Instagram Story Video: How to Get Started Fuss-Free

Instagram Story Video tips

Why Instagram Story Video?

Ever since it was rolled out, the Instagram Story video feature has been wildly popular among the platform users. As of November 2017, Instagram Stories had over 300 million daily users. This is an audience a business simply can’t afford to ignore!

Instagram Stories user growth

Source: Mediakix

IG stories give your brand personality and offer a humanizing factor to your company. Being current with videos that are either shot live, or visible for just 24 hours, allows you to stay fresh in the mind of the consumer. 

How can a business like yours benefit from Instagram Stories to grow user engagement? There’s one thing you might want to start doing, if not already — video.

Instagram Story Video: How to Get Started | Video Marketing How to

Instagram story video is a great instrument for all kinds of business. In this video, Olga will share how to get started and succeed with Instagram Story video.

Instagram Story Video: Things to Know

In order to succeed with IG stories, there are some things one needs to know, both on the technical and content sides.

Instagram Story Video Length

There are several reasons why videos work great on Instagram Stories. First, it’s the length.

The maximum length of an Instagram Story video is 15 seconds, as opposed to just 7 seconds for a photo.

Even though each story can be up to 15 seconds long, Instagram allows adding what seems to be an unlimited number of stories in a row.

I ran an experiment and added 70 (!) Instagram Stories. Instagram didn’t show any warnings, so I assumed I could continue adding them. If only I had more things to post!?

But even though Instagram does allow for an unlimited number of stories, creating 10+ quality videos for Instagram Stories might be a daunting task. Besides, your audience might simply get tired of watching and swipe to the next account.

Pro tip: If your video is longer than 15 seconds, use tools like CutStory or Storeo to cut it into perfect 15-second chunks.

Instagram Story Video Size

The Instagram story dimensions are 1080 by 1920. What this means is that your video or photo will have to be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels in height.

The size of an Instagram Story is a full portrait, with the dimension 9:16. This format is best for Instagram Story as it occupies the whole screen on the phone.

Instagram Story size

However, recently Instagram introduced a feature that allows you to fit horizontal videos and images into the screen. If you upload a horizontal video as an Instagram Story, the platform will suggest fitting it to the screen automatically.

It will also add a background of matching colors. These margins at the top and bottom are a great place to add text, stickers, tagging people, or adding a call to action.

Instagram stories video horizontal

How to Create an Instagram Story Video

There are different ways how you can create a video for Instagram Stories. First, you can make a video using Instagram itself. In order to do it, switch to the Stories mode by tapping on the camera sign or your avatar with the “plus” sign located in the upper left corner.

Instagram Stories video types

Video options in Instagram Stories include:

  • Live video. If you want to start live streaming right this second. All your subscribers will be notified that you just started a live video. After you finish live streaming, the video will be available in IG Stories for 24 hours. If you want to learn more about this feature, the guys from Sked Social came up with a comprehensive guide on Instagram Live. Worth checking out!
  • Boomerang. It creates this funny looping effect that you’ve probably seen in other IG stories. The secret to creating a great boomerang video is not to move too fast! Otherwise, it’s going to look too fuzzy.

Pro tip: There’s actually a separate app developed by Instagram that makes boomerang videos. Oddly enough, it’s called “Boomerang” 🙂


  • Superzoom. It makes a short video with what I call is a party hard visual effect. It comes in especially handy when you want to draw your audience’s attention to a specific object.
  • Rewind. Plays video in reverse.
  • Hands-free. This mode is used for making regular videos for Instagram Stories.

Pros and Cons of Adding Video via the Native Instagram App

Adding video via the native Instagram app is the quickest and easiest way to upload videos to your Instagram story.

However, this is really how it was designed for personal profiles. When you are using Instagram Stories for business, this method is very limited. You don’t have control over the quality of the video.

How to Make an Instagram Story Video with Wave.video

Wave.video allows you to create more sophisticated videos for Instagram Stories. For instance, you can add a catchy text effect, combine several video clips into one 15-second video, or add your logo to the video. Here’s how to do it in minutes.

How to Make Instagram Stories in Wave.video

In this video, we’ll show you how to make Instagram Stories on desktop in a few minutes.

Step 1. Select the IG Story format

In Wave.video, choose the format “9:16 Instagram Story”. The selected format will appear in one of the tabs at the top.

Make videos for Instagram Stories in Wave.video

Step 2. Choose a video from the library or import your own

Head over to the step “Add videos & photos”, switch to the tab “Upload” and choose the files you want to use for your Instagram Story video. If you don’t have your own footage, no worries: Wave.video comes with the 200 million stock video library. So there’s definitely something for you, too!

Make videos for Instagram Story with Wave.video

Step 3. Add your message to the video

Instagram comes with the functionality to add text in different fonts to stories. However, if you want to get more creative and make your video stand out, use text effects for your message. Here’s how to add text to video in Wave.video:

Step 4. Add music to your video

70% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on. This gives you as a business an unprecedented opportunity to talk to your audience that is eager to listen.

Wave.video comes with 300,000 royalty-free audio tracks. Simply search for the most suitable one and add it to your video.

Instagram Story video

How to Add Video to Your Instagram Story

Here we’ll go over how to post videos on your Instagram story. There are multiple ways to upload video to Instagram, each has their own benefits and drawbacks, let’s dive in!

Option 1. Post directly from your mobile device

With this option, you can either shoot the video instantaneously or select a video from your camera roll (see the section “How to create a video for Instagram Stories).

Option 2. Use a 3rd Party Mobile App

There are 3rd party mobile apps that you can use to create and upload videos to your Instagram story. For instance, Continual is a popular app that allows you to create videos, edit them, and saves directly to your camera roll.

Instagram Story video

Pros: You have more creative freedom with a 3rd party app than you do using Instagram alone. Continual allows you to output videos in high quality, and cuts longer videos into 15-second segments. Also, this method allows you to jump to Instagram quickly as most of these apps are integrated into your camera roll or Instagram itself.

Cons: Not all 3rd party apps are free, Continual has $7.99 price tag. Even though you have more options than you do with just Instagram, it is still limiting to work on the small screen of a mobile device

Option 3. Upload a Video from Your Computer

When using a video editing software on the computer, such as Wave.video, you need to save the file and get it to your phone in order to post. The transfer isn’t too cumbersome, but the method of transfer depends on the size of files. Here are several options how you can share your video on Instagram:

  • transfer it to your phone directly via a cord
  • email the video to yourself and download from an email client on the mobile phone
  • use file exchange services like Dropbox or Google Drive (this one’s my favorite)

Create stunning Instagram Story videos with Wave.video

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Pros: With desktop software and apps the sky’s the limit as far as creativity is concerned. You can really make videos that are content rich and unique.

Cons: Using software on your computer obviously adds a step with the transfer of files. Also if you use editing software such as After Effects or Premiere Pro, it can often be difficult to make sure the video is optimally sized for Instagram.

How to Download a Video from Your Instagram Story

If you are uploading videos straight to your Instagram story (for instance, you are recording at an event in more of a live-streaming fashion), they will be gone within 24 hours. If you have valuable footage that you want to save and use later, you are in luck. You can download the video directly from your IG Story.

How to save Instagram Story video

Just go to the video in your story, select the menu option (three dots on the left-hand corner). Here you choose to save the video directly to your camera roll. There is an option of saving individual videos, or the entire story.

Saving videos means you can later repurpose that content. You can upload videos to YouTube or write a blog post with the material, as well as do a dozen other things.

Archived Instagram Stories

Recently, Instagram introduced Stories archives. Now, every Instagram user can find all the stories in his or her account at any time. You can download these stories to your phone and repurpose as you see fit.

Instagram Story video archives

You can also highlight a story so that it’s always available to your account visitors. Read this great post on Later to learn more about IG Stories highlights.

Best Instagram Story Video Examples for Inspiration

Travel + Leisure

Originally started as just a travel magazine, is now a multimedia company devoted to all things travel. Their Instagram  story is used to highlight their new content, with a swipe up CTA for the viewer to access articles.

Instagram story video travel and leisure

Travel+Leisure cleverly uses videos to make animated ads for that day’s content, or a photo montage video for the listicle “7 Dream Trips to book right now.” Last year, to celebrate one year on Instagram stories, they ran campaigns where they both asked viewers to guess where photos/videos were taken, as well as submit their own IG stories using the campaign hashtag.

These campaigns were not only engaging their viewers, but they were then able to repurpose that campaign data into a blog post about where the most popular destinations were based on the submissions.

Converse

Converse has been shoe company for more than a century, and they are an amazing example of a brand that stays relevant. They really bring it to the next level with their IG stories, promoting their brand, street style, and connecting with the appropriate audience.

Instagram story videos are an optimal format for interviews. Converse rotates between a graphic with a question and a quick video with the answer.

Here they are interviewing rapper, Thutmose aka badboythut. Notice how they colors of the graphics, match the color of the sneaker, not an accident.

Instagram Stories video converse

Also, this rapper hasn’t ‘blown up yet’, the interview takes place in Brooklyn. They are playing to their millennial audience by picking an up-and-coming star, not a mainstream influencer, all a part of their carefully planned brand strategy.

NASA

When you think about marketing, NASA wouldn’t be the first entity to come to mind. However, the national space organization really is adapting with current social media trends.

While it seems almost cliché to say; ‘they make science fun!’ they really do add frivolity and lightness to their content that is surely targeted towards the social-media driven Gen Z.

Instagram Stories nasa

In their IG story, they posted a video of a scientist, poking fun at a bad chemical reaction, making experiments and science seem more approachable. They also use epic space image videos, but again make it more social media friendly with text overlays and emojis, all while promoting their latest news and programs!

Over to you

Instagram Story video is a great feature that can help your engage with your audience and help grow your business. What is the first video you are going to post in IG Stories?

Instagram Story video: how to get started

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