Instagram Video - A Complete Guide

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Guide to Instagram Videos 1
VIEWS: 3969 Views CATEGORY: Tech READING TIME: 15 Min To Read UPLOADED ON: 04 Apr 2024

Who doesn't know Instagram? We are sure that every internet user is familiar with Instagram. It is one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide, with 1.35 billion monthly active users. It is the most used social media platform after Facebook. Initially, it started as a platform encouraging users to share photos online, but it has seen many updates like other social media platforms. It is also considered the favorite social media platform of youth. 

A general perception of Instagram is that it is a photo-sharing platform. However, video content is the most engaging content on this platform. Around 91% of Instagram users watch videos posted on Instagram weekly. More than 54% of Instagram users engage with video content daily. 14.9% of content on Instagram is available in the form of videos. These figures speak a lot about the effectiveness of video content available on Instagram. Moreover, many Instagram users not only watch but also desire to download Instagram videos by clicking the link to view them later. Hence, Instagram videos could be ideal for individuals who want to go viral or brands who want to get noticed and promote their products.

This blog helps individuals and brands get noticed and go viral through Instagram videos. Reading it will help you use Instagram videos effectively as a tool to promote yourself or your brand.

Types of Instagram Videos

If you want to make your Instagram video content viral and get viewers hooked and want to save it to their phones, it is important to understand various video types and determine the right type for your use. If you target an audience of all kinds, you may get nothing out of your effort. Hence, basic knowledge about all the Instagram video types is a must. Therefore, our guide starts by discussing various types in detail. Read on to learn more. 

In-Feed Videos

This type of video was first introduced in 2021, replacing IGTV (Instagram TV). You can post such videos by recording them on your smartphone or choosing them from your gallery. These videos may have a length of 1 hour at max. 

The ability to upload such longer videos on Instagram offers you creative freedom, which is rare on other social media platforms. You can equip in-feed videos with filters, locations, captions, and user tags like images shown in the Instagram feeds. These videos can receive followers' engagement through likes and comments. 

Instagram Live

This video type allows them to stream their activity on Instagram directly. Influencers, brands, and individuals can use these live videos to host interviews, Q&A sessions, and workshops. 

Starting a live broadcast on Instagram is very easy. All you have to do is swipe right or tap the plus icon at the bottom and select the live option. Instagram live videos can last for up to 4 hours. One or two accounts can host an Instagram Live video session. They are making it easier for brands and influencers to host interviews, promotions, and Q&As. 

Followers get a notification when any account goes live. The account hosting live session shows in the stories section with the Live tag. Moreover, they are also shareable within 30 days before live videos vanish from archives. 

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is the latest introduction to this platform. This type aims to compete with TikTok. Initially, users were allowed to record a video of up to 60 seconds and upload it as a Reel. However, the duration of Reels recorded with the in-app camera is then increased to 90 seconds. 

Users, influencers, and brands use Instagram Reels like TikTok. Moreover, Reels also offer pretty similar features to make the experience as fun as it is on TikTok.

Users can do lipsync or voice-over to make Reels. They can also add various filters, use the green screen, and even add their desired audio. The option of uploading reels with original audio is also available. Additionally, users can combine original and added audio by controlling the volume level of the original audio. 

After creating reels, users can also download Instagram reels to use on TikTok, websites, and private groups to grab more users.

Instagram Stories

Since then, Instagram Stories was introduced to compete with Snapchat, earning massive popularity among users and brands. The duration of individual Instagram stories is 15 seconds, but you can add 4 Instagram stories at a time with a collective duration of up to 60 seconds. 

These stories remain on Instagram for 24 hours. After 24 hours, stories vanish. However, users can add these stories to highlights. Stories added to highlights will be visible to followers or the public, depending on the account's privacy. 

Stories on Instagram have interactive features like poll options, stickers, emojis, mentions, and filters. Influencers and brands have started using stories to address Q&As, get Feedback, and polls regarding 'this or that.' 

Instagram Video Sizes and Specs

Now that we know that multiple video types are available on Instagram, we can see their frequent use on the platform for various purposes. It is time to learn a few essentials, like the Instagram video size and specs of these video types, to help you use them on Instagram effectively. 

Instagram Stories

We will discuss the sizes and specs of all Instagram Video types in ascending order. The ascending order refers to the maximum duration of any type of video. Hence, the first on the list is Instagram stories. Here are some characteristics of Instagram stories in terms of size and specs:

  • MP4, MOV, and GIF file types are accepted.
  • The aspect ratio is generally 9:16. 16:9 or 4:5.
  • Video resolution could be up to 1080 pixels.
  • Captions of video Stories can feature up to 125 characters.
  • Maximum file size could be up to 30 MB.
  • You can post direct links on Instagram through stories.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels come second in our list. We will discuss a few noteworthy characteristics here to help you understand the technical aspects of Instagram Reels. Read on to learn more.

  • Recommended aspect ratio is 9:16. Other options are 1:1 and 4:5.
  • Video formats used for Reels are MOV and MP4.
  • A thumbnail of the video should have a width of 500 pixels.
  • The maximum video file size is 4 GB.
  • Length may range from 15 to 90 seconds. In other cases, it may go up to 15 minutes.
  • The recommended resolution for Reels is 1080p.
  • The caption may include up to 2200 characters.
  • Reels are shareable through DMs and in Stories. 
  • Reels can feature hashtags, product tags, and location tags.
  • Reels offer multiple screen layouts.
  • Reels receive engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares.

In-Feed Videos

Now is the time to discuss longer-duration videos. In terms of duration length, in-feed videos take 3rd in our list. Further details are:

  • In-feed videos and photos on Instagram work similarly.
  • The length of in-feed videos on Instagram may range from 3 to 60 minutes.
  • In-feed videos can have filters, captions, geolocation, and location tags.  
  • Allowed formats are MOV and MP4. 
  • The maximum file size can go up to 4 GB in a 60-minute duration.
  • For videos that are 10 to 10 minutes in duration or less, a 650 MB file size is allowed.
  • A fixed frame rate is recommended, which is generally 30 FPS.
  • Captions can feature up to 2200 characters.
  • Users can include Hashtags in captions. 

Instagram Live

Instagram Live is a perfect tool to interact with followers and consumers. Instagram Live videos allow them to interact with Instagram users in real time. Here are some specifications of Instagram Live videos.

  • Instagram account going live appears in the stories section with a Live tag.
  • Instagram Live sessions can be 4 hours long. 
  • These Live sessions can only be recorded through an in-app camera.
  • One or two Instagram accounts can administer the live session.
  • Instagram shows the number of people engaged in a live session.
  • The Live Analytics feature helps you monitor the reach and engagement of a Live session.
  • The audience can engage in multiple ways, such as emoji reactions and comments.
  • Hosts can pin and turn off comments.

Instagram Video Editing Tips

After learning about video types, their size, and specs, we should also discuss a few editing tips that can help you ensure better reach and engagement. Note that these tips apply to all types of Instagram videos except Live. Read on to learn more about these tips. 

High-Quality Videos are a Must

Instagram users expect high-quality videos. As an influencer or brand aiming to increase your reach and interaction with your target audience, you must ensure videos have higher resolution. There is no space for blurry and low-resolution videos. Making professional-looking videos with higher resolution is no longer tricky. 

You don't need costly video-making equipment for this purpose. A smartphone camera or webcam can do the trick. To avoid camera shaking while making videos, you can use a tripod. Using a ring light will help you get substantial lighting to prevent darkness in the video. A quiet, noise-free environment or an external microphone will help you record audio.

Ensure Captions or Subtitles

Most social media users, including Instagram, watch videos while their phones are on mute. But, you won't be able to convey your message to most users because they have silenced their phones while browsing Instagram videos. Adding captions or subtitles is the best way to make your videos meaningful and ensure their proper reach.

Doing so will also help you reach people who are deaf or find it hard to hear voices. Adding captions is a no-brainer. However, you can also use third-party apps to add subtitles to your videos like stories, Reels, and in-feed visual content. 

A Catchy Thumbnail is Needed

A thumbnail is the cover image of a video with the primary objective of grabbing the target audience's attention. 

If the thumbnail you have placed on your videos is substantially compelling, the target audience will stop browsing the feed and watch your video. The best way to choose a thumbnail for your video is to look for an image that is highly relevant to the content you are showing through the video. The image should make the audience curious and raise an urge in their mind to watch your video. 

Displaying Ads in the Form of Instagram Videos

Videos get more engagement than images. Moreover, consumer love videos because of their ability to combine various forms of content in one place. Instagram video ads can be a perfect tool to grab the target audience's attention and increase reach or conversion rate. Here are some pro tips regarding video ads that will help you get the most out of them. Read on to learn more. 

  • You can use Stories, Reels, Carousels, and in-feed video ads.
  • User-generated content (UGC) in the form of videos can be displayed as ads.
  • Set the proper budget to work on an Instagram video ads campaign.
  • Choose the right location and audience for your video ads. 
  • Keep the video ad duration shorter.
  • Choose the right thumbnail.
  • Appeal to your audience instantly to make your ads valuable.
  • Ensure organic and informative video ads.
  • Remember to add the CTA (Call-to-Action) button.
  • Make your videos recognizable by adding your logo.
  • Keep the visual scheme and fonts similar to ensure consistency.  

Best Practices to Make Videos Go Viral on Instagram

Brands and influencers uploading their content on Instagram have only one objective: to reach maximum audiences. Having more viewers on Instagram means more engagement, followers, and conversion rate. However, all these factors are possible when your Instagram videos go viral. Here are some tips and tricks to help your videos go viral. 

A Hook in the Very Beginning

As mentioned earlier, a hook at the very beginning of a video is a must. You must understand that the human attention span is getting shorter every coming day, and it has become almost equal to that of a goldfish, which comprises several seconds. Hence, if you want people to watch your videos completely and engage with them your desired way, you must show them a hook at the beginning of a video.

A hook in these early 3 seconds will give them a reason to stop scrolling and watch your Reel, Story, or in-feed video. An effective way to do so is to show a teaser of what will come next. You can also use captions for this purpose. 

Target Smartphones

Instagram is a social media platform for smartphone users. Although you can open it on PCs, over 95% of Instagram users still use their mobile phones to browse it. Moreover, people using Instagram on smartphones enjoy more features and functionalities. As an influencer or brand aiming to increase your reach, you must think of creating videos that are easily viewable on smartphones.

The first thing you need to do in this regard is create a video in a vertical orientation. Such videos will work perfectly for Stories, Reels, and in-feed content. If you are making long-form video content lasting for several minutes, you can capture videos in landscape orientation.

Post Frequently

If you want Instagram users to pay attention to your content and increase your reach, posting videos as Stories, Reels, or in-feed content is necessary. Like search engines, which require websites to publish content frequently, Instagram also wants you to post video content often. 

This practice will help you build a significant audience that will wait for your content regularly. Additionally, you can easily create relationships with followers and the target audience. Moreover, following a schedule while uploading your video content is better. Doing so will help your audience know when to expect video content from your side.  

Post Valuable Content

As an influencer or brand, it is your job to offer content that appears valuable to your audience. The videos shared through your Instagram handles should be worthwhile enough to make the target audience stop browsing Reels, Stories, or Feed and watch your videos completely. Additionally, you can think of compelling conversations. If you are an influencer, people following you are admirers of your personality, so engage them by showing yourself.

You can quickly get an idea about the expectations of your audience in terms of content by building their persona. A simple trick to ensure value proposition in your videos is asking yourself a question about the immediate reaction of viewers. It could be visiting a website, looking to buy a product, planning a visit to a particular restaurant, or thinking about a diet plan. Now, it's your job to ensure your viewers do the same after watching your video. 

Follow a Schedule While Posting Videos

We have already discussed that following a schedule while posting content, especially videos on Instagram, will help you reach more audiences and get more engagement. However, it is only sometimes humanly possible to follow a schedule. The best way to address this issue is using 3rd party applications or software to help you post your video content according to a given schedule. 

You will find plenty of 3rd party applications for this purpose. You can choose one that fits your requirements perfectly. This method will help you post Stories, Reels, and in-feed videos according to the schedule.

Use Hashtags

Instagram posts contain various hashtags. Many Instagram users find their desired content with the help of these hashtags. You should also use necessary hashtags in captions of your Reels and in-feed videos. Doing so will help you reach more audiences and likely get more engagement. 

This phenomenon will happen because Instagram algorithms determine the relevancy of content based on the hashtags used in its caption. For instance, if your handle is related to food, add hashtags like 'food,' 'delicious,' 'cheesy,' 'foodie,' and 'seafood.' Using such hashtags will help you reach viewers who often watch food videos on Instagram, and if your content is appealing enough, you will surely get substantial engagement from them. 

Posting Videos from Other Platforms on Instagram

Sometimes, you need UGC to promote your brand; some users may upload UGC to other platforms like Facebook or Twitter. You may also need video content from different sources for editing purposes to make your Instagram video more appealing.

The best way to deal with this issue is to download videos from another platform, edit them, add necessary subtitles, combine them with your content, and then post them on Instagram. You can take the help of an efficient all video downloader for this purpose. 

Such tools will help you download your desired content easily for free. The best part is downloading them in your desired quality to avoid inconvenience. You can post such content as Stories, Reels, and in-feed videos. 

Putting it Together

Instagram algorithms have made videos a precious resource for brands and influencers, aiming to increase their reach and get more user engagement. The latest Instagram algorithm loves video content, especially Stories and Reels. It is time to revise your engagement approach with the audience and pay more attention to Instagram videos. 

You may need some guidance regarding the effective use of video content on Instagram. Therefore, we have put together an entire guide to help you. Following this guide and posting video content regularly on Instagram will help you reach a wider audience, get more user engagement, and achieve your desired objectives from the Instagram handle. This guide will help you get on the right path to success. We wish you luck with the process!



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