Instagram Video Formats Everyone Should Know

May 5, 2022

Rick Knutsen

wsigenesis

Summary: Instagram stories, reels, ads, and feed videos are some formats marketers can leverage. Use them for Instagram video marketing. Read more here.

Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide, and Instagram video marketing is growing in popularity. According to Instagram, 90% of people on the platform follow a business, and 50% are more interested in a brand when they see its advertisements on Instagram.

Instagram video marketing offers extensive leverage with its various formats, and it is currently the most popular way to turn Instagram communities into customers. As a result, digital marketing agencies and business owners must consider Instagram Videos as part of their digital marketing strategy.

To help you get started, here are all the Instagram video formats you need to know.

Videos for Instagram Feeds

The Instagram Feed is the constantly updating list of videos and photos that appear when you open your Instagram account. The feed displays videos and photos from advertisers and accounts that you follow. Videos for Instagram Feeds should include sound and movement to quickly catch the audience’s attention and share your story or unique product features.

There are design and text recommendations as well as technical requirements for Instagram Feed videos. The primary text should be 125 characters and include a maximum of 30 hashtags. Video sound and captions are optional but recommended. The design recommendations are:

  • File type: MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Ratio: 4:5
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels (at least)

Videos for Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are similar to the popular TikTok vertical-video format but in full-screen. They are multi-clip videos of 15-30 seconds and are perfect for creating content using music and effects such as AR filters, timed text, and green screen mode.

Instagram Reels advertisements are ideal for mobile audiences intent on being entertained. For example, you can create tutorials, project education, and participate in trending moments through challenges. The video advertisements are inserted between organic Reels content, and the audience can then view, save, share, comment, like or skip the advertisements.

Experiment with different video advertisements to discover what your target community likes. There are design and text recommendations with technical requirements as follows:

  • Video duration: 0 to 60 seconds
  • Maximum file size: 4GB

Videos for Instagram Ads

You can create your own Instagram ad videos or use Ads Manager to get you started. Use video advertisements to showcase your product, brand, or service by telling your brand story or unique features. Videos for Instagram ads must be 15 seconds or less to captivate the audience and keep them engaged. With this short time window, it’s critical to convey a clear, simple message that asks people to take a simple action, like visiting your website or buying a specific product.

If your focus is mobile commerce (M-Commerce), then creating mobile video advertisement for Instagram has a few best practices to follow:

  • Use vertical or square video, as most people hold their mobile vertically while using Instagram.
  • Design for sound-off consumption by using text, graphics, and captions.
  • Keep the videos short (15 seconds or less) and feature the brand or product message early.

Videos for Instagram Stories

Video advertisements for Instagram Stories have a full-screen, vertical format. Ideally, it must be 10 seconds or less for Instagram to show the full video. When the video is longer, it is split into separate Stories cards. One, two, or three Stories cards are shown before viewers have the option to tap ‘Keep Watching’ to see the rest of the video advertisement.

Instagram Stories video advertisements have a more immersive format. You can add stickers, emojis, and other creative elements to your video, to go along with movement and sound. These are ideal to use as teasers to get people interested in the content and direct them to a website. There are numerous design recommendations for creating Instagram Stories videos, and the technical requirements include:

  • Video duration: 1 second to 60 minutes
  • Maximum file size: 250 MB
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%

Instagram Live Videos

Instagram Live videos are broadcast in real-time. These are ideal for demonstrations, brand events, tours, or showing “a day in the life” of the brand or an employee. The Live video format is highly engaging for the audience and allows them to ask questions, comment, and even shop.

The Instagram Live video should have an element of storytelling to engage customers and is an opportunity to show a side of your brand that the audience would not generally see. While it should not be too scripted, some preparation is essential, and you should have a straightforward narrative before going live on the platform. And if things go wrong, don’t worry—just make it part of the live experience.

How Marketers Can Leverage Videos on Instagram

Of the over 1,000 global marketers surveyed, 82% of them post video content on Instagram, and rather than marketing products and services directly, these marketers use humor to get the audience to engage with the brand.

Marketers also agree that posting videos offers a higher engagement level and return on investment (ROI) than simply using images or live-streaming. Short-form videos are still the most popular, and 85% of marketers say it is the most effective video style they leverage on Instagram.

WSI believes in better marketing, and we strive to deliver award-winning service to every business we help. It is why we’ve won so many digital marketing awards and why we plan on winning more next year. Are you interested in using Instagram video marketing? Then call WSI today.

About the Author

Rick spent 20 years in the insurance industry in finance, primarily developing reporting platforms for B & C stakeholders.   His ability to speak to consumers of data (managers and analysts) and translate their needs to programmers led him to start his own digital marketing agency in 2004 to develop data driven solutions for business owners. 

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