Check out Animoto. Its a cool new social media tool we discovered for creating videos from your still images.
The software is so easy to use, we created a demo in about half an hour.
According to the company website:
Turn your photos & videos into pure amazing.
Animoto automatically produces beautifully orchestrated, completely unique
video pieces from your photos, video clips and music. Fast, free and shockingly easy.
Animoto takes pictures from a variety of social media sources, such as Flickr, or pictures you upload. It combines them with music and captions you create using a selected template into a video that you can share on Facebook or upload to your blog, as I’ve done with this demo.
And the price is right. We created a demo using the free version, which is limited to 30 second videos that are not downloadable. But, for $30 a year, you get an extended version allowing videos of any length that are downloadable. For under $250 a year, you also get a version that allows for branding your products and commercial distribution, as well as a wider selection of licensed music.
Social Media without the Talking Head
Video is a great tool for driving traffic to your website — we all know that. However, too many blogs rely on “Talking Heads” telling you information. BORING !!! Not much to drive traffic, let alone support your marketing strategies.
Using Animot0, you can use slides from a powerpoint, snapshots, images from photo sharing sites, scanned drawings, video clips …. You can use your own background music or import from their music library. In a few short minutes, you have a traffic driver that people WANT to view and share on social networks. You can be more creative and fun.
Drawbacks of video
The biggest drawback we found (and we only had the free version) is you’re limited to text as a means of sharing your message — and even the text area is VERY small. Thus, if images alone are not enough to convey your message, this software may not be for you. Videos may drive traffic, but they don’t sell product or support other marketing goals — that takes a compelling message.
I use FinalCut Pro (for Apple) as my tool of choice when creating videos for clients. But, its expensive and difficult to use — certainly not something you could expect to produce a final product in less than an hour. Its also intended for video editing and doesn’t import from powerpoint. It handles uploaded images well, but its awkward. Using FinalCut Pro for uploading video to a blog, for instance, is a little like using a laser to cut a pear — it’ll work, but its a lot more effort than using a knife.
Even iMovie (which comes preloaded on Apple computers), while a little easier, still has a bit of a learning curve. Its flexibility in allowing voice-overs and handling multiple media, may make it the perfect choice for marketers who routinely use video on their blogs or other social media outlets.
I’ll still use Animoto for situations like this — where I want to demonstrate to a client the power a video would add to their social media strategy.
Images and music are intellectual property. Please ensure you comply with all copyrights in using intellectual property as part of your marketing or social media strategy.