Some quick stats:
- YouTube had 15,600,000 Unique Australian Visitors in August 2017
- The top 10 video creators on Facebook received 15.6 billion views in August alone
In case that is not enough to get your attention, Facebook algorithms prioritise videos over other forms of posts. If your regular reach on your page is heading into negative territory, then you need to add in videos.
So how do you take the leap into videos for your business if you hate appearing on camera, don’t like the sound of your voice and don’t have hours to stuff around finding the right light and editing films, or trying to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a video?
Lumen5: Super Easy Video Creation (FREE/Paid Options)
A product called Lumen5 has just come out of Beta and is now available for general use. I have been test-driving it over the past few weeks and it is hands down the simplest and easiest way I have used to create videos for your business.
Lumen5 is an automatic tool that turns blog posts or text into videos for you. The free version has almost identical features to the paid version, and is perfect for most small business owners wanting to dip their toes into video marketing.
It is all done very intuitively and quickly (some of my tests took less than 15 minutes beginning to end to create).
Here’s a quick walkthrough of how easy it is!
Start Simple – Repurpose Your Blogs
Step 1: Copy your blog post URL
The starting point for Lumen5 is your blog and turning your blog post into a video. In the example video above, I am using one of my posts about writing a testimonial.
You simply copy the URL of your blog post and past it into Lumen5. It will then pull your content into the system, and any pictures over 500 x 500 px.
Step 2: Select your content
You then select the content you want to show as text on your video and then edit it to make it flow. The tip here is EDIT. The best results come from each slide only being a few words.
If you use a module type of blog like Divi (like I do), it may only pull a selection of your content over. If that happens to you, just copy and paste the content over.
Step 3: Adjust the photos
Next, you adjust the photos that the Lumen5 magic AI genies have selected for you.
Lumen5 already comes loaded with stacks of stock photos, videos, icons and music you can use royalty free. Alternatively, you can upload your own images or videos for a distinctly custom feel.
If you don’t like the ones they have chosen for you, type in a word into search and explore the different options. Find one that you like and then drag and drop it into the relevant slide.
The system automagically sets all the times, and the transitions between the photos for you.
Step 4: Tweak font, position and highlighted words
You can change which words are highlighted by simply selecting the words and clicking “highlight”. You can also change the position of the text on the slide, adjust the font and change the size of the sentence through choosing it to be a title, quote or text.
Step 5: Choose your music
Lumen5 has a stack of royalty free music tracks you can choose from. You can search by mood (e.g bright, dramatic etc). At the moment you can’t upload your own tracks or record voiceovers, which is the one drawback to the product at it stands.
Step 6: Add your branding
With Lumen5, you can add your logo and brand colours so all of your videos are linked back to your brand.
You can also adjust the final slide call to action. Just remember, that any URL is not clickable. So keep it simple!
Step 7: Publish, Download & Share
Once you are happy with everything, hit publish. It will render (it will take a few minutes) and you can then share it to Facebook or download the video and then manually add it to your social media accounts.
The free version renders in 480p SD which is totally fine for social media applications. If you want to go all out, get the paid version for HD versions of your video.
One thing to note, there is a credits page at the end of the video that complies with all legal requirements to credit image/video owners for their work. If you upload your own videos or images, you need to include a note about who to credit.
Other Video Ideas
Once you get your feet wet converting your blog posts into videos, the world opens up. Here are a few more ways you can use Lumen5.
- Turn your landing page into a video
- Promote your upcoming event
- Showcase a new product
- Turn a press release into a video
- Create a channel intro video for your YouTube channel
- Create a video banner for your Facebook page
- Turn tips into videos
- Turn motivational quotes into videos
Here are a few quick tips on creating better videos with Lumen5.
- Edit edit edit! Keep your sentences short, and don’t be afraid to break a sentence into a few parts.
- Make sure your video tells the whole story. Add in an intro through a question.
- Can’t find an image that works? Create one in Canva (my other favourite go-to tool!)
- Keep it short. Facebook users like videos under a minute while Instagrammers prefer
- Test your video on all your social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram
- Remember to upload it to your YouTube channel and add a link to the relevant blog post with an
endscreen(if you have over 10,000 views on your channel) or in the description of the video if you don’t.
- Embed your YouTube version into your blog. It makes the blog post richer and more engaging.
Free vs Paid: Which Do You Need?
At the moment there are only 2 differences between the free vs paid versions. With the paid version you have different options for downloads resolution and you can remove the Lumen5 logo from the credits.
I gather in the very near future, the paid version will have the ability to render 1:1 square videos without the black lines top and bottom. Square videos work really well
Also, you will soon be able to have different brands, so you can create videos for your clients, or for differently branded parts of your business.
As for me, I started with the free version and have now moved to the paid version to support a very creative start-up.
This is NOT a sponsored post, and there is no affiliate program for this software. I simply love it to bits and figured most of my small businesses could benefit from knowing about it.