Optimising Videos For Success On Instagram

Instagram has been pushing further into video market recently, with the launch of their YouTube competitor, Instagram TV.

IGTV allows you to upload videos longer than 1-minute to the platform, but only to the IGTV section.

Here are some best practices for uploading video to Instagram and IGTV.


When uploading directly to Instagram, your videos should be no longer than 1-minute, however, 30-seconds is the golden number for user engagement.

Videos should also be uploaded in a vertical aspect ratio or portrait. This makes your video take up the most screen real estate, keeping your video on a users screen for longer. This has been proven to increase user engagement.

Instagram auto-plays videos with no sound. To make your videos stand out and to share the contents of the video with viewers, make sure you include subtitles in your video. This shows the viewer what is being talked about in the video and can increase user engagement by 70%.

As with last weeks article on Facebook videos, you want to have an eye catching post that explains what your video is about in 1 or 2 sentences. Also include a question to get your audience engaging with you in the comments.

In terms of Hashtags, make sure they are all relevant to the video and the topic you are talking about! Include no more than 15 hashtags at the end of your post. It is also good practice to tag anyone involved with the video into the post i.e. Thanks to @IzakJackson for joining us today.

Finally, use the locations feature to tag the video into a specific area, this could be your office, or shopfront, or even the city you operate in. This will show it up in the feed for that locations.

Instagram TV

IGTV is for long-form content. If you have a small following, your maximum upload length is currently 15-minutes, but for accounts with larger numbers of followers, that upload limit is 1-hour.

As with the rest of Instagram, IGTV is optimised for portrait video, so make sure that the content you upload is in a 9x16 aspect ratio.

Content that would work best on IGTV is videos that are made specifically for that platform. While you can upload modified versions of your YouTube videos, it is recommended that you create videos specifically for IGTV. This is due to the vertical aspect ratio. Most videos are shot in Landscape, not portrait, so this will result in information being lost.

Make sure your title is short and to the point, going into more detail with your description.

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories can be no longer than 15-seconds in length. Your videos should be short and sweet. Do not chain together more than 3-5 videos to tell a story on your Instagram Stories. This will result in the viewer getting bored.

If you want to post more long from content to your Instagram stories, or highlights of your videos. I’d highly recommend downloading the CutStory app to cut your IGTV videos into 15 second chunks that can be uploaded to Instagram Stories.



If you follow these strategies, you will be setting your videos up for success on Instagram. Through optimising them to make the most of the platform, its features and the way people use it, you’ll increase your reach and user engagement.