Make Better Instagram Videos // Get More Views, Engagement And Followers!

So you’re creating videos for Instagram, and you’re like, what do I do to make these better, because the struggle is real. I’m not getting the views I want, and I’m thinking this is a gigantic waste of my time. I am here for you, and in this blog we are going to breakdown how you can make better videos that you can get more views, engagement and followers on the gram. Before we dive into all the different things that you need to know to make better videos, I want you to know this blog is brought to you by Kapwing. I’m going to go into more detail about them later on, but it is my number one go to source for creating all things social video. They make it super easy, and my favorite part is it’s free to use! 


So what we’re going to cover in this video is going to be details, like the algorithm and the video size. What types of video you can make that are going to perform well on Instagram, as well as what you can do to improve your videos to make them do better. You obviously need to know very explicitly, we’re talking about videos for the newsfeed, not Instagram TV and not Instagram stories. That will be my next post that I’m going to share with you. Now, when we’re talking about the algorithm, I’m going to give you some very specific facts about this. Coming straight from the source, Instagram themselves. So many people are experts, and think they figured out how to game the system, and blah blah blah. When it comes to videos specifically, the piece that the algorithm cares most about are your video views. Some people like to think it’s likes and comments and shares, when in fact it’s how many people are watching your video. That’s what’s going to matter most. So the more people that will watch your video, and the longer they watch your video, the more likely they’re going to be served your other content in the future. And honestly, if someone’s spending that time watching the video, you’re probably already going to get some kind of engagement from it anyway, whether it’s hitting that double tap for that like, or hitting that comment. And no matter what anybody tells you, how long your comments are don’t matter either. Even if it’s someone just putting up a fist bump emoji, that works. Despite what all these experts say, photos and videos are treated exactly the same on the algorithm. It really is about the user’s preference. So because I personally like watching more videos on Instagram, Instagram tends to feed me content that has more videos in it. They just calculate what I engage with more. So again, if more people are engaging and watching your videos, then they’re going to be served more videos, including yours, when they’re scrolling their feed. However, one of the things that is important to know, is that when you’re using a video, people are spending more time on your content. Which again, kinda shows to Instagram, ‘hey they’re getting more views, more time being spent on that account. I’m going to make sure to service them two followers that like this content more.’ So videos give you longer time to interact and engage with your followers. And as a bonus, when you’re posting up a video, it takes up four times more space than regular posts when it comes to the explore tab. So if you’re looking to get more attention using video in the explore feed is going to be more beneficial for you, because you get more real estate on the platform. 


Let’s Get More Real Estate

Now let’s talk about video size, specifically for the newsfeed. You have two options when it comes to video size. One is the traditional square, which is 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels. Or another option for you is if you’re looking to get more real estate in that thumb scroll, you can create your videos at a 1080 by 1350 pixel aspect ratio, which is also like a 5 by 4 size. You can take up more of the feed. It is important to know that when you’re creating your video, that you’re thinking about how it’s going to look on your Instagram grid. Because again, you’re still being limited to that 1080 by 1080 square. So it’s important to make sure that nothing important, especially if you have text, or something that you’re showing off, is seen in those top and bottom parts. There are so many different types of content that you can create on Instagram with video that it’s just gonna be crazy, and I can’t wait to share them all with you. 


Animated Quotes

One of my favorite pieces of content to create on Instagram are quote videos. This is where we’re going to take our boring static quotes, that are super awesome and inspiring, and boost them up a level, and make them that much more engaging, and thumb scroll stopping, so that people are more likely to engage with your brand, and of course watch your videos, and your other videos in turn. All right, I’m going to show you guys how to make this text animated quote image for your Instagram newsfeed. So first things first, you’re gonna go to Kapwing. You’re going to click ‘new project’, then ‘start with the studio’, and you’re going to click ‘start with blank canvas’. Now what I really love about Kapwing is that you can create something from nothing, or you can bring things in. So if you have your own video you want to use, or if you have your own images you want to use, it’s really great. Now another thing that I like is that if you have specific brand colors, it will recognize those in the tools as well. I used the quote “I’d rather be profitable than popular”. And we’re going to go from there, so I’m going to add in my text. I’m going to start with my branding at the bottom. I can pick my font, so I can pick Helvetica. I can pick Comic Sans. Now, if you have a specific font like I do, you can go into more fonts, and type in the name of your font. So the font that I use on my branding is Roboto. The other thing that I’m going to need to do, is I need to make sure I have my brand colors. So I’m going to go to Photoshop, where I have my brand colors, and I’m going to use dark blue. Now let’s go make our other text pieces. We’re going to break this up into three parts. So it’s going to be broken up line by line. What’s really nice is that it will save my font that I have, but I do have to go in and tell it what color I want it to be. So again, just paste it in, and click off, and it’s done. You also can set your size, I know from just doing this a lot, I know that my size will be 48. I need to just adjust it a little bit, and that’s that. Next what I want to do is animate the word “profitable”. So I select the text line that I want, and I’m gonna go down here to animate. I have these different animation options, I can do flicker, like maybe if you had a light or something you were doing. You can do all of the colors, you can make it vibrate. What I wanted to do is I want it to wipe in. Now, what I need to do is for my background color to be the branded color, so, I’m going to change that. And then I’m going to make my text color white. And that’s all I’m going to do, and I’m going to hit done. It swipes it in, and it’s done. It’s only three seconds. I made some minor adjustments so that the words fit in more, then watch it again, perfect. I can edit the animation if I want, if I want to make it fast, if I want it to go in slow. These are all options that I have available to me. So then you click ‘publish’, and it will export it for you. You can download it so you have it saved to your computer, or you can share it immediately from here to your different social networks. 


Engaging How To Videos

There are tons of really great video ideas that you can create for whatever your brand may be. One of my favorite pieces of content to watch and consume on Instagram are how-to videos. This is where you’re going to show how you can do something really fast, oftentimes they’re sped up. But it’s a really great way to show off something, or how to do something super easy. And oftentimes, if it’s something very in depth, they have to pause and watch again, or they’ll save it and watch it later, which is a really great way to get people continuing to watch your content, and get them sucked into that vortex of you. You want to show your products in action. 



Personally, I love using Instagram videos to create teasers for my upcoming video. I’m sort of hyping up what people can expect, and then at the end of the video, I’m sending them over to my YouTube, so they keep watching by going over to my YouTube channel and seeing what happens next. It’s a really great way to build up hype about something that you have coming up, or when something’s already been brought out. Now, since we live in an era of storytelling, you should be using these sixty seconds to tell a story. This does require a little bit more work and planning, but tell a story of what’s going on. Because that’s what people really want to connect with, they want to connect with you and your brand, and what you have to offer, by offering them more and more insight, it’s going to allow them to connect with you further. 

Use Scenes

Another really great video is just a scene. So a scene can be something like this skateboarder, who is going down the road and having this beautiful landscape going on behind him. A scene can be very drawing and engaging, that’s why wanderlust and travel videos and photos do so well. So if you have something where you can show off a scene of how cool and beautiful something is, that’s going to be a really great way to get people locked into your content. Other ideas could include things like animated text, doing a time lapse video, or even doing a stop motion video. These are all things that are available to you, based on your brand and your ability to dedicate the time to creating it. 


Closed Captions

Some other ways to improve your content, besides doing what I suggested by animating a quote image into an animated video, are doing things like closed captions on your text. One of my favorite people that does this is Meredith Marsh over at Vidpromom. Where she’s giving these little factoids, these little teaser pieces of information, but the title of her video or the clip, what it’s about, and at the bottom is where she has her closed captions. So many people are consuming content and videos specifically online without sound, so if you’re talking, it’s very important to have that closed captioning there, so people can follow along no matter where they are. Now, whether you have a product or a service, you just need to be showing it off with other people doing things. So obviously, fashion and product based businesses can just use clips of people actually using it, and doing things with it. But, if you’re a service based business, might I suggest you check out what my friend over at crystalclear_creativestudios is doing, where she takes an image that’s just static, and then she’s scrolling on the screen, showing off this really cool new website that one of her clients had done. These are really great ways to take something static and make it have movement, which is really important, and also my next tip. 


Create Movement

You want to take a static image and just add little bits of movement in it for so much success. One of my favorite illustrators on Instagram is called She takes her images that she’s created, and she adds these little bling marks to it. Or she’ll add something simple, one or two things moving on the static image that makes it into a video on Instagram, and makes it more engaging. And it’s really fun. Creating videos and improving them does not have to be complicated, it just needs to be purposeful and intent-driven. Because if you’re just making things move to make things move, that’s not going to move the story or the content forward, you’re obviously wasting your time, but if you can do little things to accent it, and make just a little bit better, you should. 

Pro Tip

Now this is more of an advanced tip, and that would be to play with your speeds. Daniel_schiffer is one the YouTubers I love following, but he does a really great job of making his Instagram videos very engaging by speeding up and slowing down things so that you can zoom in on something or pull it back. It’s just really captivating and different. And obviously much more of a filmmaker style of doing things, but it’s worth considering or trying if it’s something that you can do. Another great idea is to build anticipation when it comes to your content. Like, what’s going to happen? Where is this going? Spanx does a really good job with this, with all of their content, honestly, but I love this example where they’re having that text message conversation about a product, and building up the hype for it. When you can keep people engaged, they’re going see how it ends, it’s going to make them watch that full video that you’ve put up on Instagram. 


Thumbnails are Life

Now my number one most important tip about anything that has to do with you creating your videos for Instagram for the feed specifically, is you have to check your thumbnails. Your thumbnails are vital to your grid success. Your thumbnails are vital to your newsfeed success. Some people might have their settings where they only watch videos when they are on wifi. Some people are going to go to your newsfeed and see a video and be like oh, I want to click on that. So if you haven’t thought about what’s happening in that square, if you haven’t thought about what the thumbnail is for your video, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. So it’s very important that when you’re natively uploading your video to Instagram, that you are selecting what you want your thumbnail to be. Now, if you’re using a third party software, like Sendable, to put your video up on Instagram, you need to know the very first frame of your video is going to be your thumbnail. So you might need to include having a little bumper time, maybe it’s like a second or half of a second, to have what you want the thumbnail to be, so that it looks good. I have had instances where my videos are just not looking super hot on thumbnails, and that’s a lesson that I had to learn that I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way. So really think about that when you’re doing your videos. I want to make sure that yours is cohesive, and that it’s looking good, and I want videos to help you with that. Until next time, I’ll see you soon.




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