The best content creators on YouTube don’t just rely on great gear to record their audio and video. They are also reliant on a wide variety of video editing techniques that help make their videos unique and, most importantly, marketable.
In this post, we’ll take you through some of the most popularly used techniques during the video editing process and how they can enhance your videos. But first, let’s talk a little bit about why editing your videos is necessary before you upload them to your YouTube channel.
Why is video editing necessary?
- It can transform your footage into a cohesive story: Irrespective of what kind of YouTube channel you maintain, your videos should always present a story to your audience. Editing is the process through which you can weave a story out of all the footage you’ve recorded by choosing the best bits and enhancing them by adding an array of video effects, background music, and more.Uploading unedited and completely raw footage to your YouTube channel is a bad idea in today’s times. The biggest brands and content creators on the platform all put considerable effort into editing their YouTube videos, which is why you have to learn and master at least a few editing techniques to stand a chance of competing with them.
- It can improve video quality: Video editing software allows users to manipulate their videos’ quality, which is a boon for YouTubers who don’t own high-end cameras. From adjusting the levels of contrast, brightness, and sharpness of your footage to applying filters for experimenting with different color tones, editing can turn even the blandest of videos into something eye-catching.How your YouTube videos look matter as much as their content matter. With the attention spans of online audiences decreasing with each passing day, you have to first capture their attention through your video’s look and feel. Once you’ve got them hooked, you can expect them to focus more on your content.
- It shows that you’ve put in a lot of work: YouTube audiences don’t just love watching well-edited videos; they are also appreciative of content creators who take editing seriously. After all, the more time and care you take to edit your videos, the more refined they will be, clearly demonstrating to viewers that you put in several hours’ worth of editing work before uploading your content.Painstakingly-crafted YouTube videos are viewed more, shared more, and receive far more engagement than poorly-edited ones. The ‘like, comment, share, and subscribe’ call to action (CTA) is routinely used by every YouTuber these days. However, when you devote time to editing your videos, you’re genuinely giving your target audience a solid reason to respond positively to your CTA.
- It can result in more work opportunities: Talented video editors are some of the most respected people in the sphere of video production. As you keep creating more and more well-edited YouTube videos and garner an ever-increasing number of YouTube subscribers, word about your editing talents is bound to spread.In time, other brands and content creators may approach you to collaborate with them so that you can help them create top-notch videos on YouTube and other platforms with your editing skills. Collaborations are regarded as one of the most potent marketing tools on YouTube and strengthening your video-editing abilities will only go to increase your chances of collaborating with others.
What do you need to edit videos well?
The most important quality that a video editor must possess is the curiosity to experiment. The more you experiment with different techniques, the more likely you are to find your very own editing style, which can go on to become a hallmark of your YouTube videos.
You should also invest in a powerful computer (desktop or laptop) to edit your videos well. The computer should have a powerful processor, a decent amount of RAM (8 GB or more recommended), and a separate graphics card with at least 4 GB of dedicated graphics memory. With a computer that’s capable of handling demanding video-editing challenges, you can edit faster and better.
You’d also need a capable video production software. Even though YouTube Studio offers users an in-built editor for basic editing purposes, it lacks a lot of features of elaborate video production applications. Some popular video production applications include Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, and Wondershare Filmora. You can download trial versions of each to figure out the application that works best for you.
The top techniques to learn and master
- Cutting out silence and hesitation through standard and jump cuts: Successful YouTubers who create talk-centric YouTube videos (think instructional videos, reviews, unboxing, etc.) rely on standard and jump cuts more than any other editing technique.Standard and jump cuts are used mainly to minimize the speaker’s silence and hesitation, too much of which may be a turn off for your viewers. Many YouTubers deliberately shoot different sections of their videos separately, so that during the editing process, they can trim all the videos and join them together.If you’ve just begun on your YouTube journey and aren’t familiar with video editing, it may take some time for you to master these cuts. However, practice makes perfect, and in time, you’re bound to make impressive videos that will lead to more real YouTube subscribers.
- Synchronizing video and audio: If you want your YouTube video’s audio to be top-notch, you have to record it using a sound interface and a microphone. Once the recording process gets done and dusted, you’ll have to merge the video and audio in the video production software. While this isn’t a difficult process (only a little time-consuming), it can be tricky for beginners to ensure that the video and audio are properly synchronized.The easiest way to do this is to retain the original audio that was recorded along with the video on your phone or camera. On the video editing software, detach the original audio from the video track and you should be able to clearly see its waveform. After you import the audio recorded on the microphone, study the audio files’ waveforms and position the microphone audio in the timeline accordingly. And that should do it!Sounds difficult? This editing technique is actually easier done than said and guarantees crystal-clear audio quality across all your YouTube videos. Sticking to the audio recorded by your phone or camera may result in a lack of audio clarity, leading to disappointed viewers and ultimately, a disappointing number of YouTube views.
- Incorporating multiple videos in the same frame: An editing technique that’s commonly used by musicians and bands for their YouTube videos is the incorporation of numerous videos in the same frame. For example, suppose a song consists of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. In that case, the video may include four separate smaller videos of the drummer, bass player, guitar player, and vocalist playing their respective parts.The technique helps to highlight what individual musicians are doing within a song, but there are no rules. Even if you’re a non-musician, you can experiment with this technique in various ways and include it where it fits. However, this technique requires a lot of computing power, so if you own a low-end PC, it would be better if you skipped this or invested in a new PC.You could also use this technique along with others to add variety to your video. For example, you could go from a frame that only features the drummer playing to the next where the other band members’ videos come into the picture.
- Using transition effects such as fade and dissolve: If you want your YouTube videos to have a cinematic look and feel, you could use a variety of transition effects to manipulate how one part of the video moves into the next.Fade and dissolve are two of the most popular transition effects and they are mostly used at the end or beginning of a particular section of a video. For example, you could use ‘fade in’ when a new section of the video starts and use ‘fade out’ when the section is about to end. Similarly, you can experiment with the ‘dissolve’ effect as well.While transition effects can definitely enhance your YouTube videos, overusing them is not recommended. Too much ‘fading’ and ‘dissolving’ will give your videos a stop-and-start feel and may overwhelm your viewers.
While the techniques we’ve covered in this post are only a fraction of what you can experiment with, these are the easiest to execute and most commonly-used by YouTubers. As you become more familiar with your production software and its features, you can go on to learn, master, and incorporate more techniques.
Simply put, there’s no excuse in today’s times to not put in the extra effort towards editing your videos. Through all the tools and available resources online, you can learn video editing and rapidly improve your skills. Using them to enhance your videos can make you a more marketable YouTuber and help your channel experience sustained growth.