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How to Edit Short-form Content

What’s the best way to edit your short-form content? Whether you’re just starting out with YouTube Shorts, TikTok, or Reels, or you’ve been making them for a while, keep reading to check out our top editing tips for creators of all levels.

Software recommendations:


Available on the App store and Google Play, InShot is ideal for those who want to edit on the go, as well as those who might not have editing software on a computer. On the app, you can edit both photos and videos, which allows you to create content with consistent fonts/styles/colours. This feature is especially useful if you also intend on also posting your short-form video to Instagram as Reels.

Side note, our tip for Reels? If you want to create a dedicated thumbnail/cover image, take a still (or relevant separate higher-quality photo), and use the same styling and font on the thumbnail as you use in your video. That way, your content will consistently deliver your brand image, and viewers won’t feel misled when they open a Reel.

This tip unfortunately isn’t applicable to YouTube Shorts, as the platform currently works a little differently - it will take the first frame of your video as the thumbnail instead. The app forcing creator's hands on this can be a backhanded benefit - if you make sure your first frame is an exciting one, your content may end up with a stronger opening hook.

One final thing to note is that InShot does place a watermark over the bottom right hand corner of the video, but this can be removed by watching an ad or through an in-app purchase to remove all watermarks on your current and future projects.

Overall, the program has a very intuitive interface, and has features ranging from basic cuts through to keyframe animations. There are plenty of online video tutorials available if you need a guiding hand to get started, as an example we recommend the one below:

Premiere Pro or FinalCut

If you’re looking to create short-form video content, there’s a good chance you’ve already got one of these video-editing programs in your setup. If you’re familiar with the software, it makes sense to utilise your editing strengths!

Both softwares (and most equivalent other editing programs) allow you to create custom video resolutions that are ideal for short-form vertical - from there it’s just a matter of editing your content to suit the shorter duration.

One massive benefit of using Premiere Pro is it's auto-caption feature. A well-noted viewing habit is that audiences are often watching short-form video content without audio. Having subtitles/captioning on your content helps cater to this, as well as making your content more accessible generally.

Manual or automatic captioning is available via all of the programs listed in this article, but Premiere Pro definitely stands out as having the most effective and customisable captioning ability.

In the Video Platform App

Editing in the platform apps themselves are also an option, and come with many benefits and unique potential.

One benefit is that editing within the app will give you easy access to text native to the platform - TikTok and Instagram especially have such visually distinctive fonts that using them can give your content an approachable and familiar feel within the platform. However, doing this may also pigeonhole the video as “A TikTok” or “A Reel”, which could impact how it’s received on other platforms.

Another benefit is editing within the app means you can see in real-time how your visuals will work with any audio you’re using - this is especially important for trending audios or any meme/transitions you may be replicating.

Within Instagram in particular, there is now a template feature. Reels will displace a "Use Template" prompt above the creator's name on reels that can have the feature available. By opening the template, creators can use the timing of clips on an existing reel and substitute their own content in using a user-friendly process.

All of the above features can be done manually by downloading specific audios or videos to reference in your editing, but editing in the app can be an effective way to achieve the same effect with less manual effort.

But which one should you use?

In the end, the editing software that best suits your editing style and workflow will be the most efficient for you. If you’re already creating long-form content in Premiere Pro, it doesn’t make sense to then transfer the content to your phone to edit via InShot rather than simply creating a new sequence. That said, it does help to be flexible and upskill your editing potential - this is especially true for trending content. Having the ability to jump on a trend as soon as you see it gaining traction can help you make the most of the opportunity, and a quick edit via a program like InShot or even in the app itself is likely to be the most effective way to produce that content.

This all comes under the caveat also of knowing what style of short-form content is going to best serve your channel and your audience. Jumping on trends will work for some niches, whereas others will benefit from having a set structure of content, and exploring the creativity within defined parameters. One great example of the latter is Blake Jennings, and his "Depression Meal Mondays" videos. Each follows the same format and has the same style of humour, but the videos themselves vary in topic.

Now you’ve had time to think about the practicality of editing short-form content, all that’s left is to go out and put it into practice! Keep reading: - We spoke to Jeenie (AKA TikTok’s favourite flight attendant Jeenie.Weenie) and got her tips for Getting Started with YouTube Shorts.

- We also had a chat with Saksham Magic (4.4 million subs and counting), who shared his 3 tips for YouTube Shorts Success.

Want to get started but need an accountability partner, or want other creator feedback on your videos? The Creator Generation Community server is waiting for you - come hang out with your fellow creators for advice, events, and more. Click here to check it out!


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