How to Use Instagram Video for Your Small Business

July 22, 2021

Videos on Instagram are one of the most effective ways for businesses to connect with customers. According to a study by the social media analytics company Quintly, video content receives 48 percent more engagement than images on Instagram.

Because video platforms like TikTok and YouTube continue to soar in popularity, it’s safe to predict that social media users’ interest in video content will continue growing as well. Although Instagram launched video sharing on its platform in 2013, many businesses and marketers are still not confident about using it.

As a small business owner, you can leverage Instagram videos to share your stories in a more engaging way and reach your audience faster. Whether your business is already on Instagram or you are new to video marketing, we’ll explain how to use Instagram’s power-punched video sharing features.

How many types of videos can you post on Instagram?

Instagram video is available in five formats: Reels, Live, IGTV, Stories, and in-feed video posts. Here's how you can utilize these formats to create engaging content for your brand.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are quick 15-second videos. Unless you post them as Highlights on your profile, the videos will disappear after 24 hours.

Creating Instagram Stories is fun and simple. You can make your Stories entertaining and engaging by using filters, emojis, text overlays, audio or music, hashtags, GIFs, or stickers, as well as tagging locations or people.

The dimensions for Instagram Stories are 1080 x 1920 pixels, and .Instagram allows an aspect ratio of 9:16. If you’re using pre-recorded videos, make sure they’re in GIF, MP4, or MOV format.

You can use Stories for sharing status updates, featuring new products, telling a story, asking questions, conducting polls and quizzes, or providing entertainment.

Whether marketers are trying to build brand awareness, drive traffic to pages and profiles, or sell on Instagram, Stories can make it possible.

Pro Tip: Use vertical images or videos in Stories, preferably shot in full screen so others can clearly see what’s in it.

Instagram Feed Video Posts

Feed videos are one of the earliest features launched by Instagram. These are similar to your normal posts, but rather than images, you publish videos with a caption. Feed videos can be 3 to 60 seconds long. You can tag locations, people, and products, and also add other filters.

You can utilize Facebook's Sound Collection for audio and music. The library gives access to custom music, sound effects, and tracks available in different genres.

Feed videos can be vertical, square, or horizontal with 1080 x 608 pixels or 1080 x 1350 pixels in dimensions. You can take the video right on the app or upload pre-recorded videos. And unlike Stories, Instagram feed videos don’t disappear.

Feed videos work great if your post content is about "how-to" or for product launches. See that the videos have a minimum aspect ratio of 1.91:1 with a maximum of 4:5. For the best experience, use landscape/horizontal videos in Feeds.

Pro Tip: Use up to 30 hashtags in captions to drive more views and engagement on Instagram.

Instagram Live

If you enjoy live streaming videos for your fans and followers, Instagram Live is the perfect choice for you. By using Instagram Live, you can broadcast video in real-time.

Previously, you could only stream with one other person, but as of March 2, 2021, you can add up to three people to the live room.

You can use this cool Live feature to co-create with other collaborators and artists and host interviews, Q&As, tutorials, or jam sessions.

Small businesses and influencers can earn money with Instagram Live by offering interactive features (e.g., shopping, fundraising) to their followers.

In the past, Live videos appeared temporarily and then disappeared, but that has changed. Now, users see a button that says, “Share to IGTV" after their live broadcast, which makes the videos available to viewers for 30 days. We highly recommend saving your Live videos to IGTV to fuel audience engagement on Instagram.


IGTV is a standalone video application that you can access directly on Instagram or through its own dedicated app. IGTV videos are considerably longer than those you see in Stories or Reels.

IGTV requires users to log in with an Instagram account. IGTV videos must be prerecorded and uploaded from the camera roll. On mobile devices, users are allowed to upload videos with a maximum duration of 15 minutes and a size of 650 MB.

On desktop platforms, however, you can upload videos as long as 60 minutes with a file size of up to 3.6 GB.

Make sure to tag products you want to sell, write a great caption, and add hashtags for driving maximum engagement.

And, as we discussed above, you can share your finished videos to IGTV.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a way to record and edit 15- to 30-second vertical, multi-clip videos. As with Stories, Reels allows you to add special effects and audio; use different types of stickers; and tag products, locations, and people.

With Instagram Reels, you're only limited by your own imagination. You can connect with your followers and show them specifics about your product by unboxing it, share behind-the-scenes drama to entertain, or publish short tutorials about specialties like culinary arts. Or, you can make dance clips, adorable pet videos, or sports videos ... with Reels, the possibilities are virtually endless.

For better discoverability of your Reels videos, we highly recommend using hashtags. Also, set your account to public or none of your content will be visible to others who are not yet in your circle.

Optimal size for Reels videos is 1080 x 1920 pixels with 9:16 aspect ratio.

Now that you have information about all types of video formats available on Instagram, go ahead and share some great videos with your followers.

What kind of content do you post on Instagram regularly, and which of the above formats do you like the best? Tell us in the comments ... we love hearing from you!

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