Starting a channel on YouTube has become so affordable, just about anyone can do it.
Yet, once you launch one, you realize that blogging goes far beyond just shooting videos and publishing them online. Besides gadgets – lights, camera, mic – time becomes your main investment. Truth be told, that technical part between shooting and hitting the “Publish” button sometimes requires much more effort than expected.
Good thing, there are hundreds of free tools that can help automate your workflow when it comes to post-production, thumbnail design, tagging, and social media posting. Some of them are reviewed in this article, so be ready to bookmark.
Free video editing software for Mac: iMovie
Clearly, video editing software is where you’ll be spending most of your time with, so take a serious approach to choosing one. If you’re on Mac, iMovie will probably be your best option so look no further. Apple has made it available for free to every iOS device owner and feature-wise it is so capable, many famous YouTubers stick to iMovie even after surpassing a million of subscribers.
iMovie has a clear concise interface, it’s intuitive and offers just about every feature you might need as a YouTuber – including color correction, title templates, transitions, and a decent audio editor.
Find iMovie for iOS here.
Free video editing software for Windows: VSDC
PC users have a much wider choice of video editing software. There is a good dozen of great video editors available for Windows at zero cost, including Movie Maker some may still have installed on their computers. For relatively tech-savvy bloggers, VSDC Free Video Editor might be a workable solution to start with. It’s a lightweight, powerful, and simple piece of software with over 50 built-in effects and various transitions.
You’ll be able to quickly cut and merge footage fragments, zoom in, create timelapses, add contour text, replicate effects often used by bloggers (such as picture-in-picture) and publish clips to YouTube directly from the program interface. On top of that, VSDC has built-in screen capture and webcam capture tools which might come in handy when recording tutorials or, say, reaction videos.
Download VSDC here.
Those on the latest OS, may proceed to a detailed review of free video editors for Windows 10.
Free tools for creating thumbnails: Stencil and Fotojet
If you are a student of YouTube Creators Academy, you have probably heard that thumbnails are like billboards. They have a tremendous impact on the number of views your video gets. When someone is looking for answers on YouTube, and several relevant videos appear among search results, the choice often depends on the thumbnail. That’s why a well-designed image is so important for channel growth.
Luckily, you don’t have to educate yourself on Adobe Photoshop to create a decent visual anymore. Consider using Stencil or Fotojet – online image editors and absolute no-brainers to use. You get access to hundreds of templates, stock images, and icons to build your own creative from scratch by dragging-and-dropping elements on the canvas.
The best part about both tools is that you can instantly resize your image based on where you’re planning to publish it. While neither app is positioned as completely free, both have robust trial versions that should be more than enough for a beginning YouTuber.
Free audio-to-text transcription tools
Video transcribing is the most efficient way to create descriptions, subtitles, and repurpose your content for other social media channels. It saves a great deal of time and effort. Audio-to-text transcription used to be performed manually and that was quite a pricey service just a few years ago. Now, there are free automated tools available, and you’ll probably regret you didn’t start using them earlier.
For starters, YouTube has a built-in tool that will transcribe your video and embed automated subtitles within several hours after you upload it. You’ll be able to access them in Creator Studio and download the entire text as a single document. Another way to turn your speech into text is using Google Docs.
Simply open a new text document in Google Drive, go to Tools and choose Voice Typing. One great thing about this feature – you can transcribe text in various languages, not just English. Note, voice typing works better if you’re using it in Google Chrome browser on a desktop. However, you can do it on a smartphone as well – just make sure to minimize background noise when recording.
Finally, there are few dedicated smartphone apps for converting speech into text. iPhone users may give Dictation a try. It is free and provides a pretty accurate transcription that can be edited, and afterword saved as a file or send via email.
Free keyword research tool – Ubersuggest
You may have heard about YouTube video optimization already, and therefore you know that tags have a significant impact on what search queries your video will be shown to. That said, using keywords in tags – as well as titles and descriptions – is quite important. Yet, what’s more important is using the right ones.
Keywords have few characteristics, but you should focus on two main ones: search volume and competition. The former shows how many times per month a keyword is searched for, the latter is a definition of how hard it will be to rank to the chosen keyword based on its competition level. As a beginner, you might want to target keywords and key phrases with high search volume and low competition.
There are quite a few great tools for keyword research and Ubersuggest is one of them. It’s free straightforward and doesn’t even require a sign-up. Simply type in the keyword you had in mind for your video and check the suggestions to choose the best option. Ignore the CPC column because it is intended for search engine marketers paying for ads placement among search results. Alternatively, you can perform the research using Keyword Planner from Google. It’s also free and intuitive, however, you’ll need to create an Adwords account first.
Go to Ubersuggest.
Free tool for social media posting: Buffer
Social media post scheduler is another timesaver. Once you publish a new video, you probably rush to all your social media channels to spread the word. Buffer helps you schedule post sharing on multiple networks simultaneously and make sure everything looks neat. When scheduling each post, you are able to see how it will look in the timeline, and whether text or image adjustments are required.
When it comes to videos, you can upload them directly to Buffer using the composer and they will be posted natively on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. Or you can publish a link to your video that is already on YouTube. You may want to use the former to post short video fragments or teasers to generate interest, and the latter – to generate views after your video has been published.
The free version allows for connecting up to 3 social media accounts and scheduling up to 10 posts per month. Note that if you sign up for Bit.ly to shorten the links before sharing them, you’ll be able to see the statistics on how your followers are clicking on them, and which ones contribute traffic to your videos.
Sign up for Buffer.
Free stock materials: Unsplash, Pixabay, AudioBlocks, and Envato Market
Sooner or later you will need high-quality media for your channel: background music for the videos, graphics, and images for thumbnails or creative effects. While there are millions of media files available on the Internet, one thing you want to avoid is violating copywrite laws. Therefore, it’s best if you find few stock resources in advance and bookmark them.
Unsplash is among the best destinations to go for free photos and images that don’t require attribution – meaning you can freely use them in your projects. Pixabay is another amazing source of photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and videos available for free even for commercial use.
For music, sound effects, and audio loops, you can check out AudioBlocks. This website is a huge library of royalty-free materials you can use for personal and commercial projects.
Finally, there is Envato Market, where you can get up to 8 media files for free every month after joining the community. That includes songs, pictures, templates, graphics, site themes, and much more. Bookmark the Monthly Freebies page on your browser to check what is available at zero cost. Besides free creatives, Envato is great at sharing inspiring materials. Just pick a topic on Envato Community, and explore the recent articles about trends, useful tips, tricks, and tutorials.
Making the Best Online Videos and YouTube Channel Possible
There is no right way to start a YouTube channel and lead it to success. Yet, whether you have a text blog or a personal channel, one thing is true for both – content is the king. Hopefully, with the tools shared in this post, you may be able to automate your workflow and far better focus on what matters the most.
What You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing in 2019
With the pervasiveness of the internet, online advertising becomes profitable both for small and large businesses to attract consumers, compared to traditional media in the past five years. Online advertising revenues in the US rose by 22%, to a record of $72.5 billion, surpassing TV ads ($69 billion) in 2016.
An average person is exposed to over 1,700 online ads each month, but only half of them are actually viewed. The use of ad-block applications also rose by 30% in 2016. Consumers today have become immune to ads. They don’t take what brands are telling them at face value and prefer trustworthy sources – a trusted friend, family member, expert or social media influencer.
They rely on these sources before making purchase decisions to seek assurance of a good quality or experience. A research from Nielsen confirmed that recommendations from close peers or family are the most trusted source of information, rather than company websites, consumer reviews, and editorial articles.
This leads to the rise of influencer marketing. Influencers are considered to be credible because of their expertise in a specific subject matter and their ability to engage with their followers. Thus, brands can capitalize on this by using influencers to reach the consumers on social media platforms – where internet users spend most of their time.
In 2017, 71% of internet users are using social media platforms and these figures are expected to grow in the future. Social media has become the channel where influencers connect with consumers.
The most popular platforms for influencer marketing are Instagram and Youtube. According to Goldmedia, sponsored content from both platforms accounted for 34% and 31% of total influencers respectively.
Shifting to Top Tech Influencers
Huawei Mobile, a global provider of smart devices, partnered with a top tech influencer, Judner Aura to introduce the new Mate 10 Pro smartphone by giving an in-depth review of the phone on his Youtube Channel (UrAvgConsumer).
His Youtube channel has the most viewed technology product reviews of all time, with some of his most popular videos generating around 1 million views. The fact that he is extremely well-known for his knowledge of consumer-tech products makes his reviews credible. Thus, influencers like Judner Aura act as a guide that followers turn to before pulling the trigger.
Retail Chains Turn to Fashion Bloggers
H&M utilized Instagram to target young consumers, with its 700 million monthly users ranging from 16-24 years old. A research showed that 85% of Gen Z uses social media platforms to learn about new products and is more receptive to product information on social media.
To promote its H&M Divided Collection, H&M partnered with fashion bloggers, Julie Sarniana and Megan Ellaby on Instagram, resulting in a huge spike in followers just moments after the post was uploaded.
According to 2017 ShareIQ analysis, H&M generated 39 million Instagram engagements from just 486 posts and 20 times higher engagement than its competitors. Since then, H&M has been a strong performer on social media platforms, joining forces with fashion bloggers, style bloggers, models, and other fashionistas.
Joining forces with influencers are effective because it leads to building a brand’s credibility since they specialize in a particular category of content. Take advantage of their recommendations, testimonials, product reviews, and commentaries to attract consumers on social media platforms.
40% of respondents mentioned that they made a purchase after seeing a social media influencers using the product or service. Influencer marketing is a worthwhile investment and if you plan to increase your budget for influencer marketing for your business, make sure to check out the infographic below.
A Fool-Proof Formula to Creating Original Content for Social Media
You are doing a great job of posting on social media every day, and some people appear to be liking your content. So, you’re good to go, right?
Research shows that 60% of today’s marketers generate at least a single piece of online content every day, which may include blogs or social media posts. However, not all social media content in particular is equal when it comes to quality.
Social media is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. Here are a few fool-proof tips for creating sharable original content on social media from one day to the next.
Let’s jump in!
Tell Stories to Generate Original Content on Social Media
Anybody can find commonly used inspirational quotes in his or her industry and post them on their own social media pages. That’s easy.
However, not all people can effectively share firsthand accounts of events in their respective industries that taught them something and perhaps even changed their lives.
If you’d like to produce content around topics that are heavily saturated on social media, it’s paramount that you do something totally unique by telling stories.
If you provide your own input and give your post an original flavor readers can’t find elsewhere on social media, you’ve got winning original content.
Constantly Gather New Ideas
A challenge that many brands face is that they are closed in how they approach to social media marketing.
For instance, perhaps you look at the creation of social media content as a task that takes place within a certain time slot. Outside of this allotted time, you don’t give attention to your content. With time sensitivity aways being of concern, a great way to take advantage of social media and being in the moment, it to focus on Instagram hashtags. With hundreds of millions of users on the platform at any given time, this is a great way to reach a ton of users for free, while also ranking in their platform for what’s happening at any given moment.
If you’re serious about creating successful original content, you’ve got to think differently about when you post on social media. Instead, it’s important that you gather ideas 24-7.
For instance, whether you’re going to a movie at night with your significant other or you’re getting the kids ready for school in the morning, your brain should be wired such that you constantly look for fresh ideas for your social media content.
You could even use these ideas as inspiration for the messages you share as part of your short message service, or SMS, marketing strategy. (View here for tips about what and what not do in the area of SMS marketing, based on a real-world example.)
Take the Visual Route
Words are indeed powerful, but pictures are even more memorable and engaging.
So, if you’d like to create content that grabs your readers’ attention on congested social media news feeds, go visual. That means posting stimulating photos with your written content or even posting video to engage with your target audience on a personal level.
How We Can Help
In addition to highlighting about how to create original content for social media, we offer a wide range of tips and resources on creating effective blogs that generate results.
We understand that online marketing as a whole is quite competitive. In fact, you could say that trying to get your voice to stand out online is a lot like trying to scream louder than everyone else in a crowd of 10,000 people.
Yes, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible with the right tools.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how you can generate online marketing content that people actually want to read, and that will motivate them to purchase your offerings time and time again.
7 Quick Tips on How to Keep Your Instagram Page Interesting
Overwhelmed with a lot of great Instagram profiles popping up like daisies? I don’t blame you. With Instagram becoming a saturated space, about a billion active users, it’s tough competition to get your followers to stay interested. You can’t afford to be complacent even when you’re confident you have a great following.
The preferences and priorities of your followers change as they go through these fast-paced times influenced by mass media and technology. Keeping them happy and engaged increases the probability that they are here to stay.
Instagram is designed to showcase eye-pleasing photos. So use this to your advantage — high-quality, energized and dramatic images are a way to catch your audience’s attention. Use photo editing software or apps that offer a variety of creative filters. Caption photos that tell a curious story and stir positive reactions. Excitement. Nostalgia. Tapping into your audience through emotions builds a connection.
Sometimes things can get boring when you run out of ideas to create, that you just make do with a lazy topic. Try to breathe new life into reliable old posts or topics that may be relevant to your audience or the brand you are promoting. The content should offer something unique or add value to your followers. Every post should give to your audience a take-away to think about or something of use. They will learn to rely on your every post since they can relate to it relative to their everyday lives.
Effective content curation is a way that can get you to network online, as you are sharing relevant sourced content that you are using to increase your brand’s visibility. This means a higher chance of getting your brand out there, which equates to more potential likes and followers. If you want to increase visibility, buying Instagram likes can help you get ahead. The more likes you get, the more traffic you get. A win-win situation if you ask me!
Play with Trends
Admit it, it’s fun to join in on the latest hype or even crazy meme to make things lighter and more entertaining. Novel ideas spark interest and build even more ideas and dialogue. We are curious beings and new things, or even old things seen in a new light, are always great conversation starters. The more you get your audience interested, the more they will understand that your brand is keen on providing current and fresh concepts.
Following the Big Name Brands
One of the most effective ways to keep your own social media profiles and updates relevant and interesting is to keep an eye on the big players in your industry. It doesn’t matter if you are an e-commerce company, selling ads online, or even just posting pictures of the latest fashion — it’s important to know what your competition is posting, so you can not only get inspired by their promotions — but also get determined to do it even better! Follow the big name brands and most followed Instagrammers in your niche space to see what others are liking and sharing the most.
Engage in Debates
You can’t please everybody. There’s bound to be that one commenter who will think otherwise. It’s a great opportunity for you to get involved and comment back. It sends a message that you are in touch with your followers and not a snob. Just remember to keep the vibe positive and conversation healthy. Keep it classy!
Listen to Your Followers
So, you’ve established your brand and the kind of content you wish to sustain and build. There may be times when you’re so focused on getting your brand noticed, you’re set to base everything on your decisions. You forget your audience has a voice too. Don’t become one-sided. Feature them in your posts. Give back. Take the time to know and understand the needs or preferences of your audience but still keep true to your brand. Be receptive. Be flexible.
It’s a challenging feat to take on. But if your passion is blogging and getting satisfaction from seeing your followers happy, then keeping them interested will come naturally to you.
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