Creating videos for Instagram

Creating Awesome Videos For Instagram [5 Top Tips]

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Table of contents

Looking for some quick tips on creating videos for Instagram that clock up serious views? No problem.

Instagram has proven itself to become one of the most successful marketing tools for businesses out there. The social media platform alone has 1 billion active users each month. Because of this sheer number alone, marketers are jumping on the bandwagon with 80% recognizing video as an important medium to boost sales.

In other words, social media platforms like Instagram give that final push to passive customers to make them confident about purchasing. So having decent video content on your Instagram feed could do wonders for your branding and draw in the right target market.

However, don’t limit yourself to just still images. Videos are a wonderful way of promoting your brand and communicating your message to your audience. Substantial video content on Instagram, when organized into a strategy, can definitely improve brand awareness, engagement, and reach.

Here’s what you should consider when creating videos for Instagram.

1. Create a Narrative

Instagram videos that tell a story always attract attention. And when we say “narrative,” it doesn’t necessarily mean an elaborate storyboard but instead one that has a beginning, middle, and end.

With only 60 seconds at maximum for Instagram’s video format, it’s important to utilize each second properly. And with that in mind, a catchy introduction is a must-have to grab the user’s attention and get them hooked to watch all the way until the end.

Also, a good narrative will help with brand awareness and product releases, and even gain new customers that can translate into loyal followers of your brand.

Narrative Instagram video content

Paul Nicklen

For example, Paul Nicklen’s post on his latest project offers a teaser of the entire documentary. It tells you about the future of orcas in Norway but reveals enough to allow his audience to understand the narrative. The teaser itself provides a story but leaves the viewers wanting more.

Another way he tells the story of his Instagram video is through his caption. It includes everything from introducing the topic to a final call to action as a conclusion despite space restrictions for text.

2. Set your goals

What exactly are your goals for creating videos for Instagram? Are you looking at getting more followers?  Or simply, driving more traffic to your website? Or even to urge customers to purchase a product?

Whatever it is, your goals will affect how you shoot the video content and the technicalities of it. For example, setting a theme and mood will determine the lighting and colors used in shooting the video.

Instagram video content

The Vampire’s Wife x H&M

In this case, H&M’s collaboration with The Vampire’s Wife yielded an Instagram video that fit the mood of subversive femininity. The video’s lighting and colorway reflected the collaboration’s style of darker hues and patterns. But the whole point of the video is to showcase the new line and get customers to purchase items on their website.

3. Choose your lighting

There is a misconception that creating great video content for Instagram requires a full set of equipment including lights. But there are numerous ways to hack film lighting depending on what you want to show and what your goals are.

lighting for Instagram videos

Garin Chadwick’s Creative Space

Natural Lighting

The big windows in this studio are a great source of natural light. Here, the subject is lit on its side by the natural source of light which adds some shadows for effects. However, to get the most out of natural light, it’s best to keep it in front of the subject and shining towards it.

Also, make sure you have a look at our article on food videography.

natural lighting

Tasty Baileys Apple Pie

Creative Lighting

Don’t let the lack of equipment stop you from achieving your desired lighting effects. Get creative with better conditions by working with what you have. Soften the light using paper or a white poster board as a reflector.

Also, black plastic or similar materials can block off unwanted light sources. You can achieve results like Tasty’s recipe videos with stuff you can find at home.

creative lighting

Even food stylists and restaurants that do video and photo shoots for their Instagram get creative with their lighting options. For example, @slowthecookdown used fairy lights and natural light to get the desired effect she needed for her cake shoot.

Instagram filters

Instasize Official


Hack your lighting through filters and effects with apps that you can download for free. Change the brightness settings to exude a mood in your videos – keep it dark and sombre, or light and cheerful.

4. Edit your videos properly

After you’ve shot your video content for Instagram, it’s vital to edit it properly to engage your audience. Keep it short and straight to the point, with your video length in mind. Viewers on Instagram have shorter attention spans so it’s vital to grab their attention at the introduction.

Keep in mind that not all viewers opt to have the sound on when encountering a video. That’s where text comes in handy. Place text as subtitles for interviews or integrate it as part of your video.

The ideal format for Instagram video content is 30 FPS (frames per second). For square videos, the minimum is 600 x 600 resolution and a maximum of 1080 x 1080 resolution.

You can also opt for a portrait format but be sure the minimum size does not go lower than 600 x 750, and the maximum size does not go beyond 1080 x 1035.

For landscape, the minimum should be 600 x 315, and the maximum at 1080 x 608. Finally, the maximum file size should not exceed 4GB.

editing videos followers

Marz Lovejoy for Nike Women

Nike Women features Marz Lovejoy as a brand ambassador in their Instagram account to raise awareness. Nike Women keeps the audience involved with compelling text and music in the introduction.

The edit includes peeks into her life as a mother and partner, then cuts to short clips of her interview. The video features robust content but its edit keeps audiences watching until the end.

5. Find Out What Your Audience Wants

Test a variety of video types and see what your audience responds to. While how-to and life hack type of videos are very popular on Instagram, your target audience may react to other sorts of videos. Environmentalists and advocacy-driven accounts have taken to short documentaries to convey their message to their audience.

Explore your options with your video formats and test them on your audience. When creating videos for Instagram, find out which type of video content catches their attention and engages them.

food videos for Instagram

Tasty Zesty Shrimp Tacos

Going back to Buzzfeed Tasty’s Instagram videos as another example, the brand focused on creating 30-60 second recipe videos. This format dominates most of their feed and gains the most views and engagement. Tasty has found a tried and tested formula that works for its audience.

So even with this video recipe format, they’re able to experiment with other video content for Instagram to add diversity to their feed. 

Creating Videos For Instagram – Wrapping Up

In short, creating videos for Instagram, when done right, can help grow your brand tenfold. Awesome Instagram video content gains followers who become loyal to your brand.

While creating the ideal video for your target audience can be daunting, it isn’t impossible as we’ve seen homegrown brands grow organically.

Keep your content up to date using your resourcefulness and you’ll be sure to find the right kind of video that grabs your audience’s attention. 👍

Denise Langenegger
Denise Langenegger
Denise is part of the team at Instasize. It's a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos online. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.
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