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Looking to produce your own small business video? Smart move. Content rules on the web, whether it’s a promotional video, informational video, explainer video, or a testimonial. But how do you do this without blowing the budget or timeline? These four tools will make the process as quick and painless as possible without breaking the bank. GoAnimate How does the idea of creating visually appealing animations with no prior experience sound? Let your personality shine through in your small business video with GoAnimate. Getting started with GoAnimate is a cinch. With dozens of templates, characters, backgrounds, props, and music tracks, you’ll have complete control over your video with business-focused Full Video Makers. Move the camera the way you want it to and add special effects. To speed things up or to easily explain difficult concepts, try using Starters, nestled in the backgrounds tab in the Full Video Maker. The learning curve is negligible, a key consideration for the busy small business owner. As for distribution, videos are hosted as part of your account. Basic viewing statistics are collected. GoAnimate also offers one-click publishing to YouTube and has similar arrangements with other hosting services – no extra work on your part required. GoAnimate offers three business plans starting at $25 a month (billed annually). Full HD commercial videos without a watermark are available at the premium level for just $50 a month (billed annually).
Camtasia When it comes to screen recording, Camtasia sets the standard. If you’re looking to create demos or tutorials, Camtasia is ideal for capturing the ‘explainer’ element – no video camera needed. Just click record and start using your computer, and it will follow your actions and (if desired) your voice narration. Whether you need to capture software walkthroughs, slides, web pages, or import photos or camera video, Camtasia pairs this with video editing tools to create a polished final product. Jazz up your small business video with themes, graphics, clickable links, and other visual and interactive elements. If you’ll be reusing media files to produce multiple videos, these can be saved for easy reference in the future. The array of options and the user-friendly interface (complete with bundled tutorials) make it a great choice for any small business video. A license for Camtasia costs $299, but there’s a free trial available so you can test it out and decide if it’s right for your small business. It exports for web, mobile, DVD and integrates with YouTube for one-step upload.
VoiceBunny You may want to hire professional voice talent to add polish to your small business video. That’s where VoiceBunny comes in. VoiceBunny makes it easy to get crowdsourced voiceovers from a pool of screened voice actors, all of whom work from professional home studios. There are three ways to use VoiceBunny. Users can search the database voices and book an actor directly; post a casting call and evaluate the responses; or, for a speedy turnaround, let the system match them with a suitable candidate within a few hours. Need variety for your small business video? VoiceBunny offers a range of voices and accents in 50 different languages, from Arabic to, er, Vulcan. Other services offered include syncing of recordings to a video, royalty-free music, and special effects. Rates start from as low as 4¢ per word, and the upfront pricing makes it affordable and easy for small businesses to predict their costs. (If you’re not happy with your recording, you won’t be charged.) Audio is conveniently sent back edited and ready to use.
Wistia You can’t go past Wistia for hosting your small business video. The embed builder lets you customize every visual aspect of your video and is packed with tools designed specifically for business. Add social sharing buttons, a clickable call to action, or collect viewers’ emails to add to your marketing database. Wistia videos are also Twitter-friendly and can be played within a tweet. Both Flash and HTML5 versions are encoded automatically at multiple resolutions. Wistia’s biggest selling points relate to content management and user tracking. Private video sharing lets you control who’s invited to access videos, manage what they can see and do, and monitor how they interact with your content. Meanwhile, the analytics package includes a heatmap for every view, showing when an individual watched a video, what parts were skipped or repeated, and what else he or she has previously viewed. Armed with these insights, you’ll be well placed to produce even more compelling videos going forward. In short, unlike YouTube or Vimeo, Wistia is designed to cater to the flexible needs of businesses. There are a number of packages to suit all types of users, including a basic free plan for small businesses with hosting for up to three videos.