My Entry Into Video Making

Video Making with Powtoon

For some time now many people have been saying that video marketing is the up and coming thing. How long has something got to be up and coming before it becomes an accepted practice? Not all of us are comfortable in front of a camera or even behind a microphone so we need a good alternative. It’s all very well if you’re good with PowerPoint or other presentation software that can save slides as picture files, which you can then insert into a video, but what if you want an easier start? There may be other sites that do this, but I’ve found Powtoon, and it’s great fun as well as useful (and it’s free as well).

www.powtoon.com is a flash based website that lets you make your own cartoons, with little bits of animation on a static slide background. You can introduce characters, let them play with props and have them appear, disappear as required along with text blocks that can come in as required too. Very easy to do, if a little frustratingly slow at times. Here’s one of my early efforts:

 

OK so the animations are a bit basic although with a bit of ingenuity you an make it look a bit more sophisticated than it is.

There are 3 levels of membership. The free level is more than adequate although access to the tools is limited (there are many tools that are not available, including some better animations), you are also limited as to the length of videos (5 mins) you can produce and the resolution of the end product. Also free video producers have a 4 second ad for Powtoon at the end of each video, which can only be removed by having one of the paid membership levels. Your only ‘download’ choice for free is to have your video put up on YouTube or Wistia video sites. However, with the aid of some free plugins it’s easy to download your videos into a convenient format if you want to edit them yourself. Another good thing is that Powtoon saves all of your creations (even after publishing them) so you can go back and edit them later or work on them in fits and starts, if that’s all the time you have.

By paying up for one of the two upper levels of membership (monthly or annual subscriptions available) you get to make longer videos (15 mins or 60 mins), have access a larger range (18 or 24 sets as opposed to the 11 free sets) of actors and props and be able to save them in higher (High Definition, Pro Plan 720p, Business Plan 1080p) resolutions as well as allowing downloading an MP4 to your computer and removing the advertorial tag. Also the paid plans allow you to make your videos private if you wanted to make them part of a paid tutorial. However, none of the limitations of the free membership are insurmountable if you are willing to do more work off the site.

I like Powtoon. I can produce short (1 to 3 minute) ads, instructions or introductions very easily and they go straight up onto YouTube with a good title, description and keywords. I can then use AddMeFast.com to get some views and likes and Fiverr to do a backlink pyramid to the video. I also edit the video description to remove the 150 words or so that Powtoon also adds to it but at the moment I am leaving them their outro. As stated earlier, I could download them, remove the outro, join 2 or 3 together, do a voice over (or buy one on Fiverr) and all with software easily available (Windows Movie Maker will do all of this and it’s free).

So I can thoroughly recommend this site. Even if you never do more than produce half a dozen short clips pointing to your squeeze page, you’ll be getting into video marketing. However, I’ll bet you find its ease of use addictive and you’ll think of quite a few ideas that you can promote your sites with. A 2 minute video can be made in under an hour (including the learning curve that I’m still on) and once it’s up, it’s a constant free pointer for you.

Some last thoughts. If one video can do wonders for your site’s SEO, think what half a dozen or more could do. This could also be a profitable micro jobs (Fiverr etc) business that could easily pay for a subscription to the site. (Higher payments for HD videos and longer times). In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if someone wasn’t already doing it.