It's a great time to be searching for short video tools (or that latest short video app). Video is so effective for driving engagement and traffic, so in this post, I share 5 awesome (and fun) short video tools that will help you create an engaging video, quickly and easily.
BY DONNA MORITZ | UPDATED JANUARY 15, 2020
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This post was originally published in 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for current video tools. Enjoy!
Video is popular on every social platform and newsfeed, in dozens of different formats. But how can you jump in and start creating videos now?
For many of us that are not tech-savvy, or perhaps a little camera shy, video can be daunting. The good news is that there are loads of options when it comes to short video tools – even in the past two years – coming on board for the marketers and business owners who are not confident on (or using) video tools.
Having a short video app or two in your pocket… is a good thing!
Let's jump into the 5 fun video tools that allow you to quickly and easily create “short video” or social video in fun ways. Use these video tools to dip your toe in the water (and then dive in!) to experience the power of video. Choose a short video app or tool and get busy!
Why Short Video and Why Short Video Tools?
There's no discounting the fact that YouTube is still massive and awesome for SEO. But more and more we are seeing the power of native video on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin. And often those videos don't need to be super long.
You only need to look at some of these numbers from the guys at Wave to see that video is ‘the business' on just about every channel:
What is native video? It's video that is uploaded directly to the newsfeed of the platform you are on. On Facebook, this is particularly important as native video is attracting huge reach compared to videos linked to from YouTube. And more video is being uploaded than ever before.
The ability for businesses to be able to use short video tools to mobilize and create video content quickly and easily has become more important now that video has become a huge part of content. Not only Facebook. Video is everywhere.
It's not just Facebook. 60-second videos on Instagram, longer IGTV videos and Instagram stories all catch attention. Video also shows natively in the newsfeed of Twitter, and even LinkedIn.
And what about Pinterest? Pinterest now allows us to upload video to the Pinterest newsfeed, so video tools can be used for that too. Video is prominently displayed on every social platform now.
So what if you are not keen on being on camera? Not confident with video? Not tech-savvy? Well, there's good news. And it all lies with short video tools. I've rounded up some FUN desktop tools and mobile apps that make it possible for you to create short videos, even if it's something that you have never considered before.
We've updated this post to include new, fun video tools, many of which don't require you to be on camera (although you can if you wish to!).
Here are 5 tools that you can use now to dive in and start creating awesome short video content right now:
5 Quick and Easy Short Video Tools for Video Content Creation
We're starting with something super simple (and short) when it comes to creating videos. You can't go past Boomerang on Instagram for creating quick social looping videos.
Boomerang works by taking a burst of photos, then speeds them up and plays them forwards and backwards, in a looping ‘boomerang' video.
The best part is that the app is waiting for you IN the Instagram Story features, so you've really got no excuse not to be creative.
Boomerang allows users to do more than just post simple images to Instagram. It could be a fun way to start playing with video without all the pressure of editing, lighting and audio. Which is why it remains one of my favourite video tools for creating short video quickly.
Boomerang is just a bit of fun, but sometimes a bit of fun is what you need to break up the insta-feed and to catch people's attention. Like Sue B Zimmerman does in this post:
And this should keep the Android users happy too – yes Boomerang is available on both Android and iOS! Boomerang animations can be posted straight to Facebook or Instagram from the app or can be saved to your camera roll.
Boomerang is a great fallback when you just want to get creative with video and post something or spice up your Instagram Stories or Instagram feed. It's great for quick behind-the-scenes shots of your team. People love to see people!
Boomerang is Free. Zilch, nada, nothing. It's included for free in the Instagram Stories app as well as free in the Android or iOS app.
2. Canva Video
Let's step it up a bit (but still keep it simple and fun). For many of my readers already using Canva, you'll have discovered with delight that Canva has added video to their bag of magic tricks.
Yes, that's right.. you can now add your own videos (or search for free or affordable stock footage) from right within the Canva dashboard.
As you can see above – you can add videos as well as text, and in this case, I overlayed my design with an arrow too (to show you that I dragged a stock video into the design). You can now take your designs beyond a simple text-based animated image, with real video.
This opens up a world of possibility for creating short videos for social media. With video tools IN Canva, it makes it so much easier to quickly add some movement to your designs.
Once you've finished your design simply download as an MP4 file! Or you can embed these files straight into presentation mode if you are creating slideshow presentations.
Videos are available on the free plan in Canva. Canva Pro Monthly starts at $12.95 USD per month or $9.95 USD if paid annually and there are a lot more features included as part of that, especially for teams. Find out more here.
Quicc allows you to add captions to any video you create in minutes. This is a great idea when you consider that a lot of videos are watched with the sound off on Instagram and Facebook. By adding video captions (easily) to your video you can now share it so everyone can hear it (even if they are reading it!).
Quicc works by submitting any video (in any size, from YouTube to Facebook to Instagram Story) to Quicc's website. The software then does its magic and sends you back a captioned video back in just a couple of minutes.
Quicc is one of the best video tools I've seen come along as it allows you to create really engaging video quickly. You can be face-to-camera or you can film something that doesn't require you to do your hair and makeup. Either way, it's the captions that matter.
Using Quicc is easy. Simply:
- Log into Quicc on your desktop computer (there is a phone app coming but you can also do this from your phone via the browser).
- Take a video ‘live' in Quicc with your phone. You can also upload a recorded video. You'll need to select your transcription “language” – and they have most of them covered!
- Upload your video. As you can see in the next image, it's easy to do it from your phone while we wait for their app:
Uploading from desktop is super simple too. Drag your video into the uploader, and you're off and racing:
- Quicc edits your video to add the captions and sends it back to you in a minute or two:
Now all you need to do is:
- Make your edits – check the transcription for errors (seriously, it's pretty accurate, even with my Aussie accent!). In fact, this is what I have had to say about that:
- Quicc burns the video captions onto your video, saving you time. It takes just minutes, and the process is automated.
- Remember that the mobile app is coming but you can submit your videos straight from mobile on Android or iOS. You can download directly from Quicc to Android but there are restrictions on iOS – the alternative is to use the Readdle app.
- Edit your video caption branding and style – including font, color and styling too. They are adding new styles all the time.
- Use it for short video, right through to podcast notes and YouTube videos.
Pricing starts with a “Free Forever” plan where you get 10 minutes of video caption time (for the 1st month) and then 2 minutes every month after that – for free. It gives you enough ‘minutes' to get started with a couple of Instagram Stories every month.
Pricing then goes to $12 for 10 minutes/month, through to $65 for 80 minutes per month.
BONUS For My Readers:
Socially Sorted readers can click through to Quicc here to get double minutes on your first month on ANY subscription plan.
4. Life Lapse
If you have been living under a rock, you may have missed the fact that stop motion animation or stop motion videos are now popular on Instagram.
But how do you make them? It can be tricky lining up the thing you are filming – whether it is a person or an object – so that the final animation looks like an animation, and not a dog's breakfast.
Life Lapse is the answer! Whether you're showcasing products, creating a funny video or just documenting some behind-the-scenes action, you can do it on your phone with LifeLapse – shooting editing, adding music and more!
Here's an example of Life Lapse in action. Life Lapse's founder, Sarah is always sharing awesome tutorials on their Instagram account. As you can see, Life Lapse includes handy features like a Ghost Feature (opacity slider) that allows you to line up your shots, so the flow of your animation works well.
View this post on Instagram
?? Swipe to see more behind the scenes, the last video is the end result, shot from an iPhone. ✨ As I was screen recording the video with many leaves, I got a phone call and it stopped recording as I was about 90% finished shooting. *the worst* ? Don’t worry, I re-created a similar concept with two leaves (I ran out of leaves!) so you can see how it’s shot and edited. ?
It's hard to choose just one example to show you, so I highly recommend you follow Life Lapse's Instagram account for inspiration.
Lifelapse is free to get started. You can create awesome stop motion videos straight out of the gate. But if you want to remove the watermark, create 4k videos, use your own imported photos, add your own music, access more songs and more features – then Life Lapse Pro is the way to go. You get all of these features, plus access to bonus tutorials etc. You can try Life Lapse Pro for free for 7 days. Get started on iOS or Android here.
5. Crello Animation Maker
Crello is a visual design tool with some fun templates, and they are owned by Depositphotos so along with 30,000 image templates, there's the bonus of having access to 140 million stock images at hand.
I wrote about Crello Animation Maker in this post if you want to get a more detailed overview of how it works.
But Crello's animation maker tool takes it up a level. They now have over 8,000 animated designs and motion graphics (including 4,000 pre-designed animated template layouts) to use in their library.
Their catalogue of assets includes animated objects and background animations to use for social media, websites, blogs and ads.
Here's an example of an animation that I made in Crello:
If you are thinking of creating more social video, in particular, animated graphic videos, then Crello is worth checking out when it comes to video tools.
Crello is free for a lot of basic features. But if you want to step it up a level, try their Pro plan. It's affordable at 7.99 USD per month and you get a lot more templates (access to 32,000 videos and animations) plus the ability to upload your own videos, access to premium stock images, and teams functionality to collaborate on designs.
A Couple of Bonus Short Video Tools
As mentioned, this post has been updated to reflect updated tools and some new ones for you that bring the fun into video creation. But a few of the video tools and video apps originally on this post are still relevant so I'm keeping them here for you to consider:
PicPlayPost has been a long-time favourite of mine for a while now – it originally existed to allow us to combine both still shots and video in collages. Perfect for people like personal trainers or anyone showing how to do something in steps with both shots at the same time.
Melissa McAllister (Melissa Made on Instagram) uses this video app to great effect on her Instagram account, creating workout videos that not only show you what to do but she explains each exercise or additional information about it straight to camera:
PicPlayPost has always been personal, engaging and fun! It's worth including in this list of short video tools. Think creatively – how could you use this app to create awesome video and image compilations?
And the best part is that they now offer new features on the tool, including:
- advanced video editing on mobile (trim, split, display, adjust, filters, ability to speed up and slow down videos)
- support for multiple formats like GIFs, live photos, photos and videos)
- Pro features like the ability to add multiple songs, more freames, create videos up to 30 minutes in length (see pricing below).
Hot tip: If you're a musician you can lay down multiple tracks of video, or perhaps you have something in your business that you can teach with a mix of video and images. So many creative possibilities!
PicPlayPost is on iTunes and Android and it's free or you can upgrade to Pro features (share 1080pm video, 30 minute videos, customize watermark, split screen videos with stunning effects and multiple soundtracks).
- Share 1080p video (collage & slideshows)
- Create up to 30-minute videos
- Customize your own watermark
- Split-screen videos with stunning effects
- Add multiple soundtracks
2. Reverse Vid
ReverseVid is a fun app that allows you to easily create a fun video by “reversing” the footage. It's on iOS only but worth checking out if you have an iPhone.
Fun? Yes. Gimmicky? Yes. But if you think laterally, you can use it to create so much great content, especially for anything involving action like sports. Or maybe your latest product release or something fun happening around your office with your team.
3. Use Your Phone – it's awesome!
The most important tool you have is in your pocket! Use your phone because it's a ‘smart' phone and it's a video creation machine. Try some of these tips:
- Capture behind the scenes footage of your team and business and post it to Instagram Stories. People love to know the people behind the business!
- Play with some of the other free functionality on your smartphone or iPhone such as slow motion (slowing down the footage that you take on your phone) and timelapse (speeding up the video footage).
- Use the Instagram Stories dashboard. You can take a video, use the drawing tools, stickers and more… then save it to your camera roll to publish wherever you like!
There are so many options for creating engaging short video that catches attention. Use these video tools to spice up your social posts!
Over to You
That's your little nudge to jump in and play with short video, using these short video tools!
If you've used any of these tools below, share what worked, or if you're jumping in for the first time, which one will you start with?
Leave a comment below (and a link to your creation if you make a short video!)
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