Video is all the rage… it deepens your presence in search engines and it improves conversion rates on your website.
Many resort operators don’t have professional videography in their budget and are intimidated by making a slideshow themselves.
One of our customers recently asked if there was an easy way to make nice little videos for their website. Good question.
My personal favorite free and amateur tool is Windows Movie Maker — an application that most have on their computer and don’t even know exists. Movie Maker is a reasonably powerful piece of software that will let you:
- Take photos and videos and create movies.
- Allows text overlays, fancy transitions, and panning and zooming.
- Allows you to add audio (don’t add copyrighted music!)
- Saves your creation in many different formats.
However, many people are looking for an even easier solution. A solution to turn photos into a video, add copyright-free music automatically, and even host the video for you (so you don’t have to figure out how to get it uploaded on the web).
I recommend you try Slideroll. Here is a quick example of their video. It took me 16 minutes to create this short photo-based video:
This video is easy to insert into a website because it is hosted by Slideroll and they give you a snippet of code that embeds your video on a webpage. The drawback is that you cannot upload it to Youtube (or elsewhere) because they don’t give you the video file.
Creating a .mpg movie file involves 2 extra steps:
- Download and run the Slideroll Video Creator (which creates a mp3 video file of your online slideshow.)
- Finding a snippet of copyright-free music in mp3 format that was the same length as my slideshow. This is a tough endeavor for most.
How to find .mp3 copyright free music: Try UniqueTracks to buy a few songs or CDs of music you can use… Check out Internet Tip – Royalty Free Music at No Charge for a list of artists who let you use their music for absolutely free.
Here is what the video looks like after I use Slideroll Video Creator and add new music and upload to Youtube:
When it was all said and done… I found it easier to make Slideroll and would recommend it if you just want to easily embed photo-based movies in your website. I prefer to use Windows Movie Maker because it creates downloadable files I can distribute online. Plus, it is more powerful (and therefor a bit harder to use).
Hopefully these software packages will help you make easy videos and improve your online presence.