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Instagram for Business Instagram Video

The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Video for Businesses in 2020

by Mitt Ray on October 02, 2020

There are over 25 million business accounts on Instagram. As it’s one of the most popular social networks with over a billion users. A lot of your competitors’ are using it to try and reach the same audience.

Would you like to try something different that will help you stand out from the competition and reach more people?

The answer is to create more Instagram video posts. As found by this study from quintly, only 18% of posts are videos

Instagram Study quintly

But they drive 49% more interactions than image posts.

comparison of the post type interaction

Also, as found by this study from Wibbitz, 31% of people who watch a video ad go ahead and make a purchase.

are instagram ads successful

Therefore, if you create more Instagram video posts, you will stand out and drive more engagement and sales.

But you need to create the right video content. To help you get this correct quickly I have written this guide. Check it out...

The 3 types of Instagram video posts you can create

There are 3 types of Instagram video posts you can publish. Each of them functions differently. Here’s more information about all of them...

In-feed video posts:

In-feed videos are the video posts you see in your feed. These videos can be up to 60 seconds long. But you can upload carousel/slideshow posts. To these, you can add up to 10 videos as slides. Each one can be 60 seconds long.

You can also combine photos and videos in carousel posts. A few slides can have photos while the rest can be videos.

An example is this video post from Patagonia.


This is just one way to use it. You can use in-feed videos to promote your business on Instagram in various ways. They can be used to just nurture your followers or to directly sell to them.


You can also share Instagram video stories. These can only be 15 seconds long. But you can create carousel stories with several slides. There’s no limit on the number of slides you can use in a video story.


Here’s a slideshow from Food Network with several slides.

add instagram stories to highlights

The videos need to have an aspect ratio of 9:16. The recommended size is 1020 X 1920 pixels.

Instagram stories will last only 24 hours. After that, they will be moved into the Instagram archive. You can always restore these videos and pin them on your profile as a highlight.

The above video was actually highlighted.

how to create instagram highlights

You can see it if you visit Food Network’s profile.


Just like video stories, IGTV videos also need to have an aspect ratio of 9:16. The recommended size is the same as the one for stories (1020 X 1920 pixels).

But these videos can be up to 60 minutes long.

So, if you want to upload one long video, you should take advantage of IGTV as Nat Geo does.

example of IGTV post

9 tips for creating better Instagram videos

Here some of my top tips for creating better Instagram videos...

Keep them short

It might seem like the 60 second time limit offered by Instagram is very restrictive. But it is plenty. As a report from Hubspot found that videos that are only 26 seconds long drive the most engagement.

instagram optimal video length

So, create shorter videos that are less than 30 seconds long. Don’t try to fill up the entire 60 seconds unless you really have to.

A good example is this video from Notebook Therapy.

It is only 22 seconds long. This is around the length that drives the most engagement.

You can actually try creating videos of different lengths and then use insights to analyze your Instagram engagement metrics. This will give you a better idea about what video length works best.

Create more educative content:

The study from Wibbitz that I mentioned in the opening paragraph also found that the type of videos that people want to see most are educative content. The top 6 types of videos they wanted to see were how-to tutorials, behind the scenes, interviews, news coverage, creative inspiration, and motivational posts.

best video content for instagram

So, create educative video content. Try to create more how-to tutorials as it was voted the most popular form of content by 80% of survey participants.

The videos don’t have to be purely educational. You can add your products to the video and promote them along with educating your audience as Dreyer’s did here.

They share a how-to video recipe, but at the same time, they promote their ice cream.

Add subtitles:

According to a study from Verizon Media and Publicis Media, 69% of people watch videos in mute in public places. It’s 25% in private places. This is why you should optimize your videos for silent viewing.

One way to do this is by adding subtitles. As the same study found that 80% of people are more likely to watch a video to completion when captions are available.

To quickly add subtitles to your Instagram videos, you can use Screencast-O-Matic’s video editor. It will automatically convert speech to subtitles and place them on the video.

Video making software

You can use this video editor to also place several other overlays that get the important elements in the video to stand out.

Use thumbnails:

By default, Instagram videos will autoplay for most users. But users have the option to turn off autoplay while on mobile data. These people will instead see a thumbnail.

This is why you should add an enticing thumbnail that gets users to click on the play button. The easiest way to do this is by placing the video headline on the thumbnail.

Don’t try to add too many words here as the less information will get them more curious. They need to press the play button to learn the rest.

Also, when you include less information you will make your videos Instagram ad friendly. This is because when your thumbnails contain more than 20% text, Instagram will limit the reach of the ad.

Here’s a great example of a video with a thumbnail from Alpro.

It’s got very little text that attracts attention and gets people to click on the play button. You can easily create something like this with a tool such as Stencil.

Brand the videos with your logo:

Content theft is a common problem on Instagram and other social media. One way to prevent people from stealing your content is by branding it with your logo.

If they still steal your video and reuse it, your logo will show people who created it. It will help promote your brand even more.

You can use the same logo you have on your website, but I recommend that you create a white or black version of your logo for your videos. This is because it won’t stand out like a colorful logo and grab attention from the important bits.

You can use a free logo maker to create these logos.

logo making software

Optimize for mobile:

A lot of people will be watching your videos on a mobile device. So, make sure your videos are optimized for mobile too. All the contents of the video including the logo and subtitles should be easily viewable.

You can do this by publishing the video on a test account to see how it looks. If you are looking to drive traffic and sales with this video, you should make sure the rest of the funnel is optimized for mobile too.

Create custom audiences:

To run successful ads you need to have a warm up phase where you nurture your followers with free content.

You don’t have to worry about this too much if you are regularly sharing video content on Instagram. As you can make custom audiences from the views your videos get and then retarget the people who watched your videos.

As they have viewed your organic content in the past, they will be more likely to view your ads and convert to sales.

Tag products:

If you want to drive more traffic to your ecommerce store through Instagram videos, you should be tagging products in them. Usually, when you promote products with Instagram, you add the link to the landing page in the bio and ask people to click on it and visit the page.

But most of the top e-commerce platforms offer an Instagram integration that lets you tag products in your ecommerce store in your videos.

People can click on the products and visit the landing page. They don’t need to go round and round your video and profile to find the product.

Here’s an example of a video with products tagged from theearthlingco.

tagging products on instagram videoWhen you click on the bag icon, all the products tagged in it will appear and you can click on them and check them out.


Accompany with strong captions:

The video is probably the most important component of the post, but the caption plays a vital role too. As many people will read the caption after watching the video. So, make sure you write a good caption with persuasive text.

If your aim is to drive engagement you can write something witty. While if you want to generate sales, you should write a very enticing product description. You can use some of the copy on your website itself.


As you can see there are several types of videos you can create on Instagram and there are a lot of tactics you can use to get them to stand out. So, spend some time coming up with a content plan and decide on what types of video posts you will be creating and how often. After that, you can use the tactics and examples shared above to create better videos.

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