Online video creation: a DIY challenge

There is no doubt about it. Video is one of the most engaging content types out there. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. But while video is great at engaging audiences, it can also be expensive and time consuming to create.

Keen to start using more video in my own content marketing strategy I wanted to try out some online video making sites to see which would best suit my needs. After reading about the different platforms on offer I decided to try Biteable, Raw Shorts and Adobe Spark.

Biteable and Raw Shorts also do animations and whiteboard explainer videos (another blog post, another day) but I wanted to try their video offerings. I tried Adobe Spark also because I already use the Adobe Creative Suite and I wanted to see how easy it was compared with Premier Pro.

Before creating my videos, I drafted a very short script about Crow Content that I could use for all three videos.

Did you know?

Before I get to my thoughts on each platform in case you aren’t already sold on the power of video here are a few statistics on video consumption:

Biteable

Biteable was straight forward, easy to use and easy to share the final video. It does watermark videos created on the free version but it is not too obtrusive. To download your video you need to upgrade to a premium subscription but you can easily share videos (either through a link or an embed code) for free.

Pros:

Easy to use. The selection of background music was good too. Being able to share free videos is also great.

Cons:

Character limits on each slide meant I had to change my script and approach. There are no in-built voiceover options but given around 85% of Facebook videos are watched on silent mode this may not be an issue if you are planning on using your video on social media. There are a fixed number of templates which is limiting, as are the color schemes. You also cannot change the fonts or fonts size.

Raw Shorts

I found the Raw Shorts process frustrating at first, it took me a few attempts to get the hang of it. Footage kept disappearing from my project and it took a long time for stock footage to load when I searched it. I kept adding footage to the wrong slide which was not easy to undo. I also experienced glitch after glitch when I tried to finalise my video.

Pros:

The in-built voiceover options are great. They sound canned but you can choose different accents and opt for male or female . The selection of background music was good, as was the selection of searchable stock footage.

Cons:

Raw Shorts had the most difficult interface to navigate. Out of the three video makers I tried this one took the longest for me to finalise my video with. You can share free videos with a link but no embed code is given. The watermarking is very obtrusive so you would not really be able to use a trial video (even internally).

Adobe Spark

The interface was intuitive, and I managed to create this video in under 30 minutes (which included finding the free stock footage I used in it). There are options for changing colour themes and font styles but these are limited. No voiceover options are available on the platform, but you can easily upload your own music or voiceover.

Pros:

Adobe lets you download your movie which the others don’t without upgrading to premium. Like Biteable it also has an embed link when you select share.

Cons:

Sourcing your own video to upload is more difficult than relying on the in-built stock libraries the others use.

 

Costs

Biteable

  • $23 per month (billed annually)
  • Free version which lets you publish to YouTube and Facebook, share and embed up to five video projects per month.

 

Raw Shorts

  • Business $59 per month
  • Essential $39 per month
  • Options for credits to create videos if you are only going to produce a couple per year.
  • Free trial (the watermark can be quite intrusive, so you probably wouldn’t want to use the video publicly).

 

Adobe Spark

  • Individuals $14.29 per month which gives you make more control over your branding, colour and fonts.
  • Teams $28.59 per month per licence
  • Free version lets you download, share and embed.

The verdict

I really wanted to use Raw Shorts because their flexible credits subscription pricing appealed to me and I also liked the ability to add a stock voiceover but overall the process was too time consuming with too many glitches.  I am keen to try creating a whiteboard explainer video and animation in the future so I may give them another try but for now I think Biteable is the winner.

Bonus: Additional help creating online videos

Check out this Shopify blog article for on more information on how to make your own videos quickly, easily and cheaply. It has some great links to sites that offer Free Stock Footage and Music as well as tips for making engaging videos.

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