A Few Principles for Getting Started With Basic Video Editing

April 25, 2018

With the amount of videos that marketers need to post monthly, weekly, and even daily you may find yourself being tasked with the job of editing – at least at a basic level. Here are a few tips from our team at Waves Media to guide you regardless of what platform or app you are using in your editing.

In this article we will discuss editing and “post-production”. For tips on filming (even with your smartphone!) check out our video here.

Cut it Down

This is one of the simplest things to do but perhaps the most difficult (yet the most important!). If you have amazing content it’s tough to cut it down. But keeping engagement from your audience is crucial and there’s usually no need to say the same thing twice. If you have it said, cut/delete needless jargon and make your video succinct. This is particularly true for certain platforms like Instagram where your audience is not there to consume longer pieces of content, as they may on YouTube. Know the difference.

Here is a piece we did for Toyota in it’s full length (great for YouTube or their website perhaps at 2:30 minutes)

And here it is cut WAY DOWN! Great for pre-roll or Instagram, etc. Notice that we put in just enough to get the point across and perhaps entice the viewer to check out more later.

Story Flow

This is a great template at which to start: a clear opening, a descriptive middle, a clear ending or ‘call to action’. You can play around with it of course but this generally is what your viewer expects. And it will help keep you on track. A few questions to ask yourself in the edit:

  1. Does my video have a clear and well made opening? Has my subject matter been defined in the opening 15-20 seconds?
  2. Am I building upon my subject matter in a succinct and helpful way in the body or middle of the video?
  3. Is my ending a good wrap up, saying what we learned in an upbeat way with a call to action if appropriate? (A ‘Call to Action’ or ‘CTA’ can be as simple as ‘subscribe for more’ or ‘visit us online…’)

B-Roll: a Visual is Worth a Thousand Words

B-roll (or B-reel) is footage we cut away to as alternative footage interspersed over our ‘main shot’ (in most cases for social videos the main shot being our person talking). It truly adds life, color, variety, and ‘story’ to our videos and cannot be over-emphasized.

It (of course!) is crucial to ‘get’ B-roll in the filming so hopefully you did that but if not there are alternative ideas for this. For instance try super-imposing title screens or slides, photos or screenshots. Get creative. Your audience will love it.

So Get to It!

So this by no means is a comprehensive list of how to edit but hopefully gets the ball rolling. Keeping these basic principles in mind will aid you in making better and better videos with practice. So get to it!