Posting videos on Instagram can get quite confusing …
… what goes where, why do we use each type and where do they live? Here I’ll explain the 5 types of Instagram videos, and break them down to explain how they fit into your content plan, how you can use them strategically to get people to know like, trust and buy from you and why instagram video type number 5 can get you a whole load of new viewers.
You can watch the full video for ease or read the blog below …
What are the 5 types of Instagram Videos …
- So firstly, we have a short feed video that’s under a minute long.
- Secondly we have IGTV videos that are over a minute and up to an hour long.
- Thirdly we have instagram stories which are 15 second segments. You can post a longer video than this to your stories, but they’re designed really to be short form snippets in 15 second segments.
- The fourth videos are Instagram Reels. These are the newest and hottest type of content and be up to 15 second, 30 or even 60 seconds long, depending on your content.
- The 5th type of video for Instagram is Live video. Again this can be up to an hour long, where you go live to your audience on the Instagram platform and then have the option to save it to your Instagram account when you’ve finished.
So we’ve got feed, IGTV, stories, Reels and Lives to think about when posting videos on Instagram
Let’s take a look where they live and how you access them …
Take a look at the main profile on your Instagram account. Running across the top of your grid is a bar with different icons on. Here you have the option to swap between the different types of content that you create for your Instagram account. We’re interested in the first 3.
The first one (grid icon) is where you can see your feed with all of your posts, both images and the all of 5 types of Instagram video mentioned. Everything lives on your feed, unless you specify you don’t want it there.
Next is your Reels tab. Only your reels live here, whether they are 15, 30 or 60 seconds long that doesn’t matter. They live on your feed if you want them to but in this tab, Reels only.
The next tab is where 3 other types video content that you create is housed, that’s your short feed videos, IGTV videos and lives. Instagram used to show IGTV here separately as a stand alone section and that may still show currently on your account with the IGTV symbol, (mine changed then changed back again in a week), but as with anything, they’re always testing and changing it up. It will continue to do so as they’ve recently announced that the Instagram platform will be leaning heavily towards video content so I’m sure there’ll be changes afoot.
Then finally, we have Instagram stories and they are shown from your profile picture in the top left hand corner. They’re posted from here (or the + sign in top right) and live in your story section for 24 hours only. They then disappear, unless you save them to your highlights which are under your profile section, where they will stay permanently if you choose to, and I tell you how you can do that, shortly.
If you want to get started with video, download my free guide ’10 tips to filming like a pro with your smartphone’, which gives you tips on confidence, lighting audio and more, the link’s in the side bar ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️
How and when do we use these for posting videos on Instagram?
Firstly, your feed videos that are under a minute long. You upload them from the + in top right of your page and in the dropdown click the first option ‘post’. Anything you post here shows and lives on your feed, which you get to from the grid squares icon on the bar, across the top of your grid. It can be a video done in portrait or landscape mode and will show accordingly on your feed.
Then we have your IGTV videos that are over a minute long and less than an hour. If your IGTV videos are over 15 minutes, then you need to upload them from your desktop and not your phone as you can only upload a video up to 15 minutes from your phone.
To do that you click here and upload.
From your phone you click the + in the top right corner again, then the dropdown says IGTV. It will then only show you and allow you to post your videos over a minute long. A 15 second preview of this video is shown in your feed and it them allows the viewer to click through and watch it all.
Thirdly are your stories. You post them by again clicking the + in the top right corner of your page or by clicking your profile picture. Then, in the bottom left corner you have access to the media on your phone. You can add images or video to your stories and each story is 15 seconds long then it moves on to the next. You can post a video over 15 seconds long to stories and it will automatically segment it into 15 second story chunks.
Instagram Stories are designed for short form really and longer educational content is best suited for IGTV. Stories disappear after 24 hours unless you add them to your highlights that live under your profile and above your grid. You do that by clicking on your story, then click highlight and then add to the desired highlights you want to save to, one or more if relevant. You can add a new highlight, name it and adda picture.
These highlights are designed to tell a story when someone wanting to know more about you when they visit your profile. So use this section to help the viewer quickly get know you better, with relevant snapshots. Stories are a great way to get started with video as they are a low commitment option, being only 15 seconds long and aren’t permanent if you don’t want them to be.
Lastly are you Live videos. You have the option to go Live from the Instagram platform on your own, or with up to 3 other people. Some Instagram accounts allow you to go live from the + in top right hand corner (then the dropdown says Live) but mine doesn’t so I click stories, then at the bottom I hit ‘live’, then I click the live button. You have the option to add others to join you by tapping live at the bottom then searching for their username then tap ‘send request’.
Do you use the Instagram platform for video and if so, what do you use the most?
Posting videos on Instagram, how do we now use these in our marketing plan?
Feed videos – Use these as teasers, valuable nuggets or a short piece that speaks to your ideal person and is educational, inspirational, motivational, thought proving or entertaining (preferably a combination).
Reels videos – These are designed to give quick win value and entertainment to the viewer, in a quick summary form, i.e 3 tips to help you get confident on camera. This is a lean helpful video giving only skeleton information as it’s short, so you can go a bit deeper in your caption for your reels video, explaining more about the 3 tips or whatever you gave in the reel.
Then we come to IGTV videos. You could then take the same topic of the 3 tips from your Reel and go deeper than what you did in the reel. Explain more about the 3 tips and give a meatier explanation. You could then go onto give a full blown video like the one above, for YouTube. This YouTube video gives the what, why and how about the same subject. If you look at my Instagram account,HERE you’ll see I have an IGTV that does just this and leads the viewer to watch the full video on YouTube, being another touch point.
If you haven’t got over 10k followers, you don’t have the option to swipe up or direct link to another URL but you can use linktree for your Instagram bio and this allows you to post your latest YouTube video link in and the viewer can watch the video direct from your bio without leaving Instagram. And it’s free …
Stories next, they can talk briefly about other angles that you used in the reel. So if your Reel was 3 tips to get confident on camera, you’d maybe mention equipment or something like Instagram story filters to help. You can share recommendation or inspirational tips perhaps. Ask questions, add polls, it’s a great way to connect. You can also share your reel to your stories which would be a good follow on to get more eyeballs on it. Don’t presume that your viewer has seen all of your content posted. No matter how many followers you have, you can use the swipe up link feature from stories to your IGTV videos, and this allows the viewer to go direct to watch your IGTV video, allowing them to continue the journey with you. From your story there’s a link icon at the top and in there you can put the link to your IGTV video.
Live videos next. These are a great way to promote your offers and collaborate with other in a similar niche to help grow your audience. This really helps to get new audiences looking at you and your stuff as you’re borrowing other people’s audiences. You could bring on clients and students for social proof or other experts. Their audiences are notified that they are going live, which opens your video up to lots more potential views. You could even cover an event or give a demonstration on a live and you can currently add 3 other guests to be on with you.
Posting videos on Instagram are a fantastic way to synchronise your content and use as a carousel to send viewers to your other content. It’s a strategic and smart way to capture each viewers preferred viewing experience because not all people watch stories for instance. This allows you to have your own mini broadcasting channel, a super creative and effective way to get people to know, like and trust you then ultimate buy from you.
Head over to my Instagram account and you’ll see what I mean and don’t forget to grab your FREE download HERE, ’10 tips to filming like a pro with your smartphone’ to get started with video today!