Guest post: How to do more video without shooting any - Part 2

We’re thrilled to have Lara from Do More Video back this week with Part 2 of her guest post series How To Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video: 

The goal of our 3 part series is to help you get your creative on and make more video by removing the technical barriers of shooting and editing.

In Part 1, we looked at how you can use online animators to create simple and engaging videos to explain your business proposition or to break down difficult concepts for your audiences. Today we introduce another one of our favorite tools: Animoto.

What is it?

In a nutshell, Animoto will create a professional looking video just from your photos. You supply the pictures and Animoto will supply the rest. It’s an easy to follow process which you are walked through step by step:

Step 1: Choose a video style (supplied by Animoto)

Step 2; Choose your music (upload your own or choose from Animoto’s library)

Step 3: Upload your pictures

Step 4: Add text

Step 5: Push the Produce Video button and let Animoto do all the editing for you. You can go back and revise any step you want at anytime. Animoto is a web based tool so you can use it from anywhere you have internet access. It also has a very good iPhone App that enables you to make and post your videos on the go.

When Should I use it?

Animoto is a great video tool to:

  • capture events;
  • show off products from real estate to bake goods;
  • provide virtual tours of museums, resorts, and other attractions; and
  • to showcase your portfolio of photos, paintings, sculptures, or collectibles.

These are just a few ideas. I am sure once you start playing with Animoto you will come up with many more uses. To show you a quick example of what I’ve been talking about so far, I went to the Canadian Museum of Nature the other week to visit the dinosaurs. I put this short video together using Animoto and pictures from my iPhone to highlight My Night At The Museum:

If you are thinking about using Animoto for business, check out their blog post “The :30 Spot - Small Businesses” which provides an easy 7 step process for creating an intro video for your business.

Things to know

Cost: You can play with Animoto for free to make non-commercial low res videos up to 30 seconds in length. If you want to make videos to promote your business, then you will need to get a Pro account which is US$39/month or US$249 for the year. With the Pro account you get:

  • a licence for commercial use (this does not include selling your videos to others);
  • more style and music options;
  • high definition videos;
  • feature-length videos;
  • no Animoto branding in the video; and
  • the ability to add a clickable call to action button at the end of each video.

In my opinion, the Pro account subscription fee easily pays for itself when you compare it to the cost of hiring someone to do just one video. Also, if you only need one or two videos, you can probably just get a monthly membership, make your videos, download them, and then cancel your membership. Just make sure Animoto’s terms of service will let you do this before you try it. Benefits for Not-For-Profits: Great news for not-for-profits and humanitarian causes. Animoto may support you with a FREE Pro Account.You can apply for a free account here: A couple of years ago, I worked on an NGO environmental campaign. We wanted to share the campaign online and show off the energy of our events from across the province. We took photos from all of the events, the volunteers mixed their own song, and we assembled it all using Animoto to tell the story. It will not write your story for you: As I mentioned in Part 1, these tools help remove the technical barriers of making video so you can focus on the creative. Use that extra time to think about:

  • the message you want to convey;
  • how can your message be put into a story;
  • what video style best matches the emotion of your story
  • how can the order of your photos best support your story; and
  • what music helps you best convey your story and create the desired mood.

We are not connected to Animoto: I know at times my post may sound like a paid advertisement for Animoto, but it’s not. I am just very keen on the product right now and love playing with it. That said, there are other great products out there to make slideshow type videos. So, if you have any other recommendations, we would love to hear about them. You can add video too!: I know, I know. I said this post would be about how to make video without having to shoot any. But, there may be some of you that already have video clips that you want to use. Well, Animoto will let you do just that. You can add video clips of up to 10 seconds in length. To show you what it can look like, I put together this mock business intro video.

(This video is only being used as an example for this blog post.)

Next week Part III

Check back next Tuesday for the final part of our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video. We will show you a video strategy that you can implement quickly that will also provide you with excellent insight into your market and competition.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks on how to use online video for better results. - Lara