I have officially entered the Video Age: I have discovered 3 user-friendly free online video maker tools.
Do you find entering the Video Age intimidating? Distressing, even?
Content creators know that video is all the rage.
YouTube came along with recorded video,
Periscope enabled you to make videos on your phone.
Also, the popularity of Facebook Live is proving people want to get their information by watching videos.
For some of you, that’s a relief.
For others of you, that’s understandably terrifying.
Live Video Streaming sites such as Facebook Live have the added terror of being a “one-shot only” deal. I mean, it’s live. You get it right the first time or forget it. Start over. Time wasted.
Even if the live video comes out fine the first time, you are faced with issues you don’t have to think about with written blog posts.
For example, what will you wear in the video? Will you go for a casual look or wear formal, more professional attire?
What will you discuss? Suppose you get tongue-tied due to stage fright?
The traditional blog post writer may have to contend with Writer’s Block every now and again, but I haven’t heard too many concerns about stage fright.
Happily, these 3 free online video maker tools solve all these problems and still enable you to ride the wave of popularity that is video production.
This post will show you how to make videos using Lumen 5, Animoto, and Instagram.
Are you ready?
Consider this quote from about the need for a variety of media on your site:
Blogging is primarily about the written word, but this does not mean that you cannot include images, videos, slideshows, and graphs. I actually encourage this. After all, everyone responds differently, and providing a mixed media experience will capture more attention. Source: Home Jobs by Mom
Why You Need Videos
- You need variety or your readers will get bored.
- Like it or not, videos are popular. People like to get their information by watching them. Today, 74% of all internet content is from videos*. You can embrace it or fight it.
- When people watch videos on your website, your bounce rate improves. This helps your SEO. Search engines will be pleased people aren’t leaving your site so quickly and your posts will rise in visibility.
- Google prefers posts with a variety of media.
- The new sites that keep popping up that allow Live Video Streaming show that videos are increasing in popularity, not going away.
- Statistics show that posts with videos get shared more, especially on Twitter.
- Are you a marketer? Statistics show 64% of website visitors are more likely to buy from you if you have a video on your site.
Why You Need Lumen 5
- Are you a non-techy sort? Does the technical aspect of blogging intimidate you? No need. You don’t need to know any tech to use this service.
- Using Lumen 5 is like one-stop-shopping. Your information, your graphics, your music, are all included. Lumen 5 does all the technical stuff. You get to have fun making a few creative choices while Lumen 5 does the rest. Lumen 5 uses Smart Templates, so I let Lumen 5 do most of the thinking for me.
- Lumen 5 is easy.
- Always in a rush? Are you so busy time has a way of shrinking for you? Without any instruction on Lumen 5, I made my first video in seconds! Lumen 5 is quick to use.
- Lumen 5 allows you to make professional-looking video-style presentations.
- When you are done composing your blog post, you should promote it. Making a video with your content and uploading it to social media sites is a way of promoting your post. Remember to add the link to the article along with the video.
UPDATES: September 2018
- Lumen 5 increased its number of media choices by 10X! This includes video images as well as still images.
- Lumen 5 partnered with the Getty Museum to bring you current event media in the event you write about the news.
- You can upload your own videos quickly.
- The information gets even better: (At the time of this writing,) Lumen 5 is still free.
Lumen 5 now has square videos, just perfect for your Instagram posts.
Vertical videos designed for Instagram’s IGTV are also available with Lumen 5’s premium plan.
According to the Lumen 5 team, “We use natural language processing to understand the content of your article. Use our intelligent storyboarding tools to capture the essence of your story. Search and select from our library with millions of copyright-free assets.”
UPDATE: AUGUST 2019
In August 2019, Lumen 5 Introduced Instagram Story Videos. They create the video and send it to you in pieces under 15 seconds so you can post the pieces of the video in order to your Instagram Story.
I have to give Kathryn Maclean a shout out for turning me on to Lumen 5.
(By the end of this post, she will have turned us all on to Lumen 5.)
Consider her comments on my post about visual blogging:
Video blogging can be very easy. I have discovered a service called Lumen5 that takes parts of your article and makes a video of it automatically. I really like it and have added it to promote my articles so far on my Facebook pages. It’s also free at the moment.
The Buffer Blog also recommends Lumen 5 as one of their top 19 tools which will speed up video creation.
Lumen 5 Tutorial
- Go to https://lumen5.com/auth/login/?next=/app/ and make an account.
- Click “Create video.”
- Enter a link to your content. Lumen 5 will make a relevant video.
- If you don’t like the graphics Lumen 5 uses in the video, you can upload your own photos. Click “Continue.”
- Click “Music” to add music.
- Preview your video.
- If you’re happy, click “publish.”
- The company tells you to wait 10 minutes for your video. I waited one minute. When I received it, I shared it on Facebook, Twitter, and uploaded it to YouTube.
- Then, I took the YouTube link and embedded it at the start of the post so people can have a video introduction when I received word the video was ready.
Notice what happens after you make an account. Lumen 5 has made videos of my blog posts without my asking. All I have to do is select them and put them in my articles.
Where to find the video when you’re done? They appear in my video folder on my computer’s C Drive.
Lumen 5 is free, fast, and fun!
Here was my first experience making a Lumen 5 video:
I did not alter any of the graphics. Lumen 5 chose them all for me. They fit the content! I was good to go!
In this example, I brought in my own graphic for Slide #1. The rest were chosen by Lumen 5.
Did you watch both? Did you notice the music was the same?
You have many choices for music. However, I favor their “funky: happy” selection so I used it both times. Choose music that fits the content of your post or personality, whatever you consider appropriate.
Other Free Online Video Maker Tools
UPDATE: June 2019
Adobe Spark also has a free online intro maker.
Animoto is free, but your video will appear with a watermark unless you opt for a premium plan.
- Go to https://animoto.com/
- Make an account. I signed in with my Facebook information.
- Indicate your purpose in making a video. I chose marketing.
- Animoto gave me tips. For example, the tool explained that a square video will do better as far as receiving likes and shares.
- It showed me an example and asked me to choose a storyboard. Since I was using a “marketing” video, I decided to make a video advertising my blog or my blog critique services.
- I dragged relevant photos to the place indicated. Make sure you drag and drop your logo as well.
- I chose a style with colors that matched my blog. A preview of how the video would look came up. I was pleased, so I selected it.
- To edit the words in the storyboard, click the “T” for Text.
- You can change the colors and move the text box.
- I was concerned the text couldn’t be read over the colors in the picture, so I turned on “Enhanced Legibility.” When I did, a background appeared behind my text making it easier to read.
- You can make a voice recording. I felt the music drowned me out, so I didn’t. This is helpful, though, in providing more information.
- You have a choice of filters. I liked the “denim” default, so I didn’t change the filter.
- I changed the song to the only New Age selection.
Would you like to see my video? Press play.
14. An HTML code appeared when I wanted to publish my video. I went into “Text” mode and pasted the code.
15. You can also share your videos on your social media. I like to share videos I make on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you do wish to pay for a premium plan, Animoto’s pricing plans start at $8.00 per month.
If you’re going to appeal to millennials, you need to put your videos where they go. Your millennial audience is on Instagram.
How to make an Instagram video:
You have options when it comes to Instagram videos:
- You can make a live video you can share with people
- You can make a video you can post to your story or
- You can make a video you can send to individual contacts and not post for others to see.
The live video notifies people and creates a sense of urgency since time will run out. You can’t redo it. The advantage is you can see how many people are watching your video.
Other recorded videos can be rerecorded if you make a mistake before posting.
How to save a video to your story:
By saving a video to your story, it will sit on top of your followers’ feed for 24 hours.
- Open your Instagram app on your mobile device.
- Swipe right. This will activate the camera.
- Hold the big white button to record a video. Let go of the button when you’re done with the video.
- Tap the video when you’re done.
- Click the Aa for the font. You can type and change the colors.
- Swipe either right or left for filters.
- Swipe up for emojis. You can change the size.
- Tilt anything you’ve added by pinching the element.
- If you wish to save your video, click “Save” at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose who you wish to share with. If you want your video at the top of your Instagram feed, click “Your Story.” Everyone will be able to see. If you want to share with individuals, click “Next” and choose those individuals from your contacts.
How to save a video to your feed:
The advantage is your video won’t vanish in 24 hours. The disadvantage is your followers will have to scroll down to see it:
Step 1: Go to your photos on your phone or wherever you save videos. You can select one or even multiple videos to post to Instagram. Click “Next.”
Step 2: Choose a filter. You have 24 choices. This step is optional. Click “Next.”
Step 3: Write a caption. Instagram’s difference from many social media sites is you can type as many hashtags as you want without repercussion. Like-minded Instagrammers find your content by your hashtags.
Step 4: Share.
Note: You can have the best of both worlds by posting your video to your stories and your feed.
Did you notice the emojis and the text showing my blog link?
Look at the caption I put on Instagram with my video:
My caption contains many hashtags which will enable like-minded Instagrammers to find my video. If they copy the link in my caption and paste it in their browser URL, they can go to my blog post, and I will receive traffic.
Many bloggers give Instagrammers a different Call to Action. They tell them to go to their profile where they will find a live link to their site and click it.
In closing, videos are valuable for both you and your audience. Your audience gets your information in a different format than usual, you help people who learn by watching instead of reading, and since people stay longer on your blog, your bounce rate improves.
This, of course, helps your SEO and could improve your visibility at search engines. This results in more organic traffic for you.
It took me mere minutes to make these videos. Sending them to my social media sites also no time at all as well. I felt great as the number of views started to climb at YouTube.
I felt even better knowing I was riding the video wave and remaining cutting edge. Video production as a way of disseminating information has become mainstream.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers know how they can effortlessly produce videos and offer variety instead of only publishing the traditional, written blog post.
Have you used Lumen 5, Animoto, or Instagram to make videos? What are your experiences? Would you recommend them? If not, would you recommend another video tool?
Wait are you waiting for? Go make your videos.
Have fun letting these tools make your videos and engage your readers.
Are you convinced?
Then, please share so other bloggers who know they need to enter the video production world but are wary know how easy video production can be with these tools.
I look forward to your replies about your favorite free online video maker tools in the comments section.
This post reviewed 3 free tools. If you’d like more free blogging tools, click here to get your own downloadable PDF of my free blogging tools list.