In one of our recent video workshops, we received a flurry of questions from our participants about using video on Instagram. Instagram has become quite the hot social media platform for marketers and we know that video is a great way to attract attention for your brand!
But what is going on with all the different ways to post and share video on Instagram? What on earth is the difference between posting video to your feed, a story, or Instagram TV? What are those things anyway? And what about live video? Does that exist on Instagram? What is the benefit of using each one? Should you be using them all? These are the questions that some of the students in our video classes are asking.
As a busy entrepreneur or social media manager it is important to focus your efforts on what will have the biggest impact on your business.
In this article we explore all of these questions. We breakdown how content should be posted on Instagram and explain the video and image requirements for posting in each method.
The main way to post content on Instagram is to directly post onto your Instagram Business Page. Pictures and videos can be posted on your Instagram page but the video length can not exceed one minute in length.
When you post on your page, your followers will be able to view your post by finding it in their Instagram feed. From there, people can like, favourite, or comment on your post. Instagram does have a feed ranking algorithm that organizes what posts appear near the top of a follower’s feed. Contributing factors that increase the rank of a post are what accounts followers engage with the most, the timeliness of the posts, how often you post, and how many followers you have. Instagram does not block any accounts posts from their followers. Even if a post has a low ranking, a follower will discover it in their feed if they scroll down far enough.
Every interaction a person has with your post is collected and can be viewed on your post’s insights. You can view each post’s statistics such as number of views, impressions, how many people started following you from that post, and more. This information can be used to help define what your target audience is and what content they respond best to.
Posts can also be promoted to increase the reach of post so that more people can see it. The promoted post will appear in people’s news feed as an advertisement in between other posts.
The recommended resolution size of images and video that you post on your page should be at least 1080 x 1080 and the aspect ratio of 1:1.
- Saves on your Instagram page
- People can comment and like posts
- Can view statistics on posts
- Can be promoted to gain more views
- Can get lost in the clutter of people’s feeds
Instagram stories are posts that appear above the feed. The stories only last 24 hours before they disappear but they have the advantage of not being lost in your followers news feed. Stories are only 15 seconds long, so Instagram will split your video into 15 second segments when you upload it to your story. Instagram will only split your video if it is under one minute in length. If your video is over one minute, you must first cut it into separate 15 second clips. You can do this using an app such as CutStory.
To add a story, press the plus button on your profile picture at the top of your news feed. Then you’ll be able to record or capture content with your camera to post on your Instagram story. You can also add content to your story from items in your camera roll.
Another option is to stream live content onto your Instagram Story. To begin streaming a live video, select the camera icon on your home screen. Once your camera opens, swipe to the option that says “Live.” Your followers can see your live video by clicking on your profile picture above the news feed with the rest of their stories. When the live stream is over there is an option to either save it to your story or your camera roll.
Having live stories helps increase interactions with your followers because it gives you the chance to directly speak with your followers and drive engagement. You can also view the viewer metrics once the live stream is over to review the comments or the amount of likes and reach.. There is also an option to add hashtags and location tags to your story, to help grow your audience by making yourself easier to discover.
The recommended resolution size of images and video that you post on your story should be at least 1080 x 1920 and aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Doesn’t get lost in your follower’s news feeds
- Attracts attention at the top of the page
- Best used to give updates to your audience
- Limited to 15 seconds of content
- Only lasts for 24 hours
Instagram TV is a separate application that can be accessed within Instagram that allows your followers to consume long form content. Videos that are uploaded to Instagram TV can reach up to one hour in length. Every Instagram account that uploads to Instagram TV has a channel where viewers are able to access all of the video content you uploaded in one place.
You can access Instagram TV in the normal Instagram app’s home page if you have the separate Instagram TV application downloaded to your device as well. The Instagram TV icon will appear at the top of your feed where your stories are located.
Currently, there is not an option to have live videos on Instagram TV. However, Instagram has stated that it is in their future plans for Instagram TV to support live videos.
Followers are able to recognize if an account has an Instagram TV channel by viewing that account’s Instagram page. A black television icon will appear under the account’s profile picture that is a link to their Instagram TV channel.
The recommended resolution size of images and video that you post to Instagram TV should be at least 1080 x 1920 and aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Can upload long form content
- Plays on both the Instagram app and Instagram TV app
- Has call-to-action buttons available on the videos
- Content can’t be used as paid promotion yet
- People have to navigate to your Instagram TV channel to view your content
Each method of posting content on Instagram has a unique form and everything that is posted must be made specifically for each method. Every post should match the proper resolution size for its intended medium so it retains a degree of professionalism.
Instagram has developed these three main methods for sharing content to each serve a different purpose. Posting directly onto your page has the benefit of letting new people look at all of the content you have posted, giving them a reason to start following you if they like the content you post.
Instagram created stories to help people grow their audience by providing them with a function to communicate with their audience regularly to keep them engaged and using hashtags to draw in new followers. Businesses can also use stories to drive people to their website by incorporating their website url when people swipe up on their story.
Instagram TV is made for posting exclusive content that can’t be uploaded to Instagram due to its video restrictions. Posting exclusive content on your Instagram TV account gives an incentive for your followers to come back and visit your channel. Instagram TV is also the perfect place to upload videos that are part of a series, such as how-to videos or daily vlogs.
If you are using Instagram as a marketing platform then you should consider using all three posting methods to diversify your content and offer more ways for people to discover your content and your business.
|Resolution Size||Length||Aspect Ratio|
|Page Posts||1080 x 1080||Under 1 minute||1:1|
|Stories||1080 x 1920||Under 15 seconds||9:16|
|Instagram TV||1080 x 1920||Under 1 hour||9:16|
If you are interested in learning how to create videos that you can upload to Instagram, check out our blog for more articles on equipment for your Smartphones like tripods, or lenses, or mics that will improve the production quality of your videos.
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