Video is a powerful marketing tool that can reach large audiences across a multitude of platforms. Importantly, to make the most of these platforms, marketers need to optimise their videos to the specifications required. Aspect ratio is, arguably, the most important of these – it makes sure your videos fit the platform and look their best. You may have noticed that different platforms require different aspect ratios from YouTube’s 16:9 to Instagram’s 1:1. Editing individual videos for each can turn into a time consuming process. Luckily, we have come up with a quick, online and cost efficient way to resize your videos in a single editing session.
What is an aspect ratio?
An aspect ratio refers to the ratio between the width and height of a media file, in our case video. Essentially, it describes a video’s shape. Aspect ratios are written in the formula of “width: height”, for example the most popular ratio widescreen is 16:9.
Why are aspect ratios important?
Marketing is becoming increasingly omni-channel, so too is video marketing. This means that marketers should be prepared to share content across many different platforms at a moment’s notice. You can have a huge impact on your audience (and save time) by shooting a single video and changing the aspect ratio to share across many platforms. The alternative is shooting separate videos for each platform with the aspect ratio in mind. Currently, the world of online marketing moves too fast for such a lengthy process.
One of our top tips to remember is the importance of keeping your video sharing current and consistent. Viewers love an orderly, consecutive theme, tone and aesthetic when scrolling through profiles. This makes your brand or personal profile more recognisable to your audience, gaining larger audience engagement and reach. One simple way to achieve this is by making sure videos or ad campaigns are upload ready and optimised for any social media platforms.
The top 5 aspect ratios
Here, we’ve listed five of the most commonly used video ratio specs.
Instagram's most popular video ratio is 1:1 Square.
Facebook recommends a video ratio of 4:5 Social.
YouTube requires a video ratio of 16:9 Widescreen.
Snapchat, TikTok and stories across all platforms work best with a video ratio of 9:16 Portrait.
Pinterest is the ideal platform for 2:3 Vertical videos (they look great on Facebook too).
Facebook cover videos and blog banners require a ratio of 21:9 Cinematic.
How to change the aspect ratio of a video
Step 1. Create an account
Register for a free Clipchamp account to get started or log in if you have one already.
Step 2. Start new project
Once logged in, select the Create a Video button on the left side bar. You can choose from any of the five ratio options. The Clipchamp Create editor will automatically open once you have selected your ratio.
Step 3. Add video footage
Select and click the Stock button on the left side bar. Either type in the Search Video search bar a theme you are looking for, or scroll through the limitless categorised folders Clipchamp offers on the Stock page. Once your stock video has been selected, click the + Add to Project button on the left corner of the video to add to your library. If you have existing footage you would like to use, click the Add Media button and browse your files. Close the stock page when finished to head back to the editor.
Step 4. Drag and drop media to timeline
Drag and drop each clip from your media library to the editor timeline. If you place a clip in the wrong sequence, you can move them anytime. If the clips are too long in length, click on the particular clip you want to crop. Drag the green bar on the right side of the video to cut the videos length. You can also use the tool Split.
Step 5. Correct clips
If you have used a smaller ratio size such as 1:1, the stock footage will need to be resized. To do so, click the clip you would like to resize, then under the Transform tab click Resize and Crop To Fill.
If ‘Crop to Fill’ cuts off too much of your original video, there’s an alternative – the Blur Fill filter. Blur Fill will replace any black space behind your video with a blurred and dimmed version of it. To add Blur Fill, select your clip on the editing timeline, then from the menu that appears above, select the Filters button. Finally, scroll down to find the Blur Fill filter and select it to apply.
Step 6: Review and export
Once you are satisfied with your video, click the Export button and save to your files. You can also directly upload to social media or send to friends.
Step 7. Change your video aspect ratio
After exporting your video in one aspect ratio, you can return to the editor and change your video into as many aspect ratios as you like. To do this, click the current video ratio in the top right corner, under the Export button. Hover and change your video ratio from 1:1 to 16:9, 9:16, 4:5 or 21:9.
In different ratios, your video will need some adjusting using the techniques we’ve discussed above like Crop to Fill or using the Blur Fill filter. Importantly, if you video has text, you’ll need to adjust its size and position in the new aspect ratio. Once you’re done, you can review and export, then repeat this process until you have your video in all of the ratios you need.