Video content is a useful way to pitch sponsors, announce your lineup, or give an audience a taste of the event experience. You can put videos on a website or share them through online channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In fact, including video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%, and 92% of mobile video watchersshare videos with others.
Many Event Makers overlook web video for more cost-efficient tactics. Shooting high-quality footage takes quite a bit of effort, and hiring a production team is pricey. Moreover, once you’ve finished your shoot, you still need to have the skills to craft your video with editing and motion graphics software.
The good news is that consumers crave video content—YouTube alone now has over a billion users, for example. And that means tech and media companies are building tools to make it easier for brands to share info and tell stories through this medium.
One of these tools is Adobe Spark, and it looks to be an attractive option for Event Makers.
What is Adobe Spark?
Earlier this year, Adobe released Adobe Spark, a set of free web and mobile apps to “turn your ideas into impactful social graphics, web stories, and animated videos – in minutes.” It’s aimed at individuals who don’t have much design and video experience, but still need to create:
- Posts: memes, inspirational quotes, announcements, invitations
- Web stories: ideal for photo journals, event recaps, portfolios, catalogs
- Animated videos: lessons, pitches, presentations, greetings
Intrigued by the promise to turn ideas into a meaningful piece of content in minutes, I decided to give the video tool a try. Using the web app, I put together an announcement video for Pogopalooza 2016, an event that SpinGo helped promote online. I was able to create the finished product with minimal time and effort:
If you’d like to try creating a video for yourself, here’s a quick guide to help get you started:
Outline your message.
The app makes it easy to jump in head first, but I think it’s a good idea to do some prep work before you begin. At a minimum, make a rough outline of what you want to say, and then flesh out your message using a voice and tone that matches your brand. A good place to start is thinking about the 5 Ws—What, Where, When, Why, and Who. Determine the objective for this video and make sure your call to action is clear. What do you want your audience to do? Buy tickets? Visit a website for more info?
As of this writing, you can use photos and icons with Adobe Spark Video, but you can’t yet utilize video formats. Using your outline, determine what visuals best convey your message. Take some time to find the right images, including any logos and brand artwork, and put them all into an easily accessible folder. If you’re using your smartphone, you can add images to a Dropbox folder or a Google Photos Album, which both work well with the app.
If you don’t already have one, create an Adobe account. It’s free, and you’ll be able to manage all your projects in one place. Or you can log in with your Facebook or Google account. As I mentioned before, you can create a web page, a social media post, or an animated video.
When you start a new video project, you’re presented with story template options like “Promote an Idea” and “Show and Tell”. For example, the “A Hero’s Journey” story template organizes your video with placeholder slides like “Setup”, “Call to adventure”, “Climax”, and “Resolution”. Each model comes with a pre-outlined presentation and guided prompts to help you craft your presentation, which can be helpful if you need some inspiration on how to structure your video. Choose a template that best fits your message or feel free just to start from scratch.
Get to know your workspace.
Adobe has designed a clean, unintimidating app, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. The central space is for adding your content pieces: icons, photos, and text.
There’s also a button to record VO. You can capture audio with your built-in microphone or any other connected recording device, one slide at a time.
And I think it’s good to think about your slides as if building a PowerPoint presentation. How would you structure and create a slideshow? The bottom space is where you control the order and flow. From here you can delete or duplicate a particular slide. Simply drag and drop to rearrange your video content.
The right-hand pane is where you edit the look and feel of your video. Your options include:
- Themes: Choose from over 30+ themes, each with its own look and animation moves. There are no custom themes, but you have plenty of different looks to get you started.
- Music: The app includes a variety of free tracks that you can use. There’s nothing groundbreaking here so you might consider adding music that you own or purchase.
- Layout: Choose how to organize the content. The app locks you into what you see here, and you have no ability to customize where the content goes.
Add your content.
You can add photos by upload or via cloud services like Dropbox or Google. As you add your photos, text, or voice over, the app automatically saves your progress. The “Preview” button gives you the ability to see how each slide animates and transitions. When you go to add an icon, you’re presented with a search tool that helps you find an image within the Creative Commons library. You can use any of these icons as your own.
Even though you are limited in how you customize the look and layout, you can get creative in editing the flow of your video. It’s easy to change the text and swap out messages. In addition to changing the slide order, you can adjust the duration of each slide. You can also alter the theme without losing any of the content you’ve added so you can see how different looks and animations affect your presentation.
Share your video.
Once you feel okay with how your video looks, click the “share” button. Here you have options to save a copy to your device, or you can generate a link and share it immediately to Facebook and Twitter. If you make edits later, you can update the link without generating a new one.
Some final thoughts.
It’s not the perfect solution. You don’t have the full creative control you get with true video editing software like Adobe Premiere or Apple’s Final Cut, and there’s no support yet for actual film footage. But with its straightforward design interface, Adobe Spark can help busy Event Makers easily create video content with a minimal time commitment.