Did you know that over 5 million videos were shared in the first 24 hours after Instagram first allowed video sharing in 2013? In 2017, platform users watched 80% more videos than in 2016. The popularity of video content on Instagram is growing every year. So if you want to increase your audience reach and establish close communication with people, you should consider posting video content on your Instagram page.
To maximize the effect of introducing video into your content marketing strategy, you are to adapt files taking into account the specifics of the social network. So what are the specific requirements and restrictions of this social network? And how to make sure that your video content converts at max?
What Video Formats Does Instagram Support?
Due to the fact that Instagram is intended to be used on mobile gadgets, the creators of this social network have done everything so that the videos posted on it run smoothly on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, a video that was filmed on the phone can definitely be published. However, if you shoot videos with a professional camcorder, you will have to check whether they meet the requirements of Instagram.
You can post videos in your Instagram feed, and these are the formats that you can use:
For videos shot in landscape mode, the following requirements apply:
- Resolution – at least 600 × 315 px;
- The aspect ratio is 1.9:1;
- Weight – no more than 4 GB;
- Duration – no more than 1 min.
For square videos, the following requirements apply:
- Resolution – at least 600 × 600 px;
- The aspect ratio – 1:1;
- Weight – up to 4 GB;
- Duration – up to 1 min.
Instagram only supports two codecs – H.264 and VP8. As for the bitrate, it should not exceed 3500 kb/s. It is highly recommended to download videos with a bitrate of 3000 kb/s; otherwise, the video quality will not be very good. When posting video content, keep in mind that vertical videos are not the best option for Instagram – they occupy most of the display, and people are uncomfortable putting likes or comment on such videos.
When it comes to Instagram stories, other requirements apply to the video:
- The aspect ratio – 9:16;
- Weight – no more than 4 GB;
- Duration – no more than 15 seconds (you are allowed to download longer videos; however, the system will automatically split them into parts of 15 seconds);
- Resolution – from 600 × 1067 to 1080 × 1920 px.
You can publish videos in Instagram stories in the same formats as for posts.
The basic requirements for IGTV videos are practically the same as for content posted in Instagram stories. However, only one format is supported here – MP4. Developers consider it to be the best option for downloading large video files. Some other additional video requirements for IGTV are as follows:
- The aspect ratio – 9:16 (for vertical videos) or 16: 9 (for horizontal videos);
- Min frame rate – 30 fps;
- Max weight – 650 MB (for a 10-min video) or 3.6 GB (for 10-60-min video).
How to Change the Video Format?
If the specs of the captured video do not meet Instagram requirements, then you need to make some changes to the original multimedia file. Otherwise, the system will automatically compress the video clip to the required parameters. Usually, compression is performed to the minimum values, which leads to a significant reduction in quality. To avoid such situations from happening, you can change the characteristics of the video yourself. There are special solutions that can help you with the task. When deciding on this top software, you need to take into account what file changes a particular tool can make. We recommend that you pick a utility that allows you to alter not just the file size and aspect ratio but also a video image and a frame rate.
How to Create a Video That Your Audience Likes?
Of course, it is highly important to meet the tech requirements of the platform when posting a video on Instagram. However, this is not the only thing that you should take care of. Another important mission you are to accomplish is to produce content that your target audience would like. And the tricks below will make your life easier.
Trick #1 – Choose an Attractive Cover Photo
In a content-packed world where competition for user attention is high, getting subscribers to watch your videos (especially long ones) can be quite difficult. The best way to win in this battle is to choose a good cover image for your videos. If your video lacks an attractive cover that grabs people’s attention from the very first second, it will hardly be watched. When choosing a cover, try to make it convey the general message of your video and look catchy.
Trick #2 – Focus on the First Few Seconds of Your Video
With so much content a user consumes on Instagram every day, it’s important to create a video that grabs attention within the first 3-5 seconds. By focusing on the first few seconds and making them immersive, you’re sure to get the best reach and engagement rates for your video.
Trick #3 – Determine the Video Length That Works for Your Audience
Instagram feed videos can be 60 seconds long, but that doesn’t mean they have to be that long. As with all social media, Instagram has a hard time keeping its audience for a longer period of time. Try experimenting with different lengths for your multimedia content to find the sweet spot that works best for your audience.
If you find that videos under 30 seconds resonate more with your audience, focus on creating shorter video content. If long videos have higher response rates, then create long ones. You can even create a video longer than 60 seconds, divide it into shorter clips, and post them as a carousel. Do not be afraid to experiment.
Trick #4 – Use Apps to Edit Your Instagram Videos
There are tons of apps and programs that you can use not only to create and improve the quality of your videos but also to add elements associated with your brand identity – be it your logo, font, or some other design element.
Trick 5 – Analyze Statistics for Better Results
Knowing what content your audience is most responsive to is very important. Of course, Instagram’s in-house stat charts are not so informative, but you can always use third-party services.
Make Your Instagram Video Content Rock
It may seem difficult to produce high-performing video content for Instagram. However, you should give it a try, and you will see that many things will become easier and faster for you. With professional tools in your video production arsenal and a well-thought-out content plan, you will optimize the processes behind the scenes and will deliver top-notch video content with no special effort on your end.