First thing’s first. How long can Instagram videos be?
- Regular post: at least 3 seconds and up to 60 seconds.
- Story post: up to 15 seconds.
- Instagram Live post: up to 60 minutes.
- Post from a non-verified IGTV account: up to 10 minutes.
- Post from a verified IGTV account: up to 60 minutes.
The best Instagram video length for the most engagement:
You might think that because you can make your videos up to 60 seconds in a regular Instagram post, you should make all of your videos 60 seconds.
The longer your videos, the longer people will stay on your posts, right?
Hubspot found that videos with the most comments, and therefore the most engagement, were in-fact 25 to 30 seconds.
Specifically, videos that were 26 seconds in length received the most comments.
And from what we know about the Instagram algorithm, comments and shares are the most powerful kinds of engagement a post can receive.
How to find the best video length for your specific Instagram page
While the suggestion above is a good start, it’s up to you to find out what video length works for your specific Instagram page.
You can do this by monitoring the amount of engagement your videos get with Instagram Insights.
Here’s how to do that:
1) Change your account an Instagram to a business account to gain access to Instagram Insights (it’s free and don’t really have to have a real business to do it).
2) Post videos of varying length for at least a month (the longer you wait, the more accurate data you can get).
3) At the end of your test period, look at the “Content” tab in your Instagram Insights to see what posts produced the most engagement.
4) Take the length of the videos that generated the most engagement and prioritze posting videos of that length.
For example, if you Instagram Insights tells you that videos that are 45 seconds long generate the most engagement, then prioritize posting videos that are 45 seconds long.
Regardless of how long your videos are, as explained below, you should be using them no matter what.
Here’s why you need to be posting videos in general on Instagram:
The Instagram algorithm weighs photos and videos the same, but videos make people stay on your post longer.
The reasoning is obvious – it takes longer to watch a 30 second video than it does to see a single photo post.
This is important because one of the most influential factors that the Instagram algorithm considers when deciding what posts to show in your feed is Relationship.
How the Instagram algorithm works
In a nutshell, Instagram prioritizes showing you posts from people that it considers to be close to you.
The more that you engage with posts from a specific person, the closer that Instagram will consider your relationship to be with that person, and therefore the more it will prioritize showing you posts from that specific person.
Let’s bring this back to videos. If people are more likely to see your posts in their feeds if they’ve consistently engaged with your posts in the past, and videos make people engage with your posts longer, then it makes sense that the more videos you post to Instagram, the more that Instagram will prioritize showing your posts to your followers.
The more of your followers that actually see your posts in their feeds, the more likely that they’ll engage with your posts.
The more your followers engage with your posts, the more that your posts will be shown to them in the future.
It’s a beautiful cycle!
The best time to post your Instagram videos
Another way to make sure your videos receive the most engagement possible is to post your videos when the majority of your followers are online.
To find out when your followers are online, simply go back into Instagram Insights and check out your “Audience” tab.
Here you can see both what days and what times the majority of your followers are actually online.
For example, if you see that the majority of your followers are online and active on Wednesdays at 6PM and Fridays at 4PM, you want to make sure that you are posting your videos on Wednesdays at 6PM and Fridays at 4PM.
The easiest way to do this is with an Instagram scheduler like this one.
It’s a completetly free scheduler that you can use to schedule your posts for days, weeks, or even months ahead.
It supports videos of any length, as well as video albums, and you can even schedule the same post across multiple Instagram accounts.
Drag and drop your image, make any edditions you wish, write your caption, include your hashtags (or search for popular hashtags using their in-app search), set a time, and hit “Schedule”.
So that’s everything you need to know about Instagram video length. Simple, right?
Take the information above, make your videos the best length possible, post when your followers are online, and you’ll see your post engagement and follower count boom.
Have any other tips or nuggets of wisdom you’d like to share about Instagram video length? Drop me a comment below.