Social Media

Explained: Instagram’s Various Video Codecs

Instagram, which was once primarily known as a place to share photographs, has recently seen a surge in the popularity of video posts. Today, businesses can use any one of Instagram’s four video formats—Stories, Instagram Video, Instagram Live, or Reels—to connect with users in meaningful ways. Formerly known as IGTV, feed videos are now a part of Instagram Video.

With an expected 1.2 billion users by 2023, Instagram is the social media platform of choice for many content creators working in visual mediums. The use of video on Instagram enables you to do a number of things that make it a powerful tool for both organic and paid campaigns:

Make your audience believe in you.
Activate your brand’s backstory to strengthen connections with customers.
Showcase your wares and demonstrate their usefulness.
Picking the right kind of video to share on Instagram is essential to having a fruitful experience with the platform. To learn more about the various Instagram video formats and how to implement them into your own brand’s strategy, check out our comprehensive guide.

Can You Name the Four Instagram Video Genres?

As we discussed, the four distinct Instagram video formats each have their own unique advantages for promoting your business’s products and services.

Instagram Story

In Instagram, “Stories” are 15-second clips that vanish after 24 hours. In contrast to the more polished in-feed or IGTV marketing videos, ephemeral content has become a popular way to showcase raw, casual, and quirky content. Instagram Stories have a less polished, more genuine vibe.

Instagram Stories can be no longer than 15 seconds. However, you can construct a slideshow narrative out of a series of Stories. It takes 7 seconds for a photo to appear in a Story.

It doesn’t matter how many Stories a brand posts, they can post as many as they want. Stories, like regular TikTok videos, play vertically, filling the entire mobile display. Stickers, text, and emojis are available for use in enhancing your Stories.

The transient nature of Stories makes them an effective tool for capturing users’ attention and raising brand recognition. This structure plays on people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) because they want to watch the video before it’s taken down.

Videos on Instagram

This format, which debuted in 2021, combines elements of IGTV and in-feed videos. You can upload these videos in the same way as IGTV videos, by tapping the plus sign in the upper right corner of the app, but they can be up to an hour long. Filters, geotagging, and trimming are just some of the new features available. Instagram now has a dedicated video section for displaying such content.

If you want people to watch your whole video when it pops up in their feed as they scroll, you need to make sure the first few seconds are engaging.

To give viewers a taste of your longer videos, you can create 60-second trailers.

Instagram Live

Through Instagram Live, you can transmit live video to your fans and viewers. Your audience can either tune in live or watch it later in the form of a Story.

There are a lot of potential pitfalls when broadcasting live, so it takes guts to do it. Live video, however, is a highly engaging format that allows you to be more “authentic” and “in the moment,” so it’s worth a shot if you’re considering it. You can give customers a glimpse of your brand from angles they’ve never seen before.

Ideal for showcasing a “day in the life” of your brand or workforce, event coverage, demos, tours, and more. Live videos can be made interactive by allowing viewers to ask questions or provide comments in real time.

Prepare for your live video thoroughly, but avoid making it too scripted. A stable, high-quality internet connection is essential if you want your broadcast to reach its full potential. In addition, before going live, be sure you have a solid storyline planned out. Include a story in your live video to captivate your audience and turn them into paying customers.

And if something goes wrong on the day of the show, just make it part of the show’s authentic feel.

Reels from Instagram

Instagram has introduced a new feature called Reels, which is essentially a copy of the popular TikTok vertical video format. Videos on Instagram, in contrast to those on TikTok, are full screen and portrait-oriented.

Multi-clip videos (called reels) typically range in length from 15-30 seconds. As they have augmented reality filters, timed text, and a green screen mode, they are great for showcasing content that makes use of effects and music.

Viewers can find your Reels in the “Reels” section of your profile, or they can look for them in the Explore section of their Instagram feed. Younger users, such as Millennials and members of Generation Z, love reels. The marketing value of this is that people can find your Reels even if they don’t follow you on Instagram.

It’s tempting to use your existing TikTok videos directly in your Reels. Keep in mind, though, that your Instagram followers are probably older than your TikTok ones.

Reels can be used to highlight interesting facets of a brand’s character and can be tagged with hashtags and products. Users tend to view content posted to Reels as more “authentic” than that posted by professional video companies.