One limitation for video uploads to Instagram is that editing the video content on your phone prior to loading it is usually a bit of a pain. There are some programs that can help you but nothing that replaces an NLE (non-linear editing system). This can lead to some frustration, but if you were to edit your video footage on a computer prior to loading it to Instagram, the possibilities are endless, and makes for much more professional footage.

If you’ve been putting off figuring out how to load a pre-made video to Instagram, procrastinate no longer. With some creative editing and a few simple steps I’ve outlined for you, presenting your message exactly how you want is no longer a hurdle to your marketing efforts on Instagram. A few things to note before we get started. The video must:

  1. Be rendered in a square aspect ratio.
  2. Be shorter than 15 seconds
  3. Be saved on your smartphone or an available file sharing service like Drop Box.

Render the Video in Square Aspect Ratio

There are two key things to think about when rendering your video to a square aspect ratio, canvas size and render settings. Depending on your editing program and source video, methods to change these may vary. Above all else the output has to be in a square aspect ratio.

It doesn’t matter if you use 100×100 or 1920×1920, so long as you are rendering in a square aspect ratio Instagram will be able to accept the file. If you don’t know how to edit and render the file in a square aspect ratio, consult the help documentation for your particular video editing program.

Keep Your Instagram Video Short!

If you don’t keep your Instagram video under 15 seconds, it’s likely the server will reject your post. Aside from the obvious, keeping your videos shorter, in this format, is a benefit as viewers are trained to be entertained or informed as quickly as possible. If there is more you want to say, use your bio to link to additional content since Instagram doesn’t currently allow posts to contain links.

Edit and Render Your Video

Now that you’ve got your masterpiece ready to go, edit it down to size and export the result. If you chose to work from a normal sized canvas, be sure to resize the output to be a square aspect ratio. While you’re at it, please don’t “stretch” the content to fit. This often causes the image to skew and just look terrible. Scale it to maintain the original aspect ratio, but crop the video so that it fits without stretching or black borders.

Save Your Work!

Now that your video is rendered and ready to go, you’ll need to save it some place you can get at with your phone. The best place to save the file would be in your photo/video gallery. If you’re computer savvy, just connect your smartphone to your computer and save it in the proper folder. If you’re a little unsure of yourself, just e-mail it back to yourself as an attachment and download It into the gallery from there. There are certainly other ways to download files to your smartphone, but these are the simplest methods in my opinion.

Upload the Video to Instagram

The final step in the process is to load the video to Instagram. If you haven’t used or didn’t notice it, there is an option to load via the gallery. That’s a good thing considering that’s where we stashed our file. Finish the load process as usual selecting our new file and you should be all set.

The advantage of using an editing program can change the finished product from something simple to a really great 15 second spot. Utilize these tips to get the most out of your Instagram videos.

Do You Have to Pre-Edit Instagram Videos?

No! One nice thing about Instagram video is that you can pause the video, as you are recording.  You don’t have to capture the whole video in one take as Instagram allows you to delete the previous take – but you do have to string together perfect takes if you want to make a video without editing. This works well with jump cuts or stop motion videos but to really give the viewer a lasting experience, editing the video on desktop opens up your options immensely.