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Episode 128 - Making Your First Video

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Hey, Scott Austin here.

This podcast episode is going to be show and tell. So if you listen to the audio version, no, there's also a video version that is a link to in the show notes. if we're going to talk about in this episode is how to create a simple video.

I'm a big believer that every eCommerce store, every eCommerce store in 2024 should be creating video as part of its content marketing for its products. And that video could be an about story. It could be about how the product, you know, the benefits of the product could be how you could use the product, all sorts of things. Making video for how you could put those videos on your website.

You could use that an edge you can post shows or on your own YouTube channel. There's lots of places you can use those videos.

That said, for as much as I'm always telling my clients, you should be creating videos, not all of them do. there's a lot of trepidation about creating videos.

So here what I want to show you is a really quick and easy way to make a pretty effective and impactful video. So the way I'm going to do this, I'm on a Windows machine, so I'm going to use free Microsoft software for video creation. And that software is called Clip Chimp. So if you're on a Windows PC, you can open up clip champ.

If you don't have it, you can download it onto your computer. And what I love about clip champ is, A, it's free. And B, it's really simple and fairly intuitive on how to do things. And it has a lot of the features that the much more sophisticated video editing software has, but it's not as robust, which actually means it's more easy, more intuitive to wrap your head around some of the concepts.

So I'm going to walk you through creating a video end to end inside of clip chip.

So the video I'm going to make in this demo is one that I'm actually going to use. So I own a cabin that I Airbnb. So I'm going to make a add video for my cabin as my demo for you.

So the first thing I did is I put together a script for my video, and the script then drove the rest of what I'm doing for visual assets inside the video. And I just opened up my text file to pretty short little script. That's pretty easy. I actually use I to consolidate my Airbnb listing and then I edited it a little bit from there to come up with the final script that I'm going to be using for this.

And the beautiful thing about Clip Champ, one of my favorite features in it is that it does text to speech really, really well. So I'm not even going to do a voiceover for this video. I'm going to have the software to the voiceover based on the script that I wrote. And what I find is when you do a script first video that drives all your decisions, so you got to go out and find assets for all the things you're talking about.

And it also determines the timing of when you're switching and navigating between different parts of the video, the visual parts of it. So looking at my script, I went in and got an introductory video. I shot some drone footage of my cabin last year, so I got one drone video to start with and one drone video to end with, but I don't have any video of the interior of the cabin.

So for that I use static photos. So I brought together ten photos that I want to use that follow along in the story that's in the script. Then I also have one more asset, which is a logo which I'm going to use for the closing screen. So to get started and clip champ, I've got it open right now.

I'm just going to click on Create your first video. And the first thing it's going to ask me to do is to import my media. So I'm going to take all the assets that I have in that folder. The two videos, the ten photos and the logo, and I'm going to select those and drag those in to the import.

Your media section and it's going to load all of them in and it might take a minute for it to load them all up. And then because we're going to be doing a transcript, I want to put that transcript into this also, and that's under record and create a link. There's a text to speech option, so I'm just going to grab that text to speech and drop it in to this nav menu that I have.

And the way that a lot of video editing software works is you got one big window with your whole application and then it divides things up in a whole bunch of different windows. And, you know, it takes a while to get used to them and you'll figure it out over time. One of those windows is going to be the resultant video that you're creating, and usually below that there's a timeline and you're going to be doing it.

You're going to be adding assets to your timeline along the time, and you're also going to be stacking them and you'll see how that works here in a little bit. So you can have images overlaying each other, text over the images and all that kind of stuff. But that timeline becomes where you build and edit a lot of your video.

So I'm going to add that text to speech box. I'm going to take the script that I wrote and I'm just going to select all copy and then paste it into the section and save and what it does when I save, it's actually processing that into the audio file that it's going to be using for this video. And you can, as soon as it's done, save and you can actually play it.

And in a clip, champ, there's lots of voices that you can use, right? So you can pick, you know, American, British, Australian, you know, types of accents for English. But also when you're looking at just American English and I'm looking at there's lots of different voices. There's at least ten, maybe even 20 of them. So if I select that and go to text to speech up here, you can see it says voice.

And there's a list of all these voices. And that was Evan. I like her the best because she seems to enunciate really well and have a little bit of enthusiasm. Right? So let's just pick a random one, another one here. Let's just pick Roger and see what he sounds like.

So I selected Roger. Then I save it. It makes a new audio file and now I can play that. So for your brand, you can go through these voices. If you don't want to recording your own voiceover and you can pick the one that works best for for your brand. And like I said, I like Ava the best.

She's got. She's a little bit upbeat, enunciate really well. So I'm going to go back to Avery, save it, and I'm going to use that for the rest of this. So now that I've got my transcript in there and it's got the text to speech going on, so now I have an audio voiceover, I'm just going to move that over a few seconds so that there's a little bit of a pause before I start.

And now I'm going to go back to my media section, which is one of those windows that I have, and I'm going to file and the intro video, the opening video, and I'm going to drag that onto my timeline and and drop it in and I'm going to move it all the way to the right. So it's at the very start.

if I select a timeline, I can see what that video looks like at certain points in the timeline.

so now I've got my first video in there. The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to drop my photos and I numbered them already for how I want them to be ordered in the video.

So I'm just going to drop them in one at a time in the order that I want them.

All right. So I got my ten photos added. I also have a closing video. I'm going to drop that into my timeline. And I've also got the closing logo and I'm just going to drop that in and I'm going to layered over the top of the video.

Remember I mentioned before in the timeline of layers and whatever's at the top is what shows up. And then you can have things underneath you. You have something pop up and hide what's below it or just a little overlay for text. So this is my first layer that I'll put in there on alternating things out. So now I've got all my visual assets in there, I've got my voiceover in there.

One last thing I want to throw in is a background music I like putting. Even when you have voice going on, I like a little bit of background music, really soft, really subtle. I find that it works nice to, you know, especially if you're doing a voice recording. It pulls out any slight noise imperfections or drowns out any slight noise imperfections that there may be.

So I've used one before and it was called Rising Star. This one's inside of the Clip Champ Library. It was one of the free ones that they have.

They also have paid ones. I also get a lot of the paid ones from my Adobe subscription that I have, but for this case here, I'm just to use Rising Star.

Going to add it to the timeline, I'm going to put it underneath my voiceover and I'm going to move that all the way to the beginning. Now, if I select that rising star audio track in my timeline, I'm going to do a couple of things to it. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to do a fade in effect, in a fade out effect, and I'm going to adjust the volume to be really, really low.

I'm going to put it at 10% because like I said, I want that to be background, I want to be subtle. I want the voice to be the first thing you hear when both the voice and the music are going together. So I'm just going to click in to a few seconds in, let you listen to the voiceover and the music at the same time.

So I like that with the voices, what you definitely hear and you really have to struggle to hear the music. That's that's the level. I want this music back. I don't want my music to be dominated in this situation. Now, there's other videos you may make where the music is more in the forefront of your audio experience, so you'd have that music being louder.

But I want to keep mine really subtle.

So now all my assets are now in the in the video. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to listen to my video and I'm going to time everything based on the audio track. So the voiceover is what's going to determine when I switch things. All right. So the first thing I want to do is to start playing my audio track and I know about in my mind where I want to start going from the first opening video to the first photo.

It's right there as soon as you step inside, so I'm going to play it again. So I was playing it in the timeline and what I'm gonna do is going to stop it. Stop. So now I've stopped it and I've got this head or track at that point.

I know that's where I want my video to end and my photo to start.

So I just dragged my photo to that head and I put it above the video. Now, I could have the video just fade out if I wanted to, but what I'm going to do instead, because the video is a fly away from the cabin, it starts off of the cabin really close up and the drone flies away and zooms out and you see where the cabin is positioned in the mountain that it's sitting upon.

So I like that whole stretch sequence. So I'm going to take my video and I'm going to select the speed for it and what I'm going to do is I'm going to adjust my speed so that it plays the whole video

I'm going to put my photo right next to that video, and that's going to give me the transition moment between video and photo. So if I go back to right about where it's about to end, it might play. We're going

So now what I have to do is that same thing for all of my assets, right? So I have to decide side when I am going to end this photo and bring up the next photo and then the next, the next, the next. And I have ten photos to go through and do that.

So I'll pause my recording, I'll do that, and I'll come back when it's all set up, and then we'll move on to the next steps.

All right, I'm back. I've been editing for about 5 minutes to adjust the time for each of the videos in photos in this series. And the whole video is now about a minute and a half long. Now I have edited with this video before in these assets, so it probably took me a little bit quicker than if I was doing it from scratch.

But it's really not that hard to do. And as long as you keep listening to what the audio is saying and figure out where, where, where's the best place to end this photo and start that photo, it just guides you along the way. So now I want to do a couple of things with my photos. The first one is I'm doing a 16 by nine aspect ratio for the video, which is a normal YouTube video, and my photos are four by three aspect ratio.

So what I need to do is go into each of my photos and edit the size of them to fill the screen because with a four by three photo inside of a 16 by nine aspect ratio, you've got the black boxes, the edges on the left and right that I want to not have those. So what I'm doing is I'm selecting a photo and then I'm right clicking and seeing resize and changing it to fill, which makes the photo a little bit bigger than the 16 by nine.

And then I get to adjust vertically where I want to place that photo, you know, where I want to crop that photo. Essentially for each one of those photos. So I'll go I'll go through written two of them while talking to you. I'll go through the next eight of them and then I'll be back again.

All right. That took probably less than a minute to do.

All my photos are now filling the full 16 by nine screen. Now the next thing I'm going to do is going to add a transition effect from video to photo and then photo to photo. And if you go into the transitions inside of clip champ, there's a whole bunch of them and they do all these fancy, funky things.

If you've ever used video editing software, you know what I'm talking about. If you use PowerPoint, you know what I'm talking about. With all the different fancy effects you can do. My opinion about this is less is more. It's really easy to start focusing on the effects in the video and in all these other things inside the video editing software.

What's really important is the content, right? So I like letting the content speak for itself as much as possible, and I'm just putting effects in to make things a little less jarring to the audience. So for all of these, I'm just going to do a simple crossfade effect.

So I'm just going to drag that crossfade down from the menu into each of the transitions or joining points between the photos and the videos.

So now I've got my transitions all in place between them. We're going to do is going to take my logo and I'm also going to fade that out at the end. So to just fade to black over a second at the end of the video.

So now I've got all of my videos and photos in, I've got my voiceover and the next thing I want to do is edit my back background audio a little bit, so have to make it the right length for the video. And there's one little small edit I'm going to do. So what I'm going to do here is if you look at the audio file, you can actually see the waveform for the heights of it.

It shows you, you know, how much volume there is. And the song starts out like many songs do, slightly mellow, and then there's a little bit of a crescendo where it like moves into the next phase kind of thing. And I thought timing, that opening crescendo with the transition from the video, my first video to my first photo where I take you from outside to inside would be a nice little auditory backup and support to the transition that we're doing.

So you can't do this between every single shot that you're doing. You can't time your music to everything, but if you can time your music to one or two points, it actually can can have a little impact. So in my audio file, I can see where that point is. So I'm going to do is I'm going to shorten my audio file for a second.

I'm going to move that wave form point where I can see the crescendo thing happen, right to the transition that I have from video to photo. And then I'm going to take my audio back to the beginning and I'm going to have a fade in for my audio file of 2 seconds, which I did earlier. So it's going to fade.

And so it doesn't matter where I started that video for this thing because we're feeding it in, people won't notice that it's not at the beginning or some kind of wrong point. So now it's going to play that for you. And in our background, music is kind of subtle in volume, so I'm just going to raise that up so you can hear what I'm talking about we're going to start right here and play it.

G. Right when the piano came in, that was the transition to the photo. So I like the way that is. So I'm going to go take my audio back down in volume to the 10% that I had it at.

Okay. So I now have the audio track for music, the audio track for text to speech.

All my videos and all my photos I think timed up. Okay, one last thing to do here, and that is my audio track. I've got to shorten that to be the length of my video and because I already put that fade out effect on that, it's okay that, you know, we're going to break in that audio track in some random place, but it's going to be fading for the last 2 seconds.

So, you know, nobody's really going to notice that that that timing thing.

So now I've got the the basic layout and timing of my photos and in my audio and my video.

but static photos are really boring in a movie or in a video. All right. So what we want to do is we want to add a little bit of motion to our photos, which is going to have a huge impact on engagement for the customer.

You know, they're going to see a moving image which is going to make them watch with more interest than if it was just static photos. So what I'm going to do for each one of my photos is I'm going to open up the effects menu. And just like the transition menu, there are tons and tons of effects and they do all sorts of funky things, right?

And you've seen videos on YouTube and such with all that stuff going on. But remember for us, what we want is our content to drive the experience, not the fancy editing that we're doing. So once again, I'm going to pick one simple thing that I'm going to be doing from my effects and that is a slow zoom, and it's just going to zoom a little bit from left to right or top to bottom.

And what I get to do for each one of my photos when I add this slow zoom effect, I get to say a couple of things. The speed that slow zoom is going to happen, and I just take the default speed and the direction that it's going to go in left to right, top to bottom, that kind of stuff.

And if I want that zoom to go forward and backwards so as I select each image, I then am making the decision about, you know, which way do I want it to go and all that kind of stuff. So it's a little bit of thinking you have to do. You might want to, you know, try one thing, try it another way, you know, you know, view it yourself and see if you like it or not kind of stuff.

All right. So now I've got a full video here. I can export this as is. I've got, you know, a visual thing, whether it's the video or the photos. I've got the transitions going between them. I've got them full in the full screen, I've got motion on my video, all that good stuff. But I want to add one more thing, just to show you how you can add more information.

And that so what we're going to do in this situation is we're going to add some text. So I'm just going to go to the section where we talk about five bedrooms and I'm going to put in a little text. And once again, with text options, there are tons that you can choose from doing all sorts of funky things.

This one here I am going to pick one with an effects instead of just plain text because I like a little bit of motion to draw your eye to that text because you may not see it if it's just like in the corner or something. So I'm going to pick one that they call clean title and it's going to drop that in.

Now I'm going to put that above the photo that I want it to be on. Remember that we have a layering thing here, so put it above. The text will be seen and then the photo will be underneath it. And then I'm going to change the placement of that to be in the corner that I want it to be in.

It gives me an option. It's got this box around, around the outside. It's going to put some color around that and I'm going to put in my text where it just says five bedrooms

and then I'm going to time that text. So on my timeline, I can, you know, move that text and I can, you know, expand the time that it's playing for the time it's playing for.

And I'm going to have it span over the two photos that show bedrooms. And I'm going to start after the transition finishes for the photo underneath. So it'll be the photo for a second. Then the text will come in, then the second photo will show up and then right before the photo starts going away on its transition, I'm going to have the text fade away.

Now I like that, adding the text in there in case someone isn't listening to well, and they get that second piece of information reinforcing the main message once again. So there's a lot, you know, less is more. You don't want to like have all sorts of text flying everywhere with everything you're talking about. But what I might actually do on this one before I finish it out is add a couple more pieces of text.

So there's a few of these panes that have a little bit of extra information in the text box instead of just one. But that's it. You know, I've now been working on this for 40 minutes so I can export this. Now. There's a little export capability. I can make a ten ADP file in the free version, which is all I ever do on these.

There's a paid version where you can do a 4K video if you want it to also. But I can export that. And now I have a video that I could add to YouTube or add it on my website and use however I want to. So in 40 minutes time, you know, I've gone through the learning curve. I've made a few of these videos through the software, but for you, if you know in your Shopify store, you're not doing videos yet, I highly encourage you to pick up Microsoft clip champ and just start using it and get over that learning curve.

You know, even if you don't have a good video recorder, even if you don't have a good microphone or good lighting or a set up to record videos, What I'm showing you here in this video is you can use assets like just photog photography and you can write a script and have the computer dictate that script, that script out for you so you don't have to record yourself and have those recording devices in space to do that kind of stuff.

So, you know, I honestly think there's there's nothing stopping any store owner from going out and creating their first video if they haven't been creating video already. So please, if you haven't done it, go make your first video. I'd love to see what you're doing.

Thanks for listening.

JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.