- Published: Nov 7, 2020
- Last Updated: Mar 13, 2023
- 7 min. read
Jessica BonacciContent Writer
- Jessica is a Google Analytics certified Digital Video Analyst at WebFX. She has created over 100 videos for the WebFX YouTube channel (youtube.com/webfx) in the last two years. Jessica specializes in video marketing and also loves content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and many other aspects of digital marketing. When she’s not creating videos, Jessica enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, and watching movies.
Video marketing can help accelerate your digital marketing, but you probably know that already since you’re researching the best video editing software for your business.
It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole researching good video editors, only to come out more confused than you were in the beginning. Seriously, there are a lot of options out there.
Before you invest your time (and possibly your money) in what you consider the best video editing software, you need to have a clear understanding of why you need it.
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4 questions to better understand your video editing needs
1. What types of videos will you make?
If you only plan on creating very short, simple videos for social media, you’re probably better off downloading a free software. Your smartphone’s built in photo app may give you the quick editing capabilities you need, like adjusting the color and trimming clips. If you want to make longer videos with more options for customization, such as unique graphics and effects, a free video editor might be too limited for you. As a baseline, the simpler your videos are, the fewer features you’ll need in a video editing software.
2. How often will you create videos?
Knowing how frequently you’ll make videos can help determine what you should spend on your video editing software. If you’re just planning a one-off project, it’s probably best to either use a free video editing software or hire a professional video editor to put everything together. If you plan to use video regularly in your content marketing strategy, purchasing software might be a smart investment for your business. Hiring a video production team would be a great option in this case, too.
3. What is your video editing experience?
Video editing can be difficult if you choose the wrong software for your skill level. A basic video editing app on your phone will have a much smaller learning curve than a professional video editing system. If you upgrade to a professional-grade program, you’ll have access to many wonderful features, but mastering those features takes time.
4. What technology will you use to edit?
Some of the best video editing software is only available for certain operating systems. Knowing whether you’ll create videos on a Windows computer, a Mac, an iPhone, or any other device will help narrow down your options and make your decision a lot easier.
3 Free Digital Video Editors
Works with: macOS, iOS
Skill level: Beginner If you own a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, you already have iMovie available to you. This software is easy-to-use for creators of all skill levels and can handle 4K footage. While it might not have everything that comes with a paid video editing software, it has enough basic features to allow you to create a professional video in a short amount of time. It comes with:
- Customizable titles
- Green screen effects
- And more
A big benefit of iMovie is that you can use it across Apple devices. If you start a project on your iPad, but decide to move to a MacBook, you can do that easily with Apple’s iCloud or AirDrop. If you start with iMovie and decide to invest in Final Cut Pro, Apple’s paid video editing software, you shouldn’t have too much trouble opening the iMovie file in the new software. We’ll talk about Final Cut in more detail later in this post.
Works with: macOS, Windows, Linux
Skill level: Beginner OpenShot is an open-source video software meant to make custom videos easy. Unlike iMovie, you don’t need an Apple device to use Open Shot. Beyond simple cuts, its features include:
- The ability to animate elements of your video
- Unlimited layers
- 3D titles
- And more
OpenShot works with a variety of file formats, including audio, video, and images, so you shouldn’t be left wondering what to do with all of your clips.
Works with: macOS, Windows, Linux
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced DaVinci Resolve might be the best video editing software for someone who wants the capabilities of a paid software for free. In addition to basic video editing, DaVinci Resolve offers features for:
- Visual effects
- Color adjustments
- Audio production
If you want to get really in-depth, you can dive into visual effects like:
- Removing a green or blue screen
- Removing things you don’t want in your shot
- Isolating moving objects
- Working with 3D elements
- And more
It’s worth noting that a more advanced software, DaVinci Resolve Studio, is available for a one-time payment of $299 if you like the free version but want more features.
2 Paid Digital Video Editors
Works with: macOS, Windows
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced Adobe Premiere Pro is an industry-standard software that allows you to get really in-depth with your editing. With Premiere, you have access to a wide variety of:
- Customizable titles
- Audio and color correction tools
- And so much more.
Adobe offers two additional versions of Premiere for people who might not need all of the bells and whistles that come with the Pro software. Premiere Elements uses automation to make the video editing process simpler. While it’s not as robust as its Pro counterpart, it’s great for beginners looking to make quick edits. You can get a Premiere Elements license for $99.99. For editing on the go, Adobe also offers Premiere Rush. This editor, priced at $9.99/month, is focused on helping you get your videos online.
You can download the app, edit, and export—all on your phone (iOS or Android). If you’re looking to create custom graphics, Premiere’s companion, After Effects, can help you create stunning animations for your videos. The software is a bit advanced, but a quick YouTube tutorial search can get you on your way to understanding the basics. You can add After Effects to your editing dashboard for $20.99/month.
Works with: macOS
Price: $299.99 one-time payment
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced Final Cut Pro is Apple’s professional video editing software. While it’s only available on Apple products, it offers features as powerful as Premiere Pro’s. With Final Cut, you have access to:
- A library of transitions
- Audio effects
- Video effects
- Custom titles
- Much more
Like Premiere, Final Cut has a companion motion graphics software. You can make a one-time purchase of the software, Motion, for $49.99.
Get started with video editing today
When you make your final decision on which software to use, keep in mind that the best video editing software for beginners is usually the simplest.
People spend years learning how to edit (or they study it in college), so starting with a simple digital video editor and working your way up to a more complex program might be the easiest path to success. Video editing also requires a lot of time and patience, so if you already have a lot on your plate, you might want to hire professionals who can create videos and motion graphics for you.
To learn more about how WebFX can help your business grow with video production, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
Jessica is a Google Analytics certified Digital Video Analyst at WebFX. She has created over 100 videos for the WebFX YouTube channel (youtube.com/webfx) in the last two years. Jessica specializes in video marketing and also loves content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and many other aspects of digital marketing. When she’s not creating videos, Jessica enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, and watching movies.
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