Video is the new king of content. It’s one of the best marketing content formats that can drive serious engagement for your brand and business. You just need to take a look at some of these video stats when it comes to consumer engagement and content consumption. Some of the stats are pretty insane.
So, as you can tell from the above (and probably already know), it’s never been a better time to get across video editing as a skill if you’re running an eCommerce store, startup or any type of business, whether online or offline.
Getting really awesome at editing videos is a superb skill to have.
However, that doesn't have to be the main objective. Even if you’re not super keen to take on video editing as a full-time focus, it’s an incredibly valuable experience and skill to learn the critical foundations of what’s possible with video.
This means when you work with contractors, freelancers or even agencies, you will have a very good understanding of the editing process and how to do effective briefs. Trust me, the ability to do good briefs for videographers and editors is a very important skill to develop.
Okay, so what is the best video editing software for beginners to learn key skills fast? What is the cheapest or most cost-effective app? Is there a free video editor? Which tools are easiest to pick up and don’t have a steep learning curve?
Before answering these questions and then diving into this list, I usually recommend having some criteria and items that you should use as a checklist when it comes to assessing which video editing programs is best for you. This will help you find the correct answers faster before committing to a solution. Here are some to note down.
You get the picture of what I’m saying. I explain below the main USPs (unique selling propositions) of the various beginner-friendly video editing apps so you can get started on trying out today.
Used by trusted brands like Kodak and Motorola, Motionbox is considered one of the best video editing tools in the market. It helps teams create and collaborate on video content in real-time and could help you create high-quality content in just a matter of minutes! Apart from having the basic, necessary video editing capabilities, it can also enhance videos by adding voiceovers, soundtracks and effects, subtitles, and transitions.
A free plan lets you get a feel of all the features with up to 2 GB video storage, a 720p export quality, and Motionbox watermarks. Meanwhile, the basic plan at $29 per month per user has 25 GB storage and 1080p export quality and the premium plan at $39 a month per user has 100 GB storage and 4k export quality. The enterprise plan with unlimited storage will be quoted depending on your company’s size.
Clipchamp is an exclusively online / web-based video editor that powerfully edits your videos depending on the processor and capacity of your PC or laptop. It is used by over 17 million creatives in 200 countries, from amateurs to professionals all around the world. It is also trusted by brands such as Microsoft, Google, Zendesk, and Deloitte.
Clipchamp has a free basic plan, which already allows for unlimited exports at 1080p quality. The creator plan at $9 per month takes this up a notch with content backup and unlimited audio stock, whereas the business plan at $19 includes a brand kit and the business platinum plan at $39 a month includes unlimited image and video stock.
Veed simplifies the process of video production, with their tagline saying that you can make professional videos in a single click. It is an online-only, web-based platform that started out as a mere cropping and cutting tool. Then the company decided to take it a step further, and it quickly became one of the most popular video editors.
Veed offers a free plan that lets you create projects below ten minutes and 250 MB with a watermark. Meanwhile, it has a monthly plan at $18 per month for videos below 25 minutes and 1080p export quality, a $30 a month plan for videos below 2 hours and a 4k quality export, and a $70 a month plan for all features plus customised business add-ons.
Type Studio is a video editor that takes pride in how well it works with text. This means that the online, browser-based video editor is specially equipped for transcribing and adding subtitles and close captions – in different languages. However, it is also worth noting that it is no one-trick pony and is just as capable of doing lightweight video editing. This is likely why over 100,000 people and companies opt to use it over other editors.
Type studio has an awesome free tier that lets you edit a video below 10 minutes every month, a starter plan at $12 monthly that lets you edit up to 30 minutes long and have 50 GB storage, a pro plan at $20 a month that lets you edit videos up to 2 hours long with 100 GB storage, and a team plan that lets you work with up to 40 hours of videos every month on 500 GB storage. Only the paid plans come with subtitle options.
Adobe is a household name for functional software, and Adobe Premiere is the company’s entry into video editing. It is considered as top-tier in the industry and is best used for elaborate and artistically demanding videos. Given its place as a professional choice, it constantly releases new updates and features to stay at the top of its game.
Adobe Premiere Pro offers a 7-day free trial, then you would have to pay $29.99 a month to access all features.
Lumen5 is an AI-powered video editor that helps you create videos from written work in the span of minutes! How does this work, you may ask? The software will highlight and zero in on the important phrases mentioned in your blog or script, then it will automatically add multimedia elements on your behalf. You can then tweak the result according to your liking.
It is currently used by companies such as SalesForce, Siemens, Cisco, and Mitsubishi.
There is a free plan that lets you edit an unlimited number of videos provided that the export size is limited to 720p and has a Lumen5 watermark. The starter plan at $25 a month provides you access to the stock library and icons, as well as an export size of 1080p. The professional plan at $149 a month lets you upload your company watermarks and font, and any further use or added function beyond these will require a custom plan from the company.
iMovie is the native video editing app for Apple, and its use is restricted to iOS and macOS products. It is still considered one of the most popular and accessible editors there is, because of its interface and ease of use. It may not necessarily be on the level of Adobe Premiere on a professional level, but it does bring considerable value to the space.
iMovie is completely free with OS software.
Pikotchart is a design application that is known for its usability in creating infographics, charts, and tables. The parent company then came up with Piktochart Video (it was first called Piktostory). As a tool, Piktostory’s goal remains the same, albeit catered to videos: To create smart, valuable content.
The free plan gives you access to most of the features but will only let you work with 20 minutes of content and will impose the Piktochat Video watermark on your video. Meanwhile, the Pro Plan at $14 per member per month lets you work with 90 minutes of content per month. There is also a plan for organisations with over 25 members, but the cost will be customised depending on your company’s needs and limits.
Descript is one of the most well-loved transcription management software, and it has since branched out to audio and video editing. It is otherwise known as a video word processor, but it has all the features you would need to create a video from start to finish. It is used by reputable audio and video companies such as Audible by Amazon, iHeart Media, ESPN, and Vice.
Descript has a free plan that allows up to three hours of transcription, a creator plan at $12 per user per month that allows you 10 hours of transcription, and a pro plan at $24 per user per month that allows you 30 hours of transcription plus the option to remove filler words. An enterprise plan would also give you a dedicated account representative and security review, but the cost will be customised to your business.
Da Vinci Resolve takes pride in being the world’s only all-in-one post-production solution. This means that it does video and audio editing, colour correction, special effects, and even motion graphics. You’ll basically be using the same tools being used by Hollywood professionals, and you’ll get access to Da Vinci’s image technology, which has even won an Emmy!
Da Vinci Resolve has a free version that works with videos up to 60 fps, whereas the paid version can be bought one time at $469. It supports 10-bit videos and resolutions that go even beyond 4k.
Milk video is an online web video application that converts existing videos into a highlights reel within minutes. It is most commonly used for social proof and video testimonials, webinars, and thought leadership soundbites.
Milk video lets you create as many videos as you want for free!
Promo is primarily considered a marketing video editor, but it is great for all other video use cases as well. You can create video ads, product tutorials, event promos, social media videos, video listicles, and even inspirational videos.
It's used and trusted by brands such as Disney, Zoho, Virgin, and Hilton.
Promo video has a basic plan at $49 monthly, which gives you access to the different features except for the 110 million premium clips, trending templates, and social media calendar. These are made available with the standard plan at $99 per month. Then there’s the pro plan at $349 a month, which lets you manage up to 10 brands and even gives you reseller rights and white label sharing.
Filmora is a great choice for video experts and novices alike. It leans into the creation and distribution of white-labeled marketing videos intended to make your brand stand out in the crowded market. Marketing professionals and video creators alike will enjoy using this editing tool.
Filmora for individuals can be had at just $9.99 a month, making it one of the cheapest yet most equipped options out there. You can save more money by paying the annual plan at $49.99 or you could just get the perpetual plan once and for all at $79.99.
Movavi is a powerful and useful video editor that packs a punch, even with its seemingly simply and understated interface. It may not include all the bells and whistles of its competitors, but this also means it comes with fewer complications. If you’re just out there looking for a simple and easy yet functional video editor, then Movavi may be the one for you. After all, it turned out to be the one for 3 million other people.
The Movavi video suite is currently priced at $54.99 per year. This includes the company’s video editor plus, the video converter, and screen recording capabilities.
Kdan Mobile is a company that provides office suite apps to iOS and Android users alike. Although they are most famous for their productivity software, they have also released creativity apps to be reckoned with, one of which is Kdan Mobile Write On Video.
The best part is that Kdan Mobile’s Write On Video can be downloaded and explored for free, with the option for in-app purchases depending on your needs.
Biteable is an easy-to-use video maker that is meant to be used by businesses and their entire teams. From sales and marketing to internal communication to employee onboarding and training, Biteable can be considered an all-around video editing solution for companies. This is probably why companies like Disney, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft use it.
The Pro plan comes at $49 a month, supports HD resolution, and gives you access to a stock library of over 20 million images, videos, and music. Meanwhile, the Teams plan at $249 a month can be used by 5 team members, allows for collaboration and brand customisation and has a dedicated account manager.
I’ve shared many of my favourites that I’ve had great experiences with. Suppose you’re just starting out with video editing. In that case, whether it be for your eCommerce brand, small business or fast-growing startup, these are the best video editing software options on the market in my eyes (which also have thousands of positive ratings across review sites) - Descript, Type Studio and Clipchamp. All have their strengths in terms of their use cases. Definitely check these guys out.
All of the video software platforms mentioned have a paid component as part of their service, so none of them are truly 100% free. However, the best video editing tool which is perfect for beginners and busy eCommerce marketers has to be Milk.video. You can sign up for free and export videos that you’ve worked on as much as you like. It’s pretty sweet. You save a lot of money using this tool yourself then you would with a freelancer or agency. Great for repurposing content as well for social media.
There’s no accurate method of finding out what top YouTube creators use unless they were to disclose what video editing software they’re actually using. Having come across YouTube channels, as well as a couple of friends who create YouTube videos, they normally use platforms such as Filmora, Clipchamp and of course, Adobe Premier Pro. If you’re serious about getting more skilled in video editing, it’s worth investing in learning Adobe Premier Pro’s basic and advanced features. It’s very powerful and gives you the room to create almost anything. However, if you’re starting out and unsure whether or not it’s the right skill you want to learn, both Filmora and Clipchamp are very good options.
One of the best ways to start is by watching tutorials and then signing up for a couple of tools and start editing. There are hundreds of awesome YouTube channels that teach you how to do video editing from end to end. Some of my top recommendations to check out are Vince Opra, Charlie Rowlands, and Kevin Stewart.
There are three standout providers that do a great job with transcription editing which are Type Studio, Descript and Veed. Each of them has done a superb job with their product, and the user experience is favourable for those with limited skills in editing. They’re also affordable for the number of features they provide.