Best Tools for Creating Visual Content: Video

Best Tools for Creating Visual Content: Video

Video can be a great way to engage and catch people's attention. You don’t need a film degree and expensive editing software to get started - the internet is full of online tools and apps that make videos a snap! Here I’ve listed some of my favourites that are available on desktop and/or mobile device. If you are looking for additional resources I’ve got listings for free stock photos or clips to add to your videos.

Note: I am evaluating the FREE versions of these tools, so just because some feature isn’t included doesn’t mean it’s not available on a paid plan. I will do my best to keep this post up-to-date with new tools and changes to existing tools, so if you find something here that doesn’t match up to what the software company is offering please let me know!

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Want to create videos but no time or patience for video editing? Check out these tools that make it easy. Bonus: they’re free to use!

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Lumen5

The big perk of this tool is that you can essentially turn your written blog posts into slideshow-type videos. If you don’t blog, not to worry - you can enter your text manually as well.

Favourite Features:

  • Link your blog’s RSS feed and Lumen will automatically start creating videos for new blog posts (meaning you just have to go in and edit/tweak!)

  • Built-in access to CC0 stock photos and videos

  • Has a built-in feature to upload & post to Facebook as a native video (without having to download to your computer first!)

  • Add your own logo/watermark

Drawbacks:

  • Lumen5 watermark

  • Max resolution of 420p

  • No direct embed capability (you’ll have to download the video to your computer and upload to a service like YouTube)

 

Animoto

Animoto is one of the best online video creation tools I’ve ever used, mainly for it’s easy user interface and variety of video templates. If you need access to the paid features you can get a free trial for 14 days, so make sure you have your videos planned out and dedicated time to make them before the trial runs out!

Favourite Features:

  • Has a mobile app

  • Add logo intro/outro with a custom message

  • Add CTA button at the end of the video

  • Can embed or download videos

Drawbacks:

  • The free trial puts an Animoto watermark in the top left corner

  • “Marketing” style videos don’t currently work with Mac + Chrome browser, so you’ll need to use Firefox to create these

 

Prezi

Prezi is more traditionally used for presentations, but I did want to include it here because it does have unique templates that are unlike any of the other video tools, and they are especially good for storytelling. However if you need actual video files then you’ll have to upgrade to be able to download them.

Favourite Features:

  • Unique templates

  • Layout is similar to Powerpoint, so easy to use for those familiar with PP

  • Can add animations to transitions

Drawbacks:

  • Can’t download presentation, embedding only works with some websites

  • Presentations are browseable to the public (need to upgrade for privacy)

 

Rocketium

Rocketium is the closest you’ll get to those Buzzfeed or NowThis videos and probably had the most customization settings of everything in this list.

Favourite Features:

  • Add voice overs to clips (record on the spot or upload audio)

  • Built-in access to CC0 images and video clips

  • Download to your computer

  • Monthly limit only counts ‘finished’ videos, not drafts

  • Can upload directly to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Dropbox as native video

Drawbacks:

  • Rocketium logo on videos

  • Limits to how many videos you can make per month, how many images/video clips you can use per video, and how much text you can include

  • No built-in embed feature

 

Ripl iOS | Android

Probably the most marketing or business savvy video app creator for mobile devices.

Favourite Features:

  • Post directly to Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter/YouTube

  • Professional looking templates

  • Can go back and edit old videos because everything is saved in your Ripl account

Drawbacks:

  • Ripl logo in bottom right corner

  • Can’t save to camera roll with free version

  • No save draft feature, so each time you go back to change something you lose what you’ve done

  • Not very user friendly

  • Need to upload to YouTube in order to embed

 

Quik iOS | Android

Quik is a GoPro product, so it integrates directly and gives you a few extra features if you actually have a GoPro. It doesn’t have as many marketing-friendly features as Ripl, but one of the big pluses is the lack of watermarks.

Favourite Features:

  • Save to camera roll

  • No Quik branding

  • Good variety of template and easy to use

Drawbacks:

  • Saved in app for only 7 days

  • No option to upload to YouTube (so to embed video need to email/airdrop to your computer or save to camera roll for uploading to YouTube manually)

 

Hyperlapse iOS | Android

Hyperlapse was created by Instagram to allow you to create time lapse videos with your phone. The separate app means that you can make these even without having an Instagram account.

Favourite Features:

  • Can record both video and audio

  • Can save to camera roll or upload to Facebook/Instagram

Drawbacks:

  • Can’t import existing videos that are already on your camera roll

  • Hyperlapse will only save the sped up video, not the original, so plan ahead and know when you will want a time lapse video.

  • For embedding you’ll have to manually upload to YouTube

 

Boomerang iOS | Android

Boomerang is also an Instagram product - you may have noticed that you can create a Boomerang directly in Instagram - but it also has a standalone app that allows you to download the video without having to post it to Instagram. Boomerang takes a few seconds of video and loops them endlessly (basically a GIF).

Favourite Features:

  • Can save to camera roll or upload to Facebook/Instagram

  • Also saves to the app in case it’s deleted in your camera roll

Drawbacks:

  • Can’t import existing videos that are already on your camera roll

  • No control over the length of your video (maxes out at 4 seconds)

  • For embedding you’ll have to manually upload to YouTube

 

Got another favourite free tool that you use? Let me know about it!

Some of the best free tools for creating video for your #socialmedia or #marketing needs!

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