social media tools

Do you want to use video to market your business online?

Are you looking for video tools to get you started?

With today’s tools, creating professional video is easier than you think.

In this article you’ll discover tools and resources to create videos that you can use to market your business right now.

#1: Do It All on Your Apple Device

The newest versions of Apple’s iPhone and iPad let you shoot 1080p, HD-quality video using iMovie—their free, built-in moviemaking software. iMovie is fairly simple to use and lets you to create slick videos and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo on the spot.

Before you jump into moviemaking, first make sure you have a method for holding the iPhone or iPad steady. (Nothing is more distracting than a shaky camera!) Use an after-market tripod attachment or add-on to ensure you get steady shots with your mobile device.

My favorite tripod-ready attachments for the iPhone include Glif and Anycase. When it comes to the iPad, I love using Makayama’s tripod mount because it fits easily on any standard tripod and helps me steady my iPad for standup shots and scenes.

Second, you need great audio to go with your video. Here’s why: Viewers will stick with a video even if the production isn’t amazing, as long as the content is good and they can hear the audio clearly. If the audio is bad, you essentially guarantee people will ignore your video no matter how good your content and production quality is.

Don’t rely on the built-in iPhone and iPad microphones to get the job done. Instead, invest in a high-quality microphone that you can plug into the headphone jack of your iPhone or iPad. There are a wide variety of options available, and the microphones vary quite a bit in terms of price and quality.

Depending on your setup and style, there are several microphone options available for the iPhone and iPad. For presenting/speaking on camera, you might want a lapel or lavalier-style microphone. For doing on-camera interviews, try a handheld setup.

stenheiser mics

Lavalier mics are great for recording your own voice during video presentations.

I use a Stenheiser wireless lavalier microphone setup and love it, but it is very expensive (around $700.00). Your best bet is to do as much research as possible—or better yet, find an audio store that lets you test microphones before you buy.

Now it’s time to create your high-quality movie or event trailer. iMovie trailers come in a variety of styles and formats and work well as a quick teaser for an upcoming event or product. Regular, full-length iMovie templates come premade with transitions and branding styles.

Just shoot the footage with your device camera, open iMovie on your device, drop in your footage, add music or other special effects (if you want) and you’re all set!

Here’s an example of an iMovie trailer that I made in about 20 minutes using some Social Media Examiner–related footage and images I found online:

iMovie is also available as a desktop application on Apple computers, and I prefer using it that way given the larger screen size available on my laptop.

#2: Take Advantage of Animated Templates

One of the more popular new video software programs to hit the scene in recent months is VideoMakerFX. This desktop software lets you create professional-quality, animated videos and stories in just a few minutes on both Macs and PCs.

The best part of VideoMakerFX is that everything is already done for you. The videos, text effects and characters are already animated. In addition, the premade storylines (many with a business theme) are easy to follow.

All you have to do is type in some text or upload a logo and you have a finished video!

Here’s an example of a video I made about Social Media Examiner that took about 10 minutes to create:

VideoMakerFX comes with scores of templates, characters and business- or product-themed stories already loaded into the software. You can buy more stories for an additional monthly fee. Each set of stories or videos is broken into 5-, 10- or 20-second “slides” that you can drag, drop and rearrange in the video editor.

You just arrange the slides in the order you want, add text, then customize extra animations, effects, fonts, colors, etc., as much or as little as you’d like.

#3: Record Screencasts

A great way to demonstrate your expertise and teach your audience is by doing video screencasts or screen recordings. For example, use a screencast to walk viewers through a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation while you do a voiceover to explain the benefits and features they’re looking at.

EasyVideoSuiteCamtasia or other screen capture tools make it easy to record these types of videos.

camtasia app

Screencasts are a great way to reach your audience with a personal teaching experience.

Screencasts are also a great way to demonstrate an online solution. For instance, say you want to teach your audience how to optimize an individual LinkedIn profile. Why not record a screencast where you walk them through it step by step on LinkedIn?

For the best audio quality on your screencast, invest in a high-quality USB microphone that you can plug into your computer for the voiceovers. My favorite USB mic is the Blue Yeti.

Add Interest With Stock Clips and Images

It can get tedious for viewers to watch the same static shot of you or someone else standing and talking. That’s why stock video is so valuable. It helps break up the monotony of the video, illustrate a point or create a memorable scene.

For instance, if you make a video teaching your audience to better utilize Twitter, it would be great to have some premade stock video of Twitter icons floating around or moving across the screen to drop into the shot.

Sites like Video Blocks and Shutterstock help you create those types of effects. It’s easy to search, locate, purchase and download royalty-free stock videos to help tell your story.

video blocks stock clips

Video Blocks has many categories of stock clips to choose from.

Pricing can get expensive, so make sure you shop around multiple stock video sites for the best rates and options.

Final Thoughts

The product suggestions in this article are based on my personal experience. I’m not affiliated with any of these brands or products, and I’m not officially endorsing or suggesting you should purchase them over something else.

That said, each of the easy-to-use tools in this article will help you create online videos that are compelling. Use them to connect with people whether you’re going on-camera, creating slick presentations or using animation and graphics.

What do you think? Have you used video to humanize and market yourself or your business? Are there other video-related tools not mentioned here that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Meghan Riley

    When I see capture pages like the one VideoMakerFX has, I think “rip-off” or “scam”. It looks interesting, but I’m not going to pay $67 without a trial.

  • Hi Meghan – I totally understand. Like I said, I was skeptical at first, too, but trusted the 30 day money back guarantee when I bought, and was super happy with the product. Again, I’m not affiliated with them in any way, just wanted to share what I have personally found to be an amazing piece of video software that literally anyone can use to make cool animated videos. Hope that helps!

  • Amy Dunn Moscoso

    Hi John,

    Thanks for this article. I love the iPad / iPhone ideas. I’ve seen so many companies give up on videos thinking that they need to pay thousands of dollars when a simple and less formal video can add warmth and interest to their business.

  • Amy you are absolutely right! Thanks for reading the post and sharing your comment! We shoot all our videos on iPad/iPhones and it works great. There are so many attachments and add-ons you can use, it’s really amazing technology we have at our fingertips now!

  • Renee Nugent

    Wow, your article couldn’t be more timely. Been playing with iMovie to develop video materials, but Camtasia looks interesting. Thank you, saved me hours of research

  • HI John,
    Thanks for the good information. I’m probably going to fool around with VideoMakerFX.

    For screen capture, I can recommend iShowU HD. It has much of same functionality as Camtasia but is much less expensive.

    I also am a fan of the Teleprompt+ app for the iPad. If someone is going to have an iPad tripod, this Teleprompter app may make sense to purchase. Last I recall it was $15 for the app with free download for the iPhone so you can control the Teleprompter remotely.

  • Hey that’s great to hear, Renee! So glad the timing was right!

  • Thanks Dave – great tips from you as well!

  • Aviva

    How do you connect the mic to the ipad? what light do you use ( in photo above)?

  • Charo

    Any suggestions for android devices?