Video Series Part 4: Best Practices for Editing Your Public Library’s Video Announcement

If you’ve been following the tips in this series about creating a news announcement video for your public library, perhaps you’ve already held a successful video shoot and now are ready to stitch together your takes and finalize your video. In this post, I’ll share a few tips and best practices for the editing process.

Choose your video editing software

There are several options for video editing software on the market. Among professional videographers, the best known and widely used are Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. But these can be expensive, and they also offer more features than what’s needed for a DIY video. Apple iMovie gets high marks from PC Magazine for its ease of use for beginners, and because it comes packaged with most Macs, it’s very affordable. For Windows users, there are several good quality and free options, such as Machete Video Editor Lite and WeVideo, which is a cloud-based option. (Check out this list of recommendations from HubSpot here.)

Keep the video short

Most viewers don’t watch more than a few seconds of video, so you need to keep two things in mind as you edit. First, open your video with a compelling teaser designed to keep viewers glued to the screen. This could be a compelling question or visual. Second, keep the entire length of your video to no more than three minutes. This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid longer videos. After all, some content – particularly instructional – calls for more time. But an announcement video is best kept to three minutes or less.

Intersperse B-roll footage

B-roll is supplemental footage that can add visual texture to your story. For example, shots of your library interior or exterior, last year’s event, or an artist at work can be interspersed in your video to increase excitement about your news. It’s also used to cover up your cuts and transitions.

Add titles and text

Your video should start with a title that explains what viewers are about to see. In addition, you’ll need subtitles to provide information about who’s speaking and what their role is. When adding text, it’s important that it can be clearly read. So, use a contrasting color as well as a plain and simple font and superimpose it over a plain background so it is easy to read.

Don’t forget the call to action!

As you close your video, be sure to let the viewers know what you want them to do and direct them to additional resources. For example, let’s say you’re announcing a new event. Your call to action should encourage them to sign up and tell them where and how they can do that.

Did you miss Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3? In the next post in this series, I’ll talk about how to upload and promote your video. Check back soon!

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.