How to Post a Video on Instagram (a Step-by-Step Instruction)
Instagram is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. Long gone are the days when it was simply a photo sharing app. With over 1 billion monthly active users and 100 million posts uploaded daily, now it’s one of the most popular social media – and marketing – platforms.
Video is an integral part of Instagram. Although videos might not get as many likes as pictures, they generate more comments than images do.
If you are just getting started and want to know how to post a video on Instagram, here’s our comprehensive step-by-step instruction.
Ways to post videos on Instagram
There are several ways how you can upload your video to Instagram. Depending on whether you made a video with your phone or created it with a 3rd party app like Wave.video, the procedure is going to be slightly different.
Post an in-feed video on Instagram
By “in-feed” video I mean a regular video that one can see when scrolling through the news feed. Here’s how you can upload a video to Instagram in-feed.
Step 1. Open Instagram
Open Instagram and click the + sign in the middle of the bottom menu.
Step 2. Switch to “Videos”
This will open up your phone’s media library. In order to switch to the folder with videos, tap the drop-down menu. Here’s where you can choose a video you want to post from your files.
Step 3. Choose a video
Here, choose a video that you want to post on Instagram. If the video isn’t square, you can use the arrow icon to adjust it to the screen. This way, it won’t get cropped to the square format by Instagram.
Step 4. Apply filters
When you post your video on Instagram, the platform offers you several video editing options. For instance, you can apply filters, trim your video, and choose a cover.
You can also combine several video clips into one, in case you want to make a longer video. The video clips will be “glued” into one video, playing one after another automatically.
Step 5. Write a great caption
On the last step, come up with a great description for your Instagram video. To make your video more discoverable, take advantage of the Location feature and hashtags in the description. This way, you give more people a chance to find the video you posted on Instagram.
You can also shoot a video right from within Instagram and post it directly to feed. In order to do it, after you open the app, click the + sign and switch to “Video”. This way, you can shoot the video “in real life” and share it with your audience right away.
Recommended video sizes for Instagram in-feed videos
Here are the standard formatting requirements for Instagram in-feed videos:
Instagram in-feed video specs
maximum of 60 seconds
maximum 1080px wide
MP4 (with H.264 Codec and AAC audio, 3,500 kbps video bitrate)
30fps or below
The process of posting a video to Instagram Stories is similar to that of in-feed, with a few differences.
Step 1. Head over to Instagram
Just like with in-feed videos, you want to start posting videos to Stories from within the Instagram app. Open the app and click the camera icon in the upper left corner.
Step 2. Choose a video
If you have a prerecorded video that you want to post on Instagram, swipe up and choose it from your media library. For easier access, switch to the folder “Videos” to locate your video.
If you don’t have a video ready, you can use the video-like options that Instagram offers:
- Live video
Step 3. Add stickers and GIFs
I love Instagram Stories for the ability to add engaging stickers, GIFs, polls, and other interactive elements to videos. This makes the video so much more compelling. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get an extra boost for your videos!
You can also just add some text to your video.
Step 4. Share with your audience
Once you are happy with your video, you can go ahead and share it with your audience. You have two options of how you can do it: either share with everyone or with close friends only. If you are a business account, it might definitely make sense to post a video on Instagram far and wide so that everyone can see it.
Recommended video sizes for Instagram Story videos
Here are the standard formatting requirements for Instagram Stories:
Instagram Stories video specs
1080 x 1920 pixels (or 9:16 aspect ratio)
maximum 15 seconds
try to stay under 15Mb
try to stay under 15Mb
IGTV is Instagram’s very own YouTube. It allows you to post longer videos, which is great for tutorials, explainer videos, demos, and other similar video types that require a longer format.
In order to upload a video to IGTV, you should first create a channel. Think of it as a regular TV: a channel is a place where your audience will go to view your video content.
Once you have a channel and want to know how to post a video on Instagram (IGTV), here’s a short guide.
How to post a video on IGTV from mobile
Step 1. Open the app and click the IGTV icon in the upper right corner.
Step 2. Click the + sign in the upper right corner.
This will open up the media library on your phone where you can choose a video to post on IGTV.
Step 3. Select a cover and add title/description.
To select a cover image, you can choose a frame from your video or an image from your camera roll.
How to post a video on IGTV from desktop
You can also post a video on Instagram IGTV, which is Instagram’s very own YouTube-like platform for sharing longer videos.
Step 1. Head over to your account
In order to post a video on IGTV, head over to https://instagram.com/your_account_name (for instance, mine would be https://instagram.com/zmirnofa) and switch to the tab “IGTV” in the menu above the feed pictures.
Step 2. Upload your video
From here, you can upload a video from your laptop or computer. Instagram recommends the following specs for an IGTV video:
Instagram IGTV video specs
The video must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.
Larger accounts and verified accounts are able to upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer.
1080 x 1920 pixels (or 9:16 aspect ratio). The minimum resolution is 720 px.
For videos that are 10 minutes or less: 650 MB max.
For videos up to 60 minutes: 3.6 GB max.
30fps or below
Step 3. Customize your video
When posting a video on Instagram IGTV, you can add a title and description to the video. You can also upload a video cover (or a “thumbnail“). The recommended size for the image is 492 x 762 pixels.
You can also choose whether or not to share a preview to feed. This is a great way to notify your followers you’ve posted a new IGTV video – or to let them know you have an IGTV channel, in the first place.
If you went a bit further with your creative skills and made an Instagram video with a 3rd party app like Wave.video, here’s how you can post it on Instagram.
Most video editing mobile applications allow saving the video directly to your media library. From there, you can easily upload it to your Instagram account following the steps I described above.
If you made a video using an online video maker and want to post it on Instagram, you’ll first have to transfer it to your mobile phone. To do that, you can use any file sharing program like Google Drive or Dropbox. Upload the video from your computer and then simply open it on your phone.
You can also transfer the video file from your computer to the phone using a chord.
Things to look out for when transferring a video from your computer to the phone
Sometimes when we shoot a video using a DSLR camera and I try to share it on Instagram, it just wouldn’t upload to my iPhone. This has to do with the video file format: iPhone is picky about the files it can read.
You can convert a video file to an iPhone-friendly format using tools like Handbrake. It’s free and can convert your videos to/from a whole bunch of formats.
On a side note, Android phones seem to handle most popular video formats without any problems.
Creating a compelling video for Instagram can do wonders when it comes to engagement on this social platform. But having a great video is not all there is to boost your Instagram video marketing. Here are a few tips that you can apply when posting a video on Instagram.
Tip 1. Only make your video as long as necessary
Even though Instagram allows posting videos up to 1 min to feed and up to 60 min to IGTV, it doesn’t mean your video has to be this long. The shorter your video is, the better. Only make it as long as it’s really necessary.
Tip 2. Choose the cover
When your audience is scrolling through the feed, the cover image is what will make your followers want to watch the full video. Having a powerful image is much more valuable than a blurry, awkward, or confusing image. Make sure you take advantage of this Instagram feature.
Tip 3. Make sure to add a title and description
Titles and descriptions are important when it comes to posting a video on Instagram. After all, it’s gradually turning from a strictly visual social network to an all-encompassing platform, where people also come to read stuff. Have you noticed those long-read people post as comments to their pictures?
It makes sense to add a title and description to your Instagram videos, too (whenever possible). Tell people what’s behind the video and why they should care. Make use of hashtags and the location feature.
Tip 4. Apply filters
Using filters for the videos you upload to Instagram can give your videos a branded look and make them look better. To stay consistent with your brand, apply Instagram filters on the videos you post.
Over to you
Have you posted a video on Instagram? What is your preferred method? Share in the comments below!