Online Video Editing Tools: Key Features
Video should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to types of content you are going to share. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever your audience hangs out – video will always out-perform images or written word. There’s logic behind Brightspark’s move from blogs blogs blogs to a little less blogs and a little more video content since the start of 2017. Why? Because we know the stats and it’s time you did too.
- Cisco forecasted that by 2019, 80% of online content will be primarily made up of video.
- In 2016, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers predicted that by 2017 we’d be already at 74% – and it’s looking like she was right.
- 95% of viewers absorb the messages of the videos they watch
- According to a study by Social Bakers, the average video post generates 135% greater organic reach, when compared to photo posts.
- Emails that include “video” in their subject lines have a 19% better chance of getting opened, increases click throughs by 65%, and Unsubscribe rates also go down by 26% when videos are included in the content. – Brainshark.com
So there are the stats: video is where it’s at.
But what if you don’t know the first thing about making a video?
Videos can be time consuming to do yourself from scratch, expensive to hire an outside crew to do it for you, so not all of us have the means necessary to putting a deadly video together.
This is what our latest online video editing tools research is all about.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a sharp editor or an Apple fanboy to throw together a great video with a simple message. And that’s because there are some great online video editing tools out there for your desktop that make it easy for you to edit videos.
Key Features Of Online Video Editing Tools
- All online video editing tools offer a free trial, with most of the features switched on, but note that you can’t export a clean copy of your video without putting in your credit card details. We are assuming that limitations we encountered are ones you’d experience on the real (paid) thing.
- One thing that none of these online video editing tools have is effects. What if we want the footage in black and white? Tough.
Okay, let’s begin.
Features – 4/5
Animoto gives you a lot of custom options yet retains its simplicity and is easy to use. One downfall before we’ve even started to use it though: It only works on Firefox… [awkward silence].
So after downloading and installing Firefox, in the interests of bringing important research to you, we can see that Animoto has some interesting features!
First up you can choose your size per platform, eg. you can choose to make square videos for Instagram or Facebook.
Or you can begin with a goal, eg. ‘Promote a sale’ or ‘Photography marketing videos’.
Choosing the right template or ‘storyboard’ at the outset saves time, so you don’t get lost figuring out which is best for you.
Like each of these online video editing tools you can upload your own logo to put at the end of each video, but what sets Animoto apart is that you can have it animated. Want it to swoop in from the top left corner? Done. Want it to spin and expand from the middle. No problema.
You can also add your own voice over, which is very cool!
Scenario: we sell handbags. Fancy ones.
So we choose a storyboard, ‘Product Catalog’. We click on that and in we go to the video editor interface. Here you can record voice overs, rearrange clips, change their lengths, edit the overlaying text and choose the footage being used for each clip. It doesn’t have a timeline running from left to right – you just see each clip, its length and what text is over it. Everything is laid out in a clear, easily understood way. You can fully customise colours too, an option which neither of the other two offer by only giving you the option of set themes.
Ease Of Use – 4/5
Animoto is without a doubt the best of these three online video editing tools. I made the following video in five minutes. Obviously, I recommend spending a little more time thinking it all through but this is how easy Animoto is to use. I just used the videos provided, but you can upload your own!
Price – 5/5
With the free trial you get a watermarked video and access to the music library. The free trial video is low quality too. This is to stop you from using it. You still get to download it and show it to colleagues or other people before you go and spend money on an upgraded account, unlike the other websites we’ve covered here.
The Personal package is the cheapest offer. €9.99 per month paid annually. It is very basic. If I were you, I’d forget about the Personal package. You can only download your video in 720p, you can’t make square videos for Facebook and Instagram and the voice over and pre-built storyboards are not available. However, the next offer is the Professional package. And it makes a lot more sense.
Animoto Professional Package
- €19.99 per month (still the cheapest of the three web video editors we’ve looked at!) – paid annually (€240)
- You can use your own logo
- Videos are downloaded in 1080p, you get access to premium video styles
- You can use voice over and pre-built storyboards – basically everything we saw in the demo.
- You have access to way more music than the Personal package (1,500 more tracks to choose from!).
- Each video also comes with a reseller license for you to sell to your customers.
Finally, the third option is the Business package, which is similar to Professional but for three users, and you have access to 1,000 more tracks.
Would We Recommend?
Yes. This one is our favourite.
Thanks to Anastasia and Dmitry from Animatron who took the time to show us some of the finer features of the tool.
This online video editing tool is better than Promo. It has more to offer, but it doesn’t hit the number 1 spot for us.
Features – 4/5
- Interface is very similar to Promo with a few extra features like dimming the image behind the text and changing length of time text is displayed.
- Animatron offers the option to use transitions. They were not immediately visible to us, but the option to add them appears in between two clips after you’ve add the second one. Seek and you shall find!
- You can upload your own music.
- Animatron offers free stock footage along with Premium videos if you need them. Compared to no stock footage with Animoto and only paid videos with Promo, we found Animatron superior on the stock footage selection.
- You cannot sell your videos to a third party unless you pay for the Agency package which is for ‘freelancers and agencies providing services to their clients’. In other words, you can only use the videos you make for your own company or business. You cannot sell the videos to anyone else. This makes it wholly unattractive for marketing agencies, or freelancers, although we agreed that freelancers selling video editing services will not be using these kind of online tools.
Ease Of Use – 3/5
- Animatron is too similar to Promo for our liking. Nothing special going on here.
- Yes, it’s easy to use – but like Promo, this is down to the limits that go with it.
Price – 2/5
- Animatron is a little cheaper than Promo coming in at $39 per month
- You can make as many videos as you like up to 5 minutes long – more than enough time!
- The ‘premium’ footage can be as expensive as $20 per clip and this is AFTER you’ve paid for subscription to the full version. All the good footage is priced like this but it does look very good!
- With an upgraded package you do get a monthly allowance to spend on these videos, in the first package (the $39 package) you get an allowance of $20 – so in other words, you get one free premium video to use. Which takes the sting out!
Overall, it’s a little pricey for what you get.
Would We Recommend Animatron?
Yes, if you’re planning on using a lot of stock footage, and you’re not a fan of using Firefox every time you want to make a video. Animatron is more expensive than Animoto but if they stick to giving you an allowance every month to spend on stock footage then it all balances out!
Here’s where online video editing tools go sour.
Features – 1/5
Promo seems to have a lot less going for it. I’m struggling to think of any unique features it has!
- It has some fancy stock footage you can use. Good looking people, beautiful locations. But what’s new? We’ve seen that already with Animoto.
- With the free trial, you can only create drafts – no downloadable content.
- From the trial, it looks like you only get three slots to edit which we presume is how the full version is also structured. That’s only three clips, three captions and with the third being the call to action and your logo – you’re left with very limited options on how you deliver your message.
- Very little font choice.
- Not a lot of options with colour – you have to work within their preset themes.
- You have a decent choice of royalty free music to use.
Ease Of Use – 3/5
Promo gets 3/5 because it’s very easy to use, but that’s because it’s extremely basic.
Footage is easy to find. It’s categorised for you and comes up in the search easily.
Price – 0/5
The cheapest option is an outrageous $49 per month!
- Not only is that stupidly high – you only get one video per month out of this subscription!
- The maximum size of any video file you upload is 1GB, which means you have to trim shots you might have taken on your phone which gets messy.
- Promo doesn’t offer full HD videos. Each video is 720p.
Would We Recommend Promo?
At $49 per month for one average looking video, with three captions at low quality. Promo is a no no.
Animoto is the best out of this bunch, but even still: we’re not so enamoured with the output – it’s a bit “clicky”. Animatron comes in second, but you need to ‘learn’ it. Many of the features weren’t immediately clear to us. Avoid Promo, it’s the weakest.
But even still, are you happy to pay €240 a year for online video editing tools such as these? If you want to save €240 annually, have more creative freedom and versatility with your videos, then we suggest you take a look at some other video editing options:
- Grab yourself some free video editing software, there is loads out there to play with. Choose your own fave and get used to it. Spend a little time to figure out how to use it. Or pay someone a one-off €240 to show you how. Ask us for a recommendation.
- There is excellent royalty free music out there too – free to use.
- And stock footage that will also cost you nothing.
So the choice is this…
You pay for these videos with money or time. With money, you’ll get them quickly but you might find yourself settling for something that wasn’t as great as you had in your mind. Or you could commit to learning a new skill. Video editing is not hard, and when you do it yourself with video editing software and not these more limited online tools, you will be able to create exactly. It will take a little longer at the start, but once you get into it, you’ll be flying in no time.
If you don’t want to pay for software and still do it yourself, and you don’t want to go for free software and learn, then you need us! Brightspark has in-house video editing capability and we can make your videos quickly, slickly, and professionally. Our pricing on videos is closer to Animoto than you’d think – but without the headache!
Check out what Vagabond Tours had to say about our video work.
If you want to get some tasty videos made, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and we can quickly advise on your best route forward.
We’ll always get back to you within one business day.