Remember the days when Instagram was just a photo-sharing app?
Today, 1 billion users later, Instagram has become a go-to platform for everyone to keep up with friends, favorite brands, and celebrities.
Video has definitely been a catalyst to this process: it has been reported that 40% of all Instagram users watch Instagram Stories daily.
In this post, we’ll teach you easy ways to make a big impact with your videos on Instagram!
Instagram video helps brands to connect with their followers on a deeper level than is possible with still images alone. Even though photos get more likes on average, videos on Instagram still drive more comments, which may provide you with more insight into the minds of your followers and drive even more engagement.
Furthermore, since Instagram introduced the Stories feature, the average amount of time people spend on the platform increased by 28 minutes. Who wouldn’t want a bit more of that time spent on THEIR content?!
Even with all of the benefits, one of the biggest challenges marketers face with video marketing is getting started. The idea of producing long-form, content-rich videos intimidates many of us!
Instagram video forces you to focus on creating much more achievable short-form content. In-feed videos on Instagram cannot exceed 60 seconds, and the cap is even less for Instagram Stories – only 15 seconds. So there is no better way to dive into video marketing than trying out Instagram video.
In addition to that, Instagram has recently seen exponential growth in video watch and view time. According to Instagram, they have seen an 80% increase in time spent watching videos over the past years.
With the variety of video tools that Instagram has to offer, there is no better time for you to start with Instagram videos than now.
Tips For Creating Short-Form Videos
When you consider creating videos that are less than 1 minute long (some might even be shorter than 15 seconds!), it’s vital to have an Instagram plan. It’s great if you have a laid-out storyboard or even a script. Here are a few other tips to maximize short videos on Instagram:
- Start with a bang. When the video is only 15 seconds long, you don’t have the luxury of adding long intros. Get right to the message.
- Demonstrate your brand identity. Make it easy for the viewers to understand who you are throughout all your videos.
- Stick to one topic. Keep the entire video around one message or theme.
- Prepare for no sound. People might watch your video in silent mode. Make sure the message is clear even without audio. Consider adding subtitles or stickers/GIFs to your video.
- Make sure you have good audio. When your viewers do turn the sound on, it should have no background noises or distracting sounds.
- The shorter, the better. Just because you can record a 1-minute video, doesn’t mean you should. Keep your message short if you can.
How to Create Quality Instagram Videos
Before we get into the video editing, let’s take a look at the available video formats on Instagram as well as technical specifications for each.
Instagram currently allows users to publish videos in the following ways:
- In-feed videos
- Instagram Stories
- IGTV (also known as Instagram TV)
- Live videos
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these options.
Creating Quality in-feed Videos
When it comes to creating quality videos for Instagram, you can either shoot the video directly with the Instagram camera or upload a video you have created earlier.
When filming directly with Instagram, select the + button on the home screen and choose the Video option.
When you stop holding the button, the video will stop filming.
Pro tip: get creative with Instagram video by creating stop motion or spliced videos of different parts, all within one video.
Each in-feed video on Instagram must be at least 3 seconds in length and no more than 60 seconds.
When you have finished recording your video, select “Next” to edit it. Here you can apply one of the 24 filters to your video, to ensure the video is consistent with the brand identity of your Instagram grid.
To make sure your video looks great in the feed, I highly recommend that you select the video cover, as the first frame of the video is not always the best one. Make sure the thumbnail is powerful and visually appealing.
To upload a previously recorded video, choose the option “Gallery” from the upload screen and select the video to upload.
For videos that you upload from the gallery, you can also select the thumbnail (video cover) and a filter. In addition to that, you can trim the video, cutting off any part at the beginning or the end of the video.
Finally, it’s very important that you add a powerful caption to your in-feed videos. The caption should talk about the video, provide a reason for people to watch it and to take action at the end. If you want to learn how to create captions that convert your followers into customers, here’s a resource for creating captions that sell.
Creating Quality Story Videos
Stories are one of the fastest growing features on Instagram. They are super short: up to 15 seconds, and some Stories can be as short as 1 second.
When creating Stories remember that Instagram provides options for both filming and editing.
Options for Filming Instagram Video Stories
- Normal: You can tap and hold the record button to take a regular video clip. When you release the button, it stops recording.
- Boomerang: When you press and hold the record button, you can take a two-second video that then plays forward and backward in a loop.
- Superzoom: This option zooms into the object you’re recording and adds a frame and even sound to add a sentiment to your video, such as fire, drama, beats, and more. There are currently 10 superzoom options.
- Rewind: Like the name says, this option plays the video you take backwards.
- Hands-free: This is a great option for talking head videos because you’re not limited to holding the phone in your hand. Additionally, if you tap and hold the record button, you can add a 3-second buffer before the recording starts. Think of it as of taking pictures with a timer.
- Face filters: All these options (with the exception of superzoom) offer the ability to add a face filter, such as sunglasses, animal faces, sunlight beams, and more.
Editing Instagram Stories Videos
To edit the clip after filming, consider adding:
- Filter options to your video, including black & white, color overlays, and more
- Stickers: By tapping the sticker icon or by swiping up, you can access stickers such as location, mention, hashtag, GIFs, time, poll, questions, weather, and more.
Pro tip: adding animated GIFs to your videos or images is a great way to make your Stories more engaging. However, what I have noticed from my own experience is that whenever I add a GIF to my video, it automatically loses quality and becomes somewhat pixelated.
To avoid this effect, consider creating Instagram Stories with stickers using 3rd party apps.
- Pens: Choose between three types of pens and highlighters to add handwritten text or drawings to your video.
- Text: Choose between five fonts to add text to your video. You can change colors and sizes and with three of them, you can also add a background. Get more fun Instagram Stories tricks here.
Tapping In To IGTV
IGTV was introduced by Instagram last year. It’s an app for watching long-form, vertical videos. On IGTV, you will see videos from the Instagrammers whose feeds you subscribe to.
IGTV is a bit like YouTube but for vertical videos. While you’ll find plenty of content from the people you know, IGTV will also suggest new content that you might find interesting.
When it comes to specifications, IGTV is similar to Instagram Stories. The main difference is the video length: on IGTV, you can create videos of up to 10 minutes long. For bigger (more than 10,000 followers) and verified accounts, the cap is even larger: up to 60 minutes.
What Makes a Great IGTV Video?
Just like any other social platform, IGTV brings its own rules to the table. Here are a few tips that will help you take your IGTV videos from good to excellent.
- Give your readers enough time to read the title. It’s a good idea to add an intro to your IGTV video. If the intro has text, make sure you give your viewers enough time to read it.
- Make sure the text is not covered by the interface. While IGTV videos are full screen, there is also the app interface that overlays the video. You want to ensure the interface doesn’t cover any important parts of the video.
Use matching colors for captions. As you know, aesthetics play a huge role on Instagram. IGTV is no exception. If you add a background or captions to your IGTV videos, make sure you use coordinating colors. Here’s an example.
- Make sure your video is vertical. This might sound like too obvious a tip but you’ll be surprised how many people still upload horizontal videos to IGTV and Stories. To provide your users with the best viewing experience, make sure to upload a vertical video.
How to Take Your Instagram Videos up a Notch
Once you’ve mastered the in-app Instagram video editing options, you might want to take your videos one step further. Luckily, there are tons of options out there for you to check out.
Repurpose Your Videos
You might often notice that in-feed videos get repurposed into Stories, YouTube videos are turned into IGTV videos, and more. This is a very smart tactic to use, as video repurposing saves you time and effort.
Instagram video formats will make the most positive impact on the viewer when they’re leveraged for their strengths. For example:
- Stories are best for bite-sized videos that are easy to consume or act upon.
- IGTV videos are ideal for slightly longer messages thanks to the lack of distractions and they aren’t as easy to skip as Stories.
- In-feed, square videos are perfect for adding context with captions.
With the help of Wave.video, you can adjust one video to all the Instagram formats by selecting 1:1 Square, 9:16 Story or 9:16 IGTV – it’s one-click repurposing.
Applying filters to your videos is perhaps one of the easiest ways to ensure brand consistency on Instagram. To really sell that “Instagram feeling,” you should be experimenting with 3rd party filters, too.
As we discussed earlier, Instagram provides you with the built-in filters. However, if you want to add them before sharing the video (for scheduling and on-the go posting) on the platform, try options like iMovie. It’s available for free for Mac and iPhone users and comes with some powerful editing options.
Add Animated Text
Adding animated text to your videos is a great way to instantly capture your viewers’ attention as soon as possible.
Tools like Wave.video or Vont are great for adding animated text to your videos before publishing.
Don’t Forget About Music
Finally, when creating videos for Instagram, make sure you add music. Think about your favorite scene in the favorite movie. Now try playing it without music. It probably feels quite different, doesn’t it?
Music helps us create the right atmosphere and add that missing part to our videos. When done right, adding music to your videos can do magic.
Schedule Your Instagram Videos
It can be a challenge to remember to post your video to Instagram at the best time for engagement, or to stop what you’re doing to make and post a video. Make consistency easier when you plan and schedule videos with Tailwind. Try it out with a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram now!
With these easy tips for no-pressure video, there’s no reason NOT to start creating compelling and engaging videos for Instagram. The most important tip is to get creative and have fun! That’s it! Time to create quality videos that will help you drive more views, clicks, and actions.
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- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.
Olga Bedrina is the Director of Content Marketing at Wave.video. She is excited about new technologies, social media, and video marketing. Follow her on Twitter @olga_bedrina.