Marketers are always looking out for the next way to engage an audience, and video marketing has taken off. It’s no surprise really. Film and TV have captivated the world for nearly a century because of their ability to combine writing, audio and visuals. And now that technology and internet speeds have caught up, it’s finally possible for people to watch videos whenever and wherever they want.
Video can be a difficult medium to master. To help you conquer video production, we’ve compiled a list of the best video tools for 2019.
These tools will help you record and edit video, source footage, find the right video maker tools and video marketing tools, get audio assets and even make content decisions. Let’s make your video workflow more efficient, effortless and effective.
If you want to learn more about the video production process, check out our guide on how to create a video.
Here are the video tools you need to know about:
Video production tools
First things first, to create great video you need the right video equipment. But don’t worry if you’re just starting out and don’t have an expensive setup yet. The three basic video production tools you’ll need are: a camera (or smartphone), a microphone (if you’re planning to record sound) and good lighting. Depending on the quality you’re going for, you can rent or buy the equipment you need or use what you have on hand.
Some audiences are okay with videos shot on a smartphone, and the cameras on the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy lines in particular have gotten quite good.
But if your audience expects something of the highest possible quality, consider sourcing a decent video camera like a Canon C100 or above. Or an easy to use mirrorless camera from the Sony RX100 series. They’re fantastic alternatives to some of the bigger more complex cameras.
Whatever camera you pick, be sure to use a tripod when filming. And ensure you use a separate microphone to record your sound.
If you’re including a voiceover or piece to camera, a good microphone will lift the quality and perception of your entire video.
Either grab an easy to use microphone like the Rode VideoMic Pro, which will plug directly into your DSLR camera.
Or if you’re using a camera without a mic port like a smartphone or one of the Sony RX100s then consider a USB microphone like the Blue Yeti Snowball. It’s great quality, and you can record directly into a program like GarageBand on the Mac or Audacity.
If you are shooting outside or in a place with windows, this can serve as your light source. Just make sure you’re filming at a time of day when the sun is not too bright or too low.
If natural light is not an option, you can use a simple Three Point Lighting setup to film a single subject who’s not moving. A simple, convenient way to create soft light is by hanging up a china ball. It’s basically a paper ball wrapped around an incandescent bulb. A clamp light or work light will provide a lot of light, but will also be harsh. You can solve this by hanging a thin, white sheet in front of it.
Video tools for finding stock assets
It takes a lot of different elements to make an engaging video. Although it can be charming, try to do more than just having someone speak to the camera or using a voiceover over a number of static images.
Stock assets are videos, photos, animations, music and more that bring your videos to life. They can help tell your story, communicate your ideas and create a mood.
Here are some great libraries that will provide thousands of high-quality stock assets with just a click.
Whether you’re after footage of a puppy or a complex animated graph, Envato Elements will have what you need.
With a single subscription, you’ll get unlimited downloads of stock photography, footage, video editing/effects templates (Premiere and After Effects), sound and music. The real strength of Envato Elements is the breadth of categories it covers. Plus, everything is royalty-free nature.
Get an unlimited subscription from $16.50/month.
Similar to Envato Elements, Filmstocks includes stock videos, animations, After Effects templates and audio. And it’s also all royalty-free.
Filmstocks uses tiered pricing ranging from free to $44.99/month. The quality of the library will change from tier to tier.
Artlist.io is one of the best music subscription services I’ve ever used. The beautiful UI makes it easy to sort audio by video or music genre. Their curated lists of high-quality tracks are always helpful, and the staff picks and new release highlights are on-point.
But the best part of Artlist is the quality and uniqueness of the music. Using this subscription will guarantee your videos have a fresh sound that avoids the cliches of corporate videos, which will help your work stand out.
Get a monthly subscription to Artlist for $16.60/month.
Video maker tools for automation
Automation is the next frontier in just about every industry—and video creation is no exception.
Here’s a growing group of tools that take parts of the video production process out of the hands of the creator. These will help you automate your editing process and create great looking videos fit for social media.
If you need to produce videos quickly or if you’re just a novice video producer starting out, these tools are for you.
Magisto allows you to upload footage, pick a style or mood, and it does the rest. You’ll get a high-quality video without a lot of hands-on intervention.
With your web browser or any smartphone, Magisto uses artificial intelligence to analyze your footage, select the most interesting parts and automatically edit them into share-worthy videos.
A Magisto subscription starts at $4.99/month for videos up to 2:30 minutes with premium editing styles and unlimited downloads. Upgrade to Professional for $9.99/month, which allows you to create videos up to 5 minutes long with 720p HD resolution, custom logos and music.
The full Business version includes videos lasting up to 10 minutes long with ad-focused templates, full HD, custom graphics and stock clips & photos.
Animoto is a cloud-based app for creating video slideshows of video clips and photos all packaged in trendy motion graphics set to music. Just provide your assets, customize the colors, choose your fonts, and get a great video.
Animoto’s simple drag-and-drop functionality, professional looking templates and access to over 1 million stock images from Getty Images make it a great video tool.
Animoto starts at $8/month for 720p HD quality, 350+ music tracks, 12 templates, and 30 colors. You’ll also have the Animoto logo at the end of every video.
Upgrade to Professional for $22/month for 1080p full-HD quality, 2,000+ music tracks, 50+ templates, unlimited custom colors and no Animoto branding on videos. You can even use your own logo as a watermark and sell your videos to your customers. Add even more users with the $34/month Business package.
Placeit is a cloud-based app that allows you to create video intros, animated Instagram Stories, slideshows, and product/service overviews with gorgeous, pre-made templates. You can even upload your logo and see it rendered in video on mugs, T-shirts and more!
Check out over 300 video templates that you can easily insert your own video clips, photos, and written copy into, and then easily share with your customers.
Get an unlimited subscription to Placeit for $29/month.
Video editing tools
If automation isn’t your thing and you’re looking to edit your videos in a more traditional way, we’ve got tons of tools for you to help you with video editing.
Video editing tools and apps have come a long way.
They’re easier to use than ever before. And some apps have become incredibly powerful with desktop-quality features that can run entirely within a web browser.
Check out our selection of notable video editing software—from beginner to expert.
From the company that brought you Filmstocks also comes an easy-to-use web-based video editor, Filmora.
Filmora follows the same fundamental principles of most video editing programs: just insert your assets into a timeline and piece them together however you’d like. The web-based user interface makes it a great beginner tool for someone just looking to start with the basics.
Think of it as the Google Docs equivalent of Microsoft Word. You won’t quite have the technical functionality of Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut, but it’s got most of what you need—including the ability to do greenscreen shots, if you need them.
Get an annual subscription to Filmora for $39.99/year.
Look, it’s certainly not the most technical or professional editing software around, but iMovie is more impressive than you may think. Certainly better than Windows Movie Maker.
iMovie can take you a long way when you’re starting out. And by avoiding some simple pitfalls, you can make some professional looking video content while still in the safe space of this user-friendly video editor. Slice and layer your footage and music. Even overlay Photoshop files like graphics, logos and lower-thirds.
Just don’t fall into the trap of using the animated text templates or cheesy transitions. That’s an easy giveaway that you used iMovie.
Oh, and for the love of God, turn off the Ken Burns effect.
iMovie comes free with any Apple computer.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a popular video-editing program that’s part of Adobe’s ultra-successful Creative Cloud set. Most businesses subscribe to this suite of apps, and Premiere brings together the power of it all.
By using Premiere Pro, you can drag in Photoshop and Illustrator (image) or Audition (sound) files, edit them in their native apps, and see those changes reflected in your Premiere project. Plus, Premiere Pro’s animated templates can easily add motion graphics (like animated lower-thirds) into your video timeline. You’ll be able to edit the text, change the colors, even the length of the animation, all without the need to open a complex After Effects file. That’s the kind of power this app contains.
Premiere Pro is excellent at serving the fundamental functions of a video editing program. You can add and edit as much footage or audio as you like, adjust color, and export your videos in any format. It’s an incredibly powerful program that’s still one of the best in its class. And as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, it’s a good value.
Adobe Premiere Pro is $19.99/month for an annual subscription.
Video marketing tools for analysis and optimization
Whatever type of video you’re making, you need to ensure it will add value to your business when it goes live.
That’s why researching and validating your topics are important.
These tools will guide you to the best topics in your industry, help you optimize your videos so viewers can find them, and measure your videos’ performance.
Research keywords with VidIQ and get an analysis of other videos on YouTube that rank for your chosen topic. This web service will guide you to the keywords that have the biggest opportunity for your brand to dominate. VidIQ will help you optimize your YouTube channel, analyze the effectiveness of thumbnails, and provide tips on keywords for tags, descriptions and titles.
The VidIQ YouTube channel and newsletter also provide tips and tricks to help you master all types of online video creation and optimization across a number of platforms.
VidIQ is free for one channel and includes tracking for three competitors and basic video analytics. The paid Pro ($7.50/month) and Boost ($39/month) services offer more channels and additional features. A premium version with bespoke pricing features unlimited channels, users and more.
Google Analytics is a must-have tool to monitor your website’s success.
While exposure via social media and video platforms is great, there’s even more potential for crosslinking all of your video content to your website. Your website should be acting as a hub that connects to all of your spokes—your social media posts and videos.
Here’s a quick tip: Try to release each YouTube video with a blog article that has an embedded version of the video. Each of your YouTube descriptions should feature a link to the same article. This technique improves SEO and makes your videos more discoverable. Adding text version of your video also will help boost your Google rankings, too. Whether your video performs well or your site performs, there’s an overflow effect from one to the other that will help increase the visibility of your brand.
Use Google Analytics to measure how your videos are affecting your site traffic and engagement. On the Social tab, you’ll see a breakdown of attribution by social network. Clicks from your video or description links will show up there, which will help you effectively measure the impact of your video marketing.
Google Analytics is free for individuals and small- to medium-sized companies. This includes multiple data collection options across websites, apps, and internet-connected devices, funnel reporting, attribution modeling and more.
Video production takes work. Now you’ve got the tools.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to video tools, but they’re a selection that fits the moment and gives you an overview of the resources that are out there.
Whether you’re a seasoned video editor or a content marketer who’s branching into video and still quite new to it all, we hope you’ll find something in here that will make your video production work a little bit more efficient. From freelance marketplaces to video maker services, video tools of all kinds continue to pop up that will make your life even easier.