Choose your video editing software

1. Define the types of videos you want to make, and your video editing goals.

Consider: Video content strategy goals, like building brand awareness, growing your brand’s YouTube channel, or converting leads through video. Who your target audience for video content is and which channel you intend to share content on. Which video formats, like interviews, livestreams, or event videos, fit into your video content strategy. Personal goals, like learning how to key frame or make a stop motion video for Instagram.

2. Create a list of the features needed to edit the type of videos you want to make.

Examples of types of videos and corresponding features that can be useful: Company culture and brand videos: basic audio control, color correction, camera stabilization, and ability to add transitions, music, logo, and lower-thirds. Social media videos: color correction, ability to add branded graphics, capability to resize video for different channels, file output that is compatible with social media channel. Commercial: many editing tracks and capabilities for audio, color, transitions, and key framing. Interview: basic color and audio correction, lower-third and graphics, and captioning tools. Stop motion: user interface designed for stop motion, like Stop Motion Studio or Stop Motion Animator 1.1. Videos with lots of action: motion tracking, masking, transitions, and motion graphics. Livestreams: compatibility with your camera and microphone, and screen recording. Event videos: multi camera editing and audio mixing and noise correction. Instructional videos: simple interface, quick to learn, and screen recording capabilities, like Loom. Animated videos: user interface designed for animation, character templates, animation features like walk cycles, puppet tools, rigging, and more. Some options are Blender, Adobe Animate, and Animaker.

3. Identify more desired features, like customer support or user interface preferences, based on your experience level.

Important features based on your experience level: For beginners: lots of tutorials and walkthroughs, resource library, guided edits, simple interface, good customer support. Some options are Filmora from Wondershare, Adobe Premiere Elements, Windows Movie Maker, and Apple iMovie. For intermediate: user interface that has many editing features but lets you focus on a few at a time, library of plugins and templates, tutorials to learn more. Some options are Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Pinnacle Studio. For experts: extensive features, unlimited editing tracks, full audio control, key framing, integrates with full workflow, fast rendering speeds. Some options are Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro with full creative suite.

4. List your technical specifications, including what type of operating system you use and the desired output format.

Some video editing software only runs on certain operating systems. Check which operating system your most frequently used devices need. The most common are MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS (iPhones), and Linux. To decide an output format, consider where you want the videos to go: Social media: MP4 and MOV. YouTube: MP4, MOV – can also accept AVI, WMV, and more. Email: MP4. Website: MP4, WebM, and WebVTT. TV: MOV or AVI.

5. Rank your top 3-5 software criteria by deciding which are most important to you.

For example: Simple user interface. Can easily convert videos to fit Instagram’s aspect ratio. Lots of tutorials and guides for the software. Price, preferably free or under $50 one-time fee.

6. Gather a list of options by searching online for video editing software that matches your criteria.

Search for options and learn more about them by: Searching best video editing program for [criteria] for each of your main priorities, the video type you want to create, and your price point. Looking at roundup blog posts about the year’s current top software with pros and cons. Going to specific software websites to view their full offerings. Asking friends or colleagues what they use or recommend based on your priorities.

7. Compare video editing platforms through comparison sites like Technology Evaluation, PCmag, or FinancesOnline: Reviews for Businesses.

8. Look at reviews to assess customer satisfaction and see if they deliver on what is promised.

Look out for mentions of bad customer support, frequent crashes, software instabilities, lack of updates, common complaints, and technical issues. Review sites include: G2 reviews PCmag reviews The specific software’s website or page in the app store.

9. Experiment through free trials to see what works best for you.

If they offer a free trial or a free program, try out some that fit most of your criteria. Some options with a free trial are: Adobe Premiere Pro Pinnacle Studio Contentflow Live Streaming Platform Pixiko Final Cut Pro Camtasia.