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Instagram Video Strategy & Instagram Video Size Guide

Instagram Video Strategy Guide – Leverage video to grow your Instagram in 2020

Being on Instagram to promote your Company Brand or Personal Brand is a no-brainer. You have to focus on Instagram if you intend to leverage Social Media for business or to connect with your relevant audience.

Instagram gives you different content formats to engage with your audience – Static feed posts, Video feed posts, Instagram Stories, IGTV videos, and the latest one – Reels. That is why having the right Instagram Video Strategy is so important.

I have said it before and would reiterate – having video as a part of your marketing strategy is critical for the future and even today.

With multiple ways to upload your videos, Instagram is a platform that provides immense flexibility in terms of how you can use video content to enhance your Instagram marketing strategy.

This has been hugely advantageous for small businesses by making video marketing super accessible for them, in the form of Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, and Reels.

Would prefer listening to this topic as a Podcast? Play it below:

Video gives you the ability to share intricate, detailed stories that is difficult to tell in a single image.

No matter what your objective is – whether it is building awareness around your campaign, promoting your products, or educating your audience –  videos offer a lot more scope to storytelling than single images do.

The best part that requires a special highlight is that these Instagram videos can be anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds long, and can be uploaded directly from your phone.

But, simply uploading a video will not translate into success on Instagram.

Instagram video strategy
You need a thought-through Instagram Video Strategy

There’s more that goes into it in terms of Strategy, just like the YouTube video strategy I wrote about in my last blog post.

That’s where where I felt I could come and help!

I have put together this blog post to share the learnings I have got over years working with various brands and in the present growing Young Urban Project.

I have done a lot of trial and error and I hope following these learnings will save you time and trouble of doing the same.

I have been extremely passionate about the potential of online videos and have been advising all creators, marketers, and entrepreneurs to learn the skill of Video Making & Marketing as quickly as they can.

Below are some suggestions that you can start using to include performance-oriented videos in your Instagram Content.

Steps to make a High-Impact Instagram Video Strategy:

Set Laser-Focused Goals

I said this in my guide to write blogs and I am saying this again:

Plan… Plan… Plan!!

While making a 60-second video for your Instagram Feed might sound like a piece of cake, trust me when I say that it is a huge challenge to tell a compelling story within a short span of 1 minute.

This is why you should sit and write down the clear goal this video is supposed to achieve.

I am mentioning a few goals below:

  • Announce a new product/service
  • Educate about a specific topic
  • Provide an update about yourself
  • Create intrigue about something you are working on
  • Share an experience you had

Once you have decided on the goal of your next video, write down a few points (on your phone or a writing pad) so that you do not miss out on anything important.

This will help you to be specific and will ensure that the one-minute video conveys what you want to.

If you are going for longer duration IGTV videos in your Instagram Video Strategy, it’s more important to plan your talking points so that you can keep the viewers retained on your video.

Also, the specific goal you set will be the foundation of deciding further. The tone and feel of your video will depend on what you hope to achieve by posting it.

Tell a Story, Don’t Sell

A well-communicated story never fails to catch attention. But telling this story in a one-minute video or a 4-5 minute IGTV video is where your creativity will be put to a real test.

It’s imperative to use each second optimally. To best manage your time, it’s advisable to divide your story into three parts—

  • The beginning or the Hook
    in the first 5 seconds of your video, say something that is startling or very intriguing. This will make people want to stick around and watch more. This is a very important part of online videos where people have no patience and are just scrolling by.  
  • The middle
    This is where the main content of your video comes. Use it for explanations, demonstrations – basically, the meaty stuff.
  • The end
    This is where you give a closure, summarize your video, or give them something to look forward to. This is also where you include a Call to Action.

Next, plan on how long you want each segment to be.

A thing you might have noticed but is now critical is that Instagram videos begin playing automatically as users scroll their feeds, so the start of your video (the Hook) needs to be thumb-stopping.

Once the beginning of your video stands out there’s a higher chance that the viewer will see it till the end being drawn into the story.

Giving your video a structure (the hook, the middle, and the end) will ensure you better story-telling.

I am all in for impromptu videos that are raw and authentic. But not everyone has the gift of natural storytelling.

For those who don’t, the planning and the structure is the advantage and you must use it.

If you randomly start talking on a video, especially if you are selling something through your content, it might not ease your viewers to a point where they’ll be okay with you making a sales pitch.

But if you have a meticulous script that is structured to take your viewers on a story-telling journey with them, you will be able to smoothly slip in your sales pitch after helping them identify their problems and after showing how you can solve those problems.

Hence, tell, don’t sell.

Include a Call-to-Action      

The segment at the end of your video should include a definitive Call to action. If you want your viewers to do something they need to be specifically told so.

Instagram Videos Call to Action CTA
Don’t forget the CTA

Here are some examples of good CTAs:

  • Click on the link in my Bio to….
  • Click on the link in my IGTV description to…
  • If you want to learn more, click on the link in bio..
  • Did you find this valuable? Let me know in comments
  • If you want me to put more videos on this, let me know in comments
  • What other topics do you want me to talk about in my next videos? Tell me in comments.
  • If you are new here and are interested in [your area of expertise], follow me on Instagram as I put out daily posts on this.

Add Subtitles or On Screen Captions

Did you know that 92% of people watch online videos on the phone while it is in silent mode? (Verizon and Publicis Report, 2019).

If your online videos have a talking script without which your videos cannot be understood, it is important to add subtitles or captions to your videos.

You can use mobile apps like InShot on phone to manually add subtitles to your videos.

While making your Instagram Video Strategy, remember that Instagram videos play silently unless the viewer taps the video to turn on the sound. So your video needs to grab the viewer’s attention in the first few seconds even if it is muted.

Hence it definitely is a good idea to use on-screen captions or subtitles.

Lighting your video

This isn’t a make or break for your videos in my opinion, but any YouTuber or Video marketer would say lighting is extremely important. They spend lacs of Rupees (thousands of Dollars) on lights.

While you can shoot your video anywhere, as long as your content is strong, having optimal lighting improves the quality greatly and saves a lot of time on editing later.

Good lighting also makes the video look professional and makes watching them a pleasant experience. This is specifically important in “talking head,” videos. This is the type of video in which a single person in a fixed location speaks directly into the camera (I put a lot of such videos on the Instagram Account of Young Urban Project).

If you can afford professional lights, ring lights etc, great.

But if you can’t, find a nice location with natural light coming in. It could be near a window. That’s what most starters in Instagram Video Strategy – Making and Marketing do.

video making lighting artificial natural
If you can’t get good Artificial lighting, just use Natural Lighting.

Try to avoid overhead lights as they don’t bring out the best features of your face mostly.

Get creative! If your current lighting setup is not very favorable, try to create better settings.

You can soften the light by using butter paper as a reflector (I do this all the time!).

You can also get innovative by blocking out unwanted light by using black plastic or black chart paper.

Pay Attention to the Sound

It’s a common saying that if your video quality isn’t great, but your audio quality is fine, people will forgive you for that. But no matter how great your video quality is, and your audio is terrible, people won’t watch your videos.

That is why you need to make sure that your videos have a nice sound.

You can use an inexpensive lavalier mic to connect with your phone or camera to record decent audio. You can get them off Amazon from Rs 500 – Rs 1000.

lavalier mic for phone video recording
Sound is very important for your videos

If you don’t want to invest right now, you can just make sure that you are recording your videos in a quiet room where there is no echo. That should take care of your audio quality in the beginning.

Guidelines for Instagram Video dimensions & Instagram Video Format

You can record your videos in portrait or landscape mode as long as you will adapt them to the permitted resolution.

Remember that as a part of your Instagram video strategy, your videos can’t be very long hence you will need to be selective with the shots you want to include in it.

The best way is to freeze upon your marketing goals in mind and decide what type of content you should create. This will include considering your brand image, aesthetic, products, and most importantly the story you want to tell in your video.

I am giving you all the technical guidelines that you require for making the right Instagram video strategy below:

Best Instagram Video Format that is permitted:

According to most creators, the best Instagram video format and an optimum Instagram strategy is as below:

  • MP4 format
  • H.264 Codec
  • AAC Audio
  • The frame rate of 30 fps

Don’t stress too much on this. If you are recording videos on your

 phone, that will be okay.

Best Instagram Video Size / resolution / aspect ratio:

  • Instagram Feed Video resolution
    • 1.91:1 (1080 x 608 px)
    • 4:5 (1080 x 1350 px) – this is the most optimum one according to me as it uses the canvas the best in portrait mode.
    • 1:1 (1080 x 1080 px)
  • IGTV / Instagram Live / Reels / Stories video resolution
    • 9:16 (1080 x 1920)

Types of Videos to Create Before You Upload Video to Instagram

Once you have zeroed in on your goal there are vast options of the type of Instagram videos you can post as a part of your Instagram Video Strategy.

Here’s a shortlist of suggestions of video types that you can make for your Instagram, no matter what niche you are in:

  • Explainer Videos: Pick up a specific topic and explain that topic in your video. Eg: “How to make Instagram posts using free tools”.
  • Listicles: You can list 5 or 7 ways to do something. “5 ways to grow your followers” or “7 ways to wear a saree”
  • Product-in-action videos: In these videos, you can show the working of a product. These are great for influencers who get products from brands to promote. Such videos show the real usage of products and are great to drive sales.
  • Sneak previews: If you are about to release a new product what better than a well crafted sneak preview. If so, announce the news with a teaser video that gives your followers a sneak peek at the new product you’re about to launch.
  • Behind-the-scenes: Behind-the-scenes (BTS) content is an amazing way to build a more personal relationship with your audience. To develop a more personal connection you can give your audience the backdoor. It adds a certain authenticity.
  • Screen Tutorials: These work very well if you are in the digital product niche or design, or code. These videos show a screen recording of you working with software and is a first-person experience for the viewer. Check out this video on my IGTV to see how it looks
  • Series: This is something interesting that IGTV offers that will keep your audience hooked on. You can add multiple videos under the same series. You could break up into episodes. This really helps to grow and engage your followers. If you manage to hit the right chord the audience will come to expect upcoming videos, they will keep returning to your account to watch your story unfold. This will be an awesome part of your Instagram Video Strategy.

While you are creative and spontaneous in your content, just remember that its always best to post a mix of content while keeping it aligned to your niche, brand tone, aesthetics, and your Instagram Video Strategy.

The content you put on your Instagram is what people will know you as, so make it a reflection of who you are.

Hope this was helpful for you and will help you leverage video for boosting the growth of your Instagram presence and your business. If you liked it, let me know in the comments. I love reading your comments.

If you want a more handheld approach to learn Video Making and Marketing for your business on not just your Instagram but all channels, I have put together a 24 lesson online Certification course called the V3M Course.

V3M stands for Video Making & Marketing Mastery and this course will teach you the inside out of Video Making & Marketing just using your Smartphone. 

This course also includes 5 practical real-life projects that you will be able to work on so that by the end of this course, you would have already made 5 professional-looking, high performing online videos for your own social media accounts.

To get Lifetime Access to the V3M Course, Click here !

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