LIVE video is obviously the way to go with the reach you can achieve…
…but what if you’re simply not ready to take that plunge? Or you’re having a bad hair day (or week…)? Recorded video is the next best thing to live (and certainly better than nothing!) But YOU don’t even have to be on camera!
I was watching Kim Garst on Facebook (LIVE, of course)…someone whose philosophies, skills and talents I admire. During the broadcast (about do’s and don’ts for the latest Facebook algorithms), she recommended several video creation tools, only a couple of which I was familiar with. So I decided to check ’em out, give them a test and report back to my own audience about my experiences. Most of these tools have a premium version available but I’m reviewing the free or trial version for each of them here.
Adobe Spark: Available for desktop, Android and iPhone. I had used Spark for image creation in the past, but I’d never tried it for video. With Kim’s inspiration, I decided to give it a shot. Spark for video is great if you just want to create something quick and you’re willing to color inside the lines, so to speak. Its limitations include the inability to customize the color/font used for your text or add a watermark to your video. Its strengths include an audio library of 37 titles (or you can add your own) and stock video to use if you don’t have your own. Here’s the video I created while testing this tool:
Crello: Only available for desktop when I tested it for this post, the iPhone app launched in July 2019. The Android version is currently in development. I might have heard of Crello before Kim mentioned it, but I’m not sure. I had definitely never tried it for creating social media videos. I love how quick and easy this app is to use. Check out my first Crello video, super fun & cute (not to mention the most shared post on my Facebook Page to date):
Ripl: You can get this one for iPhone or Android (no desktop version at this time). EDIT: Desktop version now available! Open the Ripl app and you’re presented with engagement stats, 3 suggested post projects (for instance, #TBT, Just-For-Fun and Question) and a big blue + sign button to create your own project. Tap the + sign, enter the text you want to use for your video and you’re on your way! You’ll get several templates to choose from, each one with a few different choices for backgrounds, music and fonts (you can also upload your own images and music tracks). You don’t get unlimited options, but for a free app that lets you create quality videos on the fly, I can’t complain. I like that once you add custom colors, the app “remembers” them for future use. I don’t like that you can’t add a logo, but that is available with the paid version (along with many more templates, fonts and music tracks). One other caveat: you can’t save to your device with the free version – it only allows for posting directly to social media (so if you’re creating a video at 3am, chances are no one’s gonna see it LOL). Bonus: Ripl shows you engagement stats (likes, comments, etc) for your Ripl videos right in the app. Here’s what I created using Ripl:
Legend: Another one with no desktop version, but you can get it for both iPhone and Android. EDIT: Legend apparently changed hands or something. It appears that it is now only available for Android. Legend was one of the first video creation tools I tried. It’s really simple to use, mostly because it doesn’t have a lot of ‘moving parts’ – it’s really just a text animator. It’s got a 100 character limit, so it’s best for shorter quotes or text snippets. You can upload your own image or choose from among Legend’s many ‘themes’. The limitation with Legend is that you can’t change the fonts or background and text colors. However, once you find a theme that harmonizes with your branding, you can use that theme over and over again. I should also mention, there’s no music option built in (though you could send yourself the video you create in the app and then add your own music track with desktop video software, I’ve done that). Bonus: You can save your finished project as a GIF as well as an MP4. WOOT! Here’s my Legend video:
Canva and Easil: I found these two content creation tools to be nearly identical in layout and functionality. One difference between the two is that you can use Canva on your desktop, iPhone or Android while Easil is currently a desktop-only app. You’ll also notice that the toolbox is on the right in Easil instead of the left. And, finally, Easil is priced a little lower than Canva for Work. If you want to use the animation tools for either of these offerings, you’ll need the premium version (but you can get a trial of either or both of them for 30 days).
Videos created with either of these apps will probably be the most time-intensive among those mentioned here. However, they will be 100% custom (YAY! Color outside the lines!!) with your logo and other branding elements. Like with Legend, though, you’d have to add a music track separately if you want to include audio.
The learning curve for these is a *little* steeper than the others but Easil created a really excellent tutorial that can apply to Canva as well. Here’s my Easil creation:
— Bonny Clayton (@yourwebchicktm) June 1, 2018
Award-winning web professional Bonny Clayton, aka Your Web Chick, is a web designer, social media mechanic and email marketing technician.
A Tech Geek with a Creative Streak℠, she helps small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere establish and maintain their online presence. She is committed to serving them according to their needs, whether that means “giving them a fish” or “teaching them to fish”.