If you spend any time on the web these days, you may have noticed that video has become increasingly ubiquitous and now permeates every aspect of our online lives. We no longer read articles or posts, we watch videos of them. We no longer send text messages or even images, we send videos. If you are looking for a fun, quick and engaging way to present or sell your business and services, infographics and infomercials are all the craze and admittedly, they are much more interactive and interesting to look at than bland pages of text. They are also the natural outcome of a worldwide societal trend which is here to stay: less time on our hands, getting things done on the go (and thus using our mobiles much more often), and shorter attention spans across multiple generations.
If you aren’t yet convinced that video is for you, consider what’s happening from a social media perspective. YouTube is slowly but surely replacing cable TV and its celebrity publishers are basking in the enormous ad revenue. Snapchat is certainly the leading social media platform when it comes to user-generated video content, and Instagram is trailing closely behind with the introduction of its Stories . Facebook now offers Live broadcasting, just like Periscope and Twitter’s less prominent app Vine.
Zero Experience with Video Editing?
When it comes to developing professional videos for your small business or freelance career, most people assume that it is very time-consuming or that expensive, professional software or experienced video editors are needed. Not anymore. Thanks to tools like PowToon, you can efficiently create your own professional video presentations or animated cartoons at little to no cost. PowToon has a free plan/trial available, which lets you create and download videos of up to 5 minutes, using their extensive library of digital assets.
How Does It Work?
PowToon has a variety of styles (e.g. Corporate, Animation, Creative, etc.) and different slides/animations/icons to go with each style to meet different needs. They have developed a large number of templates for every taste, which makes it very easy to create attractive and professional videos with zero editing, cutting or mixing skills. If you’re feeling creative, you can also conceive your own cadres and scenes from scratch.
How Long Does It Take?
All in all, it took me approximately 3 hours to create the video above, using PowToon’s free, as well as premium assets. Some of the special icons were part of the Pro service but most of the slide templates and images were included in the trial version. I was able to post the video above to my YouTube channel completely free at the standard quality, which is not the best one available but acceptable for web purposes. If you want to be able to download your video or post it at higher quality, the premium service applies.
Before getting frisky with PowToon, don’t forget that the most important part of crafting your video is the storyline and the content (slide captions) and it’s advisable to put all this down on paper before you start. Once you’ve created your plan, it will be much easier to select the animations or imagery to go with it. Don’t forget to keep the captions concise and to-the-point, and be sure to include at least one CTA (call to action) towards the end of the video, which could be anything from downloading a white paper to visiting your website, or contacting you.
Hope you’ll give your own video creation a try, now that I’ve shared how easy and inexpensive (or free!) it can be. Let me know how it went and share links to your work in the comments.