Social media marketing is vital in reaching today’s consumers in this tech-driven modern world, and while they say a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much more valuable a video can be. Combine the two — social media and videos — and you have a powerful opportunity to grow your brand via innovative marketing tools.
Though learning how to use social media beyond basic posts can seem like a daunting task, small businesses can take advantage of video applications to quickly and easily create short videos or GIFs to share on their social pages. The top apps offer simple ways to create visually compelling and engaging stories about your brand or product to showcase on social media.
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Whether you’re trying to create viral content or inform your audience about products and services, videos can help you get the job done. In recent years, video creation and editing have evolved to become more accessible via computers and smartphones than ever before. In fact, there are several useful apps to choose from in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. We’ve narrowed the list to seven to help you select the video-making tool that best suits you and your business.
Canva has been a popular graphic design tool for years. It’s used by individuals and marketing professionals — who aren’t necessarily graphic designers — to make stunning flyers, social media posts, business cards and more. Canva offers exclusive features that make designing marketing materials a fast, user-friendly and enjoyable experience.
Canva has two great features that make it stand out for video creation, the first of which is its extensive library of templates. These templates are a great time-saver for quick video projects and a good starting point for new users. The second feature we love is the program’s drag-and-drop tool. This allows for straightforward editing regardless of your experience level, which saves you time as well as money, because your business will not have to hire someone with advanced editing skills.
Although you can use the free version of Canva to create videos, subscribing to Canva Pro enables better functionality, like the ability to remove backgrounds from videos and images with just one click and full access to the extensive photo, element, video and audio library. Furthermore, Canva Pro includes an animation tool that lets you easily create and add instant animation to social posts to grab extra attention with visually stunning content. This is a fantastic resource, especially for businesses that are already accustomed to working with Canva.
Canva Pro also boasts a social media content planner. It allows users to create, plan and schedule social media content across multiple platforms while tracking performance metrics such as impressions, clicks, likes and comments. You can plan content for optimal posting times and use social media performance analytics to refine your strategy and boost engagement.
Adobe Express, previously known as Spark, is a true game changer. This tool is free, and its easy-to-use interface guides you as you create beautiful videos containing graphics, video clips, icons, images or text. You can search for free graphics covered by a Creative Commons license or buy one from the Adobe digital library, which has an extensive collection of materials. Adobe Express has many free themes to make it easy for anyone to create high-quality short videos that look and sound professionally crafted. The free music library can further elevate your video’s impact.
VistaCreate by Crello is a lot like Canva, offering similar levels of functionality and ease of use — and best of all, it’s completely free. Where VistaCreate shines most is with its fully customizable animated posts, which take your social media game to the next level. Whereas Canva allows you to animate the text of your post, VistaCreate provides fully animated post templates. All you have to do is add your text, save it and upload it to your favorite social channel. These files are saved as MP4s and can be played anywhere that allows video.
No matter which video app you use, you should always respect copyright infringement rules to avoid violating intellectual-property laws with your social media posts.
Lumen5 is an excellent option for businesses of all sizes that produce regular blog content. Its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology allow you to transform blog content into stunning videos quickly. The free service pulls images and words from your posts, which you can customize to create an eye-catching video. You can make it interesting enough to keep people watching but leave viewers wanting more so they click through your entire story. Free and paid plans are available.
There’s a basic free version of Quik that’s accessible through an app by GoPro. It lets anyone with an Apple or Android mobile device quickly and easily piece together images and videos and make captivating movies. Whether your video is a few seconds or a few minutes, Quik can make the difference in how engaging and memorable your content is. The vendor offers a vast selection of templates you can individually customize to make it look like hours of editing and design went into each video. Don’t discount this powerful piece of software simply because it’s based on mobile platforms.
Animoto is a great choice for creating captivating videos, thanks to a drag-and-drop interface that’s easy to use on the website and mobile app. The service is available in four tiers: Free, Basic, Professional and Professional Plus. The paid plans are billed annually. Animoto has a multitude of templates, many fonts and a great assortment of video-styling features to help you create videos for social media and elsewhere. A significant part of the appeal is the templates’ compatibility with the most popular social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. You can create a large variety of content, including video ads, promos and how-to tutorials.
InShot is a versatile editing tool that allows you to crop and resize your media files to fit perfectly with various social media platforms’ specifications. Furthermore, you can add text, voice-overs, music, filters and emoji to make your videos more engaging. The app is conveniently accessible right from your smartphone, with compatibility for iOS and Android devices. Although you can use the free version of the app to test it out, removing the vendor’s watermarks from your videos requires upgrading to the paid service. If you plan on using it for professional content, InShot is an excellent option for creating simple-yet-compelling videos.
There are many video editing apps available, and selecting the best one for your company’s needs is essential to capturing and retaining your target audience’s attention. Here are the key factors to consider when you’re choosing apps to create video posts.
The differences in pricing for video tools are enormous. Some free or inexpensive cloud-based applications offer a surprising range of features, while businesses with specific or advanced needs might prefer a more costly paid service. Your budget may dictate the type of app you can use.
The more editing functions you have at your disposal, the more options you have for enhancing your video footage. Adding video effects, animations, and other bells and whistles can improve your social media marketing efforts. [Check out the best photo editing apps for businesses.]
Scan user reviews to determine if the app you’re interested in is user-friendly. Does the software slow down or speed up video production and the overall editing process? Many paid services come with access to free trials; test before you buy whenever possible.
Check if the program lets you produce a video in both portrait and landscape modes. Can you optimize the clips for different social channels? If you and your team use a variety of platforms and devices, verifying compatibility is essential.
Uploading video content is faster and easier if the app allows you to import your finished product to multiple social channels simultaneously. This can be especially effective for businesses that are looking to boost audience engagement and customer loyalty without spending an excessive amount of time sharing videos manually.
The growing technical complexity of social media platforms results in near-constant software updates to fix bugs and roll out new features. You’ll want to ensure that your video app offers customer support to assist with any technical issues that arise. However, the extent of support you need may depend on how much you plan on relying on social media video marketing and what skills your in-house team brings to the table.
Video marketing is one of the most influential media formats for promoting your business and brand, according to Jean-Pierre Gautreaux, CEO of Venty Media.
“[Video] allows you to stand out from your competitors, and people love them because it makes it easy to share and consume information,” Gautreaux said. “Videos have a higher organic reach on all social media platforms and keep users engaged for longer.”
Videos can capture your audience’s attention by showcasing your product or service longer than a picture can, leading to increased brand awareness, website traffic and, eventually, sales. While social media videos can be as complex or as simple as you want, the most important thing to understand is the need for a compelling narrative. People recognize good versus bad storytelling, and by taking the time to develop a coherent narrative, you set yourself up for marketing success.
We recommend following the best practices below when you’re making videos for social media.
Before creating any videos, a business must have a solid grasp of its target audience. Doing so allows you to create tailored content that meets your audience’s needs and interests. With the insight you gain into your ideal customer, you can make informed decisions about resource allocation and work toward higher engagement and conversion rates so your video efforts are worthwhile.
With so much content available for social media users at all hours of the day, you need to capture their attention in just a few seconds or they will move on to the next post in their social feed. Try grabbing your audience’s attention by speaking to their needs or interests immediately in your social post and then transitioning into your message with the accompanying video.
Each social media platform has a preferred or native video size and format. For example, Facebook and YouTube have a 16:9 preferred aspect ratio. Instagram has a few format options, but the most common is the square 1:1 aspect ratio for the timeline and 9:16 for Instagram Stories. Take the time to ensure that whatever you’re creating will play well on your distribution channel. Additionally, some social media platforms may have specific video requirements, so optimize your video for each platform you plan to share it on.
How you film your videos and how involved you get with editing them depend, in part, on where your videos will end up, so begin with your end goal in mind.
Attention spans on social media are short, so make your videos fairly quick and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep your videos under two minutes. Instagram videos, for example, perform better when they are between 30 seconds and one minute. You may need to break down longer videos into multiple video clips.
YouTube and Facebook lend themselves well to longer videos, around 2 minutes or more. Both platforms use algorithms to recommend videos to users. Longer videos have a better chance of being recommended to viewers who are interested in the topic.
Many social media users watch videos without sound, so incorporating captions can help you communicate your message even if the volume is down.
Tell viewers what you would like them to do after watching your video. Consider how you want watchers to engage with your brand. Do you want them to like and share your video? Do you want them to visit your website? Make your call to action clear and concise, and users will respond. [Learn how to develop a call to action.]
Video-driven social media marketing is necessary for small businesses to stand out in a crowded digital landscape, connect with their audience and improve brand recognition. By choosing the appropriate video editing tools and integrating video content into your marketing strategies, you can maximize the full potential of social media.
The secret is to deeply understand your target audience, maintain consistency in your brand’s voice across all videos and platforms, and keep up with the latest video marketing trends to stay on the cutting edge. With the right efforts, you can boost audience engagement and profitability.
Joshua Stowers contributed to this article. The source interview was conducted for a previous version of this article.
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