How to upload videos to Instagram

November 6, 2020

How to upload videos to Instagram

If you’re reading this, the chances are that we’ve worked together on a styled shoot together and you’ve received an email from me with links to my videos on YouTube, as well as download links for the videos.

I’ve written this blog post as I often get asked by people how to upload or make the most of the videos on Instagram. Most people are fairly familiar with how to upload and edit photos, but not so much with videos, so I hope this blog helps.

Videos on your website?

Maybe you’re thinking it would be great to feature a video of your product or service on your website. It’s not generally recommended to upload videos directly to your website as the file sizes are very large, and it’s important to keep  file sizes low, so people can access your site quickly. There’s probably no bigger turn-off than having to wait ages for a page to load…

So the best practice is to upload your videos to either YouTube or Vimeo, as they have huge dedicated and fast servers for holding video assets, and to put a link to the video on your website page.

If you don’t have a YouTube account and don’t plan to have one, you can use the links to the videos I’ve sent you in my email. They’re completed videos, so I won’t be deleting or changing them, so the  link should always work.

The other option is to upload to your own video account (in which case please credit me as the videographer) and you can create your own link.

Just be aware, that some website systems require the video to be made ‘public’ before it will show. If this is the case, you may need to wait until the magazines have published their articles and images for the styled shoot, before you or I can make the videos visible to everyone.

How do I upload a video to instagram and facebook?

If you use a dedicated scheduling app, like Later, Hootsuite Buffer or other app, check their sites or your plan to see if they allow you upload and schedule video posts.

With some you can only upload videos if you have one of the more expensive plans. So if you only plan to upload the odd video, it’s probably not worth paying the extra—instead, I recommend uploading directly to Instagram as and when you’re ready to.

First of all, check you’ve downloaded a video which doesn’t have letterboxes (letterboxes are the black bars above and below the video; often used to give a more cinematic feel, and fine for websites, but they look awful on Instagram and Facebook.

Then if you’ve downloaded the video to your desktop, you’ll need to get the video onto your phone. If you have a Mac and an iPhone, the quickest way to get your video onto your phone is usually via AirDrop.

If you don’t already, Instagram only allows videos of 60 seconds or shorter. That’s why all my ‘instavideos’ are less than 60 seconds, so you won’t have any issues. If you’re trying to upload a longer video, you can either trim the 60 second part of the video you’d like to show, or post it to IG video. IG video allows for longer videos, and also to put a thumbnail cover in your Instagram feed.

You can also add the cover from your phone or choose it from the video. Personally, I prefer to choose a square picture I’ve already trimmed for the cover so I know exactly what it’s going to look like on my Instagram feed. if you pick from the video, Instagram crops it and it doesn’t always look so good.

Cover letterbox 1024x576 - How to upload videos to Instagram
A 16:9 film letterbox (with black bars top and bottom)
Cover no letterbox 1024x576 - How to upload videos to Instagram
A 16:9 film without letterboxes

Uploading videos onTo your iPhone

Just to start, please note these instructions apply for iPhone (I’ve tested with an iPhone X). The instructions for Android are possibly different—do let me know if that’s the case, as I’m always interested to hear.

So you’ve got the video in your iPhone Photos library.

Open the Instagram app, and press the + button at the bottom to add a file for your new post.

Select the video you want to upload.

Change the aspect ratio so the video will show at the original (landscape size). Otherwise it will be cropped and look terrible! you can do this by selecting the two little arrow marks (see the picture below). After you click it, the image should change so you see the full width of the video image.

Pick the right size 768x768 - How to upload videos to Instagram
Then decide if you’d like a short video or to have the whole thing (this option only appears if the video is longer than 1 minute).
If you pick short video, you’ll get the option to trim the video start and finish. (So please feel free to trim if you have a favourite bit you want to show).

Or if you want the whole video, pick Long video (see the image below)

For this example, I’ve chosen Short Video. The screens are slightly different for Long, but cover the same stuff. But with the Long Video, you can choose a picture for the cover (I suggest creating a square picture that works with it, or you can make your own cover if you have a brand look that you want to maintain).
IMG 1854 139x300 - How to upload videos to Instagram
Then you see a screen for the Filter, Trim and Cover.You can choose a (colour preferably) filter. Personally I hate these, as I’ve already colour graded the film, but if you always use a filter, then watch it all first to make sure no weird artefacts creep in before selecting one. Filters tend to distort the colour quite a bit and these days I think they can look a bit ‘overdone’…
IMG 1856 768x1663 - How to upload videos to Instagram
IMG 1857 768x1663 - How to upload videos to Instagram
IMG 1858 473x1024 - How to upload videos to Instagram
Then press Next.

You can add a caption, tag people, add the location etc. Also if you want to post to FB – this will only work if your FB and Instagram accounts are linked. If you can’t see this option, it may also be that you need to change your Instagram account to a business account, and then you’ll be able to link them.

I usually save all the suppliers’ instagram handles (e.g. @artoflifefilms) in my Notes, so I don’t have to type these over and over again. I can just copy and paste the list of suppliers in one go. I also do this for any hashtags I know I’ll use over and over again.
IMG 1859 139x300 - How to upload videos to Instagram

Then that’s it – You press Share and it’s DONE.

Still having problems?

If you’re still having problems, let me know. You can either email me at heather@artoflifefilms.com or comment below. If you’re using an iPhone I can probably help you identify the problem!

If you’re using an Android phone I recommend you google how to upload videos from your particular brand. I’d be really interested to hear if there’s anything particularly different!