Video content has revolutionized the digital landscape, making a significant impact even on Instagram, a platform once dominated by photos. Integrating Instagram video, especially Reels, into your brand's content strategy is no longer just an option – it's a necessity.
The rising popularity of lo-fi video content is a game-changer, creating a unique opportunity for brands. Now more than ever, audiences are connecting with simple, authentic videos, allowing you to invest less time and fewer resources – yes, save that budget! – while still making a significant impact. With minimal equipment, you can create content that truly resonates with your target demographic. To elevate your brand's presence on Instagram, we're diving into strategies for scaling your video production. Discover how to leverage the power of Instagram videos to expand your reach, boost engagement, and achieve remarkable success.
Our ultimate guide to Instagram video covers:
You might want to download Instagram videos for several reasons. One, it’s a great way to source inspiration in one location — whether this is to share with your boss who doesn’t want to open an overwhelming number of links or to include in a report (it’s much more fluid for a video to autoplay than take your audience out of your deck with a link). Two, you might want to repurpose UGC content to share with your own branded elements on different social platforms.
Unfortunately, you cannot save Instagram videos directly from the native app — however, several third-party websites can help you download videos from Instagram straight to your device.
Regardless of your reason, here’s how to download an Instagram video to your mobile device or desktop.
Downloading Instagram videos from your mobile device is relatively simple but requires using a third-party website. If you’re up for that, here’s how to download a video from the Instagram app to your iPhone or Android device.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind slight quality degradation, you could take a screen recording of the video you wish to download.
To download a video from your mobile device directly from the Instagram app to your desktop:
Saving Instagram videos directly to the app versus downloading them to your phone is simple. To save a video to Instagram:
Instagram has gone through quite a journey with video — first, with IGTV, which shut down in March 2022, and now, with its focus on Reels and engaging short-form video content.
However, there are several options beyond just Reels. Here are the different types of video content brands are considering for posting on Instagram, along with their ideal specifications.
Let’s get Instagram Reels out of the way first. Instagram Reels are a powerful way to reach users and boost engagement with lo-fi, organic-feeling content. This content appears in both the Explore, Reels and native feed (this comes after Instagram phased out separate video publishing in July 2022). Although you can trim hi-fi content to use in Reels, marketing and video teams can save time and resources by tapping into video content filmed with phones and minimal editing.
Additionally, our social media benchmarks reveal an intriguing trend: larger brands posting double the content weekly compared to their growing or established counterparts are notching higher Entertainment Scores. This uptick in engagement is particularly noticeable in brands with a robust visual content strategy.
Livestreams are videos made when you or someone on your team decides to go live. Often, you can tease your audience and share when you’re going live and why they should tune in — this could be for a Q&A with a brand ambassador, a feature with the CEO or a live tutorial. Livestreams can be a great way to attract new users and connect with your audience in real-time.
Instagram stories are a great way to encourage video engagement and communicate with your audience via polls, Q&As, countdowns and other interactive elements, like stickers. While Instagram stories expire from the top of the app after 24 hours, they can be added to highlights in your profile — use this opportunity to boost your brand awareness and identity. Start a series and categorize past polls, Q&As and more so your audience can watch again.
Reels and Stories are a great way to boost organic engagement, but if your brand has budgeted paid ads for social media, video ads on Instagram might be an excellent fit for your strategy. Brands can create the following types of Instagram video ads:
The best size for these depends on your ideal ad placement — here are the best sizes for Instagram video ads:
Creating captivating video content on Instagram that captures wide attention starts with optimization. But what exactly does it mean to optimize your Instagram video content? Let's delve into some key strategies to effectively enhance your video presence on Instagram.
Your content team probably uses specific keywords to improve your website's search rankings. These same practices, especially the strategic use of optimal keywords, can also significantly benefit your Instagram videos. To discover the best keywords to use in your Instagram video content, first, look at what terms competitors use in video titles, captions, hashtags and even text overlays in a video itself. This step could also take place during your competitor analysis or even during your social media audit.
Now that you’ve identified which terms to include in your video, it’s time to implement them. Keywords are one vital aspect of creating SEO-friendly content — here are some other search engine optimization (SEO) considerations to keep in mind when creating SEO-friendly content:
Understanding the Instagram Reels algorithm and the general Instagram algorithm is paramount to finding success and boosting your presence on Instagram. By understanding which factors the algorithm uses to feature your content on the Explore page, you can craft your content with these factors in mind to increase your chances of being noticed by your target audience.
Beyond content optimization, there are additional crucial steps brands should consider when prioritizing Instagram engagement growth.
Incorporating UGC video into your Instagram content is a great way to nurture relationships and identify potential creators for collaborating or Instagram influencer trends to use. Repurpose UGC by sharing it on Stories and Reels to build connections and reach new users. To further optimize your content, tag the original creator in a Collab Post so they appear as a co-author. The post will also appear on their feed and profile — especially useful to gain more followers on Instagram if the original creator has significantly more than you.
Engaging with your Instagram community is a great way to encourage engagement. If you’re new to Instagram or your brand is new or less recognizable, this is a great way to generate brand awareness and establish your brand voice.
Sharing Instagram Stories presents an easy way to connect with your audience. Stories let you add interactive elements to your posts, like polls and Q&As, that users can quickly interact with. This is often easier and more timely than writing a comment, so your Stories can earn more engagement.
Conducting an Instagram competitive analysis is a great way to benchmark your performance against competitors to help you set goals. A competitive analysis also helps your team identify gaps in your content, where your competition finds success and more insights to help you tweak your strategy accordingly.
Understanding your Instagram video performance metrics is also invaluable to improving your strategy. Teams can use data to refine their social media strategy, uncover opportunities and improve engagement. Here are some common Instagram metrics and how to use them to refine your tactics and strategy.
Brands are embracing the versatility of video on Instagram in many creative ways. Let's explore a few standout examples of how successful brands skillfully weave video into their Instagram content strategy.
The Gagosian Gallery uses a timelapse video to demonstrate an art installation at their gallery. This gives their audience a behind-the-scenes look at an installation process, generates interest in an upcoming feature exhibit and provides education for viewers.
IGK Hair uses beauty and fashion influencer Hayley Bui (@hayley_bui) to promote their at-home hair coloring kits with a tutorial Reel. This tactic helps educate their audience on how to use a new product and helps expand their reach by exposing their brand and product to Hayley’s followers.
Outdoor Voices adopts a unique approach, crafting a compelling video montage from past events to promote their annual Tiny Turkey Trot. Their engaging caption not only includes a call-to-action inviting viewers to sign up via the link in bio but also effectively highlights the brand's core values: staying active, embracing participation, and embodying the spirit of #DoingThings.
A vital part of a robust Instagram video strategy is understanding competitors and which content your audience prefers. Social media teams can use Competitive Insights and Benchmarking to benchmark your competition against competitors and identify video trends and custom metrics so you can focus on what matters most to your team.
To understand your audience better, Social Listening helps your team identify how your audience talks about your brand, products and competitors. Social listening also helps your team determine which themes resonate with your audience the most — Where are they talking about your brand? How are they talking about you? Which memes do they search for? This is a small selection of questions social listening can help your team answer, which can inform what you include in your Reels content.
You can save Instagram videos by selecting the ‘bookmark’ icon, typically featured to the right of the Reel.
An Instagram Reel can be up to 90 seconds, a Story can be up to 60 seconds long, and an Instagram live session can be up to four hours.
To see who viewed your Stories, simply scroll up on the video — this produces a list of viewers. However, you can’t currently see who viewed your Reels. You can use social analytics or native insights on the app to see how many people viewed your Reel.