When it comes to grabbing audience attention, you can’t go wrong with Instagram video.

Video marketing has taken the internet by storm, with 87% of marketers making use of video content. With one-third of online activity spent watching videos, the practice makes sense. And what better way to ride this rising trend than through Instagram – the largest visual online platform?

Below, we explore all you need to know on Instagram video requirements, the different types of video content, and their benefits for your brand.

Why Use Instagram Video?

On top of videos being a highly popular marketing tactic; using Instagram video has proven to boost engagement numbers, with some receiving 38% more engagement than your regular image posts. Statistics also show that video posts have potential to earn over double the amount of comments – the “most important metric of social media success”, according to most marketers.

Additionally, engagement for videos has been growing at a much faster rate.

Instagram video requirements (@5.min.crafts)

Courtesy of 5.min.crafts (Instagram account).

In a report by eMarketer; their findings displayed a 53% increase for video engagement over the last year, while photos experienced a lesser 46% growth rate.

Instagram videos are thus a vital key to gaining audience interaction – though what exactly makes them so effective?

Instagram Videos vs Instagram Photos

Both have their advantages, though with their own distinctive effects.

Instagram photos are arguably easier to interact with. Being a static image, they grab your attention off-the-bat (when done well). Their simplicity harnesses quicker engagement, as all they take are a quick view and a double-tap when catching a viewer’s attention.

Instagram video requirements - videos vs photos (@mcdonalds)

Courtesy of mcdonalds (Instagram account).

Videos, however, require a bit more attention and thus – interaction from the user. While photos rely on the short-term engagement of likes; videos generate more meaningful actions from viewers, spiking up overall engagement in the long run. Users who choose to spend time watching a video are more likely to share their thoughts and comment; a more quality metric in measuring Instagram engagement.

Plus, the longer amount of time spent watching a video post signals the Instagram algorithm to acknowledge it as “quality content”; increasing its chances of landing on the Explore page or on other people’s feeds.

How to Make a Typical Instagram Video

To create an Instagram video for your feed, users have the option of recording a new one on the spot – or selecting a pre-recorded video from their camera roll.

Capture a New Video

To record a new video straight from Instagram’s camera, select the plus icon in the middle of your navigation panel.

How to upload an Instagram video

Scroll over to to your “Video” option. Your screen should display the view from your camera, with options to reverse your camera or use your phone’s flashlight.

How to record an Instagram video

Tap and hold on the record button to capture your video.

When you’re done, select “Next”. This takes you to your editing suite, where you can choose from Instagram’s built-in filters and select an appropriate thumbnail for your video. The above sound icon also lets you toggle between a muted video and one with sound.

Instagram video requirements - adding filters and editing thumbnail

Once you’re done, just fill in your desired caption, geotags, and user tags as with any regular image post – and you’re done!

Upload a Pre-Recorded Video

If you’ve already got a video ready to go, simply select it from your gallery when uploading a new Instagram post.

Instagram video requirements - uploading videos from your camera roll

The following steps should remain the same: just add on your filters, choose a cover thumbnail; and edit your captions, hashtags, and user tags as normal.

Instagram Video Requirements

Now that we’ve laid your basic steps to uploading (and editing) an Instagram video – it’s time to look at the specific specs required and formats available.

Instagram Video Requirements for the Home Feed

Users have the choice between three different video formats when uploading to their profile feed: vertical, landscape, and square. The best file types to use are .mp4 or .mov, with a video frame rate of 30fps and AAC audio.

Instagram video requirements (@youtubemusic)

Courtesy of youtubemusic (Instagram account).

The Instagram video requirements for vertical videos are as follows:

  • a minimum resolution of 600 x 750
  • an aspect ratio of 4:5

The Instagram video requirements for landscape videos are as follows:

  • a minimum resolution of 600 x 315
  • an aspect ratio of 16:9

And finally, the Instagram video requirements for their basic “square” format are:

  • a minimum resolution of 600 x 600
  • an aspect ratio of 1:1

In terms of getting the best “bang for your buck”, vertical video are best recommended for marketing. Since they’re longer in size, and thus take up more space on one’s home feed; they’re likely more effective at grabbing audience attention and boosting your chances of engagement.

The maximum file size for all formats is 4GB each – though these restrictions may vary on third-party scheduling platforms.

Each regular video post has a limit of 60 seconds with a caption limit of 2,200 characters. According to Sprout Social, however, 125 characters may be best for audience engagement.

Instagram Video Requirements for Ads

As with regular image posts, users can also choose to “boost” their videos as sponsored Instagram ads.

In fact, much of the platform’s ads (around 25%) come in the form of videos, with users reported to have better responses towards video (rather than photo) content.

Instagram sponsored post (@cocacolaau)

Courtesy of cocacolaau (Instagram account).

To effectively blend in with organic posts on one’s feed, Instagram ads offer identical specs and formats for their video ads to that of regular video posts. The Instagram video requirements for creating video ads are thus the same as creating any typical video post.

However, with using Carousel ads with videos, the platform does place a few limitations.

Instagram video requirements - video carousels (@chrisfreytag)

Courtesy of chrisfreytag (Instagram account).

Carousel video ads are restricted to 2-10 slides, and have the following requirements:

  • a minimum resolution of 600 x 600
  • a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080
  • a maximum file size of 4GB
  • an aspect ratio of 1:1

As with video posts, users are recommended to use .mp4 or .mov when uploading carousel videos. Their maximum length remains 60 seconds, with a maximum frame rate of 30fps.

Instagram Video Requirements for Stories

Though we’ve delved into the steps for uploading a regular Instagram videos; such content can also be posted through Stories.

Story video content, however, tend to be much shorter and a lot less polished – typically used to broadcast on-the-go updates or behind-the-scenes footage of a brand.

Instagram story video (@alex_morales_dance_lab)

Courtesy of alex_morales_dance_lab (Instagram account).

They also come with a wider range of customization options, such as the ability to shoot “Boomerang” videos (short video clips that play on a loop); “Layout” videos (multiple videos in a grid collage); and videos under “Superzoom” or “Hands-free” filters.

Instagram story options

As with regular Instagram posts, users can choose to shoot Story videos directly through Instagram’s camera, or select existing ones from their phone’s camera roll.

They then have the option of decorating their Story video with stickers, GIFs, text or hashtags.

Instagram story stickers

Courtesy of callmej.o.i (Instagram account, pictured right).

The Instagram video requirements for Stories are as follows:

  • a recommended video resolution of 1080 x 1920 (however clip sizes can be customized when editing your Story video)
  • a minimum resolution of 600 x 1067
  • an aspect ratio of 9:16
  • a maximum file size of 4GB

Users are also recommended to use .mp4. or .mov file formats for Story videos, and consider the restricted length of 15 seconds per video clip.

Instagram Video Requirements for Instagram TV

Finally, we have Instagram TV (also known as IGTV).

Much like their social media competitor, Youtube, IGTV allows users to view videos of an extended timeframe. Verified or larger accounts get to enjoy a maximum runtime of one hour per post.

Instagram IGTV

Brands and influencers typically use this feature to tell compelling stories about their current projects and company goals. With its longer runtime, businesses can also use this to effectively showcase their products and services; educating their audiences on how they work, their benefits, and how they function in a real, unfiltered setting.

Instagram IGTV (@teenvogue)

Courtesy of teenvogue (Instagram account).

Wth 85% of online consumers hoping to see more video content from brands, hopping aboard the IGTV platform can do wonders for your engagement (and profits!).

The Instagram video requirements for IGTV content are as follows:

  • a recommended resolution of 1080 x 1920.
  • a minimum resolution of 720.
  • a minimum of one-minute and a maximum of a 10-minute timeframe (though some accounts are permitted to upload videos of up to one hour through desktop)
  • an aspect ratio of 9:16
  • a maximum file size of 650MB for videos less than 10 minutes – however one-hour videos get a maximum file size of 3.6 GB
  • a mandatory file format of .mp4

Different Types of Instagram Video Content

We’ve outlined the steps to uploading Instagram videos – along with specific requirements for various types; so what sort of content works best among users?

The aesthetic, topics, and style of your videos will greatly depend on your brand goals and audience. It’s important to consider the interests of your demographic (and what best engages them), the message you hope to convey, and how well your content suits your overall brand image.

Below, we dive into the most common types of Instagram video content to get you started.

Tutorials or Time-Lapse Videos

Tutorial videos are common among Instagram’s beauty community. These posts are often used to showcase how cosmetic product works; or to demonstrate the steps towards a certain makeup look, skin or haircare routine, or general beauty tips.

Instagram video tutorial (@missjazminad)

Courtesy of missjazminad (Instagram account).

Such content is also common among profiles dedicated to art, crafting, and cooking. These videos are often composed of “jump cuts” as they walk the user through their process. Some make use of a “time-lapse” effect; displaying a fast-forwarded version of their entire process to fit the 60-second time limit.

Instagram video tutorial (@satisfyfleur)

Courtesy of satisfyfleur (Instagram account).

These videos both have a compelling and educational effect – and thier fast-paced nature makes them an easy watch for any scrolling viewer.

Brand Promotions

With the marketing power they hold, plenty of profiles use Instagram video to promote their brand and upcoming affairs.

These are often boosted as “sponsored posts” to reach a wider audience. They typically take form of your traditional TV commercial, advertising an upcoming sale or event.

Instagram video ad (@armanibeauty)

Courtesy of armanibeauty (Instagram account).

Adidas, for example, uses video posts to showcase their latest footwear. These clips are often conceptual and artistic, and work well to capture audience attention.

Streaming services like Netflix use Instagram videos to broadcast the latest trailers for new or returning series. Some videos show sneak peeks of their content as teaser for potential viewers.

Instagram ad - Netflix trailer (@netflix)

Courtesy of netflix (Instagram account).

When done creatively, these types of videos do well in attracting new followers and loyal, new customers. On top of that, Hubspot reports that 64% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video of it showcased – so don’t leave these out of your content strategy!

Comedy Skits/Sketches

Comedy sketches are hit or miss, but with the right writing and content – you’ve got a recipe for a viral post.

While those posting comedy videos likely have profiles solely dedicated to such entertainment; some brands make use of this as a marketing tactic. MoonPie’s infamous social media presence, for example, fuses comedy and product promotion to create short, quirky clips that showcase the brand while entertaining their viewers.

Instagram comedy video (@theoriginalmoonpie)

Courtesy of theoriginalmoonpie (Instagram account).

Others use the medium for the simple goal of amusing audiences. The 60-second time limit allows for quick, effective punchlines that are easily shareable among other users.

Instagram comedy video (@codyko)

Courtesy of codyko (Instagram account).

Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Finally, brands can also use videos to broadcast affairs behind the curtain; letting users in on their company culture, progress on current projects, and a typical, day-in-the-life without the glitz and glamour of filters and Photoshop.

This offers loyal followers the opportunity of getting to know a brand better, building trust and thus strengthening your audience.

Instagram behind-the-scenes video (@filmup.co)

Courtesy of filmup.co (Instagram account).

You likely find large influencers sharing videos of them in a regular setting with friends, family, or simply enjoying some valuable “me” time. Such posts add a more “human” persona to your brand and helps you better relate to audiences.

Instagram behind-the-scenes video (@gordongram)

Courtesy of gordongram (Instagram account).

Instagram is a social media network, after all; so take the time to build a loyal trusting community of followers, letting viewers in on everyday happenings rather than keeping a stone-cold, corporate facade.

Make Use of Instagram Videos Today!

On top of boosting engagement, Instagram videos offer users a creative outlet to entertain, education, or simply communicate with followers. With the wide range of video-editing apps and the endless ideas for content – these types of posts should spice up your feed in no time.

Whether it’s a product showcase, a tutorial, or a simple candid moment, Instagram videos are ideal for marketing your brand through compelling, visual storytelling.