How to Film a Video Segment for Instagram

Social Media Marketing

Filming a video with Instagram can seem difficult, but with our step-by-step guide, we know you’ll be able to pick it up in no time. Take a look below to learn more about each video type, how to create each video type, and some details to take into account. 

Types of Instagram Videos

First things first—Instagram has several types of video options, all with their own purposes and limitations. Here is some quick information about each type of video you can post on Instagram:

  • Instagram Story: Quick and ephemeral video post
  • Live Video: Live stream where you can interact with followers
  • Instagram Video: 60-second permanent videos
  • IGTV: Longer content (up to an hour)

If at any point you need more detailed instructions, feel free to check out Instagram’s Help Center.

Instagram Story

Instagram Story is like the Snapchat equivalent of the Instagram world. Essentially, you film something quickly and it gets posted to your profile for 24 hours—then it disappears. 

These posts tend to be less produced and more in-the-moment, like advertising a sale or teasing a new product. However, Instagram stories can be an essential part of any Instagram business profile because they are excellent at increasing engagement. 

Quick Facts

  • Length cutoff is 15 seconds
  • If your video is longer, Instagram will automatically separate it into multiple 15-second clips

How to Share a Video to My Story

  1. Tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
  2. Tap the big white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video. To choose a photo or video from your phone's library or gallery, swipe up anywhere on the screen.
  3. Tap the icons at the top to draw, add text or a sticker to your photo or video. To remove text or a sticker, drag and drop it in the trash icon at the bottom of the screen.
  4. When you're ready to share, tap Your Story in the bottom left.


Live Video

Going live is part of the Instagram Story experience, but since it’s managed a bit different and has a different purpose, it needs its own section. 

Live videos disappear after you end the stream, but you can download them or share them to IGTV when you’re done if you want to keep them. 

Quick Facts

  • Length cutoff is 60 minutes
  • If your live stream is longer, you can simply start a new one right after the first one

How to Go Live

  1. Tap the camera icon in the top left of Feed or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
  2. At the bottom, scroll to the left until you see Live, then tap the white circle.
  3. The number of viewers appears at the top of the screen and comments appear at the bottom.
  4. You can add a comment by tapping Comment at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Tap a comment and tap Pin Comment to pin it so that viewers can see it more easily.
  6. When you're done, tap End in the top right then tap to confirm. From there, you can tap the arrow pointing down in the top left to save the live stream to your camera roll, or share it to IGTV.

More details on managing a Live Video here

Instagram Video

Instagram Video is the staple of video production on Instagram. Unlike stories and live streams, these videos stay on your profile permanently, becoming a lasting part of your profile.

Quick Facts

  • Length cutoff is 60 seconds and file size has to be less than 4GB
  • You can start and stop recording to create multiple clips

How to Share a Video on Instagram

  1. To upload a video or record a new one, first tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen
  2. To upload a video from your phone's library, tap Library (iPhone) or Gallery (Android) at the bottom of the screen and select the video you'd like to share.
  3. To record a video, tap Video at the bottom of the screen. Tap and hold the big white circle to start recording, and lift your finger to stop. You can tap and hold again to record multiple video clips and tap the arrow circle to switch between standard and front-facing cameras.
  4. Once you've recorded or uploaded a video, you can add a filter, a caption and your location before sharing.
  5. To record a video with multiple clips: Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen, then tap Video. Tap and hold the big white circle to begin recording. To take multiple clips for your video, lift your finger off the record button to pause. When you're ready to record your next clip, tap and hold the record button again.

IGTV

IGTV is like the YouTube section of Instagram. You can upload videos from your phone or a computer, and these videos become a permanent part of your profile as well.

With IGTV Preview, you can let your followers preview the first minute of your IGTV video. After that, they will be prompted to continue watching your full IGTV video.

Quick Facts

  • Length cutoff is 15 minutes if uploaded from a mobile device and 60 minutes if uploaded from the web

How to Share a Video to IGTV on the Instagram App

  1. Tap the plus sign at the bottom and choose the video you want to upload, then tap Next.
  2. Select Long Video to share a video that’s at least 60 seconds to IGTV.
  3. Videos shorter than 60 seconds can be shared to your feed and profile by selecting Short Video > Continue.
  4. Tap and slide the image at the bottom of the screen to select a cover image or tap the plus sign: Add from Camera Roll (iPhone) or Add from Gallery (Android). Tap Next.
  5. Add a title and description.
  6. If you’d like to add your video to an IGTV series, tap Add to Series. If this is your first time creating a series, you’ll need to create a series name.
  7. You can choose to post a preview of your video to Feed and your profile or share your video to a Facebook Page, then tap Post.

Some Details to Consider

Lighting

You don’t need professional lighting for your video to look good. Often the best advice is to stay away from overhead lighting (common in offices) and to try and find sunlight. 

If your office has big windows, try to stand near them and make sure the light shines on the subject you’re trying to capture. 

Steady Hands

Again, no need for a professional rig. Using your hands to film while moving should be fine as long as you try your best not to make sudden movements. For example, if you are panning a room, stand still and move your arms slowly to cover the whole room. 

Framing

Don’t make the common mistake of having your head at the bottom of the screen. Tilt your phone down so that the top of your head almost reaches the top of the screen. 

Apps That May Help

Video Editing Apps

If you plan on doing more video work, having a video editing app can be helpful. Free apps like InShot are popular and easy to use. 


Ideas for Content

Office Tour

One of the most common ideas for Instagram videos is the office tour. It’s an easy way to create content that also gives your followers a sense of who you are as a brand. 

There are two main ways to create an office tour:

With someone else as the tour guide

  1. Film an employee throughout the office space. As you record, they can speak a pre-written text about the office.
  2. As you move from room to room, just take your finger off the record button and Instagram will automatically put the clips together at the end.

Film yourself as the guide

  1. Here, you would film the office by yourself
  2. Do it just like you would as if you’re on Facetime with a friend. Switch back and forth between the front facing and forward facing camera, taking your time walking through the office.


Share Your Expertise

Educating your audience on how to use your products is a great way to build brand trust while creating original content. Tutorials are always enjoyable and they help people make a decision about which product to pick. 

Furthermore, you can always create content about your business as a whole: its mission, its growth, and other elements to your business that go beyond the product. This is a great way to showcase your brand and give it a personality. This content is also very flexible; you can use the interview format, a voiceover format, or even just text over video.

Share Your Day

What does a normal day look like for your business? Brands who seem impenetrable from the outside aren’t as likely to create fun personalities or inspire brand loyalty. 

From a content marketing perspective, showing your audience what your business looks like without all the frills associated with video production can be a great way to display honesty (which translates to your products) and a genial identity. 

For sharing your day, going live would be a great way to garner views, and you can always save the stream and post it to your profile later. 


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