Review: Animoto Video Software

The way we use digital technology to promote businesses has changed a great deal in the past couple of decades. For example, hand-held devices – smartphones and tablets – are now the most popular method of accessing the internet as people are doing so on the move. Also, video has become an important part of marketing. Of course, making a promotional video is expensive – or is it?

We’ve been using a great package called Animoto – it’s billed as a ‘Drag and Drop Video Maker’ – that will be of interest to smaller businesses as well as established companies, and we’re going to talk about in detail below. Let’s start by looking at what Animoto is all about and how it works before we list some features and look at the pricing options.

How Animoto Works

Before we get into how it works, there’s a quick point we’d like to make. Animoto – like many video and other website promotion solutions – prominently says that it is ‘free’ on the landing pages of the website. This is true, there is a free package option. If you go for the free version, you can make videos and get all the standard features – we will cover these further on – but your work will appear with the Animoto brand on it.

This may not be a problem for some, but for many businesses promoting another brand is not an option! We recommend you choose the paid for ‘Professional’ package, and that’s the one we are describing here. How does Animoto work?

Animoto allows you to use your photos and video clips to create slideshow-type promo videos that link together seamlessly with near-professional results. We recommend it as it is easier to use than some of the other packages on the market, and we think the videos that can be created are certainly useful for promotion purposes. It genuinely does use a ‘drag and drop’ technique and once you have practiced, you’re ready to go. Let’s talk about some of the other features.

Features of Animoto

We mentioned the standard features of Animoto above, so here’s what you get with the basic free package:

  • Unlimited Video Downloads
  • 720p Standard Quality Video
  • 50 Free Music Tracks
  • 3 Standard Fonts
  • 30 Colour Swatches

For no cost that is a decent package and if you’re not sure that Animoto is the one for you we recommend you try it – it costs nothing, and you don’t even have to give a debit card number. However, if you want professional-standard video you need greater quality than 720p, and that’s the first benefit of the Professional package: it comes with HD 1080p High Quality video.

You also get the benefit of no Animoto branding on your videos and you can add your own branding in the form of a watermark. You can also use your special brand colours to bring it into your corporate range. Further benefits include more than a million quality images and videos, licensed from Getty Images, more than 3000 licensed music tracks and 40 professional fonts.

The Professional package as described above costs £24 per month. We believe that to be a sensible price when compared to other packages in a similar vein. If you want to take things further there is the ‘Team’ option. In addition to that provided with the Professional pack, this one allows up to 3 users, gets you a free 30-minute consultation with a video expert, and you get permission to resell the software. Is it worth the extra at £42 per month? We would say not unless reselling is something you want to play at seriously, so stick with the Professional package.

What further features make Animoto the video creation package we would choose? Here’s some more about what else makes this an attractive solution.

Further Animoto Features

Animoto offers quite comprehensive features for what is a very reasonable cost. For example, it allows you to seamlessly share your creations with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in just one click, giving you greater scope to get your brand out there. You can embed a link in your website by simple copy and paste, and videos can easily be burned to CD or stored on your PC or laptop for use elsewhere.

Animoto is a cloud-based editor so does not take up space in your memory, and the package can be used with both Windows and Apple systems so is perfectly versatile. As it is cloud based, you can be anywhere you want and use it on a tablet, creating videos remotely should you wish. The stock images are particularly good, and there’s bound to be plenty you can use to promote your business.

The Animoto package comes with a selection f nicely designed storyboard templates that make it easier for you to develop and create your video – or you can adapt and make your own storyboard – and you also get access to a vast music library in which everything is licensed for use.

 You can add your own logo, custom fit your images to your own desired size of page, trim and adjust footage for timing and zoom in and crop photos as you wish. Everything you need to produce, save and share professional-standard videos that will engage your audience and enhance brand awareness is here in the Animoto Professional package, and we believe that it is the best of its type at the price.

What we Think of Animoto

For businesses of all sizes the Animoto package is a good choice if you wish to plan, create and share promotional videos, especially for use on social media networks. It is easy to use – easier than others we have used – and the Professional package provides everything you could need to make videos of this type.

With a lifetime license to use Animoto as part of the deal there is nothing else to add except that at the monthly fee Animoto Professional is a well-priced video production tool that will be of use to all types of business users.

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