video content

5 Tips For Recording Video From Your Smartphone


Today, the smartphone right in your pocket can be incredibly helpful when it comes to capturing any moment in action. With a little practice and these tips, you can start recording quick, engaging videos for social media, all from your phone. 

Landscape or Portrait?

When choosing how you'll be filming, you first need to consider where you plan to post the video. If you're posting videos to Snapchat or Instagram 'Stories,' you'll want to record in portrait orientation. This is also common practice when recording yourself and posting on Facebook and Instagram as this format also looks best on mobile (where the majority of people are watching video).


It's All About The Lighting

Without good lighting, especially on a smartphone, the quality of your video will suffer. With that said, the best source of lighting is your friend, mother nature. But if you're indoors, try to have as many light sources as possible. PRO TIP: Set up your camera so that light comes from behind it to avoid overexposure and lens flare.

Nice and Steady

Keeping your smartphone camera steady is crucial for the best quality video. If you prefer stationary shots, consider using a tripod for the ultimate steady and clear photo. Don't have a tripod? Improvise! Try to find something to support your smartphone on, such as a railing or table. If you're all about mobility and taking quick shots when the moment is right, release the shutter only when your hands are steady. 


Crop (Don't Zoom)

Our smartphone cameras are equipped with some awesome features at our disposal, but the zoom function is one we shouldn't use. Why? Unfortunately, our phones don't have fancy lenses. Instead, smartphone cameras use a digital zoom that essentially guesses the details of the image and reducing the quality dramatically. Instead of zooming in, move the camera closer, or just crop your enlarged photo later. 

Keep it Short

SQUIRRELL! Whether it's due to a short attention span or not, video needs to get to its point quicker than ever. Studies reveal that videos have just 10 seconds to grab an audience without a dropoff in engagement. Twitter videos are capped at 30 seconds, Instagram at 60-second maximum and Snapchat videos are capped at 10 seconds. So do your best to keep them short, sweet, and to the point.

Instagram and Snapchat are Fueling Video Content


Video content is no longer 'the next best thing'--- it's the now. Remember when search engine king, Google, bought YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website? A decade later, hundreds of millions of hours of video are being watched by users daily and by 2018, it's projected that 69% of total Internet traffic will be video.

Not only is video becoming the preferred media content by consumers, but popular social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are also prioritizing videos over the original still images. In recent updates, Instagram rolled out 60-second video capturing capabilities, 4 times longer than the original time limit. Similarly, Snapchat has affirmed their infatuation with videos when they launched a campaign aimed at brands to 'go vertical with their video.'

Moving forward, it is likely that Youtube remains the superior video content sharing platform because of the sheer mass of users, but there are advantages that give Instagram and Snapchat a dog in the fight.


As mentioned previously, there are more popular platforms out there, but Instagram and Snapchat have cozy spots within the trend-setting, younger generation. Since these platforms are geared towards the younger demographic, changes are introduced more easily in comparison to the older Facebook demographic that dislike constant changes.

Instagram Demos
Instagram Demos
  • Snapchat continues to roll out new features that cater to their demographic. From shopping to filters, women under the age of 25 are some of their main targets. Knowing this, your content should replicate content that works for this demographic.
Snap Demo
Snap Demo

Mobile Accessibility

A college professor of mine once used to call cell phones 'crack,' because of what it was; addicting and accessible. Both Instagram and Snapchat are predominately used on mobile devices. With mobile use favored by the greater population, videos are easily created on both platforms and can be instantly uploaded and consumed.

Additionally, you can expect company's to continue advertising through videos. This year, Instagram is expected to earn $1.30 billion in the US ($1.53 billion worldwide) in ad revenue. To put video consumption into perspective, on YouTube mobile, the average video viewing session is now more than 40 minutes at a time.


The Realness Factor

Videos capture and invoke immediacy and realtime moments. Consumers are watching more videos that are relevant to their lives and are in-the-moment from their favorite accounts. Instagram for example, extended their video time length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds for longer, more diverse stories from users. For Snapchat, 'stories' including live video content have become increasingly popular as users become more aware of the importance of video.


The great thing about Instagram and Snapchat is their tremendous growth rate and continuous efforts to change the way we use and view video. Here at Social Ape Marketing, we hope to utilize video in the near future to create unique content for our appropriate clients.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!