How To Create Vertical Videos For Instagram

  • Harry Hayes

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These Vertical Videos For Instagram Stand Out and Grab Attention. Here’s How to Make Them.

Why do I create vertical videos for Instagram? Have you noticed how they grab your attention?

They take up more of the screen on a smart phone. You don’t have to turn the phone sideways.

Better yet, the vertical format is more unusual, so it stands out on the Instagram feed. And isn’t that the whole point of social media videos? To stand out and get noticed?

So how do I create videos like this? I admit, it involves a couple of steps, but it’s easier than you think.

Vertical videos are much more impactful on mobile devices.

Vertical Videos for Instagram

Vertical videos are common among mobile phone users. It’s how people typically shoot video with their phone.

But you don’t see many vertical business videos.

That’s because corporate videos are typically produced in a “landscape” format. Specifically, they’re 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels deep.

That’s a 16×9 format, and you can upload those to Instagram, no problem.

But Instagram also allows uploads of vertical content—including a 4×5 format—which opens up many new creative possibilities.

In order to post vertical videos for Instagram, there are some rules you need to know about.

Instagram Guidelines

Instagram has specific guidelines you have to adhere to:

• H.264 Codec

• Maximum 60 seconds in length

• Video bitrate under 5 Mbps

• Maximum file size of 15 Mb.

To edit vertical videos for Instagram, I use an 864 x 1080 frame size.

In Premiere Pro, I create a new project, then under settings, enter 864 as the width and 1080 as the height. If the aspect ratio is locked, click the chain icon to unlock.

It’s also a good idea to save this as a preset. Mine is called “Instagram.”

See the Difference?

Vertical videos for Instagram are much more impactful.

Which of the videos shown here get your attention? The one on the right has been re-edited into a 4 x 5 vertical format.

Editing for Instagram

To reformat an existing video, you don’t have to start from scratch. Just open the existing Premiere file, copy the elements on the timeline, then create a new project with the Instagram settings, and paste.

All the shots will appear in the timeline, along with the linked footage and files.

At this point, reformatting is relatively easy. Just reframe shots as needed to fit the new shape.

Close-up shots will probably seem too close, and need to be widened. You’ll also need to adjust any titles or supers.

And don’t forget the 60-second limit. Longer edits will need to be trimmed down for the upload to work.

When the reformatting is complete, export the media:

• Format:  H.264

• Target Bitrate:  4

• Maximum Bitrate: 5

To format vertical videos for Instagram, I set the frame size to 864 x 1080.

Posting to Instagram

While there are different ways to upload the finished video to Instagram, I believe the simplest way is to use your phone.

I output the video to iCloud, then access that folder from my phone. Once I find the video, I save it to my photos.

Then to post to Instagram, you just

• Select the video and click “Next”

• Click “Cover” at the bottom of the screen

• Drag the timeline to choose the best poster image—very important

• Write a caption about the video and why you’re posting it. You can also tag people, locations, etc.

• Click “Share.”


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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