Making your Instagram videos shine

Making your instagram videos shine title image

While it continues to cement its grip on social media users the world over, Instagram remains more relevant than ever in terms of how modern companies relate their brand to consumers. With a user base of over 400 million people, Instagram is still an invaluable resource if you want to boost your brand—if not the best means of social engagement out there.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that you are constantly competing for exposure on the platform—and for that reason, each post really needs to count. Quality content is the name of the game. Thankfully, video is one of the most popular content types on Instagram, and the app offers a number of straightforward tools that, if used well, can really make your content shine. Let’s look at some easy ways you can edit your Instagram videos to stand out from the crowd.

Keeping your message concise

Rupert filming on Santa Monica Pier in LA.

Instagram videos are currently only 15 seconds long (although that’s due to change soon), which could be interpreted in one of two ways. On the one hand, you could view it as a limitation that makes it difficult to say everything you need to say. On the other hand, this limitation is actually rather liberating: it forces you to produce concise content that communicates what you want to say in a way that is much broader than a 15-second window.

How can you go about doing this? Well, there’s a number of ways. Firstly, you need to think about how you are going to edit the video. If you try and fit in 5 or 6 shots into your video, the end result is going to have too many quick cuts for users to get the message. You therefore need to be economical with your cuts. Three five-second shots is probably the maximum if you want to include cuts: for example, the first shot could establish a common problem faced by people who don’t use your product, the second could show the product appearing as a solution, and the third could include the problem being solved through use of the product.

You could also consider using time-lapse videos. Instagram actually offer an app designed for this purpose, called Hyperlapse. Time lapse videos compress lots of still images taken over a long period of time into a sped-up video format which can tell a much longer story than a normal video. You could use time-lapse videos to demonstrate how your product works or to document your team working on the next big thing.

Use a series of videos to tell a story

A computer being used to edit a video.

One of the best things about Instagram’s newsfeed format is that it allows users and brands to tell stories across multiple posts. “As visual content on social networks has grown, so too has the emphasis on storytelling with pictures,” points out Kevan Lee of buffersocial.

15 seconds isn’t a long amount of time, but you could consider filming a longer video, editing it using 5-second or 15-second shots, and splitting them up into separate Instagram posts. You could then use the caption and hashtags to keep users guessing about what’s going to come next and designate one of the videos as the main post which will tell the whole story in short. This is one of the most popular and successful techniques for brands looking to increase their reach, as it allows you to build up a wider narrative on your followers’ feed and ensure they will be exposed to at least some of your content every time they scroll.

Tune in next time, where we’ll be discussing how you can cleverly use shots, filters, angles and lighting to produce beautiful Instagram videos—which will prove invaluable once Instagram finally ups the video length limit to 60 seconds.