How to Post a Video to Instagram in 5 Steps or Less

Social Media

10-07-2021

(Updated 06-07-2024)

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7 min

How to Post a Video to Instagram in 5 Steps or Less

The Video Advantage: Trends & Strategies for Content Marketers 2024

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. This ebook is designed to help you take advantage of the biggest content and video trends this year.

Discover now

In case you haven’t noticed in the last few years—sharing videos has become the key to Instagram success. While it may have started out as an image platform, video’s popularity on this platform is growing exponentially, and it’s no surprise.

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks ever, and that means marketers cannot afford to ignore it. Over a billion people every day use this platform, and it has serious marketing power — 50% of people have visited a website to purchase something they saw on Instagram.

Videos generate more engagement than photos, and they’ve become an essential part of building a brand community on Instagram.

But how exactly do you actually post a video to Instagram? Well, that depends what you want to do — you can post videos to your Instagram feed, to your Instagram Story, to Instagram Reels, or to IGTV.

For those of you who are still unsure about how to start an Instagram profile for your business, fret not. In this article, we’ll explain how to post photos from your smartphone, since that’s how most people use Instagram. But thanks to Facebook and Instagram’s Creator Studio, you can do all of these from your desktop, too.

Keep reading, and we’ll explain how to upload video to your Instagram feed, Stories, Reels, or IGTV. Let’s get started!

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How to post a video to Instagram feed

If a picture just doesn’t tell the whole story, you need to post a video to your Instagram feed. For all the popularity of Stories and Reels, posting video to your feed is still a great way to do some brand storytelling and engage with your followers.

Videos posted to your Instagram feed should follow these specs:

  • 1080 pixels x 1080-1920 pixels
  • Up to 60 seconds
  • 30 frames per second
  • MP4 or MOV
  • Up to 4GB file-size

Here’s how to create a great video for your Instagram feed.

1. Open up Instagram

You’ve done this before! Tap the IG icon on your homepage. Once you’re there, click the + symbol at the bottom of the screen to get ready to post.

2. Choose your video

At this point, you’ll want to choose uploading videos you’ve already filmed from your media library, or shoot a new one directly in-app.

Your library of content will appear as a grid, in the bottom half of your screen. You might also need to toggle over to your videos folder, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

To film a new video, click on the camera icon in the middle right edge of the screen.

3. Format your video

Depending on your video’s dimensions, you might want to resize so that it doesn’t display as a square. Click the double arrow icon in the left corner to do that.

If you shot your video in-app, it should be ready to go as-is. Then, click ‘next.’

4. Filter your video

If you’d like to, you can change up your video’s look using Instagram’s wide variety of filters.

They’re displayed underneath the preview of your video. Scroll through them and choose your fave! Filters can be a great way to adjust your video’s contrast, luminosity, add beautiful effects, and more.

5. Caption and share!

Now, your video is all ready to go! Come up with a descriptive caption that will entice readers to stick around and comment. Throw in some emoji for fun, as well as some hashtags so that your video reaches new people.

Then, hit ‘share’. You’re done! Your video is out in the world. Learn step by step how to share a video on Instagram.

How to post a video to Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are one of the most popular ways to use video on Instagram. These ephemeral videos disappear after 24 hours, and they’re fun and immersive for viewers to scroll through, since they’re displayed right at the top of the app.

Videos for Instagram Stories should follow these specs:

  • 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • 9:16 aspect ratio
  • MP4 or MOV video format
  • Up to 4 MB file-size
  • Up to 2 minutes

Here’s how to post your video.

1. Open Instagram

Again, open the IG app from the icon on your homepage.

This time, click on the camera in the top left of your homescreen, right above your user icon. You can also click the + icon again, then toggle over to ‘Story.’

2. Choose your video

Go ahead and start filming! Or, choose other video from your library that’s already uploaded to your phone. If you want to use a filter to give your Story some extra sparkle, you’ll need to swipe through and choose it before you start filming — they’re displayed on either side of the record button.

3. Jazz it up

Instagram offers so many fun ways to make your Stories beautiful, entertaining, and fun.

You can overlay your Story videos with text, GIFs, or stickers, and add interactive features like polls and question boxes.

The options to add these edits are along the top of your Story video, when you’re in the Preview page.

4. Share!

Once you’re happy with your creation, sharing it is easy! Simply click ‘Share To’ and then choose your audience.

How to post a video to Instagram Reels

Reels are Instagram’s response to TikTok. They’re hyper-entertaining, 15-second videos, with automatic playback, best set to music and dressed up with fun, aesthetic touches.

You can also choose to make your Reels public, and promote them to a wider audience through a special Reels section on the Explore page, bringing you more attention, engagement, and followers.

Videos for Instagram Reels should follow these specs:

  • 9:16 aspect ratio
  • 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • 4:5 text safe area
  • 30 frames per second

Here’s how to quickly and easily post to Instagram Reels.

1. Get ready

Start just as if you were about to post a Story. Open the camera from the top left corner of your screen, but this time, toggle over to Reels once you open it — the options are along the bottom of the camera.

2. Set the stage

Filming your Reel is similar to filming a Story, just with a few more options. Before you start filming, you’ll get things ready for how you want your Reel to look and sound.

Arranged vertically down the side of the screen are a few different icons. Use these to choose the music that will accompany your Reel, as well as a beautiful filter to set the mood.

You’ll also choose if you want your video to playback at slower or faster speed, like 0.5x or 2x.

3. Start filming

You can film your Reel just like you would a Story, by holding down the record button.

You can also set a timer, so that you can record hands-free, and choose how long you’d like it to automatically record for.

You also don’t need to record all in one go. If you’d like to, you can record a few different clips, either with the timer or by lifting and holding the record button.

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PlayPlay Pro Tip

You don’t need to record your Reel directly in-app. You can also use clips from your camera roll! This can be an especially good strategy if you want to patch together a Reel from many short clips taken over a period of time, like a mini-vlog.

4. Polish your Reel

Once you’re done filming, you have one more chance to adjust your videos before you share.

Along the top edge of the screen, you can add text and stickers, just like in Stories — but when you add them, you’ll be prompted to decide when and for how long they appear in your video.

You can also adjust the audio, so that the music you chose can be the only sound, or function more as a background.

5. Share!

Then, hit ‘next!’ You’ll be taken to the final sharing screen. In addition to writing your caption, you can choose a cover for your video, either from the Reel itself or from your camera roll (like a screenshot).

This is also when, if you have a public account, you can choose to have your Reel highlighted in IG’s special Explore section.

How to post a video to IGTV

IGTV is Instagram’s source for longer-form videos. You can download IGTV as its own app, but you can also access it directly through Instagram, so that’s the approach we’ll explain here.

Videos on IGTV can be up to an hour long for Instagram Business accounts, so it’s a great way to share videos that might otherwise be too long for social media.

Videos for IGTV should follow these specs:

  • Up to 15 minutes if posting from mobile
  • Up to 60 minutes if posting from web
  • MP4 format
  • 9:16 aspect ratio, or 16:9 if horizontal
  • 650 MB for videos under 10 minutes
  • 3.6 GB for video under 60 minutes

Here’s how to post a video to IGTV.

1. Choose your video

Once you open the IG app, navigate to your profile. Click the + icon in the top right corner, then choose IGTV from the menu that appears.

The app will display all your videos, but you’ll only be able to choose ones that are over a minute long.

Choose yours, then hit ‘next.’

2. Add a title and description

You’ll be prompted to choose a cover, either from your camera roll or the video itself.

Then in the next screen, you’ll choose a title and description for your video. You can also choose a 15-second segment to act as your video preview. You can also add your IGTV video to playlists, called ‘Series.’ If someone liked your video, this can be a good way to get them to come back and keep watching.

3. Share!

Go ahead and click ‘Post to IGTV.’ It’s that easy! Now your video is out in the world.

Instagram Video Success Tips

Whatever kind of video you’re posting to Instagram, there are a few rules of thumb to make sure it’s as great as it can possibly be.

Here are 4 rules to always follow when posting an Instagram video.

1. Keep it short

Don’t make your videos longer than they absolutely need to be to get your message across. Whenever you can, keep them to two minutes or less.

2. Focus on the cover

Your cover image is what will entice people to actually watch your Reel or IGTV. Choose a strong image and consider adding a text title overlay.

3. Don’t forget the caption

Adding text around your video as a title, caption, and description is your only chance to tell people what it’s about. A good caption can really pull readers in — don’t miss your chance to hook their interest!

4. Have fun with filters

You can go subtle or dramatic, silly or glamorous with Instagram filters. But no matter what, they’ll make your video more visually appealing. You can even try choosing one or two filters, then using them for all your videos to give your feed a branded, cohesive feel. Just make sure not to go too crazy. Going overboard on effects and filters can impact your final video quality.

Get posting!

There are more options than ever for video on Instagram. You’re sure to find one that suits your needs, whether it’s sharing videos to your feed, to Stories, to Reels, or to IGTV.

All of them are easy to use once you get the hang of it. So don’t wait — get out there and start posting video to Instagram today!

If you’re looking for a tool to make it even easier, try out PlayPlay! It’s the simplest Instagram video maker, designed for the needs of in-house marketing teams. With a library of easy drag-and-drop templates, making high-quality marketing videos is a snap.

Melissa Francois

Melissa Francois

Head of Global Content & Comms

With over 10 years of experience in the wild world of SaaS, Melissa cares about building great brand stories and driving community engagement through engaging content. Off the clock, she enjoys long walks and a pint in a cozy country pub.

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The Video Advantage: Trends & Strategies for Content Marketers 2024

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. This ebook is designed to help you take advantage of the biggest content and video trends this year.

Discover now

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