This summer, Avid began offering a free, lite version of its Avid Media Composer, which is regularly used by national news outlets and TV studios in Hollywood.
With more than a billion users on YouTube now (according to the company’s statistic page at www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html), upping your game on video marketing has never been more important.
“There are more than 7 billion videos watched every day on Facebook and YouTube,” said Brad Jefferson, CEO of online video creation service Animoto (www.animoto.com). “That represents one of the biggest marketing opportunities in a long time.”
Fortunately, there has been an onslaught of new video marketing tools cropping up on the market, and they can ensure that your business will stay a step ahead of the competition when it comes to dazzling current and prospective customers. Here’s a representative sampling of some of the newest and most innovative tools:
Windows Story Remix (www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh0be6z-Zl8), Free: Promised for release late in 2017, Remix will be one of the first video editing tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI). With Remix, you can create a video from scratch or tap the program’s AI tools to have it create a video for you. Essentially, the tool is designed to sense the kind of video you want after you input raw video, still photographs, animations, soundtracks and the like.
After you’ve dropped in all of your raw media, Remix automatically whips up a finished video that you can use as-is or tweak with its editing tools. AI perks with the program include the ability to signal to Remix who you want the star of the video to be and Remix’s ability to create video cuts designed to match the beat of any song you include as a sound track.
Story Remix also has pen-and-ink support so that you can handwrite a message or doodle over your video. And it offers collaboration tools that allow a number of users to work on a video together.
Remix is slated to pop up as a Windows app in the Windows store late in 2017 and will also be available on iOS and Android.
Wochit (www.wochit.com), Call for Pricing: This is a video-editing solution with an interesting spin: Simply feed Wochit an article or other piece of text, and it will automatically roam the web to find licensed photos, videos and graphics that go along with that text.
Currently used by a number of global news outlets to quickly generate videos from their articles, Wochit also offers a drag-and-drop canvas that you can use to quickly drop in the photos, videos and other graphics it finds so you can finish a video in record time.
VideoScribe (www.videoscribe.co), $12 per Month: Instead of spending hours trying to animate a still image, VideoScribe does all the animating for you. Indeed, any image you place on its VideoScribe’s canvas is instantly animated. And you can finish your video project with other tools in VideoScribe’s arsenal, including voice-over recording, soundtracks, and call-to-action elements.
Microsoft Video Indexer (www.tinyurl.com/azuremicrosoft), Free: A work in progress, Video Indexer is designed to automatically analyze your video library and make it instantly searchable. With Video Indexer, you can use a few keywords to find videos in your video library of certain words spoken in a video, images of a certain person, images of two people who have appeared together, etc.
The analytics are not perfect yet, and you’ll need an IT person to get it working for you, but this is a tool—part of Microsoft Cognitive Services (www.azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services)—well worth monitoring.
GoAnimate (www.goanimate.com), Starts at $39 per Month: This is a perfect program for marketers looking to tell a story with animated characters. Enabling you to create animated videos with simple drag-and-drop tools (think Colorforms on steroids), GoAnimate can automatically sync narration to go along with the animated characters you pick for your video.
GoAnimate has access to tens of thousands of animatable images that can be used in hundreds of industries and occupations, and it also offers you the ability to import your own audio, images and video.
For an in-depth look at how the program works, check out GoAnimate’s YouTube tutorials (www.youtube.com/user/goanimate). Similar animation products include PowToon (www.powtoon.com), Animaker (www.animaker.com), Animatron (www.animatron.com), Moovly (www.moovly.com), Renderforest (www.renderforest.com), Google Web Designer (www.google.com/webdesigner) and Explee (www.explee.com).
StoriesAds.com (www.storiesads.com), Call for Pricing: If you’re having trouble getting videos up on Instagram, StoriesAds.com can help. It’s specifically designed to make producing videos for distribution on Instagram a snap, and it’s equipped with easy-to-use drag-and-drop tools.
Avid Media Composer First (www.avid.com), Free: AMC First is the lite version of the already existing and extremely high-powered video editor Avid Media Composer. It’s the tool regularly used by TV shows and other video producers in Hollywood.
The lite version is still plenty powerful, featuring four video tracks that you can play with as well as eight audio tracks and a host of built-in visual effects, transitions, color-correction presets and titling templates. Essentially, the lite version is designed to enable you to quickly cut together layers of video, dialog, music and sound effects to produce captivating, professional-quality video content.
“I’ve worked with other tools, but Avid’s model is the most efficient by far,” said Stuart Bass, a video editor for TV shows such as “The Office,” “Arrested Development” and others. “Learning Avid’s industry-standard tools has been essential in making me the successful editor that I am today.”
YouTube Editor (www.youtube.com/editor), Free: Regularly updated, YouTube Editor is a basic video editor that enables you to automatically upload your clips, put them together to create new videos, and publish them on YouTube quickly and easily. You also have the option to make your videos more SEO-friendly by adding annotations and transcripts. And the editor has the ability to combine multiple videos, trim the clips, add music from a library of approved tracks, and customize with special tools and effects.
Similar regularly updated basic video-editing products include Corel Video Studio (www.videostudiopro.com/en), Adobe Premier Pro (www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html), Nutshell (www.nutshell.com), Magisto (www.magisto.com), Animoto (www.animoto.com), Videoshop (www.videoshop.net), Renderforest
(www.renderforest.com), and iMovie (www.apple.com/imovie).
Vidyard (www.vidyard.com), Call for Pricing: Another video creation and editing tool, Vidyard is different from others by placing a heavy emphasis on analytics tools, which can give you deep insight into who’s looking at your videos and how the videos are impacting those viewers. Included among the tools is an email gate that you can use to capture viewer email addresses before they can view a video.
Snapp App (www.snapapp.com), Starts at $1,640 per month: This is an interesting tool that enables you to quickly add interactive elements to your promotional videos, such as pop-up questions that need to be answered before a video can continue. For an in-depth look at interactive elements that Snapp App can add to your productions, check out the promotional video at www.snapapp.com/platform/interactive-content-types/interactive-video.
Hightail (www.hightail.com), $12 per Month: A marketing team looking for a quickly assembled online space for collaborating on a video should consider Hightail. It allows you to effortlessly post a raw video that team members can comment on via text to critique the creation process and move the video along to a finalized production. Essentially, Hightail is great for team-effort videos that need phase-by-phase approvals and creative input from multiple team members.
Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.