Blog header with a purple background that says how to use Instagram Stories for longer videos.

How to Use Instagram Stories for Longer Videos

Did you know most people are spending more time in Instagram Stories than the Instagram feed? Part of the reason why is that Instagram now allows you to create longer Instagram Stories that don’t stop after 15 seconds. With over 500 million people watching Instagram Stories every day, you want to make sure you know how to strategically share longer Instagram Stories.

That’s why in this blog post I am going to take a deeper dive into how you can share longer Instagram Stories and drum up more engagement.

Instagram Stories: How to Upload Stories Clips

When you want to upload a longer video for an Instagram Story, you don’t have to rely on what’s in your camera roll. If you’re just starting out with Instagram Stories, or feel more comfortable recording outside of the app, I actually recommend recording on your phone first.

Once you have a video to share, you need to upload it in Instagram Stories with a third-party app. My team and I rely on Continual ($7.99) for all of the longer Instagram Stories we create. Continual splits your Instagram Story into 15 second clips and can even make most videos fit the screen for optimal viewing. If you prefer a free app, I also recommend Cut Story.

Instagram Stories: How to Arrange Video Clips

Now, what if you prefer to record a video in the Instagram app? That’s not a problem. When you want to capture a longer Instagram Story, just hold down the record button. If your Instagram Stories clip is over 15 seconds, it will automatically add a video segment to the bottom of your phone screen.


Sue B Zimmerman shares a screenshot of an Instagram Story with multiple stories clips.


But when you’re done recording your longer Instagram Story, you don’t have to share right away. If you prefer to pause and think about the creative elements you want to add, just tap on the arrow at the top of the screen. Your video will be saved in your camera roll.


Sue B Zimmerman shares a screenshot of an Instagram Story with a white arrow pointing to the save option.


Then, you can take your time and upload the Instagram Stories clips when you have a creative strategy in mind. Whichever creative elements you decide to use, I recommend adding text to all of your Instagram Stories clip. A lot of people watch Instagram Stories on mute, so your text overlay adds some much needed context. If your text is really interesting, it might even compel some people to turn on the volume.


Sue B Zimmerman shares a screenshot of an Instagram Story with text overlay.


When it’s time to upload, make sure your Instagram Stories clips are in the right order. Tap on the first Instagram Stories clip. You should see a white border around it. Then, tap on “next” to upload your long Instagram Story. It’s that easy!

Instagram Stories: Brands to Watch

Market research is one of the best ways to assess your competition and spark creative ideas. These are a few members of the Ready, Set, Gram community who are taking full advantage of longer Instagram Stories, and using them effectively to connect with their customers.


Check out how Cyrissa, owner of Sparkle Society, adds texts to all of her Instagram Stories videos. Even if it’s just a quick summary of her Instagram Story, Cyrissa makes sure everyone is clued in on what’s she talking about … even if they’re tuning in without volume. Plus, text overlay allows Cyrissa to put her call-to-action front and center.


A screenshot of Cyrissa’s Instagram Story with text overlay that illustrates her call-to-action.



If you’re curious about driving people to your blog, product or other part of your business, you should check out Dr. Michelle Mazur’s Instagram Stories. Every week she uses longer Instagram Stories to give a quick recap of her podcast. Even if people aren’t tuning in yet, she’s giving them value and a reason to check out the other aspects of her business.


Dr. Michelle Mazur shares an Instagram Story highlighting her fellow podcasters.



Now, if you’re looking for some adorable behind-the-scenes inspiration, you need to browse Faline’s one-of-a-kind creations in her Instagram Stories. In addition to sharing her beautiful products, Faline uses longer Instagram Stories to give a behind-the-scenes peek at her artistic process. Her Instagram Stories not only give insight into her business, but reminders her followers about the care she puts into every piece she creates.


Faline shares an Instagram Story highlighting her craftsmanship on one of her tiny, painted houses.


Instagram Stories: How to Delete a Clip

Did you capture a less than stellar Instagram Stories clip? To delete an Instagram Stories clip, just tap on the segment you want to omit. Then, you’ll see a trash icon, like what you can see below. Just tap on that. Now your Instagram Story is ready to upload.


Sue B Zimmerman shares an Instagram Stories clip with the trash can icon selected.


Discover Four Ways to Engage with Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories provides almost limitless possibilities for creativity and growth. That’s why I created this FREE download. It breaks down the four ways you can engage more with your followers using Instagram Stories stickers.



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