[Getting Squared] How To Create Viral ‘Square Videos’ for Your Digital Storytelling

[Getting Squared] How To Create Viral ‘Square Videos’ for Your Digital Storytelling

So now it’s time to get squared.

A trend yes, but also for functionality right? A mobile friendly way to express your digital story.

For many of you, this can be a frustrating task! Especially when you don’t know where to start, are intimidated by the tech involved, or just don’t have the funds to hire a designer or specialist to create your viral content.

So I will give you a step by step tutorial on how to create engaging, and memorable storyboards, and convert them into square videos!

Firstly, I will be using Animoto.

Animoto Video Creator For Social Media

One of my favorite drag and drop design, and video programs.

Animoto is my go to ‘design on the fly’ tool for creating square images, and videos.

*If you mention:  LASTCHANCEBRANDCAMP15 promo code, you will receive 15% off all of their subscription plans.

In order for you to follow along, you will have to sign up with Animoto.


Disclosure: Some of the links I have provided are partner and affiliate links. I may receive a small commission when you click my link and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you!) Thank you in advance. I share these affiliates and partner programs because I believe in the product and use them for my business. -Raven Meyers, Make Your Mark Matter LLC

Okay, let’s get this video design project going!

For this tutorial, I will create a fall inspired food video using images & quotes.

When creating your video, choose images that create the visual story you are sharing. With videos we can appeal to the senses and learning styles by using imagery, sound and movement.

If you don’t have the images on hand, but know what you want, please use royalty free sites like UnSplash, Freepix or Adobe Stock.

There are millions of beautiful images available to you for free, as well as through paid subscriptions. Please do not use Google Images. The copyright infringement fine can be up to 10,000 USD. So be smart and use images that are royalty free, I put a few resources below.

*Tip: When you sign up for Animoto there are also stock images and videos to choose from, so don’t fret.


Adobe Stock
UnSplash (Royalty Free Image Site)

This is important, I do this before I create my square videos in Animoto.

Although it isn’t totally necessary. I like to have my images squared before I do any digital storytelling to make sure it is framed correctly. I do this by using Canva or Picmonkey. Both programs can be used for free and have mobile app versions. When my images are perfectly squared I upload them in their final form to Animoto!

Example using Canva

Canva For Square Design

*Tip: If choosing Canva to create your square images. Use the ‘Social Media’ template on the homepage. This is the square template you will use to create your Instagram images and posts for square videos and promotions. Upload the images you wish to choose and download the finished images to your computer.

Resources: (Free Versions Available)


Now that you have your images, it’s important to get organized.  Collect your thoughts, content, and digital message so that you can properly show your story to the world.  Maybe you are just highlighting your travels or using images. Whatever the case, make sure you have all you need before you start with Animoto.  If you are wanting to create images with quotes and turn it into an enlightening video, make sure you have your quotes ready!

Example Process: Creating Quote Videos

  1. Get quotes from sites like www.brainyquotes.com
  2. Copy and paste quotes to a google doc or word doc

Animoto has a free trial version.

So please go to www.animoto.com and set up your account. I highly suggest you sign up for their promo, because you save 15% off of the already inexpensive subscription plans!

If you are really wanting to become a pro at creating square videos and images for your social media marketing and digital storytelling, you will need to have amazing software and authoring tools to create these epic pieces. Your message and vision is worth the investment.

Animoto is used by Forbes, The New York Times, and WIRED magazine to name a few! So why not start today. Get in front of your fans, and make a mark with your digital story.

Animoto Plans:

Personal Plan: Starting at $8.00 Per Month
Professional Plan: Starting at $22.00 Per Month (Includes Getty Stock Images/Videos)
Business Plan: Starting at $34.00 Per Month

Offer Details
Offer: 15% off at Animoto (All Plans)
Ends: 10/5/18

Start Today

Additional Savings & Tips:

*Receive A Free Month With My Partner Link!

When you sign up, you will get a free month as well! Then invite one of your friends, or send it out to your list, clients or students and keep the giving tree going!

Yes Please!

*Use EBATES and receive 5% back on your monthly subscription! The way to give back to yourself. Use EBATES with Amazon, and so much more.

Yes Please!

Okay! now that you have gathered your images, squared them up, and set up your Animoto account, let’s get to our square video lesson!

Step #1 Let’s Create

From the www.animoto.com homepage, please select ‘Create’. This will open up to your producer dashboard if you will! 

square video design

Step #2 Choose What Type of Video To Create

Now you have to decide what type of video you want to create! For this tutorial we are creating square videos, so please choose the ‘Animoto Marketing’ and click ‘Create’.

square video design

Step #3 Choose Your Storyboard Template

After choosing ‘Animoto Marketing’, please select a pre-made storyboard.

Again, since we are focusing on all things ‘squared’, please select the ‘Wellness Explainer’ storyboard template.

Step #4 Designing Your Square Video

With the ‘Wellness Explainer’ template chosen, you will see that it has preloaded images, and content. Now, I will walk you through how to design, and edit the storyboard. Branding and creating as you go! 

To edit and make changes to the storyboard, please use the left side toolbar. From the ‘Media’ tab on the far left at the top, upload your images. If you don’t have images, you can select images from the Animoto ‘Getty Image’ stock. Just type what you are looking for in the search bar.

Steps On How To Use Your Design Toolbar

Next, go to the ‘Design’ tab. From here you will be able to upload your logo (png file), choose your font styles, and change the colors of your text, accents and video background color.

When you upload your logo, you can choose where to place it on the video frames. Make sure you choose placement that doesn’t block your text or content.  Use logos that are small, yet bold. Many of the viral videos use symbols or icon style of logos. Small, but identifiable. 

After you have added your branding, chosen your text and colors. We need to choose the style of your video. Click which layout your prefer.

This style will align with your branding.  If you like a more explainer video with vibrant colors and text, than choose so. If you are more minimalistic, like me, then choose something that will highlight your text, but not in your face. I like to really showcase the imagery.

Size does matter. Especially in relation to design ratio. 

By choosing the ‘Ratio’ tab, you are give the options of landscape, or square. Choose ‘square’.

Square videos (1:1 Ratio) are prime for Instagram and mobile devices. Square video take up 78% or more real estate in the mobile news feed vs. landscape

I would suggest using square video templates for all of your social media projects, except for YouTube.

For YouTube I would use landscape, depending on what you are doing. Just play around with it, and see what works. For me, I like to get squared!

The next step is ‘Filters’.

You may or may not use filters for your video design. If you do, then click the tab and make your selection. This will add the filter to the slide you choose.

Music and sound options.

To add music, upload your MP3 here. Or choose from the music library with Animoto.

So that is a quick run through your tools, and design tabs. You will go back to them frequently as you are designing and developing your videos. Play around with them, see what works, and have fun with the creative process!

Let’s work on the content!

Time to make it yours.

Within the storyboards, the individual slides, click ‘Edit’.

When you click on edit, a text box pops up with editing tools.

From here you can clip the tabs on top of the editing box to add voice over, enter text and subtitles, as well as alter the size, rotation, and colors.

Now that you have uploaded or chosen your images, media and music, added the content and details, you are ready to preview. You can preview at any time! I preview through the entire process, so don’t worry about losing any of your work, Animoto auto-saves along the way.

Save Your Work! Preview Often…

After you preview, you can choose to produce/publish or continue to edit your video.

When you select ‘Produce’ you will open up a video production details page. From here you will add your cover images, choose your video quality and add your content.

Sharing! Yes, the whole point is to get viral right? So, from this page you can share the video directly to your social media platforms, use direct video links/urls, and embed code directly to your website, or blog. I prefer to use the direct link and embed code. Do whatever and all! Get your video out there!

Another step! Download your video. I like to have the videos for my archives. Make your choices based on dimension and resolution for streaming. And boom, you’re done with your square video!

Here is the video I created as part of this lesson:

*Also in support of my ‘September Digital Elements Bundle’ Download (CLICK HERE)

Instagram Hack!

Okay, now you have your video. And you want to get it out to as many places you can. I mentioned that I download my videos remember? I do this because I create so many at a time, and schedule them through social media planners like Planoly.

Planoly was thoughtfully designed from a designer’s and editor’s point of view. Beautifully crafted to be simple, clean and easy to use. It’s the FIRST VISUAL PLANNER for INSTAGRAM.

Clear and to the point web and mobile app — Planoly is the most effective visual social media planner on the market (oh, and you can schedule too)!

Try Planoly Today

Try Today

Post your video using these steps:

Step #1: Upload Your Video

Step #2  Add Your Content/Hashtags & Schedule Video Post!


Now that I have taught you how to use Animoto, i’m hoping you are as happy as I am with the program.

I feel that Animoto is an all in one design program for online digital storytellers.  A program I refer to my clients, students and community.  Whether you are a digital nomad or a mama start up, you need to get your message out there! And the above steps and lessons will help you do that! I want you to rise and thrive, and wish you all the success in our digital world! 

Want more?

Then join the Art of Digital Design EDU. where I offer courses and programs for digital storytellers, conscious business owners, and thought leaders like you. Courses in design, development and course creation, all to help you make your mark in this world matter. Join my FB community and share your videos, ask questions and connect! I’ll be there! 

We launch in October! So stay tuned! Sign up today and join our Private FB Group: The Art of Digital Design Community 

Make Your Mark Matter,

By |2018-10-08T17:43:46+00:00September 11th, 2018|Digital Storytelling|