Woman records video of her following a recipe
Today's technology allows you to create videos to help you grow your business. Based on your needs and skill level, you can decide which video editing software is right for you. — Getty Images/PixelsEffect

Video has become an essential element in the marketing toolkit because of its natural fit with social media and SEO strategy. Consider these key factors when selecting video editing software.

Cloud integration

If multiple collaborators plan to edit or access the video, cloud integration will be essential. Any user with the application and login credentials will be able to access the editing suite from their own device, and certain systems, such as Adobe Cloud, will automatically integrate the video editing software with its other provided design tools.

Cloud integration also allows editors to work across multiple platforms. Some software is only accessible to specific types of computers, but many now operate on PC and Mac, on both desktop and mobile devices.

Licensed stock content

The creator of a video must acquire the rights to any images or music used in the video. Even after purchasing the rights for a picture or song, the owner of those rights will be owed a percentage of the profits every time the video is played. This can quickly accumulate if the video is shared on a social media platform, and there is no accurate way for the uploader to predict when viewership of the video might spike, and in turn, cost the uploader significant royalty fees.

Most video editing software contains a pre-loaded, royalty-free music library and image catalog whose rights are already fully licensed for creators. Music and stock imagery are essential elements of production quality, and the larger the software’s libraries are, the more creative the production team can be.

Multiple video formats

Filmmakers now have access to an unprecedented number of devices that can record video, but every device captures that video at different resolutions — the overall picture quality. Although most beginners will record with devices that produce film at common resolutions and aspect ratios such as 720p or 1080p, certain programs can only edit specific resolutions and formats. Be sure that the recording device is compatible with the software. Luckily, many offerings now include compatibility with 4k and 8k as the baseline, and only the highest-grade professional equipment will require more advanced compatibility features.

Programs that offer tiered pricing plans and structures will usually have a free or inexpensive basic option that allows users to become familiar with the process and system.


The same exponential improvement of technology that creates so many video editing options also increases the complexity of the software. Most programs are brimming with an overabundance of features, many of which the majority of their users will never need. Programs like Final Cut Pro X make an effort to simplify their product and offer tutorials to help beginners learn the basics and the software’s core functionalities.

Export to social media

Another widely available feature is the option to export finished videos directly to destinations like YouTube and other major social networks. Businesses are likely creating their videos to share them on social media, and a program that automatically configures and posts the video to those sites can save time and simplify the complicated video formatting process that varies among sites.

Tiered plans

Beginning users may not know what features are most important or how quickly their skills will progress. Programs that offer tiered pricing plans and structures will usually have a free or inexpensive basic option that allows users to become familiar with the process and system. This can reduce future costs by helping users make a more informed decision if and when they choose to continue their video journey.

Multiple tiers also help a platform remain scalable, should the business’s video department grow. Businesses looking to upgrade can purchase higher tiers and gain access to advanced features such as motion tracking or simultaneous editing tracks. Some plans are even fully customizable and users can pick the options they find most important to their process.

Smart features

Automated tools that handle basic but tedious tasks — smart features — can be a tremendous timesaver in the editing process. Not all software offers smart features, and few offer every relevant option, but these tools are growing more common in the market. Examples fall into three categories:

  • Corrections. Face detection, color correction and removing “shaky camera” effects.
  • Style. Color grading, mood lighting and camera filters.
  • Effects. Transitions, moving text and visual elements.

These features add subtle yet professional polish, but normally require advanced skills. Programs that automatically implement these fixes can transform a simple recording into a compelling narrative that best showcases your brand to your audience.


Uploading, editing and rendering video previously required powerful computer hardware. Most video editors needed specialized systems to perform the task. Now, many programs feature optimization tools to improve system performance while simultaneously importing and rendering video footage. This improves accessibility for all users, and it eliminates the need to buy expensive or specialized equipment.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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