3 free (or cheap!) tools to create video content

This post was updated on 27/11/2018

Videos are still all the rage, but how do you create the perfect ones when you’re on a tight budget? I have shared below a step-by-step guide to my three favourites.

1. Lumen5

Lumen5 is free and very easy to use. The basic idea of Lumen5 is that it’s a simple way to create a video-version of your blog posts, using AI to suggest relevant images to match your content.

Step 1: Insert a blog URL or paste the text.

Step 2: Choose the format you want your video to resemble (landscape, square or vertical video). Each of these is adapted to a specific network, so have a think about where you are most likely to share your video.

Step 3: Choose the style of your video. You can change this later so don’t worry too much. Hover over each one to get a preview of the style.

Step 4: Lumen5 will generate ‘scenes’ for you based on the link or text you gave it.

This is what the page will look like:

 

On the right are your ‘scenes’. On the left is your text. You simply need to select the text on the left and a new scene will be generated for you.

On the right you can also see tabs labelled ‘Story’, ‘Media’, ‘Music’, and ‘Style’. Select ‘Images’ where you can find images, videos and GIFs recommended for you. To add them to a ‘scene’, simply drag the image too it.

(Note: you can also upload your own images and short footage)

You can use the same footage for several lines by pressing ‘Enter’ on the text to separate it into two boxes, or adding a new sub-scene. See below:

 

Step 4: Once you’re happy with your scenes, go to the ‘Music’ tab to select a soundtrack.

You can also edit the call to action at the end of the video (i.e visit my website/check out our blog etc). Your logo can appear as a watermark on all your slides if you wish, but this is a premium feature that will cost you extra.

Step 5: Then click ‘Finish’ on top right to see how your scenes all work together, and then wait for the video to render (this usually takes about 10 minutes). You can always re-edit later or, if you’re happy, download it and share it!

Pros: It’s freemium. You can easily add text, and choose from a gorgeous library of video footage, images and icons. Because options for where text go are restricted, it’s hard to bungle this one up.  You can also control the speed at which transitions happen.

Cons: At $149 a month, premium is on the pricey side. However, the free version still gives you plenty of flexibility.

Good for: Advertising events, giving a taster of your blog posts.

You can see a live example here.

Cost: Free, or premium for extra features at $149 a month.

2. Typito

If you’ve got great footage already and just want to add text to it, then Typito is perfect. It has all sorts of animation options for your text.

Step 1: Upload your footage

Step 2: Click on the section and go for ‘Select’ to cut or bin section of the video.

Step 3: The left hand column has everything you need – select text based on the kind of animation they have, and modify their font and colour to suit. You can also add icons and images, including your own uploads. 

Step 5: Click ‘Export’ and you’re done

Pros: Gives you great options for your videos. It’s easy to choose a different size option if you want it to be well adapted to, say, Instagram. Videos are either free or there is a monthly subscription fee starting at $15.

Cons: It’s a little fiddly to get to grips with at first. There are no editing options for the footage beyond length – you can’t crop it or position it differently. However, in a short space of time, it’s improved already a great deal, so watch this space.

Good for: Adding subtitles to a video of you talking, such as for LinkedIn videos, simple poetry films, etc

Cost: Free, or you can go on a paid plan which starts at $29 a month.

3. Canva

Canva is a fantastic image editing tool and it also has an option to create GIFs out of your designs. The only caveat is that this option is currently only available to Canva for Work users ($9/$12 a month).

Step 1: Log into Canva and select the format you want to create your GIF in (for example: an Instagram size).

 

Step 2: Create images, one per line ideally, by choosing images from Canva’s extensive library or uploading your own. Add and edit text. Bear in mind that you can go up to 10 images maximum and that filters won’t transfer. So keep it simple.

Step 3: Save your project, then click Download and select ‘Animated GIF’ as the file option.

Step 4: Select the animation style from a variety of options then download it as a GIF or movie depending on the option that best suits you.

 

Pros: Quick and easy to use. Good for Instagram or teasers. You can ensure it’s the perfect size format and easily translate it into other formats too (so you can have a GIF version of the same, but in a size that’s perfect for Twitter for instance!)

Cons: No sound options, you can’t filter the images or control the animations. Might be pricier for some people to access.

Good for: Giving a teaser for your event or blog post, advertising your services in a quirky way, short tips, …

Conclusion

These options are great if you need something quick and cheap, but they are of course limited, so if you need something a little more complex, message me for a quote. I can either make your idea come to life or host a workshop to show you how to use these tools and more complex ones for yourself.

Cost: Available to those on a paid plan at $12.95. If you regularly need images for your social media, presentations, and blog posts, then the price is definitely worth it.

The following two tabs change content below.

Claire Trevien

B2B Content Marketer
Freelance B2B Content Marketer and Multimedia Poet. If you want me to geek out, ask me about digital tools and writing prompts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.