How to Re-purpose Your Video Content For Instagram and Other Social Media
The Content Dilemma
Long-form content doesn’t do well on all social-media platforms. The three-minute “About Us” and lifestyle branding video you produced for YouTube, Facebook and other online video placements will not get the same response on micro-content platforms like Instagram Stories, and IGTV. With that in mind, if you follow some of the steps below you’ll be able to maximize your time on set, and maximize your client’s return on investment.
The first thing you’ll need to consider: are you producing reworked content, or shooting separate content with certain social or online platforms in mind?
If you’re shooting native social you’ll have to decide what aspect ratio you’re shooting in. As ridiculous as it sounds, even Arri has released official vertical filming rigs (pictured above) for social-first content creators. Yes, that’s a $60,000 worth of equipment meant for social-only content. And yes people do really use it, and make lots of money doing so.
If you’re shooting vertical, you obviously don’t have to go the Arri route; simply grabbing a traditional photo-tripod and putting the mount into vertical mode will suffice. You’ll be locked down on the tripod, but it’s cheap and easy. We recommend grabbing a cheese-plate like cage and using that to mount on your various base-plates. This provides the most versatility, and you can easily mount the camera in a traditional horizontal aspect ratio without much work.
Getting the Look In Your Edit
When setting up your edit the first thing you’ll have to consider is whether you’ll be delivering a normal horizontal video or cropping the video to fully fill the vertical aspect ratio. The former is easy, but you run the risk of making the video extremely small when viewed on a mobile device.
Creating sequences that fill the vertical aspect ratio is as simple as flipping the pixel values of your desired aspect ratio. For 1080p your sequence would flip from 1920x1080 to 1080x1920. You can save time by using a custom sequence setting and saving it as a preset. Ours is saved as “Instagram Stories.”
Creating Bite Sized Moments
Now that you’ve got the look and feel of your project decided, it’s time to determine how to create bite-sized moments.
These moments are obvious. Does the interviewee change the subject? Is there a natural cut, transition or title screen that you breaks up the action? Or even better, did you edit the video into sections with headers and transition titles like we did with the video in this example?
Boomerangs made it profitable, but those of us that grew up on GIFs know a perfect loop when we see one. These small pieces of content cut from a larger video are usually less than five seconds long and can appear to infinitely loop. The effect is eye-catching, and incredibly easy to leverage on social channels.
Tease, Then Please
This method has a set up and a pay off. This means you tease a question, a moment, to reveal with the first video. You follow through in the second video by relieving the anticipation of the first video with an answer. Think of it as a mini narrative arc.
Serial (not the podcast, but kind of the podcast)
This doesn’t usually work in the traditional long-form serial sense, but the “micro-serial” can be a sequential narrative or as simple as the interviews below. These create a serial by revealing each question and answer with each subsequent video. You can even create micro-episodic content by adding cliff-hangers, twists, and incorporating pieces of the other tips we mentioned above.
The Only Bean Example
Like I mentioned above, we used the footage we shot for The Only Bean to create a longer-form interview/testimonial from Chef Chuck. We actually had 5 questions, but cut the final down to three. The other two questions will be saved for later as they didn’t fit with the flow of the other responses. Looking at the original video at the top of the page you can see we used the natural breaks of the title transitions to create breaks for the smaller clips. Each of these can now be added individually on Instagram as a post, added as a Instagram Story, and then saved as a highlight as well. The longevity of the content on a decidedly ADHD platform like Instagram results in an incredible value for the cost to the client, and to our time on set and in the edit. What took a few hours in-studio to setup and shoot will now become as many as seven different pieces of micro-content, all aimed at driving home The Only Bean story, and brand promise.