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Ultimate Instagram Video Guide: Tips and Best Practices

With 84% of customers saying a brand’s video convinced them to buy a product, there’s no better time than now to jumpstart your Instagram video journey. Video content continues to be the most shareable content on social media. Learn the ins and outs of incorporating more videos, Reels, IGTV, and Stories on your Instagram, along with best practices for you to grow your audience. 

Why Instagram Video Content is Here to Stay

Besides the fact that dance challenges are fun, video is also a way to showcase your brand’s personality, educate, or showcase products. According to this study, social media video content receives 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. So we think the appropriate question to ask yourself is, “why not video?” 

The great thing about Instagram’s built-in video features is that it’s both accessible and can be relatively simple to use. Instagram Stories have built-in features like filters and boomerangs to help you create engaging, scrappy content on the fly. If you’ve been on the fence about creating Instagram Reels to target Gen Z, know that they have an estimated spending power of $143 billion. Okay, so now that we have your attention, here is our guide to creating and sharing more video content on Instagram.

Ultimate Instagram Video Guide
Ultimate Instagram Video Guide

Instagram Video Features: The Breakdown 

Don’t let Instagram’s expansive video features turn you away. Each type of video content serves a different purpose but will be equally powerful to market your brand or business.  


Reels is one of the newest and most exciting forms of video on Instagram. Similar to TikTok, they’re mainly associated with pop culture trends, viral audio sounds, and a rich avenue for educational content. And the ability to cut and edit your video on Instagram directly makes it both easy and worth the investment to capture your audience’s attention. To upload a reel tap the Reels icon in the center icon on your navigation bar located at the bottom of your screen or by tapping the ‘+’ icon in the upper right corner. This where you can film, edit, and add your favorite filters and sounds to complete your Reels video. 

Reels specs include:

  • Resolution of 1080×1920
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Maximum file size is 4GB
  • Upload using MP4 and .MOV files
  • Maximum video time is 30 seconds

Related: How to Create Engaging Reels Content on Instagram

Instagram Grid Video  

Grid videos are probably what you’re most familiar with – it’s been around the longest, and you access it the same way you post photos to your grid. These videos can range from scrappy to highly-produced videos to tell a story, showcase a product, or entertain your audience. Share videos onto your Instagram grid by either filming and sharing the video directly on Instagram or upload using your video library. 

Instagram Grid video specs include: 

  • Resolution of 1080×1920
  • Landscape aspect ratio is 16:9, square aspect ratio is 1:1, vertical aspect ratio is 4:5
  • Maximum file size is 4GB 
  • Upload using .MP4 and .MOV files 
  • Maximum video time is 1 minute 
Instagram Stories 

Instagram Stories are more spontaneous than the other forms of video on the platform. Think of Instagram Stories as a way to speak directly to your audience. Think timely updates or a peek into what goes on behind the scenes. Share videos on your Instagram Stories by filming and sharing directly or by uploading videos from your video library. Instagram Stories will break up videos longer than 15 seconds into 15-second length clips. 

Instagram Stories specs include: 

  • Resolution of 1080×1920
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Maximum file size is 4GB
  • Upload using MP4 and .MOV files
  • Maximum video time for paid content is 2 minutes
  • Maximum video time for organic content is 15 seconds
Instagram Video Specs Chart PLANOLY

While grid videos limit you to 1 minute, IGTV allows you to share longer video content. IGTV is great for promotional videos, campaigns, product reviews, in-depth tutorials, or anything! IGTV videos must be created outside of the Instagram app and uploaded. 

Upload your IGTV video by tapping the ‘+’ icon on your account’s page. Scroll down and tap ‘IGTV Video’ and tap the video you want to share. Then you’re prompted to pick a cover image to display as the first thing your follower will see. There you title your video and write your description. Then you have the option to ‘Post a Preview,’ which shares your video to your profile and feed. Note: For regular accounts, the maximum length is 10 minutes, but for verified accounts, Instagram allows up to 60 minutes. 

IGTV specs include: 

  • Resolution of 1080×1920
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Upload using .MP4 and .MOV files 
  • Maximum video time is 10 minutes for regular accounts 
  • Maximum video time is 60 minutes for verified accounts
Instagram Live 

Instagram Live is a streaming feature where users and brands can host live discussions or panels all within the app. To go live, hit the ‘+’ icon on the top right corner of your screen and then tap the ‘live’ button. Learn more about how to use Instagram Live here. After filming your live, you can share your story and save it as an IGTV for followers who missed it to view later. 

Instagram Live specs include: 
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Maximum file size is 4GB
  • Maximum video time is 60 minutes

Don’t Use Each Instagram Video Feature the Same Way

Instagram’s video features all serve a different purpose – so resharing the same video to each type isn’t really going to serve you or may not even be an option. However, you can have your Reels and IGTV show up on your Instagram grid, in addition to them being available on their own respective tabs on your profile. 

Related: How to Import your IGTV/Reels on PLANOLY

Need some inspiration? Here are a couple of ways you can start to create and share more videos on Instagram to grow your business or brand. 

  • Grid Video - Shoot a tutorial on your phone to show followers how to use a certain product or give them a preview of an exciting launch. These don’t need to be perfect, your followers are interested in learning more! 
  • IGTV - While these typically require a professional video shoot, they are worth investing in as your brand grows to signal legitimacy and earn the trust of future customers. 
  • Instagram Stories - Weekly, share behind-the-scenes moments of you preparing for the day or give a look into your company. Post to Stories regularly to keep your audience engaged with built-in features like AR filters or boomerangs. Apps like Lifelapse also make it easy to create stop motions for an engaging way to showcase products. If you become a paid PLANOLY user, you can discover discounts on Lifelapse and other preferred partners! 
  • Reels - These can range from educational how-tos to silly trends that showcase your personality or speak to your industry. Capture small moments, like a new house walk-through on the market or a close-up look at new merchandise. 
  • Instagram Live - Periodically, don’t be afraid to go live to have a direct discussion with your audience. Encourage users to ask questions for you to answer live to build trust and forge strong connections.

That’s Instagram’s video features in a nutshell! Get started on your social media video marketing today and turn a follower into a customer in no time.

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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