If you’re a business owner and you’re only posting to your Instagram feed, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity. But we get it – it’s incredibly overwhelming trying to figure out where to focus your energy when it comes to implementing an Instagram video strategy. Today, we’ll be breaking down the main types of Instagram videos: Reels, IGTV, Lives and Instagram Stories, what to post on each, and how you can utilise them holistically together in your strategy.
Make sure you stick around until the end, where we’ll be sharing a formula for creating strategic Instagram storyboards!
Types of Instagram videos
First off, let us get started on what are different types of Instagram videos that will make up your Instagram video strategy.
Instagram Stories are arguably one of the most popular parts of Instagram video, because people often opt to tap through their Stories versus scrolling through the feed, and that’s because they’re very conversational and relaxed and they’re very engaging, a great way to connect with brands through stickers and the reacting or replying options.
IGTV is Instagram’s long form video platform, kind of like YouTube, and this is where you can access longer form content that’s usually over two minutes long.
Instagram Live are also long form, but they are unedited and they’re also very interactive. Lives are great because you can also post them to IGTV, so two platforms in one, and they’re collaborative, so you can utilise features like live rooms for going live with other accounts.
And last is Reels, and this is for micro short-form video content that often has audio or music with it. Instagram Reels are the newest platform, so they’re really great for boosting your reach and engagement.
What do you post on each video form?
Instagram Stories comprises 15 second clips each, but there can be an unlimited amount of clips. And these can be boomerangs, graphics, photos, videos or ideally, a mix! You’ll also want to utilise other native editing features, such as adding text or stickers. This is really great for boosting your engagement on your Stories and making them more conversational.
While Stories only last 24 hours, you can save your best Instagram Stories to a highlight, which are little bubbles under your profile for all of your best content. Stories are also a really great place to promote your other types of videos. So you can use the countdown sticker for promoting your live streams, and you can share your IGTV and Reels that are shared to your feed right onto Stories for a 15-second preview.
Instagram Lives are really interactive, because you’re getting comments and questions during your live stream. We love three different types of live streaming content:
You can host a live question-and-answer session with your followers, and there’s a button right on your Instagram Live where they can submit questions. Or if you post the question to your Instagram Stories less than 24 hours before going live, you can actually collect all those questions and answer them live. It’ll also tell people that are tuning in and see that you’re live streaming and hosting a Q&A.
You also can do an interview or panel style Live by utilising live rooms. This allows you to add up to three guests onto your Live and collaborate with other accounts on Instagram! This is really great, because you’re going to leverage their audiences. It will notify both your followers and their followers, which is gonna mean more views on your Live! This is also a really great way if you’re just starting out with Lives, because you’re actually talking to people and not just to your phone.
And the last type of Instagram Live is using slides while you’re streaming. To utilise this feature when going live on Instagram, you don’t need to have a certain amount of followers or use a third-party tool. This is totally optional, but many businesses like to personally create their slides using a graphic design tool before going live. So if you decide that you want to use graphics, you’re gonna want to design those and save those to your phone close to when you’re going live, so you don’t have to scroll through your whole camera roll to find them.
Utilising live streams is a great idea, because not only are you doing Instagram Live, you’re also doing IGTV and having that go as a replay without having to edit another video. Speaking of Lives, you also can share your replays to IGTV!
IGTV is the perfect place for putting a long form type of content that you can’t fit into shorter videos. Also, with IGTV, you can organise your videos into a series! So you may want to think about how you can create content that can be organised to be binged video after video. We’ve found that the sweet spot on IGTV is sticking around the five minute mark, because people just have shorter attention spans on Instagram. Our advice is to stay between two to five minute videos, but if it goes over and it feels appropriate for your brand, then totally do it!
While you have the option to post either a vertical or horizontal video on IGTV, vertical really performs better on Instagram So
Reels if you’re repurposing, you’ll want to go through the extra steps to reformat your video for a vertical orientation.
So when it comes to utilising Reels in your strategy, you’re going to want to post either entertaining, educational, or inspirational content. (Read more on how to use Reels in your Instagram video strategy!)
For example, some can be utilising music and trending audio. Another can be filming different clips of you doing something. Or you can talk to the camera or utilise voiceovers when creating your Reels! When using Reels in your strategy, you want to consider the culture of the platform, which really relies on trending sounds and audios.
And so if you could make them appropriate for your brand, then you’re really gonna see the best results using this platform. Unlike the other forms of videos, Reels are looping when people watch it on their feed or on the Reels channel. So even though you have 15 to 60 seconds of video, you want to keep them as short as possible for the best results.
So now we’re sure you’re wondering,
How often should you post these types of videos?
Instagram really said that we should be posting an outrageous amount of content. More specifically seven Reels a week, and that’s not even including IGTV, Lives, or daily Stories! While this posting schedule might seem overwhelming if you’re just starting out on building an Instagram video strategy, we don’t want to let it discourage you from fully utilising all these different parts of the platform, ’cause that’s inherently what they’re getting at.
Generally, we suggest aiming to post three to five times a week on your feed and to do daily Stories. So here’s a way to break down your posting plan for utilising video. Part of it is going to be what is posted to the feed, which includes Reels, IGTV, and Lives, which turn into IGTV replays. And then you’ll also want to think of your Stories, which are best utilised when posted daily and multiple times throughout the day.
A bonus tip that will help you boost your retention on your Instagram Stories is Instagram storyboards! A storyboard is essentially a series of Instagram Stories slides that tell a story. So they have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and they aren’t random or sporadic. While daily Stories are usually a bit unplanned, strategic and curated storyboards are really great for adding even more value on Stories. This is a really great formula for your more curated Stories, like launches, mini trainings, or for demonstrating something.
First of all, you’re going to introduce yourself and/or the characters. Give a little bit of intrigue of why people should follow along to the story! And then you’re going to present the problem that needs solving, and you’re going to be offering a solution that’s gonna make life easier for them. Lastly, you’re going to end off your storyboard with a happy conclusion that’s gonna sum everything up and really give people the next steps and call to action. Is it to purchase something and make that next decision, or it could just mean to engage with you in a poll or ask some follow-up questions?
That was just an overview of all the types of Instagram videos to use in your Instagram video strategy, and if you want to learn more on how to create each and really leverage them for your business, stay tuned for more articles coming your way!