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How To Edit YouTube Videos: For Beginners

Learning how to edit high‑quality videos on YouTube is critical to driving traffic to your website and boosting sales. Find key tips with this guide.

While often underutilized by brands, YouTube is a great place to reach new audiences and potential customers to continue to build out your social media presence and support your marketing efforts. However, a lot more goes into YouTube than simply recording a video and posting it on the social media platform.

If you want your videos to really pop and get noticed then you’re going to have to do some editing. If you don’t own video editing tools or are new to making videos, you can utilize YouTube Studio, a platform available to all creators, to perform basic editing functions.

Edited, higher-quality videos will allow you to better connect with customers in a variety of ways including on social media platforms, blogs, and websites. Therefore, learning how to edit videos on YouTube is critical to driving traffic to your website and boosting sales.

Founded in 2005, YouTube is an American online video-sharing platform that was purchased by Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion. The original idea behind YouTube was an online dating service that failed but had amazing uploading and video platform.

After the Janet Jackson Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction incident, YouTube creators realized they couldn’t find Internet videos of the situation, so they amended the platform to become the first video sharing software. The goal was for non-computer experts to be able to utilize a simple interface to view, upload, and publish streaming content. Now, there are well over 2 billion monthly YouTube users.

As a creator, it’s critical to learn more about the best practices, how to edit videos on YouTube, tools, marketing strategies, and helpful resources to maximize your content.

YouTube video best practices

The goal of YouTube is to produce quality content that entices users to watch your videos. The platform also allows you to create personalized YouTube channels with which you can upload videos, prompt subscribers to follow your channel, and group videos.

As a user, you can also like, comment, and share other YouTube videos. Before learning how to edit videos on YouTube, there are a few best practices you must follow when creating content for the platform.

Categorize content into playlists

As a best practice, categorize your videos by a relevant identifier to maximize your reach. Also, make sure to utilize embeddable playlists and proper SEO tactics to reach viewers outside of the platform. Next to Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, proving the importance of including keyword and general SEO research in your YouTube editing and posting process.

Discover your rhythm

To foster growth on YouTube, you must deliver consistent quality video content to viewers. That means you must consider your cast of characters and serialize your content. While you don’t need super-produced content to make it engaging, it should bring value to your audience by fulfilling a need.

Engage in the community

After achieving the milestone of 1,000 subscribers to your channel, you can utilize community posts to create videos, gifs, images, text, and polls. Also, it’s always important to engage with other related channels to further boost your community standing.

Provide accessibility

Uploading a .srt caption file or burning the captions directly into the video improves accessibility for viewers. If you don’t choose this route then ensure auto-captions, which are created by YouTube, are selected so every video clip reads correctly.

Select the best thumbnails

The thumbnail images you select for videos are the first visuals the audience views. Therefore, you must ensure they are eye-catching, relevant, and appealing to your target demographic. Topic titles, scenic shots, or animals are always popular. Also, add large font-to-video thumbnails with topics that could be unclear to viewers at a glance of the image.

Utilize calls to action and tags

Always incorporate critical words into the descriptions and titles of your videos to ensure users can easily find your content when performing searching for relevant topics. One impactful tip is to title your video as a question, which results in some of the best search results. Additionally, add a URL or call to action to the top of your description, which prompts views to click here or access your website. Furthermore, topic tags added to each video will increase your SEO results.

Editing on YouTube Studio

At this point, you may be asking, what do YouTubers use to edit their videos? Most YouTubers don’t have access to video editing tools with extensive bells and whistles. Instead, they rely on the YouTube editor, which provides enough functionality to launch quality video content. This brings up the next question you may be wondering, how do you edit YouTube videos for free? YouTube Studio is free software that any content creator can use and is easy to learn how to edit videos on YouTube.

To perform basic video editing for YouTube Studio, follow these guidelines:

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio: As with many platforms, you must have an account to sign in before you can start editing for YouTube.

  • Upload a video to the studio: Once on the platform, upload a video into the studio to begin editing.

  • Trim the beginning and end: The most important basic function when learning how to edit a video for YouTube is to trim the beginning and end. This feature allows you to cut out unwanted frames from filming to ensure the videos are short enough to be viewable.

  • Trim the middle of the video: This function allows you to trim the middle frames of your video and remove any unnecessary content. The average YouTube video is only viewed between 50% and 60% of its total length, so make sure your videos are relatively short and concise to keep the attention of your viewers.

  • Blur an object or individual: In many instances, you’ll want to focus your video content on specific individuals, objects, products, components, or visuals. To keep the user’s eye focused on your target, you can blur other objects or people that are the shot.

Third-party video editing tools

While understanding how to edit a video for YouTube Studio, which offers basic functions, some content creators prefer editors with more features. If you want to know how to edit YouTube videos like the pros, these third-party video editing tools can work magic.

Premiere Elements

Premiere Elements is an excellent choice for beginners because it boasts a simple interface and is inexpensive. With a free 30-day trial, you can evaluate the functions of this software, which are more than YouTube Studio, but not as complicated as the other two tools on this list.

Beginners will enjoy the easy-to-use interface, step-by-step tutorials, video creation wizard, clear navigation, and three editing modes. The only drawback to this software is it’s not the most powerful, since it’s the stripped-down version of Premiere Pro.

Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X is a one-off purchase software with a free 90-days trial. Many professionals use Final Cut Pro X including the top YouTube content creators and Hollywood professionals. Final Cut Pro is an excellent option for those who work in the Apple ecosystem because it's seamless with Photos collections and iTunes.

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is considered the best overall video editing software for YouTube videos. While this software has a price, you can try it free for 30 days.

Premier Pro is considered the industry standard in video editing software and is used by top YouTube content creators and professionals alike. With support for VR, 4K, and 8K video, users can edit collaboratively through a virtual screening room, utilize video syncing and automatic audio, pull motion graphics from After Effects, and watch clips while simultaneously editing.

Why you should include YouTube in your marketing strategy

Videos influence consumer buying behavior daily and influencers are reaching millions of intrigued buyers with their product or service suggestions. As a result, YouTube is now one of the best methods of reaching new online customers while creating brand awareness.

YouTube also helps customers make purchasing decisions because of actual videos from real satisfied (or unsatisfied) customers who have purchased, tried, and evaluated the product. This means, if you don’t include YouTube in your marketing strategy, you can bet your competitor is.

How can Mailchimp help?

By combining your beautiful, edited YouTube videos with the power of Mailchimp, you can reach more viewers and potential consumers than ever. Most email clients are unable to display embedded video content, which strips the code from your campaign.

However, when you develop a campaign in Mailchimp, you can insert a video content block, link images, and utilize merge tags to share a thumbnail. Mailchimp is also powerful enough to use video content blocks to caption and share videos within landing pages or emails. The video content block automatically grabs a thumbnail from the video and links it to the URL, thus allowing email recipients to click and view the video. These content blocks are essentially landing pages that support websites like YouTube.

Editing for YouTube is not a task you can simply pick up and run with unless you have previous experience, the right tools, and knowledge of the software. It takes practice to learn how to edit YouTube videos to create engaging content. Yet, by following these best practices, understanding editing for YouTube Studio, what third-party editing software exists, adding YouTube to your marketing strategy, and how Mailchimp helps, you should have a better understanding of how to edit a video for YouTube. Happy editing!

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