently available in four formats: Reels, Live, Stories, and Instagram Video.
Video content has exploded on the platform in recent years, with 91% of Instagram users reporting they watch videos on a weekly basis.
There's no doubt that video is the future of social media.
In just five years, Instagram has gone from a platform that was primarily used for posting photos to one where video is king.
With over 1 billion users, it's hard to argue with that. And if you're not already using video on Instagram, you're missing out on an opportunity to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.
But what are the best formats for your brand? And how do you know which one will work best for YOU?
We've got the answers! In this guide, we'll teach you all about the features, specifications, and best practices for every type of video format.
We've rounded up tools that make using Instagram videos that much easier. You'll be able to choose the right option for your business in no time!
What are the kinds of Instagram Videos?
There are four types of Instagram videos we're going to talk about today. That'll be Instagram reels, lives, feed videos, and stories. We're going to talk about them further in the next sections.
Stories are short videos you can create and share on Instagram. They're quick, they're fun, and they disappear after 24 hours.
You can record them by swiping right from the home screen, or by tapping the plus icon and selecting Stories. You can also upload them from your Photo Library.
If you want to save a video from your Story before it expires, just tap the arrow button in the upper-right corner of any post then press "Highlights." This will add the video to your profile's Highlights section, which is positioned just above your grid of photos and videos.
You can also add interactive elements such as filters, emojis, tags, and stickers to each Story. Several brands—some four million every month by Instagram’s count—have found cool ways of using these features for their brands.
Instagram Story Tricks
We all know that Instagram Stories are the perfect way to engage with your followers, but did you know that they're also one of the rare places on Instagram where accounts can post direct links?
In fact, more than 50% of people polled by Facebook say they've visited a brand's website after seeing a Story.
Despite their short-form, ephemeral nature, Stories remain one of the platform's most popular features.
Instagram Feed Video
Instagram video is the newest and most exciting way to share your stories. It combines the best features of IGTV (longer videos!) with in-feed video posts, which means you can now post videos up to 60 minutes long.
Instagram Video posts are added the same way images are posted: by using Instagram’s built-in camera or by uploading from your Photo Library.
Whether you're looking for a new platform for your brand or just want to share stories with friends, Instagram Video has something for everyone!
So you want to know how to post a video on Instagram?
It's easy! Here's how:
1. Tap the camera icon in the top-left corner of your home feed.
2. Record a video and tap the Next button in the bottom-right corner when you're done recording.
3. Add a filter, location, and caption, as well as user and location tags. You can also add stickers or drawings to your video before posting it to Instagram Stories or your profile feed.
4. After posting it, users can react to your video posts. They can share your video posts as well like an image post.
Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your audience in real-time. Livestreaming has been trending these days since it captures attention so effectively.
Here's how it works:
1) Swipe right or tap the plus icon to start your live video. Instagram live videos can last up to four hours.
2) This video can be seen at the front of your Stories bar with a live icon. This video will be available for 30 days before it gets deleted.
- You can see how many people are watching your Instagram Live
- You can engage with your audience by adding emoji reactions or comments.
- You can pin comments on your Instagram Live. Setting up keywords to filter comments can also be done.
- Live Shopping feature is also available when you do live streaming.
- This video type supports fundraising of nonprofit organizations.
We're excited to announce Reels, the latest video format from Instagram!
Reels are a new way to tell your story with 15-30 second clips that you can create using Instagram's camera or upload from the Photo Library.
You can record effects like timed text, AR filters, green screen mode, timer and speed controls, and access to an audio library.
Want to know more about Instagram Reels? Here are some of the most important things you need to know:
1. Reels record in vertical portrait mode and are displayed in users’ feeds, the Reels tab, and a dedicated Profile tab.
2. You can also add hashtags, tags, and comments on Reels.
3. Audiences can engage with your reels by reacting with emojis or adding a comment like direct messages.
What are the specifications for Instagram videos?
Once you're ready to make your Instagram video, next you learn about are the video specifications. Let's go over them for each type of Instagram video.
Instagram Story Video Specs
- It can be in MP4 or MOV file format
- Video length is maximum at 15 seconds
- Max video file size is 30 MB
- Ratios are 9:16, 16:9, or 4:5
- 500 pixels for the minimum width
- Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500
- Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100 or 90 x 160
- Compression: H.264 compression recommended
- Square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128+ kbps
Instagram Feed Video Specs
The file format for this is MP4 or MOV and the maximum file size is 30 MB. Video length is around 3 to 60 seconds with a maximum frame rate at 30 fps. As for the ratios, it'll be 9:16 while the width is 500 pixels.
Instagram Live Video Specs
The video specifications of this video type is the same with Instagram Stories. You can do Instagram Live only through your camera app.
Instagram Reel Specifications
These are fullscreen vertical videos with a file format of MP4 or MOV. The length of this is max at 60 seconds. Resolution must be around 500 x 800 pixels while frame rate is maximum at 30 fps.
Tip: To make your reels more engaging, you need to add closed captions, music, or screen text.
How to make a viral Instagram Video?
Begin with an interesting hook
If you really want to make a video go viral, there's a formula for it. And it's not that hard to follow.
First, start with a hook.
General rule, you have three seconds to stop thumbs from scrolling past your Instagram video. Or leaving your Instagram Story altogether. Be sure to give people a reason to keep watching. Whether it’s arresting visuals or a teaser of what’s to come, find a way to offer instant appeal.
Don't forget to add captions. This is your second tool to capture your viewers' attention.
Additional Resource to watch: Determine Your Target Audience | Expert Sessions with Tim Fitzpatrick
Make it mobile-friendly
When you're recording a video for Instagram, it's best to shoot in vertical orientation. That way, when your viewers watch the video on their phones, it'll be easy for them to see what's happening in the clip.
We know you want your video to go viral.
But do you know how to make a viral Instagram video?
It's not as hard as you might think. Here are some tips for making a viral Instagram video:
1. Be consistent with your branding
2. Use appropriate hashtags in the caption of your video
3. Make it short and sweet (under 30 seconds)
To keep your viewers' attention, you need to make it worth their while.
One way you can do that is by making them laugh out loud or wanting to make breakfast cereal ice cream sandwiches. Another way is by imparting tips and tricks, how-to’s and workshops, or thought-provoking information.
You should also make sure that whatever value proposition you're offering is clear and simple. Before even starting to create the video, fill in the blank: When someone watches this video, they will _______.
Whatever you land on should be clear from the start. If you deliver on your promise, you'll probably see more views, engagement, and shares.
Make and Schedule your videos in advance
Once you're done with video production, you can use a software for scheduling posts on social media. There are tons of software out there that can help you schedule your video post in advance. That way, you're saving time and effort.
Utilize sound captions
Sound is important.
According to Instagram, 60% of people watch Stories with sound on. That's why we've included captions in our videos—so you can make sure your content is accessible for everyone.
Timed-text can be manually added to Instagram Stories and Reels. To save time, tools like Clipomatic automatically add captions to your video.
Be consistent on your posting
Consistency is key to building an audience on Instagram, especially when it comes to long-formats like Instagram Video and Live.
To make sure your followers know what they can expect from you, create a schedule and share it with them. You can do this by posting the schedule in the caption of each video, or using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to publish your content on time.
You can also take advantage of our research to find out the best times to post videos on Instagram.
There are different social media channels where you can create viral vifadeos to promote your brand. Instagram is just one of them, and you can make the most out it.