Instagram videos have carved out a significant niche. Transcending their initial use as a platform for celebrities or local bakeries showcasing their delectable pastries, they now serve as a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, offering a unique avenue to reach audiences and make a lasting impact.
If you’re a business owner or marketer looking to tap into this potential, you’ve come to the right place. This guide is designed to provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of Instagram videos – the intricacies of this dynamic platform’s features and shedding light on crafting engaging content that resonates with your audience.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Types of Instagram Video
Known for its visually appealing content, Instagram has expanded its horizons from original picture-only posts to various video formats. These formats have diversified the platform’s content and provided users with multiple ways to express themselves creatively.
Let’s go deep into the details of these formats.
1. Instagram Feed Video Posts
Instagram Feed Video Posts are the classic format, appearing directly in your followers’ feeds. They can be up to 60 seconds long, providing a brief yet impactful opportunity to share content.
Businesses use Feed Video Posts to share comprehensive content that requires more than a fleeting glance. This format is ideal for sharing product demonstrations, mini-vlogs, or user-generated content. The permanence of Feed Video Posts allows businesses to create a lasting impression and a robust visual portfolio for new followers to explore.
The post below by @buzzfeedtasty is a great example of an Instagram feed video post.
Tip: Remember to keep your content engaging and relevant to your audience when creating Instagram Feed Video Posts. Use high-quality videos to ensure the best viewer experience.
Like an image post, an Instagram video post can include a filter, location, caption, and user and location tags. Once posted, people can engage with likes and comments and share public videos in stories and direct messages.
2. Instagram Stories Video Format
Instagram Stories are short 15-second videos that vanish after 24 hours. This format is perfect for sharing time-sensitive content, such as daily updates, behind-the-scenes peeks, or limited-time offers.
The fleeting nature of Stories creates a sense of urgency and encourages viewers to take immediate action. Additionally, its casual and authentic nature allows businesses to connect with their audience on a more personal level.
The example below perfectly illustrates a video posted to the American casual dining restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen’s Instagram as a Story.
Tip: Instagram Stories are one of the rare places on Instagram where accounts can post direct links. For brands, links offer a significant way to drive organic leads and conversions. You can also add interactive elements such as filters, emojis, tags, and stickers to each story.
3. Instagram Video Reels
Reels, Instagram’s response to the short-form video trend, allow users to create and share video clips of as brief as 15 seconds to even as long as 15 minutes.
Reels are used for various reasons. They can be for entertainment or to share informative videos. These are often used by businesses to showcase their brand personality in a that suits them best.
The algorithmic preference for Reels provides businesses with an opportunity to reach a wider audience, even beyond their followers. Plus, the format allows for more digestible content, making it ideal for tutorials, product demos, or storytelling.
Tip: Like feed videos, Reels can include captions, hashtags, and, most recently, product tags. People can engage with Reels by liking, commenting, or sharing them in Stories and direct messages. Remember to use high-resolution vertical videos for the best viewer experience.
4. Instagram Live Videos
Instagram Live Videos offer real-time video broadcasting. This format is ideal for hosting interactive sessions like Q&As, product launches, or casual conversations.
The real-time interaction offered by Live Videos helps businesses build a stronger and more personal connection with their audience. It also provides an opportunity for instant feedback and audience engagement.
One of its features include going live with one or more users, as illustrated in the image below.
Tip: When you go live, you’ll be able to see how many people are watching your stream at the top of the screen. Your audience can also engage with you by adding comments or emoji reactions or by purchasing badges that show heart icons beside their names in the comments. Make use of live shopping features to let users shop directly from your stream.
Now that we’re aware of the different types of Instagram videos, let’s shed some light on their dimensions and other crucial details.
Instagram Video Specifications
Navigating Instagram’s diverse video formats can be challenging. Each video type has unique specifications. The infographic below offers a clear view of all the Instagram video specifications and requirements to optimize your content for better visibility and engagement.
7 Instagram Video Best Practices
We’ve covered all the important information regarding Instagram videos; now, let’s move on to the fun part – some interesting tips and best practices to help you nail your videos on the platform.
1. Stay on Top of Trends
Staying on top of trends is a continuous process. They can emerge and peak rapidly, so it’s important to keep your finger on it always.
How do you do that? Regularly check Instagram’s Explore page, follow influencers, and monitor popular hashtags. Tools like Google Trends can also provide insights into what’s currently popular.
Once a trend is identified, the challenge is to incorporate it into your content authentically and don’t just copy it. For instance, Adobe has effectively used Instagram video trends to its advantage. They have focused their Instagram strategy on showcasing their users’ creativity through Instagram Reels.
In one of their video posts, an artist takes a trip back in time and shows how Adobe Photoshop has evolved over the years. This not only aligns with the trend of using Instagram Reels but also stays true to Adobe’s brand identity of celebrating creativity.
2. Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience helps you tailor your videos to their preferences, and this increases the likelihood of your videos being watched, liked, and shared, thereby boosting your reach and visibility on the platform.
Understanding your audience is crucial for content creation. If your audience is young and enjoys humor, consider using trending memes or challenges. For a professional audience, focus on educational content or industry insights. The tone of your videos should also match your audience’s preference, be it casual or formal.
Gymshark is an excellent example here. With over six million followers on Instagram, the brand has successfully understood its audience and created content that resonates with them.
3. Create High-Quality Videos
High-quality videos are a non-negotiable aspect of a successful Instagram strategy – by that, we are not just talking about resolution. You also need to emphasize clear audio, good lighting, and engaging content.
Maintaining video quality on Instagram involves adhering to platform specifications. Instagram compresses videos, but you can counteract this by ensuring your video dimensions are at least 864 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high and using supported aspect ratios ranging from 1.91:1 (landscape) to 4:5 (portrait).
A prime example of high-quality video content is Apple’s Instagram post featuring a short film titled “Fursat.” This film, commissioned by Apple and shot entirely on the iPhone 14 Pro, beautifully showcases the product’s video capabilities.
The post serves as a testament to the power of high-quality videos in highlighting product features and driving engagement.
Tip: If you’re using a landscape format (1.77:1), remember that your video may be cut off in the feed. To avoid this, consider framing your video content in the center of the frame. This way, even if the sides are cut off, your followers will still see the most important parts of your video.
4. Post at Optimal Times
Each Instagram audience is unique, and the best time to post can vary based on factors like your audience’s time zone, their daily routines, and when they’re most active on Instagram.
By analyzing your Instagram Insights or using automation tools like SocialPilot, you can identify these optimal times and schedule your posts accordingly. Remember, a well-timed post can be the difference between your video being seen by hundreds or thousands of people.
The best time to post on Instagram is when your audience is most active. While this can vary depending on factors such as your audience’s time zone, their daily routines, and when they’re most active on the platform, a general guideline suggests that weekdays during, before, and after work hours (6 AM-9 AM, 5 PM-6 PM) are safe times to post. Lunch hours (12 PM-2 PM) are also a good time as people are likely to check their Instagram during downtime.
5. Use Sound and Captions
Sound can elevate your videos, making them more engaging and immersive. However, many Instagram users watch videos without sound, making captions a necessity. This ensures your content is accessible to all, including those with hearing impairments or those who prefer to watch videos without sound.
A great example of this is Oreo’s Instagram videos. They are known for their simple, creative content that works perfectly with or without sound. The sound quality in their videos is satisfying, but it doesn’t require sound to make sense.
6. Start With an Interesting Hook
Starting with an interesting hook is a crucial strategy for businesses using Instagram videos. The first few seconds of a video are pivotal in capturing the viewer’s attention. An engaging hook can make the difference between a viewer scrolling past your video or choosing to engage with it.
In fact, even a study by Fanpage Karma revealed that hooks that stir expectations and pique audience curiosity average 55% higher reach and 50% higher engagement rates.
Why is it important for businesses?
Given the fact that users are inundated with content on the platform endlessly, an intriguing hook can be the difference between getting noticed or being overlooked. It’s not just about grabbing attention but also about quickly conveying the value your video offers. This can prompt viewers to stick around, increasing the watch time of your video.
Furthermore, more watch time can signal to Instagram’s algorithm that your content is engaging, potentially boosting its visibility on the platform. This can lead to more likes, comments, shares, and even new followers, all of which can contribute to your business’s growth on Instagram.
7. Create Mobile-Optimized Videos
Instagram is a mobile-first platform, with the majority of its users accessing it via their smartphones. This makes it essential for businesses to create videos that are optimized for mobile viewing.
Why is this important for businesses? Mobile-optimized videos can significantly enhance user experience, leading to higher engagement rates. A video that is easy to view and interact with on a mobile device is more likely to be watched in its entirety, liked, and shared, thereby increasing its reach.
Moreover, mobile-optimized videos can also influence the perception of your brand. A video that appears professional and well-adapted to the mobile format can enhance your brand image, making it appear more reliable and trustworthy to your audience.
Check out their aerial view Reel of people celebrating Pride across various countries to endorse “Pride from Above” on Disney Plus and Hulu.
Tip: Use vertical video in Reels to take full advantage of the screen space. Also, consider using the various editing tools Instagram provides for Reels. You can add music, adjust the speed, apply effects, and more. These tools can help your Reels stand out and engage viewers.
How to Leverage SocialPilot for Instagram Video
Instagram videos have become a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience in an era of visual storytelling. Whether it’s short in-feed videos or longer Reels, videos offer a dynamic way to engage viewers.
Leveraging SocialPilot for Instagram videos can enhance this engagement, offering a range of features to make the most out of your video content. Here’s what SocialPilot can offer you for your Instagram videos:
Direct Publishing of Instagram Videos: Schedule and directly publish videos to your Instagram business profiles. No need for reminders or manual posting, SocialPilot takes care of it.
Bulk Schedule Instagram Videos: Plan your Instagram video content in advance by bulk scheduling. Upload multiple videos and set times, ensuring a consistent presence.
Analyze Instagram Video Performance: Get detailed analytics on how your Instagram videos are performing. Track views, engagement, and audience response to understand what works best.
Integration with Instagram Insights: Connect SocialPilot with Instagram Insights to get a deeper understanding of your video performance. Analyze metrics that matter to your business.
Customized Reporting: Create customized reports on your Instagram video performance. Share insights with your team or clients, showcasing the impact of your video strategy.
Instagram videos are a powerful tool for brands and individuals alike to engage with their audience, tell their story, and drive action.
From understanding the different types of Instagram videos, the importance of video size and length, and to mastering the best practices for Instagram videos, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of how to leverage Instagram videos effectively.
While there’s some amount of luck that makes videos go viral, you can increase the chances by ensuring you have a deep understanding of your audience, be creative, and are commited to testing and learning.