Choose your video editing software
1. Define your video editing goals and the types of videos you intend to make.
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.
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.
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. Define 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. Define which operating system compatibility is required based on the device you will use: Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, Google’s Android OS, Apple iOS (iPhones), or Linux operating system. To decide on an output format that the video editing software must offer, 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 priorities by deciding what matters most 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 dollar one-time fee.
6. Gather a list of options by searching online for video editing software that matches your criteria, reading roundup blog posts that include pros and cons, viewing features on provider websites, and asking for recommendations.
Search best video editing program for [criteria] for each of your main priorities, the video type you want to create, and your price point.
7. Compare video editing platforms using a comparison site like Technology Evaluation, PCmag, or FinancesOnline: Reviews for Businesses.
8. Look at reviews on sites like G2 reviews and PCmag reviews to assess customer satisfaction. Look for mentions of bad customer support, frequent crashes, software instabilities, lack of updates, and technical issues.
Reviews will help you gauge customer satisfaction and see if they deliver on what is promised.
9. Sign up for a free trial to get a feel for how the software will work for you in practice, or make a decision based on your existing research.
Some options with a free trial are: Adobe Premiere Pro Pinnacle Studio Contentflow Live Streaming Platform Pixiko Final Cut Pro Camtasia