Video editing software: is it time to move to mobile apps?

To edit your professional videos yourself, without going through an agency, you have access to different tools: software that can be installed on your computer, online editing websites, or mobile applications. Paid, free, easy to use, very technical… There is a solution for everyone! But to produce your corporate videos, some features are essential: logo overlay, use of the company’s visual identity, automatic subtitles generation, use of royalty-free music, etc. Which video editing tool best fits your team?

Content creation is changing: so are video tools

The war for attention: what impact on video editing software?

In the 1970s, the theory of attention economics demonstrated that attention becomes a capital that can be accumulated and maintained. When you create a piece of content, the aim is to attract attention to it for as long as possible. And in our digital world, this requires some creativity. Indeed, on Instagram, 500 million stories are posted per day. That’s several billion pieces of content shared on social networks every day and viewed for an average of 8 seconds. This impacts all sectors: communications, marketing, human resources, training, employer branding, employee advocacy, influence, etc. To stand out from the crowd, you need to use the right solution to be able to create snackable, but qualitative content in large quantities.

Video as a key content

One format that addresses the need for capturing and retaining attention well is video. Indeed, Statista affirms that an American consumed on average one hour and forty-three minutes of video on digital devices per day in 2020.

Editing Software use
Kannelle team

Video has become an essential communication tool. Short formats especially are popular because they are easy to go through. All you need to do to create these is a sufficiently recent smartphone to shoot good quality video. And with the right video editing software and applications, you can create video content quickly and regularly by yourself!

However, in order for teams to easily create quality videos on a regular basis, it is necessary that:

  • The video editing software is light and easy to use, and compatible with the equipment of those editing the videos
  • The editing tool should enable you to create all kinds of videos (from video tutorials to employer branding videos)
  • The software lets you create videos that comply with the company’s visual identity (colours, logo, fonts, etc.) and guidelines (management of employee access, use of royalty-free music).

What is the best video editing software? Should you go for SaaS or mobile applications? We tell you all about it in this guide, at the end of which you can download a specification sheet to help you decide what’s the best option for you!

Why did we need alternatives to video editing software?

Tools for professionals…

The first video editing software appeared in the 1990s with Avid, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. Derived from cinematographic tools, these solutions are mainly intended for video editing professionals, and therefore, not directly intended for non-specialised employees, nor for companies wishing to produce short and simple videos quickly.

…Which require professional equipment

This is especially true since these programs are heavy and only available on computers (and usually recent powerful computers). To overcome this problem, lighter tools have of course been developed. Movie Maker comes to mind: the installation file is reduced from 1 GB for Adobe Première to 130 MB for Movie Maker, and the latter is free (compared to $290 for Adobe Premiere). On the other hand, this translates into limited editing possibilities: default fonts, sketchy animated transitions, etc. Free software is ideal for making personal films, but not to edit business corporate videos.

In general, computer-based tools aren’t designed for widespread use in companies, and thus neither editing nor customisation is automated. Since they are reserved for individual use, collaborative work is not a systematic feature either. One can then turn to SaaS solutions, which are more complete and easy to use.

SaaS solutions: bring your video editing online

SaaS, short for Software as a Service, consists in making traditional software functionalities accessible via a web browser. Video editing solutions started embracing that trend about ten years ago. They have sought to overcome the disadvantages of traditional video software suites and therefore offer significant advantages.

Available easily through Internet

The only prerequisite is to have a computer and an internet connection. All the editing is done online, without having to install any file, so any type of computer (PC or Mac, last generation or not) will do.

Platforms such as Powtoon or Canva offer free access (with reduced capabilities) to more elaborate editing than Movie Maker more simply than Adobe Premiere. Canva even lets users manage their visual identity and assets (logo and colours) and access a bank of ready-to-use visuals.

However, while Powtoon is a software dedicated to corporate video editing, Canva doesn’t focus solely on video, which implies that its functionalities, as of writing, are less advanced: no automatic subtitling, nor royalty-free music library for example.

More than a software, a service

Video editing platforms often have a comprehensive support service: chatbot, FAQ, direct contact with the site administrators, etc. You can get help quickly and ask all of your questions.

Some points to note about SaaS editing software

Data storage

As the editing is done online, very regularly on an automatic backup model, the data is not stored locally, as on traditional software or mobile apps. Instead it is hosted online on a third party server or cloud (such as AWS or Azure). It may be worth investigating the security of data storage and compliance with company policies before using any online video editing software.

Mobile remains on the sidelines

Video editing software, whether traditional or SaaS, does not bring mobile to the forefront, as most are computer-based. However, according to Statista, in 2017, 51% of smartphone users said that their main use was to take photos or videos. It will therefore be necessary to take the time to transfer the rushes from the phone to the computer via Bluetooth, cable or AirDrop (for Apple users). The need to work directly on smartphones and to import videos from a mobile’s camera reel becomes very important.

While Canva has a mobile application that lets you access the same features as the web version, the Powtoon application, like many others, is only a complement to the desktop version. You can then only use your mobile to add a voice-over, or share your creations. With Kannelle we took a different route: we chose to fully integrate the shooting feature in our application as it is often the key to a qualitative editing as we will see.

The mobile app for quick video editing

What are the benefits?

Available on smartphones, mobile video editing applications can be used anywhere, anytime, and editing can often be done without an internet connection (unlike SaaS solutions). The storage is then local (on the phone), rather than on a cloud, which raises fewer security issues.

Because these apps are designed for small screens, their user interfaces have to be very intuitive, clear and user friendly. No endless menu to scroll through, no mini-icons to click on, no superfluous features: everything has been thought to make the experience fluid and fast.

How does it work?

1# Capture or import rushes directly from the phone

While traditional software requires a couple of steps to import content from a smartphone, using videos and photos in an application is a breeze: no Bluetooth or cable transfer to worry about. Sometimes, it is even possible to film directly in the application and benefit from advice during the shoot in real time! It is the case with Kannelle.

2# Editing

Once you have your rushes, editing can be done in different ways. There are several processing approaches:

Automatic video editing: you select the rushes and the app’s algorithm decides by itself the pace, duration and order of each one in the final render. This is not very flexible, but it is useful if you just want to make a quick and dynamic video, such as a teaser.

Manual video editing: as with traditional software, you have to select rushes one by one, arrange them as you wish, add your text, etc. This can be very time-consuming, as the trimming and ordering is done by hand.● Intelligent video editing: editing assistance is provided, while leaving some flexibility to the user. The video follows a predefined template, with the possibility of modifying the order and number of sequences and personalising the video with your business’ visual identity.

3# Sharing

Once the edited video is to your liking, it’s convenient to be able to share it directly on your social networks. The best way is via the native sharing functions of the smartphone’s OS. For more advanced community management features, you can use a centralised publication tool such as Hootsuite. This lets you finetune your post (description, hashtags and mentions, as via the social network interface) with the benefit of programming posts for future release.

You may prefer to save the video in the gallery for later use, for instance to share on social networks manually or to share on the intranet in case of internal communications.

In any case, the process is simple, intuitive and fast: in just 3 steps, your video is online!

How to choose your video editing application or software?

Questions to ask

Is the video editing software compatible with all devices?

Make sure that the tool you select is compatible with all or most of the phones or computers used by the staff who will be editing videos. Because apps are small and lightweight, they are more compatible with older, less capable smartphones than computer-based software that tends to be heavy.

Also, check that the storage mode matches your requirements: cloud or local storage. The former will facilitate collaborative work, as all employees will be able to find projects in progress, but the latter will be transparent about data storage and will rarely be blocked by the constraints imposed by companies (no access to AirDrop, file sharing platforms or file transfer via USB, for example).

Software of video editing
Photo by Matthew Kwon

Is the software the simplest?

The easiest tool to use is the one that lets you create from templates, like Kannelle! Depending on your objectives and the video you want to shoot, the order of the rushes and dividers is already suggested. All you have to do is adapt the order, the number of sequences, the texts, the colours… 

Whatever platform you choose, make sure that the elements can be customised as you wish.

Do you need guidance to use the software and create video?

For example, Kannelle offers shooting guidance: while you are filming (directly in the application), you can see a shape centred on the screen, which shows you where the subject should be to optimise the shot. It is also useful to have a recommended length for each sequence.

Technically speaking, it is important to be able to optimise the quality of the rendering with features like built-in lens stabiliser and a possible sound adjustment (balancing of music and video volumes).

Finally, if you want to make video creation and editing accessible to everyone, look for a solution that offers full support, with training, advice, inspiration, FAQs, etc., in the language and at the times that’s convenient for your international teams.

Does it provide access to a variety of formats?

Depending on the nature of your videos, you may need to film differently. The length will vary according to the purpose of the video: a product presentation is generally shorter than a customer testimonial. The tool must be able to support both long and short formats.

The flexibility of the tool is also important: if you use a video editing application based on templates, it is essential to be able to modify these templates and create your own according to the needs of the company and of each team (e.g. order and number of sequences, colours, logo, etc.).

You may also want to adapt the format based on the network where you’ll be sharing: square, portrait or landscape. If you publish content for an international audience, subtitles are mandatory. To be fair, they are even required in your own language, as 90% of videos are watched without sound on smartphones. By the way, Kannelle generates subtitles automatically!

Finally, you may want to choose between royalty-free footage or your own rushes, and combine both. Again, you can check whether the video editing application or software has a royalty-free music library.

Working on editing a video
Kannelle Team

Can you import and use your company’s visual identity?

When creating videos for a business, it is important to be able to manage the brand identity. Do you want your logo to appear in all the shots, or only in the filmed sequences? Do you want to use your colours or a partner’s colours for your next video? Check that the application or editing software will allow you to do what you want, and to adaptif required.

Does it fit in with your processes and teamwork?

The head of the communications team may wish to provide the software or application to his or her collaborators, who will create the videos, without using it himself or herself. Some tools let you choose the roles and permissions for each employee, as an administrator or creator for instance. This is key to enabling real teamwork. An administrator can, for example, build a visual identity and templates, and the creators will just have to follow the guidelines.

Our bonus tips

Things to do before editing a video

It is a common misconception that the hardest and most time consuming part of creating a video is the editing. But editing the video is only the final part of the creative process. You should not lose sight of what comes before: scripting and filming. If these are poorly planned and executed, picking the shots to be used can be very time consuming.

Poorly defined guidelines and trial-and-error shooting will result in a large number of rushes and a reduction in their quality, making it more difficult to sort and assemble them. It is therefore important to think beyond relying solely on the video editing software to produce quality content.

1# Planning

Editing is important. Knowing what you want to shoot and then editing is better. That’s why it’s important to define your objectives and your direction first. You can try to answer these questions:

  • Why do you want to make this video?
  • Who is it aimed at?
  • Will a subject be filmed? Will they have to say something specific?
  • Where will the video be shot?
  • What shots do you want in your video?
  • How will it be shot?
  • How long should it last?

Once the answers to these questions are clear, you can draw up a script, and rehearse it to check that the duration is what you had planned. Now everything is ready to go and you can start shooting!

2# Shooting

During filming, work with the aim of making editing as easy as possible afterwards. The quality of the original video should be optimal, with good sound capture and lighting. To achieve this, make sure you clean the lens (from your camera or phone) and leave the field around the microphone clear so that the sound reaches it properly. Also remember to frame the subject on the screen correctly.

Editing and stabilizing the lense
Shooting support in Kannelle

In order to facilitate the selection of rushes at the time of editing, you can film sequence by sequence (for example, during an interview, cut between questions). This way, if there is a mistake or unforeseen event during the sequence, you can just delete it and reshoot it, without having to redo the whole video. You can then deliver the final rushes to the editor, who will only have to make minimal adjustments.

3# Editing

The last step before sharing is editing. In your video editing application or software, import your rushes and adjust their order. You can then decide to add “dividers”, which are text boxes, between your sequences. 

Don’t forget to adapt the sequences and/or cards to your company’s visual identity: font, colours, logo.

Add royalty-free images and music if you wish: SaaS applications and editing software often have libraries. If necessary, create subtitles, manually or automatically depending on the solution you are using.

4# Sharing

Editing is the final part of creating a video, but don’t forget about broadcasting and sharing it. If you are working with video editing software on a PC, you will have to export your video in a format supported by the platform you’re sharing to (social network, intranet…). Compression might be necessary. Publish via the web or the native app of the platform you’re posting to..

Mobile apps have an edge and make it quicker and easier to share, with automatic adaptation of the format to the network. This is very practical for the community manager who wants to keep his community alive, for the event manager who needs to share a live event, or for the communications teams who need to centralise videos to validate before their publication. 

For more details on these four steps, we have written a guide on corporate video, explaining clearly how to script, capture and edit your videos!

Your specifications for choosing the best video editing software

Download your specifications here and get started!

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