We know video works. It captures attention, fuels engagement, and drives message retention better than any other medium out there. As the demand for digital video content continues to rise, the conversation around video has shifted. It’s no longer a matter of ‘why’ create video, more than it is ‘how’ to create video.
Traditionally speaking, video creation tends to be pretty complex. Whether it’s licensing the rights of specific media, contracting a 3rd party producer, or learning a hyper-complex software designed for experienced video editors – making great videos hasn’t always been the most simple, cost-effective path to take.
Thankfully, today’s digital landscape is chock full of affordable, easy-to-use video creation tools than enable even the most novice users to create something impactful and engaging. In fact, the landscape is so cluttered, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right solution for your needs.
Here are some key qualities to keep in mind when assessing which video creation tool will work best for you:
1. Is it accessible?
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a quality that often gets overlooked. When selecting an online video creation tool, you should look for something that’s readily accessible whenever you need it. To ensure this, look into online or cloud-based tools instead of heavyweight software that installs directly to a single computer. Online and cloud-based tools allow you to create something great while giving you the flexibility to roam.
2. Is it team-friendly?
Online and cloud-based tools tend to be super accessible, but they’re also great for collaborating with your team. By leveraging an online video creation tool, you can collaborate on projects with teammates from across the globe in real-time. Be sure to ask about user seats when selecting a platform – if you plan on involving your whole team in your video creation processes, you’ll want to make sure the platform can accommodate several users under one or more accounts. You’ll also want to make sure the platform offers a solid organization and tagging structure for any assets your team may upload, to minimize confusion and streamline your processes.
3. Is it easy to use?
Too often, video creators get caught up in their desire for a high quantity of bells and whistles. Customization capabilities are extremely important, but so is user experience. If your video creation tool’s workflow feels disjointed or complex, those flashy features may not be as useful as you once thought.
Instead of prioritizing one over the other, look for a tool that offers a solid middle ground between customization and ease-of-use. The best video creation tools enable users to create a high-quality, professional-looking video that matches their brand, but do so in a way that’s quick and intuitive.
4. Is media included?
Some video creators have their own library of media that they can leverage to build out their video content. But for many, creating great video requires gaining access to media licenses or contracting 3rd party producers to create content for them.
The best solution is to find an easy video editing tool that comes pre-loaded with media assets – and thankfully many do! Just be sure that the media they offer best suits your needs – editorial publishers will want access to editorial content, while marketers may rely more heavily on high-quality stock footage.
You should also make sure they offer media in both video and still image form, depending on your needs. (And if you’re planning on uploading your own media, be sure to ask about how much storage space you’ll have, and whether or not the platform has specific file size limitations.) This video from Tony Robbins shows just how a great stock media library can tell your story in a way that’s engaging to your audience.
5. What is the extent of the platform’s automation?
While you’ll definitely want to make some manual edits to your videos to ensure they meet your standards, it’s especially helpful if the platform you’re using incorporates some automation. Easy video editing & creation, and automated processes are one in the same.
Some automated features to look out for include predictive styling (i.e. predicting the style of each scene based on edits you’ve already made to other scenes), text-to-video workflow (building your video storyboard based on the text of the story itself), and single-click conversion to different formats (details on that below!) Platforms that incorporate automation to their feature set will simplify your creation process and save you time.
6. Can videos be created in different formats?
Traditionally, video was created in a landscape, 16:9 format. Today, however, we see video everywhere – which means videos should be created to match the form and function of the environment in which they’ll be distributed.
To make sure that your videos will translate well in any environment, be sure that your platform of choice can support video creation in all 3 standard formats – landscape, square, and vertical – you’ll get more use out of your video content this way. Bonus points if the platform offers a single-click conversion to a different format – it’ll keep you from having to create the same video from scratch every time you want to create in multiple formats.
Here’s an example of a video that the Dr. Oz team created in square and vertical formats to maximize its impact across channels:
7. Are video production services and/or ready-made content offered?
Any good video creation platform will enable you to create something amazing with minimal effort, but if you’re working on tight timelines and trying to produce a high quantity of content, you may want to call in some reinforcements! To ensure you can get all of your video content created on time, it may be worth understanding the different service layers offered by the platform. In some cases, you may want to capitalize on video creation services, where an in-house team at the platform creates all or some of your content for you.
Some platforms also offer ready-made content – things like daily videos for marketers focused on social strategy, or videos based on breaking news and trending topics. Even if you don’t think you’d tap into these offerings often, they’re nice to keep in your back pocket for when things get busy. This Mashable Top Story rebrand is a great example:
8. What’s the extent of their branding capabilities?
As easy as pre-packaged ‘styles’ or ‘templates’ may be to use, you’ll want to make sure that your platform still offers the ability to implement your branding within all of your videos. Capabilities to look for include making adjustments to: brand colors (be sure you can adjust your theme color, text color, or transition style), logos (upload a logo, adjust the appearance or location of the logo), branded intros or outros, and fonts.
These brand-friendly capabilities ensure that you’re able to pump out eye-catching videos that are consistent with your unique brand style.
Here’s an example of where Conde Nast Traveler implemented their own custom fonts and styling into one of their videos:
These are just a few of the things that you should be taking into account when evaluating which video creation tool is right for you! Which of these is most important to you and your team? What other key qualities are you evaluating when selecting an easy video editing platform? Reach out and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!