If video isn’t already an important part of your content marketing strategy, odds are it’s about to be. Web content is taking a turn toward video whether SEOs and content marketers like it or not. Nearly 50% of marketers are adding YouTube and Facebook channels for video distribution in the next year; one third of online activity is spent watching video; and Video Editing itself is projected to account for more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. 80%!
For those looking to continue to grow their organic traffic, that means one thing:
Not an expert? Don’t know how to edit videos, have a video studio, or have a bona fide video specialist to shoot and cut your features? That’s alright! The goal of today’s blog is to show you that with the right online video editor, you too can churn out sleek, professional video content—regardless of experience—and keep your content strategy ahead of the curve.
Let’s dive in! Here are our recs for the best pieces of video editing software or video editing apps for beginners—from cheapest (i.e. free!) to most expensive.
We’ll put this more in the category of a online video editor than video editing software, but for social media marketers who want to create fun, flashy social promos in the blink of an eye, Lumen5.com is a no brainer.
Lumen5 markets itself as a tool that turns blog posts into social promos. While the process isn’t perfect, and you’ll likely have to do some tinkering to get your blog content looking just the way you want it, the rest of the video creation process is a cinch. Merely refine some copy that teases your blog post; drag and drop some gifs, screengrabs, or video clips; add some music; and your engaging social video will be ripe for Facebook and Twitter.
Standout Features: Blog-to-social-promo creation; drag-and-drop interface
Pricing: Create as many 480p videos as you want with the free version; or, for $50 per month, upgrade to 1080p HD.
2. Nero Video Premium 3 2018
One of the cheaper options around ($19.99), Nero Video holds its own on this list—it comes well-stocked with a lot of the tricks and effects you’ll find among other products vying for video editing supremacy, and as far as software for beginners, you can certainly do worse. If you’re going to spend money learning how to edit videos, however, you might want to steer clear. Nero just doesn’t have the speed and functionality of some of the other products listed here, and if it’s value proposition is its price, $50 is still not all that cheap.
Standout Features: Low pricing
Pricing: One-time payment of $19.99 Buy Now
3. Corel VideoStudio 2020 Pro
Corel VideoStudio has all the characteristics of the other top-of-the-line products on this list, including 360-degree VR and 4k support, but it also has the distinction of being the first piece of consumer video editing software to offer motion tracking—which, if you’re not already familiar, is a feature that allows you to track specific objects throughout your cut (if you wanted, say, to point an arrow at one of your characters, blur out his face, or bestow him with a funny hat). Most of the products on this list come equipped with motion tracking, but corel videostudio video editing softwares still boasts one of the best motion tracking systems around.
One of the knocks on VideoStudio is its speed, which lags notably behind some of the faster systems on this list, like CyberLink PowerDirector and Pinnacle Studio. Still: for a one-time payment of $39.99? You can do much worse.
Standout Features: Motion tracking
Pricing: One-time payment of $39.99 Buy Now
4. Filmora from Wondershare
When it comes to video editing software, Filmora is about as multi-faceted as they come. Filmora is Wondershare’s standard, simple, high-quality video editing offering; but Wondershare also offers FilmoraGo (for mobile editing) and Filmora Scrn (for screen recording and editing). The design is intuitive and easy to use, and comes replete with filters, overlays, motion elements, transitions, and a small selection of royalty-free music. Here are a few more of the “basics” Filmora offers:
4k and gif support are boilerplate features for most video editing products today, but one thing Filmora does particularly well is titles. Title tools are trending in video software, and while Filmora’s doesn’t have the functionality of say, an Apple Final Cut Pro X, which can superimpose 3D titles over your videos and rotate them on three axes, it nonetheless has some snazzy titling features for the money you’re spending.
Another Filmora feature beginners to video editing will find attractive is “Easy Mode,” which allows you to create fun, polished edits by merely dragging and dropping clips, choosing a theme, and selecting music.
Standout features: Title tool; mobile and screen editing; “Easy Mode”
Pricing: Starts at $59.99 for a lifetime license; or, $39.99 for a year. Download For Free
5. CyberLink PowerDirector
So—we stretched the meaning of “software” a bit earlier; now, we’re going to stretch the meaning of “beginner.” We included CyberLink PowerDirector on this list because its interface is, at the end of the day, pretty straightforward. Head to the product page, run through the tutorials, and you’ll be alright. There is within the interface, however, an embarrassment of options and effects. If you’re not willing to invest the time in learning all of them, it can get a bit overwhelming.
Don’t be scared of CyberLink’s extra features; just be wary of your commitment level!
In terms of rendering, PowerDirector is regarded as one of the fastest video editing systems around. It also operates consistently in the sphere of the innovative and cutting edge. PowerDirector led the charge in the switch to 4k, and today, it’s one of the first systems to support 360-degree virtual reality footage.
Price: you get what you pay for! $79.99 gets you unlimited access to one of the most capable pieces of video editing software around.
Standout Features: Lightning-fast rendering; comprehensive suite of effects
Pricing: One-time payment of $79.99 Buy now
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6. Adobe Premiere Elements 2020
We include Premiere Elements on the list mostly because it’s been an industry leader in the video editing game for some time. And $69.99 is not egregious, but we’re here to say that at that price, you’re mostly paying for the name. In the time since Premiere Element’s inception, too many other products have surpassed it in speed and capability for us to place it among the cream of the crop. That’s to take nothing away from the premiere elements usability, though—specifically for beginners.
The Guided Edits feature makes Adobe Premiere a particularly attractive option for beginners, as it allows them to take on both quick edits and advanced projects with substantial assistance from the software.
If you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing, don’t sleep on Guided Edits!
So while Premiere Elements lags behind the competition in terms of speed, 3D editing, multi-cam, and some other advanced features, it’s still a great choice for the beginner looking for a comprehensive suite of effects, and some guidance on how to implement them.
Standout Features: Guided Edits; simple interface
Pricing: One-time payment of $69.99 Buy now
7. Pinnacle Studio
At the higher end of the Corel product line is pinnacle software—which, at $79.99 (the amount you’ll need to pay to edit 360-degree and 4k content with the “Ultimate” version), costs more than twice as much as VideoStudio. What do you get for the extra money? Well, not only does Pinnacle come readily equipped with all the features you’d expect from an upper-echelon product—motion tracking, 360-degree VR support, 4k support, multi-cam, etc.—but you’d be hard-pressed to find a faster product on the market in terms of rendering.
For all of its features, Pinnacle’s interface is still as user-friendly and intuitive as anything on this list. Thus, is you have the need for speed, and you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for it, Pinnacle might be the product for you.
Standout Features: Top-of-the-line rendering speeds; full range of features and support
Pricing: One-time payment of $79.99 Buy Now
Some Final Thoughts
Are you a content or social media marketer looking to get in the video editing game for the sake of keeping up with the growing video trend? Don’t stress! Any of the above software apps would make a fine choice for a beginner.
Think about your budget, your current level of expertise, and how much time you’re willing to devote to learning a new skill. Whether you’re looking for the best video editing software for YouTube, or the responsibility has simply fallen on you to get your team’s video marketing strategy up to snuff—don’t wait around deliberating! Get invested in one of these video editing products, and make it yours.