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Animoto Review: How to Easily Repurpose Old Blogs to New Videos

  • 3
  • March 31, 2017

animoto review

Let me ask you three questions…

If you knew a way to boost your chances of conversion by 64%, would you do it?

What if you could grow your revenue 49% faster?

Would you try a marketing tactic that increases your likelihood of ranking on the first page of Google by 53 times?

You can do all three of those things on a small budget with limited resources simply by including video in your content strategy. Videos are what customers want!

I know what you’re thinking…

“I’m not technical.”

“I don’t want to be on camera.”

“Video is expensive.”

But you don’t need to worry about any of these things with what I’m about to show you!

You know those blog posts you invest so much time and effort into creating? You can re-purpose that blog content into all kinds of other valuable, traffic-driving goodness—including videos.

In fact, creating videos from your blog posts is easy, fast, and affordable if you have the right tools. How often can we say that about anything anymore? 😉

I’m going to walk you step-by-step through how to transform your blog post into a video using an awesome app called Animoto.

To get started, all you need is a blog post, a trial or Professional account from Animoto, and about an hour of your time.

Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Select a post from your blog and write an outline

Review your blog posts and choose a popular post that would make a good but brief video. Lists and step-by-step guides are already in a video-friendly format, so start there.

PRO TIP

Blog posts with images are a bonus since often you can re-use the visuals in your video.

Next, use your post’s content to create an outline, which will later become the script for your video.

You’re aiming for a video that’s less than two minutes, so stick to the main points. People can go to your website for the details (which is what you want!).

As an example, here’s what my outline for How to Boost Sales with eCommerce Marketing on Twitter looks like:

animoto review video outline example

Step 2 – Log in to Animoto or create a free account

If you have an Animoto account, sign in. If you don’t have an Animoto account, sign up for their free 14-day trial subscription (no credit card required!). The trial gives you Professional level access, which is what you need for a business video.

Once you login, you’ll be on your dashboard. Select the option to “Create.”

animoto dashboard

Choose “Marketing Video” and get ready to have some fun!

animoto video selection

Step 3 – Choose a pre-built video storyboard template

Although Animoto gives you the option to create a video from scratch, they offer professional, engaging pre-built templates called storyboards. That’s what we’ll use.

First, decide whether you want a 16:9 horizontal video format or a square 1:1 shape.

PRO TIP

Square videos are great for Facebook and Instagram. Horizontal videos work well on YouTube, Twitter, and your blog.

animoto review video storyboards

Next, browse and preview the storyboard templates to find one that works with your content.

Select a storyboard template. In this example, I’m using the “Step by Step” template since that works best with my blog post’s format.

animoto storyboard template

After you’ve selected a storyboard template, a new project starts and your dashboard displays a new storyboard that is populated automatically with slides. Animoto calls each slide a “block.”

Don’t forget to rename your project by clicking on the default name.

rename animoto video

Step 4 – Select your global assets and settings

Along the left side you’ll find global settings. You can adjust these at any time, but starting here makes sense since these settings affect each block.

MEDIA TAB

If you have all of your assets ready to go, good for you! Upload them via the “Media” tab.

animoto review media tab

If you don’t know what assets you’ll be using quite yet, no worries! You can add your images and graphics within each block.

PRO TIP

I usually upload my logo now since I know I’ll be using it. 😉

DESIGN TAB

Next up, go to the “Design” tab to select the font type, font color, and background you’ll be using. Here’s where you can set your brand colors. These settings apply to ALL blocks.

animoto design tab

PRO TIP

Set your default text and background colors FIRST! If you change these settings at the end of creating your video, you’ll override any custom color settings you used.

FILTERS TAB

To give your images and blocks a cohesive look, then select a filter via this tab.

animoto review filters tab

MUSIC TAB

On the “Music” tab, you can listen to the template’s default song. Click “Change Song” to hear other background music options. Then select the one you want.

Animoto lets you choose from thousands of commercially licensed songs in different genres. (One of my favorite features of the app!)

animoto music tab

Step 4 – Edit the pre-built blocks and create new ones with your content

Now you’re going to edit Animoto’s pre-built blocks and create new ones as needed.

Using your outline and blog post as guides, start editing the blocks.

To edit an existing block, mouse over it to reveal your options. I call this the “quick edit” screen. You can make edits here by clicking on any of the icons.

animoto review quick edit

I recommend clicking “SEE MORE” in the right corner to open a larger view of the block.

animoto review edit text

Your editing will vary based on the storyboard template you selected.

There are four main categories to edit, each of which is represented by an icon:

• Timing
• Voice over
• Text
• Image/Video

Click on each icon to make edits per block. Animoto’s intuitive icon-based interface makes changes simple!

make changes with animoto icons

For example, in the screenshot above, the app’s icons and text-based labels make it easy to know what to click to modify text, change colors, upload and delete images or videos, change image position, and clip videos.

While the pre-built blocks are helpful, most likely you’ll need to create your own blocks.

To create a new block, scroll to the last block in your storyboard, and select the “Add a Block” option.

animoto review add a block

There are five types of blocks:

1. Text
2. Photo
3. Video
4. Collage
5. Logo

add a block animoto review

Select the block type you want to add. Then click and drag the newly created block to the correct position on the storyboard.

PRO TIP

Don’t spend time worry about which block type to use. Most block types allow the addition of a photo, video, or text. For instance, if you select a Photo block, you have the option to add text. If you create a Text block, you have the option to add a photo. And so on.

In the lower left corner of the quick edit screen, you can use the double square icon to duplicate a block or use the trashcan icon to delete a block.

duplicate or delete block animoto

Work your way through your outline until you’ve formatted/designed a block for each point you want to cover.

ABOUT IMAGES AND VIDEO CLIPS

Visual content attracts clicks and engagement, so you’ll want to include images in your marketing video.

Animoto doesn’t include free images or video slices. If you don’t have images or video clips, then you can purchase them from places such as DepositPhotos.com or Adobe Stock.

For the example in this tutorial, I used images and video clips from Pixabay.com and Pexels.com. These images are free for commercial use without attribution per the CC0 license. However, consider investing in your visual content to avoid copyright infringement.

Step 5 – Create your cover and last slides

Your video’s beginning and ending are important!

Your first slide is what grab’s attention and will be used as your video’s cover image.

Create a new text or photo block and modify the elements so that the video’s title is clear and obvious.

animoto review video title

For a highly customized, branded look, you could re-use your blog’s featured image as the first slide.

animoto review featured image for video

This is a good option to get your logo and brand colors up front and center.

Don’t forget: you’re using video to drive traffic to your site, so don’t forget to include a call to action in the last slide.

Also, I recommend using your logo so that people remember your name and brand.

Create a logo block, upload your logo or drag it from the Media tab, and add your URL using the text option. Use the slider to make your logo the size you prefer.

PRO TIP

Use the logo animation option to give your logo a bit of zest!

animoto review logo as image

animoto logo animation

Step 6 – Preview, Edit, Download, and Share Your Video

It’s finally time to watch your video!

In the upper right, click the “Preview” button.

animoto storyboard preview

It will take about 15 seconds for Animoto to prepare the video preview.

During playback, pay close attention to the:

• Transitions
• Flow of content
• Timing/speed
• Visuals
• Music

Click “Continue Editing” to go back to your dashboard if you need to fix any blocks.

Once you’re done editing, you’ll be ready to start the download process—unless you have a trial account.

You can still download your video with a trial account; however, the video will have a large Animoto watermark like this:

animoto watermark

If you like your video, I recommend upgrading to a Professional account at this time.

Either way, when you’re ready to download your video, select the “Produce” button.

animoto produce video

Next, fill out the video’s details, such as title, date, and description.

Make sure you select which block to use as the Cover Image. (If you don’t select one, Animoto will!)

animoto review produce video

Click “Finish” so that Animoto can save your final video to different resolutions.

NOTE: You can always continue editing your video—even after you’ve created a “final” version.

After Animoto is done saving your video, click the “Settings” option under the “Options” area.

animoto review privacy settings

Under Settings, set your privacy preferences.

I uncheck “Allow comments” in the “Privacy Options.” These are comments that appear below the Animoto version of your video. I keep social sharing enabled.

animoto privacy options

In the Settings area, you can choose to display a call-to-action button at the end of your video. Here’s what that might look like:

animoto cta button

When you use the button, Animoto displays it after your last block plays. The app places the button on your cover image, which may or may not be visually appealing, so take a look at it first.

Your CTA button can be an http, https, or mailto link.

animoto review mailto function

Now you’re ready to download and share your video! Finally!

Animoto takes the guesswork out of dealing with compression, quality, and other technical details.

You can share your video to many different platforms directly from within Animoto, including:

• YouTube
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Pinterest
• LinkedIn
• Wistia
• Vimeo
• WordPress
• and more!

Or you can embed your video directly into your blog. Choose a few settings and Animoto generates the HTML code for your website.

embed animoto video

There’s also the option to link to your video with a URL.

If you want to save the video files to your computer, click “Download” (above the Settings option). Select which resolutions to save to your computer.

animoto review video quality

You can choose from:

• 1080p HD (great for YouTube)
• 720p HD (works well on Facebook)
• 480p (looks nice on Twitter)
• 360p

And voila! Your video is done! Check out mine:

Wrapping Up

Animoto has more features than I could cover in this post, so be sure to check them out!

This is an easy, quick method to build up video content for your blog, YouTube channel, and social media platforms. No excuses!

Please share links to your videos in the comments below, and let me know how videos are working in your business.

animoto review pinterest

Author Meghan Monaghan

Meghan specializes in Twitter Marketing through her company Smart Bird Social. Her background includes extensive experience in writing, marketing, visual content, and web design for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporations. A portion of her business endeavors supports her true passion: rescuing retired racing greyhounds and retired hunting Spanish galgos so that they may live out their lives as loving pets rather than be destroyed. Connect with Meghan on Twitter: @MeghanMonaghan1

More posts by Meghan Monaghan
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