Video Apps Are Your New Best Friend
Need an easy way to tell stories? With a quarter of internet users now watching video daily, the short form video is your very best new friend.
The current insatiable hunger for video content on the web means that every content marketer needs a few handy video apps hidden up their sleeve. We’ve put together a quick list to add to your toolkit.
These five apps are fast, easy to use and perfect for making creative short form video for your blog and social media posts. And the good news? They come at either very low-cost or are completely free.
An ultra-simple solution for iPhone and iPad, Replay lets you choose from a range of themes which automatically change the look and feel of what you’ve recorded. Pre-set themes go from funky to classical and vintage feel, but you can easily switch from one theme to another to test for the look you want.
Change the pace of the video, swap the order of your clips, add a title to the result and put it to music. Then upload directly to a range of social media or just save it to your phone camera gallery.
If you’re short on editing skills this one’s for you, but even for the more video-versed amongst us it’s a lightening-fast way of putting a simple video to work.
The free to use option comes with a watermark; to remove it there’s a small fee per video (€1.99 at time of writing), or a once-off payment (€9.99) will give you unlimited use of the app.
Take a peek at some of the short videos produced by users to date.
This editing tool offers some more sophisticated features for anyone who wants to let their creative juices flow, with lots of control over the final product and a ton of effects (more than the templated styles that many of the other available apps give).
Or you can opt for the path of least resistance and choose from a preset template with just one tap.
Launched in May 2014, it’s designed for the iPhone 5 or newer. It brings videos that were too dark back from the brink, has real-time editing preview mode, and has 50 available textures and 8-way colour controls.
You can add filters and special effects – if it sounds a little complicated see it in action and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how user-friendly it is. It also has a photo-motion feature, which allows you to put your still photos in video format.
For $2.99 at time of writing, it’s a bargain.
For the retro enthusiasts out there, the 8mm by Nexvio is one to grab. Possibly the smoothest rendition of the 8mm cine-camera (read ‘vintage’) look in any app available, it’s easy to work out, has plenty of options and even lays claim to being used by an Oscar-winning film maker. (After running out of money, director Malik Bendjelloul finished shooting the Oscar nominated documentary ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ using this app).
It’s different to the previous 2 in that you use it to shoot your video, applying the retro-look in real-time so you can see exactly what you’re getting. There are additional editing options available (apart from the straight 8mm effect), for example you can choose from grainy, dusted or aged effects from different eras like 1920’s, Noir, 1960’s and ’70’s.
Save your results to the common video and photo formats (.mp4 and .jpg) and share to any of your social networks.
This app is for iPhone and costs $1.99 but there’s a similar option for Android with the Vintage 8mm Video Camera (€1.48). Use it to pause and continue your recording for creating multiple scenes. It also has 5 decade filter presets as well as a manual mode which allows you to adjust colour grading and other effects.
With Flipagram you can turn a series of photos into video stories. The fact that Beyonce, Britney Spears and One Direction have all created their own Flipagrams has given enormous kudos to this app (check out Beyoncés 2013 photo story, made with Flipagram and posted to Instagram).
Available for both iOS and Android, you can either upload photos from your camera library or pull them from Facebook and Instagram. Then edit them in-app and add music.
You can specify exactly where you want the music track to begin, using your finger to drag the line to the point of play. Tailor the video to within a standard 15 seconds slot, or opt to make it longer.
Your video will carry a watermark, but you can remove that for a fee of $1.99 at the time of writing. Upload to Flipagram or YouTube and share on social.
Ok, so this one’s a little more complicated, but if you’re feeling creative the results can be quirky and fun. Designed by Cateater, it has been in vogue since 2011. With StopMotion Studio you can create beautiful stop motion animated movies anywhere on your iPhone, iPad, iPod and Windows phone 8.1.
What’s stop motion? It’s an animation technique that makes a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. Ever seen Wallace and Gromit, or the Lego movie? Then you’ve got the picture.
The basic idea is to take photos and string them together to make an animation video.
So once you have a rough idea of what you want to create, start snapping. There’s a frame-by-frame editor that shows you all the images you have taken in chronological order (a little like how you would create a movie from single frames).
You can also edit the images in-app (there’s a great eraser for removing unwanted bits). Then it’s time to get organised – cut, copy, paste, delete and insert photos at any position.
There’s a timeline view that you zoom in and out on (it helps you to organise your script). Add music (40 tracks to choose from or take from your own song library) and sound effects at virtually any position.
Or if you’re feeling vocal, record a voiceover instead. There are also 7 movie effects for a little added pizzaz.
Some features are paid while others are free. Or you can opt to buy the pro version (which includes everything) at a fee of $3.99 at time of writing.
Have a look at this article for other stop motion animation apps on the market.
You never have to use desktop for video again
With just these 5 video apps to select from (and there are plenty more), you never have to sit at your desktop to create short-form video again.
Ok, we’re talking about producing something quick and snappy here, and not suggesting that you ignore the power of longer form, professionally made video content and what it can do for your customer base. Nor should you ignore influencer marketing and the power of the vlogger to build your brand.
But for everyday use, choose your poison and see what you can come up with. Maybe you want to promote a new product, give social media followers a behind-the-scenes tour of your company or conference, or just shoot something fun to say hi?
Whatever the spec, it just got easier to deliver.