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A Simple Way to Post Horizontal Videos on IGTV and Instagram Stories

A Simple Way to Post Horizontal Videos on IGTV and Instagram Stories

Since Instagram released IGTV, we’ve been flooded with the same question... How can you post horizontal videos on IGTV?

Much like Instagram Stories and Snapchat, IGTV features vertical videos. Given its focus on catering to the modern-day smartphone user, IGTV is a dream platform if you who want to share and consume long form, vertical videos.

The funny thing is, many people that I know have been saying to me, who on earth wants to watch vertical videos?! But my view is that Instagram are onto something. We all consume a lot of content on mobile devices.  Video content is consumed more than any other form of content. Watching horizontal videos, on our vertical, mobile devices is not ideal. IGTV – a vertical ‘TV’ platform, makes complete sense.

It’s early days. We don’t really know what IGTV is yet, or rather what it will become. But I certainly don’t think it should be dismissed.

In this podcast episode, I show you how to repurpose your horizontal/landscape videos and post them on IGTV, Instagram Stories and Snapchat (Snapchat…yes…that still exists right?!).

To listen to the podcast, hit play below, or read on for more of a detailed overview, you can also scroll to the end of the post to watch a video tutorial:

Why post horizontal videos on IGTV?

Did you know that mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021? What’s more, younger audiences are spending more time with their favourite, amateur creators rather than professions.

In light of this, maybe it’s time to get ahead of the curve and get content onto IGTV. 

A Simple Way to Post Horizontal Videos on IGTV and Instagram Stories

So…have you been wondering how you can post horizontal videos on IGTV? Maybe you have an entire back catalogue of horizontal videos that you want to repurpose. Or maybe, you have plans to make lots of horizontal videos in the future and you want to post them onto YouTube and IGTV.

Don’t worry you don’t need to be a tech-wizard for this one!

All you need is video-editing software and some basic image-editing skills!

Sound good?

Great, keep reading!

Resizing your videos: Portrait Vs. Landscape

For a long time, vertical videos were a sign of low-quality production (especially when they appear with two large black bars to the left and right because someone held their phone the wrong way around when video recording!).

But not anymore.

Nowadays, we’re spending less time watching online videos on our desktops and more time binge-watching them on our smartphones.

Vertical video has gone mainstream. And it’s all thanks to mobile apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

But why have vertical videos become so popular?

Well, most of us keep our phones locked on portrait orientation (me included!). And who can blame us? Nobody likes it when you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and the screen decides to flip horizontally – it’s so annoying!

As a result, we’ve become accustomed to consuming videos in portrait mode when we’re on our phones.

Another reason why vertical videos have become so popular is the fact that it’s super accessible. Not everyone can shoot films in 4K resolution, but even your gran can film a quick video with her smartphone (if you have a gran with a smartphone!)

But just because apps like Instagram prioritise vertical videos, doesn’t mean you can’t post your horizontal videos onto these apps. Yes, it would be easier just to record your video in portrait mode and upload it to IGTV, but that’s not always an option.

So, if you want to post horizontal videos on IGTV (without cropping out content), here’s what you need to do:

1. Edit the aspect ratio

The first step is to download video editing software such as Final Cut Pro, iMovie  or Filmora. There’s plenty of video editing software options out there, so do some research and find one that suits your needs (and is within your budget!)

Next, launch the software and create a new project.

When prompted to choose an aspect ratio for your new project, search for a pre-set option for Instagram Stories. If it’s nowhere to be seen, choose the custom resolution option.

Edit the aspect ratio to 9:16 with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Now you should see a blank vertical canvas on your screen.

Do you see it?

Great! Let’s move onto the next step…

2. Upload your horizontal video

Now that you have the perfect blank canvas, it’s time to add your video.

You can crop your video to fit the length and width of the vertical canvas. But most of us (including me) would rather not cut or trim our videos!

So, I recommend placing your landscape video onto the canvas in a centred position.

Take your time and get the position of your video just right.

You want to retain its original horizontal aspects without accidentally trimming off the edge!

3. Create a design for the top and bottom spaces of your video

You’ve put your video onto a vertical canvas, and it looks great…except for the two blank spaces on the top and bottom of your video.

Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of them.

But you CAN turn them into a fantastic branding opportunity…

All you need to do is create an image or graphic design that will go above and below (or around) your horizontal video.

You can create this image using something like Photoshop, PicMonkey or Canva. When you create a new image, look for a pre-set canvas ratio for Instagram Stories. If there are none, create your canvas using the same dimensions as above (1920 x 1080).

Now you’ve got your blank canvas it’s time to get creative!

You can use any colour or image you like, just make sure it doesn’t take away focus from the video.

You could use your company’s branded colours, your logo or some text to add some more value to your video.

For example, if you want people to sign up to something (such as an online training course or workshop), you can add the information in the space above or below the video. Alternatively, you could add a powerful quote or a branded image.

Once you’re happy with how it looks, download the final version.

The graphics you create can also be re-used for future videos and for repurposing onto social media, so don’t be afraid to get creative and include some shameless self-promotion where you can!

4. Embed the image into your video

You’ve got your video and your image, but how do you combine the two?

All you have to do is return to your video editing software, where your video is ready and waiting.

Next, add the image you created as additional media and bring it into the canvas as a second layer. The important thing here is to make sure the video is brought to the front, and the image is set to the back to avoid any overlapping.

It may take a few tries to get the positioning of the image just right. Take your time. It’s better to spend more time creating fantastic content that you can be proud of, rather than rushing through it just so you can finish up before lunchtime!

Once you’re happy with how it looks, it’s time to extract the video as an MP4 video file.

And there you have it…you’ve successfully converted your horizontal video into a vertical video you can put on IGTV, Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

It wasn’t as difficult as you thought, right?

And now you can share all of your videos (horizontal or vertical) with your audience, no matter what platform they find your content!

A Simple Way to Post Horizontal Videos on IGTV and Instagram Stories

Now, there is a question of whether you should repurpose your horizontal / landscape videos for IGTV, or whether you should only create native content. After-all just because you can do something doesn’t always mean that you should!

I think only you know your audience and what they respond well too. As with any new platform and new concept, it’s a good idea to test, test, test. See what works and what doesn’t work.

I do think it’s a good idea to create native content for IGTV. But, I also think that exploring repurposing opportunities when it makes sense shouldn’t be overlooked.

Watch a video tutorial on how to post horizontal videos on IGTV

Are you going to give it a go? let me know how you get on!

 I’ve got loads more step-by-step tutorials just like this one in The Content 10x Toolkit. It’s the ultimate guide for repurposing your video content into trailers, square teasers and even into a podcast!


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  1. It may take a few tries to get the positioning of the image just right. Take your time. It’s better to spend more time creating fantastic content that you can be proud of, rather than rushing through it just so you can finish up before lunchtime!

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