As a marketer, you've probably wondered which Instagram video format would perform the best for your audience.
To help you, we asked consumers what type of video formats they watch the most. Plus, we surveyed marketers to discover their Instagram marketing strategies.
You'll also learn what video format users like to watch on Instagram as well as the size, length, and aspect ratio you should be using.
How Marketers are Leveraging Video on Instagram
In 2021, we surveyed over 1,000 global marketers to understand which trends they currently (and plan to) leverage.
The first thing that stood out to us is that marketers who leverage video content on Instagram are 16% more likely to say their Instagram strategy was effective last year.
We also found that 82% of marketers post video content on Instagram and the content formats they use most are video-based.
The main difference we see in how marketers use video versus other content formats on Instagram is that they use humor more in video and market products and services less.
As for the platform’s features, marketers surveyed say posting videos offers the highest engagement level and the highest ROI, more than images and live streaming.
We know that short-form video is at the peak of its popularity on platforms like Instagram and TikTok and that could play a role in how popular video is. In fact, 85% of marketers say short-form is the most effective video style they leverage.
With that said, only one in four marketers use Reels. At the time marketers were surveyed, they said it offered one of the lowest ROI. However, it’s still a feature they plan to invest in this new year.
Now that we know how marketers are thinking of video, let’s switch to the consumer perspective.
Best Video Format for Instagram
Currently, Instagram offers three video formats:
Back in June 2021, we surveyed more than 300 consumers to discover which video formats they watch the most.
Ultimately, Instagram Story videos were the most popular video format to watch on the social media site, with 43% of those surveyed watching this type of video content the most.
Besides survey respondents who didn't use Instagram, the next highest video format to watch were live videos and then videos shared directly in the feed.
The least popular video format was IGTV, which was discontinued in October, a few months after this survey.
Now that we know how consumers and marketers are behaving, let's find out how you can post the best video content on Instagram.
Instagram Video Size
To post a video on Instagram, the video should be at least 1080 x 1080 pixels. You can use several file types, including MP4, MOV, or GIF. The aspect ratio should be 4:5 and the maximum file size should be 250MB.
This is the proper video quality for a post on the Instagram feed. It will look something like the screenshot below.
For an Instagram Story or Reel, the video should be 1080 x 1080 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The maximum file size should be 250MB.
It will look something like this:
While these are the main types of videos to upload on Instagram, you can explore other spec requirements on the Instagram site.
Instagram Video Aspect Ratio
You can upload videos to Instagram that have an aspect ratio anywhere between 1.91:1 and 4:5. For this aspect ratio, your dimensions will probably be something like 1080 x 608 px or 1080 x 1350 px.
While all these stats are important, one of the ways to keep file size down is to shorten the video. You can't just upload 24 hours of video content on the platform.
Now you might be wondering, "How long can my Instagram videos be?" Let's dive in below.
How Long Can Instagram Videos Be?
Instagram videos are a great way to reach Gen Z or millennial audiences. However, it's important to think about the type of video content that performs best on the platform.
Additionally, knowing the right size and video specifications before filming your videos can help you reach success quicker.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.