Cristian Stanciu
Cristian Stanciu 24 December 2019

How To Create Engaging and Compelling Videos for Instagram

One of the best platforms for sharing videos right now is Instagram. This is where businesses of all sizes can leverage videos probably for the best bang for their buck.

As reported by the social network itself, year after year, there is a significant increase in video watch time. So it’s a no brainer that brands decide to bet on the videos created specifically for Instagram.

However, to do so and to read the right benefits afterward, it is necessary to have some considerations that will make these videos stand out. For this reason, here, we will share some key steps for creating a perfect video for Instagram.

Write a script

A script is the base of any good video. So, before you actually start recording, sit and pen down what you would want to show in the video.

If you are working on a testimonial video, the script can consist of dialogues and feedback. In case, you are making a video documentary, write the script based on information and facts, etc. The script gives you a clear idea of video actions and flow.

Always keep in mind that the text needs to be concise, for a short video on Instagram, not for the next Hollywood Blockbuster, so everything should be brief.


If necessary, write a script and edit it to take off unnecessary information. Keep editing until you reach a script that is compact enough. Make sure not to put extra words that take time away from viewers. Here is more info on how you can create your first video script.

Create a storyboard

I would say this is an optional step, that can be skipped. But is some cases it makes perfect sense to create a storyboard as well. Here is why.

In certain cases it may be better to have a clear guide on how the video will be recorded. Doing so will help save time as various errors are avoided on the papers, and no fluff content appears in the video.

A storyboard is a guide that visualises how the video will progress and the types of shots or frames that will be used to develop the idea. Usually, you absolutely need to create a storyboard when you are working with content such as whiteboard videos for example.

In other words, it can be understood as the instruction to create a video. With instructions, it is easier to work and get the expected result. 

Pick the right equipment to create your video

Next, select the equipment you need to create your video. You can use your phone camera or a specialised camera such as DSLR or mirrorless.

There is another option, i.e., using the inbuilt camera feature of the native Instagram app. But this option is not recommended as it offers limited settings. With the equipment, pay attention to lighting and audio.

If you want to step us the quality of your Instagram videos you can consider using lights and an external microphone.

Start filming

Before you hit record on your camera make sure to check the settings you are using.

Keep in mind the technical specifications for the perfect Instagram video which are as follows: Codec H.264, Audio AAC, bite rate 3,500 kbps, 30 frames per second (fps), 15 MB as maximum file size, and the maximum width of 1080 pixels.

In case you are using a fancy camera, you will see there are many options you can adjust, Exposure, auto or manual focus, frame rate, resolution, white balance, etc. So you can get really creative with it.

On your phone camera, the setting options are limited, but still, you can create crips videos with nothing but your phone. 


Video editing

Video editing will make your video stand out from the crowd. Besides the fact that it helps you take our stuff that doesn’t make the final cut.

The post-production process is usually a very time-consuming task that’s why many Instagram influencers or businesses that post on Instagram chose to outsource video editing. Just make sure to communicate all your requirements, branding guidelines and editing style with your contractor, otherwise, the video editing services you will be getting will not represent your brand’s voice.

Export the final edit in a square or 4:5 aspect ratio. There are many tools available that help you edit your video in square format. Square or vertical videos perform better than landscape videos on Instagram as they are using more screen real estate on people's phones.

While editing, it is important to consider the duration of the video and not abuse the use of effects. The idea is to focus on the story being told. Remember that you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the audience.

Add description and thumbnail to your video

Once you have the final edited video, make the thumbnail of the video and the description of the post so that in combination, they draw attention to the brand and convey the idea of ​​the video. Both the thumbnail and the description should contain elements of intrigue that are funny or emotional. 

For the thumbnail, you can just capture a frame of the video or create a personalized creative out of that. If you don't, Instagram will choose the first photo of the video and use it as a cover to show the material.

Here is more info on how you can customize your video’s thumbnail for Instagram (and Facebook).


Use hashtags

Finally, before publishing the video you created, it is very important to use relevant hashtags to accompany it. Know that leveraging the hashtags is an effective method to boost the reach and visibility of the content.

So make sure you place these tags in a sense that makes them relevant to the video. There’s an entire strategy behind hashtagging, so make sure to do your research and see which are the most common hashtags used in our niche.

That’s about it from my side. Go ahead and start implementing at least a couple of these steps and let me know how it goes in the comments section below. Good luck!

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