Technology has made it possible for anyone to shoot and edit videos. Even accountants who aren’t familiar or comfortable with video can make any video look more professional and appealing through basic video editing.
Simply resizing, trimming and combining clips, as well as using filters and transitions can significantly improve the quality of your videos. And the more interesting and appealing your videos are, the more likely it is your viewers will actually engage with you, and listen to what you have to say.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to editing videos, and learning even the basics can be overwhelming. So we’ve put together this guide to show you some of the basic video editing tools you can use to edit on your own.
First, ask yourself: Do you actually need to edit your video?
Before spending your time in the unfamiliar world of video editing, think about whether you actually need to edit your video.
For some videos, you just need to get them out there. You hit the record button on your phone or on Loom, share and you’re done. This tends to be the case for videos which are spur of the moment, or time-bound (become outdated very quickly due to an event or a situation), or are just for a few people rather than the entire world.
Other kinds of videos are made to last longer. You’re putting it on a website page or a blog post, and more people will be watching it over the long term. For these you want to give them more thought because your viewers will be watching it multiple times, sharing it, or many different kinds of people will be watching them.
Note: if you’re feeling particularly nervous about video because you’re feeling like they all are going to last forever, be published on your website, and be shared by THE ENTIRE WORLD, just start by recording and sharing the video and then replacing it later. It’s not likely you have a major celebrity following yet (and you may never have that), so just share the video with the person or people who need it. Even if it’s only a few people.
Here are some reasons why editing a video might help your viewers:
1. The video is too long, and you need it to be shorter. In most cases, the longer your video the more you need to edit it. This is especially required when posting videos on social media. There are time limitations for each platform and you won’t be able to upload any video that goes beyond these limits:
- Instagram: 1 minute (post), 15 seconds (story), 10 mins (igtv)
- Twitter: 2 minutes
- LinkedIn: 10 minutes
- Facebook: 4 hours
- YouTube: upto 12 hours
2. You got carried away, and distracted from the main points of your video. You went far off the topic in some parts of your video, or rambled for a while. Sometimes it’s easier to cut out the parts than to retake the whole video.
3. Your video needs to be more on-brand. Adding an intro and outro (for example, your logo swirling into place with music, or swirling out; or even a slide with the video title at the start) will help with brand consistency and familiarity across your videos.
4. Your video is too dark. You may use a video editor to improve the brightness and contrast of your video after shooting. However, we still recommend shooting your videos in a well lit area rather than leaving most of the adjustments to be fixed during post-production. Watch this video from Katie about lighting and the power of natural light.
5. You want to combine multiple video clips, add effects and transitions. You want to make your videos more appealing by adding more dimensions and point of views.
Do you want to be using your time for video editing?
Don’t be afraid to just re record the whole video – it could be faster.
Video editing can take a LOT of time. It’s a full time job for many companies – a professionally produced video with editing can cost you £4k per video or more. Most videographers do video editing as part of their services hence the higher the cost because a lot of time and effort goes into projects they work on. It’s a specialist area too: it’s not something most of us are used to doing regularly, and the more experience a videographer or video editor has, the more valuable they are to you.
Most audio and video files take up a huge amount of storage space, so just transferring, loading and exporting them is already time consuming. Editors also need to go through all the files to make sure the best clips are not missed and mentally take note of how the editing might flow. The actual editing stage for professional video editors is more than just trimming, adding effects, audio levelling and rendering, they need to rewatch the whole timeline many times to make sure the video flows correctly. Not to mention, revisions can make the process longer. It can take hours or days to finally get to a polished, well-made video.
That does not mean editing videos cannot be done within minutes. Basic video editing can go a long way. If you do want to do a little editing just to save yourself time, make sure it IS saving you time and you’re not just getting carried away with a new toy, a new tool. Always remember, the point is to get the info/message out there.
That being said if you are going to edit videos:
1. Have a default video editing software you use. Here are some of the tools we recommend:
- Canva (free online editor)
- Camtasia (good all around, 30 days free trial but with watermark, cheaper than Adobe Premiere Pro)
- Adobe Premiere Pro (more heavy-duty video editing)
- Photos app on iPad/iPhone (on the go, basic and very easy editor)
2. Know the basics of quick editing
- Cutting unwanted sections (Canva)
- Combining videos and adding intro/outro clips (Canva)
- Changing orientation from portrait to landscape (Canva)
- Adjusting the audio (Camtasia)
- Adjusting brightness and contrast (Camtasia)
- Adding captions – Check out this tip from Karen on how to add captions on your video.
Eventually, plan to get someone else to edit for you
Ultimately, you’ll want to get into a pattern where you record the core video (make sure you have all the setup for that, good lighting, good place to record, you know what you’re saying, etc) and then someone else does the editing, reviewing, exporting, uploading, captions, publishing, sharing, embedding, posting.
Get the good stuff out there and worry less about your videos being perfect!