Animoto - Effective video marketing or waste of effort?

29 replies
So, since video marketing is one of those weird new things that I don't know how to do and seems worth it to learn - I've started taking a course on it. The first thing the course-guy tells us is that the Animoto service is the best way to make videos. Why? because it's easy, fast, free for 30 seconds, and looks great at the end.

Now, I've always been of the impression that for videos to succeed they have to be VERY high-quality, and most of all, interesting. Something that's narrated with an energetic, friendly voice and featuring people in front of the camera showing how they do something. Something like the awesome "Will it blend?" videos from Blendtec.

But what I'm being told to do in this course is to take a few screenshots of my website and my product, plug 'em into Animoto, choose a song and away it goes, and that's good enough - I'll get my good traffic from that.

Does this sound feasible to you guys... I'm just a tiny bit skeptical of something like that. Granted, the videos do come out looking professional... but they are kind of boring to me, and I've learned that if a promotion is boring to me it will probably be 100 times more boring to somebody who doesn't have any vested interest in it like I have.

Of course doing it like this is infinitely easier, faster and cheaper than doing what I described above. That would almost certainly get prohibitively expensive fast.

Of course I'll certainly test this for myself. But it would be nice to get some feedback from warriors who are already out there putting this to use. What are your impressions, results, thoughts?
#animoto #effective #effort #marketing #video #waste
  • Profile picture of the author Spencer Westwood
    Summary - Waste of time.

    1. Animoto - pay them the $99 for the right to use the video for commercial purposes..
    2. Fiddle about getting it to look right with decent video editor and then convert right for video sharing sites like YT etc..
    3. Be very disappointed with the traffic generated. Doesn't convert....

    You can generated lots of videos and put in various keywords etc... but I'm starting to think that the 'throwing spagetti at the wall approach' is just not going to make it happen.

    Something short, memorable and funny/zany/scary/stupid will get lots of plays.

    Kind regards, Spencer
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    • Profile picture of the author bigbearmarketer
      Yea I think this is a waste of your time, first do some research on what ever your market may be and watch some videos that have high views and see what these people are doing.

      Next you want to at least get camtasia studeo at techsmith and download their free 30 day trial. I have an ebook that I just read called Killer video conversions and there are some pretty powerful techniques in it.

      If you want some more advice PM me or need any other questions answered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Kheifets
    The best video software is Camtasia Studio.
    You get the option to produce in any format you want,
    cursor is always highlited, it has an automatic zoom in features.

    It is basically the best ever screen capture video software..EVER!

    Igor
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  • Profile picture of the author milan
    I don't like Animoto videos for this type of presentation, but I do use the concept. I basically convert my articles to video. True, a personal video would do better but if you convert your article to a decent looking video and have it up within 2 minutes? It's better traffic than submitting an article to an article directory.

    Here is an example of what I do for traffic:

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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think this is one of those things where you have to decide if you are doing it for backlinks or traffic. Animoto makes nice videos and it's super fast.

    But I guess if you really want the big traffic, you have to create something controversial or funny so it gets noticed and people pass around the link, right?

    I've had some animoto style videos that I got some traffic from, but nothing like the crappy video that I did on how to grow basil in a container. It was a slideshow (still don't have a video camera) of photos I took of me planting the seeds etc.. Then I narrated it. It was totally lame (and not funny or controversial) but got me a lot more traffic than any of my slideshow - animoto style vids.

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry Behrens
    Thanks guys, it's good to have your thoughts on this.

    Spencer, bigbearmarketer and Igor, what you guys describe is what I originally think of when I think 'video marketing'. Something more genuine.

    Milan, you are right that the comparison between turning an article into a video in 2 minutes and actually trying to come up with a real video is staggering... and better to do a quickie than to do nothing at all.

    Lee, your video may have been lame as in not funny or scandalous but I'm sure it was plenty valuable to those who want to grow basil in their homes. I guess that's the trick as it always is - content that is valuable and solves a problem. In that context, a lame narrated slideshow sounds like good potential
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    - Harry Behrens

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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I personally wouldn't spend the money on the professional version of Animoto. You can't use the videos produced in the free version for commercial purposes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Hint: Think outside the box. Animoto videos are generally made with music, but there's nothing to stop you from recording a voiceover with music background and creating a snappy Animoto video with substance.
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      Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    If you like Animoto and want to use it to produce videos for commercial purposes, you'll have to pay for the commercial use version. However, a cheaper alternative might be:

    Movie Making and Video Editing Software for Easy Movie Making ? Add photos and videos to tell your story
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry Behrens
    Jani, good point... to be fair to my video marketing course guy, he's advocating Animoto videos for the backlinks and SEO benefits mostly... but I've always been of the mind that just because you're doing backlinks is no reason to leave the value behind. They essentially would be good-looking ads put up on blogs.

    Steven, I was not aware of that commercial purposes limitation... that is certainly contradictory to using them to build up backlinks I think. But I think many people use them that way anyway?

    Kevin, that's exactly the thought that was going through my mind Now if I can just get up the nerve to record my voice, lol
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
      Originally Posted by hmbehrens View Post

      Steven, I was not aware of that commercial purposes limitation... that is certainly contradictory to using them to build up backlinks I think. But I think many people use them that way anyway?
      Yep, you may not use the videos produced by Animoto's free version for commercial purposes of any kind. And a lot of people aren't aware of that. Just like some people are unaware that it is against the YouTube TOS to download the videos from their site.

      The other day, someone in IM who should really know better told me they download YouTube videos and brand them with their own URL's and re-upload them to YouTube and other video sharing sites, "since the videos on YouTube are not protected by copyright".

      Huh?

      I shook my head in disbelief over that one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Harry Behrens
        Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

        The other day, someone in IM who should really know better told me they download YouTube videos and brand them with their own URL's and re-upload them to YouTube and other video sharing sites, "since the videos on YouTube are not protected by copyright".
        hahaha To quote the Beach Boys, "Wouldn't it be nice!"
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  • Profile picture of the author kayelex
    Milan,

    Thanks for the example. That gave me some ideas
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  • Profile picture of the author kswr123
    NO, no no no no no and yes (actually, no)

    Animoto may be a good start, but you've GOTTA get pro and look to outsource - that is what the big players are doing - slick design and slick video can ONLY be done by a slick artist

    Mubarak
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  • Profile picture of the author tomson
    Well, I'm using Animoto for Backlinks - with the business license - $249 per year - its really great to produce fast videos with great music option.
    Taking Animoto video and spread them to the different video sharing websites - depends what kind of niche you're playing at - some bring more traffic some less.
    Camtasia videos and Sony Vegas videos is more for tutorial or content creation with more deep value in them -> You just cant control Animoto videos style.
    Creativity is the name of the game - think out side of the box - walk away from the herd.
    Conversion with video content raise up the total number of my campaigns.

    Tom
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    Who Dares - Wins!

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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Personally, I like Animoto. Here's one I made ...


    Cheers

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Animoto can create some great videos. But as Kevin Riley said, you need to think outside the box.

    And yes, I've made sales because of Animoto YouTube videos. And I'm not using the Business version.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenJ
      I am using animoto videos for my offline business to present products. I also have a collection of live recorded product videos. The mix is great and thousands of visitors watch them. And trust me the subject matter is quite basic and mundane.

      These videos set me apart from any competition. Customers ring up and say "I've seen the video on your website..............and I want some!"

      It would cost me a small fortune to market online like this without animoto and camtasia.

      Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author braver55b
      Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

      Animoto can create some great videos. But as Kevin Riley said, you need to think outside the box.

      And yes, I've made sales because of Animoto YouTube videos. And I'm not using the Business version.
      I bought some credits and sort of gave up on it when it didn't come out right as I didn't think it would convert to sales; but I have to say that I'm surprised that you were able to make sales using animoto.
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  • Profile picture of the author Harry Behrens
    Will, really nice video, that's definitely a good use of Animoto.

    By now I've purchased Camtasia and played around with it as well as have Animoto full version and have realized both are fantastic pieces of software that have different uses. Animoto is great for a certain type of video (presentational) and Camtasia is also great for another type (tutorial/value-driven).

    Add to that the more personal 'webcast' type, of filming yourself talking to the camera and those are three separate tools that can be used skillfully by a good video marketer (which I'm moving towards with the help of people here, thanks).
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingHuddle
    I kept getting violation reports from Google saying the music I chose in Animoto was a copywrite violation!! YIKES
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    Mike Saunders, MBA
    Small Business Marketing Consultant
    www.MarketingHuddle.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
      Okay, there's been plenty of discussion on Animoto, but let's get a few things corrected here.

      1) Animoto's "free" 30-Second version includes a HUGE final frame promoting their company.

      2) Even the "paid" version of Animoto does not allow for "commercial" use, other than on a site that YOU OWN. (In other words, you CAN NOT use it for a client.)

      3) If you drop your $99 "pro" membership, you lose all rights to use the video.

      All of this information came to me DIRECT from the owners of Animoto this spring via an exchange of emails, and has be verified by others.

      You MUST read the TOS before you jump into anything, folks.

      Pete
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      • Profile picture of the author Dredger
        Nice videos Milan and Will. Animoto is a lot of fun to use. If you're not happy with the version they give you first, just keep hitting the remix button and choose from the best. Just remember to use images and music that you have the rights to use to keep the infringement police away from your door.

        This is an Animoto video we did for one of our sites. Also, a thanks to James Shramko for the script for making videos like this one.

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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    I've had a play with Animoto a number of times and love the fact that even a numpty like me can come up with something slick and professional. I think if you used the commercial version to make videos for your own site then you're onto a winner. Think of it as providing value added eye candy, rather than as a traffic generator.
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  • Profile picture of the author ndcllc
    What about stockphotos
    Does Animoto got plenty
    in the databse for Com. users
    to use?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy1750
    I have an Animoto commercial account. Never us it for posting to video sharing sites. Only ever use the videos on my own site.

    Works great. I tell a story with photos with a link to a product at the end. Have some catchy music. People love the videos. Some of mine have been over 4 minutes long and I have had a 60% hop through rate to the Clickbank products that I was promoting (60% of site visitors that is, not just 60% of those that watched the video).

    Agree that from a video sharing point of view they are worthless. Not the type of video that people on video sharing sites are looking for. May be effective if the video ranks well in the search engine listings though I suppose.

    Andy
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    Not trying to sell you anything :-)

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  • Profile picture of the author wbakhos
    If you want really cheap awesome video capture videos... try jingproject.com

    Its free for 5 minutes.. and if you wanna buy it for unlimited you only pay like $19 a year or something tiny like that..

    just my recommendation for screencapture if you want to move that direction.

    Cheers
    Will
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