Free Marketing Tool: Create a Commercial Via Animoto

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According to YouTube, more than 6 billion hours of video is watched on this social media channel every month. That’s an hour for every single person on the planet. Video, clearly, killed the radio star, and it’s doing a bang up job of taking over the world. For your SMB, having a commercial-quality video in your marketing arsenal is guaranteed to increase your visibility. Yet, at an average production cost of $1,500, or even at the low ball price of $200, you may cringe at the idea of creating a video for your online marketing campaign using high priced script-writing services.

How would you like to create a 30-second commercial, of quality and with limited production and screenwriting skill, for free? That’s exactly what you can find at Animoto, a video creation and sharing site.

Let’s Get Personal

If you want the free deal, do not even look at the business category of videos on Animoto. You’ll be in shock over the pricing of $249 to $499 a year. This is where you can create videos that you want to sell to customers, i.e. for photographers who sell videos of their images. For most SMBs, this will not apply to your needs. Instead, check out the “lite” packages under the personal video category. Once you’ve entered the personal zone on the site, you will have the option to “get started.” Choose from one of a dozen free styles that are presented on the screen.

Bring It On

When you are looking at the free video templates, do not click on the videos that feature a shady circle next to their name. Here is a suggested list, as of June 2014, of the free videos that are applicable to a business setting:

  • 1:1
  • Air
  • Animoto Original
  • Big Beat
  • Brilliance
  • Carousel
  • Confetti
  • Earth
  • Giving Gifts
  • Grace
  • Retro Wheel
  • Rustic
  • The Future
  • Watercolor Seashore

There are several others that feature a seasonal motif, such as for Father’s Day, Fourth of July and summer vacation. Consider these particular video designs for seasonally posted videos.

Creating that Commercial

Once you’ve selected a video design, choose to “Make a 30-second video for free” rather than purchasing the video. If you see a video you like that requires you to upgrade, the Plus plan is $5 a month or $30 a year and it includes 10 minute-long videos. Another plan, the “Pro” option, costs $39 a month or $249 a year, and it allows you to make 20-minute long videos. But, you are going to make a commercial, of which 30 seconds is the prime amount of time you have of your viewers before they lose interest. For you, the freebie here is golden.

Lights, Camera, Action!

You can add your own images uploaded to your computer, or via:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Dropbox
  • Picasa
  • Flickr
  • SmugMug
  • Photobucket

Alternatively, or in conjunction with your own images, you can use stock images. The same goes for short videos that you can embed into your commercial. Click on the name of the song and artist pre-selected for your video to change your song to any of dozens of songs from the Animoto music library. If you have a business motto in song form, for example, you can upload this to your video. Text can be incorporated into the video as well.

Each time you add a video, text block, or image to your video a thumbnail will be added to your screen. You can drag and drop the thumbnails to change the order of the content for your video. Anything that is added that will bring you over the 30 second mark will cause some of your thumbnails to be moved to the right side of the screen, and therefore out of your video. Once you are ready to preview your video, you can do so in about 30 seconds.

The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For…

After your high quality, high definition commercial has been produced, it’s time to send that baby out into the online world. The free video can be shared via:

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • SmugMug
  • Tumblr
  • Blogger
  • Vimeo
  • WordPress
  • Pinterest
  • Wistia
  • Vzaar

Other options for video sharing are to embed or to link to your video, which are additional free options at your disposal. Your video will be saved indefinitely in your account on Animoto. This allows you to save your new, free commercials in an organized manner, where they are available for editing or updating.

So what are you waiting for? There’s commercials to be made and shared!

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess. When she’s not pounding out her Ps and Qs as a freelance writer, she’s busy making free, brag worthy videos for her friends, family, extended family, and total strangers.


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