mobile phone showing instagram app

Getting Video Right on Instagram

This blog post was born out of my own experience on posting videos to Instagram and having a few questions about how they were being displayed in the timeline. Instagram is a newer platform for us at NovaLoca which we are keen to make the most of as we know more people than ever are using mobile for property searches and advice. So, I thought I’d share the tips I discovered.

First of all I realised that working from a desktop for a lot of posts was not always going to work. As stated above of all the platforms we use it is the most mobile platform and I really need to be making use of the video tools available in the Instagram app. 

The top job I discovered that can only be done via mobile was ensuring I was displaying the right thumbnail for my video posts. The first 2 seconds of video are the most important and I wanted to alter mine to have more of a visual impact. Although you can not go back and edit existing posts you can set a particular image when you upload your video. So, upload the video, click the next button and from the bottom of the screen choose ‘Cover’. From the row of images at the bottom of the screen select the one you want to be the thumbnail. 

There are 3 types of videos for Instagram:

Main timeline posts. The size for these is 600 x 600 pixels. Which is not a standard size and not one used on other platforms. I have found my best approach is to set up templates in Adobe After Effects for the various video sizes referred to below and then scale video accordingly. Of course it’s more straightforward if you are producing the video on the phone straight to upload.

Stories. These videos are in a vertical format at 1080 x1920, aspect 9:16. They disappear after 24 hours. Instagram considers them good for behind the scenes videos, as they are usually a bit more raw and fun. They are also good for teasing an upcoming post.

Reels are also portrait 9 x16 mode and can be between 3 to 30 sec. They are mobile created only and allow more editing than stories.

You can tag people in a photo or video by typing @ followed by their username.

It is possible to link through to a Youtube channel if your video is longer than 60 seconds and can’t be uploaded. However you only get the option to a link with over 10,000 followers. What you can do however is create a story post advertising the fact you have a new youtube post up 

To help you keep track of how your video posts are performing there is a Professional Dashboard for business accounts found underneath your profile name on your homepage when viewed on mobile. It shows you your audience demographics, when they’re online and what they’re clicking on. It also offers you some more video tips so it is definitely worth checking out.