When deciding the best video format for your content, the first question you have to ask yourself is “Where is your main audience?” Depending on your answer, you’ll be able to determine how long each video should be and how each video can fit into your social media ecosystem.
If you create more long-format content, YouTube will most likely be your playground. Viewers here are accustomed to sitting and watching videos ranging from 2-minute tutorials all the way up to 30-minute documentaries!
You can stretch your legs here and really show off your editing chops, knowing that viewers are here for quality over quantity. Feel free to export your videos in full quality, up to 4k and full-sized at 1920x1080 for a full-screened, horizontal experience.
Vertical Video Takeover
If your audience skews younger, or if your content is shorter and snappier, Instagram and TikTok may be a better fit. While the two platforms have similar approaches, we’ll discuss them separately as they have a few key distinctions.
Instagram has shifted to a video-first approach and its ecosystem allows you to feed viewers to more of your own content. Instagram Stories are 15 second clips that last 24 hours, perfect for fleeting moments or teasers to your longer clips. Best viewed vertically in a 9:16 aspect ratio, you’d export these videos from a 1080x1920 timeline if using an editing software on your computer. You can easily add a link in your stories that lead to a full post or to your Reels.
Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Similar to Stories, these are best viewed vertically in a 9:16 aspect ratio — remember, think full-screen, mobile first! Reels can be 60 seconds long and can be stitched together from multiple clips, allowing you to use unique filters and swanky editing techniques.
TikTok, while the youngest of the platforms, has shaken up the industry and forced everyone to pivot and rethink their strategies. There are some key distinctions to formatting your videos for TikTok. All videos are vertical (remember 1080x1920 with a 16:9 aspect ratio). Videos recorded natively in-app can be 60 seconds long by stitching together 4, 15-second clips. Videos recorded elsewhere can be longer than 60 seconds.
Repurposing Your Videos
While it may seem daunting to deal with the various video format requirements, fear not! We’ve extensively covered how to repurpose your videos from other platforms to play nicely with each other. If you started with YouTube, you can easily post your videos to Instagram. If TikTok is your main outlet, here’s how you can use those clips on Instagram. It’s important to remember that while TikTok allows users to add licensed music to their videos, Instagram requires non-copyright music but that’s where Soundtracks has you covered.