Posting videos on social media is a great way for small businesses to advertise new products and share news about their brands. In fact, 70% of marketers in 2021 say that videos help improve ROI. 

Today’s smartphone cameras are almost as good as any digital camera when it comes to shooting videos and footage. Whether that’s commemorating a friend’s birthday or making Instagram Stories for your small business, it’s easy to whip out a phone and start recording. In order to make your next video look like you used high quality camera equipment, you might need to crop your video. 

Why do you need to crop your video? 

There are many ways that professional video editors use effects to make videos that tell a story in a compelling and engaging manner. Hiring a high quality visual designer can take your product videos and lifestyle ads to the next level. 

However, for many small businesses much of the branding, marketing, video creating, and editing must happen in-house. According to a recent survey of 400 small business owners conducted by the Freshbooks Communication and Research Team, over a third of respondents state that they were coping with a severe loss of income as a result of the pandemic. 

This is why numerous small business owners and marketing teams have had to turn to themselves for editing their own marketing materials rather than hiring a professional editing team. Fortunately, cropping your own videos is one of the easiest ways to achieve a professional feel, even when recording video with a smartphone. 

Here are some instances where you might want to crop your video:

  1. Posting on social media. Videos are a great way for small businesses to market themselves on social media, and most platforms have an optimal aspect ratio to create a better experience for their mobile friendly users. 
  1. Framing. Viewers’ eyes will naturally be drawn to the middle of the screen, so it’s important to crop and resize video so that your video is optimized for mobile viewers. 
  1. Removing mistakes. When reviewing a video after the fact, sometimes you will find something was caught on the screen that you don’t want to be a part of the shot. 

How to crop a video on iPhone 

Crop within the Photos App 

If you have an iPhone that’s running iOS 13 and higher then you can easily crop videos in the default Photos app. 

  1. Select the video that you would like to crop. In order ro find the video that you want to crop, open up the Photos app and click on Albums. Then, scroll down and find Media Types and select Videos. From there you will be able to locate the video that you want to crop. 
  1. Enable the Crop Utility. After you have selected the video that you would like to crop, hit the Edit button in the playback window, then select Crop
  1. Crop your video. To adjust how much or how little you would like to crop, simply drag one of the handles on the corner of the crop square. In the preview frame you will be able to crop and reset as many times as you’d like to get the perfect ratio. If you need to adjust the focus within the frame, just pinch to zoom in and out.

Crop using iMovie 

If your device runs an earlier iOS version, then iMovie might be the best way to crop videos that you’ve taken or have stored on your iPhone. 

  1. Add video to iMovie. Open the iMovie app on your iPhone and select + . Then tap Movie and choose the video that you would like to crop. Tap Create Movie and then you will be directed to the Edit panel.
  1. Crop your video. Highlight a clip on the timeline by tapping it. Click on the magnifier icon that appears in the upper right corner of the preview window. Zoom in and out of the frame by pinching the preview. 
  1. Save and share cropped iMovie. When your video is cropped to your liking, hit Done and then select the up arrow icon. Click Save Video and choose the export size that works for you. You can choose to export your video to social media apps to share with your followers or export directly to YouTube.

How to crop a video on Android 

The easiest way to crop a video using an Android phone without having to download an additional app is to use the preloaded Google Photos app:

  1. Choose a video to crop. Open Google Photos and select the video you would like to crop. Then, tap the Edit icon and the in-app editor will appear. 
  1. Crop your video. In the editor, select Crop. Then, you can resize the video according to certain aspect ratios like Square, 16:9, 4:3, and 3:2. Selecting Free will allow you to adjust the ratio using the sliders on the sides of the crop box. 
  1. Save your cropped video to Google Photos. When you’re satisfied with your cropped video, tap Save copy. Now you will have both the original video and the cropped versions saved to Google Photos. 

How to crop videos in the Vimeo Create app 

Vimeo Create for Android and Vimeo Create for iOS makes it easy to edit your videos right from your phone. With Vimeo Create you can make stunning videos in minutes or easily edit videos you already have. 

Choose from a variety of filters, background music and other editing options such as trim, cut, merge, and reorder. You can even add text and stickers directly to your video. 

  1. Upload your clips or start building a video from scratch.
  2. In the Editor, select your video orientation — you can choose between Portrait, Landscape, or Square, depending on where you plan on publishing your video.
  3. To use the Crop + Fit feature, frame your media then drag it to reposition, or pinch to adjust its scale. 

If you have already uploaded your video to Vimeo Create and you just realized that the aspects aren’t right for the platform you will be posting on, it’s super easy to download your video to your device and crop without losing the progress you’ve made with Vimeo Create. 

How to trim an iPhone video for Instagram 

Instagram is a great place for small businesses to share pre-recorded and live videos. Instagram stories are limited to 15 seconds, but you can share combined stories made up of multiple clips. You can also share normal Instagram videos that are up to a minute long, and IGTV videos that are even longer.

Instagram video specs and lengths vary depending on the type of video you want to post. 

If you’re using the Instagram app on iPhone iOS or Android, then you can easily trim a video with Instagram’s built in trimming functionality.

  1. Add a video to your post. Hit + at the bottom of the screen and pick the video you want to post. Then click Next.
  2. Trim your video. Tap Trim at the bottom to start trimming your video. Press and Drag the slider’s handles on the left and right to select the part of the video that you want to use.
  3. Post your video. Hit Done.

Putting it all together

Cropping video isn’t always something that amateur video marketers have in mind when they think of video editing. Knowing how to crop a video on Android or iOS is a valuable skill for anyone who creates video content. 

The versatility of smartphones has created an entire system that you can use to shoot, crop, edit, and post videos online all from the palm of your hand. Now, even small business owners and DIY marketers can crop, trim, and make more video right from their phone.

Download the Vimeo Create app to get started.