Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Blogger's Corner: Video Apps & Editing Tools


Apps & Tools to Create Engaging Videos for your Blog & Social Media

As you're reading this, you're probably already aware of the emphasis that social media platforms place on the use of video within your content plans. If you're not - go & find out about it!!

But it isn't just for social media use we need to consider using video - they can add a lot of dynamism to your blog posts too. In basic form, they can allow you to show your audience what you're blogging about. For me, I do this a lot through the use of filming my competitions and some parts to my training sessions. 

However, there are a number of different apps and tools available, both paid and free, that allow you to take your videos, chop them up, stitch them together, add music, voice overs or text overlays, and put them back to together to create a video masterpiece!

Some bloggers depend entirely on video as their blog - they have no written posts at all. Of course, these are known as vloggers. And some do a combination of the two.

Dynamic video is definitely one of my weaker areas in terms of content, so I caught up with two equestrian bloggers currently using video in their blogs to ask what tools & apps they'd recommend to get started with improving video content.

There are a few images in this post - if any are too small to see the detail mentioned, please just CLICK TO EXPAND them. 

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First up... Darielle from No Bucking Way. Here's what Darielle had to say about her choice of video editor, Filmora.

I struggled to find a good editing tool on my laptop, and came across Filmora! At first glance, I was quite confused but as I got into the swing of things it became easier and easier! I am still learning some of its secrets...

This is a bought download from online, but you do get a 30 day free trial, so give it a go and get to grips with it.

I use it mainly for piecing loads of videos together, but you can also use it to take screen grabs from videos, which is better quality than screen-shotting stills from my phone -just one click of a button and it does it for you!!

See the screen preview below - this is what you see when you open it up.

It is quite simple to use, & you can import videos AND pictures that are saved onto your computer. If you look at the small camera button below the black screen on the right, this is what you click to save stills from your videos. So it really is as easy as the click of a button, plus they automatically save to your computer.



In the next image, you can see that I have added a video into the bottom part of the window. I can use the scissors tool to cut out and edit parts of the video that I don't want and as you can see from the toolbar in the middle of the screen, it gives you an option to add music, filters, text and certain transitions. It really has everything that I need to create much more engaging videos!



The advice I would give to anyone using this download is to just play around with it for a few days - you constantly find new things you can do with it. I am still learning & finding new things everyday & every time that I use it!



One other really great benefit to Filmora that I've found is that you can export the file into any format you want really, which makes it super easy for whatever the format required for where ever you want to upload it. It works out really well for uploading videos to YouTube!You can see the choice in the image above. 



I have found it very difficult to find an app on my phone to edit videos, or to edit video into a split screen! Filmora give you loads of templates that you can use as a starting point. For me, this was one major advantage that I find extremely helpful, particularly as myself & Orla do a lot of joint posts about the horses, so this comes in extremely useful to keep everything consistent!!

This video best gives an idea of everything I have mentioned above...Enjoy watching it!


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We also spoke to Mary Katherine Morris about how she creates videos for use across her blog & social media...

I like to keep it simple with the videos I post on social. I want something short, exciting, and maybe even a little bit quirky. The truth is that social video doesn't always have to be a big production to get the engagement you are after. The apps I mention below are my no-fuss favourites for when you need to produce a quick clip for Instagram or Facebook. They're also fun, easy to use, and free

Boomerang is a video editing app that lets you create a short video loop that will play action forward and backward. It's great for short clips that feature any kind of dynamic movement, like jumping or a horse running free in a pasture. There's also an element of humour to the videos it produces, so it's perfect for platforms like Instagram, where you want the video to be fun and engaging. The only downside is that the app does not allow you to edit existing video, so you have to use the app while recording. But it's interface is intuitive and even the least tech savvy phone videographer can quickly figure out how to use it. 

Here's a very short video tutorial of how simple it is to use Boomerang. T is injured right now, and it was about to rain, so no great dynamic action will be seen here. Just a fat little horse, chowing down.


Slo Mo Video is another simple video editor that allows you to record or edit video and then selectively slow down the part where you'd like to show action in slow motion. It's pretty basic and only took a me a few minutes to figure out. This is another great app for showcasing movement and highlighting powerful manoeuvres, like jumping and any other motion that involves speed. The downside to this app is that sound is also recorded and slowed down, but that often helps underscore the power behind the motion and is very effective in creating an engaging clip for your social accounts. 

Step One: Open the Slo Mo Video app and select either "record new video," or "choose from library." In this instance, I selected "choose from library," selected the video I wanted to edit, and hit "choose." 



Step Two: The Slo Mo Video app interface opens up and is automatically set to normal speed. You have the ability to turn the dial up or down to control the speed of the video. 


Step Three: Slide the "start" toggle to the frame that you want the slow motion effect to begin. Then you just press the play button and ta-da. Slo Mo Video. This app is so easy to use. It will certainly have more impact with an exciting subject that's in motion, but what horse woman doesn't have at least 100 pictures of her horse eating? 



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