It's time to get Reel

Creating High-Quality Videos for Reels, TikTok, and Shorts

January 31, 2023
Kyra Goodman

Great quality, great results. We’re not looking for perfect, but we do want our social videos to be really good. For better quality videos sometimes it's the simple things…

As social media continues to move towards authenticity, brands have all the tools they need to create high-quality videos…right from their cell phones. Sure, there’s still a time and place for fancy, professional videography, but for Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts, your handy dandy device will do.

We’re not looking for perfect, but we do want it to be good. Here are 9 tips for better quality videos.

Start With A Plan

Before we get into technicalities, let’s talk about the prep work. Part of creating high-quality videos is having a plan and a goal in mind. No posting just for the sake of posting.

Prior to the actual content creation, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the topic of my video and how does it fit into my content strategy?
  • Why is this topic important to my audience?
  • What’s the best way to execute this video? Talking, voiceover, music?
  • What’s the goal of this video?
  • How will I measure the success of this video? Which KPIs are important?

Nailing down these answers will help set you up for higher-quality content in general. 

Follow Recommended Specs

Reels, TikTok and Shorts should all be vertical content. Optimize your videos for each platform by following these recommended specifications:

  • Aspect ratio - 9:16
  • Resolution - 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • File type - MP4 or MOV

The length of your videos will vary based on the type of video and the platform. At Sked, we're strong advocates for getting to the point. If you can get the point across in under 30 seconds, do it - no reason to drag it out.

Use Good Lighting

While our devices nowadays are okay at working in darker conditions, the quality isn’t what I’d call high - videos often get grainy and blurry in low light. For better quality videos we’re going to want good lighting - natural or artificial.

Quick things to keep in mind when considering light:

  • Keep the light source in front of your face. Unless you’re intentionally going for stylistic light choices, you’ll want to keep the main light source in front of your face.
  • When using natural light, try to record in the morning or the evening to avoid the sun being directly on top of you.
  • Use a ring light (preferably one with different colors and brightness), especially indoors or in darker settings.

Opt For The Back Camera

In general, the back camera is better than the front camera. I will admit though that if you’ve got good lighting, the front camera is probably just fine. I just got a new iPhone 14 Pro Max and the front camera is honestly *chef’s kiss* 

Clean The Lens

This feels like a no-brainer but wipe the lens before you record. Oil and dirt from our hands can make the video look blurry and out of focus - nothing a quick clean can't fix.

Choose A Good Background

Keep your background tidy to not distract your audience. This doesn’t mean every video should be in front of a blank wall, but if you’re recording in your bedroom, pick the clothes up off the floor. 

Especially if your video will have text or captions, a clean background will make it easier to read. 

Spice It Up With Editing

Add a little spice to your videos with things like effects, transitions and text. Take advantage of the built-in features or use a third-party editing tool like InShot or Videoleap. Here are a few quick tutorials to get the inspiration going:

Get A Microphone

Invest in a cheap microphone. No one wants to listen to you talk when there’s a lawn mower going in the background. Having a mic will immediately improve the quality of your audio. I like this simple one from Amazon that I just plug into my device when I'm recording.

Use The App's High-Quality Uploads Feature

When it’s time to actually post your video, make sure you have strong internet connection and select high-quality upload on the app. 

High-quality uploads take a bit longer to post, but make sure this is always on.

On Instagram….

  • Create your Reel
  • Click Next to add in your caption, hashtags, tags, etc
  • Click Advanced settings
  • Under Data Usage, make sure Upload at highest quality is toggled on

On TikTok….

  • Create your TikTok
  • Click Next to add in your caption, hashtags, tags, etc
  • Scroll down and make sure Allow high-quality uploads is toggled on

On YouTube…

  • There isn't a high-quality upload option for Shorts so just make sure your videos meet the recommended specs from above

Need More Tips and Inspiration?

Follow us on Instagram @getskedsocial for social media tips, tutorials and news.

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