Happy Friday, y’all! I’ve had this post on my mind for a while now… I can’t tell you how giddy I am to press publish! I’ve been dabbling with short-form video content for a while now, primarily on Tiktok with a little bit of love going to IG Reels too. Since starting to create and produce short-form video content, I’ve found that I have some favorite tools that I use during my content creation, and today, I wanted to share them with you!
I know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to it! These are the 5 tools I use to create short-form video content for Instagram Reels and Tiktok (And why I love ’em!):
This one probably goes without saying, but you’ll need something to film your content! I don’t get fancy with it, and I actually just use the camera on my iPhone! (make sure you give it a wipe on your shirt before you start filming… it makes all the difference!)
If I’m filming what I’ve jokingly come to call a “talking head” video, I typically just talk right into the camera app on my phone… if I mess up, I keep the camera rolling, and I later make cuts in InShot (more on that in a moment!).
If I am filming something that will be aligned with an audio piece like say, a lipsync, I typically film that on Instagram because the app allows you to save the original video clip without a watermark. It saves without audio, so I sync this in later. One important note here: make sure you listen to the audio on both Instagram and Tiktok. I’ve found slight differences between sounds on different platforms, so just keep that in mind if you are creating content for both platforms at one time.
I practically live in my Airpods, so I’m not surprised I love them for content creation! I typically wear my Airpods to have sound pumped in my ears when I’m filming a lipsync and to help with sound quality when I’m doing a voice-over or talking head video! If you will be doing any kind of voice-over or audio recording for Reels or Tiktok, I do recommend having some sort of external mic that’s a little closer to your mouth to isolate sound than the built-in mic on your phone.
Y’all… I doubted it for so long, but the ring light makes a difference, let me tell you! Yes, clean, open indirect window light will do the job, but I also like having access to my ring light and tripod combo for filming flexibility. My ring light has a mount for my iPhone right on it for hands-free filming! I link the one that I use regularly above… it breaks down to a pretty portable size which is awesome. If a ring light isn’t your thing, that’s okay! That said, I highly recommend getting a stable and portable tripod phone mount to ensure the best video quality possible!
As a bonus here, I also use this hot shoe phone mount to mount my phone on my camera during sessions! I love that this allows me to capture behind-the-scenes videos, hands-free!
I edit 90% of my short-form video content in an app called InShot. It is a paid app for premium features. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it, but I can honestly say that I use it pretty much every time I’m creating a video! (Unless I’m creating it in-app!) The interface is easy to use, I love that it keeps a log of video drafts, and the app feels pretty intuitive to me overall! There are a few other app options out there, but I’ve found this one to be my favorite.
I use Canva to custom-create my Reels covers. I love Stephanie Kase’s Reels Cover Photos and have customized them to my own branding over time! I love that each is unique, easy to update, and creates a cohesive feel on my main feed and Reels feed! If you are looking to easily create IG Reels covers, I highly recommend Canva + Stephanie’s templates!
Bonus: Planning Ahead
I couldn’t let this post go live without talking about how I strategize and plan my short-form video content. Filming content takes time, editing takes time, and when you have a busy week, it is typically the first thing to get nixed from my to-do list because filming means I have to put on makeup. (I’m sure SOMEONE can relate!) So, to help with this and to increase my posting consistency, I typically film all my short-form video content at once! It takes a decent chunk of time, but it’s worth it in my mind. At the beginning of each month, I write out my content calendar, film, and then post when it’s time to post! It’s made life A LOT easier. If a trend is going viral, sometimes I do hop on the bandwagon, but sometimes I don’t! I like that having quality content prepped helps to reduce the pressure of constantly stopping, dropping, and creating something new. I have a Reels/Tiktok planning worksheet linked here which may be helpful if you are looking into getting into batch pre-planning and filming.
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