When it comes to creating some buzz around your events, writing a really good description and title are key to enticing folks to sign up. But why not take things to the next level?
If you want to get more people in for storytime or maybe a reoccurring teen program, creating an event preview trailer is a great way to pique your patrons’ interest and give them a good idea about what they can expect. So, instead of letting photos and video from past events collect digital “dust” in your camera, you can easily combine them to create a cool trailer to embed on your website and on social media sites like Facebook.
Now, I’m not using the term “easily” loosely here. You literally provide your clips, pick a song, and hit “Make me a video” and the link to your trailer will be emailed to you. It’s awesome, and it takes nearly no time to do. (And it’s awesome!)
1. Go to the Magisto website.
2. Upload the video clips or photos you want to use for the video.
If you’re using the free version of Magisto, you can upload up to 10 clips and 10 photos at a maximum of 15 minutes for the entire video. (That’s not bad, actually). If you have a premium account, it’ll give you a few more options. Check out what you get here.
3. Choose an editing style.
Magisto has quite a few options to choose from, when it comes to editing styles. The styles basically amount to the graphics they use on the video and how they cut to your different clips. Each style offers a little preview, so you can get a feel for what the finished product will look like.
4. Pick a song.
Magisto has its own song database that you can choose from, which is pretty nice, but they also enable you to upload any song you want for your video. So, if you have a particular song that you like or if you get a royalty-free song from a site like AudioJungle, you can upload that bad boy right into your video.
5. Make your video.
Your last step is, literally, to hit the “Make My Video” button. Depending on the length of the video, they’ll send you an email in about 20 minutes. At that time, the video is uploaded to their site and ready to share.
When you get the final link from Magisto, you have a couple of options. You can always just send people to the page created by Magisto, or you can embed the video into your own site.
To embed the video, just click on the “Share” button. This will provide you with a bit of code that you can copy and paste into your site. Or you can use the “Upload to Youtube” option.
Pros and Cons…Let’s Start with Pros
1. It’s, like, totally SUPER easy
I can’t emphasize how easy this program is to use. Coming from someone who puts videos together for a living, I found that this site does one thing incredibly well: it saves tons of time.
2. It’s so sharable
It doesn’t matter if you use the stock page that Magisto creates or if you upload your video to Youtube, it’s still very easy to share your video.
3. Clips up to 15 minutes
I wouldn’t recommend making a trailer 15 minutes long, but I’m sure you can think of other ways to use that amount of time for different types of videos. The fact that you can render such a long video on the free plan just makes this site that much better in my eyes.
4. Uploading pictures
Pictures are easier to take than video, especially if you’re filming at one of your library events. Pictures can be shared on Facebook and other social media sites pretty easily, so I understand why that’s the default choice. Being able to mix in your pictures with some video makes Magisto pretty flexible for a free option.
5. Mobile options for everyone
I believe this website actually started as an app, so you can download this for iPhone or Android and use it directly on your phone. (The mobile options actually have a little more flexibility than the website does right now, but that’s rumored to change very soon.)
Now for the Cons… 🙁
1. Downloading your video
You actually can’t download your video, unless you’re a paying customer. This is a con to me, because you can’t really tweak the video. That means you can’t add your own library logo or some other, different element at the end of the video. Instead, you are stuck with Magisto’s tag line.
2. No control
You pick the clips, the music and the editing style, but you can’t tell the software when to cut or what to cut to. (You may not see that as a drawback, but, as a control freak, I’m obligated to say it.)
3. Branded video
You have to take the good with the bad when something is free. Magisto will put the entire video together for you, but every video will end with their logo and tagline. (Again, you may not care, because they just did most of the work for you, but I thought I’d mention it.)
Give it a shot!
Well, that’s all I’ve got. For a free program, Magisto is a pretty cool tool that can produce some amazing video. If you do put a trailer together for one of your library events, we’d love to see how it turns out. Just paste the link into the “Comments” section, so we can check it out.