Free Video Creation Tools for Social Media Marketers on a Budget - Social Media Explorer
Free Video Creation Tools for Social Media Marketers on a Budget
Free Video Creation Tools for Social Media Marketers on a Budget

In this post, you’ll find professional-level video editing software for Mac and Windows, mobile apps for quick compilations, screen and video recording tools, and instant GIF and thumbnail builders.

But before we jump into reviewing them, let’s take a moment and recall few video publishing trends you should keep in mind before hitting the “Share” button.

Content over quality – on Facebook and Instagram Stories

It’s 2018, and vertical videos aren’t booed anymore. Just like videos shot on a smartphone in general. The audience on social media values authenticity highly, so you have more chances to create engagement with a not-so-perfect but coherent video than with a polished but irrelevant one.

For some Stories, Starbucks uses plain text and animation. Just like many regular Instagram users do!

In fact, according to Sprout Social blog, when a video published on Instagram Stories looks “overproduced”, it gets skipped instantly. Such videos just don’t fit in and create an impression of being fake.

Knowing technical tweaks is crucial – on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter

No matter how many times marketers repeat that content is the king, you also need to know the basic technical specifications before posting videos on different social media channels. Otherwise, even the best content might be left unseen. That includes keyword research, resizing, adding calls to action, using hashtags, and adapting your videos to each platform’s voice.

We talked about it briefly in the guide on publishing videos on social media like a pro. Check it out to stay up to date!

Videos should be adapted being watched with no sound

85% of videos on Facebook and Instagram are watched with the sound off and if you want your message to get through, make sure to include accurate and eye-catching subtitles.

Buzzfeed always uses plain subtitles whenever a video contains speech

When you upload a video to YouTube or Facebook, you’ll see an option to create subtitles automatically. And even though it’s quite convenient, you should always go over the result because AI is known to misinterpret human speech occasionally. If you have a chance, adding subtitles manually is a safer bet. Most mobile video editors aren’t capable enough for this task, so we recommend choosing a decent desktop software from the list below.

6 Video creation tools every social media marketer should know about

Now that we’ve named the basics, let’s go ahead and look at the tools to help you produce great video content for social media.

In the age of Adobe Premiere, there are still surprisingly many powerful video creation programs available for free. Some of them are exceptionally good at one thing – like creating quick intros on a mobile or capturing desktop screen. Others are more like a Swiss knife of video production covering a range of functionality.

VSDC – video editing software for Windows XP, 7, 8, 10

VSDC is a multifunctional suite for Windows that will turn you into a video production wizard. Apart from the editor, it includes a screen recorder, a video capture tool, and a YouTube uploader.

VSDC is a free video editing software with an advanced feature-set

Feature-wise, VSDC can easily compete with some professional-level programs. Not only does it help you cut, merge, rotate, and crop footage, but also performs all the fancy post-production tricks like color correction, split screen, Chroma Keying and a picture-in-picture effects. Plus, the app reads all the video formats and codecs, so you don’t have to worry about converting your files before editing. And if you’re using action camera for shooting, you should know that it’s officially recommended as the best free video editor for GoPro.

iMovie – the unparalleled video editor for Mac owners

If you are a Mac user, iMovie should be your first option for few reasons. First, it’s available for free in the App Store. Second, it works on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. In fact, because of the iCloud synchronization between devices, you can literally start editing on a tablet and continue on a computer – that’s certainly an advantage. Finally, iMovie is well-equipped with all the essential features. It has an intuitive timeline, allows you to quickly cut, crop, and merge videos, provides you with a library of templates for titles and has a tool for quick clip sharing which comes in handy when you work in a team.

iMovie is one of the best options for Apple users getting into video editing

iMovie also works very well with all formats and resolutions and processes 4K easily.

Legend – a mobile app for creating video titles

Most mobile apps for video editing are either paid or add a watermark to your exported video. Unlike most mobile apps, Legend is truly free and works for both worlds – whether you own an iOS or an Android device. Although the feature-set here is quite limited, it’s surprisingly good at doing what’s promised. And if you publish a lot of content on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll love Legend because it will help you compile a creative video title in a matter of seconds.

The process consists of 3 steps. You type text, add a background video, choose animation and filters. Voila! You’ve got an eye-catching Buzzfeed-style animated intro. Save it to your phone for future, publish it directly to Instagram, or share via messengers.

GIPHY – best GIF maker right in your browser

Many of us are used to visit looking for the GIFs to impress the audience. But this website also allows you to create a GIF of your own. It works perfectly on desktop and mobile devices right in your browser – you don’t even have to log in. And given that GIFs are the most popular type of visuals on Twitter, you should certainly bookmark GIPHY.

GIPHY offers a straight to the point 2-step GIF creation process

Choose a video or a sequence of images from your computer (or a smartphone), set the duration for your GIF, add a caption, stickers or Instagram-like filters, and you’re done. If you’re not logged in, you can then upload your creation to GIPHY, and once it’s live – save it to your computer as a GIF. If you don’t want it to go public, you’ll have to log in to the website using Facebook profile or your email address.

Stencil and Fotojet – thumbnail builders

When you upload a video to YouTube or Facebook, you need to have a decent thumbnail. Thumbnails have direct impact on your video CTR (click-through rate), so spending extra few minutes to create one is well worth the effort.

Stencil allows you to create beautiful images for social media in a few seconds

Stencil and Fotojet are the tools you can rely on. Both are no-brainers to use and will provide you with a library of backgrounds and templates to choose from. Once you pick the canvas, simply add text, icons, logos, and other elements using the drag’n’drop motion. The best part about both apps – you can resize images for any purposes in one click – be it a thumbnail for a YouTube video or a picture to be posted on Twitter.

OBS Studio – powerful video recording and live streaming suite

Live streaming is at its peak today, and more companies are taking advantage of this format to engage with users on social media. However, the embedded live streaming tools of YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch might seem somewhat limited in terms of content source options. And this is where OBS Studio steps in.

OBS interface looks slightly intimidating but you’ll get familiar with it after watching tutorials on YouTube

The biggest advantage of OBS is the ability to mix several scenes – or content from multiple sources – on a single screen during a live stream. In other words, you’ll be able to broadcast a real-time recording from your web camera together with an existing video or a part of your screen. And you’ll be able to do it on a nearly professional level because OBS empowers you with a set of audio filters to reduce background noise and other controls to make the picture nearly perfect.

Of course, if you’re not looking for a live stream software, OBS Studio can also be used as an advanced video capture tool. Once you finish recording, you can just export the file and edit it if needed.

Have you already incorporated videos to your social media marketing strategy? Let us know what works for you and what tools you use in the process of content creation.

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About the Author

Adam Torkildson
Adam Torkildson is the owner of Tork Media, the parent company of Social Media Explorer. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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