Editing your videos better than the rest

Our internet social lives are inundated with videos. From sharing gifs in texts, to watching the football game on your phone in line at Starbucks, to keeping up with your friends’ stories on Insta, we watch a lot of video. In fact, according to Oberlo, “a whopping 97.8 percent of US internet users aged between 18 and 24 consider themselves to be digital video viewers...(and) studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.”

Needless to say, video is essential when marketing your business. And there are all sorts of ways to reach customers through videos. You can create explainer videos to introduce your product or service, create video ads that increase brand awareness, or simply use video content to engage and entertain your audience.

Still, taking that first “video creation” step can seem overwhelming. Luckily there are thousands of free resources, such as YouTube or TikTok tutorials for learning how to create videos with editing software like Premiere Pro. You just need a few good tips to get started. And don't get too flustered, HubSpot’s recent video marketing survey found that 44 percent of marketers say creating video content is at least “somewhat easy.”

To help you get going, we gathered top tips and tricks from those who make videos for a living — influencers and video editors Randa Nelson of the YouTube twin duo NinaAndRanda, and social media coach Skyelar Garcia, founder of Managed by Skye. These folks have almost two million likes and follows on YouTube and TikTok, and hundreds of millions of views. They must be doing something right. Right?

Let’s get to it.

In this article

  • Why is video editing important?
  • How to edit video content your audience will engage with
  • Use the best tools for the job
  • Use the right specs for your platform
  • The 3-2-1 rule
  • It's all about storytelling
  • Find the right background music
  • Incorporate text overlays
  • Add in your branding
  • Add animated effects and transitions
  • Fill in gaps with stock video
  • Export for web

Why is video editing important?

Video content is now an essential part of marketing yourself, or your brand – whether it’s via a website or on various social media platforms. TikTok is built on short-form video content, while Instagram has replaced nearly its entire feed with videos, prioritizing content that is original, entertaining and high-res.

“Video is such an important way to reach an audience because it’s so personal,” says Randa. “Viewers get to see more personality and relate to creators because you can show and convey so much more, so fast. A picture paints a thousand words, but a video paints a million.”

According to a survey from wyzowl, the top reasons that people don’t use video is they just don’t know how to get going:

But with the right video editing tools, creating videos doesn’t have to be time-consuming, difficult, or expensive. And 87 percent of those who use video to market a product, brand or themselves say video creates a positive ROI for them.

For Skye, keeping editing time short is the best way to make sure you stick with it. “Business owners and influencers should keep their video editing to a 15 or 20-minute max. You shouldn't spend any longer on making short-form content.”

To make a splash, your videos need to be well edited, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time or money on them.

“You can make great videos that get a lot of traffic with nothing but an iPhone,” Skye points out. “You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started.”

So — how do you make a TikTok video, edit Instagram reels or make a YouTube video? Let’s get into it:

How to edit video content your audience will engage with

Editing short-form or long-form videos for your social media platforms and website doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Follow along with these 10 video editing tips to start making creative video content for your customers.

Use the best tools for the job

The first step to editing an amazing video is finding the best tool for you and your team. While there are basic editing options on your smartphone, to piece multiple videos together or add additional elements, take advantage of readily available tools.

For example, there are online apps that let you easily upload your video clips, stitch them together to make a full video, and add in additional text and design elements.

Easy to use

Even if you choose to go for a more in-depth tool like Adobe Premiere Pro, you don’t have to be a professional video editor to use them. As Randa says: “I love Premiere Rush’s basic filters because you don't need much color-grade experience. It's very intuitive and you can just pop it on.”

Keep it engaging

These tools also allow you to cut out the fluff in your video. If you’ve recorded yourself speaking on a topic, there might be a lot of filler words like “um”, “er” and “like” because that’s how we speak naturally. However, you want the video to move quickly if you’re uploading it to YouTube or TikTok.

Randa adds, “You want to be fast-paced and interesting. So cut out all the gaps and be quick.” This is easy to do in Premiere Pro or Premiere Rush, which lets you cut out the gaps between moments of talking, then use Ripple Delete to pull your clips back together.

Easy to learn

Learning new tools can be overwhelming but can also offer a valuable reward. Randa says to keep doing it until it's second nature. “Like anything in life. It might seem daunting to start something new, but once you get over that mental hump, it's actually not hard.”

Right inside Premiere Pro there are follow-along, in-app Getting Started tutorials that walk you through importing media, editing, color, audio, and even automatically reframe content for different social media platforms.

Use the right specs for your platform

Depending on the platform you plan to share video content to, you’ll need to adjust the dimensions of your videos. That’s easy with just about any video editing app. In Adobe Express, (which you can get started using for free) simply adjust your canvas size to fit the platform.

Some of the go-to specs are:

  • TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram & Facebook Stories: Vertical, 1080 x 1920 px
  • Facebook Feeds, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter: Horizontal, 1920 x 1080 px
  • Instagram Feeds: Square, 1000 x 1000 px

In many cases it’s best to record in the format you want to publish in (i.e., hold your phone vertical for TikTok and Reels videos, and horizontal for YouTube or Twitter). However, you can always repurpose your videos for different formats without needing to re-record.

Randa points out, “Premiere Pro has a feature called Auto Reframe which uses AI to automatically track the best parts of your video and convert it to 16:9, which is great for YouTube shorts as well as TikTok. That’s a really easy way to reuse content to maximize your reach and grow multiple channels at once. That way if your audience moves to TikTok or Instagram, you can be there ahead of them without a lot of extra work.”

Select the platform and the type of post and Adobe Express will automatically resize it for you.

You’ll also want to make sure your videos are the right length for your chosen platform. A YouTube video can be three minutes or longer, but shorter content works best on TikTok.

“For instance,” says Randa, “my sister and I might have a YouTube skit with 10 jokes in it, but then on TikTok you really only need one, which might be 30 seconds long. Then you’re like, whoa, we got nine million views on TikTok, and the skit only had 100,000 on YouTube.”

The 3-2-1 rule

The 3-2-1 rule in video editing for YouTube or TikTok is there to make sure you don’t lose valuable footage. It’s especially important if you’re conducting interviews or using high-quality equipment you don’t always have access to.

Essentially, the 3-2-1 rule says you’ll want to keep three copies of each piece of footage in at least two different places, ensuring that one of those places is physically separate from your other locations (i.e., another computer).

This is the most secure way to make sure you don’t lose your video content and end up with holes in your video or have to re-record anything.

“It’s important to back up your footage and videos because you may want to repurpose your content on different social platforms,” says Randa. “There will be viewers who haven’t seen your content yet, and you will be able to reach them on a new channel.”

It’s all about storytelling

Make sure your video content tells a story. Edit your footage so it seems to follow an appropriate narrative. One great way to do this is by using a storyboard.

A storyboard allows you to outline your video’s story before you even begin filming. It lets you visualize the story you want to tell and determine how best to film each piece. It can also help you come up with even more creative video ideas. Even if you’re just filming a silly 10-second TikTok, putting your idea down on paper (or digitally) so you know where to start, can ensure you don’t have to re-shoot scenes again and again.

Some of that storyboarding can happen when you edit, as Randa explains.

“When we write, my sister and I come up with a basic concept like the look of the video or the general approach. That might be a Q&A where we’re answering 15 different questions. Then I do a rough cut where I cut out all the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ and make it super quick. That gets us from 20 minutes to 7 minutes of footage. Then I’ll watch it the next day with a fresh eye and ask, am I entertained? Do I like this?”

As a final touch, Randa may cut out a few of the questions to make the video flow faster.

Check out some of the storyboard templates available on Adobe Express to find one you can use for your next video:

Find the right background music

Background music can make or break your video, so make sure to find the right track. Even if there’s a lot of speaking in your video, you’ll likely still want some additional audio in the background, just at a much lower volume.

Find a background song that matches the vibe of your video. As Randa says, “If you're trying to build suspense or make something light and happy, the music changes the vibe.” You’ll want something upbeat for a light-hearted or educational video, but you may need something a bit more somber based on the context of your video.

Take some time to listen to several songs until you find something that really resonates with you. You may even end up using the same background song for several videos, especially if they’re all within the same series, so take time to find the best fit.

However, don’t add background music if you don’t own the rights. You can’t just download any song from Spotify and put it in the background of your video. That infringes on the content creator’s intellectual property.

Instead, look for royalty-free audio that you have legal access to. And there are two great ways to do that. First, check out the royalty-free music included in Adobe Express. Next, search through the purchasable songs, available in Adobe Stock. Even more, you can access Adobe Stock music, audition different tracks against your video, and license it all right inside Premiere Pro.

Incorporate text overlays

Text overlays offer a quick way to provide more context to your video. Plus, many people watch video with the sound off, and text is the way they follow the story.

If you’re interviewing someone, use text overlays to introduce the person’s name and title. Text can help you create a seamless transition as well.

“You can reach more people when you have captions on the screen,” says Randa, “and your viewers engage with it more. A lot of the top video editing tools have a speech-to-text feature that makes adding captions easy, so it doesn’t take a lot of time.”

Video editing software lets you use text creatively, too. You can even make videos almost exclusively of moving text, while other videos benefit from added context.

Adobe Express makes it easy to add text to your videos with several different templates and text options or add impressive animated text to your videos with motion graphics templates in Premiere Pro.

Add in your branding

Make your company’s videos match your brand so they’re recognizable. Whenever you can, incorporate your branding.

First, if you’re going to invest (either time or money) into video marketing, you may want to create an entire page in your branding guidelines about video content. What kind of filter do you want it to have? What verbiage do you want to include or avoid? What kinds of transitions do you want to incorporate?

“You need to take time to discover your brand's voice or your authentic voice because that’s where your audience learns to trust and connect with you,” Skye points out. “That goes beyond just colors and the words you choose. Is your voice really quick? Really slow? Meaningful? The right brand voice will help you build your online personality.”

But more than that, any time you add cover photos, text overlays, colorful transitions, and other elements, you need to make sure they match your brand. Use the correct brand colors and fonts to ensure you create a strong, recognizable brand across the board.

“If you use colors, make sure your audience likes them,” Skye advises. “If you know that they're very bright and spunky people, add those colors into your text. If they’re very serious and professional, have your text represent that, and the outfits that you're wearing. But in post-production it's really easy to make things look professional with just a font or color or the format that you're using for your video.”

Add animated effects and transitions

Some videos might require transitions between scenes, and it’s smart to make the most of those. Consider adding animated effects and other transition elements to help keep your audience’s attention, even through the slower parts of the video.

“Adobe Premiere Pro lets you mask things in your videos,” Skye shares. “That lets you blur or hide things or create really cool, fun transitions easily without having to spend 15 minutes on each one. And I don't have to worry about the light changing while I’m shooting because I can mask and fix it.”

Plenty of video editing tools also let you add other animated effects, from animated text to special effects that put more “oomph” into your video.

“Adding movement can make your videos more interesting,” says Skye. “Even just some moving text or moving your hands or arms in the first three to five seconds lets viewers engage with your content. That works even if the topic itself is not engaging.”

Fill in the gaps with stock video

If there are any gaps in your video you don’t have footage for, don’t shy away from incorporating stock video. In fact, some low-budget, quick-turnaround videos are made up entirely of stock footage, background music, and voiceover.

Adobe Stock has several royalty-free stock videos that you can browse through to find the best fit for the context of your video.

You can also repurpose other people’s content as stock footage to make something new. Some of Randa’s most successful videos came about this way.

“If you see a popular sound bite and you can figure out a way to make it funny and make it your own,” she says, “like putting a twist on something that's already popular, that has a big potential to go viral. So, for instance, there was a popular sound bite and I put a dating spin on it and it got half a million views because it was relatable and funny.”

Remember: Ask for permission before reusing someone else’s clip. It’s illegal to use other people’s content without asking first.

Export for web

There are a number of different video file formats to choose from for creating videos. However, when creating video content for social media, you need to export it for web use. The best video file format for the web is MP4.

If you want to export your video for other platforms, take time to find the best video format. Most video editing tools have different video download options, letting you create video for nearly any use case.

“Overall, have fun with it,” says Skye. “Explore your style, try different things. That’s so important when you’re starting out. There are so many video editing tips on TikTok and YouTube but take time to learn what you can do yourself. There are plenty of video editing tools too, but start small, and find ways to make your content stand out in your niche or industry.”

All the solutions and features, in one place

Find the right tools to edit your videos in the Adobe Creative Cloud. Start pumping out video content that will engage, inform, and convert your audience. Learn more about how tools in the Creative Cloud, like Express or Premiere Pro, can help you meet your goals.