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Best Video Editing Software For Beginners

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 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 video editing software, 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 top 10 best pieces of video editing software or video editing apps for beginners—from cheapest (i.e. free!) to most expensive.

1. Lumen5: How to Edit Videos Without Much Technical Ability

We’ll put this more in the category of a video editing “tool” than video editing software, but for social media marketers who want to create fun, flashy social promos in the blink of an eye, Lumen5 is a no brainer. Here’s a short little feature we made for a recent blog post, 14 Fun & Festive Holiday Marketing Ideas for 2017:  

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. Filmora from Wondershare

When it comes to free 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. The App from Filmoracomes free.

3. VSDC Free Video Editor

A brilliant video suite for Windows. Edit and cut videos to a professional standard, and apply special filters and effects.

FOR Non-linear editing, Excellent selection of effects and transitions, Easy to master, Supports 120fps video export.

AGAINST Hardware acceleration must be disabled before you can export videos.

Update: The latest version of VSDC features a vastly improved user interface, with a smart new dark design and the ability to detach the timeline. This gives you a lot more flexibility with your video editing software, particularly when working on multiple monitors.

The software now also supports 360-degree video, and allows you to export clips at 120fps. There are look-up tables (LUTs) for pro-level color grading too, and automatic alignment when dragging objects. Original review continues below.

VSDC Free Video Editor is a feature-packed non-linear video editing suite that can compete with even expensive editing software. There are no extra programs bundled in the installer – just the occasional prompt to upgrade to the premium edition.

With VSDC you can create video projects from a combination of video clips, still images and audio files, with a resolution of up to 1,980 x 1,080 (full HD) and a maximum frame rate of 30fps. There's also a built-in screen capture tool for recording video and taking still images from your desktop – ideal for software reviews and tutorials. VSDC also offers an extensive range of video and audio filters, plus stylish transitions. 

You can export finished projects in a variety of formats, with handy ready-made profiles for popular devices. VSDC also provides a way to burn your project onto DVD – a feature rarely available in free editing software.

Videos in VSDC Free are made up of 'objects', which include video clips, images, audio files, sprites, animations and many other elements. You can layer these in various ways, including blending, overlaying, and masking. If you're interested in picture-in-picture or watermarking effects, this is an incredibly simple way to do it.

You can also add charts and text, which makes VSDC a brilliant tool for creating presentations with much more impact than a standard slideshow. 

Each object you add can be edited, moved and cut independently – nothing is final until you export your finished project. The audio and video effects are well worth exploring. They include various Instagram-style filters, as well as special effects like fire, smoke and water – all of which are fully customizable.

If all that isn't enough, VSDC Free receives regular updates that add even more features. The latest version is significantly faster than previous iterations, and includes a stabilization tool that's ideal for footage shot with a shaky smartphone. It also enables you to upload multiple files to YouTube.

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.

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