Top Four Tips to Upload Instagram Videos

A Video Marketing Guide for Instagram

Brand Consulting | Caron Modern Media By Caron Shahrestani
Director of Caron Modern Media

For businesses and brands, social media is a moving target.

Amidst digital distraction and information overload, consumers are constantly searching for simplicity. That goes double for smartphone applications. When an established social media platform like Facebook gets bogged down with ads or promotions, consumers pivot to content heavy apps like Instagram.

To stay competitive in Silicon Valley, FB made history and bought IG for $1 billion cash and stocks in 2012. Since then, Instagram has skyrocketed in popularity among personal and professional users. Born as a chronologically fed rainbow of still photos, it has matured into the power platform it is today. The key to IG’s success? Content updates like temporary “stories” and one-minute videos!

When Instagram introduced video in June 2013, users uploaded 5 MILLION VIDEOS in the first 24 hours. – Adweek

For larger brands and corporations, Instagram is the new YouTube for branded video content. With creative editing, captions and music, Instagram videos control message and call followers to action TWO TIMES more often than photos, according to Adweek.

Valuable Techniques for Uploading Video Content Correctly

For those who want to build an organic following on Instagram (e.g. zero advertising budget) video content is the most powerful tool available. If you’re planning to post high quality videos from a desktop or laptop to Instagram, consider our Top Four Tips!

TIP #1: Crop With Captions in Mind

Whether you shoot a video with a camera or a camera phone, cropping is one of the first editing tools to consider when uploading video content to Instagram. Before filters, covers and captions, the mobile app gives users the option to widen or tighten the frame. Located in the lower left corner of the screen upon initial upload, the cropping button toggles between two shapes: square and widescreen.

Cropping is particularly important for branded Instagram videos. While most videos edited with a computer program are widescreen (or rectangular), the Instagram default crop is square, which could castrate longer captions and titles. As is evident in the client example below, our Instagram video trailer for the SOUL Food Salon protein talk would have missed the mark in a square crop. Upload videos to Instagram easily.

TIP #2: Customize The Cover Photo

The cover photo (or thumbnail) directly impacts search results and engagement for Instagram videos. When users search for hashtags, results appear in a grid of square stills. In order to stand out from the IG crowd, even rectangular videos have to look good as photos.

During the video posting process, the cover photo can be customized by tapping the tab in the bottom right corner and scrolling through the footage for the ideal image. When possible, center your subject in the frame, versus to the far left or right.

Another factor for Instagram video cover photos is text. If you are posting an edited video with captions or a title, consider a still with text. This additional information will help Instagram users decide whether or not to tap, like or share your video! Uploading Instagram videos with ease!

TIP #3: Download Boomerang

To stay on the cutting edge of social media marketing, even the smallest businesses and brands must be open to experimentation. For professional Instagram accounts with a limited social media budget, the Boomerang app is worth the free download!

Launched by Instagram in 2015, Boomerang is a smartphone video maker that is ideal for organic campaigns. Using this app, brands and businesses can make viral five second videos without having to invest time in editing and posting.

Even without advertising dollars, Boomerang gets a lot of play because of its backer. As an algorithmically powerful company, Instagram puts constant support behind its features and ventures. Hence IG automatically promotes Boomerang videos more than other content! Upload short videos to the Instagram app.

TIP #4: Convert to MP4 or M4V

If there is one way to control the message and impact of your Instagram content, it's through edited videos. Unfortunately, the inherently mobile application does not make the task easy.

In order to correctly upload an edited video to Instagram, you must convert it to a format that is equivalent to a smartphone file. For video, this is limited to an MP4 or an M4V. The traditional video file (MOV) is not currently compatible with Instagram.

To save space on the mobile device used for posting, its best to convert the file on your computer with a default video program like Quicktime or iMovie. If the export window asks for a device type (iPhone or iPad2?) pick the largest screen option.

After converting the file, upload it to a cloud service (Google Drive or Dropbox) and download it to a smartphone for posting. While the Instagram app can be installed on larger mobile devices, they can only view, like and comment on posts. As of 2017, iPads and tablets cannot post content to Instagram. Convert to MP4 or M4V format.

What's Next?

We hope our Top Four Tips have whetted your appetite for uploading videos to Instagram! Using custom cropping, cover photos, third-party apps and the correct file conversions, anyone can boost their brand with edited Instagram videos.

Ready to take your social media campaign to the next level?

Hire us to make branded Instagram videos for your business! We provide complete video production, video editing and monthly video marketing services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out our price list to learn more! Bay Area video marketing services for small businesses!

Stand Out From the Crowd with Edited Instagram Videos

At Caron Modern Media, we love making videos for Instagram!

Through our social media marketing, we have come to specialize in one video type in particular: Instagram trailers for YouTube! In a minute or less, trailers give audiences enough action and info to spark an interest and leave them wanting more. Watch our SOUL Food Salon teaser video to see what we mean…

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