By: Linda Fulkerson
There are a lot of great reasons to use video on your blog and social media profiles. Video keeps the viewer on your site longer. There is less competition for ranking in search engines for video, so it increases your “findability.” Video can be used to inform, educate and entertain your viewers.
Videos can be in a variety of types – animated white board videos, cartoon videos, standard videos, slideshow videos and more. Slideshow videos are versatile and can be used for many purposes. For instance, you can export slides from a presentation as images and create an informational video. You can select a series of images from an event and create a documentary video. Or you can include images that depict your book’s characters, setting and plot and create a book trailer video.
A number of video creation tools are available. Some are free, some are paid. Animoto is an easy to use video slideshow creation tool, and you can make short videos with limited length, branded with their logo for no cost. Another simple slideshow creation tool is available from YouTube. And it’s free!
Here are the steps (with screenshots) to create a simple slideshow video using YouTube’s Photo Slideshow tool:
1. You’ll need a YouTube account. You can create an account automatically by creating a Google account. If you don’t want to create a new Gmail email address, you can click this link to create a Google account – https://accounts.google.com/signupwithoutgmail. If you want a new Gmail email address, you can click this link to create a Google account – https://accounts.google.com/SignUp?service=mail. If you already have a Gmail address or Google account, then you automatically already have a YouTube account. Simply sign into your Google account and go to YouTube.
2. In the upper right-hand corner, click on the Upload button.
3. Once you’re in the Upload screen, look at the right sidebar and you’ll see a list of choices under the Create Videos heading. Find Photo Slideshow and click “Create.”
4. A popup box will appear that displays your images from your Google account – Blogger blogs, Picassa photos, etc. Click the checkmark icon in the corner of the album you want to use, then click the “Select” button at the bottom of the popup box. If you don’t have any images or if these aren’t the ones you want to use for your slideshow, simply click the Upload link from the left sidebar and you can select images to upload from your computer.
5. After you’ve picked your images, you can drag and drop to arrange them in the order you want. In this screen, you can also add more images by clicking the Add More Pictures link (at the top) and delete any unwanted ones by clicking the X in the upper right-hand corner of any unwanted images. When you have all the photos you want in the correct order, click Next (at the bottom).
6. In the next screen that appears, you’ll be able to select your slide duration. The effect choices are “Pan and Zoom” or none, and you can choose from a variety of transition styles. This screen is also where you can add background music, if desired. YouTube has a database of over 150,000 free background music tracks to choose from. There is a search function or you can choose your favorite music genre from the drop down list and then browse through the choices. The music track’s length is displayed next to its name, so if you want the music to match your video length (which is shown under the video preview box – also on this screen), you can do so by selecting “Fit to Music” from the duration drop down.
7. If you choose to search for a music track, type in your keyword or song title and hit enter. You will need to scroll down to view the search results.
8. For even more options, you can go to the Advanced Editor screen. When you click the link, a popup box will ask if you’re sure you want to leave the page. It’s okay to leave the page – none of your information will be lost. However, if you ever click the “Back” button in your browser, you will lose your changes and have to start over.
9. The Advanced Editor area gives you options to add video clips, add images, add audio, add text and more. The timeline of the video is also visible here so you can see the duration of each image in your slideshow. You can click on an image to edit it or click on a transition icon to edit the transition.
10. When you click on an image, the image editing screen appears, and you can make quick-fix adjustments or even add cool filters, similar to those available on Instagram. The filter effects are stacked, so if you want to change a filter instead of adding to it, click on the effect you’d already applied to remove it before adding a new one. If you wish to split the clip in a specific place, click on the scissors icon that appears when you hover over an image in the timeline. TIP: Click the “Preview effects side-by-side with original video” box to see what your edits will look like before you publish your video.
11. Once you’ve finished making edits for a specific area, click the X just below the publish button to return to the main Advanced Editor screen. If you select the text editor (the small A from the main Advanced Editor menu), you’ll be able to choose which type of title to add to your images. (I didn’t add titles to mine as they already had text.)
12. When you’re done editing, the final step before publishing is to change your project’s title from the default “My Edited Video” to whatever you wish to call your video. Once you’ve done that, click the publish button.
13. Your video will take a few minutes to process, depending upon the length of the video.
14. While your video is processing (or after it’s finished), hover over the “About” area (the description) and an edit icon (small pencil) will appear. Click on it an rewrite your video’s description. Be sure to use keywords that describe your video well and also include a hyperlink to your website. (Tip: Include the http:// before your link to make sure it works properly.)
That’s it! You’re done with your YouTube slideshow video. Just for fun, I’ve posted the video I made while creating this tutorial: