Have you wished you could create videos like the big boys do, but don’t have the same budget as them? Would it surprise you to know that there is now a great choice in this field and lots to think about when choosing your online video maker application?
In this blog I look at 5 potential video production applications a business could use to create highly professional videos at a fraction of what it would cost if you employed a production agency!
For all except #3 of the tools I looked at, I created a video using the application. I either used their assets or loaded up free or bought images/videos I had. There is a lot of variation between them as you will see. However, they are capable of producing some excellent videos.
Video Maker Application #1: Biteable
This is an online desktop application that allows you to produce business videos – explainers, promotions, intros and outros, and even ad videos.
Pricing: They have two plans – free and premium! The premium version has a monthly cost of $29 or you can pay $276 annually (which is $23pm).
I chose the free version to see what it offered. There are some disadvantages to using the free version. It won’t allow you to download the final version. All you can do is share a link or embed via code to a website. You can’t make it private and it has the watermark all over it! You are also limited to creating 5 a month.
As a result, I wouldn’t recommend using the free version. You need to get all of these restrictions removed and to do that you would have to upgrade to premium.
Once I did that I found the ease of creating video, the number of templates, and all the assets it has, to be the best I have seen so far, in any application. I love what they offer and can see real value for a business.
Biteable includes animation and raw video footage as well. As you will see below, not many offer this.
One downside is the lack of voice-over capabilities. Adding an audio file and trying to tie in with the slides is not easy In fact, it’s nearly impossible.
Finally, on the upside, its output is HD, whereas others only offer this quality in their advanced plans.
The price may put many businesses off if they only want the odd video here and there.
Here’s what I would do. Plan out 3-4 videos and pay for a month’s subscription. For the price of $29 you could produce 2-4 top quality videos then cancel at the end of the month. To me, using this strategy makes it one of the best affordable video tools for businesses.
If you plan to do more than 4 videos, I would go for the annual plan. As I said, this is one of the best applications I have seen.
Video Maker Application #2: Animoto
This application has been around for many years now and has gone through many redesigns. It now has a very slick interface and I would say it’s easy to use.
Pricing: They offer a 14 day free trial to their Professional version. There are three plans that offer 50% off if you choose the annual plan.
The Personal version is watermarked and only produces 720p quality video, so best try the Professional version. Its price works out as £21.99pm, which is quite expensive compared to Biteable, but it is HD quality.
Although there are templates, and you can build from scratch, you have to supply your own video and images. This makes it feels like a more expensive option for small businesses.
What makes it a possible choice for a business are these features:
- It offers square videos which Facebook likes. That is not a feature many offer.
- Voice-over capabilities
- Timing adjustments
- Preview of slides as you progress
Here’s a square example I made with this tool.
Video Maker Application #3: Animatron – Wave
The Animatron brand offers two tools. Wave, a marketing video creator, and Studio, an animation creator. Both have a trial period.
The Studio animation creator, though it has a lite mode, is a lot more difficult to use. It requires you to do the animation – you are really hand-crafting the animation. I use Studio and the learning curve is really steep. If you have time, it’s a great tool, otherwise you may find it frustrating.
Therefore, Wave is the tool we are going to review here.
If you start with the free trial you’ll find several restrictions. 1) It’s watermarked; 2) You have video length restrictions; 3) You can only create 10 in total; 4) The output quality is SD for video but you can do HTML5 output.
Of all the tools I have looked at, this is the most expensive. The lowest entry price is $39pm for the Pro version. It includes access to assets as part of this price but there are add-ons. Not all the videos and images are included. Some of the premium assets would be charged as extras.
There are limitations within the package as the max length of the output is 5 minutes. However, you get access to video formats you wont find elsewhere. You can produce square, Facebook cover videos, Instagram videos, and the standard formats.
If you need this variety of formats this may be the tool for you.
The video below is a screen capture of one of their templates. It shows one video in landscape, square and Instagram story format.
This is a clever tool, so if you want a tool that produces all these different formats, this is one for you.
Video Maker Application #4: Magisto
This application is fairly new to me and it intrigued me. The USP of this tool is that it uses its AI-powered professional video maker to analyse and edit your video.
It has a 7 day trial so I went for the Professional version. This asks for your credit card details before you can use it. If you don’t like it, remember to cancel the subscription within your account.
Pricing: The annual price is £139.86 (after conversion by Magisto) for the Pro version. The Business version is around £326pa – this was the second highest over all.
Once I had signed up, I found you get none of the video and image assets. You have to upgrade to Business. Hmm – that was a disappointment.
In fact, when I looked further, the business version is probably what you’d want. The output quality is only 720p for the Pro version. This is ok but as more and more videos are either full HD (1080p), or now 4k, you’d find yourself lagging behind.
Square videos are only available in the Business version.
Here’s the video I created using the tool and published to Vimeo and YouTube.
As I said, no assets are supplied, this means loading images and videos from your own content. If you are going to choose this one the question I would ask how easy is it to use, render, publishing?
It wasn’t as easy as the others to edit. I had to load the videos, choose a style and then audio. Once done, the app analyses it through it’s AI tool. It then presents what it thinks should be the most acceptable to viewers.
I loaded in the order I wanted the videos to be played but their program reorganised them. I had to go back in and re-order. I wasn’t impressed with this feature. In fact, any of the editing has to be done after this AI analysis to add text.
I did liked the share and publishing tool.
Overall, it has some interesting features and will suit some businesses.
Video Maker Application #5: Rawshorts
This was one of the first applications I went looking for when I first started the Funnel Mechanics. I wanted a 2D video creator and it was the only online one I could find at a reasonable price.
I think also that it is one of the easiest for building a detailed scene.
However, there are quirks with the software and sometimes it gets stuck, making it a little frustrating.
Rawshorts offer 3 plans from their Starter plan (Free – limited features, watermark and low quality), to Essential at $39pm, to their top layer Business at $59pm.
The difference is the output quality, access to media assets, length, and team access. Their top tier is the most expensive of the 5 here.
They do offer a smaller plan though – one the others don’t. They call it an on-demand plan. Here, you can buy packs to allow you to pay per download.
You can buy packs of 3 ($20 per download), 10 ($12 per download), 25 ($8 per download). One point to note – you have to use these downloads in a fixed period, otherwise you lose the rest of the credits in the pack.
Here’s a video I made with the tool.
There are other applications out there. More will continue to appear as the popularity of videos and the need for them to be fast, powerful and engaging continues to drive the biggest marketing tool for businesses.
The five shown here are great tools. Some will be too much for some small businesses who don’t need the features included. But if you are wanting to produce a variety of videos, these should cover all your needs.
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