Online video is now one of the best ways to communicate with your audience and build relationships. In terms of both the number of videos uploaded and the number of overall video views, YouTube is by far the most popular online video publishing and sharing site.
You can create a free YouTube channel for your business, and within minutes publish your original video content to the world. Even if you don’t have a budget for video creation, you can become a YouTube video publisher. Check out the following free or affordable services and apps that can help you get started making YouTube videos for your business.
There are a variety of tools to help you make YouTube videos that are unique, professional, and interesting. Rather than simply recording your own video using your video camera, you can use one of the following tools to create a more customized video.
1. Animoto: Just upload your images, and Animoto creates video slideshows with music.
2. Xtranormal: With Xtranormal, you can choose an animated actor or character and a background for your video. When you enter your video text, the actor lip-syncs the text in an animated video.
3. Stupeflix: Use Stupeflix to upload images, text, maps, video clips, and audio. Once everything is uploaded, you can create a video that you can share on YouTube without leaving your Stupeflix account.
4. GoAnimate: With GoAnimate, you can create animated videos by choosing a theme, dragging and dropping characters, and recording lines for the characters to say.
5. Website Talking Heads: Need a video with a professional spokesperson to deliver the lines? It’s easy and affordable with Website Talking Heads.
6. Camtasia: To create screencast video content to publish on YouTube, try Camtasia Studios (available for Mac or Windows). For a free open source version, try CamStudio.
7. Call Recorder for Skype: Want to conduct video interviews and upload them to your YouTube channel? It’s easy with Call Recorder for Skype. You can download a free demo and upgrade to a paid version when you’re ready.
Once you’ve recorded a video on an external device such as your smartphone or video camera, you need a tool to edit it. An unedited video looks cheap, and that’s probably not how you want people to view your brand and business. Check out the video editors below to cut and move content within your videos, and to add sound, transitions, images, text, and more.
8. iMovie: Unless you’re a video editing expert, you’ll probably be quite happy with the features offered in iMovie, which is the free video editing program that comes pre-installed on all Macs.
9. Windows Movie Maker: For Windows users, the free Windows Movie Maker software that comes on new PCs is a great video editing choice.
You can easily enhance your videos by adding music, images, and even video content published by other people. For example, to create a highly professional business video, you should have an introduction and closing clip with music, text, and an image that provides your business name, website URL, and other important brand identity information. The following services provide royalty-free music, images, and video that you can legally use in your video content.
10. RoyaltyFreeMusic.com: You can find affordable music tracks and clips on RoyaltyFreeMusic.com. Individual tracks can be licensed for under 10 dollars.
11. Freeplay Music: Another great option for finding affordable music for your videos is Freeplay Music. This service offers a wide variety of music at various price points and licensing options.
12. Audacity: If you need to record and edit sounds for your videos, then the free open source Audacity audio editor and recorder is an excellent option.
13. iStockPhoto: You can find affordable and professional images, photos, animated clips, illustrations, and video clips on iStockPhoto.
What if your video is saved in a format that your video editing program or YouTube doesn’t accept? Fortunately, there are a variety of free and affordable video conversion tools that enable you to convert your video to the format you need in seconds.
14. iSkySoft: iSkySoft offers affordable video conversion and video download software for Mac and Windows users.
15. HandBrake: For a free open source video conversion tool, try HandBrake for Mac or Windows.
What tools do you use to make YouTube videos for your business? Let us know in the comments below.
Susan Gunelius: Susan Gunelius is a 20-year marketing veteran and President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has authored nine books about social media, content marketing, branding, copywriting, and blogging, and she is a marketing columnist for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com. Susan speaks about marketing, branding, and social media at events around the world and is often interviewed about marketing topics by television, online, print, and radio media organizations.