Instagram is kind of a big deal right now.
Everybodys on it. Everybody is posting all the time.
You have individuals as well as brands trying to grab your attention.
There are 95 million posts being published on Instagram each day?
With so much content being posted each minute, how can you stand out?
How can you make your content really pop and grab peoples attention?
One way is through really high-quality videos.
And that’s what we are talking about today.
More specifically about how you can edit your Instagram videos, and what is the best Instagram video editor you can use.
We are going to look at the best Instagram video editing apps in just a second.
Before we get to the apps though, let’s answer a quick question.
Why should you edit your Instagram videos?
When you have the option to just point the camera of your phone, shoot and upload that clip straight to Instagram, that’s a fair question to ask. Instagram even lets you trim your videos.
But if you want to level up your Instagram profile and post videos that really stand out from all the other content that’s out there, you absolutely need to put some effort into your creativity and into post-production, or video editing.
So instead of just publishing a bunch of different clips one after another, take your clips and create a cool montage out of it.
A 20 or 30-second clip can be made out of 10 different clips. It makes everything much more dynamic and engaging.
It allows you to tell more in less time and to get your followers excited about your videos.
You can add music, audio effects, visuals and so on.
So, yeah it is a ton of extra work, but it will make a difference in the long run.
Looking at some examples
Here’s how a nicely edited Instagram video looks like.
Now, I’m not saying these guys are using the same apps that I recommend here (they probably aren’t). I just want to give you some examples of what you could achieve, or what you should be aiming for at least.
Best Instagram video editing apps (for mobile)
Most of you guys will probably edit your Instagram videos right from your phone so let’s look at the top apps you can use: one for iOS and one for Android.
Now, the issue with many of the video editing apps is that they will not allow you to edit video in portrait mode. Instead, they use the 16:9, wide, landscape format. Which is pretty common sense if you think about it because that’s how you normally watch videos.
So, when you are looking for an Instagram video editor, that should be the main thing you need to be looking at. Can it edit square or portrait videos?
Without further due, here are my top picks, they have a good, solid pack of features and get the job done really well.
If you are an iPhone user, then Lumafusion is hands down the absolute Instagram video editor you can use.
To be honest, it’s actually the best iPhone video editing app you can use for any kind of video, not just Instagram.
The reason it works so good for Instagram though is that it allows you to crop or resize your videos to that square format that you see on Instagram.
Speaking of cropping a video.
I recently started putting together Premiere Pro tutorials and I have a super short and to the point 1-minute clip that explains how you can crop a video in Premiere Pro.
Back to this article now.
Lumafusion is packed with a ton of different features that will allow you to really dive into the video editing process. It’s almost like your editing on your computer.
You have the option to add multiple videos and audio tracks in the timeline which I think it’s absolutely phenomenal for a mobile video editing app.
So you can have your main footage on one track, but you can also overlay text or graphics, add some b-roll, and so on. The multiple-track timeline alone just makes this app really stand out from the crowd.
For the audio, you can use one track for adding music, another one for a voice recording, and maybe one more for adding audio effects.
Using audio effects can really step up the quality of your Instagram videos.
Sure, it takes a lot more work to find and add in the right audio effects, but at the end of the day, it is all in the details. That is what makes the difference.
With the audio, you also have the option to control the volume at different times in the timeline, so you can create a build-up and really get into sound mixing if you’re into that.
When it comes to actually editing the footage, obviously you will have the common options to trim your videos, duplicate clips, cut and stitch, and so on. There are also a handful of cool looking transitions you can use.
You have stuff such as gradient wipe, dissolve or fade. You can get really creative with these options.
Once you are all done, Lumafusion allows you to color grade your Instagram video easily. So you will be able to play around with saturation and make your colors really pop. Or maybe create a more cinematic looking type of video.
With this app, you get pretty much everything you would need. Your only limitation will be your creativity.
The app is not free to download. At the moment I’m writing this it costs $19.99. This is above the average you would pay for a mobile video editing app. I think it was even more expensive a couple of months back.
But if you’re a power Instagram user and you like to post video content regularly, I think it is worth the investment.
If you’re an Android fan, like I am, then PowerDirector is probably the best video editing app you could get your hands on.
It is pretty similar to Lumafusion, to be honest.
It also has the option to use multiple videos and audio tracks, so you can add in graphic elements such as your logos or animations and b-roll. The transitioning effects are in there as well, so it’s basically pretty much the same as Lumafusion. I’m just going to point out what’s different.
Now, I don’t know if this is a feature that you would use a lot on Instagram. I guess it depends on what type of content you are posting. But if you need it, it’s there.
For those of you who don’t know what chroma key does, it is a video editing feature or technique that allows you to replace a green screen (or blue screen) backdrop with a different background.
You can read more about how to create a green screen video over here.
Fonts & titles
PowerDirector comes with a lot of cool-looking fonts and titles, some of them animated.
This might not sound like a big deal, but it actually is.
A nice looking title that you display at the very beginning of your video will make the clip look more professional and people are more likely to want to keep watching instead of scrolling down to other people’s content. So grabbing their attention right from the very start is super important.
I am a big fan of slow-motion scenes and I always use them in my edits whenever I can. It makes the footage look more cinematic, it’s more interesting and fun to watch.
I have an entire post on how to make slow motion GoPro videos, so check that out. The basic principles can be applied to different cameras too, not just GoPro.
PowerDirector has a slow-mo feature that allows you to create buttery smooth slow-motion videos, even if you didn’t shot the video at a higher frame rate.
The app probably uses some kind of “prediction” algorithm to generate more frames in-between the “real frames”, so that the video does not look jittery when you slow it down.
The thing about PowerDirector is that it doesn’t actually edit square videos. You can only edit landscape and portrait videos.
So what you want to do is to edit your video in portrait mode and when you upload it to Instagram you will crop off the very top and very bottom of it. So it will become square.
What export settings to use
I know there’s a lot of mixed information out there when it comes to the export settings to use for Instagram, particularly for the resolution.
I always recommend exporting your Instagram videos in 1080p / Full HD. Most phones can display Full HD resolutions, so it makes sense to have your content adjusted to that format.
If you are posting a square video that would be 1080 x 1080.
If you are posting a portrait video that would be 1080 x 1920.
It is as simple as that.
You are probably going to shot in 1080p anyway, so all you need to do is just keep the same resolution.
If I were to give you just one final piece of advice that would be to just start. Any of the video editing solutions mentioned above will do in the early stages.
Just pick one and go play with it. You can upgrade or switch to something better later down the road.
With all that said, the video editing part is just half the work you will need to do.
Having a solid marketing strategy behind your content is just as important. Luckily, nowadays there are a ton of free or paid tools to help you out with getting your content out there in a timely fashion.
Sure, the way your video look will definitely have a major impact on how your brand or product is perceived by people. But marketing it right is a whole different business which I’ll leave for another post.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner, and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios, or brands all over the globe.