Victor Blasco
Victor Blasco 6 August 2021

The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Video

It’s not surprising that everyone seems to be on this platform these days. And while marketers know that it’s not easy to build a big, engaged community in there, big riches await any company that pull it off. Luckily for you, we'll be dissecting what makes a perfect Instagram video, and we’ll share our findings today! That way, you can make sure that your videos crush it every time.

If you want to enhance your video marketing strategy’s scope, you’ll need to branch it out from your website and YouTube and into Instagram. After all, Instagram is the place to be for any big or small brand that wants to have an active presence on social media. 

The fact is that, whether you’re creating and uploading beautiful makeup tutorials, animated explainer videos, or anything else in between, you’ll need to make amazing and engaging content if you want to reap the platform’s full potential.


Timeline, Stories, IGTV - Which One’s Best?

Let’s address one of the biggest questions brands face when thinking about uploading video content to Instagram for the first time -- Should they post on their timelines or use Instagram stories instead?

The answer is both, but your main focus will depend on what your particular goals are

Timeline videos are great to showcase products or services, as they’re there to help you build your brand and create a strong, durable presence in front of your customers. On the other hand, stories are ephemeral content – they only last for 24 hours – so they’re great to share announcements that are not meant to last. Time-limited promotions, special offers, or certain types of timed communications work as great Instagram stories. 

And how about IGTV? Instagram’s bet for long-form content works best for sharing pieces that deserve an extra boost of attention, like the central video of a campaign, a great announcement – highly produced content. 

IGTV offers you a lot of flexibility with length as well (videos there can be up to 60 minutes long!) So, you can create interesting combos by using a longer video on IGTV combined with shorter content that supports it on stories and timelines. 

How Long Should Your Video Be?

When it comes to your videos’ length, there’s a difference between what you can do and what you should do. Yes, you can create IGTV pieces up to one hour long, but… should you?

The answer is: probably not. Look, if people wanted to watch an hour-long movie, they'd head up to Netflix on a bigger screen, not on their phones in such a fast-paced platform as Instagram. So just like in real life, just because you can, it doesn't mean you should.

For an Instagram strategy, you need to focus on what your audience wants, and how long they’re willing to wait to get it. 

Most Instagram users prefer short, snappy videos under 30 seconds. Remember, this is an audience that’s used to checking their feed in glances and at high-speed scrolls. A video that makes them stay put for too long is doomed to fail.

So, we’ve established that 30 seconds is a good length for a video for an Instagram feed. For stories, though, you should keep them under 15 seconds long. 

For IGTV, you can go for content that's a bit longer, but don't stretch it up to more than 5-10 minutes if you don't want to risk losing the fragile attention span of your audience.


Which Types of Videos Tend to Perform Best?

You’ve probably seen many different types of videos on Instagram (funny cat videos included), but not all of them will help you get the best reaction from your audience. 

Ask any video production company out there, and they'll tell you that If you want to get more leads and encourage brand loyalty, you need to choose the right tool for the job!

So, if you are looking to grow your branding on the platform and start reaching more people, here are a few styles that can help you out: 

Explainer Videos: These videos show quickly and engagingly who you are and what you can do for your customers. By using eye-catching animation and powerful storytelling, explainer videos can communicate difficult concepts in 60 seconds or less.

Commercial Ads: Ads, when they’re high-quality and interesting, can work great in any medium, and Instagram is no exception. Given the short-length nature of these videos, they pair well with the audiences on Instagram! 

Company Story Videos: One of the greatest features of marketing videos is that they humanize brands. Company story videos take this up a notch by showing the real faces behind a company - on Instagram, people are always eager to see how their favorite brands work from the inside, and these videos are perfect for that. 

And while outside of the scope of this article, live videos deserve an honorable mention as well! Given that even though they can be tricky to do right, live streams can give you a prominent spot in your audiences’ radar.

How to Optimize Your Videos for Better Reach

All videos could use a little help to reach a wider audience. And while there are a number of minor things you can do to help yours, here are two you should consider essential:

Use hashtags - but don’t abuse them! Use hashtags relevant to your content without overflowing your post’s descriptions. Why? Because it makes you look unprofessional, and it’s not as effective as it seems (too many users using the same hashtags makes each post disappear in the constant flow of new content). 

Make sure your video works with the sound off: Did you know that, on Instagram, people tend to watch videos with the sound completely off? It’s a general behavior that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time soon. So, you need to make sure that your video can be perfectly understood without sound -- and that they’re as equally enjoyable with or without it! 

Let’s Wrap it Up!

There’s no doubt about it – Instagram is a great tool to reach a bigger audience. The platform’s users are expecting to see engaging video content already, so they’ll be happy to find a brand that creates natural, fresh, and interesting videos for them!

One extra tip? Make sure to look at the metrics that Instagram provides you with – these are the best indicators of the things that are working, and the ones you should be improving upon. Constant adjustments are the key to success!

Ready to make the perfect video for Instagram? Then go ahead and get started!

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