Wondering how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram?

If you aren’t, then maybe you should be. 

After all, high-quality videos are one of the easiest ways to make sure that your Instagram profile stands out in 2020. While attractive and stunning images are excellent for your Instagram campaign, videos have begun to gain more and more attention over the last year or two. This is particularly true ever since tools like IGTV came onto the scene. 

Video posts on Instagram are excellent for both your brand awareness and your marketing campaigns. 

The only problem?

Instagram just loves crushing your video files down to practically nothing. 

So, how do you maintain the quality that you want to share?

Why Uploading HD Videos to Instagram is So Tough

Whenever you upload a video to Instagram, that content gets squashed and compressed to it’s smallest possible size. 

Instagram compresses your content because it’s currently hosting the material of over 1 billion users. 

Can you imagine how much it would cost to manage a data center that holds onto HD videos from more than a billion people?

To save on storage space and bandwidth, Instagram implements compression right into their uploading process. This means that there’s absolutely no way to avoid having your images and videos compressed altogether. 

However, you can reduce the loss of quality.

Following a few careful steps when it comes to choosing how you’re going to shoot and export your video into Instagram can make a massive difference to your content quality.

Why Do You Need High-Quality Videos on Instagram?

So, if everyone on Instagram gets their content compressed, why worry about maintaining your HD images anyway? Surely, your slightly lackluster content won’t stand out among an ocean of compressed videos? 

While it’s true that your video quality probably won’t be worse than anyone else’s – it won’t be better either. That basically means that you can’t rely on your content to capture the eye of your customers, or make you stand out over your competition. 

Along with other techniques, like figuring out the best time to upload content to Instagram, learning how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram can really make your brand or profile stand out online. If you’re looking to gain followers and fans fast, then this could be the best way to ensure that you can do just that. High-quality videos make you look professional and help you to give you some unique and engaging content to inspire your customers with. For instance, Buzzfeed is constantly uploading high-definition videos to its @BuzzFeedTasty account to make the profile shine:

You don’t need to be running a food blog to benefit from high-quality videos either. Video content is an excellent way to transform your profile if you’re in fashion, fitness, travel, and a range of other niches too. 

A high-quality video also ensures that your followers can see all the details of whatever you want to post about. Rather than forcing your customers to squint at their screen to see the latest dress design you’ve uploaded; you can give them that video ad in full HD glory. 

So, how do you bypass the Instagram compression issue?

How to Upload HD Videos to Instagram

As we mentioned above, there’s no way as of yet to upload a 4K video or HD content to Instagram without facing any compression. However, if you can design your video professionally, compress it yourself, and choose a lossless transfer option, you can reduce your risk of problematic videos. 

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to upload your high-quality videos to Instagram.

Step 1: Be Properly Prepared

The first step in learning how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram is knowing where your content is going. It’s much easier to prepare your video for success than to try and fix something after the damage has already been done. 

Start by making sure that you know where your video is going to end up. There are multiple destinations for video on Instagram today – not just the standard news feed. For instance, you can upload your video to your feed like a regular post, and you’ll be limited to 60 seconds of content, in a format ranging from 600p to 4K. The requirements are similar when you’re uploading video to Instagram Stories too. 

Alternatively, you might consider IGTV. This is the new extended video platform from IGTV, which allows companies to post much longer content on their profiles. For IGTV, you need your video to be at least 720p in size and in MP4 format. You can find the full requirements for IGTV uploads on the Instagram site. Instagram video ads also have very different specs when it comes to making sure that your videos look great for advertising purposes.

Sometimes, you might even be using video in the live streaming capacity offered by Instagram. Understanding exactly where you’re going to be using your video means that you can check that your file meets the requirements allowed by Instagram.

If you can compress your content yourself, rather than allowing Instagram to do it for you, then you can reduce the loss of quality that your videos are exposed to.

Step 2: Shoot your Videos in 4K

Once you know what the video requirements and allowances are for your chosen Instagram format, make a note of them. You’ll need to come back to that information later. However, when it comes to actually shooting your video, make sure that you capture all of your content in 4K. 

Obviously, the 4K 60-frames-per-second digital video format is going to take you way outside of the maximum file size allowed by Instagram. However, you’ll be able to do your own formatting and processing before you upload your content later. 

If possible, don’t shoot your video on your smartphone. As convenient as it is, you’re not going to get the kind of quality you need. Instead, shoot the content on a professional video camera and move it to your computer. You can then upload your video to Instagram using one of the various work-around options available for PC or Mac users. 

Remember, when you’re setting up your film, keep a few video compression quirks and requirements in mind. For instance, compression tends to be most detrimental to videos that are filmed without a lot of light. If you have a lot of shadow in your content, then you’ll notice that the dark colors are generally muddier in a compressed file. Try to avoid this problem by bringing plenty of lighting into your content. Additionally, stick to light-colored backgrounds.

Step 3: Edit Your Own Content

Once you have your Instagram video on your PC, the next step in learning how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram is knowing how to edit for quality. The good news for those who aren’t used to working with video material is that there are a lot of easy-to-use editing options out there. For instance:

  • FFMpeg: This is a command-line utility tool often used by professionals. You’ll often find the same technology in a lot of other video editing apps. Learning how to use the tool means that you’ll be able to put together a list of actions to be applied to your video. Once you confirm your script, the app will go through your content and apply the correct actions. It takes a while to figure this tool out, but the app is open source and free to use. 
  • Lightworks: A little less complicated, but still designed for professionals, Lightworks is a service with a free and a premium version. Once again, this is something of a complex tool. However, it might be worth getting to know how to use it if you use a lot of high-quality video for your Instagram campaign.
  • Adobe Premier: Probably the best place to start for anyone using Instagram video for the first time, Adobe Premier is part of the Creative Cloud. Still regarded to be the number one video editing app by a lot of people, Adobe Premier is a cheap but useful editing tool. You can use it to carefully compress and enhance your video in a range of ways before it’s ready for Instagram.

Step 4: Conduct a Lossless Transfer

Here’s an area where a lot of people make mistakes when learning how to upload high-quality videos to Instagram. They go through all the work to create an amazing 4K source video, then ruin it all at the end. 

The chances are that you’re going to need to transfer a video from your PC to your phone library to upload it. Or you’re going to need to use some form of automatic posting tool, like Later. Ensure that you don’t run the risk of damaging your file quality by using the right tools. If you’re a Mac user and you have an iOS device, you can use Airdrop.

If you’re uploading from a Mac to an Android device, you’re going to need a file storage tool like Dropbox. Alternatively, if you’re trying to maintain the quality on a Windows computer, you’ll need to use a USB cable, drive, or a third-party app. 

The VLC player is one of the easiest tools to use for Lossless transfer on Windows. It’s particularly useful for moving files without having to worry about losing footage quality because of a higher-than-usual size. You’ll need to download VLC on both your computer and your phone to use this application. Open VLC, then choose the sharing option via Wi-Fi to get started. 

From there, get your IP address for your phone or tablet, and link it to your computer IP address. 

There are also several alternative third-party tools that you can use for lossless transfer. You can check out your options and put a number of them to the test before settling for one. Whatever you do, just don’t use an app that introduces compression.

Step 5: Uploading Your Video

Once you’ve successfully transferred your video to wherever it needs to be, the next step is simple enough. All you need to do is upload your content to your Instagram profile. The chances are that you already know how to do this. However, just in case:

  • Log into your Instagram account using your business profile details
  • Click on the “+” button to add a new piece of content
  • Choose the video that you’ve edited and compressed yourself from your library
  • Add a caption to capture the attention of your target audience
  • Submit your video

Remember, you can’t stop Instagram from compressing your video further if it thinks that the file size is too large for the Instagram data centers. However, you can double-check what the damage to your content looks like. Click on your content and watch it back to see if there are any issues. 

If the quality has dropped too significantly, you may need to go back to your editing tool and compress your own file a little further. You could also reduce the size of the video by cutting out any unnecessary content.

Don’t Compromise on Quality

These days, most Instagram followers won’t expect all the videos that they see on Instagram to be HD or 4K in quality. The rising popularity of Instagram Stories and Live Videos mean that your customers generally expect to see the occasional raw video file on your profile.

However, if you can deliver some high-quality or HD videos to your consumers too, then you could see some amazing results from your content. As people become more and more addicted to video on Instagram, high-quality content could be an amazing way for your brand to stand out from the crowd. 

If you’re looking for other ways to make your profile shine in 2020, make sure that you reach out to SocialFollow.co. We’ll help you to create an amazing Instagram image that will boost your brand this year.