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Instagram, Marketing

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video: Stories, IGTV, Live, Posts, & More!

Instagram video is one of the best tools in a marketer’s toolbox.

Video marketing is no longer just for companies with big budgets. In fact, an estimated 85% of businesses plan to use video as a marketing tool in 2020 — and that includes videos on Instagram!

Luckily, Instagram has made video marketing SUPER accessible for small businesses, thanks to Instagram StoriesIGTV, Instagram Live, and more.

Ready to learn how you can build and implement an effective video marketing strategy for Instagram? Let’s get started!

instagram video

Table of Contents:

  1. Why You Should Create Instagram Videos
  2. How to Create, Share, and Optimize Instagram Videos
  3. Regular Instagram Video Posts
  4. Instagram Stories Videos
  5. Instagram Live Videos
  6. IGTV Videos

Why You Should Create Instagram Videos

While photos are still the more common format on Instagram, Instagram video is gaining a lot of traction… And not just in terms of popularity.

According to a report from eMarketer, while photos generally outperform videos in terms of engagement, engagement numbers for videos are growing at a faster rate than photos.

“Engagement numbers for videos posted to top media publisher accounts worldwide increased by 53% year over year in May, surpassing the 46% growth rate seen for photos over the same timeframe,” the report says. 

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We ❤️ being 🏡 with you #OLIPOPFAMILY

A post shared by OLIPOP (@drinkolipop) on

But beyond the growing engagement numbers, there are tons of other reasons to invest in video.

Among these reasons is that video gives you the ability to share complex, in-depth stories that can’t be conveyed in a single image.

Whether you’re trying to build awareness around a campaign, promote your products, educate your audience, videos offer a lot more story-telling leeway than photos do.

Now that we’ve looked at why you should use Instagram video, let’s look at how to create and share videos for each video format + tips and strategies to get more from your videos.

Creating videos for Instagram doesn’t have to be intimidating or expensive, so we teamed up with Hubspot to help you use video to market your business on Instagram. Check it out!

How to Create, Share, and Optimize Instagram Videos

Instagram videos come in all shapes and sizes, and across several channels on Instagram. Below we’ll look at how to shoot, edit, share, and optimize videos for each:

#1: Regular Instagram Video Posts

  1. How to Post Your Instagram Videos
  2. Different Types of Instagram Videos
  3. Tips for Making Great Instagram Videos

The original! As we already discussed, Instagram video posts have evolved quite a bit since they were first introduced in 2013.

No longer limited to 15 seconds, businesses today can create long-form, high-production videos up to 1 minute long that generate a ton of engagement!

And the great thing is that you don’t need a DSLR camera or expensive video production equipment to do it. You can build beautiful branded videos using just your phone’s built-in camera and a few video editing apps!

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🇫🇷✨ 23 OCTOBER ✨🇫🇷 Glossier.com

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to share Instagram video posts, let’s take a quick look at the technical specs:

  • Video format: MP4
  • Length: 3 seconds to 60 seconds
  • Size: Instagram doesn’t limit file size, but we recommend keeping your videos under 50MB
  • Orientation: square, portrait, and landscape
  • Aspect ratio: a minimum of 1.91:1 and a maximum of 4:5

instagram video dimensions

Currently, there are a few ways to share video posts to Instagram:

Option #1: Upload a Pre-Recorded Instagram Video

While it’s certainly nice that Instagram gives you the option to shoot videos directly in the app, a more popular approach is to upload a pre-recorded video from your camera roll.

To do this, simply tap the “+” button at the bottom of the Instagram app and then select the Library option.

Here you’ll be able to scroll through your camera roll to find the right video.

Once you do, you can choose to either share it with a square aspect ratio (this is the default) or you can tap the “dimensions” icon to view the full-size image.

upload instagram videos

You can also turn your video into a Boomerang by tapping the Boomerang icon (you’ll need to install the Boomerang app first).

Or you can create a carousel post featuring multiple videos by tapping the “album” icon on the right side of the screen.

upload multiple instagram videos

Another option is to upload multiple video clips to be shared as a single video. To do this, just pick a video, tap Next, and then tap the Trim button at the bottom of the screen.

Here you can either trim the video by tapping the already selected video. Or you can tap the “+” icon to pick more clips to be added to your Instagram video.

trim instagram video

If you decide to add multiple clips to your Instagram video, you’ll be able to trim them all after you select Next. Just remember that your video can only be 60 seconds max, so keep that in mind when adding clips to your video.

Once you’re happy, tap Next, add your filters, cover photo, caption, and publish!

publish instagram video

Option #2: Auto Publish Your Instagram Video Posts with Later

Did you know that you can now schedule videos to Instagram that will automatically publish at their scheduled time?

Now, you can schedule Instagram videos just like regular Instagram posts using Later on the web. Just upload your video, select a date and time, and your video will automatically publish to Instagram at the scheduled time!

Later is part of the Instagram Partner Program and uses the Instagram Graph API, so scheduling Instagram posts with Later is 100% safe.

Here’s how to schedule videos on Instagram:

Drag and drop your video from your media library into your calendar.

instagram video later

Add your caption and adjust the time/date of your video. You can also select your thumbnail image by clicking the Thumbnail Cover button below your video.

upload instagram video later

Finally, make sure Auto Publish is selected from the drop-down menu, click Save, and that’s it!

upload instagram video later

Keep in mind that in order to auto publish videos to Instagram, your video must fit the requirements of a native Instagram video post:

  • Videos must be at least 3 seconds long, and no more than 60 seconds
  • Aspect ratio is the same as photos, must be 1.91:1 to 4:5
  • Video file size cannot be larger than 512MB
  • Only available for Instagram business profiles (here’s how to switch)
  • Only available using Later on the web, mobile scheduling coming soon!

Instagram video scheduling is available now on all of Later’s paid plans, starting at $9/ month. Upgrade now to get access!

 

Different Types of Instagram Video Posts

There’s really no limit to what you can do with Instagram video posts — that’s why it’s so common to find them on your feed!

That being said, it’s a good idea to have a specific goal in mind before you create an Instagram video post. Here are a few examples of successful video posts:

#1: Use Instagram Video Posts to Promote Your Products

Because videos have the ability to convey a ton of information in a short amount of time, they’re a huge asset for businesses that sell products or services.

Just think about how much more of your products you’ll be able to showcase in a 60-second video compared to just one image!

More to that point, according to Hubspot64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video of it first. So using Instagram video to show your products in action could be a huge way to increase the ROI of your Instagram marketing! 

#2: Use Instagram Video Posts to Build Brand Trust 

Sharing Instagram videos that convey your brand message or introduce your company culture are a great way to build trust with your followers and customers.

A good example of this comes from @munchery. The meal delivery service often shares loveable video content that’s relevant to their target market and provides value to them. 

Have a topic you’d like to educate your audience about? Maybe it’s a makeup tutorial or a delicious recipe? Whatever your focus, using Instagram video posts to share short, snackable content is a great strategy.

Check out how @buzzfeedtasty uses highly engaging videos to share fun recipes:

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Honey balsamic brussels sprouts… for your honey 😉🍯

A post shared by Tasty (@buzzfeedtasty) on

The point is that if you have a cool topic that you think your audience would enjoy learning about, using Instagram videos to do it is a great strategy.

Not sure what kind of videos your audience enjoys the most? Use Later Instagram Analytics to hone in on your Instagram data, find out what video content your audience is engaging with the most, and start strategizing for the future!

Tips for Making Great Instagram Video Posts

Now that we’ve covered how to share your videos on Instagram, let’s take a minute to talk about how you can optimize your video posts to get more traction.

#1: Pick an Eye-Catching Cover Photo

In a world where attention is getting more and more scarce, getting your followers to engage with your videos (especially longer ones) can be pretty difficult. But one way to improve your chances is to pick a stellar cover photo.

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Who needs a hug? ✋🏼 #entireworld

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Just like you spend time finding photos that look great in your feed, you need to invest a good amount of time finding a great cover photo for your video. Otherwise, all that hard work you put into actually creating your video will go to waste!

When picking a cover photo, try to find one that captures the overall message of your video and has the best chance of stopping viewers from scrolling past your content.

#2: Don’t Rely on Sound

Instagram videos may auto-play in the feed, but they don’t start playing sound automatically. In order to hear sound, viewers have to tap on the video.

Since you’re trying to grab people’s attention in the first couple seconds, it’s important to keep in mind that your videos need to be clearly understood even without sound!

Because of this, your videos should be as beautiful as the photographs your followers are used to seeing on your feed. Even if your viewer doesn’t get the overall effect, you want them to be able to see the storyline of the Instagram video — even if it’s silent.

Adding captions to your videos is a great way to ensure viewers can still tune in even when they aren’t able to listen.

#3: Focus on the First Few Seconds of Your Video

With so much else to see on Instagram, it’s important to create video content that captures peoples’ attention within the first 3-5 seconds.

By focusing on the first few seconds of your video and making them amazing, you’re bound to get better completion and engagement rates on your video.

#4: Find a Video Length that Works for Your Audience

Just because your Instagram videos can be 60 seconds in length doesn’t mean they should be. Like all things social media, it’s difficult to keep your audience engaged over a longer period.

Try experimenting with different video lengths to find one that works best for your audience. If you notice better metrics on your videos that are under 30 seconds, focus on creating shorter video content. If your longer videos outperform your shorter ones, stick to those.

#5: Use Apps to Edit Your Instagram Video

There are tons of apps and software that you can use to not only improve the quality of your videos but also add branding to them, whether it’s your logo, font, or some other design element.

Check out favorite 12 apps for editing Instagram videos here

#2: Creating Instagram Stories Videos

  1. How to Shoot Your Instagram Stories Videos
  2. What to Post to Instagram Stories
  3. Tips for Making Great Instagram Stories

Ever since Instagram Stories first made their way onto the platform in 2016, businesses and regular users alike have flocked to the channel.

And it’s not at all surprising.

Beyond being highly entertaining, Instagram Stories are great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and even making e-commerce sales!

And luckily, recording and sharing videos on Instagram Stories is even easier than regular Instagram video posts.

Let’s start by reviewing the technical specs of Instagram Stories videos:

  • Video format: MP4
  • Length: 1 second to 15 seconds
  • Orientation: square, portrait, and landscape
  • Aspect ratio: a minimum of 1.91:1 and a maximum of 9:16 (Instagram recommends an aspect ratio of 4:5 and 9:16)

instagram stories video

Like regular video posts, there are a few ways to share videos on Instagram Stories:

Option #1: Shoot Your Video Directly in Instagram Stories

True to Instagram’s easy-to-use interface, shooting a video on Instagram Stories is very easy to do.

Simply open the Instagram Stories camera, pick a camera mode (your options include Normal, Boomerang, Superzoom, Rewind, and Hands-Free), and then record your video.

record instagram stories video

Once you’re done recording, you can add any number of GIFs, stickers, text, and more to your story.

record instagram stories video

And that’s it! Once you’re happy with the look of your video, tap the Your Story button at the bottom of the screen to share it.

Option #2: Upload a Pre-Recorded Video to Instagram Stories

The second option is to upload a pre-recorded video from your camera roll.

To do this, simply open the Instagram Stories camera as you did before, and then swipe up (or down) on the screen.

upload instagram stories video

You can also tap the Camera Roll button in the top left corner of the screen, which allows you to browse the various albums in your camera roll.

Keep in mind that since videos on Instagram Stories top out at 15 seconds, if your clip is longer than that, Instagram will trim the end.

But what if you want to share a single long video as several 15-second stories?

Thanks to an update in 2019, Instagram will now automatically clip videos that are longer than 15 seconds into individual 15-second segments. So you no longer have to manually trim your videos before you post to Instagram Stories!

Note: When Instagram trims your videos into 15-second segments, it doesn’t retain the text from the previous (or initial) story, so you’ll have to re-add to your text. 

upload instagram stories video

Once you’re happy with your video, tap the Your Story button at the bottom of the screen to share it.

upload instagram stories video

Option #3: Schedule Your Instagram Stories with Later

With Later, you can storyboard your content, add captions or links, collaborate with your team, and visually plan and schedule Instagram Stories right from your desktop – something you won’t find on any other marketing platform.

Here’s how to schedule Instagram Stories with Later:

Drag and drop your Instagram stories image and video files on to the storyboard tool, and then re-arrange them to fit the order and look that you want.

You can also easily crop and resize images to fit Instagram Stories 9:16 ratio.

Now add links or captions to your scheduled stories — they’ll be copied to your phone when it’s time to post. This helps you drive more traffic and sales by taking the time to write compelling captions and CTAs from your desktop.

Tip: Create trackable links for your Instagram Stories to monitor traffic and sales from Instagram! Later makes it easy to keep track of those long URLs, so you never have to scramble to find the right link again.

To schedule Instagram Stories, simply select the time and date from the drop-down menu beside the Save Story button.

You’ll then get a notification on your phone when it’s time to post! Your stories will be downloaded to your phone and caption or links copied to your clipboard, making it easy to post Instagram Stories in seconds.

Later’s Instagram Stories scheduler is available now on all paid plans, starting at $9/month. Upgrade now to get access or start scheduling stories!

 
 

What Videos to Post to Instagram Stories 

There’s no denying that Instagram Stories are becoming more creative, engaging and aesthetically refined. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit on being spontaneous with them!

It’s good to post a mix of fun, lighthearted content and promotional content that reflects your brand’s tone and style.

Don’t be afraid of posting something goofy: a short video of your office dog or a picture of your team out for post-work drinks — just make sure it always aligns well with your Instagram aesthetic and brand messaging!

The great thing about Instagram Stories is that because they’ve created so many cool tools, the world is really your oyster. You can get as creative as you like with your stories — and there are a ton of great examples out there!

instagram stories video ideas

The same is true for promotional video content on Instagram Stories. It’s easy to create promotional stories that are also fun and lighthearted. And there are a ton of creative ways to use Instagram Stories for business.

Tips for Making Great Instagram Stories Videos

Now let’s talk about how to share great videos on your Instagram Stories.

#1: Tell Stories in a Forward Sequence

Due to the tap-forward progression of Instagram Stories, a good strategy to get more engagement and completion on your videos is to tell a story is a clear sequence.

instagram stories video ideas

For example, if you’re sharing a series of videos about one of your products, you could create 4-5 videos with compelling tidbits of information. This will persuade viewers to keep tapping through your story to learn more. 

Not only will this make your story more cohesive, but it also makes the information more digestible!

Even if you don’t sell products, breaking a difficult topic into several “sections” is a great strategy to get viewers more invested in your video.

#2: Use Instagram Analytics to Drive Better Results

It can be difficult to know what resonates most with your audience until you dive into your Instagram Stories analytics!

For example, if you notice that your completion rate drops when you share “longer” Instagram Stories videos, you should consider sharing “shorter” videos.

instagram stories video ideas

Basically, your Instagram Stories analytics can help you optimize the length of your videos (among a ton of other things). Metrics such as Taps Forward, Taps Backward, Next Story, and Exits are great for learning more about what your audience likes and dislikes.

#3: Use GIFs, Stickers, Hashtags, and More

Another way to keep your audience engaged longer is to use GIFs, stickers, text, and other fun design elements.

@later.com

How to find the best Instagram Stories GIF stickers 💫 ##instagram ##edit ##fyp ##thatswhatilike ##smm ##socialmediamanager

♬ Señorita – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello


What’s so great about GIFs and stickers is that they can be used for all kinds of purposes. For example, a lot of businesses use the “Sound On” sticker to get viewers to turn their sound on while watching the video.

instagram stories video ideas

If your goal is to get your followers to watch your video through to the end, you can add an interactive sticker, like Poll Stickers or Question Stickers. These can persuade viewers to stick it out and hear everything that you’re saying!

instagram stories video ideas

#4: Brand Your Instagram Stories Videos

Sharing videos on Instagram Stories is great, but if you want to get more from the channel, consider creating branded stories that have a uniform color, tone, style, and format.

instagram stories video ideas

By keeping a consistent look in your Instagram Stories videos, you can create cohesive, on-brand stories that align with your business as a whole. And one of the best ways to do this is by using Instagram Stories templates.

#3: Instagram Live Videos

  1. How to Use Instagram Live
  2. What to Share on Instagram Live
  3. Tips for Making Great Instagram Live Videos

Unlike other video channels on Instagram, Instagram Live videos can only be broadcast from a mobile device, whether that’s an iPhone, Android, or something else.

That being said, Instagram Live has really grown into its own as a channel for reaching new followers, building brand awareness, and making sales — especially now that Instagram Live videos can be viewed on the web

Let’s start by reviewing the specs for Instagram Live video.

  • Video format: MP4
  • Length: a few seconds to 60 minutes
  • Orientation: vertical
  • Aspect ratio: since Instagram Live videos are shot vertically, the aspect ratio should be 9:16

instagram live video ideas

How to Use Instagram Live

Currently, there’s just one way to record and publish an Instagram Live video on Instagram.

Open the Instagram Stories camera and swipe across to the “Live” mode. You will be able to see how many of your followers are currently active in the Instagram app, which is a good indicator of how many people will receive an in-app notification if you go live straight away.

Next, tap the “Live” icon to start your broadcast, making sure you have a strong and stable internet connection.

It’s a good idea to give your followers a few moments to join before jumping right into the focus of your live session, so consider having a holding screen or making some small talk for a minute or two.

Once your live is underway, you can choose from a number of features to make your broadcast more engaging. For example, you can upload cute engaging photo backgrounds from your camera roll to your Instagram Live.

@later.com

Hidden Instagram Live Hack! ##socialmediamanager ##instagramhack ##foryoupage

♬ death bed (coffee for your head) – Powfu

You can also share questions from your viewers to the screen by tapping the question mark icon.

Just note that you can only share a question once a viewer has submitted it during the broadcast.

Instagram live
You can also send a Direct Message to someone about your Instagram Live by tapping the paper plane icon.

Or invite someone to co-host your Instagram Live (like @accessbenjamin below) by tapping the faces icon:

how to do a split screen

As for design features, you can apply an Instagram Stories filter to your broadcast by tapping the filter icon. It’s a good idea to decide which filter you want to use in advance, so you can find and apply it as quickly as possible!

How to add a filter to an Instagram Live

Or share an image or video to your broadcast screen by tapping the camera roll icon in the right-hand corner of the screen.

When you add an image or video from your camera roll, your video live stream will move to the top right-hand corner of the broadcast screen, on top of whatever media you’ve chosen to share.  

You can even add multiple images and videos, one after another, to create a cool “slideshow” effect during your Instagram Live. Just tap the next image or video you want to share from the panel at the bottom of the screen:

Finally, you can tap “Comment” to add a comment to the live stream. You can also pin a comment to the top of the feed by tapping and holding it like @bof has in this example:

Once your Live is over, tap “End” in the top right corner and then “End Now” to confirm. How to end an Instagram Live

From here, you can tap the save icon in the top left to save it to your camera roll or share it to your Instagram Stories to be viewed over the next 24 hours.

Instagram is also rolling out a new feature to share Instagram Live videos to IGTV — once it’s available, you should see a new “Share to IGTV” button after you’ve ended your live broadcast.

instagram live on desktop

From here, you can select a cover photo for the video (or upload one from your camera roll).

instagram live on desktop

And then publish as usual!

instagram live on desktop

For a more comprehensive guide to using Instagram Live, check out our guide for businesses here!

What to Share on Instagram Live

Like Instagram Stories, Instagram Live is a relaxed place and you can get as creative as you like! But with all that room for creativity, it’s a good idea to have a solid game plan. Here are a few examples:

#1: Use Instagram Live to Tease or Launch New Products

A recent trend on Instagram Live is for businesses to use the channel to tease or launch new products. And why not? Whether you’re unveiling a new product line or teasing a future launch, Instagram Live is a great place to create a ton of hype around your products!

instagram live videos

To make use of this strategy, take your hottest product and deliberately release very few details about it.

After the teaser, ask viewers to sign up for more information on your website. This will give your live video an element of exclusivity, which can encourage people to act immediately, increasing the number of leads you get.

#2: Use Instagram Live for Promotions and Sales

While Instagram Stories is considered “ephemeral,” there’s really nothing more ephemeral on Instagram than live video. Use this to your advantage by creating a sense of urgency to watch your broadcast!

One of the best ways to boost your viewership is to promise limited-time-only promotions that you’re only going to offer during the broadcast. If you have a giveaway, discount, promotion, or another campaign that you want to offer to a select few, announce it beforehand! And when you go “live,” share the coupon or discount code with your viewers.

instagram live video

#3: Use Instagram Live to Collect Emails

Want to really benefit from Instagram Live? Use it as a lead generation tool!

One of the best ways to do this is to ask your followers to submit questions before your broadcast. For example, you can build a mobile-optimized landing page and with an email form and ask your followers to submit questions there, or you provide an email address where viewers can send their questions.

instagram live video

Once you have the emails, you can add them to your newsletter or email flow to drive even more signups and conversions!

Tips for Making Great Instagram Live Videos

If you’re hoping to achieve some larger business with Instagram Live, such as driving sales or increasing signups, it’s really important to have a strategy in place. Here are a few ways to improve your Instagram Live videos: 

Tip #1: Hype Up Your Instagram Live in Advance

Regularly and strategically promoting an upcoming Instagram Live can make all of the difference when it comes to securing those all important views!

To do this, you could share Instagram Stories that detail the time and date of your Instagram Live, and even use an Instagram Stories countdown sticker to mark the event.  

The countdown sticker does exactly what it says on the tin — which makes it an awesome tool for building hype around an upcoming live broadcast! 

How to promote an Instagram Live on Instagram Stories

TIP: Make this sticker even more effective by encouraging followers to tap the sticker and set a reminder for when the countdown ends.

Alongside stories, share an Instagram post to announce your upcoming live. Tell your audience what they can expect in the live broadcast, and invite them to share any questions they have in the comments. This can help your followers feel more engaged, and ultimately more likely to tune in!

Tip #2: Go Live When Your Audience is Most Active

Going live when your followers are most active is one of the easiest ways to make your Instagram Lives more successful. 

Instagram will send an in-app notification to all your followers who are online at the time of your broadcast, so the more people that receive this prompt, the better! 

But how can you predict when your audience will be online ahead of time? The best way to do this is by studying historical data trends to understand when your audience are typically most active on Instagram.

You can do this in two ways:

Firstly, take a look at your Instagram Insights. Under the Audience tab, you’ll find a breakdown of when your followers are most active online broken down by day of the week and time of day.

increase engagement on instagram: instagram analytics

And if you’re looking for even more detail, you can use your Later Analytics to hone in on your audience’s behaviors. 

Your Later analytics dashboard has a super-detailed breakdown of when your audience is online — and you can use that info to tailor your Instagram Live schedule. 

Instagram Analytics: Later Analytics Audience Activity

TIP: Create an “appointment to view” by always going live on Instagram at the same time each week or month. The more your viewers anticipate your broadcasts, the more viewers you will gain! For example, @thesill grows their community of plant-loving followers by going live with a plant expert every week! 

#4: Creating Videos for IGTV 

  1. How to Use IGTV
  2. What to Share on IGTV

Despite being relatively new on the scene, IGTV is already making waves in the social media world.

Launched as Instagram’s first standalone video platform, IGTV gives businesses a new channel to grow their following, showcase their products, and show-off their creativity.

And the great thing about IGTV is that your videos don’t have to be super polished! You can think of it like a step up from your Instagram Stories, but it doesn’t have to be as perfect or curated like an Instagram post or video would be.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of actually shooting and sharing vertical video for IGTV, let’s take a quick look at the technical specs:

  • Video format: MP4
  • Length: 15 seconds to 10 minutes for smaller accounts; 15 seconds to 60 minutes for larger and verified accounts
  • Size: 650MB for videos less than 10 minutes; 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes
  • Orientation: vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape)
  • Aspect ratio: Instagram recommends that vertical IGTV videos should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, while horizontal videos should be 16:9

igtv videos

Want to learn more about using IGTV for business? Check out our ultimate guide to IGTV here!

How to Use IGTV Videos on Instagram

Before you can upload a video to IGTV, you need to create your channel! The good news is that Instagram has made IGTV super simple and easy to use.

Sign in to the IGTV App (available on iOS & Android) and log in with your usual Instagram username and password.

Next, click on the Settings gear icon in the right-hand corner, and then click “Create Channel”

That’s it! Now you’re ready to upload your videos!

If you don’t want to download the IGTV app, you can upload your first video (and create your channel!) from the Instagram Explore page!

Just tap the IGTV button the top of the Explore page and then the “+” symbol on the top right corner. This will open up your camera roll and you can select your first IGTV video!

When you post your first video, you’ll notice a new section on your Instagram profile — a tab dedicated to just your IGTV videos.

igtv videos

Once your channel is live, you can start uploading videos to IGTV!

Click the + icon in the right-hand corner to add a new video to IGTV.

Now, select a video from your camera roll.

You can write your title and add a description. Just like on YouTube, you’ll want to add in any relevant keywords to your description to make it easier for people to find your videos on IGTV. This also includes hashtags and tagging other Instagram accounts (thanks to a recent update, IGTV now offers autofill suggestions for both).

You can also add in links! That’s right, people will actually be able to click on links in your description and be taken outside of the Instagram or IGTV app.

IGTV

Now add a 1-minute preview of your IGTV video your Instagram feed.

We go into more detail below on how to set up your preview, but just turn on the “Post a Preview” button to get started!

You can also add a cover photo whether it’s your own custom cover or a thumbnail taken from your video. The cover photo is what will show up on your channel page and in the IGTV categories, so make it catchy!

For your cover photo, Instagram recommends an aspect ratio of 1:1.55 (or 420px by 654px).

how to upload igtv video

 

Finally, click the post button and celebrate — you’ve just uploaded your first video to your IGTV channel!

But you’re not done yet: you’ll also want to monitor and reply to the comments on your post and track your IGTV analytics.

To do this, click on the “…” button beside the like, comment, and share buttons on your IGTV video.

From here you can click “View Insights” or copy the link to your video (you can also delete your video here if you need to).

When you click on “View Insights” you’ll be able to see your views, likes, and comments.

how to view igtv analytics and insights

You can also see your audience retention rate, which is how many people watched your video all the way to the end, and you can even see a drop-off graph which shows you at what point people are swiping away from your video.

igtv video insights analytics

Now let’s briefly talk about how to share a preview of your IGTV video to your Instagram feed.

Instagram recently introduced the option to share a 1-minute preview of your IGTV video to your Instagram feed.

If you select to do this, your IGTV videos will live in the grid on your Instagram profile, with a little IGTV icon in the right-hand corner:

You don’t have to share IGTV videos to the Instagram feed, it’s totally optional. But it could help you get more views on your videos!

All you need to do is move the slider button to green to opt-in to IGTV Preview. Once you’ve selected that option, a preview of your IGTV video will appear in your follower’s feed, and the cover image will appear in your profile’s grid.

IGTV

When you post a preview of your IGTV video, the title and description will copy over to the caption. Just keep in mind that any links you included in your description won’t be “clickable.”

If you’ve chosen to post a preview, you can tap Edit Profile Cover to adjust how your IGTV cover photo shows up on your profile grid.

IGTV

IGTV

 You can also tap Edit Preview to adjust how your IGTV video will be previewed in feed (you’ll only have this option if your video is 9:16. If 16:9, your video will show in full).

IGTV: Edit Preview

This new process for editing your IGTV preview also makes adding subtitles much easier now. Previously, you had to add them quite high up in order to include them in the preview.

As we’ve reported before, Instagram is really investing in growing IGTV, and IGTV views have increased up to 300% since they started implementing design changes like sharing previews to the feed in-app. 

Once you have your video shot, you can use the new IGTV series feature to organize your content into a series-like collection

Announced by Instagram last October, the feature was designed to give creators a chance to produce ongoing, long-form video content on IGTV – separate from other videos on their channel.

To get started, add a video to your series by tapping “Add to Series.”

igtv series

If it’s your first video in the series, you’ll need to set up a series name and description.

igtv series

The new tools also make it easy to add existing IGTV content to a series! Just select the IGTV tab from your profile, tap on the video you’d like to add, and click “Edit.” 

You’ll see a new option labeled “Add to Series.” From here, you can create a new series or select an existing one. To finish, just tap “Post” in the top right corner. 

igtv series

You’ll also want to make sure to encourage your fans to turn on notifications for your IGTV series so they never miss out on new content! 

To set up notifications, just click on the series title (or badge) and hit “Turn on IGTV Notifications” in the bottom right corner.

IGTV series

And that’s it! 

The Later team couldn’t wait to get involved with weekly serial content on IGTV  — so Screen Time with Later was born!

Each week, we recap everything you need to know from the social media world — from trends, tips, memes, announcements and more, every Wednesday, right here on our IGTV!

Tune in, subscribe to the series, and never miss out on the latest social trends with Screen Time with Later!

 

What to Share on IGTV

Like Instagram Stories, there’s really no limit to what you can post on IGTV.

So far we’ve seen businesses use it to share how-to’s and tutorials, to promote their products, to share company news and so much more.

The goal of IGTV is to be more like YouTube than Netflix. And that’s why so many influencers and vloggers have already taken to the channel. 

As a business, it’s important to think about it from the perspective of what value your videos can provide. As in, how can you create value for your audience and how are you create value for your brand?

If you’re already a pro with Instagram Stories, the transition to IGTV shouldn’t be too difficult. You can even think of IGTV as an extension of your Instagram Stories. What voice, tone, and style of content do you share on your stories? Your IGTV video content should follow a similar arc.

And there you have it! Creating videos for Instagram might seem like a stressful undertaking, but it’s actually incredibly easy to do.

And with so many benefits for businesses, from building brand awareness, to reaching new audiences and more, there’s really no reason not to get started with videos on Instagram if you haven’t already!

Now that you know how to create great Instagram videos, it’s time to put it into practice! Upgrade to a Later paid plan, to start auto publishing your Instagram videos today:

 

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

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