How to Upload High-Quality Instagram Videos

Uploading high-quality Instagram videos is a big part of what’s elevated Instagram influencers to their high-paid status. But actually figuring out how to upload high-quality Instagram videos can be a real pain.

Although many phones nowadays have cameras that knock digital ones out of the water, lots of people still want to use their DSLRs for Instagram.

But it’s shooting the video that’s the easy part. Instagram’s compression rules make uploading high-quality videos much harder than it has to be.

Read on to find out how to sidestep that algorithm and bring your followers the highest quality content!

What’s the Point of High-Quality Instagram Videos?

Instagram has come a long way since its launch in 2010. From an app for pretty much exclusively sharing pictures of your food, one of the world’s most effective marketing tools was born.

Marketing is a visual art. So the visuals are important, to say the least.

The difference between an effective Instagram campaign and an amazing Instagram campaign can all come down to a high-quality Instagram video.

After all, would you rather watch a travel campaign shot on an iPhone or a RED Camera?

High-quality Instagram videos make you look professional and help influencers stand out.  They show commitment to an art form.

Uploading high-quality Instagram videos can be the difference between a good paycheck, and a great one. If you’re not already uploading in high-quality, it’s time to start!

How High-Quality Can Help Travel Influencers

The first place that high-quality Instagram videos are the most profitable can’t be ignored.

Travel Instagram was made to show off high-quality Instagram videos. And, considering that it’s such a huge part of Instagram, if you’re a travel Instagrammer – don’t even think about uploading a sub-standard video to Instagram.

The advent of Instagram TV and Instagram video campaigns have made the need for high-quality Instagram videos in the travel market even greater. You want your videos to stand out!

Take a look at this Instagram video of the 2017 Victory Day Parade commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory in WWII. It’s a perfectly good video – but it looks like it came from someone’s personal page. (And it did – mine!)

Now, look at this much more high-quality Instagram video. Which one does a better job of making you want to visit the event?

Even though this is a professionally produced video, the quality is certainly much more enticing.

High-quality Instagram videos are a huge part of running a successful travel page! As a travel influencer, you need to make yourself stand out from others, and high-quality is the first step.

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High-Quality Instagram Videos Can Help Any Business

Of course, travel isn’t the only place having a High-Quality Instagram video can help. Anything that involves creating well-curated images can also benefit from HQ.

@carrinoanthony uses high-quality Instagram videos to make a home seem like a little slice of heaven.

And what about food videos? The high-quality used makes the ingredients look delectable. You want mouths to water, and that’s what high-quality is for. 

View this post on Instagram

Tag someone sweet who you’d eat these crepes with 🥰🌟

A post shared by Tasty (@buzzfeedtasty) on

Even Youtubers benefit from using High-quality Instagram videos, especially on their stories. It’s no secret people like to watch things that look good. Check out how @hellooctoberxo uses this video to create a glamorous look.

Taking the time to learn how to upload high-quality Instagram videos is what can really set an influencer apart from the crowd. The more aesthetically pleasing something is, the more people want to watch!

Instagram & Compression

Why, exactly, is it so hard to upload high-quality Instagram videos?

Well, that’s all due to Instagram’s signature compression algorithms. If you’ve ever used an editing software like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, you probably know about size ratios and compression algorithms.

But if you haven’t, you’re probably confused when you upload your video and all you can see is a single person’s eye.

This is the basics: Instagram has a very specific size for the posts and stories its app. Most videos will not record in that size. Instagram needs to make your videos smaller for them to play on the app. To do so, they compress them – often compromising quality and details.

Be Prepared!

Any filmmaker can tell you it’s always easier to prepare than to fix something after the fact. So if you’re making videos for the purpose of uploading high-quality Instagram videos, Here are some ways to make sure you’re prepared.

Tip #1: Shoot in 4k

The first tip we can give you is to shoot in 4K. If you don’t have a device capable of that, you can run the footage through an editing program to convert it to 4k. You’ll keep more details of your footage in 4k.

Adobe Premiere Text showing high-quality exporting format

Tip #2: Export in 4K.

Editing isn’t the last of it. If you convert your footage to 4k, you also want to make sure you export your footage in 4k (H.264 format.) An editing program should give you this option, but remember to double check! Exporting in the wrong format can make your footage look surprisingly wonky.

High-Quality Instagram Videos on Mac vs. Windows

You’re going to want to transport the footage from your computer to your phone or tablet to upload a high-quality Instagram video. The best way to do this changes depending on your operating system.

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Quality on  Mac

If you’re operating on a Mac, sharing photos from your computer or laptop to your phone and tablet is pretty easy. Airdrop makes the world a much simpler place.

The Airdrop home screen

You can just airdrop your edited footage to your phone and tablet, upload it, and voila! Your high-quality Instagram video is ready to go.

Quality on Windows

On a Windows computer, thing aren’t so easy. We recommend using a 3rd party app called VLC Player to transfer.

VLC is a great application in its own right, but it’s particularly good for moving files with big sizes without losing the footage quality. If you have a PC and an iPhone, the VLC process is similar to Airdrop.

 You’re going to need VLC on BOTH your computer and your phone or tablet for this to work. Open VLC, then select Sharing Via Wi-fi.

VLC Sharing Via Wi-fi

Then, get your phone or tablet’s IP address and your computers and complete the steps. Save your video, and you’re done!

You can also use the old school method of USB cable transfer or Dropbox if you’re still using wires. Either way, get your footage onto your phone!

Uploading Your Video

If you’re reading this, you probably know how to upload an Instagram video, but just in case…

Click the add button, and select the video from your library. Add a caption and go!

The most important things at this stage is to watch your video back! You want to make sure everything went right and the footage is still intact, with a good aspect ratio.

It’s Never Too Late to Go High Quality

Uploading high-quality Instagram videos can make you stand out as an influencer. People love to watch videos, so if you can deliver high-quality content time and time again, people will keep coming back to you.

That, in turn, can help establish you as a professional.

But if you haven’t been uploading high-quality Instagram videos, don’t freak out. It’s not the end of the world. You have plenty of time to start!

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By Victoria Hendersen

Victoria is an American expatriate currently based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, she lived in Bordeaux, France before relocation to Russia's cultural capital. Victoria holds a BFA in Film and Media Studies from UC Irvine.

She works as a copywriter and translator. An experienced travel blogger and vlogger, her main drive in life is discovering the jewels of lesser traveled cities. You can keep up with her travels on Instagram at @village_witch.

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