Bonus:Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.
Types of Instagram video
Reels, Stories, Live, oh my! If you’re looking to get started with Instagram video, we put together a simple breakdown of current formats to help.
Inspired by Snapchat, Instagram Stories are 15-second videos that disappear after 24 hours.
Stories can be recorded by swiping right from the home screen, or by tapping the plus icon and selecting Stories. They can also be uploaded from your Photo Library.
Expired Stories can be saved to the Highlights section of your Instagram profile, positioned just above the grid.
You can also add interactive elements such as filters, emojis, tags, and stickers to each Story. Several brands—some four million every month by Instagram’s count—have found novel ways to use these features, from “this or that” polls to Q&As and product tags.
When you go Live, you’ll be able to see how many people are watching your stream at the top of the screen. You can also review Instagram Live analytics to understand your broadcast’s reach and engagement.
Your audience can also engage with you by adding comments or emoji reactions. Or, by purchasing badges that show heart icons beside their names in the comments.
Instagram Live hosts can pin comments, turn comments off, or set up keyword filters to moderate comments.
Make use of Live Shopping features to let users shop directly from your stream! Tag relevant products and they will appear at the bottom of the screen.
While, most people intuitively use portrait or selfie mode when they record with their phones, that’s not the best practice for Instagram video. Most people view Instagram video on mobile, which means it’s best to shoot in vertical orientation.
Of course, there are some exceptions. For longer video content, horizontal video may be a better fit. Viewers can tilt their phone sideways for a full-screen viewing experience. Landscape video can also be uploaded to Stories and in-feed, but without the tilt effect.
To keep a viewer’s attention you need to make it worth their while. Try entertaining your audience through comic relief, captivating conversation, or your magnetic personality. Or, you could impart tips and tricks, how-to’s and workshops, or thought-provoking information.
In each Instagram video, your value proposition should be clear and simple. Before setting out to create a video, fill in the blank: When someone watches this video, they will _______. The answer may range from “laugh out loud” to “want to make breakfast cereal ice cream sandwiches” Whatever you land on, it should be clear to viewers upfront.
If you deliver on your promise, you’ll likely see more views, engagement, and shares.
Use sound to enhance your video, and include captions to make your video accessible. Timed-text can be manually added to Instagram Stories and Reels. To save time, tools like Clipomatic automatically add captions to your video.
The best way to build an audience is to post regularly. This is especially true when it comes to long-formats like Instagram Video and Live.
Create and share a schedule with your audience so they know when to expect your next Instagram Live. Or develop a video series that your followers can regularly look forward to and tune in to. Take advantage of scheduling tools like Hootsuite to make sure your posts are published on time.
As well, try to post when your followers are most active online. Check your analytics and consult our research to find the best times to post Instagram videos.
Tip: Create a countdown sticker in an Instagram Story to build anticipation for an Instagram Live or an upcoming video premiere.
Helpful Instagram video apps
Got your tripod and your ring light ready to go? Try these Instagram video apps to perfect your content.
Pictory is an AI tool that will help you turn text into professional-quality videos with just a few clicks.
How does it work? You copy and paste text into Pictory, and AI automatically creates custom video based on your input. The program pulls from a vast library of over 3 million royalty-free video and music clips.
Pictory integrates with Hootsuite, so you can easily schedule your videos for publication without ever leaving their dashboard.
Clipomatic is an Instagram video app that lets you add live captions to social video. It’s been used by a number of high profile users, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown.
Caption as you speak, or add captions to pre-recorded video. The captioning tool is available in more than 30 languages, and text can be edited and customized before posting.
Lumen5 is an Instagram video app that helps businesses turn their blog posts into engaging social video. The AI-powered video app pulls images and words into a storyboard brands can edit and tailor to each platform.
If you want in on the Instagram video action, but only have audio and text to work with, Headliner is for you.
Originally made to help promote podcasts, the app is used by Wondery, BBC, CNN and other platforms use Headliner to transcribe audio clips into shareable, animated videos.
Grow your Instagram presence using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts and Stories directly to Instagram, engage your audience, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles. Try it free today.