The value of video has been well demonstrated, but creating video content on a budget can be a challenge. If cost is a barrier to getting started with video, here are some tools and ideas that can help. Many of these tools have free trials or free versions with limited capabilities, as well as paid options at varying price points depending on your needs and budget.
Software tools for creating video content on a budget
One of the easiest ways to record video these days is Zoom. Free accounts allow you to record shorter meetings directly to your device, and paid accounts include options to host the recording in the cloud. If you hold a webinar, you can record it and share with those who couldn’t attend live. Or, you can simply record a conversation between two or three people, like an interview or panel discussion. Another option would be to use Zoom to record an interview with an individual and then edit the footage excluding the interviewer so that it doesn’t look or sound like a video call.
Did you know that you can convert a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to a video? You can set timings for slides, include animations, and even add music and/or voiceover audio. Since many of us are already using PowerPoint, this is another easy option that doesn’t require any additional expense. Here are Microsoft’s instructions for converting a PowerPoint presentation to video.
Headliner is a tool marketed to podcasters that creates videos from audio. It automatically creates a waveform graphic as well as an on-screen transcription. This is a great option if your firm has a podcast, but it can really be used for any audio. Testimonials, interviews, excerpts from webinars, and more would all work well, especially if you have people who would be willing to contribute audio content but don’t want to be in front of a camera. These videos are particularly well suited for social media, and the audio transcription is great for accessibility. (Speaking of accessibility, I strongly encourage adding captions to all of your videos, even where the transcription won’t be front and center.)
You may have heard of Canva as a great tool for images, but did you know it could create video too? Canva’s template library has plenty of options with stock photos and videos, and you can easily edit them to add your own content and branding. This would be a good option for a short announcement or promotional video.
Interested in animation? Powtoon allows you to make animated videos quickly and easily. Their templates are a good place to start and are just about as easy to edit and customize as a PowerPoint presentation. This is a good option for an explainer or whiteboard video, maybe describing a service or walking through a case study. Bonus: there are templates geared towards internal communications as well.
If you are a Mac user, iMovie is a great tool for editing videos with easy, intuitive controls and is included in the standard operating system.
For Windows users, the built-in Photos application has some simple video editing options such as trimming and combining video clips. If you need more features, Movavi Video Editor Plus is a relatively inexpensive and easy to use option.
If you need to edit audio only, Audacity is a great tool available for free for both Windows and Mac.
Hardware tools for creating video content on a budget
If you have a smartphone or a laptop with a built in camera and microphone, you can get started without any additional hardware. If you want to step up your audio and video quality, here are some options that can help you get started at a relatively low cost:
Microphone: Blue – Yeti Microphone
Ring Light: On Air Travel Pro 10″ LED Ring Light
Tabletop Tripod: JOBY Gorillapod