Best steps to edit a great video
Even if you are just getting started with video editing or if you’ve done it for a while but you would like to improve your workflow and become better at it there are definitely certain things you can do that will help. In this article, I will not talk about cameras, lighting or color grading. Those could greatly improve the look of your video but it will not necessarily help you tell a story and I think this is the place to start.
Most people think that the way a video looks like will help them gain more watchers, while that is true to some extent there many different types of videos and for the big majority story is most important.
Just to give you an example, there are many low budget movies out here winning awards and being praised. These are generally called Indie or Independent films, what they all have in common is a budget nowhere near as big as a Hollywood production but they all stand their ground through a good story and clever editing.
Ok, that was a long introduction but I wanted to make a strong point for storytelling so let’s get into what are the best steps to improving your video.
Step 1 - Planning
I know this might sound obvious but you would be surprised at the lack of planning in people's videos. It’s getting funny to think about the fact that people sometimes jump straight to editing even though they don’t have any footage or any idea on how to get it.
To start let’s take a look at what you should have in mind when preparing a video:
- The type of video: advertisement, video selling letter, testimonial, music video, gaming video, sales video. This aspect will affect the length of your video and how you will get footage for it.
- Who is your audience: a very important thing to consider because it will impact the way your message will sound and the channels you will distribute them with your audience.
- Distribution channel: a good thing to have in mind before you start shooting because on different channels people expect different shapes of a video. Instagrammers expect a square or a vertical while on YouTube a regular landscape 16:9 format is still king.
If you plan to post in a square format on Instagram you might want to frame your video so you can crop into it later when editing.
- Script: decide on a topic and then go ahead and write a script for it. In the beginning, your ability to talk on the camera will not be great, as with all things the ability to speak in front of the lens will improve over time until then use the script to get help when needed. This will also help you with the video shots you want to take or to search for the footage that you need. In a future article, I will write more about the benefits of writing a Script and how to do it.
Step 2 - Getting Footage
The next step is getting footage to use in your video. A lot of people overcomplicate this step and go ahead and purchase expensive cameras or gear that they don’t know how to use. I would say we live wonderful days where most smartphone cameras will be enough to get started with YouTube, making a VSL or to create social media videos.
TIP: People are used to seeing normal videos in their timelines and news feeds if you’re making a social media add it has much better chances at being watched if it looks familiar to people rather than something that looks like it was made in a lab.
You also have the option to get videos from plenty of stock footage libraries and many video editing tools, Flixier included, offer built-in libraries of stock footage so you can easily search for content and test how it works in your video. This practice is very common with marketing videos and it is often used even by big companies. Still, try to not overuse it, in time you will want to showcase a brand consistency and a sense of personality to your videos which will be hard to achieve through stock footage alone.
Step 3 - Editing
This is the step that gets most people confused. The main reason is that they look-up some fancy YouTube influencer that shows some advanced “Tips and Tricks” with a Pro level tool and all of a sudden everyone says that video editing is hard.
I couldn’t disagree more, video editing is easy if you start with the right tool and spend one or two hours to learn the basics. As with any profession, there is a big difference between good enough and great and to get from one point to the other it takes hundreds if not thousands of hours of practice. Even so, for the purpose of getting started you don’t need to worry about this, there are plenty of tools to help you. They are tailored for specific needs like short advertising videos or longer format videos. This split-up in targeting means that they can do that single thing very well and they are super easy to use. This is the reason while in planning you have to be thorough about the type of video you are making, it will make your life easier when it comes to editing too.
Tools like Magisto or Shakr would be good to use for short advertisement videos while a tool like Flixier is better to use for longer format videos like explainers, courses, YouTube, testimonials, vlogs and more. In the following articles, we will discuss the basics of editing too.
With Flixier, for example, you don’t even need a powerful computer or laptop to process video as it handles everything in the cloud, which means even less stress for you.
Step 4 - Publishing
This must be one of the easiest parts of the process but pay a little attention to it too. If done right it can help your video get recognized by search engines. Remember even YouTube is a search engine, in fact, the second biggest one after Google.
For this step, you can go back to your script and pick relevant words from it as keywords (tags for youtube, hash-tags for Instagram). You can choose a youtube thumbnail from your video but I would suggest editing it a little bit so it stands out, add some text to it and make it stand out.
Step 5 - Distribution
This step is most often than not forgotten by video makers. In an internet space where new content gets created at high levels every single day, not trying to promote your video, especially as a beginner will ensure that almost no one will get to see it, and that would be a shame.
Post your video on social media groups relevant to the topic, answer on Quora questions with a small description and a link, you can even do it on Reddit too but be careful when doing all this. Don’t just go around spamming people, that will surely get you banned from those groups. Be helpful and respectful.
That covers the basics when it comes to the best steps you can take to make a great video. Of course, there is much more to cover in each of those steps. Subscribe and follow us to find out when we release more content on those topics.