The Ultimate Guide to Creating Instagram Videos
Instagram is a marketer’s best friend. The free app’s video capability means smaller brands can expand long-form, creative content beyond just photos. And Instagram is making sure their video capabilities are accessible to these brands.
From in-feed videos to IGTV, Instagram Live, and Stories, there are several opportunities and styles available to marketers who want to expand their video reach on a budget. Videos on Instagram have the highest overall engagement rate across all functions of the app — 38% higher than image posts.
New Data: Instagram Engagement in 2019
If this sounds like music to your ears, that’s great. If the one discordant note is that you have no idea how to create incredible videos for Instagram, that’s what this guide is for. We’ll cover the correct recommended video requirements, sizes, and software to use in order to make sure your Instagram videos become a rockstar asset to your brand.
Why Instagram Videos
If you want to expand your reach and attract a bigger audience, Instagram is your field of dreams. To grow your business, Instagram content needs to be creative and catch the attention of your audience. We’ve rounded up some ideas to get the ball rolling — which one(s) could fit into your strategy?
1. Inspirational message
WorkParty is a guide book to creating a dream career. In keeping with the theme, the corresponding Instagram provides tips on how to be a rockstar in the workplace. This video is an inspiring podcast excerpt hosted by WorkParty, with guest Bobbi Brown.
This content wouldn’t have nearly enough impact if it were a photo. A consumer mindlessly scrolling through their feed could’ve easily scrolled past another image, but the video and its uplifting message stays with consumers.
These are your ticket to engagement. You can use memes to promote your brand culture, mission, and products.
Bustle uses memes to promote their culture as a digital destination for young women. By using a relatable funny caption, young women might see this meme and feel connected to Bustle, and motivated to learn about their entertainment.
Do you have a new podcast episode coming out? Post a snippet of the interview on Instagram video. This will attract users who are interested in your market.
Here, The New Yorker posted a captioned snippet of their upcoming interview with a lighting technician working on Hamilton. Giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of Broadway’s hottest musicals is sure to drive engagement for musical theater buffs and New Yorker fans alike.
4. Tell a story
Every business has a story, and Instagram videos bring that story to life. Sharing videos of people who are impacted by your product gives you target audience more reason to look into your company.
Microsoft tells a tale of the sea in this video, and how their technology helps fishermen complete their jobs more effectively.
5. New launches
A perfect way to tease upcoming products is to post them on Instagram. You don’t have to do a full-fledged commercial to make an impact. Headwear company Love Your Melon used one model and an array of colors to promote their new line of products.
Even posting video countdowns to tease new products gets customers interested and excited about what’s to come. Featuring the products on Instagram can be the visual element that pushes a browsing consumer to buy. Personally, that pink wrap is calling my name.
6. Existing products
Your existing products could be given similar treatment. Potential customers might not be aware of the extent of your catalog, and bringing that content to them, instead of leaving them to search, means more engagement for you.
Boston local plant-based restaurant Whole Heart Provisions uses videos to promote the creations on their menu. Someone looking for a new breakfast spot can catch menu items and a short, interesting video of the layers it has.
7. Promotions or sales
If your market has a huge Instagram presence in a B2B industry like cosmetics, let your audience know about upcoming sales. Or, run an Instagram-exclusive sale and post a video featuring the products like Benefit Cosmetics does here.
8. How-to videos
5-Minute Crafts has 34 million Instagram followers. Their content consists of life-hacks you can perform in 5 minutes, and they’re all videos.
How-to videos or product demonstrations — especially for products in a niche market — are a great way to introduce an audience to your business. Plus, like 5-Minute Crafts, you can promote other social channels that display similar content in the caption.
You may be asking how these brands are creating content and how you can create something similar. Stay tuned.
How to Create and Post an Instagram Video
First, you’ll want to open your Instagram app and press the icon in the center of the controls that has a plus sign in the middle.
Next, you can either choose a video from your library or create one in-app. Here, I’m creating one in-app. So, you’ll slide your finger over to the section labeled “Video” and press and hold down the center button to record your video. Once you release your hold, the video will replay on the screen.
After that, you’ll be taken to a screen to pick a filter for your video. My favorite filter is “Gingham,” because it brightens any dark shadows and gives videos a pastel finish.
If you notice the control panel of this screen, after you choose your filter, clicking “Next” will bring you to the “Trim” section of the control panel. Here, you can edit the length of your video and cut and paste different sections together.
Now is a good time to choose sound options. Clicking the megaphone button above your video will turn the sound off. Leaving the megaphone as is means your video will have sound.
After trimming, you can choose a cover. This screen shows you the frames from your video for you to choose which one Instagrammers will see while scrolling their feeds.
Here, I chose the middle frame because it’s still and captures the subject of my video nicely. After choosing a photo, you’re ready to post. The last screen is where you add a caption, location, and choose which Instagram account to upload to.
By clicking “Share,” your post will be uploaded and automatically appear in your feed. You should be able to see the cover of your video before the video autoplays and your filter is added.
When editing a video, think of what’ll fit with your brand. For example, your brand colors will really come into play when editing a video. Incorporating themes that fit into your page and audience’s interests will boost engagement.
That’s where apps can come in handy. For example, StoryLuxe provides free templates for Stories that give them a cool filter and allow you to post multiple types of content at once. Apps and websites like Canva offer simple graphic design tools help in making a story stand out. Check out their landscape video on typography:
Pixaloop and Giphy are two apps that create gifs for you in any format your camera is set to. To use, simply open the apps, record your video, and then the software will create a GIF for you that you can upload straight to Instagram. Check out Pixaloop’s software update launch: