With the likes of Facebook and Twitter being social media channels that cause a great deal of consternation and seemingly driven (to a large degree) by division, being on Instagram can sometimes feel like a real breath of fresh air.
Of all the big social media platforms, Instagram has managed to stay true to its origins without ever moving too wildly in a new direction. Clearly, it’s an image and video-led platform, and as such, it has managed to largely avoid the toxic atmosphere you might associate with Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube.
Instagram has an audience of over 1.3 billion and continues to harness its platform in a progressive manner, which is in marked contrast to its owners, Facebook, and it’s the perfect location to post good video content.
In order to make sure you make the most of your Instagram video post, we’ve come up with a number of tips to upload the best quality Instagram videos both in terms of the footage and video itself and the choices you make before you hit ‘post.’
Instagram used only to have one posting function, meaning your post would appear in your feed and subsequently in the feeds of those who follow you or the relevant tags you add to your video.
Now, however, they offer a number of options.
Feed Videos - These go live on your feed and can soon be lost in an ocean of content, but are useful for alerting your followers. These vary in length from three to 60 seconds. In many ways, these are the bread and butter of your video content posts.
Story Videos - These are immediate but are gone within 24 hours. In terms of length, these will be up to 15 seconds long, but you can, of course, split your video into as many of these as possible.
IGTV - This is a relatively new option and hosts videos of up to 10 minutes long. If you are a verified user, i.e., with a blue tick, then you can post videos of up to an hour. Use this option for longer-form content, such as documentary-style posts, or more thought-provoking content, such as video podcasts.
Instagram Live - As the name suggests, this is a live stream. These can last up to an hour and can be rewatched for up to 24 hours. You interact with your followers in real-time, and this tends to be a very specific niche and may not be wholly relevant for your needs.
This brings us neatly to the lengths of your videos. If you produce a long-form piece of content, think about how you can edit it in order to make as much relevant content from one video. This requires a good level of editing experience as well as an eye for what might grab people’s attention.
The length of your videos should be relevant to the type of content you are making and learn your audience and check the relevant analytics to measure interaction and reach.
Consider using your shot footage in additional ways, such as in teaser clips ahead of your main posts.
Each type of video format on Instagram has a specific set of aspect ratios to conform to.
Instagram Feed Videos 4:5
Instagram Stories: 9:16
IGTV Videos: 9:16
Instagram Live: 9:16
Make sure your video fits these as if they don’t, then your viewers will not be impressed and will likely stop the videos in their tracks.
Sometimes the hard work doesn’t even relate to the video you shoot. Picking an engaging cover photo and text that attracts users to press play is an art form. Don’t be too click-baity in your intentions, as in 2021, the audience is well aware of this type of attention-seeking. Be honest in your delivery and let your video do the talking.
The nature of Instagram, and social media in general, is very immediate. It would be best if you drew viewers in very quickly; you can’t afford to let an opportunity slip. The choice of music to go with your videos can be critical. Consider using royalty-free music as a resource as it offers you a wide range of styles and does so without the hassle of having to secure additional licenses. Remember that using copyright-protected music illegally is likely to see your social media accounts suspended and/or deleted.
Often when you start an Instagram account with the purpose of growing your following you can tend to chase views without critically considering what you are sharing. Make sure you know your angle and the crowd you are trying to communicate with.
Always consider the post you are making and the video you are sharing. Think to yourself whether it’s something that you would genuinely be interested in and whether you’d share it with your social group.
Stick to a regular slot for your posts and always try to interact with those who comment on your videos. This is particularly key in the early stages of your growth and will help to improve your placement on Instagram’s algorithm.