How to Use Video on Instagram

June 11, 2024

If you run or work for a brand, you automatically have a social media presence (or, at least, should in our humble opinion). And why? Social media is fast becoming the next search engine for your customer. It’s how you’re found. And how your audience connects to you. Which is why we decided to cover a few of the top social media platforms, and how to use video on each. Starting with? How to use video on Instagram.

Effectiveness of Instagram in 2024

According to Sprout Social, as of 2024 Instagram has 2 billion monthly active users. As to user demographics, it’s an almost near split between men vs. women, with an age range from 18 up to 34 for its larger crowd. Needless to say, Instagram is definitely important to integrate when your brand gears towards a younger audience.

And although Instagram began as a photo-heavy posting platform, it has long since incorporated video to great success. IG Reels, for example, present strong competition against the likes of YouTube Shorts and TikTok. Adding to this, 70% of shoppers go to Instagram to look for their next purchase, so it’s great for e-commerce and product exposure.

Types of Video on Instagram

As mentioned above, Instagram has become very video-friendly, integrating this form of content since 2013. And guess what? They give a few options when it comes to types of video to post, so we thought we’d provide a quick overview of what these are:

  1. Reels. Definitely the most popular form of video on IG, Reels have a length of up to 90s, are in a vertical format, and include their own dedicated section on Instagram.
  2. Stories. Stories only hold a 24-hour duration, and are great for time-sensitive announcements, highlighting a recently posted Reel, or capturing a fun moment to share with your followers.
  3. Posts. At first glance, it can be a bit confusing what the difference is between Posts vs. Reels. Essentially, the main difference lies in video length, specs, and editing capabilities. For a more in-depth tutorial on this, click here.
  4. Instagram Live Video. IG Live is great for hosting special events, product showcases, and/or Q&A’s for your company, and can last up to 4 hours in length.

You may be wondering whatever happened to IGTV, Instagram’s longer video app? If so, as of 2022 Meta decided to shut down the separate video app associated with IG, and instead keep their video options on just the one app. To define all video length options for IG, click here.

How to Create (and post) Great Video on Instagram

If you’re brand new to Instagram, and unfamiliar with how to post, here’s a video below that gives you a general overview of how the platform works, as well as a posting tutorial. (If you wish to go straight to the posting bit, skip ahead to 2:15m!)

Now that you’ve got that under your belt, what to include to make fantastic Instagram videos? To help get you started, we’ve curated our top tips below:

  • Keep it succinct and clear. Regardless of video length, you always want your message to be clear and simple. With Reels, however, being the most popular, we’d recommend short-form video to be the best option–which, obviously, means getting to your point.
  • Timing is everything. Depending on which format you’re using, be specific with your posting time. Stories, for example, get shared primarily with your existing followers–so post when they are most likely on line. Whereas Reels are fed to both followers as well as non-followers, so have a bit more of a window in which to reach your audience.
  • Include great lighting and audio. We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep on saying it: all good video has great lighting and high quality audio. Without it, viewers are discouraged from continuing to watch.
  • Stay consistent. Consistency not only helps with the algorithms but also helps your audience know they can rely on you to keep showing up, both on and off the platform.
  • Bring value to the table. Always ensure your content brings some sort of value. Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Post because you have something worth saying. Trust us, your viewers can tell the difference.

How to Optimize Instagram

Any and all online video that you post benefits from optimization. It stands to reason, then, that social media also needs optimizing. While there are several ways to do this, one of the most important of them would be consistency and engagement. By incorporating both of these in your Instagram journey, you not only maintain an active presence, but you also establish relationship with your customers.

To cover some more optimization elements (and Instagram Reels, specifically), watch below.

With the above tools in hand, you should be well on your way to creating a solid video presence on Instagram. Just remember, be clear with your objectives, consistent with implementing them, all while listening to your audience as you interact and engage.