Video editing tutorial: simple, free, professional software for businesses (Davinci Resolve 15 tutorial)

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Davinci Resolve is a free professional-grade video editing tool that is often overlooked in favour of more trendy tools. Premiere Pro, Final Cut and even iMovie are among the first recommendations people have, and even newer computer and mobile apps that you have to pay for that have less functionality than Davinci Resolve.

I’m recommending Davinci to my clients who do their own editing because of its intuitive interface, professional range of functionality (feature films have been edited on this!) and easy accessibility. You could start using Davinci Resolve 15 for free within minutes by downloading it here. And no, I don’t have any affiliation with the company behind the software.

If you’re looking for a simple and free video editing software, then this would be the place to start. Watch the tutorial below to learn how to use simple editing techniques to create a great video for your business, non-profit or project.

You can even download the exact media files I used here so you can follow along.

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Set in and out points - To specify which section of a piece of media you want added to your timeline, double click on the media in your media pool and set your “in point” (by pressing the “i” key when the playhead is at the correct point), and “out point” (by pressing the “o” key). Now when you click and drag the media thumbnail onto your timeline, only the section you selected will be added.


Trim clip - Sometimes we add too much of a media clip on our timeline and we want to make it shorter, or cut it up into smaller sections. There are many ways to do this. The most simple are to click and drag at either end of the clip until the desired point to make it shorter. Or to split a clip in the middle, take the timeline playhead to the desired point, and click “Control” and “B” keys simultaneously to split the clip at that point.


Edit size of visual media - By selecting the correct media clip in your timeline, then clicking on the “inspector” icon in the right corner of your workspace, a list of that media’s properties will appear. Visual media, such as images or video clips, can have their size adjusted. Look at the current value of its size by finding the “Zoom” property and checking the numerical value next to it. You can click on this number, and drag your cursor to the left or right to increase or decrease its size. 

Add text - Text can be added by itself, or overlaying another piece of media by selecting the “Effects Library” in the top left panel. Select “Titles” and then click and drag the “text” option onto the desired section of your video. You can adjust the text’s content and properties in the “inspector” tab at the top right of your Davinci workspace. Make the rectangle representing your text effect shorter or longer to make it last for more or less time.



Adjust opacity - You can adjust the opacity of visual media in the “inspector” panel, which can be selected in the top right corner of your Davinci workspace. Make sure the correct media clip is selected in your timeline, then scroll to find the “opacity” property in the inspector work area. The lower the value, the more transparent the media clip will appear, therefore exposing whatever visual layer is below it. If there is no other visual layer underneath your media clip, then this defaults to black so your image will just appear to get darker. 


Adjust audio levels - By selecting your chosen audio clip, and clicking on the “inspector” panel in the top right of your Davinci workspace, you can see the properties of your audio clip. Volume is the first property. By double clicking on the numerical value and making it higher or lower, you can adjust the volume of your clip.  You can also click on these digits and drag to the left or right to adjust its value. Recording good quality sound in the first place will give you more options in post-production. Be wary of amplifying poor quality audio too much, as it will make imperfections in the sound more apparent.


Keyframes - The value of a property on a media clip can be made to change across your video’s frames, which can create some interesting effects. For example, the volume of audio can be adjusted to create the effect of getting louder or quieter. The size of a graphic can use keyframes to make it grow or shrink. Keyframe your media’s opacity to make it fade in or out. To add a keyframe, make sure your playhead is at the point you want to add a keyframe and the correct media is selected on your timeline. Click on the diamond next to the value of a property to add a keyframe. Navigate your playhead backwards or forwards to add another keyframe. Remember that any section of your media clip before your first keyframe will adopt the value of the first keyframe for that property (in terms of your timeline chronology, not the order you add them in), and anything after the last keyframe will keep the value of the last keyframe for your selected property. This can be rectified by adding other keyframes if needed.


Cross dissolve transition - For an easy way to add interesting transitions between visual clips, there is a list of “Video transitions” in the “effects library” panel (top left of your Davinci workspace). Click and drag on a transition and add it to the start or end of a clip, as desired. A small rectangle will appear on your media clip which signifies the duration of the effect. You can then click and drag on the edge of the rectangle that represents the effect to make it shorter (and therefore quicker), or longer.  The cross dissolve will make the clip selected fade into the next one. If there is no other media on the layer your chosen media sits on, it will simply fade from or into black. If there is another graphic on the selected layer, then the two images will merge into one another for the duration of the cross dissolve effect.

Don’t forget that you can edit along with me using the exact clips by downloading the media I used here.


Do you still have any questions about Davinci Resolve? What would you like to see on a follow-up tutorial? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ideas to Repurpose Video Content for IGTV

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With IGTV announcing that they are abandoning their signature vertical long-form format to allow for horizontal video too, many online marketers are cheering.

Instagram’s move will make it easier to repurpose content across multiple platforms, rather than having to edit and even film in a specific format for Instagram’s mobile-only long-form video platform.

So, here are five creative ways that you can repurpose your business’ video content to use on IGTV or vice versa.

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1. Tease your main video. Whether it's on YouTube, your website, or another platform, if it's a video that you're driving traffic to, IGTV could be a fun way to tease the main video. It won’t have the fragmented format of instagram stories, and offers the added bonus of a clickable link. Or, even create a shorter version of your campaign video just for IGTV that can drive people directly to your landing page.

2. Reutilise the best bits of your existing videos. If you're not trying to drive traffic, experiment with how your audience responds to your IGTV videos by creating fun edits of your business' pre-existing videos. In some cases you might even consider reposting the whole original video on the platform to see how it performs - just remember to be aware that diluting your engagement across too many platforms is probably not a strategic move.

3. Publish highlights of your Facebook live. You put time and energy into those Facebook lives, so make the most of it by downloading it and editing together those "golden nugget" moments to a more snackable video full of value for your business' IGTV audience. The informal style of Facebook live lends itself perfectly to IGTV.

4. Tease your blog post in a short video. It's not just video content that can be repurposed. Give your old or most popular blog posts some more juice by teasing part of it in an IGTV video. Think about sharing the first couple of tips to video, or just summarise the blog post’s introduction. Place the blog post’s link in the IGTV description and use your call to action to make sure your audience clicks on it!

5. Pull your IG stories into one coherent video. Whether they're living in your highlights or have since expired into the pits of your IG stories archive, give your most popular clips a new lease of life by turning them into slightly longer videos to entertain, inform or inspire your audience. Remember, IGTV still works for vertical video, too. The important thing is to keep the video orientation consistent within one video.

As I mentioned above, IGTV allows you to insert clickable links into your video description. Don’t underestimate the power of this on a platform which usually has you directing your audience to “link in bio”. A clear call to action could see you driving more traffic to your website, YouTube video or other content.

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With all of this exciting video formatting news, I thought it was time to recap on the formats and dimensions of video that each platform allows.

Download my free video format cheat sheet to save time on googling video format, size and length every time you’re trying to repurpose your content: download here.

5 Ideas for B2B Video Marketing

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I was recently at a conference , and while I was there I was having a lot of conversations with in-house marketing professionals, both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer), I saw a lot of misconceptions flying around about how video was only relevant for B2C businesses.

I completely disagree. It’s easy to picture B2B marketing as targeting faceless people dressed in suits, while consumer marketing has the space to be more sexy and fun. But behind every purchase there is a human making a decision.


We need to grab that decision maker’s attention and engage them in the story of our brand. The fact still stands that we can process video 60% faster than text, and storytelling is just as important in corporate B2B as it is <insert whatever product/service you consider easiest to market here>. We will need to adjust how and where we communicate that story.

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Here are some ideas to get you started with including video in your B2B marketing strategy:


1. LinkedIn video

LinkedIn has stepped up their game when it comes to video in recent years. Have you considered distributing video content on the platform on your business’ page?


2. Client testimonials

Just like in B2C, testimonials not only help to increase trust in a product or service, but it gives those in the “consideration” phase a chance to see what other types of people (or in this case, businesses) have invested in your brand.


3. Promotional brand video

People still need to understand what you do. A promotional video for your business is a great way to position your branding and say clearly what that is, and what types of businesses you help in a quick-to-digest format.


4. Useful content for your target audience

As the owner of a B2B business myself, I know that my target profile is a busy person. By producing short, digestible video content that can help to solve some of the problems they face relating to video marketing in their everyday work life, I can build trust and get my name out there in the initial stages of my funnel.


5. Video for customer/client care

Not strictly part of the marketing journey, but reengaging your leads you’ve already converted is a smart step in saving money in the long-run since it’s cheaper to re-engage somebody who has already bought from you than finding and converting a new lead. Think videos as a practical and fun way to present tutorials, FAQs and more!

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Look at how marketing and branding professional Youcef El Kouchi leverages LinkedIn video to engage the HR and marketing professionals he's targeting (and goes viral in the process!).

Are you currently formulating your B2B video marketing strategy?

You can check out my 12-page e-book which guides you through formulating your video marketing strategy.

A Beginner's Guide to Video SEO on YouTube

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We all know that the most important thing when it comes to making good video content is, well… making your video content good. That comes down to a number of things, but if you're already making quality content, how can you make sure it's really getting seen?

I recently ran a workshop, and a lot of participants were curious about the technical side of YouTube. Remember, YouTube is part social media platform, part search engine. In fact, did you know that YouTube is the biggest search engine in the world after Google? That means that when it comes to being strategic on YouTube, SEO (search engine optimisation) plays a big part in making sure that we appear in YouTube's search results. Plus, it’s owned by Google, so if you play your cards right, your video might even come up as a top result on Google itself if it ranks well for the same term on YouTube.

There are many other factors that can help your video to perform better on YouTube, but SEO is a big one. So, I decided to put my YouTube video SEO tips in one resource.

BASICS OF VIDEO SEO


Just like in traditional SEO you want your content to be one of the top ranking for the specific search terms/phrases that your target audience is searching for. The same is true of YouTube.

That doesn’t necessarily mean picking the search term “cupcake” for our cupcake business. There’s not so much chance of our content competing with the millions of results for such a vague term. So let’s pick something a little more specific… what type of cupcakes? Where in the world are you offering these cupcakes? Perhaps even a term relating to why your audience want the cupcake in the first place (this is where the cupcake analogy falls apart a bit, because obviously we all want cupcakes).

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HOW TO IMPLEMENT VIDEO SEO ON YOUTUBE


There will be other factors that come into play on how your video is ranked, but there are three big ones that you can directly control.



1. Video Title
2. Video Tags
3. Video Description


If you want to learn even more about this, make sure you’re signed up for my video marketing and production mailing list. In each newsletter I build on the topic covered in that week's blog post and offer further tips on each week’s theme. For now, let’s break each of these points down further.



1. VIDEO TITLE

 
My title on a sample YouTube video via the YouTube Studio space.. Keywords I wanted to focus on include “Albania” and “Travel Vlog”.

My title on a sample YouTube video via the YouTube Studio space.. Keywords I wanted to focus on include “Albania” and “Travel Vlog”.

 


Every video has a title. This helps the viewer to know what the video is about. But more than that, it’s an important piece of data which will be read by YouTube's technology to place your video in the search engine's algorithm.

These keywords are some of the most important in letting YouTube understand what your video is about and what other videos it might be related to when recommending it and ranking it in searches. Pick your main keyword/phrase carefully, and include in the title. If you can repeat your keyword more than once in the title, that’s even better. However, it’s important that your title is easy to read for your audience, and titles under 70 characters tend to perform better.



2. VIDEO TAGS

 
The tags that I chose to include for this YouTube video. The numbers alongside them represent the score and where the video ranks for that term (this is a feature of Vid IQ).

The tags that I chose to include for this YouTube video. The numbers alongside them represent the score and where the video ranks for that term (this is a feature of Vid IQ).

 



For any keywords you struggled to include naturally in your title, the video tags is the place to put them. Here you have a lot more characters to put words and short phrases describing what your video is about. Use alternate phrasings (e.g. “influencer” instead of “Instagrammer”), and pay attention to the order of your tags. Although Google (the parent company of YouTube) hasn't confirmed this, I’ve found that by placing the most important tags at the beginning and the least important at the end, I’ve increased my chances of being ranked for my priority words and phrases. Remember that unlike the title and description, your video tags are not immediately visible to viewers of your video, although there are ways for them to find your chosen tags if they want to.


3. VIDEO DESCRIPTION

 
Notice my repetition of key terms relating to place names (alternating between country - a more general key term - and towns and cities, which are more specific). I include other keywords relating to travel, travel vlogs and tourism.

Notice my repetition of key terms relating to place names (alternating between country - a more general key term - and towns and cities, which are more specific). I include other keywords relating to travel, travel vlogs and tourism.

 


The first characters of your description are equally important in telling YouTube what your video is about. You should repeat the keywords you chose for your title and include some that you identified to use in your tags. The different between the video description and tags is that your audience can read your description, so make sure it is easy to read instead of a list of incoherent keywords. I would recommend dedicating the first 150-170 characters to a really easy-to-read, keyword-rich introduction. The next paragraph could be a continuation of this, although viewers will need to click “see more” to read this, so keep in mind that it is less likely to be seen. After this, you can include any other information that is important to your video, such as credits. Please note if you’re trying to drive viewers to a link, while it may not be conducive to your SEO goals, place it at the start of your description. Viewers are less likely to click on it if it doesn’t appear in the 150-170 character preview of your video.

There are reports of videos performing less well if there are too many external links in the description, since YouTube wants to keep you on their platform. YouTube does not tend to share information on how its algorithm works, and while I have not noticed this hypothesis to be true, I also have not conducted sufficient testing to confirm or deny this claim.

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YOUTUBE VIDEO SEO TOOLS


While it’s possible to carry out these tips on your own using analytics and some strategic thinking, there are some tools that will make a lot of the steps way more simple and quick. I use Vid IQ which is a chrome plugin designed to help your YouTube videos to perform better. This tool allows me to see how competitive a term is when I search for it on YouTube, explore the search terms and analytics on another user’s individual video, and it even helps me to optimise the three categories above when I am uploading my video. There are different tiers available with more/fewer functionalities, but the most basic version is free. An alternative to VidIQ is TubeBuddy which offers a similar range of functions.

When choosing my search terms I also use Keywords Everywhere which can help me to analyse how competitive a search term is both on Google and on YouTube. In the most basic sense, the sweet spot of a search term will be the one(s) that is searched for a lot but does not yet have a huge library of content already on the search engine to compete with. Experiment with different terms to get to grips with the tool and find your niche's sweet spot. VidIQ also has a scale to help you to determine this "sweet spot" when you are using YouTube's search function.


There's a lot to learn about YouTube, and I want to cover it in detail in the coming weeks.

Do you have specific questions on getting your videos discovered? Let me know in the comments!