I was originally going to post on my internet marketing blog about how I made this video to promote a different site on YouTube, but I thought I'd give you guys first dibs on the info.
This is the video:
It's a 4-minute video looking at the news that Deutsche Bank has confessed to being involved in rigging the price of silver with other major banks.
What this video features:
- A slide show with each slide having some text
- Different images are used on most slides to add some visual stimulation
- Different slide layouts are used to keep things interesting
- There's a background music track
- There's a voiceover, reading the text
- The final slide gives the link to my website and includes a clickable link
The majority of the video creation process was hands-off.
- I didn't have to hunt down royalty-free images to use.
- I didn't have to use PowerPoint to create the slides
- I didn't have to resize the text to fit on different slides
- I didn't have to hunt down royalty-free music to use in the video
- I didn't have to edit the video to sync the slides with the voiceover.
My Video Creation Tool
I did use a tool to do all of this - Content Samurai. It's a subscription based tool costing $97 per month but I got hold of it during a promotion and am paying $47 a month for it (PM me if you'd like a discount link for it).
It does all the grunt work. It provides the slide backgrounds and music. I only needed to paste in the text for my video and it automatically created the slides for me and put the text on them (I could edit text later if I needed to). I also had the option to select different layouts for different slides in my presentation.
The software gives me access to literally millions of royalty-free images that I can use right from the dashboard. As I edited a slide, the system identified the keywords used on it and I could search the image library for them with a click. I can also manually type in keywords to find images for. Then I click the image I want and it becomes the background for that slide.
Bolding text makes it appear bolder and in a different color. Preset themes don't allow me to change colors, but I also have the ability to create my own themes.
Adding a music track is as easy as selecting the track I want. There isn't an extensive list of these, but I do have the option of uploading music tracks to my account. If you need music for your own projects, YouTube have a load of free music you can use here: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music
Adding The Voiceover
This was a bit more tricky than I'd anticipated. To add a voiceover, all I need to do is upload the audio track and add it to my production. Content Samurai will then analyze the audio and create markers in the video where slides will transition from one to another. Again, when these transitions happen can be manually changed.
I don't have a quality microphone and I didn't want to spend time reading the text used in the video to create a voiceover. I don't have a professional reading voice either.
One option would have been to go to Fiverr and order a voiceover gig. You can get professional voiceover artists alright but costs can mount. $5 per 50 words seems to be the average. My text contained 612 words, so would have cost about $60.
Ok, I'm cheap and I didn't want to spend that amount of money.
So I looked about online for Text To Speech services. There are quite a few out there. Some are free, some require payment. The top-quality ones which provide human-like voices are the ones you pay for.
But I came across one which I think gives a pretty good quality voice for a free service. It's called TTSReader: http://ttsreader.com/
It only offers a female voice with a US accent and a male voice with a UK accent. Other voices are available in additional non-English languages.
I'm in Ireland so am well acquainted with an English accent and the one here just sounded too artificial. I thought the female US accent sounded pretty good (maybe it doesn't to Americans?) so that's what I decided to go with.
This is what the TTSReader page looks like. As it reads through text, it highlights it in yellow.
I pasted the text for my video into the webpage and it started reading the text. Unfortunately, there was no option provided to download a recording.
Camtasia To The Rescue
A couple of years back I bought a copy of Camtasia to record some over-the-shoulder tutorial style videos for a product I was selling at the time. I remembered that there was an option to export the audio component of an audio/video recording.
So what I did was have Camtasia record the screen as TTSReader read through my text. Once it was done, I loaded the recording into Camtasia and exported the audio only as a WAV file (the only option available).
I then uploaded that WAV file into Content Samurai and it synced the slides to the audio automatically. You may be able to use the free Audacity software (http://www.audacityteam.org/) to record audio only. I haven't tried it myself so I don't know if that would work or not.
All that was left to do was to generate the video file that I needed to upload to YouTube.
TTSReader doesn't handle ellipsis or brackets well. The cadence of speech doesn't match how we'd normally talk as we read these things aloud ourselves. It also has problems reading website addresses.
So to add pauses in speech I either used commas (for minor pauses in sentences) and for longer pauses, I put text on a new line. I dispensed with using brackets entirely.
For web addresses, I pretty much spelled them out. So instead of putting http://www.investingoldnow.com into the text, I used this instead:
h t t p colon slash slash www dot invest in gold now dot com